National Mail Order Association
Mail Order Glossary

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Term Meaning
Faced Mail arranged with the address and postage of each piece facing the same way.
Facing Identification Mark (FIM) A group of vertical lines placed on the top of business reply and courtesy reply mail which enables automated mail processing equipment to identify it and separate it from other mail.
Facing Slip The label on a package of mail which identifies the contents and destination of the package.
Factor Analysis A statistical analytic tool used to determine the selection factors within a list that influence response.
Field (1) On a data medium or a storage device, a specified area used for a particular class of data, for example, a group of character positions used to enter or display wage rates on a screen. (2) A discrete piece of data within a database record, for example, a street name. (3) The smallest identifiable part of a record.
Field Attribute A defined characteristic of a field, such as protected or unprotected, alphanumeric or numeric, detectable or nondetectable, displayable or nondisplayable, or intensity.
File A named set of records stored or processed as a unit.
File maintenance Activity of keeping a file up to date by adding, changing, or deleting data. See also List maintenance and Update.
File Tagging Adding data from one file to another. This can refer to the unauthorized additions to house files of information owned by others.
Fill-in Name, address, or words added to a preprinted letter.
Film positive Photographic print on transparent film taken from artwork for use by the printer.
First-class letter contract Post office service for mailers that consist of at least 5,000 identical items, can sort into towns, and require first-class service; offers discounts ofup to 12 percent.
First-time buyer Person who buys a product or service from a specific company for the first time.
Fixed field Way of laying out, or formatting, list information in a computer file that puts every piece of data in a specific position relative to every other piece of data. If a piece of data is missing from an individual record, or if its assigned space is not completely used. Any piece of data exceeding its assigned space limitation must be abbreviated or contracted.
Fixed lists Cost per sale including all other costs except promotions.
Fixed-Length Record A record having the same length as all other records with which it is logically or physically associated. Contrast with variable-length record.
Flag A computerized means to identify data added to a file or the usage of a list segment by a given mailer.
Flat (1) A piece of mail which exceeds at least one of the dimensions for letter-size mail, but none of the maximum dimensions for flat-size mail. (2) Paper industry's term for unprinted paper adopted by the direct mail industry to refer either to unprinted paper or, more particularly, to printed paper prior to folding.
Flat Charge A fixed total cost of a rental list. This usually applies to small lists.
Flight A given mailing, particularly where multiple drops are to be made on different days to reduce the number arriving at one company at one time.
Folio Page number as it appears on a printed page.
Follow-up contact Any contact required to finalize a previous commitment or to close a transaction.
Follow-up system Part of an automated telemarkering system which keeps track of calls that should be recycled into the outgoing program and rescheduled at a later time; its purpose is to trap information and release it to communicators at the appropriate time.
Foreign mail Lists of householders and businesses outside the United States.
Format Size, style, type page, margins, printing requirements, and the like that are characteristic of a publication.
Former buyer Person who has bought one or more times from a company but has made no purchase in the last 12 months.
Fortune 1000 Thousand largest industrial companies in the United States, as published by Fortune magazine; almost all have sales volumes per year of over $1 billion.
Fortune 300 Fortune magazine's selection of the 50 largest companies in 6 classifications: banking, retailing, wholesaling, insurance, construction, and utilities.
Four-line address Typical individual-name list with at-business addresses requires a minimum of four lines: name of individual, name of company, local address, city, state, and ZIP code.
Four-up, three-up, two-up Number of similar items printed on one sheet of paper; e.g., four-up indicates the sheet will be guillotined to print four finished articles; (also four-to-view, three-to-view, etc.).
Fourth-class mail Parcel post, the U.S. Postal Service delivery of mail parcels weighing over 16 ounces.
Free lancer Independent artist, writer, or photographer who is not on staff but works on a per-project or hourly rare as the need arises.
Free sheet Paper without mechanical wood pulp.
Free-ride See Envelope stuffer and Piggyback.
