Setting Your Priorities

List priorities in the merge/purge are a standard topic of debate among database pros, says Scarsdale, NY-based database consultant Michael Grant. Do I put all lists into the merge/purge at an equal priority, or do I give a higher priority to one group of lists, since those lists are my core lists?

Before cooperative databases became so prevalent, many mailers prioritized lists so that the less-expensive files or those that had traditionally performed well received the top priority. If a name appeared on, say, a tried-and-true list that had been granted top priority and on a new list that was given lower priority, the credit for the name would go to the former. As a result, the favored lists would always net out a higher rate than the others.

“This tactic is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” argues Grant. “In fact, this method ultimately is detrimental to a company’s growth and future profitability.”

Grant advises putting all the lists into the merge/purge at equal priority with a random allocation. Without equal priority, a mailer will always improperly inflate its top lists in terms of net-out rates as well as mailing productivity. And a mailer will almost never be able to get a test list to work with a lower priority, since those lists lose all the multibuyer names that match other, higher-prioritized lists. The positive or negative impact in terms of demand per catalog can vary from a 5% variance to a variance of more than 20%, says Grant, based on volume of names for the various lists in different priority groups.

“The only time you should have separate priorities for a prospect list is when the prospect list is from its stores or from an external partner with whom you have a relationship,” Grant says. “These names then take on characteristics of a house customer name and should be prioritized below buyer names but above external lists.”

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.