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Address accuracy

The level of matches that a database attains when compared to a national address database

Address block

The format in which the name and address is printed on top of letters and application forms.

Affinity mailings

See Co-op Mailings

Attrition rate (also Churn rate)

The percentage of customers or subscribers who leave a supplier during a given time period


Bill insert (also billing communications, transactional direct mail, transpromo)

Secondary document, usually of a promotional nature, mailed along with a customer's bill to make optimal use of the mailing. See our Billing Communications section for more information

Body copy

The principal portion of the message without headlines or illustrations but including descriptions, benefits and features of the product or service

BRE (business reply envelope)

A Business Reply Envelope, included in a mailing to make response easier for the customer. See our Business Response section for more information

Bulk mail

Mailings that involve a large quantity of identical pieces, processed in bulk for reduced postage rates.


Call to action

Copy that encourages the customer to complete an action or response, for example: ‘Buy now!’ Includes details on how to respond (i.e., by mail, 1850 number website, email).


A Ceadúnas is a mailing licence which enables you send mail without the use of stamps or a meter mark. Customers must apply for a Ceadúnas before use and must print the Ceadúnas according to established guidelines.

Churn Rate

See Attrition Rate

Conversion rate

Reflects the percentage of people who converted into buyers out of the total population exposed to the conversion effort. This is used to track two-step programmes, such as trial offers or lead generation with the percentage of responses converted to customer status

Co-op Mailings (or Affinity mailings)

The inclusion of several different offers (not necessarily related products) in a single mailing. Can also refer to a mailing that is shared between two companies.


The process of getting all the mailing items together for mailing e.g. a letter, brochure, voucher and response card


All elements of a direct mail package, including copy, font style, images, colours, etc.


Encouraging customers to buy products from other departments or categories, beyond the initial offering.

Customer profile

Description of the characteristics of buyers for a specific product or service. Includes descriptions such as customer's size, location, type of industry, value of orders, buying habits, etc.



A computerised collection of names, addresses and details that can be easily accessed, manipulated and updated.


A process by which similar or identical records are removed from a mailing list. Deduplication is often needed when mailing lists have been merged.


Statistical data that describes the makeup of a given user base, and includes information such as age range, gender, education levels, and average household income.

Direct mail

Direct mail is a marketing discipline that involves contacting individual customers' directly through mail and obtaining their response. Ideal for developing mutually profitable customer relationships.

Direct response advertising

Advertising, through any medium (such as mail, TV, print) designed to generate a response by any means that is measurable.


Two or more identical names and addresses on the same mailing list.



All the items that are sent out in a direct mail piece (e.g. letter, brochure, reply envelope)



An offer detailed on a single sheet of paper as opposed to a brochure or catalogue format.


How often a customer has purchased or responded in a given time period. It also may describe the number of times a promotion piece is mailed to the same target.


Freepost is a Business Response service which allows you to offer your customers the opportunity to respond to you by mail without them having to pay postage. See our Business Response section for more information.



When someone has moved away from a mailing address


House list

An internal database of your own buyers or prospects.


Inkjet printing

A method of printing an address, post mark, return address or bar code directly on to an envelope or postcard.


Any item, such as a brochure or reply envelope, which is included in a direct mailing.


Jiffy bag

A padded envelope ideal for mailing breakable or delicate items.


Letter shop

See Mailing House

Life time value (LTV)

Viewing the value of a customer in terms of how much revenue they will generate for a company during the period they continue to buy (may be over many years), not just on the current transaction.

List (also Mailing list, Mailing database)

Names and addresses of individuals and/or companies used by an organisation to send material to multiple recipients

List broker

An organisation offering a variety of lists, from a variety of sources, for rental or outright purchase.


Prior to lasering, live lasers are generated with data applied to the letter copy to check for accuracy.


Mailing house

A supplier that provides a variety of mailing services including any or all of the following: addressing, labelling, folding, collating, assembling, inserting, metering, sorting, etc.

