How to Read a Datacard Like a Pro, Part 3
When I look at a datacard to decide the mailability of a prospect list, I look carefully at all of the details. I have an inquisitive and questioning nature and want to know everything I can about the lists I want to mail, but…
…Mostly what I want to know is what affinity the prospect list has with my customers.
The closer the affinity, the more I can assume this list is a good prospect for my mailings. If the list seems right, based on the information on the datacard, I move it from my “suspect” list folder to my “prospect” list folder.
Some datacards provide a great deal of information. Some provide sketchy details. Some of the information I’ve seen on datacards is even wrong. If something looks questionable or not right on a particular datacard, I question the broker who sent me the proposal that included this list.
I usually have a lot of questions for my list brokers. And I’ve driven a list broker or two bonkers in my career.
Anyway, what I want to talk about this week is list usage, and which other companies have used the list you’re considering, which companies ran tests, and which companies continued on and rolled out. You can learn a lot about a list by finding out who’s used it. Consider my thoughts:
* If list usage isn’t provided to you in your broker’s list proposal, ask for it.
* If they can’t tell you usage, then consider another list broker.
* If I see a lot of mailers that are in my same product category, or that I am already mailing, I know I might have a winner on my hands.
* If I see a list that I’m not familiar with, I’ll check them out. I’ve found a new list or two this way.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.