Improving Nets from Your Merge/Purge

Improving Nets from Your Merge/Purge The recession, shrinking list sizes, declining performance from outside lists and co-op databases, and increased competition from the retail sector have made prospecting increasingly difficult for mailers. The result has been sharp declines in mailers’ customer files. “It’s no surprise that the most frequent question I encounter from clients is, ‘How can I continue to grow my business in the face of these challenges?’” says Steve Tamke, senior vice president of Hackensack, NJ-based list services firm MokrynskiDirect.

According to Tamke, one way to find more mailable names is by modifying your merge/purge strategy. “If we could increase net merge output by just 5%,” he says, “we would increase net mailable names, decrease cost per name mailed, and improve profitability.”

Say you currently conduct a monthly merge/purge. To garner more net names, you could start by spacing out usage of your co-op database names among mailings–use Prefer and NextAction names in drop 1, for instance, Abacus balance model names in your second drop, and I-Behavior and Z-24 names in drop 3. You could also use new outside lists only for drops 1 and 3, and using the second drop for remails of multibuyers.

This strategy, says Tamke, would increasing the net names in the first and third drops. This would also provide a better opportunity to remail multibuyers, instead of rolling them into the next merge and seeing them “dupe down” by up to 90%. This additional mailing of multibuyers would also improve your overall sales performance. And by omitting rented names from the second drop, you could save the cost of a merge/purge for that mailing.

Each mailer’s situation is different, Tamke hastens to add, and the exact plan will depend on the basic strategy currently being followed, among other variables.

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