The story about college students who were assigned a project to decoy lists and then report the results says more about college students than hotlines (“Just How Hot Are Those Hotlines?” May 4). “This is all somewhat surprising” is an understatement — I would say, “No way.”
I submit the following reasons for a virtual lack of list-rental activity during the school term:
* The students forgot the decoy name variation or didn't associate it with mail they probably trashed.
* Students make fun of “snail mail” and don't pay attention to it.
* The students ordered weird items from post office boxes that change weekly.
* Campus addresses, like prisons, are being suppressed during merge/purge output.
We all know how important list-rental income is to most direct marketing companies. Even speculation that there are some that do not get around to putting up hotline names for six months or so strikes me as somewhat surprising.
Jack F. Barton
Forbes Direct Response