Direct Mail Glossary

Unsure about direct mail services related terms? We’ve built this direct mail glossary for your reference!

Address Correction & Validation
Computer programs can check each address in your database and verify that the street, city and postal code are correct. If they are incorrect they will be tagged and amended.

Address Accuracy Program
A program designed to encourage mailers to ensure that all the components of an address are present and correct and that they match information in Canada Post’s database.

Addressed Admail
Advertising by mail bearing a uniform message that promotes the sale orus of products or sevices; reports on financial performance primarily for promotional purposes; or solicits donations or contributions and meet Adressed Admail mail requirements outlined by Canada Post.

Visit for a list of support documents detailing Addressed Admail mail requirements.

A single sheet of paper inserted in a direct mail piece that’s usually used to deliver another offer within the package

Business Reply Mail (BRM)
Pre-addressed reply mail in the form of a card or envelope, usually with postage prepaid.
The postage fees are collected when the mail is delivered back to the sender.

Visit for a list of support documents detailing Business Reply mail requirements.

Canadian Marketing Association (CMA)
The national association representing direct marketers in Canada. Its purpose is to present a unified voice in matters of technology, postal affairs, education, training, and recruitment.

Catalogue Mail
Refers to printed matter of bound or sewn pages that are specifically designed to sell or promote products or services and meet Catalogue mail requirements outlined by Canada Post.

Direct Marketing
An information-driven marketing process managed by database technology, that enables marketers to develop, test, implement, measure, and appropriately modify customized marketing programs and strategies.

Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The association representing businesses and organizations using direct marketing tools and techniques. The DMA educates and promotes responsible marketing and mailing practices.

Data Processing
Any information in a computer that is manipulated is called data processing

Database management
Update your database by deleting old names, changing addresses, adding new names, extracting specific types of addresses.

Duplicate Elimination
A specific kind of controlled duplication, which not matter how many times a name and address appears on a list, and /or on how many different lists, it will only be accepted once. Also referred to as dupe-elimination.

Forward Sortation Area – The first three alphanumeric characters of a postal code and refers to a specific geographic area.

The activities preformed once an order is received. The term is also used to refer to the physical handling and shipping of an order

Incentive Lettermail
Incentive Lettermail is a category of Lettermail that consists of identical items of mail and meet Incentive lettermail requirements outlined by Canada Post.

Visit a list of support documents detailing catalogue Incentive Lettermail requirements.

A mark representing a postal permit. Permit includes the carrier’s logo, product type, customer’s number, registration number (Publications mail only) and agreement number (Publications Mail only)

Laser addressing
The personalizing of individual pieces by laser equipment

Mail that consists of identical items and meets Lettermail requirements outlined by Canada Post.

A company or organization that performs and operates various production functions for mailings such as data processing, imaging, mail processing as well as prepping the mail for delivery to the post office.

The last three alphanumeric characters of the postal code.

Machinable mail
Mail that meets the size and physical characteristics outlined by Canada Post that can be read and processed by Canada Post Machinery

Within the first 7 pages of the editorial space of a publication where subscription rates, frequency and place of publication are identified.

Database process of combining more than one data file

Merge/Purge (dupe elimination)
Combining two or more lists for the purpose of eliminating duplicate names. Reports are issued indicating, by list, the number of unique names, interfile duplicates, assigned mult-buyers, and other pertinent information.

Meter is the term for affixing postage. Bulk mail requires the words “Addressed Admail” showing on the left side. You need a postage meter machine in order to do this .

National Distribution Guide. Post office term for sequence of postal codes to suit their distribution needs. It is different than a straight alpha-numeric postal code sort and not as specific as an LCP sort

To place a piece inside a part of all of another piece.

Non Coated
Material that is non glossy or is not sheen. Material is pourous for absorbing ink.

Outer Envelope. The envelope that your package will be delivered in and has the delivery name and addresss information
Your terms which promote a specific product or service.

The portion of a print run that exceeds the quantity mailed.

Mail that exceeds the short and long (S/L) size requirements of a particular service.

Phantom Pieces
Paying for 1000 pieces but mailing less, in this case a phantom price will apply which is the base price for the service that is applied to the difference between the actual volume and the minimum volume required.

Poly Bag Inserting
Specialized service of providing an outer mailing carrier made of polyethylene.

Short for “prepare”. Before mail can be delivered to addresses, it must be bagged and bundled to bypass stages that would normally occur for first class mail. In this way you save money on postage rates as you are doing the job normally handled by the post office.

Sorting the postal code in order before you printing them on the mail piece.

Publication Mail
A newspaper, magazine or newsletter bound in print form containing news, articles of opinion and or advertisements that are mailed in Canada and addressed for delivery within Canada and are published at a regular frequency of atleast twice a year and meet Publication mail requirements outlined by Canada Post.

Visit for a list of support documents detailing Publication mail requirements.

The process of eliminating duplicates from one or more lists

Deliberately placing dummy names on your mailing list for tracking purposes

Self Mailer
A direct mail piece, self contained, that does not require an outer envelope for mailing.

Short & Long
Size of mailing, requirement for standard rates for a particular service.

Mail that exceeds the short and long (S/L) size requirements of a particular service.

A template that fits in a meter machine to print the postage amount and the words “Addressed Admail”, plus any other message you want printed on your envelope next to the date and postage amount

The sequencing of postal codes on mail pieces to facilitate delivery

Source code
Unique alphabetical or numeric identification for distinguishing one list or media source from another

Statement of Mailing
A post office form that must accompany all Canada Post mailings

Unaddressed Admail
Unaddressed mail, either advertising or promoting material or mail consisting of product samples that can be selectively distributed to houses, farms, apartments or business’s in accordance with the instructions of the mailer. Unaddressed admail items must not be addressed but may bear wording such as “householder”, “Occupant”, “Resident” or “Boxholder”.