More on Lists: How to Read a Datacard Like a Pro
What’s the best way to glean the information you need in order to make a decision on whether you should test or not test a particular list? This week, I’d like to lay that out for you.
For those of you new to renting lists, or if you’ve never seen a datacard, you can view thousands of datacards by visiting www.nextmark.com. Nextmark is a tool that industry professionals use to find and recommend lists to mailers. According to Nextmark, there are 60,000 lists currently on the market. Most of the people using this tool are lists brokers — and for the average person, the site can be overwhelming. But if you are a hardcore do-it-yourself-er, you can certainly use this online tool to define your own mail campaigns.
Caveat: While DIY is great for industry vets, if you are new to renting lists, you are MUCH better off using qualified list brokers. They know through direct knowledge which lists work or don’t work, who’s mailing what, etc.
So when you go to Nextmark.com, do a search for a catalog list. For this illustration, search for the list named “Athleta” and let’s look at what we can learn about their list. Forget about whether this list is good for your offering and just concentrate on the numbers side of the datacard.
Measure a Suspect Company’s Worth
Under the heading “segments,” you’ll see their total universe of names, plus breakdowns for buyers by recency of purchase. There’s a lot you can learn just from the segments box on any datacard. For instance, you can get a down and dirty measurement of the company’s size and sales volume by multiplying the last 12-month buyers by the $185 average order (located on the left side of the datacard as “spending”). This is just a rough measurement, but it will give you an idea of the size of the company you suspect may be a fit for your next mailing.
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.