When mailing internationally, there are several list-specific differences to bear in mind. Mark Bridges, vice president of the international division of Hackensack, NJ-based list services firm Mokrynskidirect, and Douglas Sacks, senior vice president of Wethersfield, CT-based list services firm Infocore, discussed a number of them during a List Vision roundtable.
For starters, there’s a difference between local lists and multinational lists. Local lists are those within a given country that have data generated within that country. Multinational lists are made up of individuals or companies in multiple countries who have responded to an offer sent from offshore. If the offer is not localized-if you aren’t planning to translate it into the local language, for instance–don’t use a local list. But because local lists outnumber multinational lists, Bridges said, the more you localize your offer the larger your viable list universe will be. (For more on local vs. multinational lists, see “Seeking overseas lists” in the June 2005 issue; http://multichannelmerchant.com/mag/seeking_overseas_lists/index.html
While you’re at it, allow for longer lead times-three times your average domestic lead times. This is especially important if you’re dealing with the supplier for the first time.
Spell out any industry terms or jargon. Terms and abbreviations that are standard in the U.S., such as “nixie” or “DMA PREF,” may not be understood by overseas providers.
With respect to usage, request but don’t expect to receive specifics, Bridges said. Realistically, you are trying to ascertain that there is recent and ongoing usage. Often, companies using the list will not be given.