A question that arises when you’re testing different acquisition lists is how to choose which record to keep when a potential donor’s name appears on two different lists.  Like many other issues related to list management, this type of decision can be surprisingly complicated!

Of course, if one of the records is on your house list, it’s rare that you wouldn’t keep the house record.  Why pay to acquire a name that you already own and have a history with?

However, if the same name appears on two different acquisition lists, you and your List Broker have several options for setting ranking priorities:merge purge

  • Rank Lists By Order of Cost: If names on one list cost $40/thousand and the other list costs $100/thousand, it makes sense to choose the name on the less expensive list as long as your list agreements don’t prohibit this type of ranking priority.
  • Rank Test Lists Higher: If this is the first time you are using a particular list, you might want to give names on it a higher priority than your continuation list in order to give the new list the best chance of proving its worth.
  • Rank Test Lists Lower: Alternatively, if you’re primarily interested in tapping into a new universe of names (and assuming your list rental agreements don’t prohibit this), you might rank a new list lower than your continuation list in order to determine whether mailing to its incremental, unique new names is worthwhile.
  • Random Selection: Finally, if you want a clean read on the responsiveness of the names on different lists, you can randomly decide which names to keep.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, we’d love to help.  Our team of experts has been eating, breathing & dreaming about list optimization for decades!    Please call John Bell at (310) 372-9010 or tell us when you’d like us to contact you.

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