Direct marketing programs often succeed, in part, based on the merge strategies on which they depend. Unfortunately, many donor marketing circulation plans are outdated and rely on a “prioritized list strategy,” which may fail to provide the insight you need to grow your returns. Using a prioritization strategy may not be as profitable as it used to be. In fact, it can be a dangerous way to rob you of your return. Today, the segmentation, analytics, and merge technologies used in direct marketing have become more complex. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies and database technologies have changed. But more importantly, donor marketing has evolved. As such, you need to adapt your merge strategies to take advantage of new technology and new list sources. For direct marketing success, it’s important to look beyond a prioritizing methodology in your merge strategies and embrace a randomization strategy. Only then can you maximize your growth potential and capture a better investment return from your donor marketing. This paper explores the most used merge strategies and weighs the pros and cons of each.