Our final series on Direct Marketing Terminology focuses on “Consulting” terms (see also Part 1Part 2 and Part 3).

Whether it’s developing your entire mail program or just tweaking a part of it, our Consulting team has the experience to help you maximize your returns. We have been helping our clients for over 20 years running their local and global Direct Mail programs.

The following are terms used frequently in the Consulting world of direct mail.


“Consulting” Terminology

Active Buyer – A Buyer whose latest purchase was made within the past twelve months.

Action Devices – Mailing items and techniques to initiate a desired response – including coupons, survey forms, reply cards or business reply envelopes.

Active Subscriber – A Buyer who has committed for regular delivery of magazines, books, or other goods or services for a time period that is still in effect.

Business Reply Mail (BRM) – A response vehicle, in the form of an envelope (BRE) or a card (BRC), which carries a postage payment guarantee.

Buckslip – A single, unfolded, promotional piece inserted in a mailing.

Buyer – An individual who orders merchandise, books, records, information or services. Unless another modifying words are used, it is assumed that a buyer has paid for all merchandise to date.

Catalogue Buyer – A Buyer who has purchased one or more products from a catalogue.

Co-op Mailing – Two or more offers, usually from different companies, included in the same envelope.

Code Line – A line on an address imprint to identify basic data about the addressee for date entry purposes.

Continuity Program – Products or services bought as a series of small purchases rather than all at one time. These are generally based on a common theme, and are shipped at regular or specific time intervals.

Direct Mail Advertising – Any promotional effort using a Postal Service or other direct delivery service for distribution of the advertising message.

Direct Response – An advertising response mechanism, such as a reply card, toll-free number, or reply coupon.

Direct Response Advertising – Advertising, through any medium, designed to generate a measurable response by any means (such as mail, telephone, television, cable TV, radio.)

First-Time Buyer – A Buyer who has purchased a product or service from specific company for the first time.

Mailing Package – A complete direct mail unit as it arrives in the recipient’s mailbox.

Mail Order Buyer – A Buyer who orders and pays for a product or service through the mail. Those who order via telephone or online from direct response advertising may be included in this category, although technically they are not Mail Order Buyers.

Mailer – A company that uses direct mail to promote their products and/or services.

Offer – The terms (pricing, timelines, etc.) under which a specific product or service is promoted. Also, Offer is sometimes used as an alternative definition to Mailing Package

One-time vs. Multi Buyer – Used to differentiate between Buyers who have only purchased once versus multiple times. The latter are much more valued for rental purposes.

Reply Card – A sender-addressed card on which recipients indicate their response to an offer.

Responder / Inquirer – Similar to a Buyer, except the individual has paid no money and has instead responded to a ‘free’ or ‘trial’ offer, or a ‘send me more information’ promotion.

Self-Mailer – A direct mail piece mailed without an envelope (e.g., postcard).

To find out what JR Direct’s Consulting Division can do for you visit our Consulting page. Be sure to sign up to our “Fresh Ideas” newsletter below to keep up-to-date on our blog and get the latest news and insights in the world of direct marketing.