What is a List Broker and What do they do?
People often ask me, “What is a list broker and what exactly does a list broker do?” and it is a very valid question. When I’m at a dinner party and someone asks me “What do you do?”, most of the time, most people have never even heard of a list broker.
A list broker works in the direct marketing industry and acts as a middleman between a client who needs a marketing list and the list owner who is renting their list. There are over 50,000 list owners and list compilers in North America and the average person would not know where to even start when it comes to choosing a list vendor. That’s where a list broker comes in.
What Does a List Broker Do?
In general, a list broker brokers mailing lists and telemarketing lists but some list brokers also manage email campaigns and sms text messaging as well.
Here’s an example of how a list broker works. Let’s say you have a teeth bleaching product that you have developed and you want to sell it to dentists. You contact a list broker and they will typically ask you several questions, such as:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- How do you want to reach them?
- What is your time frame?
While you may know a lot about your industry, a good list broker also knows an enormous amount about direct marketing lists and your list broker (if they’re good list brokers!) will probably say, “How about reaching dentists that have a certain number of employees? And how about dentists in a certain geography? And how about dentists that specialize in cosmetic dentistry?” and your list broker will ask all sorts of questions in order to narrow your target market down as much as possible.
You see, a good list broker should not be trying to sell you the biggest list. A good list broker will try to get you a very targeted list so that your marketing campaign will be successful.
A list broker is there for you before, during and after your marketing campaign. Throughout the research phase, your list broker will initially work for free until they find you exactly what you want. Your list broker is paid a commission from the list vendor so you should never have to pay your list broker anything.
Because, in theory, a list broker doesn’t own their own databases and their own lists, they can remain impartial and recommend what will truly work for you and not just what they have in-house. List brokers work for you, and no one else, and that’s how your list broker will always have your best interests in mind.