Getting the most out of merge/purge

What are some secrets to getting the most out of merge/purge?

Okay, so you’ve finally created a super direct mail package and have worked with your list broker to cherry pick the most responsive names available.

You’re not finished yet. There’s still a golden opportunity to improve the results of your promotion – even before you drop in the mail! You should work closely with your data processing bureau to guarantee that names on your prospect list are unduplicated and targeted to your best prospects. It may not be glamorous, but it can deliver blockbuster results!

Here are a few techniques that can yield big dividends:

  1. When more names come through the merge/purge process than hoped for, delete ALL single buyers (those names that appeared on only one list) before getting rid of ANY of your multi-buyers (names appearing on more than one list). Multi-buyers are almost guaranteed to respond at a higher rate than single buyers.

  2. Make a summary of those lists with the highest multi-buyer percentage…they’ll be your best performers! Then get on the phone to those list brokers and owners and inquire about additional list selections and other related lists that may be available. It pays to be a snoop when searching for profitable new lists.

  3. Negotiate a net-name arrangement with your computer house. Doing so will allow you to put in as many names as you want (outside names, house names, old mail files, flag files, etc.) without being penalized for high-gross input quantities. After all, you shouldn’t pay extra for doing your job well.

  4. Keep an eye on internal or intra-dupes. This measure shows the amount of duplication within any given list, and you should not have to pay for those worthless names. Believe it or not, some especially “dirty” lists have an internal dupe rate of 10% or more.

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