Posts Tagged ‘list broker’

Harold Pratt Beats the Economy with NextMark and MIN

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Harold Pratt Harold Pratt, president of Pratt Direct Marketing, knows how to survive and thrive in a down economy. He’s discovered how to do more with less by exploiting NextMark and mIn. According to "Meet the Broker: Harold Pratt":

"I would say you can do a lot more," he says. "You can handle a lot more business with one or two people than you could back then and list searching is a lot easier today, using tools like NextMark and MIN than in the olden days of having to leaf through an SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Systems) directory."

Mr. Pratt knows that an inefficient back room operation will steal time and money from you every day. He’s implemented tools that enable him to spend more time delivering valuable insights and advice to clients and less time on “grunt work.” Now that’s smart business!

Turnaround tools for List Brokers and List Managers @ DMA09 conference

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Necessity is the mother of invention. In a slow economy (will it ever end?), innovation is critical to survival. At DMA09 booth #1930, NextMark will be showing off its latest turnaround tools for List Brokers and List Managers, including NextMark Select. Here’s a sneak preview video:

For more information and live demonstrations, visit NextMark at booth #1930. See you in San Diego!

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!

Mailing list quality vs. data card quality — what’s the difference?

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

It's simple. A data card is the marketing document that describes a mailing list.

A quality data card does not guarantee a quality mailing list, but you can have a top quality list that is neglected from a marketing perspective (i.e. a poor quality data card). First impressions count, and the data card is most often the first impression that a broker or mailer receives when researching new test lists for a direct marketing campaign.

To be blunt – you wouldn't serve a T-bone on a trash can lid, would you?

I'm not sure everyone thinks this way when it comes to data cards. The t-bone steak represents a quality mailing list with an exceptional test-to-continuation ratio. The trash can lid represents a neglected data card for that same mailing list. Think about this analogy from the perspective of a list broker or mailer.

You select a mailing list of active subscribers that matches your customer profile. The mailing list is marketed by a credible list manager with industry knowledge, a proven track record for customer service, and a diverse portfolio of quality response list titles. Futhermore, the mailing list you selected is known for its success in delivering above average response rates and lifetime value. You are ready to add this list title to your client's new test recommendation.

Not so fast! You notice that the data card has not been updated in over 6 months. Furthermore, you are ordering a monthly hotline so you have no idea what range the counts will be in.

Needless to say, you're likely to question the validity of the information. You may wonder if the mailing list is still available for rental, or you may find out that the owner of the data card is no longer the list manager because they lost the business to a competitor and never deactivated their version of the data card. That's obviously not something the former list manager would want to promote in the public domain, but it happens.

What's the take-away in all of this? It's simple. Keep your data cards up-to-date with quality information on all of the list research channels, especially in the public domain where your content is most visible.

A ranking of list managers by data card quality is published quarterly.


Evolving role of the list broker

Monday, March 30th, 2009

DM News published an article today "List companies urged to diversify to survive" that describes some of the ways that list companies and list brokers are adapting to the changing marketing environment. Jay Schwedelson of Worldata and NextMark's own Chris DeMartine are interviewed for the story.

Some things will never change:

"The most important thing for a list broker hasn't changed: Being able to offer their client the right list in whatever medium that may be, DeMartine said."

But many aspects of the role are evolving:

“List companies have become much more well-versed in providing marketing strategy, rather than just offering list recom­mendations,” he said. “A list broker today has a lot more to know.”

With years of experience in reaching niche markets, list brokers are well-positioned as "acquisition specialists" that go well beyond postal lists. Read the full story here.

I Just Need A Mailing List!

Monday, January 21st, 2008

"I just need a mailing list!" states a recent inquirer who is ready to write a check to the first list broker to call her back with more information. We are distributing leads from a variety of direct marketers with some pretty hefty customer acquisition budgets, one recent inquirer is looking to order 12 million names in 2008. The increased awareness of mailing lists — much due to the presence of free list research portals used to find mailing lists on the Web — is fueling demand.

Leadsl_2It's hard to believe that so much effort is focused on proactive sales, when new customers are waiting at the doorstep. They keep knocking, but many of us are too busy cold-calling to answer the door. Is it because they "Just Need A Mailing List" and we're looking for the next big campaign management opportunity? Or have we lost sight of the simple truth that a mailing list is just what many prospects are looking for?

So what's happening with the list business? I think that we're all trying to figure that out. Some managers and brokers are embracing the traditional list buyer and are less prepared for the future of marketing convergence. Others are re-positioning themselves in such a manner that comprehensive solutions, many of which are promoted by list brokers and managers, are the face of their organization. In my opinion, none of it matters all that much as long as the customers' needs are met. 

Most industry veterans can share stories about how easy it was to grow list rental income by doing just a little more than maintaining data cards. Today, there are more than 60,000 active list titles for mailers and brokers to choose from, and many of these titles are taglines for databases containing hundreds of millions of names, addresses, and enhanced data points. From an economic perspective, there is more supply than ever before — but what about the demand for lists? Has traditional list rental taken a back seat to predictive analytics?

Of course not — these products and services are integrated complements not mutually exclusive substitutes. However, the commoditization of mailing lists has changed the landscape of the direct marketing environment, while regression analysis tools and other analytical resources are being applied and refined at a much higher frequency than in the past. Advances in technology have undoubtedly enabled direct marketers to apply these solutions at a lower cost, and many multi-title list owners are further monetizing the value of their house file through enhancements and modeling.

All of this is great for the future of major mailers and multi-channel marketers, but what about the new business owner who wants to rent a response list or order a few thousand names froma compiled database? These mailers are looking for a solution — and that solution is a mailing list. They are getting lost in the shuffle — and are ready and willing to buy. Can you help them? We'll do our best to provide them with industry definitions from the direct marketing glossary.