E-commerce Link: Reaching Out
• Brief your broker well. The more you can share—such as demographic and firmagraphic information—the more your broker will be able to provide more targeted recommendations. View this as a partnership. Where possible, you shouldn't just select a list that seems appealing; you want to target selections such as recency, gender, income, business sector, ZIP code and more.
• Ask for competitive intelligence. Ask for information on what other companies are using the list—this information is freely available. Most reputable list owners will provide this information. You may not receive intelligence that is directly comparable to your business, but if you see recognizable names and services using a list, it should give you a comfort level in making your decision.
• Expectations. A good broker will provide you with a spreadsheet containing the lists, available names and selects he thinks are important. The broker will also back up the spreadsheet with individual datacards that contain additional information about the list. Ultimately, the decision is yours—but be sure to examine the datacards carefully to get a good feel for the list.
• Payment. Be aware that most new list orders require pre-payment before their use.
• Compliance with CAN-SPAM. CAN-SPAM has many provisions. But one that is particularly important for marketers who want to use email for prospecting purposes is that the law states you may not mail to any individual who has opted out of receiving communications from your company. This means marketers are required to provide all prior opt-outs to each list you plan to mail. If you are not asked for opt-outs by a list manager or list owner, beware.
This is a generalization, but don't expect to sell goods and services from an initial email. It's likely most of the targeted recipients may not be aware of your brand, how superior your products are or your stellar customer service.