RMI Takes Over Easter Seals

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RMI Direct Marketing, Danbury, CT, will augment its nonprofit list management practice with the acquisition of the 1.54 million-name Easter Seals direct mail donor masterfile April 1.

RMI takes over the file -- which includes 2.5 million last-24-month donors, 3.3 million last-36-month donors and a 255,000-name monthly hotline -- from Walter Karl, Greenwich, CT. Walter Karl had managed Easter Seals since it came on the market in the late 1980s.

"With a file size as large as ours, with 2 million donors a year, we think there are a number of segments that can be identified for commercial users, publications and merchandise marketers," said Chris Cleghorn, senior vice president of direct marketing for Easter Seals, Chicago. "It was time to make a change."

In addition to expanding use in the commercial marketplace, Cleghorn hopes to increase list rental and name-exchange agreements in the nonprofit sector.

Easter Seals donors are 100 percent direct mail generated. The organization, which offers programs and counseling for disabled children and adults, has seen volume and acquisition jump 15 percent to 20 percent over the last few years, Cleghorn said.

Nonprofits represent 25 percent to 30 percent of the firm's client base, according to RMI's Laura Smith. Other clients include the American Institute for Cancer Research and Guidepost Ministries.

RMI will perform demographic and psychographic overlays and enhancements on the Easter Seals master file to break out market sectors and find a portion of the file that almost every mailer can use. Seniors, families with children and hobbies sectors are planned, but a total number has not been determined.

"Identifying segments to make the list very user friendly is the way the industry is moving," Smith said. "Better segmenting is something that mailers are focusing on ... that includes regression and modeling techniques."

RMI is conducting a bidding process to determine the service bureau that will provide data enhancement and expects to name a supplier sometime this month.

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