Why a List Broker Can Be...A Mailer's Best Friend (1,139 words)
Mailing a campaign without doing sufficient list research is comparable to flushing money down the drain—no matter how good your product, offer or creative is.
List selection is a highly skilled process based on experience—in a given market and with a particular list. And in this process, a broker can play an important role in a mailer's marketing strategy.
Following are some of the numerous ways list brokers can contribute to the success of your marketing efforts.
- Brokers bring to the table their experience with other mailers. "Because brokers often specialize in specific markets, they know how other mailers have done when testing the same lists," says Maria Youth, director, catalog, Lenox Collections, a PA-based gift mailer. And while brokers won't share confidential specifics, they can speak in generalities, so you can capitalize on the experience of other mailers.
A broker can recommend new types of lists to test that have proven successful for similar mailers. According to Youth, a broker may suggest a cataloger that traditionally rents only mail-order buyer files test a subscription list that has worked for similar types of mailers.
- Brokers are your windows to the rest of the world. Aside from list performance, brokers are privy to the experiences and challenges (e.g., U.S. Postal Service slowdowns or revenue drop-offs) of other mailers, says direct marketing consultant Mary Ann Kleinfelter of Marketing Solutions Today.
Kleinfelter, who has worked for firms such as Delta Education, Daytimers and the Drawing Board, says this relay of information is important, because "many mailers can become isolated and need to be more aware of the news from the outside world."
- A good broker will do more than simply send the data cards of recommended lists. Brokers should be prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the research for you. The number of available lists is overwhelming, and new lists come onto the market every day. This is when your broker can be one of your most valuable assets.