Friday, April 27, 2007

Getting the right list

When I ran the bookshop, one of our biggest difficulties was building up the email newsletter list to a reasonable level, and maintaining it. People were always dropping in, shopping for a while, then getting bored with us and dropping out. Well, at least that’s what you had to assume, as some just stopped responding and vanished. On the other hand we made some good friends amongst these customers, even though we never met most of them.
Because we were a niche market, there was little point in buying a ready-made list of email customers, and in a way, chasing new customers had something of the hunt about it. However, businesses with different markets would no doubt benefit from buying or renting a list, and there are some phenomenally wide-ranging lists around. Martin Worldwide, for instance, possesses a database of over 290 million consumers and 14 million U.S. businesses. That makes our little list at the shop look rather paltry. Still, we made sales through it, and that was the aim!
Martin Worldwide act as a telemarketing lists broker, amongst other things, and offer turnkey marketing solutions. Okay, turnkey marketing isn’t a phrase I’m particularly familiar with, and I had to do a bit of hunting around to find out that it means – I think! – marketing that’s up and running and ready to go for the person wanting the job done. I guess it comes from the idea that you turn the key in your (new) home and voila! everything is ready waiting for you.
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