A List Professional Speaks: Alan Zamchick
TM: What were your biggest surprises in terms of response?
AZ: I presume I can include my biggest disappointment which was a surprise: The painful lesson that a sweepstakes generated list won’t pull as expected to a non-sweeps offer. Ordering on behalf of Unity Buying, the at-the-time sweepstakes generated Road & Track list (the list for which I was to manage for over 25 years soon thereafter) pulled only 0.5 percent on the Unity non-sweeps offer when the sweeps test pulled 3.8 percent. That was an obvious surprise I never forgot.
TM: What do you like most about the list business?
AZ: The people. And the measurable medium it is.
TM: What do you like least about the list business?
AZ: Shady operators. Fortunately, few and far between!
TM:The list business is not something that is taught in great detail in marketing courses. What are the qualities you look for in candidates in terms of education, experience and personality? Can you prioritize these qualities?
AZ: A willingness to learn. A high level of attention to detail. An aptitude working with numbers. An enthusiasm for the business and the people they work with. The ability to think on their feet and outside of the box. Someone who is not afraid to ask questions.
TM: How do you go about training new hires—teaching the list business so that clients have a real comfort level when those people service them?
AZ: Imparting as much of my knowledge of the business to them. Stressing customer service as a standard of their day-to-day activities. Having them realize their clients are equally under the gun in providing information to THEIR clients and to react to their queries as you’d you like others to react to yours. Education, knowledge and customer service are the cornerstones for every list manager.