Quick Tip: Don’t Discard Your Marginal Lists Yet

With the pending postal rate increase coming in May, it is more important than ever for mailers to use every tool possible to squeeze the best performance out of each prospect. If you are fortunate enough to have a buyer file list that is in demand from other mailers, take the opportunity to set up exchange agreements for list continuations whenever possible.

It is no longer acceptable to evaluate performance list by list and apply an all-or-nothing strategy to each. Rather, the merge/purge and secondary optimization can work to separate the performing names in each list from the non-performing names. As we’ve said many times, there are great names in every list and there are poor names in every list. Some lists simply have more good names while other lists have fewer.

By sending the marginal lists—those with fewer good names—for optimization or reactivation at one of the co-op databases, it is possible to bring those marginal outside lists back up above the breakeven level. Just make sure that the lists you’re optimizing were brought in on exchange or at a low cost, since optimization adds several cents onto the cost of a name.

Matt Morton is circulation and marketing manager at San Raphael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.