Mailing Lists

Target old and new customers alike through the mail

When you need to send out a targeted marketing campaign, a mailing list is a must.

Traditionally, a mailing list was just that: a list of names and mailing addresses. In recent years, with the rise of computers and the Internet, email mailing lists, sometimes referred to as a mailshot, mailblast or distribution list, have become very popular. Whether you choose a print or online marketing campaign will likely depend on your target customer. The youth market will be better served by online campaigns, while a more mature audience prefers to have a print newsletter in their hands.

In some cases, your mailing list will be a ‘response’ list, consisting of clients you have previously worked with along with people who have been in contact with you recently. However, to reach out to new clients, you will want to reach out beyond your existing customer base.

One option is to use a compiled mailing list, which is a list of potential customers based on publicly available data. The other common method is to work with a mailing list broker.

Mailing list brokers

A broker can tailor a mailing list to your target demographic along with the prospects’ recent purchasing activity. This type of list is most commonly rented or borrowed, but they can be purchased outright in some instances. A mailing list of this type will usually cost anywhere from $40 to $100 per thousand names.

Mailing lists can be purchased from list brokers, such as InfoUSA, a Business to Business specialist, or a trade association. When shopping for a mailing list, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Ask the broker if they compile lists in your company’s market niche. Some companies specialize in certain fields.
  • Ask for references from companies in a similar field to your own.
  • Ask how often their lists are updated.
  • Ask what sources they compile their names from.


Before you go ahead with a direct marketing campaign, be sure to check with local and federal authorities to make sure your efforts comply with all regulations.

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