European List Experience List Strategies That Worked for Three
It's been said the success of a direct mail campaign depends 40 percent on lists. International campaigns are no exception. Here three U.S. direct marketers share their experiences with local, in-country lists in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Day-Timers, a marketer of business and consumer time-management planners and organizers, started to market globally when it set up a U.K. subsidiary in 1994. Solo direct mail is used for prospecting, and a catalog is mailed on the back end to retain existing customers. When it comes to lists, its strategy is "close to that of its U.S. operations, but on a smaller and less sophisticated scale," notes Nigel Woof, general manager, Day-Timers Europe.
In the five years it has been renting U.K. lists, the universe of lists available for rent has grown substantially. Consequently, Day-Timers has found a few good lists that didn't exist four years ago.
Given the success of its U.K. venture, Day-Timers launched its first foray into the German market in 1997 with a German-language package. Overall, Day-Timers is a big user of local, in-country response lists. Germany, however, is much more dependent on compiled lists than response lists, notes Woof, who adds that while the compiled lists are of a very good quality, they are often derived from the same sources.
Day-Timers believes in developing a close, long-term relationship with its brokers, choosing to work only with one broker in each country outside the United States. One of the benefits of establishing a relationship with an in-country broker is that they know better how to maneuver around legal restrictions. In Germany, laws prohibit mailers from making more than two list selects. However, an in-country broker can suggest alternatives to help fine-tune your list selection without breaking the law. Says Woof: "Targeting, even with legal restrictions, has not been a problem in either the United Kingdom or Germany."