Working with a List Broker
How we work together.
List brokers are important specialists in the direct mail world. Much as a real estate agent represents individuals looking for an appropriate home, list brokers represent mailers looking for appropriate lists through which to promote their products or services. Through knowledge and experience the list broker helps find and select lists from over 65,000 lists on the list rental market today.
In most cases list brokers charge no fee to put together their list research and recommendations. The list broker is paid a standard 20% commission by the list owner. In performing their services, the list broker can save the mailer time, work and money.
It is important to be comfortable with the broker-client relationship. Mutual confidence and trust in your list broker as a valued consultant is essential to efficient and profitable results.
When working with a list broker:
Provide Background and Orientation – Discuss openly your aims, your products or services, their average costs and their average units of sale and any prior mailing experiences.
Review or Set Goals – Go over intended mail quantities, print runs, anticipated costs and most importantly expected response. This is a good time to plug expectations into a break-even analysis spreadsheet to make sure your assumptions are realistic.
Quantifying marketing objectives allows the translation of vague and general goals
Understand Terms and Policies – Mailing list rental has its own industry specific terms and policies but many vary from list broker to list broker. Some terms and policies to review are prepayment for first time rentals, computer verifications required for net-name arrangements, the importance of mailing on your requested mail date, the fact that reputable list brokers do not guarantee response rates or outcomes, and order cancellation polices, to name a few.
Discuss Problems – There are many variables and substantial detail in the list rental process and misunderstandings can develop. Problems and objections should addressed as soon as possible to avoid compounding problems. For example, if you think a list has not been fulfilled properly according to your selection criteria, by all means, stop the mailing before it is dropped so that the list can be corrected and the relatively larger postage and printing expense saved.
Respect List Recommendation Priority – Standard practice is to award list rental and roll-out rental to the list broker who first made you the list recommendation.
List Rental Basics