List Rental Basics

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List Rental Rules of Thumb

Additional policies and procedures you should be aware of.

  • 5,000 record minimum is typical
    (though some list owners require 10,000 records or more).
  • Rentals are typically for one time use only
    (reuses and one year unlimited use are available).
  • Mail pieces, email creatives and telephone scripts must be submitted for list
    owner approval. Some list owners require list rental agreements to be signed
    by list renters and data facilities where their list may be sent, such as service bureaus, mail houses, letter shops.
  • Volume discounts are available for some list rentals.
  • Deliverability
    The list rental industry standard for deliverability is 90%. This means the list owner guarantees that 90% of their list will be deliverable by the US Post Office.
  • Accuracy
    List managers believe the information concerning lists to be accurate, to an extent. But list managers and the list owners represented, do not guarantee list accuracy or the outcome of any mailing. Accuracy is very good on certain variables such as age and home ownership. Accuracy is very poor on variables such as income, net worth and any data self-reported from surveys or web site sign up forms. Because of this accuracy limitation, good direct marketers ALWAYS test lists to see how they perform, as nothing is guaranteed except deliverability.
  • The average list will change 15% to 20% per year. No mailing list is ever static.
    The US Postal Service estimates that 15 to 20% of individuals and businesses move every year.
  • Those who have previously bought by mail (Mail Order Buyers) and those who
    have previously bought from you (your House list) are stronger prospects than
    any other list.
  • Telephone Numbers
    Consumers – Do Not Call Registry, SAN (Sunscription Accout Number with National “Do-not-call” registry)
  • Prepayment is typically required by list owners from first-time renters.
    Net 30 day billing otherwise.
  • RFM – Recency, Frequency & Monetary Value are important factors in mail order buyer lists.



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