One of the most common questions we get about renting a postal mailing list is, “How many times can I mail to this list?” For the most part, if you’re renting a true direct mail generated customer list, the answer is, “One time only”.

The question that invariably follows is “How will they know if I mail more than once?” For list owners who are putting up their buyer/customer databases for rental, those names are their most important asset and they will “seed” their lists with decoy addresses to track who is mailing them, when those mailings are going out, and how many times they are mailed.

Direct mailers need to be cautious of the list rental terms, because misusing a list can result in some steep penalties. If a list owner finds that the mailer has not mailed according to the agreed upon terms, they could charge up to 10 times the list rental cost.

In addition, there are a few other key factors to consider when renting a mailing list:

  • The source of the list: there are two types of lists that are typically considered for marketing:
    • Direct Response lists are made up of individuals that have responded to a direct marketing offer by channels such as mail, space ads, catalogues, television or phone.
    • Compiled lists are made up of publicly sourced information but do not have information about whether these prospects have purchased by mail. Response lists will generally perform better than compiled files.
  • The list cost: if it seems too good to be true in terms of cost, it probably is. If a list is too cheap, you could just be receiving compiled, outdated or unqualified data.
  • How often the list is updated: to ensure a list is accurate requires that the data be reviewed on an on-going basis. If it hasn’t been updated in over a year, chances are it may not perform at peak effectiveness.

A respectable List Broker will inform you of the list rental terms ahead of time, and their job is to know where the “good” lists can be found. JR Direct has been in the list brokerage business since 1989. Contact us now to talk to one of our experts.