Working Assets' Derek Glass believes if you relay to your broker the lifetime value of your customer and cost per sale, you'll double response rates right off the bat.
"As a mailer, you have to trust that the information you give your broker will make your mailing better," says Glass, who has known Kehrli since the mid-1990s when the pair worked for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as mailer and broker, respectively.
To really use your brokers, you want to give them as much information as possible, Kehrli says.
"I hate working in a vacuum—when I'm only given the bare minimum and expected to develop a plan," he says. "By doing this, you're really handicapping yourself as a mailer."
When asked why mailers would withhold certain data from their list broker, Glass said it could be based on fear, hubris or lack of trust.
"The mailer often thinks they know more than the list broker does," Glass laments. "You often hear: 'The list broker is just someone selling me stuff,' or 'I'm afraid they're going to tell my competitor.'"
Entrepreneurial and novice direct marketers often are the ones that are unnecessarily protective of their projects and ideas, says Kroll Direct Marketing's Bob Portner, who works primarily with business-to-business mailers.
"They're afraid where their information is going and who's getting it," he says, "which is understandable. But they're really doing themselves a disservice."
What brokers should do in these situations, Portner advises, is explain to the mailer why having that information is so critical.
Julie Chapman, AIChE, says she feels comfortable providing the necessary data to her broker because "the more information you give them, the more targeted the list selection will be."
What List Brokers Need
Among the types of information Kehrli says he hopes to receive from his clients: live, real-time updates on how a campaign is doing; package and production costs; past response rate results; ROI data; and lifetime value.