The mailing list and marketing data industry is a well developed, mature and increasing specialized & sophisticated business in the USA.
Our clients sometimes ask us: Where do you get the mailing list from?
The simple answer is, based on our experience, it is from one of the reputable mailing list companies that deals in that type of list.
Clients with experience in direct marketing know that the quality and relevance of the mailing list is a key determinant in the success of their marketing campaign. And when they take special interest in this aspect of their campaign, it is fully understandable.
Our policy is not to take short-cuts in this, as our key goal is the success of the campaign and getting the mailing list right is a critical factor in this process. Clients with successful campaigns come back to us with repeat business.
The actual list source depends on the type of data involved. For our “saturation” campaigns, we go to a leading compiler of this type of list – Compact Information Systems. This is an “Occupant” list and the core data comes to them from the USPS and is updated monthly.
For “targeted” and “business” lists, our main source is InfoUSA Group which uses publicly available information (phone book, census, county etc) as the core and then overlays that data with proprietary response data obtained through various sources to determine things like “hobbies & interests” etc. InfoUSA makes 30 million phone calls a year to verify their data and the lists are constantly updated.
In addition to these sources, there are various other specialized or niche requirements that come up for which we have to go to “boutique” type list outfits. Examples: list of “pre-movers” (those planning to move in the near future) compiled from sources that list homes from sale. Another is list of “expectant mothers” compiled from several self-reported sources.
The list business is a competitive one and the compilers (and brokers) need to maintain a pristine reputation to survive. We on our part have to carry out our due diligence on behalf of our clients especially when dealing with hard-to-obtain lists through “boutique” sources.