DM News Essential Guide to Lists and Databases: Keep a Fresh Perspective To Expand a List's Horizons

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List management requires a list company to have not only quality staff and a solid plan, but also the ability to look at its list properties from various perspectives.

In 1960, Earl Nightingale and Lloyd Conant started Nightingale-Conant Corp. They shared a mission: to help people become the best they can be. They provided self-help programs such as "Lead the Field" and "The Strangest Secret," which were filled with timeless methods of how to succeed.

In the 1970s, Nightingale-Conant joined Rubin Response to put its customer list on the rental market. Our first step, as with all our clients, was to review its products and gain a thorough understanding of the Nightingale programs and to pinpoint its ideal audience. The self-improvement market was the obvious area to focus our efforts and build list use. As Nightingale expanded its catalog to offer a wider range of titles and subjects, it was clear that we could expand its list usage.

Working with the client, we reassessed the list rental file and found new selections that we could bring to market: home address versus business address, financial/wealth buyers, sales product buyers, etc. With each new select, we built a broader client base for Nightingale's list rentals.

In addition, the reassessment of the file revealed a way to break the mailing list out of the self-improvement market. The new selections, combined with the rapidly growing universe of buyers of the booming "mind, body, health" titles, made the Nightingale-Conant file viable for a wider range of offers.

Today, while self-improvement mailers still regard this list as an irreplaceable resource for direct mail names, Nightingale-Conant also sees successful use by business and consumer offers including health and fitness, fundraising, books and magazines, education and seminars, business and finance and food and cooking.

As we said, list management success depends upon the ability to look at a list from new perspectives. We continue to evaluate Nightingale-Conant for further rental opportunities. Recently, we enhanced the file with demographic and psychographic information.

After more than 25 years of management, this diverse group of buyers continues to appeal to new mailers. This success is a testament to our belief that keeping a fresh perspective on your list rental properties is the only way to keep a list thriving year after year.

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