List Buying Guide: List Spending Spurs List Hygiene
List spending is way up from last year, according to survey results released in mid-July by Teramedia Corp., a multichannel list management and data services firm in Orlando, Fla. Of the 6,435 survey respondents to its List Trends Poll 2006—with most at the account manager or marketing manager level—58 percent reported they are spending more on lists for marketing, despite the fact that their ROI is not keeping pace; a little more than one-third indicated no change in list ROI between now and 2005, and about another third succeeded in producing a higher ROI.
While the investment in response, compiled and managed/subscriber files increased in a uniform fashion—and at roughly the same increase as overall list spending—it’s interesting to see that the use of e-mail append and database modeling services advanced at a slower pace, garnering reports of increased activity by 19 percent and 37 percent, respectively. But it comes as no surprise that 46 percent of respondents are investing more in scrubbing files to ensure clean, deliverable lists; the more data you rent/purchase, the more you spend on list hygiene.
Perhaps the most intriguing results to come out of this survey are those related to multichannel list purchasing. When asked how often they select lists with both postal and e-mail addresses, only 27 percent of those polled indicated they do so frequently, compared to the 34 percent who noted they frequently look for lists with postal and telephone contact options. So while the rental/purchase of telephone numbers might not be a top priority for the majority of marketers polled, those who require this channel option like to do so as part of a multichannel approach. In comparing the percentage of respondents who indicated an increase in their use of business lists (46 percent) compared to those who upped their consumer list activities (25 percent), it’s likely that respondents’ business type influenced the leaning toward postal/phone list combinations.