Dictionary of Mail Order Terms

Includes Definitions for over Eighty Mail Order Terms

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: A short note acknowledging receipt of an order. Used especially when a check is sent as payment, and shipment will be delayed until the check clears.

AD FRAME: A box used to frame an ad. This is usually used with display ads, but can also be used with classified ads.

AD RATES: The amount charged per word or per inch for ads.

AD SHEET: A small mail order publication printed on one or both sides of a single sheet. These usually consist solely of advertisements.

ADVERTISE: To make a public announcement about a product and/or service.

AD/ADVERTISEMENT: Ads/advertisements can take many forms, but for mail order dealers, they are primarily printed in magazines and mail order publications.

ALL PROFIT: This term is usually associated with commission circulars which pay the mailer 100% on the sale of an item-thus it is "all profit" to the mailer.

BIG MAIL: A package of mail order dealerships, ad sheets, money making opportunities, adlets, commission circulars, etc. As an example, for just the cost of postage, you can receive a Free Opportunity package containing Free Dealerships, Fee advertising, 100% commission circulars, money making opportunities, and much more. For your Free package, send four F/C (First Class) stamps or $1 to: Synergy, P.O.Box 208 Cleveland, SC 29635.

BI-MONTHLY: Occurring every two months. For instance, some mail order ad sheets or publications are published every two months.

BONUS: something offered as a reward to a prospective customer for sending an order.

BULK MAIL: The U.S. Postal Department delivers Bulk Mail for a lower postage fee, but there is a minimum requirement of 50 lbs. or 200 identical pieces mailed at the same time.

BULK MAILING PERMIT: Permit, issued by the USPS, which allows you to use Bulk Mail.

C/R (Camera Ready): With the offset printing process, the material to be printed is first photographed. A sharp, clear copy of the material is required for the best results. This clear copy is referred to as a C/R (Camera Ready) copy.

CHAIN LETTER: A scheme whereby you mail a worthless offer to other persons (usually 100). These persons are supposed to send you a nominal amount. Then they mail the offer to another 100 persons, and so on. Chain letters are illegal. If you participate in a chain letter scheme, count on receiving a cease and desist order from a Postal Inspector.

CHECKING COPY: When your order an ad in a magazine or mail order publication, you are sent a checking copy as proof that your ad was run.

CIRCULARS/CIRCS/CIRX: A piece of paper containing a printed ad or sales letter.

CIRCULAR SIZES: Vary from a 3 by 6 page up to several 8 1/2 by 11 or larger sheets.

CIRCULATION: The actual number of copies of a publication that are distributed.

CLASSIFIED AD: Relatively inexpensive ads that usually consist only of words without borders or graphics.

CLIP ART/KLIP ART: Pictures, illustrations, cartoons, etc. that can be placed in ads and circulars to make them more attractive.

CODE: An identification placed in an ad so that you will know which publication pulled an order or inquiry. Example: Dept. DG1 means the January issue of the Dealer's Gazette.

COLLATE: Putting the pages of a publication together in the proper sequence.

COMMISSION CIRCULARS: Circulars that pay from 50% to 100% commission. When you get an order, take out your commission. Send the order and balance of payment to the supplier.

COMMISSION MAILER: A dealer who mails commission circulars. There are some dealers who make a very good living just from commission circulars. For a sample assortment of the best, red hot, 100% commission circulars available, send $1.16 or four F/C stamps to: Synergy, Dept. MOD, P.O.Box 208, Cleveland, SC 29635.

CO-OP COOPERATIVE: This refers to advertising where two dealers place their ads or circulars on opposite sides of a piece of paper. This reduces the printing expense, since both dealers share the cost.

COPY: Written material such as reports, manuals, ads, circulars, etc. that are ready for the printer.

COPYRIGHT: Legal protection, granted by the government, that prevent the unauthorized copying of copyrighted material.

COUPON: A certificate that can be redeemed for cash, merchandise, or services.

DEALER: Someone who sells merchandise and/or services for another person, company or organization.

DEALERSHIP: An authorized sales agency.

DIRECT MAIL: Mail sent directly to persons whose names are on a mailing list.

DIRECTORY: An organized list of names and addresses.

DISPLAY AD: An ad that is sold by the column inch. It contains a headline and is usually in a box. (See ad frame)

DISTRIBUTOR: Someone who distributes. Usually a middleman between a supplier and various dealers.

DROPSHIP: An arrangement whereby you well a product, on a commission basis, and another dealer fills the order. See commission circulars.

DROPSHIPPER: Person who fills orders that are sold by other dealers on a dropship basis.

ENVELOPE STUFFING: With a true envelope stuffing arrangement, you would mail another firm's sales material, and you would be paid for each envelope mailed. Most dealers who advertise for envelope stuffers are simply dropshippers. Many envelope stuffing schemes are illegal. Beware of these schemes!

EXCHANGE MAILER: Dealers who exchange batches of ad sheets, circulars, etc. to reach more prospective customers and to reduce the cost of mailing.

F/C: First Class postage stamp.

FOLLOW UP: A repeat mailing of sales material to persons who have requested information or bought something from you. When you fill an order, always include sales material for other products that you sell. This is free advertising that will multiply your profits!

FREE: The most powerful word in mail order advertising. It is very often misused, but it is extremely effective when used correctly.

FREEBIE: An item that is offered without charge. Be careful with Freebies. Some persons order anything that is free, but they have no intention of sending you an order. With Freebies, ask for some F/C stamps or a small amount of cash to pay for postage, especially when advertising in mail order publications.

