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Did you know that 40% of direct marketing campaign is attributed to actual list of targets?  It’s common sense really, you have to know your audience before you exactly how you should communicate your message.  But it’s the selection and narrowing down of this audience that gives you the ability to more aptly tailor your message even more which leads to higher response rates and better ROI for your campaign.

To  help obtain exactly what is needed when it comes to a mailing list for direct marketing campaigns there are effectively four sources:

List Brokers
The basic role of list brokers is to make arrangements for list renters to rent lists from other companies. A list broker will usually research the lists and their segments identifying those that are likely to work best.

List Managers
Supervising the renting of mailing lists which they manage is the primary role of list managers. They promote their lists because the more people renting a list, the more revenue for the list manager and the list owner.

List Compilers
List compilers manage the lists they themselves have compiled using multiple sources, including government records, warranty cards, Yellow Pages, corporate reports, telephone directories, credit bureaus, etc. They often take commissions directly from list renters.

List Manager/Broker
List manager/brokers can be the most versatile sources for lists because they have experience of both managing and brokering many and varied lists. It is hardly surprising that there are people in the direct-mail business who consider it a conflict of interest to be offering both services.  They believe it is too easy a temptation for list managers to broker their own lists over those of others that may be more appropriate.

This is why it is always advisable when using someone who acts both as a list manager and a list broker to keep a watchful eye on those lists that are recommended.

When it appears that most of the lists offered by this style of a broker are also ones he or she is managing, it is sage advice to rapidly find a new broker. Direct marketing relies on people who work for marketers – not for themselves.

Deciding What’s Best for You
Many seasoned direct marketers say that the best source for selecting the most appropriate mailing list is through consultations with a data partner, commonly called list brokers. It is certainly the most convenient because we are direct marketing professionals who are able to give list recommendations (list reco), and list recos are groups of lists the broker has selected for you.

For instance, when a business is looking to sell a particular piece of equipment via the mail, it should focus on those people who have bought similar equipment in the past.

A list broker can do the research and then offer an assortment of address lists within the niche from which a choice can be made.

The beauty of list brokers is their wealth of knowledge about mailing lists. This can make the task of choosing the best list so much easier. They are also experienced at negotiating lower list-rental prices.

The benefits of list brokers are that they:

  • Offer a one-stop shop
  • Save time
  • Save money

List brokers are also able to set up net-name-arrangements where list owner agree to a lower payment based on either the actual number of names or a percentage of those mailed. If a net-name-arrangement is set at 85% of the names mailed and the order is for 50,000 names, only 42,500 would be billed for.

The success of a direct mail marketing campaign starts with the right lists, the right targets. It is definitely a worthwhile effort before you risk tens of thousands of dollars on printing and postage. Make sure you are getting in front of the right people where your message can resonate, and begin your way towards profitability with the right step! Call us anytime when you are ready to begin that journey.

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Questions? Snakebitten by direct mail before?
We’d love to hear from you, see how we can help turn things around. No strings attached.
415.795.8333 • ideas@propelomedia.com

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