3 Facts About Hotline Names
Fact #2: Online Plays Well With Offline
The one development on the hotline front is a boon for marketers: The source doesn't dictate the channel for future offers.
"Once upon a time, I would have said that if there was a direct mail hotline, that it means that the propensity is much higher that this person would respond to direct mail than other approaches—which is still largely true, I would speculate," says Hennerberg. "I really don't have empirical data about that. What I do know is that the online-generated leads where you have postal addresses to mail can be very responsive names."
Fact #3: The Warmer the Lead, the Hotter the Response
Probably the one aspect of hotlines that marketers are struggling to reconcile with modern times is just how hot the new names really are.
"The difference right now is time compression," says Hennerberg. "Whereas back in the old days—which we would now characterize, in my mind, as two years ago—a direct mail hotline could be that 30-day or 60-day window. Within that window, you could be pretty confident in what you were doing. But I wonder if in the online world that compression has now gone from 30 to 60 days to 30 or 60 minutes ... or hours. And I think that's what marketers are having to respond to."
Although data processing technologies have advanced, the list update process hasn't changed so much that hotline names are any more accessible in the 21st century. "Because the process isn't fully integrated from the transactional side at the client (being the list owner) through the service bureau, through the datacard," DeMartine explains, the gap can be 45, 60 days between the transaction date and the data card update. "I'd say traditionally it's pretty close," he adds, "and it's gotten a lot better. But that's where it's important to deal with reputable data partners."