Sidebar: Frequently Asked Questions About Lists
Q: Can a list become tired or overused?
A: Yes, in extreme circumstances. If the mailer is taking every name and every segmentation possible and results are diminishing, it might be time to rest a list and return to it in a later mailing. The list broker can determine when a list is being overused; however, it usually takes years to reach this level.
Q: Why are there duplications on the same list?
A: Not everyone uses the same merge/purge logic, and there can be human error. This is quite common and is part of the standard allowable deductions that a list owner will allow.
Q: Should I use the DMA pander file?
A: Absolutely! It is good industry practice to run this at every mailing. This list contains individuals who do not wish to receive direct-mail solicitations of any kind.
Q: The list didn’t work — it has to be the list.
A: Not necessarily. Many factors can contribute to a poor mailing: timing, environmental conditions or the mail piece itself. For example, what if your mailing dropped in the New Orleans ZIP codes during Hurricane Katrina? The important thing to remember is to work with your list broker to try to fix the list with better segmentation or price negotiation.
Q: The list owner I have been working with decided to stop renting to us. What happened?
A: It could be a variety of things. A new person could have come in or the organization might have changed policies on whom to rent to. List owners can change their minds at any time for any reason. If your mailing piece changed, evaluate it to see if you can still mail the list with some small modifications. List owner and mailer relationships are worthwhile ones to maintain.
Q: I want to avoid the list broker commission. Can I do it myself?
A: Sure! If you want to do the research, negotiating, ordering, tracking, exchange balancing and analysis, go for it. It’s a lot of work! With all that to do on your own, the commission is starting to look better, isn’t it?