Direct Marketing Glossary

Acquisition Cost

- The cost of signing up a new customer. Lifetime value is often used to compute the maximum allowable acquisition cost. Accuracy or Deliverability - Lists generally have an Accuracy or Deliverability percentage. This is the figure the list owner considers to be the quantity of undelivered mail/disconnected phone numbers or hard bounce backs that will be recieved.

For example, if a list has a deliverability of 98% it could be expected that up to 2% could be returned or be inaccurate. For 1,000 records, this would equate to 20 records.



- A coding system for classifying the products and services produced by companies.

Appended Data – The process whereby a customer file has data appended to it from another data source. For Consumer data this might be age, income, home value etc. For Business data it could be number of employees, industry type, phone number, fax number, contact details etc.



- A coding structure printed on a mailing piece which Australia Post uses for mail sorting.



- An outline, listing or description of advantages the prospect will realise in using the product. Most benefit statements should be “you” orientated. Bounce Back – email that is returned to the sender because it cannot be delivered for some reason. Unless otherwise arranged, bounce e-mail usually appears as a new note in your inbox. There are two kinds of bounce e-mail: hard bounce and soft bounce. Hard bounce e-mail is permanently bounced back to the sender because the address is invalid. Soft bounce e-mail is recognized by the recipient's mail server but is returned to the sender because the recipient's mailbox is full, the mail server is temporarily unavailable, or the recipient no longer has an e-mail account at that address.


Brokerage Commission

- The commission paid by a list owner to a broker for any list sales.


Email Broadcast

- Email Broadcast is the sending of a single document or message to many recipients simultaneously, offers a vehicle to deliver a wide range of document types, including advertising, or promotional material, price lists, newsletters, subscriber content such as stock market advice and a variety of notifications and reminders.


Fax Broadcast

- Broadcast fax is a feature that allows someone to send a document or documents to many recipients simultaneously. Documents that need to be sent to a large audience, such as announcements, newsletters, or other types of information, are often sent by broadcast fax.



- Business-to-Business (B2B) targets individuals at a business address.



- Business-to-Consumer (B2C) targets individuals at a residential address.



- A means of distributing product to the market. For example, dealers, retail stores, direct marketing.


Cleaning Names

- A process whereby names and addresses on a customer or prospect list are corrected (addresses standardised; postcodes corrected; spelling and punctuation corrected; duplicates consolidated, etc.).


Confidentiality Agreement

- An agreement which precedes any contract with an outsourcing agency. It states that your secrets will not be revealed to others.

Control – The standard against which test results are compared. For example, a previously utilised direct-mail is compared to packages that have some variation in copy or that employ new concepts in design.


Conversion Rate

- The ratio of inquires converted to buyers. This ratio is used to track two-step programs, such as a lead generation with the percentage of responses converted to customer status.


Compiled List

- Names and addresses taken from directories, newspapers, public records, or researched.



- Cost per inquiry



- Cost per order



- A data structure that allows data to be loaded onto a database where each record is one line of text and each field value of a record is separated from the next with a comma.


Database Marketing

- A form of direct marketing using databases of customers or potential customers to generate personalised communications in order to promote a product or service for marketing purposes. The method of communication can be any addressable medium, as in direct marketing.



- Information/description of a specific mailing list – source, type of buyers, titles (if appropriate, prices, selection options, etc.) Available from brokers or list owners.


Data Profiling

- Data Profiling is used to increase Direct Marketing options and ensure maximum return on investment by marketing to prospective clients that have been identified through the profiling of an existing database. The best performing clients can be identified from the client file when “washed” against a range of highly detailed lists that profile the data to pinpoint the important characteristics of the clients. Using the information gleaned from this process “look-a-like” prospects can be identified.


Data Hygiene

- Can increase the return on investment by ensuring data is of the highest standard.


Data Quality

- When data is accurate and up to date campaign outcomes are improved. Reducing wastage caused by inaccurate data will also minimise mailing and/or telemarketing costs, ensuring a higher return on investment. Data quality can be improved through using:

• Address verification

• Change of address services to identify movements within a database

• Phone number “washing” to identify disconnected numbers


Data Types

There are five types of data currently available. Mail, Telemarketing (landline & mobile), Fax, Email and SMS

• Email Data – Email marketing is an effective medium for information delivery to opted in recipients.

