Posts Tagged ‘roi’

End the debate. Snail mail is here to stay.

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Marketers are now realizing that abandoning direct mail for digital media may have negative consequences for return on investment (ROI), and the impact may be worse than expected. When budgets are tight, it’s harder to see the forest from the trees, and it’s easier to make cuts with less regard for lifetime value (LTV). Fortunately, information spreads fast nowadays so we get to hear pretty quickly what others have learned from their mistakes. Conversely, there are a few mailers that kept quiet about their success with direct mail in 2009 due to the positive implications of fewer competitors’ offers in the box. (more…)

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!

Social Media Cheat Sheet

Monday, May 4th, 2009

This cheat sheet has been revised. Please click Social Media Cheat Sheet for the updated version.

Are you spending too much time trying to figure out how to leverage social media for your business? Maybe you are just waiting to see some quantitative results before diving in. You know there's value in doing it, but the perceived ROI doesn't look very good when senior management's time is at stake.

This marketing blog will help you get organized before you dive in. Just save this page to your favorite places for quick and easy access to the top services. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list since there are hundreds of social networking sites that may not be as effective for business. It is also important to note that the services listed below are most recognized in U.S. and may not be the top choices internationally. I hope you find this resource helpful.     


Aggregation Tools: FriendFeed,, Lijit,, Socializr, Socialthing!

Blogs: Blogger, Typepad, WordPress

Bookmarks:  Delicious, Digg, Livejournal, Mixx, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Technorati, Yahoo! Buzz

Free Business Listings:  BizHWY, Cardboard, Crunchbase, Jigsaw, MerchantCircle, NextMark, Tradvibes, and many more out there!

Post Documents:  Google Docs, Scribd

Post PowerPoint Presentations:  AuthorSTREAM, Google Docs, Myplick, Slideshare

Post Videos:  Vimeo, YouTube

Social Networks:  Crowdvine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Twitter Tools:  MyTweeple, TweetDeck, TweetLater, Twibes, Twitter

URL Shorteners:, budURL, Snurl, TinyURL,, Twurl

Wikis:  Pbwiki, Wetpaint, Wikipedia

Be careful which URL shortener you use as it may affect your future search rankings.

Your feedback is welcome, and encouraged, as to what works best for business. As NextMark's Director of Business Development, I've found LinkedIn and YouTube to produce the best marketing results.

2008 List Industry Trends and Observations

Monday, December 29th, 2008

It’s the economy that’s driving it all – resulting in demand for efficiency, international collaboration, and strict guidelines for media investments.

Migration to Integrated Online E-Commerce Solutions

An increasing number of direct marketing services providers are leveraging economies of scale via e-commerce solutions. Online application services providers (ASPs) are enabling direct marketers to share the same language and non-proprietary data, while eliminating redundant tasks related to data entry and conversion. Managed hosting solutions also provide enhanced security for proprietary information and disaster recovery services at a much lower cost. This trend will continue for as long as the demand for efficiency exceeds the resistance to change.

Global E-Mail List Demand

Google and the other major search engines are sending e-mail list buyers around the globe. Not all of them pan out to be the best prospects for U.S. based list and data providers. However, many of them are looking to replicate some of the best practices that have worked so well here at home.

International representatives, like Maurice Williams—Chief Marketing Officer of Singapore Post, were actively engaged at DMA 2008 this fall. I was very impressed by contributions Maurice made during a focus group we attended together. We’re seeing some new interest from international list managers looking to market their files (e-mail and postal) on U.S. based search portals.

List Marketing By the Numbers

We’re more likely to see space advertisements with dedicated 800 numbers and contextually targeted advertising solutions with real time results, than mass media efforts during halftime this winter. Discretionary dollars are being redefined, and marketing directors are getting wiser. If the results of the program aren’t measurable, then it’s a tough sell nowadays.

Follow our marketing blog for more information regarding list industry trends, or visit the marketing glossary for hard to find definitions for list industry terms.