List Research from the Trenches
PLAN THE MAILING
Write a list plan with your broker. From your last campaign data, rank lists top to bottom by the net revenue per donor and calculate the names that you have available that qualify within an acceptable range of investment. Do you have enough tested, quality names to mail 80,000 pieces? Are you comfortable testing 20 percent? If so, then you have four tests of 5,000 names to select for this mailing.
TEST, TEST, TEST
Your success over time will depend on how carefully you select your few precious list tests. Deborah Hayden, president and founder of Pacific Lists of Corte Madera, Calif., suggests that although tests should be selected based on a history of responsiveness to like-minded offers, continuation potential, cleanliness and price, creativity and intuition can identify exceptional lists and new markets beyond the “usual suspects.” Are there discounts for fundraisers? Is this list available on exchange?
Your broker will give you suggestions, so actively discuss them in detail before you decide on this critical part of your campaign.
AND THE REVIEW
The best marketers know what the value of a donor is and what it costs to bring one in. As flash counts arrive, share them with your broker. Chances are it’s already time to begin planning the next mailing.
James E. Sullivan is president and CEO of Optic Nerve Direct Marketing, a full-service direct marketing agency serving both nonprofits and for-profits. Sullivan can be reached at 415.647.9462; or email@example.com.
Deborah Hayden can be reached at 415.945.9450; or firstname.lastname@example.org.