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Working With Mailing List Brokers

An experienced mailing list broker is the greatest asset to a direct mail marketer.  Whether they are looking for a general list or a specialty one, a good list broker will know the difference and be able to supply exactly what the client needs.

There are different types of mailing lists for different purposes.  A general mailing list is simply a compilation of names and addresses that are not attached to a specific category or region, but a specialty list includes specific information about the interests of the consumers on the list.  Specialty lists are for those marketers that want to target a certain market niche.

Mailing list brokers maintain databases of names and addresses of people who either have requested information or have purchased certain items.  With these lists, marketers can customize the advertising campaigns for their clients, and they will already have a potential customer base to send solicitations. 

However, mailing lists are usually sold at a per-address rate, so specialty lists that have been culled to quite direct specifications are not as expensive as broader lists.  Considering they have fewer names and do not reach as much of a market area as those that are broader, they also do not hold as high a value.  In the marketing world, more contact names mean more potential customers.

Unfortunately, not all mailing list brokers understand the finer details of a database source when making their lists.  One database source is not necessarily equal to another, and some brokers consider a database that has not been compiled as a “special” list. 

Sometimes the broker is only concentrating on pricing and coverage within the marketer’s mailing region.  This raises the expense for the direct mail marketer as they are forced to test the mailing list before using it for a marketing campaign.

When partnering with a mailing list broker, it is important to ask questions about how the mailing lists are compiled, when they were created, how often they are updated, and how are they updated.  If this is the first time you are working with a list broker, ask for references. 

Asking these questions should not fluster or aggravate the broker, and the broker should be able to answer the questions directly.  Their business depends on providing quality, usable lists to their clients.  With a good mailing list, your company will thrive; so, it is important to find a good mailing list broker.