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How to Find the Right List Broker

How to Select a List Broker

So you need to buy a marketing list? Or maybe just need some phone numbers to call or some addresses to mail to? Maybe you need to supplement your sales team’s outbound efforts with email addresses? Do you need cell phone numbers for voicemail drops?

You need a list broker.


Start with the most reasonable thing that any human being would do in your situation and google it! you’ll likely find something like this

What do you do?

You can start clicking on all the links and searching for who’s got what you need, and thirty minutes later, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion most do: Why is this so complicated? I just need some data!

Here’s a quick and easy guide that will allow you to sift through the many different list brokers and understand which broker offers the type of data that will be most useful for you.

Data Types

Let’s begin with different types of data that exist. It’s not uncommon for a list broker to offer all of these data types, but each broker will typically specialize or be best at one specific type of data. Here’s an overview:

Telemarketing data

Telemarketing data is typically divided into two buckets, (i) business to consumer telemarketing which uses automated dialers and (ii) business to business data that is often dialed by hand and read from a spreadsheet or customer relationship management software (CRM).

Voicemail drop data

This is typically a subset of telemarketing data that must only include cell phone numbers. The ability to determine whether a phone number is a cell phone number is typically determined by the Numbering Plan Area (NPA) or the first three digits of the seven digit phone number assigned under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). However, determining with certainty which phone numbers are cell phone versus landlines is only feasible for companies that obtain a license to the Intermodal Port List from Neustar Inc., a federal government contractor paid by the United States government for maintaining the NANP.

Direct mail data

Direct mail data is often gathered from public property records. The United States Postal Service (USPS) sells licenses private companies to a database of known address changes called the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Direct mail data is often purchased to mail individuals or households by name and household characteristic. For example, a pest control company would send a piece of mail to John Smith because he is a home owner in a particular geographic region. Direct mail is also used for saturation marketing where the USPS is paid for an Every Door Direct Mail campaign to deliver a mail piece to every individual in a particular geographic region.

Email marketing data

Email marketing data is often compiled from private companies that collect and resell email marketing data. CAN Spam regulations govern the use of emails for commercial purposes, and large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Email Service Providers (ESPs) monitor compliance to CAN Spam and private spamming policies to minimize the number of unsolicited emails received by its users.

Social media data

Social media data is often tightly controlled by social networks but has become increasingly available by these social networks for the purpose of advertising. While some social media data is available for purchase for analytical purposes, most access to this data is limited to the API provided by the social network.

Financial Data

The primary source of financial data are the credit bureaus Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. The use of credit scores is highly regulated but summary level financial information is typically available from most data providers. Using credit scores for marketing is often used by mortgage and lending institutions as they are required to make a firm offer of credit within a certain time period. Summary level financial information is often used to determine financial health of a prospect or income levels of a household.

Data Quality

Data quality varies among data brokers and data compilers. Data compilers, or companies that collect their own data, not surprisingly, have the highest quality data and most frequent updates or refresh rates on the dataset. Most compilers will not license their most accurate data to other data brokers, or companies that specialize in offering a variety of data types and sources, as they are able to charge a higher premium selling their data directly to companies that require accurate data that they would be licensing their most accurate data through data brokers. Each data type and each company will have unique data accuracy needs. Direct mail data, for example, is relatively inexpensive to find because any name and address can typically be updated through the NCOA database service through private companies. Telemarketing data is also relatively inexpensive because the data can be updated through a number of companies with licenses to the Intermodal Port List. Below is a list of well known data brokers and compilers that can help you quickly narrow your search for the right data broker.

Data Compilers and Data Brokers

United States Postal Service (USPS) - The USPS compiles change of address data and is a premium source for the National Change of Address database. They also offer Every Door Direct Mail campaigns.

Dunn & Bradstreet (D&B) - D&B is required to issued DUNS numbers to businesses wishing to do business in the United State with federal, state, and local governments, and are a data compiler, as a result, for business information, including business name, address, telephone number, and owners, executives, and board members of each business. D&B owns several subsidiaries that complement their DUNS business, including Hoovers.

Experian - Experian is one of three credit bureaus that offers consumer credit scoring in the United States. Experian is a primary data compiler of consumer information including name, address, telephone number, and consumer credit and spending attributes.

Acxiom - Acxiom is a large marketing research firm that conducts and compiles consumer and business survey data.

Infogroup - perhaps more commonly know as InfoUSA and SalesGenie, Infogroup is a conglomerate of data companies that does a variety of data compiling from a variety of sources.

Neustar - as the contractor managing the NANP, Neustar is the premier compiler of telemarketing data.

ListShack.com - Also known as Affordable Marketing Lists or AML, ListShack.com over the last two years has become the number one source for discount and wholesale telemarketing and direct mail data. The company also brokers data for VIN, Cell Phone, and email data upon request.

Accudata - as a data broker for many different compilers, Accudata is known for offering targeted telemarketing and direct mail data and brokers other data sources as well.

List Giant - as a data broker, List Giant brokers a variety of proprietary and brokered data.

Infofree - Founded by Vin Gupta, former CEO of infogroup, Infofree is a data broker that offers a variety of data types.

ZoomInfo - Zoominfo is a data broker that offers B2B data to sales and marketing teams through direct integration with CRM systems like SalesForce.

Data.com - Owned by SalesForce, Data.com is a cooperative database compiled from companies that provide their B2B sales data in exchange for access to other companies information.

Melissa Data - A well known data broker and compiler of a variety of data types.

Natimark - A well known data compiler that does manual compiling work on B2B and B2C databases.

Dataman Group - A data broker that offers a variety of data types.

Price of Data

As data collection techniques have increasingly become more automated with the decreasing cost of computer hardware and storage, the price of data has also continued to decrease. Data compilers typically sell their most accurate data at premium prices, both because they control the supply and because these companies have to cover the overhead and data collection expenses. Data brokers often sell slightly aged or less accurate data at less expensive price points, though they can be limited by their license agreement on the price at which they are able to sell the data.

ListShack is the best price for data

ListShack has pioneered the wholesale data model by making strategic purchases of B2B and B2C databases and offering the data at extremely discounted rates to thousands of businesses. The business maintains low overhead by providing data through a self service portal with comprehensive customer service model. Requests through ListShack for other types of data are referred to Affordable Marketing Lists, that offers traditional data broker services at discounted rates because of the success of its wholesale data business.

Don’t hesitate to call Listshack data experts at 1-888-905-3282.