How to Prospect More Effectively (1,575 words)
In this example, the dollar select of $100 out-performed the segment of this same list mailed without a dollar select. Again, this was the same list; one segment was mailed using a dollar select, and no dollar select was used on the other segment. This was an upscale list with an average order size of $110.
Can you mail test lists that are out-of-category? Use lists that work out-of-category as a way to expand your prospecting universe. Although the success rate is less than testing in-category when you do find a winner, it opens a whole new universe of prospect names to mail. This is important if you want to grow your business beyond normal limits. This also can lead to new product development ideas.
Who else is using the list? This will give insight into how a particular list works for other mailers in your category (be sure your broker can tell you who is continuing on the file). You also can request usage on your continuations to develop your own new test ideas.
How did the file net out in the merge? If you're mailing a test list in your product category, you can expect to net out of the merge at a similar rate as the list continuations you're using. If the retention rate is significantly higher, the list probably doesn't have a synergistic base to your continuations. Therefore, it's less likely to perform well. The exception is if you're testing out-of-category. What you net out of the merge is not as much an indication of list performance.
When a test works, how should you proceed? When a new list performs to your criteria, retest the lists before you roll out. Continuations never hold up as well as the test. If, for example, you mailed 7,500 names on the test, mail up to 15,000 names on the re-test. If these results hold true, you're safe to roll out to continuation levels.