10 Proven Ways to Increase Your Outside List Performance
5. Understand sporadic list performance. If a list works sporadically, look for performance patterns. Your offer might not be appealing to that core list at certain times of the year. Or customers the list owner acquires might not find your offer appealing. If you see a pattern, limit when you mail to maximize the performance of the list.
6. Keep an eye on exchange balances. If you’re in a highly competitive market, this is essential. Often your “best” lists will not rent to you if the exchange balances get out of balance. It’s important to monitor these exchange balances yourself to avoid falling short on names unexpectedly. What’s more, be careful not to approve your own list orders on exchange just because of the exchange. Exchange for lists you want to use based on proven historical results.
7. Use promotional offers. Use promos to increase the response rate of outside lists. Free shipping will typically lift the response rate 20 percent to 25 percent. A dollar amount off the order will also increase response. If you want to maximize response, don’t set the dollar minimum to qualify for the offer too high. In fact, consider not having a dollar minimum; this encourages more people to order.
8. Use proven direct-response catalog buyer lists. Product affinity is the most important factor when determining which specific list to use. Be sure to select lists which are synergistic with your offer. Be careful using subscriber and compiled lists (unless you’re selling business-to-business). You’ll always get the best results from mailing to proven mail order catalog-buyer lists whose product offering is compatible with yours.
9. Optimize lists (some lists). List performance can be improved by optimizing marginal outside lists. Or, if you’re using subscriber or compiled lists, through outside list optimization — the process of using one of the co-op databases to identify the catalog buyers on the list most likely to purchase your offer.