Seven Ways to Combat List Fatigue
Revisit marginal lists. Carefully mine those “less than stellar” list results for any pockets of possible retests. What was considered marginal a year ago may just make the plan today.
Re-examine your frequency. Like many of you, I’ve purchased from a catalog, only to receive weekly solicitations from that mailer. Needless to say, my fatigue level skyrocketed, and I won’t buy from the catalog again. It’s worth the time and expense to look at how often you’re hitting prospects, and determine the point of diminishing return. It’s actually possible to artificially fatigue a list right out of your mail plan, particularly when the list is small.
Explore different channels. If you’ve mailed every name on a file, consider talking to those prospects through another channel. If there are e-mail names available for a file, send an e-mail. Or, test an insert in the mailer’s package insert or statement stuffer program. It may be the same prospect, but you’re knocking on a different door.
Test, Test, Test. In addition to your other testing strategies, consider one “out-of-the-box” test for every mail plan. Aggressive testing will increase your available universe and give some relief to your core lists.
Explore new creative treatments. Testing a new package or alternating controls can substantially improve response rates on many continuation files.
Like postage, paper and shipping costs, list fatigue is endemic for all marketers. While there is no silver bullet, consideration of these strategies may help you give your best lists a rest, and extend their life in your mailings.
Stefanie Pont is managing partner of Pont Media Direct, a list brokerage and direct marketing consultancy based in Norwalk, Conn. She can be reached at (203) 354-8074, or by e-mail at email@example.com.