Free-Standing Insert A promotional piece loosely inserted or nested in a newspaper or magazine.
Frequency The number of times an individual has ordered within a specific period of time. See also Monetary value and Recency.
Friend of a friend Name of someone thought to be interested in a specific advertiser's product or service; submitted by a third party.
Front-end Activities necessary, or the measurement of direct marketing activities, to obtain an order.
Front-End Response The initial responses generated by a direct-response promotion without consideration of returns, credit, payment, and subsequent purchases.
Fulfillment Process of supplying goods after an order has been received.
Fund-raising list List of individuals or companies based on a known contribution to one or more fund-raising appeals.
Galley listing or sheet list Printout of list data on sheets, usually in ZIP or alphabetic order.
Galleys Proofs of typesetting in column width taken before page make-up.
Gathering Assembly of folded signatures into correct sequence.
Genderization Program run to add gender to mailing lists (based on first names where available).
Geographics Any method of subdividing a list based on geographic or political subdivisions, such as ZIP Codes, sectional centers, cities, counties, states, and regions.
Gift buyer One who buys a product or service for another.
Giftees List of individuals sent gifts or magazines by mail, by friends, donors, or business firms. Giftees are not truly mail-order buyers; rather they are mail-order recipients and beneficiaries.
Gimmick Attention-getting device, usually dimensional, attached to a direct mail printed piece.
Gone-aways See Nixie.
Governments Often-overlooked source of lists, e.g.; lists of cars, homes, dogs, bankers, hairdressers, plumbers, veterinarians, buyers, subscribers, inquirers, TV stations, ham operators, and CBs, among others.
Grid test Means of testing more than one variable at the same time; a useful method for testing different offers by different packages overagroup of prospect lists.
Groundwood pulp Paper that contains wood pulp.
Groups Number of individuals having a unifying relationship, e.g., club, association, membership, church, fraternal order, political group, sporting group, collector group, travel group, singing group, etc.
Guarantee Pledge of satisfaction made by the seller to the buyer and specifying the terms by which the seller will make good his pledge.
Gummed label See Label, gummed.
Half Life A formula for estimating the total response to be expected from a direct-response effort shortly after the first responses are received. Makes valid continuation decisions possible based on statistically valid partial data. See doubling day.
Halftone Photograph or other tonal illustration reproduced by lines of small dots.
Handling Charge A fixed charge added per segment for special list requests. Also appears as part of 'shipping and handling' charges for transportation of labels, cards, sheets, or tape.
Hard copy Printout on a sheet list or galley of all data available on a magnetic source such as a tape, hard disk, or floppy disk.
Head Of Family From telephone or car data, the name and sex of the individual on the registration file.
Headline Primary wording utilized to induce a direct marketing recipient to read and react.
Heat transfer Form of label that transfers reverse carbon images on the back of a sheet of mailing pieces by means of heat and pressure.
High school student list Several compilers provide lists of high school juniors and seniors with their home addresses; original data, usually printed phone rosters, are not available for all schools or localities.
High-Potential/Immediate-Need Any case that requires immediate contact by the outside sales force.
High-ticket buyer Buyer who has purchased expensive items by mail.
Hit Name appearing on two or more mailing lists.
Home office For major businesses, the executive or home office location as differentiated from the location of branch offices or plants.
Homogenization The unfortunate and misleading combination of responses from various sources. Often the use of a single average response for a mailing made to customers and prospects alike.
Hot line Most recent buyers on a list that undergoes periodic updating. (Those who have just purchased by mall are the most likely buyers of other products and services by mail.)
Hotline List The most recent names available on a specific list, but no older than three months; use of the term hot line should be modified by weekly, monthly, etc. The concept of 'recency' varies by mailer and ranges from last 30 days to last 6 months.
House list Any list of names owned by a company as a result of compilation, inquiry or buyer action, or acquisition, that is used to promote that company's products or services.
House list duplicate Duplication of name-and-address records between the list user's own lists and any list being mailed by the list user on a one-time use arrangement.