• Fax Data - Fax marketing is a simple and effective way of getting a company’s message directly to the decision maker. All that’s required is a one page flyer with an offer and a quality business fax list to start generating new business.

• Mailing Data –A list of prospects or potential customers to send a direct mail communication to promote a businesses product or services.

• Telemarketing Data – A list of prospects or potential customers to contact via telephone. The majority of telemarketing data is for landline numbers however there is some mobile data available.

• SMS Marketing (Short Message Service) – A list of prospects or potential customers to send an SMS message to. Marketing to a mobile phone known has become increasingly popular ever since the rise of SMS messaging in the early 2000s. On average, SMS messages are read within four minutes, making them highly convertible.


Delivery Restrictions

- Some lists may need to be processed by an independent Mailing House, Fax Broadcaster or Email Broadcaster. This requirement is usually indicated on the Datacard.



- Socio-economic characteristics pertaining to a geographic unit (city, postal codes, group of houses, education, ethnicity, income level, marital status, gender, family size etc).


Direct Mail

- Direct Marketing delivered by post.


Direct Marketing

- Interactive marketing that produces a measurable response or purchase.


Direct Response

- Advertising or promotion that seeks not just to provide information, but to generate an inquiry, order or visit.



- A Delivery Point Identifier is a unique eight digit number which has been allocated to each address maintained in Australia Post’s National Address File. The DPID is the key component of the printed barcode that makes the barcode unique.


Duplicate (Dupes)

- The same contact or company occurring twice or more on the same file.



- Identifying then removing or consolidating duplicate names within a data set, or between multiple data sets.


DNCR – Do Not Call Register

- The Do Not Call Register provides Australians with the opportunity to opt out of receiving certain telemarketing calls and faxes. The Do Not Call Register Act (DNCR Act) prohibits a person from making, or causing unsolicited telemarketing calls/faxing to be made to a number on the Register, unless consent has been obtained for the call/fax. In addition, the Telecommunications (Do Not Call Register & Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2007 sets rules about when and how telemarketing and research calls may be made. The Industry Standard applies to any person who makes telemarketing or research calls regardless of whether they are exempt from the requirements of the DNCR Act. DNCR – Data Washing - Impact Lists can undertake the screening process on behalf of the client, whereby it charges a nominal fee for delivering a direct marketing list that has been washed against the DNCR. Impact Lists will deliver a washed direct marketing list with all DNCR records removed or flagged. The resultant telemarketing list can be used for direct marketing as long as the telemarketing calls occur within 30 days of the telemarketing wash being undertaken. Impact Lists can also deliver an unwashed telemarketing list to the client and it is the responsibility of the client to undertake the wash against the DNCR. Geodemographics - Geodemographic systems estimate the most probable characteristics of people based on the pooled profile of all people living in a small area near a particular address. It includes such factors as income, education, home type, etc. Geodemography is the art and science of profiling people based on where they live. ID Number – An identification number, usually unique, that is assigned to a record within a database. Lead - A prospect whom has responded to a promotion is called a Lead.


Lead Conversion Rate

– Following a promotion, the percentage of leads which become customers.


Lead Generation

- The process of finding prospective customers either by telemarketing, surveys and traditional advertising media.


List Broker

- A service which brings list owners and prospective list renters (users) together.


List Formats

- The most common list formats are:

• Microsoft Excel

• .csv

• ASCII Text files (.txt)

These list formats can be exported into most Database Programs or Contact Management Software. List Rental - Generally a list is supplied for a single use only. Rental means you do not own the list, but have the right to use it once. Any response becomes your contact and can be added to your own database. Some lists can be rented for multiple use where second or subsequent uses are provided at a discounted rate.


List Sources

- Lists are created from a variety of sources. These include:

• Membership registers

• Magazine subscribers

• Lifestyle surveys & questionnaires

• Customer databases

• Mail order databases

• Research & compilation

• Conference & exhibition attendees

• Online communities

• Transactional


Subscriber List

- The list of current, or past purchasers of a publication – newspaper, magazine, trade journal etc.


