Every time I get a wacky, mis-targeted email, in-stream ad, or direct mail, one thought goes through my mind.
Who pulled the names?
As an old-school (read that as “properly trained”) direct response marketer, that was one of the first questions we asked when we saw odd performance. That question is just professional shorthand for:
- Where was the source of the prospect list?
- Who vetted that the names are what the source held them out to be?
- Who looked at a sample of the records?
- Were the names compared to our customer, former, prospect, and INB files?
- Was step #4 done in the form of proper merge/purge?
- Who wrote the merge/purge logic?
- What was the select/suppress hierarchy?
- Who ran the merge/purge?
- Who reviewed the results of the merge/purge?
- Who eyeballed sample records from the merge/purge?
- Who did the names go to for preparation (splits, keys, sortation, etc.) for delivery?
- What procedures (select or suppress) were done on the names during the preparation?
- Who checked the output before the names went out the door?
- Who checked the seeds as the campaign was deployed?
There’s probably a few others. Nowadays some fancy algorithm lets you select and blast with one click.
And you get wackily-targeted advertising. And you wonder why it doesn’t work.
Takeaway: Always ask: “Who pulled the names?” And win.