Strategy: Find the Right Lists
3. Compiled lists. These lists are compiled based on type of interest. Businesses, for example, are classified by standard industrial classification (SIC) codes. Dun & Bradstreet is a large compiler of businesses by SIC through its credit service. Compiled lists are used successfully by B-to-B mailers who want to target, for example, specific business sectors. There are many different types of consumer compiled lists, too.
4. Outside list optimization. If you’re a consumer mailer and are using subscriber and/or compiled lists, optimize the lists before you mail them. List optimization identifies mail order catalog buyers on the subscriber and/or compiled file and selects the best prospect names. This step will improve results while minimizing the risk of mailing to compiled names. If you optimize 100,000 names, for example, 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” deal whereby you only pay for the names you mail.
5. Cost vs. response rates. List costs and response rates vary, of course. The chart below compares the approximate cost for the various types of lists and the average response rates you can expect.
Direct response lists, e.g., co-ops and outside catalog lists, yield the highest response rates. Subscription lists generally produce the next highest response, followed by compiled lists. Obviously, you’ll see that there is a direct relationship between the cost per thousand for the various types of lists and the response rates as shown in the chart.
Typically, holiday is the best season for consumer catalogers as indicated by the 100 percent shown on the chart below. Your fall results will be 70 percent to 75 percent of your holiday results. Spring is 65 percent of holiday, and the slower summer months equal 60 percent of holiday.