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  • Simon Remington

5 common list mistakes


You would think renting a list is a straight forward exercise. Find a reputable provider, compare totals, compare prices, see some samples and make a decision.

The smallest of details can however trip you up so this month we take a look at some of the most common mistakes.

By far the number one mistake made is buying the cheapest possible list. First time users of lists are drawn to the cheapest quote without realising the vast gap between the best and worst lists on the market. A great list will see around 2% returned mail while 50%+ returned mail is not unheard of with some of the cheaper options out there.

Keeping a large list up to date is a very expensive task. If the price is too good to be true, it is generally telling you something about that provider's updating procedures. School lists would be one exception due to the minimal amount of change from year to year.

Another regular mistake we see is failing to include an opt-out sentence and notification statement on the mail piece. Not only is this required by law, it demonstrates your organisation's commitment to taking the privacy of your recipient seriously.

Forgetting to exclude your current customers and competitors is another mistake which is easily avoided. This can generally be done at the count stage before making a final decision on whether to place your order.

Failing to include an offer is another common and crippling mistake. Chances are your recipient will have received other offers in recent weeks (possibly from your competitors) so are unlikely to respond to a vague mail piece telling them how wonderful your product or service is but missing a call to action.

Where more than one list is being mailed, failure to code each list separately is a big no no. This can be done easily by printing an id code on the envelope to make processing returned mail, opt-outs and measuring response rates a lot easier.


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