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Questions to Ask Your List Broker

What is Included?

Make sure you know what kind of direct marketing list you are purchasing. Does the list include both names and addresses? Are phones included? What about emails? Don’t assume that because you have asked for a mailing list, that phones or emails will be included. Some mailing lists will include phones, but many will not. Mailing lists don’t usually come with email addresses, but a lot of email lists will have mailing addresses. It’s very, very important that you and your list broker are clear on what type of direct marketing list you want to use.

You should also know what ‘selects’ are offered. A select is an element that can be used to further target a direct marketing list, such as geographic areas, job titles, industries, age, marital status, etc. Depending on how the data on the lists is collected will determine which selects are available. Some lists will have countless selects that you can apply to the list to narrow down the target, while other lists won’t be able to offer any.

How are They Sourced?

It’s important to know where the information on the marketing lists comes from. Obviously, you want to know that the information is legitimate and compliant, but did you know that your response rate may vary on how the list sourced? There is a big difference between direct marketing lists sourced from actual purchasing behaviors and lists that are compiled from public records.

Source can be classified as either responsive or compiled. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • Response – these are individuals who have freely supplied their contact information. They are usually gathered through sources like magazine subscriptions, catalogs and previous direct marketing responses. These lists are often more expensive than compiled lists as the information is self reported and is often very specific. These lists can be sorted by interests, household income, marital status and other factors.
  • Compiled – are made up of individuals with similar interests, like real estate agents or dog breeders. These lists are compiled using a variety of public sources, including government databases, vehicle registrations, credit card lists, and phone records. These lists tend to be less expensive than response lists as they are easier to keep updated, and the selections available are not nearly as refined. The household or business contacts on these lists can be further sorted by geographic locations, gender, ethnicity, income and age.

Your list broker should be able to guide you as to which list source would work best for your direct marketing campaign.

What is the actual Cost?

Understanding your list cost is crucial. You don’t want to be in a position where you think you know what the list cost is going to be, only to find out it’s not what you were expecting and now you’re over budget. Your ROI depends on Your list broker should either provide you with a data card or a full-on proposal explaining the full cost of you list. If you don’t understand what your list broker provides you with, or if you have any questions ask!! You can’t afford not to know what you are purchasing.

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