Minimum Order Requirement

- A stipulation stating that payment of a given amount regardless of quantity order.

Personalised and Non Personalised Data

• Personalised - A list is said to be personalised when an individuals name is present (initial & last name or first & last name). A fully personalised record contains a salutation (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc) first name and surname. Not all personalised lists will have a salutation. A salutation must be specified when a list is ordered.

• Non Personalised - A list is said to be Non-Personalised when there is no salutation, initials or first or last names. Non-Personalised mail maybe addressed to a functional title such as “The Manager” or “The Householder. Postcode Sequence - Arranging names and addresses in a list according to the numeric progression of the Postcode record. Profile - A way of describing your typical customer. You create a profile by modeling your database. The profile could tell you that your typical customer was a female aged 35-54 with an income of $25k-$50k.



- A potential customer who you have targeted.


Prospect Universe

- The total market of potential customers for a given target audience.



- A way of grouping people by wealth, orientation, hobbies and interests.


Random Selection

- Records are selected randomly from the data pool.



- A term for how long it has been since a customer placed and order or made a purchase. It is well established that people who have bought most recently are more likely to respond to the next promotion than people who responded longer ago.



- A collection of fields that describe all the information on a customer.



- Someone who has answered a direct response offer.


Response Rate

- The percentage of people who responded to your offer.


Retention Rate

- The percentage of customers who continue to make purchases from you in a second period, such as a year. If you had 4,000 customers who bought from you last year and this year 3,000 of those same people also make purchases, your retention rate would be 75%.


Return on Investment (ROI)

- A key measure of the success of any direct marketing activity. It is the total net profit from a direct marketing initiative, divided by the total cost of the entire operation.

RFM – (Recency, Frequency, Monetary). It is a method for segmenting or rating your customers. The best customers are those who have bought from you recently, buy many times, with a high dollar spend.


Sample Promotional Material

- Most list owners require a copy of the postal piece, email creative, telemarketing script or fax documentation in order for them to approve the use of their list for a proposed campaign.

Seeds – All lists are seeded with dummy names to detect unauthorized usage.



- Division of a list by some internally established criteria – city, province, postal code, prospect titles etc.


Selection Criteria

- Definition of characteristics that identify segments or subgroups within a list.



- Using names within one data set to suppress names from another data set.


Spam Act 2003

- Australia’s anti-spam legislation covers email, instant messaging, SMS, and MMS messages of a commercial nature. It is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages that have an Australian link.

Please Note: Any message that doesn't meet the following three conditions is defined as spam:

• Consent - the message must be sent with the recipients consent

• Identify – the message must contain accurate information about the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the message

• Unsubscribe – the message must contain a functional ‘unsubscribe’ facility to allow the recipient to opt out of receiving messages from that source.


Target Audience

- Targeting is fundamental to any successful Direct Marketing campaign. The clients’ ideal marketing audience is usually defined in psychographic and demographic terms.


Target Market

- The ideal audience for a marketing campaign.



- Talking on the telephone to prospects or customers. Telemarketing can be done by your in-house staff or by an external telemarketing company. Testing - Preliminary mailing or distribution intended as a preview or pilot prior to beginning a major campaign. Often, a number of lists will be used. Different copy or offers may also be incorporated to determine which ones provide the best response. The best performing options would then be used in a larger campaign, rolled our to the best performing lists.



- A designation before (prefix) to a name to more accurately identify an individual e.g. Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, Sister etc. Undeliverable Mail (Undeliverables) - It is normal to receive undeliverable mail regardless of how accurate a mailing list is. At the conclusion of any mailing campaign the undelivered mail pieces can be returned to the list owner or supplier.



- The characteristics of individual records on a database that allow segmentation.

Glossary of Digital Terminology



- HTML is a language for describing web pages.

• HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language

• HTML is not a programming language, it is a markup language

• A markup language is a set of markup tags

• HTML uses markup tags to describe web pages




- HTML markup tags are usually called HTML tags.

