In my book, Membership Recruitment, I share an eye-opening experience with a client. For several years, this association had been doing a sizeable annual mailing to recruit new members. The mailing went to a portfolio of outside lists totaling over 100,000 records. Results were below expectations, so they asked for assistance to improve returns.
The obvious place to start may have been looking at the creative or the offer for the mailing. Instead, we ran an analysis matching the new members that had come in compared to the lists mailed. That is where the eye-opening experience happened. Fully one-third of the lists used year after year produced zero responses. They had wasted thousands of marketing dollars. Other lists were producing good returns and supporting the overall effort.
Here's the simple lesson for marketing, and in many areas of life, track and measure what you are doing. This critical step will show you where you are wasting funds, time, and energy, and you will also see where you are finding success. Then do more of what works.