House Lists Duplicate Duplication of name-and-address records between the list user's own lists and an external list, such as a rented list, being mailed on a one-time use arrangement.
Households All lists are delivered to households (homes) or to nonhouseholds. Households are selectable on a demographic basis. Householders (consumers) may be selectable on a psychographic basis.
ICSMA International Customer Service Manager's Association.
Imposition Way in which pages are positioned in order to print and fold correctly on a press.
In-house Related to services or products that can be furnished by the advertiser himself; e.g., in-house lists, in-house print.
In-house Agency A special department that many mail order companies set up in order to receive an angency discount on all advertising they place in magazines.
In-house telemarketing Telemarketing done within a company as a primary or supplementary method of marketing and selling that company's own products.
Inactive Buyers Buyers who have not placed an order or responded during a specified period of time.
Inbound calls Calls that come into a telemarketing center.
Inbound telesales A department within a telemarketing operation devoted to the handling of incoming calls.
Income Perhaps the most important demographic selection factor on consumer files. Major compiled files provide surprisingly accurate individual family incomes up to about $40,000. Incomes can be selected in $1,000 increments; counts are available by income ranges for every ZIP code.
Incoming specialist Trained professional telephone specialist skilled at handling incoming order requests and cross-selling or up-selling to close a sale.
Indexing Creation of a standard, say, 100 percent of recovery of promotion cost, to allow comparison between mailings of different sizes.
Indicia The preprinted marking on each piece of mail in a bulk mailing which shows that postage has been paid for by the sender.
Indicia The required indication in the area usually reserved for the postage stamp designating the type of mailing.
Individual Most mailings are made to individuals, although all occupant or resident mail is, in effect, to an address only. A portion of business mail is addressed to the establishment (by name and address) only, or to a title and not to an individual.
Influentials In business mail order, those executives who have decision-making power on what and when to buy; those who exercise clout in their business classification or community; in consumer mail, those individuals (executive, professionals, educators, clergy, etc.) who make a difference in their localities or workplaces.
Initial source code Code for the source that brought the name to the customer file for the first time.
Ink-jet Computer-generated ink droplets that apply ink through a small orifice to form characters; often used for purposes of personalization.
Input data Original data, usually in hard copy form, to he convened and added to a given file. Also, taped lists made ready for a merge-purge, or for a databank.
Inquiry (1) Request for literature or other information about a product or service; (2) response in the form of an inquiry for more information or for a copy of a catalog.
Insert Leaflet or other printed material inserted loose in a publication or mailing package.
Insertion Order A form that an advertiser fills out giving specific directions on an advertisment being placed in a magazine or newspaper. Including, but not limited to; date(s) the ad should run, key codes, positioning or special placement of ad, size of ad, etc.
Inset Leaflet or other printed material bound in with the pages of a publication rather than inserted loose.
Installment Buyers Mail order buyers who have purchased goods or services on a periodic payment basis.
Insurance lists Lists of people who have inquired about or purchased various forms of insurance; lists of insurance agents, brokers, adjusters, executives.
Intelpost Royal Mail electronic transmission service for copy, artwork, and other urgent documents.
Inter-list Duplicate Duplication of name and address records between two or more lists, other than house lists, being mailed by a list user.
International 800 service Telephone service allowing toll-free calls to another country.
Intralist duplication Duplication of name and address records within a given list.
Italic Sloping version of a typeface, usually used for emphasis.
Item In the selection process for a mail-order list, term denoting the type of goods or service purchased; in input terms, it is a pan of a record to be converted.
Julian dating Three-digit numerical system for date-stamping a transaction by day: January 1 is 001, December 31is 365.
Kerning The process of adjusting the space between individual letters of a word.
Key One or more characters within a data group that can be used to identify it or control its use. This is synonymous with Key Code in the mailing business.
Key code (key) Group of letters and/or numbers, colors, or other markings, used to identify, measure and track the specific effectiveness of media, lists, advertisements, offers, etc., or any parts thereof.
