The ever-popular DMAW List Bazaar returned as a standalone event on May 11th in Washington, DC. MMI Direct’s Charlie Rice along with Polly Papsadore and Jaime Grams from PMG were on hand to spend the day engaging with nearly 100 fellow industry leaders and acquisition list professionals, including list managers, brokers, agency strategists, co-operative database representatives and data scientists.

Here are some highlights from the program’s many informative sessions:

  • An emphasis on lifetime value vs. short-term results. Dan Sonners (Conrad Direct) shared fascinating campaign results data from an advocacy client showing response rate, average gift and 12-month subsequent revenue per donor. A multi-issue survey had a lower response rate and average gift, but had the highest 12-month subsequent revenue per donor compared to a single-issue survey package and a membership appeal.
  • Multichannel campaigns that build around direct mail are most effective. Per Dave Lewis (Snailworks), “At the heart of a direct marketing campaign, direct mail remains the essential channel. Coordinating it with other channels, measuring and refining the campaign are keys to its success.”
  • Britt Vatne (Adstra) and Kelly Leach (CELCO) advised looking closely at suppression strategy and files. Untapped opportunities lie within.
  • Margaret Romig and Melissa Lancaster (Lautman, Maska, Neil and Company) offered testing advice for market expansion: test new markets, test lists and test creative, and provided great perspective on the testing process: “Fail fast … learn fast!”
  • A top-notch panel of data scientists recommended:
    • The donor pool is not shrinking. Consumer behavior is changing and donor prospects can now be found in multiple channels. But focus on affinity to the cause first, not channel first.
    • Modelers should get into the head of the consumer (donor): immerse yourself in the client’s product, mission, fundraising materials … not just the data.
    • Brainstorming on completely new audiences when planning program or campaign strategies.
    • Understanding merge instructions as they can dramatically impact results.
    • Tailoring messaging, not just modeling to succeed with younger demographics (it’s the creative experience).

The program concluded with a lively town hall focused on evaluating and modernizing current industry-accepted list standards with respect to co-targeting, use of post-merge data and transparency among stakeholders. MMI Direct’s recently promoted Senior Team Leader, Ross Fate will be joining the volunteer panel of industry experts undertaking this critically important initiative. Stay tuned for future updates from MMI Direct and the PMG family!