The world of mailing lists can be a complicated one, especially as a first-time list buyer, and it can be difficult to know which kind of list is right for your business. In an effort to demystify the process, let’s break down a couple of data buzzwords you’ll often hear: response lists and compiled lists. Understanding these types of data and their uses could be your first step towards marketing success.

First off, what is the difference between response lists and compiled lists? Compiled data is general information that is gathered from sources such as the yellow pages, directories, and other public domains. Compiled data usually offers basic demographic selects, such as gender, age, geography, etc… Response lists, on the other hand, consist of individuals who have taken some specific action to show interest in a product or service. These lists are usually based on previous buying history, subscriptions to newsletters or organizations, surveys and sweepstakes, trade show attendance, and the like. Basically, response lists allow you to reach individuals who are already in the market for what you offer.

Response lists are a great tool, because they generally offer high-quality leads. All of these individuals have expressed a need, either for your product, or for something that complements your product, and that is very valuable information. Response lists typically offer high response rates, and they allow you to more effectively tailor your offer based on the individual’s previous consumer behavior.

One downside to response lists, however, is that you will miss out on individuals who are interested in your services but have not yet taken action to express that interest, as well as individuals who do not yet know that they need your services. Plenty of consumers have identified a problem in their lives, but do not yet know what the solution to that problem may be. This is where compiled data’s strength lies. If you know which demographic selects make up your best customer, then compiled lists will enable you to reach those people, whether or not they previously realized that they might be in the market for your products or services. With compiled lists, you can solve people’s problems before they have even attempted to find a solution for themselves.

List needs vary from business to business, and what works for one may not work for another. Between response lists and compiled lists, there is no clear-cut winner; they simply offer different ways to reach your best consumer, and their effectiveness depends on the situation of your individual business. When in doubt, it is always best to consult with a list expert. They work with these lists all day every day, and they know what has worked in the past and what hasn’t.

To see whether response lists or compiled lists make sense for your business, get in touch with one of US Data Corporation’s list experts by calling us at (888) 578-3282.