Seven Ways to Combat List Fatigue
Attend any direct marketing conference or chat with your peers, and you’ll undoubtedly encounter the double whammy of shrinking universes and list fatigue as a topic of conversation and concern.
Logically, the decreasing responses that direct marketers are seeing across the board make sense. Combine less available universe, consumers who are more marketing-savvy, ever-widening options for purchase and the increasing cost of marketing; and the result is intense competition for the most likely consumer prospects. And those prospects are becoming more inured to the message every day.
As mailing becomes more expensive on all fronts, there often is a tendency to cut back and focus on the most responsive files. While this is an acceptable short-term solution, over the long term it greatly contributes to the decreasing response/purchase cycle.
An additional contributing factor is the spread of shared marketing databases. The structure of these bases is to group a variety of mailers and identify the most responsive names using RFM and other metrics. But what is most responsive for Mailer A also is likely most responsive for Mailers B, C and D—and they all are mailing into the same narrow prospect pool.
So what’s a marketer to do? Since it’s unlikely that 30 or 40 brand new lists will pop up in the next month or so, the next best option is to effectively manage the leads you have, and make the most of them.
Manage recency segmentation. This doesn’t mean focusing on hotlines alone. Test or retest older segments of files that have been successful. In many cases, a three-month hotline may have cooled slightly after six months, but still will deliver decent response and ROI.
Review duplication across lists by campaign. While your hits against the housefile may be acceptable, review lists that have high duplication against each other. Alternate them on campaigns to retain more of each.