Two list firms are the latest converts to exploit the World Wide Web as a lead generator in an ongoing quest to find new sources of names.
Technology list compiler NuOS Corp., Tampa, FL, is building a new data source by surveying visitors to its Tech Magazines Web site (www.techmags.com), while alternative media specialist Leon Henry, Scarsdale, NY, has formed a marketing alliance with the operator of three sites to generate names for catalogers.
Acxiom/Direct Media, Greenwich, CT, was the first list firm to tap into online prospecting with CatalogLink in 1995 and now hosts about 180 titles on its site. American List Counsel, Princeton, NJ, also maintains an online service called the Catalog Request Center. Regina Brady, head of interactive services at Direct Media, said a choice of hosting sites can help catalogers.
“You can reach a point of diminishing returns,'' she said, “but it's good to have three to five robust competitors. We all use a slightly different traffic-driving strategy and reach different people.”
The TechMags site offers promotional trial subscriptions to paid circulation technology magazines and free subscriptions to qualifying controlled circulation titles. The site, which debuted Sept. 1, already has attracted 32 titles from publishers such as Ziff-Davis and Miller Freeman.
Site visitors are asked for contact information, including e-mail address, and are required to fill out a qualification survey for each publication they wish to receive. Applications are forwarded to publishers for processing, and NuOS receives no compensation for recruiting subscribers.
“Our motivation is as a list compiler, period,” said operations manager Byron Crowell.
Contact and survey information is collected in a database to give NuOS clients focused selects and targeted data on technology professionals for marketing purposes. Registrants are given the opportunity to opt-out of receiving solicitations at the time of registration and any time thereafter. Crowell expects the database will grow enough to be offered for list rental by November through Worldata, Boca Raton, FL. Crowell said the first rental property will probably be an e-mail list with a regular mailing list to follow.
Rather than build its own prospecting and e-commerce site, Leon Henry is marketing the Contemporary Response Media sites of www.MagazineShop.com, www.PublishersCentral.com and www.MusicCybershop.com to its existing catalog clients and any interested catalogers as another alternative media source.
“With postal rates going up and catalogers needing new names and new ways of obtaining names, this is an opportunity to accomplish all those objectives,” said chairman/CEO Leon Henry. “We will treat CRM as another insert program except that they are on the Web.”
MagazineShop has been accepting magazine orders online for nine months while the other two sites have just been launched. CRM, Merrick, NY, plans to have catalogs on all three sites this month, and CEO Myron Gould projects several hundred participants by the first quarter of 1999.
CRM will handle the processing of inquiries and orders for a limited number of products posted by each catalog and forward the information to the cataloger. A fee structure — which Gould and Leon Henry project coordinator Keith Camoosa called “very flexible” — calls for catalogers to be charged $1 per request, $1.50 per processed order and $3.50 per product certificate issued in addition to a monthly site charge.
“[Catalogers] are all interested in developing new markets and new names, but many people are concerned about the quality of what they are getting for their money,” Gould said. “Some catalogers will charge to receive catalogs. That is a much more valuable name than someone who just expresses an interest in catalogs, and we think that will overcome the caution that catalogers may have.”