Monday, March 22, 2010

Database Power in Direct Mail and VDP - list sources

A good list is one of the most important elements of a proper campaign. In your activity you will need both quality lists and also affordable lists. Of course, your most valuable list is your own in-house list of customers and prospects.

We will begin with a two-fold list classification: Quality Lists and Free Lists. Quality lists are those where you can select recipients by ample criteria and where you also have the current name and job title of the individuals you are contacting via your efforts.

Examples of Quality List Sources: /D&B

An affordable way to obtain a mailing and calling list on a shoestring budget is to own a tool that grabs lists from one or more online Yellow Pages / White Pages web sites, and stores them in a delimited format in your computer for further manipulation.

Example of Free List Grabbing Software: - Yellow Pages Grabber

Import as many lists as you want to CSV from certain Online Yellow Pages, or it can be customized to work with sites of your choice for an extra fee. The software program and updates will cost you a license fee; however, all the lists you need to extract will cost you absolutely nothing thereafter.

With this type of tool you will be able to collect:

- name of business

- complete mailing address

- telephone number

- occasional fax, email or web address if available

No contact name is available in Yellow Page list aggregators as of this writing. Mailing or calling a list without a contact name is a compromise many of us are not willing to make. However, considering you pay nothing for obtaining these lists, there may be certain uses for them. Also, remember that this is not an endorsement; I am not even sure if using such a tool is legal or it infringes upon the rights of the respective Yellow Pages web site owners. I am simply sharing this information with you, because I feel a chapter on List Sources would be incomplete without mentioning the existence of such tools.

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