List View: Make Advocacy Lists Work
While we always have used terms like “outside the box” and “under the radar” opportunities when touting our skills, we as brokers and managers truly are pressed to find new sources of names for our clients, or new sources of revenue for our list owners. Mailers that were understandably cautious in 2003 today are list owners with much smaller universes and much smaller hotlines.
Many years ago, I worked at a list company with advocacy and veteran donor files. I cut my teeth in the list business with newsletters, so I knew seniors were “information hungry” and direct mail responsive. I wanted to put numbers up quickly, so I called the brokers I knew for newsletters, catalogs and magazines. I unwittingly set myself on a course of “out-of-market” list rental sales, and it’s a bailiwick that has proven challenging, exciting and profitable.
There is a huge, untapped market of political names out there with universes that exceed 100,000. And there is no way around this simple fact: These individuals are opening the mail, pulling out their wallets and responding.
Generally speaking, the advocacy donor is a senior citizen responding to issues they emotionally believe in and messages they trust and that play an important part in their lives. And they might respond to you if you have a product they can feel good about.
Here’s how to go “out-of-category” and navigate the world of advocacy fundraising lists:
• Who is the political donor? Issue mailers really know their base and quite a bit about loyalty. They have reached out to, empowered, informed and enlisted the support of their donor bases in a way that is unique only to issue fundraising. They mail these folks house mailings—often two times a month—and get a response and a gift! They give these folks opportunity and a voice, and impress upon them that it is heard, valued and appreciated.