Posts Tagged ‘direct marketing’

The most powerful free marketing tool ever offered on the Internet

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

NextMark’s new and improved Mailing List Finder tool has been getting some rave reviews. People are liking the media planning and strategic marketing insights it provides. Reviews don’t get much more positive than this one:

“This is the most powerful free marketing tool that I have ever seen offered on the Internet.”

Wow. Can’t beat that!

The List Finder is getting noticed by more people every day. National Public Radio has called it the Google of Mailing Lists and the Direct Marketing Association gave NextMark the Future Innovators Award for creating it (among other things).

Have you tried the Mailing List Finder? I’d love to hear your feedback. Better yet, post a review on your blog 😉

Digital vs. direct mail in 2010

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

DM News article "Digital Shines in 2010" predicts the continued rise of digital spending as a share of total marketing dollars. Two interesting takeaways from a direct mail perspective:

#1) Digital is stealing share away from direct mail

"Just like in the old days, direct marketing used to be the safe haven because it provides quick, measurable results. Online has assumed that safe haven role now," said Adam Smith, futures director at GroupM.

#2) Digital is more measurable than direct mail

"If we send a direct mailer, it's an absolute impression, but is it as trackable? Will the consumer, for example, type It's fuzzy. Some people do and others don't," [Stormy Simon, SVP of marketing and customer care for] explained. "But I do know that when I spend on online marketing, I'm able to say 'I spent a penny and I got a penny [back].'"

The hallmark of direct mail has always been accountability. Digital is beating it at it's own game. The challenge to direct mail is to prove ROI superiority if it is to hold onto a significant portion of advertising expenditures.

See full article here:

Going ‘Postal’ is No Longer Insane

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Going postal in 2010 may be the best decision you make. There’s less competition in direct mail, and there’s less clutter in the box! There is also much more information available today about the prospects on consumer and b2b mailing lists.

Here’s a guest post from Jim Gilbert of Gilbert Direct Marketing, with some initial optimism regarding a freeze on postage rates next year for dominant classes:

From Jim,

Over the last three years, I’ve been super vocal about my dislike for the U.S. Postal Service and its less-than-forward-thinking bureaucracy. When it slammed catalog mailers with 20 percent-plus postage increases in 2007, I went (pun intended) postal on it. (more…)

Which school of marketing teaches the best lessons?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

In this 7-minute video, marketing legend David Ogilvy implores every marketer to build their career on a foundation of direct marketing disciplines. He chastises those who "worship at the altar of creativity."

Do Ogilvy's "old school" principles hold true in today's media landscape? Are Twitter, Facebook, mobile, etc. are changing everything? Does the "new school" make the lessons taught by direct marketing obsolete?

If you think Ogilvy's lessons are still valid, you can get a full dose of his powerful ideas in his book Ogilvy On Advertising.

A special thanks to Jim Gilbert for sharing this video in his blog!

The best kept secret in marketing?

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

I know of this website that gives you access to every mailing list on the market from every vendor – all in one place. Some pay $50+ to get its location, but I give it to you here for free…

The best kept secret in marketing

NextMark's mailing lists search tool (on the web at is a free marketing tool that has been described as "the best kept secret in marketing."

Why is this website a secret? In truth, it's not.

In fact, google "buy mailing lists" and you'll find it right there at the top of the most relevant results. But most marketers don't realize that an index of mailing lists exists and don't even bother trying to find it.

I've learned of enterprising individuals exploiting this knowledge gap and charging $50 or more to reveal this "secret tool" to you. I've looked into this scheme and there's nothing technically illegal about it, but it seems wrong to have to pay money to get a web address.

Please spread the word that the mailing lists search tool is free and available to any marketer who is looking for mailing lists.

3 Tips for Improving Mailing List ROI

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

In light of the current economy and the need to mail smarter, here are three things every direct marketer can do to maximize the value from their list rentals and their time.

1) Leverage empirical knowledge and effective negotiation skills.

This sounds much better than saying "hire a good list broker", but that is the recommendation. Experienced brokers know which lists work and which ones don't. Many have relationships with original list compilers so they can buy directly from the source and extend discounts based on economies of scale. Savvy brokers also understand analytics, so they can back up their recommendations with quantitative information and explain the meaning behind the metrics.

2) Leverage analytics to work for you.

Technology has powered the science of analysis with meaningful statistics on virtually every list on the market today. For example, the test-to-continuation ratio provides an aggregate measure of mailer success renting the same list. If a high percentage of mailers are placing continuation orders, then something about the list is working for them.

Another good reference point is the list popularity index (LPI). The LPI is based on how recently and frequently a list is included in list brokers' recommendations to their clients. This is a great tool for comparing mailing lists that have been on the market for a while, but should not be used exclusively to rule out titles that are new to market or have recently changed managers.

Ask to review a list profile. Comprehensive list profiles are available because a data bridge now connects data cards with the underlying data at the owner service bureau. You get a visualization of frequency distributions for all selectable dimensions including demographics, psychographics, interests, and purchase behavior.

3) Optimize list selection value.

Many selections have significant overlap, and choosing them together will only result in higher costs. A good list broker can optimize your selection criteria based on the resulting data set. They serve your best interests and do not typically receive commissions on selection revenue.

Getting the most 'bang for your buck' on lists can be myopic if you rule out options that can significantly help to grow your business. Choosing only those lists with the highest return on investment (ROI) and response rates can narrow your market reach, so consider your primary objectives before defining your acceptance criteria.

