Updates Make DirectNet Timely Supplement to List Source

SRDS has been compiling data on lists for more than 80 years, building its Direct Marketing List Source into list broker’s bible. For online users, its new complement offers updated information and search functions.

DirectNet, an online datacard system, is sold in conjunction with the List Source. SRDS, Des Plaines, IL, has more than 75 testers and subscribers to the 8-month-old product, which is available only to recognized brokers. DirectNet is the platform for SRDS to deliver more timely and personal information to users on a more timely basis than was previously possible.

Unlike a standard data card that contains basic information on a list, a DirectNet digital data card can be appended with such features as broker recommendations, sample mail pieces and manager provided list usage. Prior usage is a standard of all recommendations. These digital datacards can be shared among brokers within the same company and sent by e-mail or computer fax directly to the client.

While the List Source is published six times per year with a supplement in off months, list data on DirectNet is updated daily and can include release notes that inform users of new features. Its search functions make DirectNet an online research library that can instantly retrieve specific information from a database of more than 20,000 lists. Searches can be made by SRDS classification, date, keyword and a number of other parameters.

“We are committed to the most robust, user-friendly database of content in the business,” said Nicholas Mondello, director of marketing for the SRDS Direct Marketing Group. “Direct Net drives what a broker does on a daily basis.”

The Marketing Information Network (mIn), Oklahoma City, has offered a similar product it calls the Data Card System since 1990. mIn maintains a database of 26,000 mailing lists and 24,800 data cards and serves more than 240 list clients. Scott Chilcutt, president of mIn, said an entry from SRDS can only help brokers.

“Each and every company/customer that has to do any maintenance on a data card is competition,” Chilcutt said. “But that’s good, it keeps our group moving and growing and because it can put the brokers — our customers — in a position of doing the best job for their customers. It just makes us work harder.”

Peter Candito has used both products in his work as president of Database Marketing Concepts, Bohemia, NY. He said online datacard systems, both proprietary in-house systems and commercial products like DirectNet, are a standard among brokers for their flexibility and added features.

“It allows the broker to provide more information than what is just on the datacard,” Candito said of DirectNet. “You can post recommendation notes as an individual or group user, and that adds value to the recommendation.”

An online system also allows users to download the datacard information into a graphics software environment and output better looking datacards. Candito expects the efficiency and capability of these systems will continue to improve with better technology.

Although he said the two products were compatible, Candito chose DirectNet for its correlation to the SRDS List Source. He stressed that an online datacard system will never replace the List Source but is useful as an affordable supplement and aid.

“For all I know, in two years, there will be people with two datacard systems. It’s not such a costly item that you can’t afford both,” Candito said.

An annual subscription to DirectNet is $1,500 for three logins and includes a subscription to the List Source. Costs for mIn range from $0 monthly minimums with hourly access rates to $1,100-plus for unlimited access.

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