Strategy: Prospecting to Selected ‘Pockets’
6. Take full advantage of outside list optimization. Try to expand your prospecting universe by using subscriber and/or compiled lists. But optimize these lists before you mail. The process of outside list optimization identifies the mail order catalog buyers on the subscriber and/or compiled file and selects the “best” prospect names to be mailed.
Adding this step will increase results while minimizing the risk of mailing to noncatalog buyers. If you optimize 100,000 names, you should find at least 25,000 prospects worth mailing. Optimizing subscriber or compiled lists only can be cost-justified if you can arrange a “net-net” deal in which you pay only for the names you mail. Here is a brief description of subscriber and compiled lists: With subscriber names, if you’re advertising in a magazine, try to negotiate a deal with the magazine’s advertising department to get the names for free or only pay for names selected for optimization.
7. Roll out proven segments/lists. Test new lists as well. Out of 10 “new” test lists, two or three lists will be worthy of continuation. It’s really a matter of when to test, not necessarily what to test. Test new lists during your best, busiest season.
If holiday, for example, represents 100 percent of your sales, test during holiday. If you test new lists during the off-season, chances are you’ll never roll out a single list because the results won’t justify doing so. If response rates and the revenue per catalog mailed are maximized in October, then test new lists in October. This becomes a true test and will yield results you can read and then roll out with confidence.
8. Test the Hispanic market. Depending on the market you serve, don’t overlook the importance of testing into the Hispanic market. Hispanics accounted for about half the population increase over the past four years. Nationally, Hispanic households tend to be younger, well-educated and have money to spend. What’s more, they enjoy receiving catalogs. There are several Hispanic lists on the market to test.