Print-Plus: All Hands on Deck
There's growing pressure on list performance. It's more about contribution to profit and overhead, as it should be, but this has caused mailers to reduce circulation and prospect less. As a result, 12-month buyer counts are down, and there are fewer housefile names to leverage — a real dilemma. Here's how to improve list performance for email and print.Email List Performance
E-append is an excellent way to grow your housefile. This involves having an outside vendor append email addresses to your customer list where emails are missing or messages bounce back as undeliverable.
To avoid deliverability and "black listing" issues, follow e-append best practices. For example, your welcome message should be innocuous. I suggest using your logo and text with no personalization. The welcome message may carry an offer — some marketers have attached offers to drive retail store traffic — but that's not necessary. Use follow-up efforts to close the sale.
A household-level match maximizes the number of matches — 30 percent hit rates aren't uncommon. In every housefile match, flag each record "I" for individual and "H" for household. Individual-level matching results in higher quality records, but a lower match rate — i.e., 10 percent to 15 percent.
Once the append is complete, you need a strategy for the appended records. Opt-outs supplied with appended records should be suppressed immediately. The remaining appended records should receive a message from your company within a week after the append is completed. I suggest sending a series of three or four messages to the appended records before they're added to your normal retention database messages. Tell these customers why they're hearing from you and why they should be glad about it.
Let your customer service reps know an append has been facilitated, and give them copies of the welcome message so they can address any customer service calls or issues. Append is truly a home run when executed properly.