If you are a general B-to-B mailer, the list-specific co-ops’ advantage over membership-based co-ops is their open nature. Almost any of the 24,000 B-to-B lists on the market can be included in these databases with the list owner’s permission. The possible range of prospects is therefore greater because you are not limited to just the customers of the members. You also can rent from the list-specific co-ops with little lead time while the membership systems need the time to integrate a new member’s file into the system. Some direct mailers participate in the membership databases while taking advantage of the variety of sources in the list-specific co-op databases to gain the benefits of both environments.
Your best course of action: Plan a campaign with the end goal in mind and allow adequate lead time. You then will be able to select the best source of prospects for your needs—whether that be individual lists, compiled databases, owned/managed databases, membership co-ops or list-specific co-ops.
Bill Singleton is president of Singleton Marketing, a database marketing consultancy in Algonquin, Ill., that specializes in circulation analysis, new customer acquisition, data enhancement, loyalty marketing and market research. He can be reached at (847) 854-7817.