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Glossary - Platinum Mailing Services: Harrogate, Leeds, York


A1 Paper size – 594mm x 841mm

A2 Paper size – 420mm x 594mm

A3 Paper size – 297mm x 420mm

A4 Paper size – 210mm x 297mm

A5 Paper size – 148mm x 210mm

A6 Paper size – 105mm x 148mm

Airmail – Airmail is the overseas letter service of Royal Mail available on Public Tariff mail.

Batch Processing – Batch Processing describes the processing of items accumulated over a period (days/week/month) such as coupon response, cheque handling etc., as opposed to processing on a day to day basis. Normally used as an expression within Data Processing but can be applied to any type of commercial activity.

Benchwork – Used to describe a process that has not been mechanised. The actions required-applying self-adhesive labels, inserting magazines into polythene envelopes, belly banding etc are performed by hand.

Benchworkers – Those employees who carry out handwork on workbenches.

Box No/PO Box No – A service of Royal Mail whereby mail may be sent to a business without the address which is used in mailings for the recipient’s use in responding. The design is strictly controlled and must conform to rules laid down by Royal Mail. A Business Reply Service Contract is set up with an initial fee paid for by the applicant and a surcharge on the Postage incurred.

BRE (Business Reply Service) – A service where a reply address is pre-printed on an envelope with postage pre-paid using a business reply licence.

Business to Business/B2B – General phrase to cover all types of promotional mailings and communications between companies and businesses.

Carrier Sheet – Carrier is the term for any piece of paper or printed material which is used to ‘carry’ the address of the recipient. The address on the carrier sheet will normally show through a window or the polythene.

CO Envelope size – 917mm x 1297mm

C1 Envelope size – 648mm x 917mm

C2 Envelope size – 458mm x 648mm

C3 Envelope size – 324mm x 458mm

C4 Envelope size – 229mm x 324mm (N.B. oversized required for mailshots)

C5 Envelope size – 162mm x 229mm

C6 Envelope size – 114mm x 162mm

Collate/Collating – To put together a number of items. Some customers restrict use of this word to cover the collation of items in a specific order.

Consumer Mailings – Mailings directed to private individuals at their home address.

Customer Bar Coding – Customer Barcoding is the name given by Royal Mail to the inclusion of the Postcode on an envelope, letter or label in the form of a bar code. This code can then be ‘read’ by automatic sorting machinery. There are very strict limits on the printing of a customer bar code. Only laser printing is acceptable.

Data Capture – The entry of data records onto a computer file.

Data Processing – Covers the actions taken by the Computer Department on data files such as sortation, file formatting, generating salutations etc.

Data Protection Act – 1984 Act of Parliament guaranteeing certain rights to individuals and control of the use of personal data held on a computer.

Data Record – An individual entry within a computer file containing – in mailing terms-the name and address plus demographic data of the person named within the record. A group of records makes a data file.

Databank – An accumulation of data. It can cover many different types of information including names and addresses and other demographic information.

Deduplication – The comparison of records in a data file to remove recurrences of the same address. This can be done in a number of ways. Examples would be by comparing the initials, surname and postcode of records and deleting records which match. A more precise process can be achieved if the address has been through Postal Address File enhancement and a Delivery Point Suffix (DPS) added to the postcode.

Direct Mail – A personally addressed piece of mailing promoting a company’s products or services

Direct Mailing – Marketing or advertising activity, based on a direct relationship

DL Envelope – 110mm 220mm landscape (N.B. oversized required for mailshots)

DMA – The Direct Marketing Association. The ‘trade body’ of the Direct Marketing Industry.

Duplex – In Laser printing, printed on both sides of the page.

Envelope – is a packaging product, usually made of flat, planar material such as paper or cardboard, and designed to contain a flat object, which in a postal-service context is usually a letter or card.

Field/Data Field – Data in computer records is held in fields. Each field contains an item of information. For example a persons name could be stored in 3 fields. The first contains the Title (Mr/Mrs/Miss etc) the second the Forename or Initial (Fred/Mary/I.F.G. etc) and the 3rd field the surname. Having data in fields makes data processing easier.

File Formatting - Preparing a data file for data processing.

Franking – The application of a postal indicia by printing from a printing plate through a specially designed machine.

Freepost – A service of Royal Mail where the reply from a customer is paid for by the sender. Freepost differs from BRE in that a specifically printed envelope is not required. Contracts are set up in a similar manner to Business Reply but with a different charging structure.

Guillotine – Machine for cutting paper material to precise sizes.

Gusseted – A type of envelope. The sides have an extra strip of paper material between front and back to increase the capacity of the envelope.

Hand Delivery – Term used to describe the delivery of mail by distributors other than Royal Mail. Hand delivery contractors are also used in certain overseas countries as an alternative to local postal systems.

Inkjet – A method of printing via a computer. Addresses are inkjet printed onto paper and polythene. The Inkjet printer works by squirting a jet of very fine droplets of ink onto the paper in a pattern determined by a computer.

Landscape – A ‘view’ of a publication where the longer side is at the top as it is looked at naturally.

Laser Printing – Printing from a computer to paper. This is a high quality method of printing. Letters produced on a laser printer do not look as if they have been mass produced. Laser printing can be in colour as well as black/white.

Letterhead – Paper printed with the company details used for letters and communications.

List – In mailing house terms, a list of people to whom mail is sent. Lists of customers and prospective customers are bought and sold by Direct Mailers.

List Manager – A company which holds a customer’s file, updates, adds and deletes records as required and produces copies, selections etc., from the list according to the instructions received from the owner.