• HTML tags are keywords surrounded by angle brackets like

• HTML tags normally come in pairs like and

• The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag

• Start and end tags are also called opening tags and closing tags

• HTML Documents = Web Pages

• HTML documents describe web pages

• HTML documents contain HTML tags and plain text

• HTML documents are also called web pages

The purpose of a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox) is to read HTML documents and display them as web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page: HTML Frames - With frames, you can display more than one HTML document in the same browser window. Each HTML document is called a frame, and each frame is independent of the others.


VB Script

• VB Script is a scripting language

• A scripting language is a lightweight programming language

• VB Script is a light version of Microsoft’s programming language Visual Basic

• VB Script is only supported by Microsoft’s browsers (Internet Explorer)



- JavaScript is the most popular scripting language on the internet, and works in all major browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari.

• JavaScript was designed to add interactivity to HTML pages

• JavaScript is a scripting language

• A scripting language is a lightweight programming language

• JavaScript is usually embedded directly into HTML pages

• JavaScript is an interpreted language (means that scripts execute without preliminary compilation)

• Everyone can use JavaScript without purchasing a license



- Java and JavaScript are two completely different languages in both concept and design! Java (developed by Sun Microsystems) is a powerful and much more complex programming language - in the same category as C and C++.



• CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets

• Styles define how to display HTML elements

• External Style Sheets can save a lot of work

External Style Sheets are stored in CSS files

GIF – Images should be in GIF

The term GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It is a bitmap image format that supports up to eight bits per pixel. These are most commonly used for animations. GIF animation doesn’t give the same level of control and flexibility as other animation formats but it has become extremely popular because it is supported by nearly all web browsers. In addition animated GIF files tend to be smaller than other animation files such as Java.


Flash (ADOBE Flash)

- Flash is streaming animation for web pages. Sometimes Flash is a portion of an html web page, and sometimes a web page is made entirely of Flash. Either way, Flash files are called "Flash movies". These are special .swf format files that beam to your web browser screen as you watch them.



- ActiveX is a set of technologies from Microsoft that enables interactive content for the World Wide Web. Before ActiveX, Web content was static, 2-dimensional text and graphics. With ActiveX, Web sites come alive using multimedia effects, interactive objects, and sophisticated applications that create a user experience comparable to that of high-quality CD-ROM titles. ActiveX provides the glue that ties together a wide assortment of technology building blocks to enable these "active" Web sites.



- World Wide Web "forms" (or "fill-out forms") are the computer equivalent of paper forms we fill out all the time in everyday life, such as an application form. You will find a button or link at the end of every WWW form, often labeled "Submit". When you push this button, two things are sent to the server: the data you've typed into the form, and an ACTION, which basically tells the server the name of the program, which knows how to process that form's data. The server simply invokes that program and passes the form's data to it, and arranges for the output of that program to be sent back to the browser (ordinarily an HTML stream). Forms are commonly used for surveys, on-line order forms, feedback, or really any Web page where input is required from the user in order to accomplish a given task or provide a service to the user.



(Cost Per Mille) or CPT (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) is when advertisers pay for exposure of their message to a specific audience. "Per mille" means per thousand impressions, or loads of an advertisement. However, some impressions may not be counted, such as a reload or internal user action.



(Cost Per Action) is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action (a purchase, a form submission, and so on) linked to the advertisement. Direct response advertisers consider CPA the optimal way to buy online advertising, as an advertiser only pays for the ad when the desired action has occurred. An action can be a product being purchased, a form being filled, etc. The desired action to be performed is determined by the advertiser. The CPA can be determined by different factors, depending where the online advertising inventory is being purchased.



(Cost per click) is the sum paid by an advertiser to search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on their advertisement, which directs one visitor to the advertiser's page.



(Cost per Sale) – is an online advertisement pricing system where the publisher or website owner is paid on the basis of the number of sales that are directly generated by an advertisement. It is a variant of the CPA (cost per action) model, where the advertiser pays the publisher and/or website owner in proportion to the number of actions committed by the readers or visitors to the website.



(Incidence Rate) –– the rate in converting views into responses (eg if 5,000 emails are sent out and 500 people respond or complete the survey, the IR is 10%)

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