Ed Larkin

Often, the name associated with a record on a b-to-b list is the purchasing agent, not the actual buyer. If you are mailing the right list for your target audience, but only pulling marginal performance, test mailing to a title slug to boost response, suggests Ed Larkin, director of business development at MeritDirect. To get an idea of which title slug may work best, survey your housefile to see which titles appear most often.

Don't deluge mailroom staff by mailing too many pieces to the same address on the same day. This may encourage them to throw away your communication. Instead, eyeball your list to see how many contacts there are at each site. When mailing to a list of government offices or institutions, in particular, Ed Larkin, director of business development at MeritDirect, suggests sending your mailing in stages. If there are 10 potential buyers at a site, for example, mail five contacts on the first drop. Then, ask your lettershop to suppress those names in the next mailing and drop your communication to the second

One source to tap is business gift recipients, suggests Ed Larkin, director of business development at MeritDirect. "Frequently, your customers are sending gifts to highly qualified individuals who are equally likely to respond to your offers as the sender, because of their own business relationships and need for your products," says Larkin.

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