Machine Enclosing – Used to describe the process of inserting material into envelopes by machine rather than by hand.

Mailing List - A list of addresses to be mailed.

MPS (Mailing Preference Service) – An official body which registers the names and addresses of those who do not wish to receive unsolicited mail. The Mailing Preference Service regularly issues a list of these people in computer data format. Before a mailing list is sent, it can be compared to the MPS list and those not wishing to receive the mail can be excluded.

MailMerge – The personalisation of a mailing piece by inserting the address and other data into a mailing letter at the laser printing stage.

Mailshot – Personally addressed advertising sent through the post

Mailsort – A method of posting UK mail at a discount by sorting the addresses into Postcode Groups according to a complex list designed by Royal Mail. Mailsort is available as Mailsort 1 and Mailsort 2 (1st and 2nd Class equivalent) and Mailsort 3 (7 – 10 days delivery).

Merge-Purge – The combining of one or more computer files and comparing them to eliminate duplicates. Can sometimes imply that MPS services are required.

NCOA (National Change of Address) – A suppression file which records details of home owners who have registered a change of address with Royal Mail and requested re-direction of mail.

One Piece Mailer – A type of mailing which is formed from a single sheet of paper. Specialised machinery prints, personalises, folds and forms an envelope in one continuous process.

Outworkers – People who perform mailing operations – inserting items into envelopes, applying labels etc. at home in their own time.

Overs – Stock of mailing items remaining after a production run.

Pantone – A colour matching system. A ‘Pantone’ colour is one where the mixture of basic colours is based on a specific formula.

Pantone Accreditation – A benchmark award from Pantone Inc and is only awarded to those printers who can achieve the highest international quality standards for colour printing.

Personalisation – In Direct Mailing this term indicates that the letter/brochure/coupon or similar item sent out has been, in some way, made personal to the recipient. For example a letter addressed to ‘Dear ….’ or a coupon which has the name and address of the recipient.

Pocket Envelope – are normally measured Portrait with the seal flap to the top, whatever the style.

Polybag – An envelope made of polythene, either printed with a design or plain (transparent). Usually with a strip of self adhesive glue at the flap for sealing.

Polybagging – The act of inserting items into a polybag.

Polywrapping – is an automated process of wrapping an item in a clear or printed polythene film. Polythene is fed from reels under and around a product. The two edges are then brought together and heat sealed together and crop sealed at the top and bottom to create a ‘pack’. Items that can be polywrapped include: direct mail, books, brochures, catalogues, CDs, guides, magazines, periodicals etc

Portrait - A ‘view’ of a publication where the shorter side is at the top as it is looked at naturally.

PAF (Postcode Address File) – A data file containing the exact address of every property to which post can be delivered. The program which uses the data can correct addresses, allocate postcodes and DPS suffixes. It can also replace existing addresses with the Royal Mail preferred address format.

Postcodes – The series of letters and number which codes an address. Postcodes can cover a number of properties as well as a single destination. Postcodes are made up of Region (HG) District (2) Sector (7) Group (DB).

Post Town – The Post Town in an address is the town where Royal Mail has the nearest distribution depot from which mail is delivered by the postman.

PPI (Postage Paid Indicator) – The symbol printed on mailing envelopes or polythene film to indicate that the postage is being paid through an account.

Presstream – A service to publishers for the distribution of Magazines and Journals. Identical to Mailsort in preparation and distribution, but on a different scale of charges. Companies wishing to use this service have registered with Royal Mail and are required to conform to ‘rules’ regarding the proportion of Advertising to Editorial content

Pricing in Proportion (PiP) – On 21st August 2006, the Royal Mail introduced a new pricing system called Pricing in Proportion. Previously, postage prices were based upon the weight of the item. The heavier the item, the higher the price. Pricing in Proportion also takes into consideration the physical size and thickness of the item, as well as the weight.

Print Finishing – When a printing press has completed the actual printing there are still a number of steps before the finished product is ready. Cutting to size, making up the sections in page order, stapling or perfect binding etc. The process is called print finishing.

Process Colours – The 4 basic colours for printing half tone images. Magenta, Cyan, Yellow and Black.

Proof – The term used to describe a sample of printing before the final production takes place.

Response and Fulfilment – A service where requests for literature and products come directly to us from the enquirer. The data capture of the details is carried out along with payment processing, and the packing and posting of the item is completed daily or by batch processing.

Salutation – The opening phrase of a letter. For example: Dear Mr. Jones, Dear Joe Bloggs, Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Customer etc.

Simplex – In Laser printing, printed on one side of the page only.

Sortable – Data that is presented in a manner which allows it to be sorted into order without any extra processing. For example if the data contains the Postcode in the same position in each record, the data is sortable by Postcode. If not, the data will have to be processed to re-position the postcode so that it becomes sortable.
Suppression – Used in Direct Marketing, the processing of a data file to remove records which are NOT to be mailed.

Unsolicited Mailings – A mailing which is sent to a private individual where there has been no request for the mail to be sent. There are complex definitions of what constitutes unsolicited mail.

Walksort – A more detailed type of Mailsort where mail is pre-sorted to the Section and Group level in the Postcode. This type of sortation is used for very large consumer mailings.

Wallet Envelope – normally measured Landscape with the seal flap to the top, whatever the style. (Platinum’s preferred envelope for mailshots)

Weigh Counting – A method of counting filled envelopes, leaflets, brochures etc. Normally a few items– 2, 5 or 10 according to the material – are carefully weighed. The whole consignment is then weighed and the total number of items calculated.