List Selection Strategies (1,045 words)
It's natural to want to test any lists that come up as a good match for yours in terms of products or demographics. But you also need to ask, "What was the approach they used? Was there an incentive, a premium. Was it a sweeps mailing?"
So you should next ask the broker to get samples of the direct mail control packages for all the data cards in your A and B piles. If the person bought something off a space ad or from TV, get a copy of the ad or TV spot plus the media it ran in and dates and times.
By studying the mailings and the offers, you'll be able to get a better understanding of what made these people respond. Most often, direct mail responders are your best prospects.
Once you've chosen your lists, go back to the list broker and find out who else has used the list successfully. You want to know who tested it and rolled out, as well as those who tested and did not roll out.
Sometimes this information is on the data cards, and sometimes you have to ask.
Q: What else does a mailer need to do to set up a successful list selection strategy?
A: Don't forget about enhancements; so many lists have been made to work through enhancements. Most large list owners have put in a good deal of effort to enhance their lists at a very reasonable cost to you. Your broker can help suggest enhancements to test that may make an otherwise marginal list work for you.
Also, if there's an enhancement you want that's not on the data card, ask; there's a good chance they'll have it.
Q: What is the most important element of the broker-mailer relationship?
A:Two things are important, actually, and they are related. First, open communication is one key to success. Realize that this [broker-mailer] relationship has to be a two-way street in order to work. You have to feed your broker with certain information—about your products, your customer file, your offers and your past campaign results. Then and only then can your broker be well-informed enough to provide you with accurate, helpful list advice.