ABC’s of Common Direct Marketing Terms – A

ABC’s of Common Direct Marketing Terms – A

We understand that at times, a term or two may escape you. That is why it’s always handy to have a good glossary close at hand.

With our A to Z glossary, we define some of the most commonly direct mail and direct marketing terms used in direct response marketing throughout the industry.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be releasing our A to Z glossary so that you, as a business and personally can become savvier and stay on top of the lingo.


AA: Authors alterations, i.e., changes other than corrections made by a client after the proofing process has begun.

A.B. Sample: A commonly used term to describe printed samples of an item mailed with a non-specific address and salutation.

AOV (average order value): The average amount of each customer order.

Absorbency: The capacity a paper has for accepting liquids, like the inks or water used to run offset lithographic presses.

Acid-free Paper: Paper manufactured on a machine with the wet-end chemistry controlled to a neutral or slightly alkaline pH.

Acquisition mailing: A mail package mailed to prospects to acquire them as new customers, members or donors.

Add-on: A related product offer sometimes included in the original promotion, otherwise as a follow-up communication.

Address Accuracy: The percentage of matches that a database attains when compared with a national address database.

Address Block: The format in which the name and address are printed on top of letters and applications.

Address Correction Requested: If a customer has notified the postal service of a forwarding address, the postal service will not only forward the envelope to the new address, but also notify the sender of the new address if this stamp is included on the envelope.

Ad-hoc report: A report that is created on the fly, displaying information in a table or a chart

that is the result of a question that has not already been codified in a production report.

Advertising Mail: Allows businesses to target new or existing customers with a marketing related massage or incentive at a considerably discounted rate.

Affiliate: A marketing partner that promotes your products or services under a payment-on-results agreement.

Affinity: A logical connection between a mailer’s offer and the names/data on a list.

Affixing: The process of attaching a card to a mailer or letter by applying a strip of glue and

laying down the card on top of the glue strip.

Aqueous coating: A water-based coating applied after printing to give a glossy, dull or matte finish, and help prevent the ink from rubbing off.

Attrition Rate: The percentage of customers who are not likely to renew or complete their commitment.

Automation-compatible Mail: Mail that can be scanned and processed by automated mail processing equipment such as a bar code sorter.

Average Gift: In a direct mail fundraising campaign, the total money received divided by the total number of gifts received.


Click here for our DM ABC’s