Having His Say: The Case For Not Putting Your List In the Marketplace

Last week, we considered the reasons in favor of allowing qualified, credit-worthy mailers to rent your list. What about the other side of the coin? Certainly there are lists that are not in the marketplace, some from very well known organizations. “So why wouldn’t I put my list in the marketplace?”

Here’s but a few examples:

Your list is derived from a specific event and has no ongoing value in isolation of that event. An example might be “Ticketholders to the Final 4 x 100 meter Freestyle Relay, 2004 Olympics.” The list is very narrow and quite exclusive to the event that created it—and in the case of major entertainment events, there can be complicated Licensing arrangements that make it impossible for you to market the list. Other examples: “Suite owners at the NFL Superbowl,” or “Nascar Talladega Superspeedway Season Ticketholders.”

Your names are from a special space advertising campaign, made up of respondents to a single product offered by your company. You sell just one item, and set the hook with that one item, in that one advertisement. How’s your memory? Think L.L. Bean in the 1970s and 1980s. I believe that those names are names that a list owner could keep off the market until the list owner has mailed to them for six months and determined if they are “special to me” or not.

Your list is made up of young people. This is fraught with risk, and we all know why. There is risk in everything we do in business, so ask yourself, “Do the benefits exceed the risk?” Likely not.

Your list is from a continuity-based program. Why? Because the name of that game is share of wallet, and the last thing a continuity marketer wants is to let someone else into that consumer’s wallet while working on a six-payment program.

Geoff Batrouney, is executive vice president for New Rochelle, NY-based list services firm Estee Marketing Group.