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Insider's Secret to Selling Mailing Lists

By DeAnna Spencer
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005

If you've got a mailing list of at least a thousand names or more, you're sitting on a gold mine. All it takes is for you to get the word out that you've got a mailing list for rent, at a competitive price, and you should be home free!

First of all, you've got to have a bonafide list of customers - a list of names of people that have responded to an ad or bought from you.

You can accumulate such a list simply by noting on 3 by 5 index cards - the names and addresses of each person sending you something in the mail. If it's in response to an ad you've ran, not that on your file card with the date you received the response. If it's an order for something you're selling, not that on your file card with the date, and dollar figure relative to what they bought from you. If it's just an incoming offer for something they're selling, not the date and what they're selling on your index card.

Keep your cards filed by zip code, and in alphabetical order within the zip code numbers. When you have a thousand or more of these cards on file, either type or have these names and addresses types onto full sheets of mailing labels. Be sure to number your lists, and each page of your lists.

From this point, you simply make up an advertising sales letter stating that you offer mailing lists for rent - a brochure or circular you can make up from the best features of all the incoming offers you get. Be sure to write your sales letter or put your circular together in such a manner that it makes the would-be buyer feel that he'll make money from the use of your list - for instance, one of the current more popular headlines being used these days, asks the reader if he would like more orders and/or money in his bank account. These letters then go on to explain just how the use of the advertised mailing list should be able to multiply his investment.

Send this letter or brochure out to all the people sending you offers in the mail, and also to all the people you see advertising in mail order publications.

In addition to these people, you should also check in your local Yellow Pages under "mailing lists" and get a copy of your sales letter or brochure off to them. You might also drop by your local public library and look up the names and address of all the "mailing list brokers" in the Standard Rate & Data Service books, and send them a copy of your sales material. Finally, take down the names and addresses of all the mailing list houses you might want to send a copy of sales materials to, from the Standard Rate & Data Service books.

A good mailing list "all customers" will rent form $50 per thousand, and will be in use as often as you care to rent it out. The best way to go is through a reputable list broker. He does all the promoting for you, and handles everything, more or less sending you a check - minus his 10-15% commission - at the end of each month. This is definitely the kind of business you can set up on almost any home computer, and so long as you keep the "nixies" to a bare minimum, you can realize an unbelievable income.

If you're promoting/renting your own list, you should set up a working relationship with either a copy shop of lease/buy your own photocopy machine. Look in the Yellow Pages for wholesale paper houses in your area, explain to them the kind of labels you want, and then buy your supplies in quantity lots. Then as you receive orders for your list, just run your master copies through the machine onto the labels and send the labels out to your customers.

Be sure to keep a log on the front of each list, and note the date - name - and kind of offer sent out by each renter. Try to find out as much as you can about each of your list renters, and the type of materials they're sending out - and then ask them to check back with you on their results. By all means, you'll get more renters if you offer some sort of compensation for any nixies returned to you - and at the same time, you'll be able to keep your list free of undeliverables. Such an offer might be one new, and guaranteed fresh name for every undeliverable returned to you within 60 days from the date of their order.

Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer

About the Author
DeAnna is the publisher of the ezine, Prospecting and Presents. Subscribers get one free ad per week. Subscribe today by visiting (


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