Glossary

A-E

  • A range – paper sizes

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  • Access

    The agreement produced by Royal Mail which allows access to its network for part of its journey at a fixed price per item.  Also known as 'Downstream Access'.

  • Advertising Mail

    A Royal Mail Wholesale (RMW) service that provides customers with the opportunity to benefit from lower prices.  Click here for full details.

  • Bereavement Register

    The Bereavement Register is information captured by The Data Agency from a scheme that distributes booklets with tear-off cards from key locations. All cards are then validated against a UK residents database. The file comprises 4.5 million names and is updated weekly.

  • BFPO

    British Forces Post Office

  • BRE

    Business Reply Envelope, a phrase used to describe an envelope with the sender's address pre-printed, which is included in a mailing.

  • C range – envelope sizes

    C8  81x57mm
    C7  114x81mm
    C6  162x114mm
    C5  229x162mm
    C4  324x229mm

  • 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 clear polythene.

  • CBC (Customer Bar Code)

    When your mail is addressed using a barcode containing the address of each item

  • Cold list

    A list of prospects who have not yet purchased.

  • Data Protection Act

    An Act of Parliamnet which protects the rights of the consumer in respect of personal information held about him/her.

  • Delivery Point Suffix (DPS)

    A two character code that identifies each address that can receive mail.  Combined with the postcode it is a unique identifier for a letterbox.

  • Direct selection

    A group of postcode districts (or sectors) for sorted mail (High Sort only). It allows the bags or trays or bundles of mail to be despatched directly to a local area Delivery Office, rather than be sorted at a mail centre.

  • DL envelope

    220mm wide x 110mm high - fits an A4 sheet of paper folded into thirds.

  • Downstream access

    The agreement produced by Royal Mail which allows access to its network for part of its journey at a fixed price per item.

  • Duplex

    Printed on both sides of the page.

  • E2E (End to End)

    A service whereby mail is collected from a producer and is distributed and delivered by a single postal operator

  • Economy

    For sorted products only - delivery aim is within 4 working days after posting

  • Enclosing

    Process of inserting one or more items into an envelope. Can be done by machine or by hand (depending on contents)

F-M

  • Final mile

    A term used to describe the delivery of the mail from the last mail centre

  • First class

    Royal Mail service to deliver mail the next working day (Monday to Saturday)

  • Flat

    A Flat (G) is:  • Length minimum 245mm, maximum 381mm • Width minimum 165mm, maximum 305mm • < 20mm thick • Maximum 500g

  • Franking

    The application of a postal indicia by printing through a specially designed machine.

  • GoneAway Suppression (GAS)

    GAS was established in 1992 to address the problem of mailing people who had genuinely moved house. It contains data from the electoral roll as well as a number of active major syndicated customer databases. There are approximately 40 million addresses on the file, which is updated quarterly.

  • High Sort

    You can earn savings by sorting your mail and ensuring your addresses are accurate. You must provide a minimum of 4,000 letters or 1,000 large letters in a single mailing.

    • Sort up to 1,525 Direct Selections or 88 Residue Selections as detailed in the Royal Mail Selection Files
    • Ensure that 90% of your mail has postcode and address accuracy
    • You must have a minimum of 50 letters or 10 large letters for a Direct Selection.

  • Hybrid Mail

    Describes a process whereby mail is transmitted electronically to a print site, where it is then mailed.

  • IMC (Inward Mail Centre)

    Royal Mail’s inward main delivery offices around the UK

  • Inkjet printing

    A method of printing - a jet of very fine droplets of ink are squirted onto paper or polythene.

  • Large letter

    353x250mm maximum size 25mm maximum thickness 750g maximum weight

    Large Letter classification updated April 2014 (PDF)

  • Laser printing

    A high quality method of printing.

  • Letter

    240x165mm maximum size 5mm maximum thickness 100g maximum weight

  • Liberalisation

    The opening of the mail market to competition

  • Low sort

    You can earn savings by sorting your mail and ensuring your addresses are accurate. You must provide a minimum of 4,000 letters or 1,000 large letters in a single mailing.

    Low Sort option

    For mail that meets a machine-readable specification, sort your mail to a maximum of 88 ways and ensure  items can be read by sorting machines to achieve maximum savings.
    • Sort up to 88 selections as detailed in the Royal Mail Selection Files (the new name for the Mailsort Database)
    • Ensure that 90% of your mail has postcode and address accuracy using either OCR font or barcode (for letters only).

  • M-bags (international mailing)

    M-bags  • Maximum length is 900mm • Maximum circumference is 1300mm • Weight 0-5kg - 5-25kg

  • Machine enclosing

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

  • Mail Merge

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

  • Mailsort

    Service dependent on type of item, volume, delivery timings and level of preparation Mailsort 1 = next day delivery Mailsort 2 = delivery within 3 working days Mailsort 3 = delivery within 7 working days

  • Merge

    The process of combining two or more mailing lists in order to build one larger one.

  • Merge and purge

    The process of combining two or more mailing lists in order to build a larger one, but including the removal of duplicates

N-Z

  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

    The interpretation of characters by a computer which scans the text and stores, reads or translates data.

  • 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.

  • Packet (international mailing)

    A Packet (E) is:  • Maximum length is 600mm • Length + width + thickness must not exceed 900mm • Maximum 2kg

  • PAF (Postal Address File)

    A complete collection of over 27 million Royal Mail postal addresses and UK postcodes – used to maintain and improve mailing-lists and databases, including better targeting and sorting for lower postage costs.

  • PiP (Pricing in Proportion)

    Royal Mail’s pricing from 21st August 2006 based on size and weight

  • PPI (Postage Paid Impression)

    A printed indicator visible on the envelope which shows the carrier / service by which that mail item is carried.

  • Price control

    How Royal Mail must set prices and quality of service

  • Profiling

    The process by which data is analysed and the individuals, households or businesses are segmented into groups which can be readily identified as different typologies.

  • Publishing Mail

    A service for periodicals such as newsletters, journals and magazines.

  • Residue selection

    Areas defined by a postcode which receives mail unable to be sorted into Direct selections. This may happen because there are not enough items to satisfy the minimum Direct selection requirement, or because it has not been adequately postcoded, or because the customer has chosen to sort in this way. Mail in a Residue selection has to be sorted by staff at a mail centre.

  • Response rate

    The number of enquiries or orders received as a percentage of the total number of people contacted.

  • Salutation

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

  • Second class

    Delivery by 3rd day after posting

  • Seeds

    An extra set of of addresses that are added to a mailing for monitoring purposes.

  • Simplex

    Printed on one side of the page only.

  • Target audience

    A group of consumers that best represents the type of people you wish to address your communication messages to.