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Business Lists FAQ

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Direct Marketing can:

  1. increase sales
  2. open new markets
  3. conduct market research
  4. test new products
  5. build awareness of products or services
  6. distribute promotional literature
  7. increase store traffic
  8. support other advertising media
  9. qualify leads
  10. promote seminars

A direct marketing list is a database of businesses or consumers. Depending on how you want to reach out to your prospective clients, you can have marketing lists that just include name and addresses (mailing lists), you can add telephone numbers (telemarketing lists) or you can request email addresses (email lists)

Business Lists will include the company name, address and industry code (SIC or NAICS Codes). Selections can be added to narrow down the search criteria - contact name, job title, number of employees, annual sales revenue, etc.

Consumer Lists will include name and address. Selections can also be added to narrow down the search criteria gender, age, homeowner/renter, hobbies, interests, buying habits, presence of children, etc.

List Brokers have a complete understanding of the direct marketing industry. They have access to thousands of direct marketing lists and can recommend the right direct marketing listfor your direct marketing campaign.

You tell your list broker about your project, your goals, who you want to reach, your budget and your time frame and then your list broker will present you with the best list options.

Finding a good list broker is the most important part of a successful direct marketing campaign

It’s all about the list. Your choice of direct marketing lists has more impact on the response produced by your direct marketing effort than any other decision you make.

A badly written marketing message will get a better response from a well-targeted list, than a well written message will from a poorly targeted list.

While it’s true that improving your copy, package or offer can increase overall response a very good, targeted direct marketing list can improve your response even more.

The best list business target strategy will depend on your project and your budget. The best strategy is to be upfront and honest with your list broker, so they can research and find the very best list selection that will fit into your budget. A business list that works for one offer may not work for another. Talk to your broker and let them help you find the right business list for you.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to how much a business list costs. The list cost is going to vary based on what type (mail vs telemarketing vs email) of business list it is, how many records you need, how targeted it is and how it was sourced (compiled, subscriber, direct source, etc).

Based on list type, a mailing list is typically cheaper as it’s just a name and mailing address. A telemarketing list will have name, mailing address as well as a phone number, so there may be an extra charge for the phone number.An email list will have name, mailing address and email address will normally costa little more.

The more records on a business list, the cheaper the cost per record. This is because list owners will offer volume discounts. For example, you may pay $.05 per record when purchasing a mailing list with 5,000 names. That same list could cost $.02 per records if you purchase 1,000,000 names.

List owners also impose list minimums. If the number of records falls under their minimum, they will charge a flat rate. This means if they charge $250 for a minimum thousand records, and you only want 500 records, you will still have to pay the $250 minimum.

If you want more targeted lists, or specialty lists, these will cost a bit more. The more targeted a business list is, the more it’s going to cost. A simple list of business in Chicago is going to cost less than a list of female owned businesses in Chicago with 15-20 employees, 1million+ revenue that have government contracts. Although a finely targeted list may cost more, they should perform better than a broadly targeted list. You will have to determine if the added cost is worth the improved response rates.

Typically, response rates forB2B marketing campaigns can be less than 1% to as much as 3% or more depending on the details of your offer. A high ticket item (e.g. $100+) will normally have a lower response rate than a low-priced or free offer. Predicting a response rate for an untested list or new offer is next to impossible. The question to ask is not, “What response rate will I get?” but rather, “What response rate do I need to get?” “How much money do I need to make to break even?” “How many widgets do I need to sell?” If the profits generated by your direct marketing campaign exceed the costs to use it, then it’s a success!If a list produces less profit than its total costs, you should look at all parts of your campaign (not just the list): your offer, the timing, the list, the envelope, the creative, the medium (brochure, letter, postcard) and decide what needs to change. Know what your ROI (return on investment) needs to be from the very beginning. You have to have a goal in mind or it’s impossible to measure the results.

Direct marketing is unique among all advertising media in its ability to measure response and identify its exact source. All successful direct marketing programs track and analyze the source of every order, inquiry, lead or other response they generate. This is what makes certain companies stand out from the crowd. This analysis tells you which lists worked and which didn’t. It’s vitally important to key code your offer or make it distinctive somehow. Most advertisers set up a unique landing page or unique toll-free number for each project. Or they say, “Quote Offer ABC for 10% off your next order” so they can track exactly which ad this customer came from. Train your sales staff to always ask, “How did you hear about our company?” and keep track.

You cannot improve sales if you don’t measure and keep track.

Business Lists are often described as compiled, subscriber, direct source.It's important to understand the source of a list as it is a good indicator of its responsiveness to different offers.

  • Association - Professional or trade association membership buyers. Many of these individuals also purchase other offerings from their organizations.
  • Subscriber - Magazine or continuity subscription buyers. Sometimes offered along with names of expired subscribers at a lower price.
  • Direct Source- Proven buyers of a list owner's product or service. Often offered with a "hot list" or "recent buyers" sub-file at an up-charge.
  • Compiled - Names of prospective buyers compiled by a third party. While not usually considered as productive as association, subscriber or buyer lists, compiled files can be effective.

This depends on the business list. Some business lists are for one time use only. Some business lists can be used twice or three times. Some business lists allow for unlimited usage within a one-year period. Make sure you check with your list brokers to make sure you know how many times you are allowed to use the business list. Unauthorised use will result in extra charges. Of course, anyone who responds to your offer becomes your customer and can be communicated with as often as you wish.