Key verifying For 100 percent accuracy, having two operators at the data-entry stage keypunch the same data.
Keyline Can be any one of many partial or complete descriptions of past buying history codes to include name-and-address information and current status.
Keypunch Means of converting hard copy to machine-readable form by punching holes in either cards or paper tape.
Keystroke Clerical means used to convert hard copy data, one character at a time, to electronic form.
Kill To delete a record from a file.
Kill Bad Name (KBN) Refers to the process of eliminating from a file those addresses which are considered to be undeliverable.
Label Slip of paper containing the name and address of the recipient that is applied to a mailing for delivery.
Label, gummed Perforated label form on paper stock which must be individually separated and moistened before being applied with hand pressure to the mailing piece.
Label, one-up Conventional pressure-sensitive labels for computer addressing are four-across horizontal; one-up labels are in a vertical strip with center holes for machine affixing.
Label, peel off (pressure-sensitive) Self-adhesive label form that can be peeled off its backing form and pressed onto a mailing piece.
Laid paper Paper having parallel lines watermarked at equal distances, giving a ribbed effect.
Laser letters Letters printed by the latest high-speed, computerized imaging method. The new lasers can print two letters side by side, each of 35 or 40 lines, in one second.
Lead generation Mailing used to invite inquiries for sales follow-up.
Lead qualification Determination, by telemarketing, of customer's level of interest in and willingness and ability to buy a product or service.
Length of line The computer, which has the capacity to print 132 characters across a 14'A sheet, has forced discipline in the choice of line length. In four-across cheshiring, the longest line cannot be more than 30 characters; for five-across this limit is 23 characters. Capable data processors, utilizing all 8 lines available on a 1-deep label, can provide two full lines, if need be, for the title line.
Length of residence Major compilers who utilize telephone or car registration data maintain the number of years (up to 16) a given family has been at the same address, thereby providing another selection factor available from these stratified lists.
Letterhead Printing on a letter that identifies the sender.
Lettershop Business organization that handles the mechanical details of mailings such as addressing, imprinting, and collating; most offer some printing facilities and many offer some degree of creative direct mail services.
Lifestyle selectivity Selectivity based on the lifestyle habits of segments of the population as revealed through lists indicating what people need, what they buy, what they own, what they join, and what they support; major lists based on consumer surveys provide data on hobbies, ownership, and interests.
Lifetime value In direct mail, mail order and general marketing, the total profit or loss estimated or realized from a customer over the active life of that customer's record.
Lift letter Separate piece added to conventional solo mailings asking the reader to consider the offer just once
List (Mailing List) Names and addresses of individuals and/or companies having in common a specific interest, characteristic, or activity.
List acquisition (1) Lease or purchase of lists from external services; (2) use of internal corporate lists.
List Affinity Correlation of a mailing offer to the selected mailing lists previous customers or make up.
List bank Names held in inventory for future use.
List Broker A specialist who makes all necessary arrangements for one company to use the list(s) of another company. A broker's services may include most, or all, of the following: research, selection, recommendation and subsequent evaluation.
List Building The process of collecting and utilizing list data and transaction data for list purposes.
List building offer/promotion Any method used for generating names or new customers in the effort to create a mailing list or data base.
List bulletin Announcement of a new list or of a change in a list previously announced.
List buyer Technically, one who actually buys mailing lists; in practice, one who orders mailing lists for one-time use. See List user and Mailer.
List card Conventional 5,, x 8 card used to provide essential data about a given list.
List catalog Directory of lists with counts prepared and distributed, usually free, by list managers and list
List cleaning List updating or the process of correcting a mailing list.
List compilation Business of creating lists from printed records.
List Compiler One who develops lists of names and addresses from directories, newspapers, public records, sales slips, trade show registrations and other sources for identifying groups of people or companies with something in common.
List count Number of names and addresses on a given segment of a mailing list; a count provided before printing tapes or labels; the universe of names available by segment or classification.
