Some advice on lists for everyone
Hi All - This is my first post on this board. I have been in the direct marketing business for 17 years, primarily as a list broker. I'm looking to add a second area of self-employment for myself in investment advising, which is why I stumbled upon this board.
I read some of the posts regarding mailing lists, and would just like to offer everyone a key piece of information - 95% of all "compiled" mailing lists out there are from InfoUSA or Dun and Bradstreet data. They're just peddled and packaged under a different name by licensed "resellers". So if you had a bad experience with Info, and turn to another source, it's likely you're just getting the same crap all over again. Always ask a list provider what the source of their data is - not that you'll necessarily get the truth, but be aware.
The only truly great mailing lists out there for financial marketing purposes are what are called "response" lists - Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Crain's New York Business, Los Angeles Business Journal, Smart Money, etc. The cost and barriers to both getting and using these lists is a whole different game than getting a junk/compiled list. And even if you do get these lists, you don't get phone numbers, and you sign a legal agreement (that is very binding and enforced) that you won't look them up.
I would say the same thing I say to all of my clients - use whatever works best for you. What works for other people doesn't mean squat if it does not work for you.
More specifically, I would surmise that straight cold-calling for new clients is an uphill battle at best. Display advertising on a 13 or 26 week contract in your local business journal would give you some exposure that might make your cold calls better received. You can also do a "dual hit" and rent the mailing list of your local business journal - hit them with a dm piece during the time your ad is running. All of this kind of marketing requires a serious investment, but ultimately you get what you pay for.
I used infoUSA and the list was "ok". I don't think I would have received different data from anyone else, however.
I think the best way is to just get out and talk to people.
Just order free "farm" lists from your local Title company. Work just as well as those InfoUSA lists, if not better. I had lower rejects and DNC issues with farm lists.
frum...any local title office should have one. It gives most recent title changes (new buyers) for any zip code you ask for, and it's free! Some title companies might even print the list for you on mailing labels!
How well do these lists work for the cost? I work in wealth managment for a major bank but am looking to move to the independent channel. I have been working on a business plan and wanted your feedback on your success with DM. I have gotten negative feedback when I've brought it up to others.