Wolferman's has added a million names to its prospecting effort this past year. Where did the cataloger find all these names? When it comes to prospecting lists, Brady says, "We mail other food companies [lists] and continually test lifestyle and apparel lists as well; the Abacus co-op and other models work very well for us, too."
Trollinger says three outside list acquisition strategies have performed especially well for Wolferman's:
1. Knowing what it knows about food lists, Wolferman's is mailing deeper into those files that have always worked well in the past. "We've tried to rely on a lot of list intelligence there. So we're trying to get as much as possible out of the best lists. In some cases, perhaps we were not mailing enough previously to really capitalize on the full rollout potential of our best lists. Now we are. We are loosening our selection criteria to take as many good names as we can from those lists that work well for Wolferman's," Trollinger says.
2. On some of its alternative lists—the more fringe lists—Wolferman's is using enhancement data to take non-traditional files and optimize their performance. By taking a Z-24 enhancement on an apparel or general merchandise list, for example, Trollinger says, "We'd try to match the characteristics of the prospects on those lists to some of the characteristics we find in [Wolferman's] buyers."
3. A third way Wolferman's is expanding its list reach to draw in more prospects is looking at the inactives on its better rental files to see whether it can tap into those names to mail deeper. "On our cream-of-the-crop food lists we might look at the 13- to 24-month names and even consider doing an exchange. In some instances, a two-for-one swap might be worked out when it comes to exchanging the older vs. current names," Trollinger reveals.