Success Checks

Integrity of Our Mailing List Survey




This questionnaire from TEC member David O. Schwartz will be used to determine
whether our mailing list is as up to date and functional as it should be. Please have this

completed by ~,.._


Is maintaining your mailing list a responsibility assigned to a manager or
executive in your company?


Have you assigned the task of updating the mailing list to a manageable number
of in-house employees (that is, one or two people,) or to an outside firm?


3. Is the list updated at least once a month, if not more often?


Is your “source codesystem working to its fullest potential? (A source codeis
used to tra~k how a customer became aware of your products/services: e.g.,
through pnnt ads, TV or radio commercials, industry publications, articles, online
advertising, sales leads, etc. This information is tracked in the source field of YOur


Copyright 2004: ~avid O. Schwartz, 21st Century Marketing. (631) 293-8550.

Used by PemnSSlOn for MyTEC ( All rights reserved.

Do you track dates of every interaction with customers/prospects, so that you can
sort your database by date of contact? (For instance, allows you to send a targeted
mailing to people who have been out of contact for six months or one year.)


Do you keep track of customerse-mail addresses, if they choose to give them to


When you receive returned mail, do you have a process in place to update your
database in a timely fashion, before another mailing goes out?


When you add names to your database, do you cross-check it first to ensure that
they arent already there? (Receiving duplicate mail to the same address can be


Do you use your database to track responses to various marketing efforts or
advertising campaigns you undertake? (Your database should have a new field
every time you launch a new initiative, so you can use it later to check your


When customers ask to be removed from your mailing list, do you retain their
records in an accessible area so they can be reactivated without being treated as
brand new customers?


Copyright 2004, David O. Schwartz, 21st Century Marketing. (631) 293-8550.

Used by Permission for MyTEC ( All rights reserved.


Give yourself one point for every Yesanswer and zero points for every No.” Add the
numbers for your total score, and check the scale below.

If you scored:

9-10 Congratulations! You are using your mailing list quite well. To improve upon
your success, you would need to retain an outside firm to fine-tune it.

7-8 You have laid a strong foundation with your mailing list, but there are some
opportunities to get more mileage from it. Review the questions where you had No
responses, and make adjustments accordingly.

5-6 The good news is that you have a lot of room to increase the impact of your mailing
list. Check out the questions that you answered with a Noto see what needs to be done,
and prioritize implementation of improvements.

4 or below You have quite a bit of work to do on your mailing list, which means you
have a tremendous opportunity to reap big rewards by investing in those improvements.
You can certainly begin making changes yourself, or seek an experienced firm to help
you upgrade your database.

Copyright 2004, David O. Schwartz, 21st Century Marketing. (631) 2938550.

Used by Permission for MyTEC ( All rights reserved.

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TEC Home> TEC Library> Expert Series> Success Checks> View Article

Success Checks

Hi Reader Rating

Success Checks

Integrity of Your Mailing List
By TEC member David O. Schwartz

Average Reader Rating:
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Success Checks are intended to help you andNNNN •••

your management team assess key areas of your

~rganization. ~hey are designed as a “To DO”ttJ Format This

To Delegate, depending upon the . Page for Printing.

organizational structure of your company. To

ensure your company’s success, we recommend
that you give yourself
or the key exec who
handles this
a deadline for checking out and
rting on these issues.

Your mailing list is a treasure chest of “VIPs(very important prospects) and high
LTV (life-time value) customers. Yet, if your company is like most, your database
treasure is buried or being squandered by failure to manage it properly.

Take the case of a stamp collector who advertised internationally in philatelic
magazines. We asked how these ads had fared, and he took us to a closet
containing 80 shoeboxes with customer information for more than 2,500
individuals. When we organized these names into a database and did an initial
follow-up mailing, he got a 15 percent response, averaging approximately $350
per sale. That’s a $130,000+ return for a minor investment .

While it’s unlikely any TEC member company is keeping its customer information
in shoeboxes, it is likely that many are doing so figuratively. Are you regularly
updating lists? Are you properly managing them?

Why is this important to your company?

By properly using a database, you can keep track of three marketing essentials for
existing customers:

Recency (how recently a customer has purchased from you)

Frequency (how often a customer purchases from you)

Monetary value (total value of that customers purchases)

In addition, you can use it to:

Reactivate former customers

Track the origination point of prospective customers (e.g., referral, ad
campaign, etc.)


TEe – My Library

Page 2 of 4

Develop cross-selling opportunities

Research preferences and potential new markets

Understand customer preferences about how to communicate with you

Track significant events for customers

The mailing list is an asset. Itis one of the most powerful tools a company has
and one of the most abused. We find that many companies’ mailing lists are in
poor shape, which can result in errors that upset customers and prospects.

What is the CEO’s role in this process?

Completing this Success Check is an opportunity for CEOs to take control of, and
leverage, their mailing list asset without spending a lot of money. The CEO should
read over the attached checklist and select a project leader. Once the review is
finalized, the CEO should meet with the project leader and management/executive
team to discuss any organizational changes that need to be made.

Who should be the project leader and what is their role?

Your marketing or sales manager is the best candidate to get the answers for you.

What steps are involved in conducting this checklist?

1. Print out the checklist and review it.

Discuss this process with the project leader, explaining why it is important.

Discuss all the places in your company where customer information is kept,
to be sure this inquiry covers both prospective and existing customer data.

3. Give the project leader a deadline for completion of the checklist.

Hold a meeting with your project team after the checklist is finished to see
where your organization needs to make adjustments to improve its mailing

5. Make a plan for implementing the changes that will need to be made.

Schedule two to three follow-up meetings to ensure that implementation is
proceeding as expected, and to measure results.

Whatever you do, build a clean, simple database. Go out and reach your
customers. Communicate. Ask them about their interests, and what’s going on in
their businesses and lives. Share your ideas on industry-related events. Ask how
you may better serve them. Use your database to create a dialogue. It leads to
better business and more of it.

Print this worksheet (in Adobe pdf format or Microsoft Word format) to
to determine w
hether your mailing list is as uptodate and functional as
it should be.
(To view and print our worksheets, your computer must be
with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. If you do not
have Acrobat Reader
, you may download itfor free.)

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Success Checks – Integrity of Our Mailing List Survey