People Magazine’s Jacqueline Meltzer on List Prospecting
Few would argue that list prospecting just ain’t what it used to be. “Been there, tested that,” aptly describes the reality of sourcing names for marketing managers with seasoned products to promote. But opportunities still are out there for those list pros who are willing to walk a little further and look a little harder—work reminiscent of the days when the list business was just getting off the ground.
One marketer who will be sharing her group’s rolled-up-our-sleeves stories at tomorrow’s List Day, held at the Marriott Marquis, is Jacqueline Meltzer, senior marketing manager for People magazine. She will present list prospecting ideas as part of a panel for the session, “Are You Vertically Challenged?” (List Day is an annual educational and networking event for list and marketing professionals, and is put on by the Direct Marketing Association’s List Council; to learn more, visit the-dma.org/conferences/dmalistday/index.shtml )
Target Marketing spoke to Meltzer before the event to get a sneak preview of some of her tips for finding good names to mail.
Target Marketing: In the past year or two, what have been your primary list prospecting challenges?
Jacqueline Meltzer: People magazine is a mature title, so there aren’t a lot of new lists on the market. We’re always looking for quality names—that’s the main challenge, looking for new sources of names. Our second challenge is optimizing response for the lists that we do mail. We definitely want to ward off fatigue, which could come about from creative fatigue, offer fatigue or a change in the list.
TM: What challenges regarding fatigue have you been battling?
JM: People magazine is sold at a premium price point. Our new business offer is a soft offer; we promote six free issues plus 16 additional issues for $39.42. So we’re asking people to spend around $40 on less than a six-month subscription. It’s costly [compared to other female or celebrity titles that do direct mail], which is why we have the free-issue component. We want people to sample the magazine and really get a feel for what it’s like to get People in their mailbox every week, and that’s been very effective for us.