Buying Lists What Every Direct Marketer Needs to Know
If No List Is Available...
This dilemma exists at times, particularly with new product launches. If there is no list available to target a particular audience, while you may want to rethink your new product launch strategy, also consider compiling your own prospect file. Select a list with phone numbers that targets your prospect audience as closely as possible. Hire a reputable telemarketing firm, create the appropriate script that will enable you to qualify these prospects for your particular product or service, and compile your own list. Of course you must first figure out the necessary return on your investment, but for high-ticket products or services, particularly in the business-to-business environment, this strategy can pay off.
Use Brokers Whenever you Can
Brokers have access to in-depth usage information sometimes not available to the end user. Experienced brokers know which properties perform well over time for what types of offers. Also, brokers can sometimes negotiate better rates for you.
Even if you do all of your own list research, placing orders through brokers can still save you time and money. They can quickly get your order pre-cleared if it is potentially competitive, make certain you have all the necessary paperwork to speed up processing and track shipping and delivery. So use brokers when you can, but have realistic expectations. Order lists directly when you need to. In the meantime, ask many questions and learn everything about lists that you can.
Ilene Schwartz is vice president, account supervisor, Liggett-Stashower Direct, a direct marketing agency and division of Liggett-Stashower Inc., Cleveland. Formerly list director at Penton Media, Schwartz has been in the industry for over 20 years. Reach her at (216) 373-8214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.