Simple Strategies for Picking Lists
Of all the elements that go into a direct mail effort, the most important single purchase is the list, according to direct-marketing consultant Paul Goldberg. There are two ways to order lists, he says: Use a broker or do it yourself.
“By broker I don’t mean an organization,” Goldberg explains. “Basically, all brokerage companies are the same. They have access to the same mailing lists; they charge the same prices; their data cards are more or less the same. Instead, choose a list broker for the specialist working there.”
Ask this question: Does he or she know the market and do the hard work of digging, screening and analyzing so that when you a get series of recommendations you know you’ve got a good shot at success?
“Use different brokerage houses for different products,” Goldberg advises. “At one house, I feel my broker is the best person in the country in the field of art and collectibles. At another, there’s a person who knows catalog lists inside out. If I have a fundraising client, I turn to two individuals whom I trust completely. All work for different brokers, and if any of these professionals changes companies, I follow the person.”
Chances are if you call the average list broker and describe your product or service and the market you’re trying to reach, Goldberg says, the broker will push some buttons and the computer will spit out 100 or more data cards. This means you -- not the list broker -- will have to do all the work.
More of Goldberg’s tips and insights can be found in “2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success,” by Denny Hatch and Don Jackson. For more information and to order, visit http://www.dennyhatch.com/secrets/secrets.html.