Direct Mail Glossary – Print Terms That You Need to Know

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Perhaps you’ve only experienced one aspect of the print industry previously, or maybe much of your company’s print and mailing needs have been handled by others. Still, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how this important facet of business operates, as it will help you to better understand how your company works on every level. Here’s an explanation of some the most key terms that are central to today’s world of direct mail and digital marketing.

Glossary of Key Terms in the Print Industry

Commingling

A process which combines mail from multiple companies in order to meet USPS discount minimums. Commingling is a great way to guard against the rising costs of postal increases. Learn more about how commingling can save you money.

Data Hygiene

The complete process used to ensure that data remains “clean.” Clean data is defined as error-free, whereas dirty data can be caused from multiple sources including duplicates, outdated and incomplete data.

  • What is Data Hygiene? Data hygiene can range from scheduling regular deep cleans of your database to organizing how you practice inbound email marketing. There are wide ranges of steps companies can and should take to ensure their data stays “clean.”
  • Data Hygiene Best Practices:
  1. Create a Data Quality Plan: There is no such thing as perfectly clean, set the standards you want to achieve and maintain.
  2. Keep Point of Entry Standardized: One of the main culprits of data getting damaged happens as it is entered. Simplify things by making sure that data entry is always fully standardized.
  3. Use a Validation in Real-Time Service: There are methods from software to simply setting parameters in what you already use which will act as an extra set of eyes/real-time editor.
  4. Don’t Get Bogged Down with Duplicates: Find the system that works best with your data for finding and eliminating duplicates.

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To learn more about data hygiene services you’ll likely want to take advantage of, check out this article.

Flat-size Mail

The postal service calls large letters, newsletters, and magazines, flats.  Common sizes for flats is an 8 1/2 x 11 or 9 x 12 package.

Fugitive Glue

A low-tack adhesive that creates a non-permanent bond, making it easy to remove. A common fugitive glue application is in credit cards, earning this glue the additional name of credit card glue.

Fugitive Glue Strips

A low-tack adhesive strip that is easy to remove and creates a non-permanent bond while still holding together. These are the glue strips most commonly associated with attaching credit cards to mailings.

Gloss Paper

Any coated paper that is treated in order to create an ultra-smooth and shiny appearance.

  • High gloss paper: Extremely pronounced shine and smooth appearance.
  • Semi-gloss paper: Soft sheen that is pearlescent and appears between glossy and matte.

Letter Size Mail

The size of a letter to qualify for basic first-class postage.   According the the USPS  in order to be eligible to mail at the price for letters the mailpiece needs to meet the following requirements:

  • Rectangular
  • At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick
  • No more than 6-1/8 inches high x 11-1/2 inches long x 1/4 inch thick

Machine Insertable

Inserts that have been designed to be machine-inserted into envelopes.

Matte Paper

Matte paper, as opposed to glossy, is a great choice for text-heavy printing.  This paper has very little sheen or gloss.

NCOA: National Change of Address

This is a secure dataset of the 160 million permanent changes of address of families, individuals, and businesses that have been maintained by the USPS. There are six licenses allowed to officially access this database, and access to the database is required in order to be able to qualify for bulk mail rates.

Non-Profit Postage Rate

The non-profit postage rate can be reduced by using the Cooperative Mail Rule (CMR) which lets non-profits combine their mail to get a better rate. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to get non-profit postage rate, contact Ballantine.

Offset Paper

Offset paper is specifically designed to hold ink. As opposed to copier paper which only has a toner used on the surface, there is no care taken with the distribution of the fibers. With offset paper, the fibers are evenly distributed so as to soak up ink best.

PMS Ink

The Pantone Matching System of color printing. This method uses swatches and makes devoted inks for the job. This allows for a more exact color matching system and is called spot printing when used to print.

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Postal Increases

When the postal rate goes up in price. Prices of sending mail sometimes change and can affect the pricing of jobs. The postage rate most recently increased on January 21, 2018.

Process Ink

The ink used in the 4-part color printing process often referred to as CMYK. CMYK uses subtractive printing to achieve the results, and the four ink colors are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black).

Production Outsourcing

You may not think of your industry as one that requires industrial outsourcing, but mailing is a production, and it is often worthwhile to outsource it.

Understanding Direct Marketing Is What We Do

At Ballantine, we have been using our expertise about all things direct marketing to help companies across the country implement successful initiatives since 1966. With our past, we offer our clients a proven track record across all industries and a long tradition of personalized, attentive service. But we also are proud of our future at Ballantine, as we continually provide our clients with the latest innovations in all aspects of direct marketing, including the services of our excellent digital marketing division. To find out more about what Ballantine can do for your company, give us a call at 1-973-305-1500.