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Getting the Most from Your List Rental

Direct mail can help you acquire new customers efficiently and economically, but the success of your effort depends greatly on the quality of the list you use. Mailing list compiler InfoUSA offers these tips on selecting the most effective list:

To get the most accurate and dependable rental list, InfoUSA recommends choosing a compiler that uses multiple sources, such as telephone directories, surveys, census files, public records, and real estate information. The more sources, the more relevant the data.

Variety of sources is the key. You want the ability to drill down to reach exactly your target, especially with consumer data. Without this ability, you risk mailing to unqualified records and wasting your money. Ask your list provider to analyze your current customers, find common characteristics, and look for prospects that match. Cut your costs by having your list provider remove undeliverables and non-responders.

Every business record you select should be telephone-verified. This is critical because most direct marketing is to the 10.3 million businesses that have fewer than 20 employees, and accurate data on these small businesses can be hard to find. Always ask how often the list is updated because information is dynamic: every minute a new business opens; every two minutes a company name changes; every four hours an ownership change takes place. Try mailing to brand new businesses, new homeowners, or new movers. Ideally you want to find a list that is less than 30 days old, and if you're unsure about the list, ask for a free sample first.

Article and statistics courtesy of InfoUSA. InfoUSA is a leading provider of database marketing products. For free copies of InfoUSA's Direct Mail for Dummies and Sales Prospecting 101, and to register for 100 trial sales leads, visit

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