Direct Marketing Glossary

Do you know what a bingo card is? How about a buck slip. Or a bangtail? (Get your mind out of the gutter!)

These terms may sound mysterious, but they’re just part of the official language of direct marketing. That’s probably why one of my most bookmarked pages is the Glossary of Direct Marketing Terms.

Here are some of the most interesting terms from the glossary:

Bangtail – Return envelope with a reply form attached to the flap. The reply form tears off and is returned in the envelope. Also referred to as a “hot potato.”

Bingo Card – Reply card in a publication offering an easy means to request information from advertisers whose ads appear in the publication. Called a “bingo card” because it is often covered with numbers corresponding to offered information, making the card look similar to a card used to play bingo.

Buckslip – Small piece of paper inserted into a direct mail package to emphasize certain information.

Decoy – Name included in a mailing list to catch people who disregard the terms of the list rental agreement.

Johnson Box – Type of headline at the top of a letter, originally set in a box with solid borders or a border made of asterisks. Named for the inventor, Frank Johnson.

Magalog – Direct mail sales format that looks like a magazine or catalog.

Nixie - Mail piece returned by the post office because the address is not deliverable.

Overline – Headline above the main headline, usually in smaller type. It can be part of the headline or an introductory statement.

Rollout – Mailing to the rest of a mailing list after testing the mail piece on a smaller sample of that list.

Spoofing – Masking a sender’s e-mail address with a fake address to make the recipient think the message is from a trusted source.

Take a look at the glossary and bookmark it for reference. Is there another term you think should be in the glossary? Tell me.

Subscribe to FREE Newsletter / Subscribe to blog by RSS or E-mail


3 Responses to “Direct Marketing Glossary”

  1. The Direct Marketing Voice Links 7-29-2009 | The Direct Marketing Voice on July 29th, 2009 11:30 am

    [...] Direct Marketing Glossary [...]

  2. Karen Bieringer on August 27th, 2009 2:23 pm

    Nixie – This term refers specifically to mail returned for reasons other than a move, not all Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) mail. Nixie examples include: “No Such Street,” “Insufficient Address,” “Attempted-Not Known,” “Deceased,” etc.

    This is an important distinction given the increasing emphasis on good data hygiene and the need for Move Update compliance in order to access the lowest postage prices.

  3. Dean Rieck on August 27th, 2009 3:30 pm

    You’re right. I’ll clarify that definition. Thanks.

FREE Newsletter
Get my monthly newsletter and a FREE 16-page Report: 99 Easy Ways to Boost Your Direct Mail Response!
Enter your main e-mail:
Past issues and more info.
Your privacy is guaranteed.