Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Using Multiple Lists to Improve Response

I was looking through some past orders and came across a client in Detroit who I felt best understood exactly what it meant to use multiple lists to develop an effective direct mail campaign. In a nutshell, what this means is rather than using only one, or two lists, a business or non-profit should look at their prospects from different perspectives. Here is how it works.

You are planning on purchasing 50,000 prospect names for a mailing. Rather than purchasing one list with 50,000 names, purchase 5 lists with 10,000 names each, or 10 lists at 5,000 names. When it comes time to pull all of these lists together there should, of course, be the same name in different places. For example, if you're a sporting goods store, and purchase a list of golfers who responded to a survey and golfers who subscribe to Golf Digest magazine, you may find the same name on both lists. Typically, businesses don't think about this, and throw the duplicates away. However, these duplicate names are 1000% more valuable to you than the master list. WHY? A multi-hit file identifies those people who have a stronger interest in a topic or area than most others. If you appear on 4 related golfing publications, you MUST be an avid golfer.

So, the question then becomes what to do with the multi-hit file? Basically these are names you have purchased and have the right to use. If a name appears on 3 lists, you can mail them up to three times if you like with no penalty from the list owner.

Next, key code EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! This way, when people respond, ask for the code on the mailer, or have them bring it into your store and track who is responding. You will find that in many cases one list will draw a higher response and have a higher ROI (Return on Investment) than another list. Track this information, and when purchasing new lists, use those lists with a higher response rate first and at a higher quantity than last time. You will find that your response rates will increase and your ROI will go up as well.

Finally, evaluate what you're offering them. If you are promoting a $10 item on average, did you know you can likely increase your gross sales by 50% by increasing the average item cost to $15? People respond to what you ask them to. Don't be a scrooge when trying to attract and sell new prospects on your businesses products or services.

In a nutshell this is how it works.

  1. Purchase multiple lists
  2. Merge/Purge these lists against each other
  3. Create a "multi-hit file" to capture duplicates between files
  4. Mail the master lists using a key code to track list source
  5. Mail the multi-hits and compare response rates with the original mailing
  6. Future mailing quantities should be adjusted based on which of the multiple lists performed best and which one's under performed.

Market Mapping plus LLC can help set up a program to track performance and teach you how to effectively increase response rates and your Return On Investment for your direct mail program.

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