Sleuthing Compiled Lists
Process the Data Clues, and You Can Solve the Mystery of Compiled Files
By Margaret Iadeluca & Andy Ostroy
Stop the presses … compiled lists are in vogue once again! How compiled lists are perceived by mailers and their brokers has changed more in the past few years than in the past 20. The days of list brokers summarily disqualifying compiled files are over. Brokers today are looking at this source of prospect names in a whole new light. What were once viewed as marginal and low-priority databases now are viewed as some of the most segmented and responsive avenues to reach select audiences. And for many niche mailers, these unique files often rise to the top as the most cost-effective lists in the prospecting mix.
The core of a compiled list consists of data collected based on any number of lifestyle changes or actions taken by consumers or business people, such as having a baby; getting married; getting a pilot's license; moving to a new residence; and responding to a business questionnaire.
The reason niche marketers experience strong success with compiled lists is due to their uncovering a strong affinity between the product and the target audience's needs—the same affinity they look for from a typical response-based file. For example, who better to buy some new furniture than someone who has just purchased a new home? Who is more likely to subscribe to children's magazines than new parents? Who better to buy that swanky new suit than a courtroom lawyer? What's more, with the segmentation, enhancement and modeling capabilities available on compiled files, projected response can be improved appreciably. Today's compiled lists perform infinitely better than their compiled counterparts a decade ago.
Another unique advantage to compiled lists is the large universes available, with most lists averaging hundreds of thousands to millions of names. Find a particular file that works for your offer, and the well of names practically is endless. When targeting a finite market or geographic location, a compiled file can give you the quantity you need for a successful test.