The Basics of List Management
- What do you mean by list rental?
- How much is my mailing list worth?
- How do I provide the names & addresses?
- How do I know the names will not be used more than once?
- When do I receive payment for the names?
- Some of my customers have asked me not to give out their names. What do I do?
The Basics of Using Mailing Lists
- How do I know the right list to mail?
- I can buy lists on CD-ROM or get them off the Internet for almost nothing. Why should I spend so much money for renting a list for just one-time use?
- How do I know which list is bringing me the most profit?
- How often can I mail the same list and hope for good results?
- A friend of mine did a mailing and got a ton of his packages returned by the Post Office. Aren’t these lists kept up to date?
The Basics of List Management
We hope that the answers to these questions will assist you as you consider making your list available for rental.
1: What do you mean by list rental?
Answer: It is industry practice to rent a mailing list for a fee for a one time use on a specified date with the permission of the list owner. As list owner, you get to see the proposed mailing piece before deciding whether to rent your names. If the mailer would like to use the list again, they would have to pay for a second usage. The mailer is renting the names, not purchasing them.
2: How much is my mailing list worth?
Answer: Many mailing lists comparable to yours are available for rental in the marketplace. We would tell you what your colleagues are asking for their lists and determine a fair market price for your list. The age of the list, the make up (buyers vs. inquirers or requesters) and the source play a role in determining its value. Most lists rent for an average of between $75 and $150 per thousand names supplied (plus certain additional fees).
3: How do I provide the names & addresses?
Answer: You must be able to provide the list to us on a diskette. Unfortunately, time constraints and manpower limitations make it difficult to compile a list from raw source data.
4: How do I know the names will not be used more than once?
Answer: You can track the use of your list by inserting one or more “seed” or “decoy” names (false names at an address where you or someone you know regularly receives mail). When the list is mailed, you should receive a mail piece to the fictitious name. If you receive a second piece without further payment, you know the list was mailed twice. However, most of the mailers we deal with would not jeopardize their standing in our industry by acting in such an unethical manner.
5: When do I receive payment for the names?
Answer: It is industry practice to pay for the names within 30 days after the mail date. Some mailers using the list for the first time are asked to pre-pay their orders.
6: Some of my customers have asked me not to give out their names. What do I do?
Answer: We must all respect the requests of our customers. We would suggest that you suppress those names from the disk that you supply containing the mailing list to be rented. In the future you might also want to ask your customers to let you know their wishes with respect to including them on the list that you make available for rental.
If you think that you might be interested in making your mailing list available for rental or exchange please call Lisa Hamilton at (631) 249-8710 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Basics of Using Mailing Lists
We hope that the answers to the following questions will assist you as you consider renting names for your next direct mail promotion.
1: How do I know the right list to mail?
Answer: This is the ultimate direct mail question. The simple answer is “TEST.” You mail a relatively small quantity of names (often 5,000) from each of several lists and determine which bring you the results you’re seeking. With lists that work, you then increase the size of your mailing. List Brokers can help you set up a list test plan. Based on your product and prospect profiles, they’ll cull out the most logical lists from the more than 10,000 mailing lists that are available.
2: I can buy lists on CD-ROM or get them off the Internet for almost nothing. Why should I spend so much money for renting a list for just one-time use?
Answer: RESULTS. Lists on CD-ROM are often simply resident lists. There’s no indication that the names on them have ever responded to direct mail; there’s no affinity to what you are selling. Lists which are rented frequently have a proven track record for producing results. Their owners keep them clean and up-to-date. Remember that list costs are only part of direct mail expenses – you have printing, addressing, and most significantly postage.
3: How do I know which list is bringing me the most profit?
Answer: It starts with putting a key code on all the lists you mail. Then you look at results by a number of factors starting with gross response – the number of responses you get divided by the number of pieces mailed to that list. If you’re doing lead generation direct mail, you’ll want to measure not just response, but how many sales came from each list. If you’re selling something, you’ll want to measure cost per order and revenue per order. The experts at Rickard List Marketing can help you analyze mailing results based on your marketing and financial objectives.
4: How often can I mail the same list and hope for good results?
Answer: That depends on a lot of factors. If it’s your customer list, you may be able to mail once a month or more. With prospect lists, it could range from six times a year to just once a year. One of the factors is name turnover (what percentage of a particular list is new). Many mailers find using hotline lists (recent buyers, inquiries or changes of address) pays off.
5: A friend of mine did a mailing and got a ton of his packages returned by the Post Office. Aren’t these lists kept up to date?
Answer: For a new mailer, any amount of “nixies” (returns by the Post Office for bad or undeliverable names) seems like a ton. In reality, a 2-5% bad address rate is the norm. Consider the fact that over 20% of the U.S. population moves every year. Most owners of rented lists keep their files up-to-date, making changes monthly or quarterly. In addition, mailers put names they rent through the NCOA (National Change of Address) process and utilize other name hygiene routines to maximize deliverability. While you want the lists you rent to be clean, the key determinant of a list is how many responses you get from it, and its ultimate profitability.
If you have any additional questions about acquiring mailing lists on rental or exchange, please call Jennifer Rickard at (631) 249-8710 x105 or e-mail her at email@example.com.