How Do You Define 'List Plan'?

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I read Jay Schwedelson's comments ("Haste Wastes Value of List Professional," June 5) in DM News, and I would like to correct the perception that is being conveyed. Yes, we have all benefited from being able to ship names quickly via e-mail and FTP. Any way to improve the production process helps everyone. What could take 10 days to get names delivered once approved now can take minutes or just a few days. I don't understand the comment, "Brokers now tend to recommend files managed by those firms that they know will respond the fastest." This is just not true.

Regarding another comment from Jay: "Even this process is beginning to be replaced by the instant list plan, where brokers access Web tools that allow for criteria to be entered upon which a finished list plan is created with the top-tier list based solely on the elements selected."

I'm not sure what definition of a list plan is being used, but when we are responsible for turning over a "list plan" to a client, like many other brokers, the plan generally has financial implications. There are projections about response and some kind of profitability ranking. I don't know of any instant list manager's Web site that provides this instant list plan. I believe there are several compiled list Web sites that allow you to enter certain criteria and counts are generated. But this is far from a list plan.

The other comment made is that, "E-mail unfortunately has replaced the telephone as the main tool used to build the list plan." Again, I'm not sure what Jay is referring to when he says list plan. But I think most brokers would agree that client recommendations today can be complex with a lot of information requested from the list managers and that e-mail allows the broker to present these requests, often with supporting documentation.

Jeff Kobil, LDSGroup Inc.

New York

jkobil@ldsgroupinc.com

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