The Trouble With List Firms…

Posted on by Tim Parry

List firms are singing the blues, and that’s quite understandable with merchants and non profits cutting back on prospecting.

But I just checked out the Multichannel Merchant mail bin and saw where at least two list firms can save some money… by not mailing us press releases. And one brokerage it appears may be throwing money down the drain.

Firm A sends us one press release a month, maybe a little more frequent than that, at $1 a mailing. It includes a cover letter, the release, and the data card. It is addressed to me, and my name is spelled incorrectly.

Firm B sends three of the same releases to us in 9X12 envelopes. One is addressed to Editorial Dept., Catalog Age/Primedia, and our PO Box; one to Editorial Dept., Catalog Age, and our street address; the third goes to Melissa Dowling at Multichannel Merchant. These cost 84-cents each to mail, and are just two pages.

Think about how much per year is being sent by these list firms mailing something that, quite frankly, isn’t earth-shattering news. The firms could save themselves a lot of coin by sending them as an e-mail (and track whether or not they are opened).

Now I’ll forgive Firm A. If I had $1 for every time my name was spelled “Perry” I’d be bailing out Wall St. But Firm B is a different story. If it isn’t cleaning its own lists to remove references to Catalog Age, then how clean is its customer’s data?

Excuse me while I drop Firm A’s and Firm B’s mail in the recycling bin.

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