List Criteria Those factors on a mailing list that differentiate one segment from another. The criteria can be demographic, psychographic, or physical in nature.
List databank See Databank.
List enhancement Addition of data per-mining to each individual record that increases the value of a list.
List Exchange A barter arrangement between two companies for the use of a mailing list(s). This may be: list for list, list for space, or list for comparable value - other than money.
List Franchise Major compilers often provide copies of all or parts of their files on a franchise basis to list wholesalers and mailing shops. The list may be paid for on a fee basis or, particularly on large files, on a royalty basis.
List key See Key code.
List Maintenance Any manual, mechanical or electronic system for keeping name-and-address records (with or without other data) up-to-date at any specific point(s) in time.
List management system Database system that manages customer and prospect lists, used to merge and purge duplicates between in-house lists and those obtained from outside sources and to select names for direct mail promotions and outgoing telemarketing programs.
List manager Person who, as an employee of a list owner or as an outside agent, is responsible for the use, by others, of a specific mailing list(s), and who oversees list maintenance, list promotion and marketing, list clearance and record keeping, and collecting for use of the list by others.
List manager, in-house Independent manager serving multiple lists. Some large list owners opt to manage the list rental activity through full-time in-house employees.
List monitoring See Monitoring.
List owner Person or business who, by promotional activity or compilation, has developed a list of names having something in common; or one who has purchased (as opposed to rented, reproduced, or used on a one-time basis) such a list from the list developer.
List Performance The response logged to a mailed list or list segment.
List Protection Lists are valuable and are, therefore, protected by review of mailing and mailer, insertion of list seeds, and obtaining of a guarantee of one-time use only.
List Ranking In building a 'bank' of lists for future use, each list is ranked in descending order on the basis of logged response and/or logged dollars of sales.
List rental Arrangement whereby a list owner furnishes names to a mailer and receives a royalty from the mailer.
List Rental History A report showing tests and continuations by users of a given list. This usage record, exclusive to each broker or to the list manager, is the key to list recommendations. Historical data can be maintained by list, mailer, product or source of business. Repeat usage by mailers by name is perhaps the most important information desired by a knowledgeable direct marketer.
List Royalty Payment to list owners for the privilege of using their names on a one-time basis.
List Sample A group of names selected from a list in order to evaluate the responsiveness of that list.
List Segmentation See List Selection
List Selection Characteristics used to define smaller groups within a list (essentially, lists within a list). Although very small, select groups may be very desirable and may substantially improve response, increased costs often render them impractical.
List Sequence The order in which names and addresses appear in a list. While most lists today are in ZIP Code sequence, some are alphabetical by name, others are in carrier sequence (postal delivery), and still others may (or may not) use some other order within the ZIP Code. Some lists are still arranged alphabetically by name or chronologically, and in many other variations or combinations.
List Sort Process of putting records in a list in a specific sequence. Can be a alphanumeric sequence on a specific field, or in no sequence.
List source Original source used to generate names on a mailing list.
List test Part of a list selected to try to determine the effectiveness of the entire list. See List sample.
List user Mailer, on company that uses names and addresses on someone else's list as prospects for its product or service.
List, Custom Compiled In prior years, all compiled lists were typed and thus were custom prepared to order. Today, virtually all compiled files with multiple data elements are precompiled on tape for virtually any selection the user wishes.
List, mailing Names and addresses of individuals and-or companies having in common a specific interest, characteristic, or activity.
Load Up Process of offering a buyer the opportunity of buying an entire series at one time after the customer has purchased the first item in that series.
Logotype (logo) Symbol or statement used consistently to identify a company or product.
Long Term Value The total sales or profit that may be gained over a period of time from one customer. Example: If your average customer buys from you four times a year, and each time the average order is $25.00, and your average customer stays a customer for three years, then the long term value of your average customer is $300.00. (4 x $25 x 3 = $300)
Look-up service Service organization that adds telephone numbers to lists.

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