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Mailing lists are available from many sources and can usually
be rented for one-time use ranging from $50 to $150 per thousand
names. List orders usually require a minimum of 5,000 to 10,000
names, and a first time customer is often required to pre-pay
for usage. The greatest challenge may be to determine which
mailing list is best for you. There are several types of
Your customer list will nearly always be your best source of
business, assuming you have a product or service that calls for
repeat business. Customers are the most reliable source for
business, especially when you need it most. Your cost to use
your own list is virtually nothing.
Compiled lists are those names and addresses usually gathered
from white pages, yellow pages, or other directory listings. For
consumer names, they are often nothing more than name, address,
city, state and zip code. Compiled lists of businesses often
have more information, including the Standard Industrial Code
(SIC), number of employees, and sales information. The cost to
rent a compiled file is usually in the range of $50 to $75 per
thousand for one-time use.
Magazine lists are just that - subscribers to magazines.
While there are hundreds of magazine titles out there covering
about every consumer and business interest imaginable, this
doesn't always mean they are the best responders. These lists
usually are somewhat higher than compiled lists, and in some
cases, can be fairly pricey. Magazine lists will usually rent
for $75 to $150 per thousand for one-time use.
Direct mail response files are available from companies who
already sell via direct response. Most are mail order-generated
names (from direct mail or catalogs). Some of these names are
generated from broadcast, print or other media. Mail responders
are usually better responders than those generated from
broadcast, print or other media. In addition, you have choices
of several selections. "Hotline" names are usually more recent
purchasers are therefore, typically are better responders. You
might be able to rent names based on the average order of their
past purchases. Most lists allow you to select based on
geography and a variety of other attributes. Direct mail
response files will rent for $75 to $150 per thousand for
Modeled lists are usually derived from a variety of sources,
but to have a model created, you'll need to provide a list of
people who have already purchased from you. You'll need to
provide at least 1,000 of your customers to have a model
created, and costs can vary considerably. A list modeling
company will profile your customer list, then seek out other
consumers who have similarities to your known customers ranging
from demographic attributes (income, city vs. suburb vs. rural,
presence of children, etc.), along with lifestyle attributes
(such as hobbies, magazines read, past products purchased).
Most of these lists are available from mailing list brokers.
An online search will turn up many list brokers who can help you
find lists to test. A direct response marketing consultant can
often give you unbiased information about which mailing lists to
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