Letter: Private Databases Thrive in Recession

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The contention that private list databases flop in this recession made by Roy Schwedelson, CEO of Worldata, is not supported by evidence from our database mailers ("Private Databases Flop in This Recession," Feb. 25). Direct Media actually is witnessing an increased reliance of mailers on prospecting databases.

And that makes a lot of sense. Inherent in prospecting databases is the ability to track, analyze and mail smart. Coupled with mailing history, overlay information, modeling capabilities, waived minimums and net usage billing, this creates not only a powerful direct marketing tool, but it saves very significant amounts of money. That is what mailers in a recession need to succeed.

The argument that databases produce a time lag when it comes to recency is not valid anymore. The most successful Direct Media databases are built monthly, adding the most recent names.

Schwedelson describes his view as revisionist. More properly it should be called outdated because his arguments are based on premises that may have been true 10 years ago. But the technology as well as the marketing intelligence have improved and now provide the perfect environment to prosper from prospecting databases, in good times and in bad times. These days, anything is possible. Understanding each mailer's specific needs is what is important.

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