What is a Mailing List Broker?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2018
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The definition of a broker is someone who oversees the buying or selling of a property without actually owning it, someone who negotiates agreements between two parties over the sale or rental of an object, piece of real estate, or service. A real estate broker, for example, is someone who helps people to find a residential or commercial space to buy or rent. A mailing list broker, therefore, is someone who helps a business to obtain a mailing list for their marketing purposes.

The most important job of a mailing list broker is to provide viable mailing addresses that correspond to individuals or businesses in the correct demographic for his or her client. Say, for example, a company that sold high-end gemstone jewelry wanted to launch a marketing campaign for a new line of accessories set with emeralds. The company would want to target potential customers who would be interested in such products. A mailing list broker would then, perhaps, supply this client with a list of people who had recently purchase luxury vehicles of a certain type, had certain memberships, already owned expensive jewelry, etc. It would not be appropriate, on the other hand, for a mailing list broker to supply this client with a list of teenagers who had recently signed up on a gaming website.


The better the mailing list broker, the more targeted the marketing campaign will be; the more targeted the marketing campaign is, the better response the company will receive. Therefore, it is important for companies to go with a reputable mailing list broker who is sure to supply them with the best, most fine-tuned mailing list possible. It is also very important for the addresses to be as current as possible. A mailing campaign will be a bust if a large percentage of the post cards or letters are returned because the address isn’t current.

It makes good sense for a company to use a mailing list broker that already serves businesses similar to its own. For example, a small literary press probably would not benefit from a mailing list broker who worked primarily with clients in the automotive field. Linking up with a broker who had worked with magazines, quarterlies, and other presses would be a much better way to go. It is important to note that a good broker will stand behind their lists. If you get a very poor response to your campaign, you should expect at least a partial refund from your mailing list broker.


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