ACCM Show Daily: B-to-bers Love Co-op Databases Too

Consumer catalogers have embraced co-operative databases for years. Business-to-business marketers are finally following suit.

During the past few years, list-specific co-op databases have surpassed private prospecting databases in popularity among b-to-b mailers, according to Ralph Drybrough, CEO of White Plains, NY-based list services firm MeritDirect. Drybrough, who led a session during Monday’s Business-to-Business Intensive, “Thriving in a Multichannel World: Acquire New Customers Cost-Effectively in a Data-Filled, Multichannel World.”

The big payoff when using list-specific co-ops, according to Drybrough, is that all the names you get are net-net—meaning you pay only for the names you mail. Additionally, net-net plus list-specific pricing often results in costs as low as $70/M plus $9/M for processing fees. Costs of customer acquisition in a private database can run anywhere from $50/M-$150 /M plus $20/M for processing fees.

Private prospecting databases, which were popular during the late 1990s, were designed for single mailers wanting maximum control over the process as well as maximum privacy. They’re best suited to merchants in vertical markets where compiled and controlled-circulation lists provide near-blanket coverage of a targeted universe, Drybrough said.

And because people often confuse the different kinds of co-operative databases, Drybrough took pains to educate attendees. A membership co-op is just that: it requires you to submit your customer names and transactions. All names are in a black box and you output prospects using models, affinities, and firmographics

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