How to Prospect More Effectively (1,575 words)
Caution: Factor down your projected results when you roll out as compared with both the test and retest. Most likely the results, once again, won't hold true, and you could over-estimate order and revenue demand.
Maximize Performance of List Continuations
Study how well each list continuation performs during a period of time. It's not enough to look at list performance for each drop. Rather, look at the performance during a time period. How many times, for example, can you mail each list per year or per season? Can you mail the list more often, or are you over-mailing it now? The danger of over-mailing is that the performance can fall to the point where it looks as if you can't use the list at all, when that may not be the case.
Use ZIP models. ZIP models can be used to improve performance. They work well when you want to select lower-performing segments of a file (deeper selects) or use a larger file that perform marginally.
Continually re-evaluate the selects you're using. If you have lists that typically are lower-performers, consider mailing a tighter select rather than taking less names for the same select. For example, if you normally select a $50+ three-month buyer, try using a $75+ two-month buyer. This often will counteract the lower performance of the mailing.
Understand your demographics and customer base. Don't try to use your list selection to change your customer base. You can't appeal to a different audience without changing your merchandise, and you can't abandon your existing customers. For example, you won't appeal to a younger audience simply by mailing to lists of younger-aged people.
Look beyond standard performance indicators. In addition to evaluating response rates, average orders and revenue per catalog, also consider performance indexes. By doing this, you'll know if a list over- or under-performs relative to the performance of all lists used. This will help you plan and evaluate the lists you want to use. The chart, "Example of a Weekly Performance Index," shows an example of how performance indexes may appear on your weekly report.