3602: Postal receipt used as verification of performance (shows dates of mailing and quantity mailed) for card packs and co-op mailings.
A/B test: Test of a marketing piece, campaign, or offer in which one group of recipients receives version A and the other, similar group receives version B; also called split-run test.
AEC: Address Element Correction, U.S. Postal Service software that revises incomplete or incorrect address records.
Bind-in: Printed insert bound or stapled into a catalog or magazine.
Blow-in: Printed insert — usually a postcard or a double postcard — blown into a catalog as the catalog comes off press.
BRC: Business reply card.
BRE: Business reply envelope.
Card deck: Cooperative mailing, usually targeted to a specific industry or type of consumer, consisting of at least 30 BRCs polywrapped and mailed third class; also called a card pack.
CART: Classification and Regression Trees, a type of tree analysis.
CASS: Coding Accuracy Support System, software that adds the expanded zip+4 code to an existing address record.
CHAID: Chi-Square Automatic Interaction Detector, a type of tree analysis.
Clustering: Profiling method in which you group segments of customers by age, SIC, geography, and other variables to create a profile of your largest customer segments.
Compiled list: List on names and addresses created specifically for use by marketers in which all the names were included because they met certain criteria (such as barbershops or single mothers); the names are not necessarily those of catalog or Internet shoppers.
CRM: Customer relationship management; communicating with the customer in a consistent manner across all divisions of a company, based on the customer’s preferences and history, so that there are no disconnects or discrepancies between communications from differing departments or channels.
Database marketing: Using disparate information about customers and prospects that is stored electronically to determine the most effective means and message for communicating with particular groups of those customers and prospects.
Demographics: Objective criteria for classifying consumers, such as age, income, and marital status.
DSF: Delivery Sequence File, mail that the cataloger arranges in delivery order for a particular carrier route. Mailers can use DSF to identify questionable addresses.
Firmographics: Objective criteria for classifying businesses, such as industry, number of employees, and annual revenue.
House file: The names of buyers and requesters in your database.
Insert media: Marketing materials that are inserted into other communications, such as a catalog, a package, or a bill.
LACS: Locatable Address Collection Service, a U.S. Postal Service database, available through licensees, that provides the official addresses of buildings that had formerly been designated only by rural postal routes.
Lifetime value (LTV): How much money a customer will spend with your company during his tenure as a customer; can also be defined as a customer’s contribution to overhead and profit throughout all his years as a customer with your company.
List broker: One who arranges for the rental of lists on behalf of a marketer.
List manager: One who markets lists that are available for rent or exchange.
Longitudinal test: A long-term test (often 6-12 months) using an A/B split to measure cumulative behavior over time.
Merge/purge: Combining multiple lists and running them through software to single out duplicate records.
MPS: Mail Preference Service, the Direct Marketing Association’s database of consumers who have specified that they don’t want to receive unsolicited mail.
NCOA: National Change of Address, a correction service provided to mailers by the USPS through its licensees. All change-of-address data submitted by relocating customers are transmitted daily to the USPS National Customer Support Center in Memphis, TN. The center consolidates the data, then places the data on computer tape, and standardizes the addresses against the zip+4 databases. The licensees match computerized mailing lists with change-of-address data, and NCOA provides current standardized and ZIP+4 coded addresses for all residential and business movers.
Net names: Number of names actually used from a file, excluding names that appear on other lists you’re using in the mailing and that appear on your house file.
Opt-in: Request by a prospect or customer to be included on a list; an opt-in list consists only of individuals who specifically asked to be included.
Opt-out: Request by a person to be removed from a list; an opt-out list is created by adding names to a list without contacting those individuals first, and removing them only if they request removal.
Package insert program: Program that allows you to put an advertising piece into a mail order firm’s product fulfillment package.
Profiling: Method of analyzing your database so that you can describe the characteristics of buyer segments.
Psychographics: Subjective criteria for categorizing consumers, such as attitudes.
RFM: An acronym for recency, frequency, monetary value, a modeling method that involves scoring customers in terms of how recently they bought from you, how frequently they’ve bought from you in a given time period, and how much they spent with you in that same period. A customer who bought twice within the past month, spending $500, would score higher—and therefore be a better candidate for a remailing—than a customer who bought once within the past year, spending only $100.
RFMP: Recency, frequency, monetary value, product; a more complex version of RFM that includes the product variable as a scoring factor. If you sell several categories of product or mail several titles, adding the product variable to your RFM scores can prevent you from, say, mailing an offer of PC software to Macintosh users.
Regression analysis: Modeling method that takes into account historical and demographic variables and relies on statistical calculations to weigh the variables. Certain standard industrial classifications (SICs), for instance, might be assigned a higher value than others; household income might be factored by a number so that wealthier buyers are ranked as proportionately more valuable than less-wealthy customers.
Ride-along program: Program in which a company mails a catalog, circular, or announcement to its customer base while allowing outside advertising to accompany, or “ride along” with, the mail piece
SIC: Standard Industrial Classification; system used by the U.S. Department of Commerce to categorize businesses based on their industry.
Statement stuffer: Outside insert allowed to mail first class within the envelope carrying an invoice, renewal notice, or statement from a telephone company, utility, cable TV system, magazines, or other business
Statistical response modeling: Method of analysis that enables you to predict a response by looking at a number of factors together; also known as predictive modeling
Tree analysis: Method of breaking down your database by variables using flow charts known as decision trees. Let’s say you want to determine the characteristics of your best buyers. First, you might sort your house file by age groups; then you might want to sort those age groups by whether they own their homes; then you could separate those who have children from those who don’t.