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ListLaunch Service Seeks to Speed Up New List Marketing

A new service from WorldWide List Search aims to alert list users about new lists on the market within hours of availability through e-mail and display the data cards as Web pages.

ListLaunch was started by Rick Walker of list firm WorldWide, Norfolk, VA, as a way for list managers to quickly inform brokers and other list buyers about new lists. Members will receive e-mail notification as soon as a list becomes available. The e-mail will contain a link to the Web page that displays the data card.

“As a list broker, it's real hard to find a certain list,'' Walker said. “ListLaunch is a nice, easy way to get information to list brokers.''

List managers will be charged a yet-to-be determined fee — Walker estimates $75 to $100 per list — for each launch. In return, ListLaunch will e-mail the membership and convert the new data card onto a Web page that is maintained for one year. Managers will receive one free update a year. The notification service will be free to members. Specific fees and offerings will be determined through consultation with ListLaunch's initial membership.

WorldWide introduced ListLaunch with a bulk e-mail to 640 list industry professionals last month. It signed up more than 50 members within 24 hours and is seeking to build a membership of 500 list buyers by the end of the month to participate in testing and initial rollout. A telemarketing campaign began in late July, and a direct mail drop to around 1,000 list professionals is planned for this month. Membership registration is available online at www.listlaunch.com.

Robert Loucks, an account executive at Bernice Bush Co., Irvine, CA, said an automated system of new list announcements is preferable to the current practice of faxing information to the press.

“A lot of the industry is headed in the direction of e-mail and electronic media,'' Loucks said. “I put together press releases and try to maintain contacts with trade publications, but there is a lot of turnover and maintenance keeping up with that list. With a lot of other magazines it's a black hole. You fire off a data card and don't hear anything back.''

Leland Kroll, president of Kroll Direct Marketing, Plainsboro, NJ, said he would welcome a new delivery system but foresees a few stumbling blocks.

“Unless you get the full support of the list management and compilation community, so what,'' Kroll said. “To have managers pay $100 is a hefty fee, and what does it allow me to do? I would like to see a list of ground rules.''

Kroll also would like to see a payment plan similar to the one used by Marketing Information Network (mIn), Oklahoma City, OK, which charges fees to subscribing companies, not list managers, to view data cards online. Fees are charged at a flat rate or by usage.

Walker said the aim of ListLaunch differs from other online data card providers.

“SRDS and mIn are certain things you have to have,'' he said. “This is a jump-start to get the news out and would be geared toward getting something faster than anybody else can get it. We are thinking of turnaround in hours instead of days.''

Scott Chilcutt, president of mIn, said putting new data cards online as soon as possible is his company's top priority and the process usually happens the same day. Direct Net, the online data card service from SRDS, Des Plaines, IL, can post data cards the next day. While it does not provide notification of new lists to members, Direct Net's date search and update features return the latest lists to the market.

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