Welcome to Part 5 of the “Mailing List Mistakes to Avoid” blog series. This blog series will be a lineup of major mistakes people make when buying a mailing list and how to avoid them. Make sure to read our previous blog posts: Part 1: Introduction to Investing in a ListPart 2: Research List ProvidersPart 3: Compilers vs. Brokers, Part 4: Understanding Your Data.

Before you decide to open up about your marketing budget, make sure you are working with a reputable list provider and a sales representative you trust. Many list companies employ highly skilled order-takers and disguise them as list consultants, trained in the art of sales, not marketing, to get you to spend with them. However, if you start to dig and ask questions about the data, you can easily spot the phonies. Beware, a bad mailing list will cost you money. However, a high-quality and accurate mailing list will make you money and improve your ROI.

A couple of questions you can ask to spot the frauds are:

Where do you get your data?

How often is the database updated?

Who uses this information usually?

Do you guarantee deliverability?

What are the average response rates?

Can you use this list more than once?

Some companies will be open and honest with you about their sources, while other will cover up and try to talk as little about the details as possible. Truly knowledgeable reps should be able to directly answer your questions with confidence. You’d be surprised at how detailed of a response you can get from an experienced list professional who really wants to see you succeed versus the bland answers of a sales-trained and order-taking robot. Good mailing list must-haves should include prospects with a history of purchasing and a demographic match with your target audience. Mailing list providers should know the ins-and-outs of the business, and help you find an accurate mailing list that will fit your business objective.

You want to work with a rep who you’ve built a rapport with. Someone that answers your questions in a straightforward manner and provide helpful tips and recommendations based on past experience. Someone who works collaboratively with you to provide options and find the right solution for your business, rather than try and push you into a cookie-cutter solution. So, what are you waiting for? Use these tips to shop for a list provider. For more information on mailing lists, please call US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.

Make sure to read other parts of the series: Part 1: Introduction to Investing in a ListPart 2: Research List ProvidersPart 3: Compilers vs. BrokersPart 4: Understanding Your Data, Part 5: Find a Trustworthy List Provider, Part 6: Be Open to List Suggestions.