David Avrick’s 12 Cautionary Notes on List Selection

  • Is the list owner himself renting the names on the list?

    If so, Avrick says, odds are that the list will work for you.

  • Are the prospects truly in your market?

    A city dweller or a Los Angeleno—even one who recently shelled out $500 for a mail-order product—is unlikely to buy a snow blower.

  • If you are selling a men’s product and using a list that is 50% female—even if you select only male names from it— your results are likely to disappoint you.

  • How did the list’s individuals pay for their orders?

    If you are asking for payment by check, renting names of persons who paid by credit card will depress response.

  • Respect the calendar.

    If you are making a Christmas offer, persons who responded to a Christmas mailing— even a year ago—will do better for you than individuals on a 30-day hotline.

  • Is the list composed of people who reacted to sweepstakes or free-gift offers?

    Then a non-sweepstakes, no-gift offer is unlikely to work.

  • Check the dollar value of the buyers on the list.

    It’s unlikely that a $2 buyer will take you up on a $200 offer.

  • Consider the payment method.

  • The list individuals may have placed $50 orders. But if they paid in four installments, they probably will not accept a $49.95 payment-with-order offer.

  • Income matters.

    A $50 purchase by itself is not as important as whether it was for a necessity or a luxury or other discretionary buy.

  • How long have the list persons lived at the same address?

    Recent movers generally buy more eagerly than long-established residents.

  • How active is your list?

    The more often the list rents, the likelier it is to produce profitable sales. Yet list fatigue from overuse can defuse response.

  • How recent were the purchases by list names?

    “The importance of recency cannot be stressed enough,” Avrick advises.

See also:

Mailing List Home Page

Direct Mail Home Page

Marketing Home Page

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