Watch Out When You Rent Mailings Lists –

You’ll Get Taken To The Cleaners Every Time! (written January, 2000)


Ho Hum – You get involved in a Mail Order or Multi-Level Business and what is the first thing everybody recommends to do? Go out and rent a mailing list. No one tells you about all the miss-leading ads out there. No one tells you how “cut throat” the mailing list industry is. No one tells you anything about Mailing Lists. So basically you are ripe to be had. Would you agree?

Let me first say that no mailing list can work miracles and that you can have a good mailing list and a good offer that does not work. That does happen.  So when you do a mailing yourself, the two “key” Ingredients to that mailing are the offer and the list. We’ll assume you have a good proven offer, so let’s move on to the next step – the list. Your best list will always be your own homegrown in-house list of customers and inquiries – Always! But if this “circle of names” does not exist for you, then what would be your next best list? Someone else’s homegrown in-house list of customers and inquires – right? Somebody promoting something similar to what you are promoting – right? Make sense so far? Well then why order a mailing list unless it was that kind of list?

Mailing list companies have many ways of capturing names they claim are fresh. They compile names from people they get offers from in the mail. They purchase the envelopes of other people’s offers that they get in the mail.  They trade names with other mailing list dealers. Anybody can do this kind of mailing list renting – anybody – However, the key to a mailing list that is almost as good as yours is finding a mailing list company that only rents names of Inquiries and Customers. This is easier said than done.

Unfortunately, as I look at mailing list ads daily, I can easily see that there is no way you have a chance at finding a mailing list company that provides those types of names. In fact, I know of only one other guy other than myself that rents these types of names and I am not even sure he is around anymore as I never see his ads anywhere. Well who really cares? Every mailing list company will claim to have the best names available, but now you know that you only want to mail to customers and inquiries – no compiled names, no traded names, etc – No matter what anybody claims. So the first and only question I ask when I rent someone else’s names is “do you mail to them yourself?” I do not care about anything other than whether they are customer names and/or inquiry names and whether they mail to them or not. In the money making opportunity business, these should be your only requirements when renting a mailing list.

What was that you just ask? Why is it important that the mailing list company be mailing to the same names they rent to you? Is that a trick question or are you kidding?  If someone is telling you they have the best names around and they are customer and inquiry lists, and they are not mailing to these quality names regularly, you do not find that a bit odd. I mentioned above the best names you can ever find are your own inquiry and customer names. If you had a list of these type of names, you would not be mailing to them regularly? If a mailing list company is trying to tell you they have a great list of money making opportunity names, wouldn’t it make sense (and then dollars) for them to be mailing their mailing list offers to these names and not only renting these names to you so you could sell your money making plan to, but also so these people recommend the mailing list dealer they have been getting mailings from. That does not make sense> And then dollars? Lots of them?

Let me give you an example:  Joe answers my ad for free money making information.  I send him a pack of my offers as well as rent his name to others. He decides to join into one of them. Lo and behold, when he joins, his upline contacts him. He asks his upline where to get good lists.  He says CME. Joe says wow, I have been getting stuff from CME, but I did not know he was a good mailing list source.  You see in this example, the upline who rented my names in the first place, became my unknowing partner because the new downliners who join already know who I am because of my mailings to them. Isn’t this example then true for all mailing list companies? Next time you rent a mailing list, just ask, “do you mail to them?” If they don’t for whatever reasons they give, pass up on them.  You’ll fail and waste your money and effort if you don’t.

How do you check and validate whether someone mails to the same names he is renting to you? Easy. Send a request to receive his mailing list information and code your name in a unique way that only the mailing list company has it. Wait and see how many mailings you get from them and how many times they rent your name. If you only get one mailing from them, how good could his names actually be?  If the mailing list dealer does not have any faith in mailing to these names, how can you?

Other items that you should look for: #1) Only deal with a company that offers a first class guarantee of nixies (returns). A worthless guarantee is ten new names for every nixie. If the list is good, you’ll be back for more. Free names for bad names does not sound like the type of company I want to do business with. #2) You rented a mailing list already and you got nixies? How many?  People move at a rate of about 4% monthly according to the Post Office. If you have 9% nixies, you can probably guess that this list has not been updated for 2 months. I believe based on my experience anything 10% or less is acceptable. Anything 12% or more is not acceptable and between 10-12% is borderline depending on the response I actually get from the mailing.  Keep in mind that if a mailing list company rents you 1,000 names for $100 and they offer a first class refund for each nixie, then a list that is 10% bad will cost them $49 as of this writing. If the list costs only $40 for 1,000 names, you can see their dilemma.  So be careful. Cheap lists costs more in the long run!

You want a first class refund for nixies – period! So beware.  Next time you see that great mailing list company, ask that one question to them. If the answer is no, pass up on them. You will be saving a lot of money for yourself.  If you come across a mailing list ad that you want me to review for you or a company you are thinking about using, then send me a large self-addressed stamped envelope and put in the lower left hand corner, “Mailing List Company Request”.  I’ll send my reply in the SASE you send me. By the way, I am the only person I know of that actually rents names of people that are only inquiries or customers and I mail to them regularly – the only one I know of. If you would like more info on my lists, simply write me. It will be my pleasure.

The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.