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Direct mail is a marketing technique used around the world. Global companies invest thousands of dollars building their own databases not only in North America, but also in Europe and South America where it is difficult to purchase lists of farmers' names. Often only a fraction of the names, addresses and phone numbers that agricultural companies obtain belongs to a person who is a qualified prospect for the company.

Through one of the many Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) centers, KLEFFMAN provides pre-qualification services to agri-marketers. This involves use of a computer to dial the respondent and run through a programmed questionnaire.

Qualifying the members of a database beforehand eliminates 27 percent who aren't producers. Of these, approximately 60 percent have stopped farming, sold their farm, died or have never been a farmer. Many non-farmers are in databases because they provided their names and addresses to companies giving away attractive incentives or prizes at fairs or other events.

In several database-marketing projects conducted for German agricultural clients, KLEFFMANN found it is possible to qualify only 35 percent of addresses in a given database.

Another six percent of a given sample have the wrong number listed and can't be found in any directory. Of numbers that actually ring, 15 percent end up a "no contact," even after five tries using a CATI system. The graph below shows the average results when qualifying databases for agricultural clients in Germany.

Taking the extra step to qualify your database by telephone before your direct marketing efforts can ensure less spending on printing and postage, and you can collect additional information on each qualified prospect to amend your database, thus providing more information for further targeted campaigns.

Simone Brand is product manager, marketing services at KLEFFMANN, Ludinghausen, Germany. KLEFFMANN, a market research and marketing firm, works in cooperation with Millennium Research Inc., Apple Valley, Minn. For further information, contact Simone Brand at +49.2591.9188.301 or at For national or international market research, contact Jan Johnson at Millennium Research Inc. at 952/431-6320 or at

Find out more about KLEFFMANN and Millennium Research Inc. on the Web at "" and "".

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