Merge / Purge

The processing of two or more lists and the merging of same into one. At the same time, the "purge" process eliminates duplicate names.

Machine enclosing

The process of putting inserts into an envelope by machine rather than hand.

Mailing Preference Service (MPS)

A service which registers the name and addresses of people who do not want to receive unsolicited mail. Before a mailing list is used, it's cross referenced with the MPS so those people can be removed.


Occupant addressing (Dear Householder)

Use of the word "Occupant" in place of a specific name. This device is used primarily for consumer-oriented mailings to residential addresses. It may also be used in addition to the customer name if it is likely the customer has moved and the mailing is not targeted to an individual.


The specific proposition being presented to the customer and encompassing product, price and supporting copy.


The outer envelope or polybag which contains a mailing piece.



The process of personalising a letter, coupon or postcard with the customer’s name, location, prior purchases or other data.

Personalised Postage

Available with our PostAim product, Personalised Postage enables you to design your own Ceadunas to make your mailing stand out. See our Personalised Postage section for more information.


A polythene envelope, either printed or transparent, which is sealed with a self adhesive glue strip


PostAim offers considerable savings on the standard rates of postage for direct mail campaigns, in return for preparing your mailing to our requirements. See our PostAim section for more information.

PostMark Advertising

Make your impression on every piece of stamped mail delivered by An Post, for two weeks at a time. See our PostMark Advertising section for more information.

Price testing

Offering the same product or service at two levels of pricing to determine which is most effective in producing revenue and income.


Mailing to get leads for further sales contact rather than to make direct sales.

Publicity Post

Publicity Post is a cost-effective delivery service for unaddressed leaflets. Items sent by Publicity Post are delivered with ordinary mail. Specific zones around Ireland can be targeted.


Qualified leads

Names and addresses of individuals who have taken a positive action to indicate genuine interest in a given type of offer.


Reply card

A sender-addressed card included in a mailing on which the customer may indicate their response to the offer. See our Business Response section for more information

Response rate

A method of quantifying the success ratio of a mailing based on the number of sales or inquiries vs. the number of promotion pieces mailed. See our ‘How to evaluate a campaign’s success’ section for more information.


Communication with existing customers, based on customer behaviour, directly aimed at building long term loyalty.

Return envelopes

Addressed reply envelopes, either stamped or unstamped. See our Business Response section for more information

Return on investment (ROI)

Determined by a basic formula, measures how effectively the marketing investment is used to generate net profit from an activity. The higher the ROI, the better. See our ‘How to evaluate a campaign’s success’ section for more information.

RFM (recency-frequency-monetary value)

A formula used to evaluate the sales potential of names on a mailing list.



How the customer is addressed in the beginning of a letter in a direct mail piece (i.e. Dear, To, Hello)

Seed list

The inclusion of additional names in a mailing list before it is mailed. These additional names are selected employees who are required to monitor the mailing. The procedure is also known as "seeding" the list.


The process that a company divides the market into distinct groups who have distinct needs, wants, behavior or who might want different products and services.


A direct mail piece designed so that it can be addressed and mailed without an envelope.

Source codes (also marketing code)

Internally developed codes printed on response forms so returns can be tallied as to sources of promotion material.

Split test

Two or more samples from the same list, selected by the same criteria (such as an A/B split) used for testing different packages, offers, mail dates or any other part of the mailing.


The process of removing records of people or businesses who should not be mailed.


Target market

The ideal audience for a mailing effort, usually defined in geo-demographic terms.


An intriguing question or statement designed to catch reader attention and "pull" them into the copy. Envelope messages are a common use of the teaser.

Test campaign

Introduction of a new product, offer, creative execution or promotion on a small scale to measure/test consumer responsiveness prior to full campaign implementation.


A statement or comment made by a recent customer which endorses or recommends your product or service being offered.




A mailing piece returned to the mailer as undeliverable for reason of incorrect name or address.