Tips for Safe, Fearless List Exchange
Dambach says a list policy also can help ensure that when exchanging lists with another organization you’re getting a clean, updated list in return -- rather than a list of expires. She says she’s seen a number of worst-case scenarios that prove the need for a list policy. In one case, a radio station exchanged its list with a theater. When contacting individuals on the station’s list, the theater informed them that the radio station thought they would be interested in supporting the theater. The source of a list is one thing you should never share, Dambach says.
Some organizations are hesitant to exchange names out of fear that they’ll lose members to the organizations they trade with, but Dambach says exchanging names is the best thing you can do.
“The more crossover your organization has with the organization you’re trading with, the better chance you are both going to have of getting new members because people who give, give to many organizations,” she says.
Dambach recommends exchanging lists over renting because not only does it keep costs down, but also the individuals on the list are highly qualified.
“You already know they give. They give to an organization that has a mission similar to yours,” she says. “If you’re trading with organizations that have similar missions and therefore similar targeted demographics, you just really boost your chances of securing new members.”
And why pay for those names through an acquisition list service when you can get them for free, she adds.
In closing, Dambach says organizations should not fear that list exchange will wear out donors. Trust that donors who don’t want to be on exchanged or rented lists will notify you of that. But don’t not mail because you think people might be worn out. If you have a history of successful direct-mail acquisition and people are supporting your organization, don’t stop mailing.