Holy Roll Call: Bernice Bush Markets List of 'Bible' Buyers

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GT Direct, the DRTV marketing division of Good Times Entertainment Inc., New York, this month began marketing its list of buyers of the video and audio cassette collection, "Charlton Heston Presents The Bible."

The company, which sold 100,000 units of the collection through an infomercial campaign that launched in September and aired heavily before Christmas, hired broker Bernice Bush Co. Inc., Irvine, CA, to market its list of Christian buyers.

"The list is unique for us in that it's television-generated," said Barbara Spaulding, president and CEO of Bernice Bush. "The names are the freshest of the fresh. In four months, they've generated almost 100,000 paid buyers." Bernice Bush also brokers Christian lists for Columbia House, BMG Music and Time-Life.

GT Direct considered its infomercial campaign for the Charlton Heston collection, in which the actor recites stories from the Old and New Testaments, to be an unexpected hit. Its infomercial offered four videos, three audiocassettes and a companion guide to the series for two payments of $29.95.

The buyer list consists of 94,300 active buyers who purchased the collection within the last four months. About 70,000 of those names include phone numbers for outbound telemarketing campaigns. Bernice Bush is offering the mailing list at $90 a thousand names and the phone list at $150 a thousand. The company manages 85 Christian lists, but few of those are generated through television offers. Ninety percent of the names were generated from television, while the remaining 10 percent came from direct mail.

"There are some Christian telemarketers that will want to use this list," Spaulding said. "The percentage of names is phone numbers is s much higher than any telemarketing list than I've ever seen in the Christian market."

The list is growing by about 15,000 names a month, she said, a number which may accelerate when Good Times boosts its media spending for the Easter holiday season. About 95 percent of the buyers purchased the collection with a credit card, according to Bernice Bush. Seventy percent of the buyers are women between 45 and 55 years old, and the average unit of sale is $85.

The list manager is recommending the names for general merchandise offers, books and book clubs, music and tapes, videos, subscriptions, gift catalogs and fundraising appeals.

"A lot of people who are trying to reach the Christian market will be looking for fresh new files to target that market," Spaulding said. "This is a perfect example. It's also a perfect example of marketing to the general market."

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