Rodale Press A Market-by-Market Approach Helped This Publisher
While the publisher has found it relatively easy to move and adapt its packages overseas, the challenge has been the infrastructure—coordinating lettershop, lists, printing and mailing for each market in which it mails. Direct mail pieces are printed within Europe, either within the country of destination or as a gang to consolidate volume. Local lettershops laser-address information for each market, and merge/purge is done in local service bureaus. Gavett claims that at the present time it is hard to find someone outside a particular country to process country-specific names. However, she adds, this service is developing. The final step, mailing, is handled by the individual in-country lettershops in Europe.
On the back end, fulfillment is also handled in-country. Product is housed in local warehouses and customers respond by a BRC mailed to a third-party fulfillment service located in each market.
Building its House file
Rodale has found its international customer base for "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies" mirrors the demographics of its U.S. customers: females between the ages of 45 and 65 who are interested in their health.
Of the 20 million international names mailed by the book division each year, 40 percent are house-file names and 60 percent are from outside lists. Gavett says Rodale builds its international business by mailing outside lists and that it has been aggressive in doing so.
The publisher works with local list brokers in each overseas market to find local language lists. Most of the lists it rents are response; however, it has done some modeling and testing of compiled files. It also tests standard suppression files available in each country. Referring to the EU data protection directive, Gavett points out that Rodale has included an opt-out clause in each of its international direct mail packages dating back to the launch. As such, Gavett believes the publisher has been given permission to use and rent those names. If an individual opts out, the name is suppressed. The number of people who have opted-out from international campaigns, according to Gavett, "is surprisingly low." In addition to its in-house suppression file, Rodale passes all lists against the appropriate country's "do-not-mail" file.