Welcome to Part 1 of our 4 part series on Direct Marketing Terminology (see Part 2Part 3 and Part 4).

Over the years here at JR Direct we’ve had plenty of experience helping new mailers enter into the world of Direct Marketing. One of the hardest things to get the hang of is our industry-specific terminology. I can still remember my first few weeks here at JR Direct. I kept telling my supervisor that the customer wanted the most recent “Hotlist”. She would look at me and make that face, “We only rent HOT lists, perhaps though they wanted the most current HOTLINE”.

Years later I can look back on that and chuckle, though I honestly think I may have been the main reason the team at JR Direct created our “101 Direct Marketing Terms” list. Some of you may have ended up on our site here trying to figure out what that term on the Datacard means. Heck, you may be trying to figure out what these Datacard things are to begin with. We can help!

Let’s start out in this first post with our “Glossary for Beginners”.

Beginner Terminology

Acquisition File – A List rented for the purpose of acquiring new customers (see List Rental below).

Addressed Admail – Mailed items bearing a uniform advertising, promotional or solicitation message.

Bulk Mail – Refers to large quantities of Addressed Admail mailed at a reduced postage rate.

Compiled List – Names and addresses derived from multiple sources (directories, newspapers, public records, retail sales slips, trade show registrations, etc.).

Consumer List – A list of individuals (usually at home address) who have bought merchandise, subscriptions, services, etc. via mail, space, or radio/TV.

Duplicates – Two or more name/address records that are found to be equal under the list user’s basis of comparison (match code, mathematical formula, etc.). A duplicate name can be used more than once if a second usage or a second list owner has been approved.

Hotline – The most recent names available on a specific list. Typically segregated by a monthly or quarterly date range. Not to be confused with ‘Hot List’, which is a well responding list.

House File – A List owned by the mailer, used for a mailing or as a suppression in a Merge/Purge

Lettershop – A company that handles addressing, imprinting, collating and other mechanical details of mailings.

List Broker – A specialist who makes all necessary arrangements for one company to make use of the list(s) of another company. A broker’s services may include most or all of the following: research, selection, recommendation and subsequent evaluation (see JR Direct’s List Services).

List Manager – An agent responsible managing an owner’s lists which usually includes: List maintenance (or advice thereon), List promotion and marketing, list clearance and record keeping, collecting for use of the list by others.

List Rental – An arrangement in which a list owner furnishes names to a mailer for a one-time use (unless otherwise specified in advance) for a fee. A List Rental is usually transacted through both a List Broker and a List Manager.

Merge/Purge – A software system that detects and drops duplicates within and between multiple acquisition files. Advanced systems (such as JR Direct’s Merge/Purge) can offer a wide variety of features, including: recency matching, multi matching, and advance matrix reporting.

Service Bureau – A facility providing general or specific data processing services, such as Merge/Purge, Address Correction, and/or List Fulfillment .

SIC (Standard Industrial Classifications) – A classification of businesses as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce. These are typically used when renting a Business Lists.

Hopefully you learned some new terminology that will help you feel more confident when talking to your List Broker about the List Rental of the current Hotline of an Acquisition File. Just don’t forget to get those names Merge/Purged to remove Duplicates before sending them off to your Lettershop.

Keep your eye open for Part 2 of our series which will cover more Terminology specific to the List brokerage and List Management side of the industry.

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