There's plenty of empty space in the mail box, and the best time to avoid the clutter is now!

NextMark featured in new book: Contemporary Direct & Interactive Marketing

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Direct marketing is going through a transformation. Some suggest re-branding direct marketing techniques as "interactive marketing" because of the highly personal two-way relationship it enables.

Contemporary Direct & Interactive Marketing bookDr. Lisa Spiller and Martin Baier have just published a second edition of their book entitled Contemporary Direct & Interactive Marketing that investigates this transformation. It illustrates the latest and greatest methods employed by leading practitioners.

While every marketer agrees that your choice of mailing lists is fundamental to the success of your marketing program, few marketing books cover this topic in any depth. I was pleased to see that Spiller and Baier bucked this trend and gave the topic coverage it sorely needs in Chapter 3 – "Developing Lists and Discovering Markets"

I was also honored they showcased NextMark and our Mailing List Search Tool in their opening vignette, which includes the following passage:

"The challenge for most marketers is to locate appropriate lists that will enable them to communicate with prospects that are likely to have a need for their products or services. Fortunately, this task has become much easier due to the advances in technology, the availability of lists, and companies like NextMark.

[… step by step instructions on using the list finder …]

"NextMark is building the technology to help eliminate the administrative headaches associated with developing lists and discovering markets. So if you want to effectively prospect for new customers, visit NextMark at and explore its list finder — you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy prospecting can be with highly targeted lists."

Here is what else you will find in that chapter on mailing lists.

  • Lists as Market Segments
    • A Perishable Commodity
    • Types of Lists
    • Development of House Lists
  • The List Industry
    • List Users
    • List Owners
    • List Brokers
    • List Managers
    • List Compilers
    • Service Bureaus
  • Evaluation of Lists
    • Measurement of Results
    • Response Differences Attributable to Timing
  • The Nature of Market Segmentation
    • Product Differentiation
    • Product Positioning
    • Segmenting Business Markets
  • The Bases for Market Segmentation
    • Geographic Segmentation
    • Demographic Segmentation
    • Social factor Segmentation
    • Psychographic Segmentation
    • Behavioral Market Segmentation
    • Using multiple Segmentation Bases
  • ZIP Code Areas as Market Segments
    • Geographic Structure
    • ZIP+4
    • Clustering Areas to Segments
    • Availability of Statistical Data

Purchase the book through our Amazon store here.

NextMark unveils “life changing” technology at DM Days NY 2009

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Nextmark Select revealed at DM Days NY 2009

NextMark this week unveiled the much anticipated NextMark Select service at the DMA's DM Days 2009 conference in New York City. Nora Brophy from Cross Country Computer and NextMark's Chris DeMartine (shown above) co-presented to clients including Belardi/Ostroy, Aggressive List Management, IOMA, Estee Marketing Group, and RMI Direct Marketing. Those attending the demonstration were quite enthusiastic, with one list manager describing the new service as "life changing."

NextMark Select bridges the gap between data cards and data. This two-way connection automates the tedious administration of data cards and paves the way for new analytical applications, such as advanced mailing list profiling, online custom counts, and online ordering.

The "wow" always came at the point of the demonstration when showing how it enhances data cards. Here's a snapshot of a mailing list profile:

NextMark Select enhanced data card

For more information, visit the NextMark Select page on NextMark's website.

Your response is required by law

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Need a surefire way to boost your direct marketing response rates through the roof? Take a page out of the U.S. Census Bureau's playbook and make it a crime to disregard your mailing.

Here you see their envelope creative clearly stating "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW":

Your response is required by law

Inside the envelope you find an 8-page survey with 82 questions such as, "what was the total amount of capital used to start or acquire this business?"

What happens if you don't respond? According to Title 13 of the United States Code, Chapter 7, Sub-chapter II, Section 224:

"Whoever, being the owner, official, agent, person in charge, or assistant to the person in charge, of any company, business, institution, establishment, religious body, or organization of any nature whatsoever, neglects or refuses, when requested by the Secretary or other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, to answer completely and correctly to the best of his knowledge all questions relating to his company, business, institution, establishment, religious body, or other organization, or to records or statistics in his official custody, contained on any census or other schedule or questionnaire prepared and submitted to him under the authority of this title, shall be fined not more than $500; and if he willfully gives a false answer to any such question, he shall be fined not more than $10,000."

So, if I understand this correctly, it will cost you $500 if you don't respond and $10,000 if you lie.

That's certainly a compelling "value proposition." I wish I could use that for our marketing programs ;-)!

Mother’s Day Marketing Made Easy

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

NextMark released a new campaign management feature just in time for Mother's Day. The new feature, 'Campaign Quick-Add' is available to all NextMark list research system users. Adding and removing lists from a campaign has never been easier. Check out the video demonstration below and you'll see how efficient your Mother's Day marketing can be.

If you are not currently a NextMark user, then we hope you'll check us out. You can learn all about direct mail and digital marketing by checking out the terms on our marketing glossary. You may also view the following data cards (from video above) using the Mailing Lists Search Tool:

  1. NetProspex North American Flowers, Gifts, and Specialty Contact List
  2. 1-800 Flowers Z-24 Enhanced Mailing List
  3. Calyx Flowers
  4. Fantastic Flowers

Happy Mother's Day!