Skip to content
Home Marketing Direct Mail Basics

6 Helpful Tips for Working with List Brokers

Article - 2 Min. Read

Preparing a direct mail campaign? Here are 6 things to keep in mind when looking for a mailing list.

Communal mailbox unit housing 36 metal mailboxes.

Finding the right mailing list for your direct mail campaign can spell the difference between success or failure. If you’re looking to acquire new customers, working with a mailing list broker is key. List owners are individuals who own mailing lists with valuable contact information. List brokers are individuals who connect list owners with companies looking to rent their mailing list. Consider the following tips when working with these professionals to create the best mailing list for your needs.

Know your target audience.

It’s crucial to know what persona you want to reach with your campaign. Consider the age, gender, household income and hobbies of the customers you want to acquire. This information will help your list broker find the most applicable list for your purposes.

Know what type of mailing list you need.

There are two types of mailing lists your broker could show you: a response list and a compiled list. A response list is comprised of individuals who have made purchases or responded to marketing efforts in the past. A compiled list is comprised of contact information pulled from various public domains like credit files and county tax assessor files; it includes individuals who fit a certain demographic, but haven’t made any purchases. Naturally, since responders have shown interest in the products you’re selling or made similar purchases in the past, response lists are more expensive and should produce better response rates.

Know the size of your mailing.

The size of your mailing will dictate the ultimate price of renting a list, so consider how many people you want to reach. Is it important for you to reach a wide swath of individuals through a compiled list or reach a smaller group of responders who have made similar purchases in the past? Collaborate with your list broker to decide which kind of list would work best for you.

Know the timing of your campaign.

Finding a list broker and a mailing list takes time. When deciding direct mail campaign deadlines, bake in time for list exploration. That way, if you’re aiming to mail your piece before a popular shopping season like the holidays, you won’t miss your time window searching for a list. Have your deadlines in mind when you reach out to your list broker. This will keep you both on track.

Understand the terms of your list agreement.

List agreements are contracts that state the limits of your rental agreement. Typically, they say that your company can only use the contact information one time. However, if you convert some of the contacts on the list into customers, their information becomes yours, and they technically become part of your house list.

Understand the cost of renting your list.

Mailing lists are usually priced by every 1,000 contacts, with a minimum charge for use. Lists also typically have no services fees, as they are included in the cost. When deciding which mailing list is right for you consider the price and quality of contact information. If the contact list fits your target audience and the price is within budget, you’ve found the list for you.

In Summary

Working with a list broker is a time-sensitive, time-intensive process, but it’s an important part of a direct mail campaign. Do your research and come prepared with your persona, campaign timeline, budget and more. The more information you have ready for your list broker, the easier and more successful your list exploration process will be.

Related Content