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Quality lists make all the difference

Your article, "Scarcity of lists continues to stunt e-mail prospects" (Feb.13, page 34) hit a chord. I would argue that the scarcity of lists is not stunting acquisition e-mail, but rather that [it is] the scarcity of quality lists, relevant targeting and messaging that gets most acquisition campaigns in trouble.

There are plenty of people who want to receive marketing e-mail, even in b-to-b channels. More than 20,000 people a day double opt in to receive third-party offers across Return Path's lists, and a large percentage of those are in the tech and business sectors. But the numbers themselves don't matter. What marketers should care about-and be ready to pay for-is the ability to target e-mail lists to their unique selling propositions. The days of mass mailing campaigns to a general audience are, thankfully, dwindling. To get a response from e-mail, you need to be highly relevant to the person opening it. Or you'll get junked, and rightfully so.

When companies complain that e-mail marketing for acquisition doesn't work anymore, I would tell them to look in the mirror to see whether they are taking the necessary steps to give that e-mail a chance. If they used the same targeting efforts that they put into more costly direct mail, they'd see the higher results needed to "prove" e-mail works for more than retention.

Marty Donner

VP & GM, List and Data Solutions, Return Path

New York

Radio won't work for the younger generation

I read your article on radio. Twice. You are so deluded. Get out of the office and talk with teenagers. Ask them (the future desirable adult listeners) about their music listening habits.

Anecdotal evidence:

My daughter is 19. She has not listened to the radio since age 12. From about 10 to 12, she was an avid listener of [a] rock station. Then, at 12, she got a Sony CD player and she started listening to CDs. Exclusively. No more radio.

The only time she listens to the radio now is when her boyfriend is the disk jockey on the local college station.

So, in the last seven years, my daughter has probably listened to the radio (on her own) about 20 hours.

Dave Barnes

Founder, MarketingTactics


Waiting for the war of the radio worlds

Just a short note to say I enjoyed your opinion piece in BtoB on radio ("We keep listening as radio evolves," Feb. 13, page 12). The growth, and the battles between, high definition radio and XM satellite will be interesting to watch-or should I say "listen"-to.

Declan O'Connor

Strategic Advisor, DumbFind Search Engine

Washington, D.C.

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