Nine Reasons Your Lists Aren't Working
#3: You're Paying Too Much
To get the best results out of a list, you might need to apply selects to get prospects that look like your target customer (more on this later). The problem with adding selects is they can get expensive. If lists costs get too high, the response rate needed to make a list a winner can become unattainable, so if you did get what should be considered a "good" response you'd still fall short of success.
If I own a list of my own though, I may be able to work out an exchange at a lower cost. Beyond exchanges, find a list broker skilled at negotiating net name arrangements and getting select fees waived—especially for new tests.
#4: There's No Future
Sometimes lists work in a test but won't win because there aren't enough names in the universe you're selecting from to make future use of larger quantities possible. The result is that you take all the names you can get and typically experience fatigue sooner. The moral is that catalogers should be aware of the potential rollout when testing and selecting new files for prospecting. If the counts aren't there, the list may have trouble being a long-term winner.
#5: You Don't Know Your Customers
Often lists don't work because catalogers select files representative of the customers they'd like to have and not the customers they actually have. Knowing whom your best customers are and selecting files that reflect those characteristics is critical. Not knowing your customers can kill list success.
#6: You're Too Picky
List selects—e.g., recency, average amount, gender—are great for pinpointing prospects who would appear to be most responsive to your offer. But being too picky, or not picky enough, can limit the success of lists over time.