Direct Response Marketing


Prospect Mailing Lists

A Prospect Mailing List is a collection of names and addresses used by a business to send material to multiple recipients. On the Internet, mailing lists include each person's e-mail address rather than a postal address.

The way to build your own in-house mailing list is by capturing name, address and email address information for everyone who buys or shows interest in your product. The list you develop using your own customers' names is called your "house list." It's important to keep an ongoing list of your current and past clients and future clients

If you don’t have a house list or you're not sure of the list you want, call a mailing list broker. List brokers know all the lists available and can advise you on what type of list would work best for your business. Many can also custom-create lists based on your requirements.

You can find brokers in the Yellow Pages under "Mailing Lists" and "Mailing Services," and in the classified sections of mail order trade magazines. Another source is the bimonthly directory Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) Direct Marketing List Source, available in most libraries.

Some list companies let you sample a list before making a purchase. Rental costs typically range from $25 to $200 per thousand names.

Typically this is for a one-time use only. (List owners will "seed" their lists with their own names and addresses so they can tell if you use the list more than once.) Lists will arrive by email or can be shipped on CDs so you can easily use them with your computer; others send pre-printed names on mailing labels.

Most experts agree that renting fewer than 5,000 names isn't worthwhile, primarily because a large mailing doesn't cost much more per piece than a small mailing, and the returns are higher. So start with about 5,000 names for your first mailing, and consider it a test.

Budget: $500 - $2,000 quarterly

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