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When I was marketing director of Stonehart Publications we had many competitors in the money-making newsletter market.
I had a forward-looking chairman who encouraged me to swap names with all of our competitors.
Some were happy to swap and we had a great ongoing relationship with most of them.
A couple tried to rip us off by swapping their old enquiries with our better quality buyer names. We just refused to do business with them again and within a year or so most of them had gone out of business.
Yes, we were lucky as there were a group of people who would want to subscribe to every newsletter they could lay their hands on. I’m also sure we were able to get a subscription from someone who was going to cancel his other sub and vice versa.
Now swapping a list of lawn mower buyers with your competitors is never going to work, but swapping a list of recent unconverted prospects might.
So the moral of this story is don’t be frightened to talk to your competitors and even if you’re still nervous try a small swap first. It might well work for both of you.