Ways to Save on Lists (807 words)
by Ed Burnett
Strategies to consider for making the most of your list BUDGET in 1999
It's almost the new year, the time of resolutions. And for direct mailers, a smart resolution to make at any time is to pay more attention to the lists we mail, especially for prospecting. Smart list work pays off in two huge ways.
First, you save money on the three "P's"—postage, paper and printing—because you're not sending out wasted mailings to the wrong folks. This is particularly important next year as we face another postal rate hike. Second, by paying close attention to list selections, you reach the people you need to reach and therefore get the best response.
With that in mind, we asked some list professionals for their best ideas to help mailers get the biggest bang for their list bucks in 1999.
• Revisit all your list deals. Ask for something on every order, suggests Kris Snyder, vice president/catalog brokerage, at The Millard Group. "Little tiny concessions do add up. You don't always need home runs. Home runs didn't win the World Series. Base hits did. Consistently good deals will make the difference in your bottom line."
Plus, whenever this industry goes through a postal increase, it's a good opportunity to go back and look at the basics, she adds.
• Make sure there are SIC codes on business files you plan to mail. That's the single most important thing business mailers can do to reduce the cost of prospecting, which in turn reduces the cost of list rentals, says long-time list guru Ed Burnett, now an industry consultant. Then, you can clone on the basis of SIC codes and find more business prospects that resemble the ones that responded to you in the past and became your customers.