Strategy: Should You Remail the Same Prospect Names Within a Season?
Remailing the same prospect lists or cooperative database segments in the same season is common. But should you remail the exact same names? This is a frequently asked question, and as you’ll see, the best mailing strategy might not be obvious.
When a particular list is mailed, or cooperative database model segment is used, results are tracked by source code. If the results meet a predefined criteria — e.g., incremental breakeven, 20 percent less than incremental breakeven — you want to remail that same list or model. If 10,000 names initially were tested, it would make sense to mail 20,000 names next time, and continue to roll out as long as the results are positive.
Still Mail ‘Fresh’ Names
Using the same list and/or model, however, normally doesn’t mean using the same prospect names. When you place the list rental order, you often request OPU (omit previous usage). This means the list owner or co-op provides you with different names within the same list segment or database model. This allows you to mail to “fresh” names and not the same prospect names previously mailed.
But what happens when you request to re-use the same prospect list within a particular season? Recently, I set up a few tests to determine the effect on the response rate when the same exact names are remailed within 30, 60 and 90 days. The results might surprise you. Look at the first chart (below).
These results indicate that we can remail the same names within 60 days. However, when we attempt to mail names six months to one year old, the results decline substantially. The theory of prospecting is based to a large degree on the “recency” of the prospect names mailed. Recency of purchase always is the No. 1 criterion and the mail priority within standard RFM circulation segmentation.