State of the Co-ops ’07
Vatne observes that over the past couple of years, ALC has witnessed its clients not only increasing the number of names they’re taking out of co-op databases, but they’re also increasing the number of databases in which they participate.
“In the past,” she says, “we might have had clients that participated in Abacus exclusively. Now, she adds, they’re participating in Abacus and testing out four other co-op databases. As mailing costs rise and response rates fall, this has become a more attractive option.
A division of direct marketeting service firm CMS Direct, Prefer Network’s new FreeMax 8 focuses on address hygiene and data modeling on a post-merge, prebindery basis. It’s made up of two crucial elements: proprietary change of address and preferred data modeling.
Prefer General Manager Bill Luth says that Americans’ mobility can wreak havoc on catalogers. “Today, something like 800,000 Americans move every week. Only 70 percent of them actually fill out a change-of-address form. Because of the matching logic that Prefer uses, only some 70 percent of the people who’ve filled out the form actually get matched up against the mailing list. Thus, there are 400,000 movers not identified on mailing lists every week.”
FreeMax 8 obtains change-of-address data from sources beyond NCOA. “For example, if you have gas at your house, you will probably change that as you move, as well as your phone, cable, Internet and so on,” Luth explains. Prefer uses an outside partner to accumulate this data.
FreeMax 8 doesn’t require clients to change vendors; it’s simply inserted in the process, post- merge, before the ink-jet tapes are created. Those addresses that can’t be cleaned up are replaced out of Prefer. The company also optimizes the prospect rental file, and if low yields are found there, they too, will be replaced by names out of the Prefer models.