You Still Don’t Rent Out Your List?
Consider the impact the co-op databases such as Abacus, NextAction and others, have had on your housefile and list rental income. It's likely that a high percentage of your customers already are on one or more co-op databases. In fact, Abacus has more than 95 percent of all catalog buyers on its database. When catalogers join the Abacus Alliance, very few (1 percent to 5 percent) new names are added to that database.
Your customer names already are being rented — if not by you, by the co-ops (even if you don’t participate in any of them). In more cases than not, catalogers that don’t rent their customer files are only hurting themselves and missing out on list rental income that helps the bottom line. The truth is, catalogers who elect not to rent aren’t protecting their customers from mailbox clutter or from other offers.
In countless surveys, it’s been proven that mailing lists used by other companies perform better for the list owners over time. The companies that have tested this have “flagged” names three ways:
✔ names to receive all list rental offers;
✔ names to receive noncompetitive offers; and
✔ names to receive no outside offers.
These tests generally are conducted over a two- or three-year period, and the names are “frozen” over time. In all cases, the results showed that the names receiving all offers, including the competitive offers, responded best to the company’s own offer. The worst cases from the studies I have seen show there was no effect on response rates to companies’ individual offers if they rented out their files. In considerably more than half of the tests I’m aware of, rented names performed better. It’s easy to conclude this: Active mail order buyers are worth their weight in gold.