June 28th, 2010 by Bob Bly
by, Brian Berg,President/CEO ? BB Direct, Inc
No two list brokers are the same. Yes, they are all compensated by earning a commission in the form of a discount for their data, but not all list brokers live up to the compensation they receive. Many provide little more than a list industry vocabulary. A good mailing list broker starts with an account summary of previous campaign successes and low or no response. They attempt to involve the mailer in the process of target audience selection and how their list recommendation is developed. Ultimately, they attempt to improve response and response measurement, as well as reducing cost.
Often asked, ?Why utilize a mailing list broker when you can go direct to the source?? The answer to this question can be found in the flexibility provided by a list broker. A good mailing list broker can access many sources of data, put the ?target-ability? of the list before cost, and properly set the expectations of the mailer in terms of deliverability and response.
Mailers that go direct to the database compiler should expect to pay a standard retail price point that?s higher than what you?d pay with a broker. But even more so, going directly to the database source will limit their options. Owners of the database will only sell their own data while brokers will have options. And since no two databases are the same, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a particular database is a quality that good list broker can deliver.
When shopping for a mailing list, it only makes sense to get more than one quote. Like anything you shop for, consider experience within your industry, price, and general ?gut? feeling about the broker/consultant. Ask for references and call those references. The time put into this type of research will always return favorable results. The importance of partnering with a good mailing list broker is vital to the direct mail investment and the return on that investment.
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