Let’s face it, building a centralized database is expensive. Maintaining it is expensive. So, as you begin to explore your options, keep these opportunities—courtesy of Pegg Nadler, principal of database consulting firm Pegg Nadler Associates, and former vice president of database marketing at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.—in mind for some quick paths to new or enhanced revenue streams that will recoup costs and bolster the top line.

1. List Rental Revenue

“You can significantly impact the amount of revenue that can be made in the list rental generation of names. By finally collecting all these names together, you pair this with the ability to model to maximize the successful use of those names. Depending on the publishing environment, I also recommend putting e-mail names out to market. If you want the quick hit of putting them on the market, you’ll see a boost in list rental dollars, and list rental revenue has been shrinking across the board.”

2. E-mail Collection

“Collect e-mails wherever they may be residing across the company. This is one of the newest aspects of database collection. They will be in all divisions, and invariably they won’t want to share. They’ll be dirty and out of date, but it’s the best way to start. It means pulling them from the fulfillment house, sweepstakes promos, research activity, online activity and queries, letters to the editor, advertising promotions—everything. And then follow with aggressive e-mail appends on your actives and expires. Continue to do so on a regular basis. The only way this will build significantly is going to be through appends. Many publishers feel they need to wait until they get them direct from the customer. That’s a slow way to growth.”

3. Collect All Your Expires

“Go back as far as possible to integrate expire names. In a centralized database it’s critical that the publisher pull in all of the expires that exist—at the fulfillment house, at the merge-purge house, sitting on computer files internally. We can go back even 10 years to effectively market a former subscriber. Obviously, you’ll have to go through the NCOA, but you own the name and it’s money in the bank.”

4. Transactional Data

“A key low-hanging fruit is capturing transactional data so that you can move into modelling. The ability to see how your customer activity is changing over time is going to give you a much more realistic understanding of your customers. You want to be able to understand the circumstances around each time you make an offer and whether or not that person responds.”

5. Compare Marketing Costs

“Take a look at what your company is spending today on marketing. What does it cost to make use of fulfillment, merge-purge, disparate databases? I have not been in a situation yet where the company is spending less in a non-integrated environment than they would with an integrated strategy.”

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