GRAPHICS: Pictures, illustrations, cartoons, etc. that can be placed in ads and circulars to make them more attractive. See clip art.

HEADLINE: Large, bold letters at the top of an ad or circular.

IMPRINT: Your name & address, as a dealer, on circulars, order forms, & ads. Usually rubber stamped, but also printed on a master copy from which other copies are made.

INNER CIRCLE: Persons who are attempting to make money by selling through mail order. Especially refers to persons who sell money making opportunities, programs and services.

IN THE CIRCLE: Being part of the inner circle.

IRC: International Reply Coupon. IRC's are obtained from the post office. Send them to a foreign dealer who can exchange them for stamps.

KEY: Identification placed in an ad so you will know which publication pulled an order or inquiry. Example: Dept. DG1 means the January issue of the Dealer's Gazette. (See code.)

LAY OUT SHEETS: Ruled sheets that are laid out in a grid. Used to prepare ad sheets, circulars, ads, etc.

LSASE: Large (usually a #10), self addressed, stamped envelope.

LOGO: Some type of design that is used to identify your business.

MAILER: Someone who mails material for another dealer. See commission mailer, exchange mailer, and paid mailer.

MAILING LIST: List containing names & addresses of persons to whom you send your offers. Most lists are rented for a one time use only. The best ones are lists that you create for yourself. You can learn how to create your own money making lists by order HOW TO MAKE $1,000 A WEEK SELLING MAILING LISTS. To receive the complete report, with Free reprint rights, send 2 $1 bills to: Synergy, P.O.Box 208, Cleveland, SC 29635.

MANUAL: A small book that is usually printed on 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheets.

MASTER COPY: A clean, clear, sharp copy. Use your master copy to make other copies on a copy machine, or at a print shop.

MASTHEAD: The part of an ad sheet, or other mail order publication that shows the name, address, ad rates, circulation, publishing schedule, etc.

MULTI-LEVEL: A scheme whereby the Prime Source recruits dealers who recruit other dealers. These dealers then recruit other dealers, and on and on. The persons below you are in your "downline". You collect a commission on everything sold by persons in your downline. This looks like an easy way to make money, but, in reality, the promoters of these schemes are the only persons who make money.

ONE INCH (1") DISPLAY AD: The standard ad in mail order publications. It is 1 inch deep by 2 1/2 inches wide.

OUTER CIRCLE/ OUT OF THE CIRCLE: Everyone who is not in the Inner Circle. In other words, everyone who is not trying to make money in mail order.

PAGE: One side of a leaf in a book. Also one side of a sheet of paper.

PAID MAILER: Someone who receives a fee for mailing printed material. The fee is usually paid in cash, but it can be paid in services or merchandise.

P&H: Postage and handling. PIMAS: Publishers (insert my ad) I'll Mail All Sent. In other words, I'll mail all copies of your publications that you send with my ad on it.

PIM-50/PIM-100, etc.: Print (my ad free) & I'll Mail 50 (100, etc.) copies of your publication.

PISMOS: Printed Information Sheets for Mail Order Sales. This means any type of printed information that is sold through mail order.

PRIME SOURCE: The person or company that originates or publishes a book, manual, report, program, dealership, money making opportunity, etc.

PRINT AND MAIL: Some printers will print your circulars and then mail them for you. This sounds like an easy way to get your circulars mailed, but be careful with this! Some persons will take your money and then not mail any copies of your circulars. Also, some dealers advertise a print and mail service, but they are only contractors who send your order to the actual print and mail dealer. (See dropship.)

PUBLICATION/MAIL ORDER PUBLICATION: Any printed and published material. In mail order, this refers to magazines, ad sheets, and other publications which print advertising.

PYRAMID/PYRAMID SCHEME: A scheme by which the promoter recruits dealers, who recruit other dealers, who recruit other dealers, and so on, until there is no one left to recruit on this planet. These schemes will waste your money, and they are illegal. Avoid them.

REPRINT RIGHT: The right to copy and sell a copyrighted publication. This is granted or sold by the Prime Source publisher.

REPORT: A short publication from one to ten pages in length. Well written reports are easy to read, concise and to the point, with all nonsense and useless filler information eliminated. Selling reports is the easiest way to make money selling information by mail.

You don't need to write your own reports, because I offer a large variety of reports, with reprint rights, for as little as $1 each. My reports are printed on 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheets, and they average from 1 to 4 pages. You can make copies for pennies. Then sell them for $2-$3 even $4 each! For complete information about my reports, send a $1 bill or 4 F/C stamps (for P&H) to: Synergy Reports, Dept. MOD, P.O.Box 208, Cleveland, SC 29635.

REVERSE ADS: Ads where white letters show on a dark background. This reverse effect is very effective for headlines, but I don't recommend using it for a complete ad.

S&H: Shipping and handling. This is similar to postage and handling.

SASE: Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. Some dealers request a SASE, in their ads, to save on postage and labor. Unfortunately, this also cuts their inquiry or order rate.

SELF-MAILER: A circular on which one part is printed like an envelope front. Sales material is placed with this circular. Then the entire package is folded and stapled or taped, and then it is mailed. This saves money on labor and envelopes.

SHEET: One single piece of paper. The standard sheet is 8 1/2 by 11 inches, but a sheet can have any dimensions. Do not confuse with page. (See Page.)

SOURCE: A supplier, especially of information. Do not confuse with Prime Source.

TIL FORBID: Use this term when you want a publisher to continue running your ad in every issue until you notify them to quit.

UPS: United Parcel Service. Do not confuse with United States Postal Service.

USPS: United States Postal Service.

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