For the past couple of weeks it’s been all about the lists. List management is ultimately the blood supply of all your marketing efforts. Anyone doing direct marketing knows that the company usually kneels to the ultimate power of “the house list”. The best part of an organization that grows quickly is being able to farm the list management out to a database specialist. I don’t know too many people that get all juiced up on dumping spreadsheets into database tables, and the arcane arts of ETL (Extracting data, Transforming it to the right format, and Loading it in). I’ve picked up a bunch of ghetto tricks to simplify a lot of this, and thankfully SalesForce.com does a better job of it than anything that’s come before.
If you are going further ghettostyle and don’t have the Salesforce API, there’s a great tool called RingLead that can make your life much easier and your data much cleaner.
Recently I’ve been hunting for names that are very focused and I’ve been able to get lists from individual publications, but another tactic is to use a list broker, someone who rents lists and has a broad range of knowledge about publications. I had favorite vendor here, but some of these folks have been having some trouble making the transition from the world of Magazines to the Web. For example, I couldn’t find a web page for my vendor of choice. Something for me to dig into further this week.
I’ll spare you the rest of the details of these mystic arts… unless you want to hear more?