ABC’s of Common Direct Marketing Terms – C

ABC’s of Common Direct Marketing Terms – C

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.

This week’s letter is – C


Calendering: The process of smoothing a sheet of dried paper by pressing it between the highly polished metal cylinders.

Call Out: Short blocks of copy that direct reader attention to special benefits or features worthy of emphasis.

Call To Action: Copy that encourages the reader to respond and provides clear details on how (i.e., by mail, website, etc.,) and expiry date for response.

Card Deck: A series of postcards, each promoting a separate product or service, in one mailing. Each card will normally include a trackable mechanism for reader’s response.

Catalogue: A multi-page pamphlet or book detailing a variety of products, most frequently with illustrations, and including an order form. Larger and more detailed than either a brochure or flyer.

Cheshire Label: These labels look like normal white computer paper, but a special Cheshire machine cuts the paper into label-sized strips and glues them onto mailing pieces.

Chromalin: A colour proofing system, usually the final colour proof before going on the press.

Circulation: Of a print publication, the total number of copies distributed.

CMYK: Abbreviation for the four-process colour inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Also known as four-colour process colour.

Coated paper: Paper with an outer layer of coating applied to one of both sides, available in a variety of finishes, such as gloss, dull and matte.

Combination: A mailing in which more than one product or service is offered.

Controlled Circulation: Usually the number of paid subscribers to a publication

Conversion Rate: The ratio of inquiries converted to buyers. This ratio is used to track two-step programs, such as trial offers or lead generation with the percentage of responses converted to customer status.

Commingle: The process of sorting mail from different mail streams into one combined stream.

Compiled List: Names and addresses derived from directories, newspapers, public records, etc., to identify targeted groups of people.

Co-op: The inclusion of several different offers (not necessarily related products) in a single mailing.

Co-op Mailing – A mailing in which two or more offers – usually from different companies – are included in the same envelope, and share the costs.

Copy Testing: The use of two (or more) messages mailed to selected individuals in the same audience. By using different codes on response forms, it can be determined which message drew the larger percentage of requests or orders.

Crop Marks: Limit lines drawn on a photograph or design area, designed to enhance the illustration by eliminating distracting elements or an extraneous background and establishing where the trim lines for printing will occur.

Courtesy Reply Envelope (CRE). An envelope, pre-addressed with the seller’s address, that buy­ers can use to send in a reply form or order form. Unlike the Business Reply Envelope (BRE) (Letter B Terms), which is postage-paid, customers must add their own postage to a CRE. 


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