What’s the Difference Between a List Broker and a List Compiler?

being a salespersonIf you’ve been looking into buying or renting a mailing list or e-mail list, you may well have come across some people who claim to be list compilers while others (like List Guy) are list brokers. The two kinds of companies tend to sound like they do similar things to each other, but in reality they are quite different and a list broker can actually save you money and hassle in the long run. Here’s what you need to know:

A List Broker Defined

Just like a real estate broker, list brokers don’t actually own any mailing lists. Or they own very few of them. Instead, they act as a kind of a middle man between the people who have built the list from scratch (typically by doing the hard work of building it up over time) and the people who want to purchase or rent a mailing list for their new products.

A List Complier Defined

A list compiler by comparison will create the actual list of e-mail leads and will know exactly where the information came from. At times, it’s a legitimate list of e-mail leads, which will allow you to sell products to this person’s own clients. However, at times, a list compiler will compile their lists through scraping, meaning that they looked for e-mail lists from people who posted their e-mail address in forums and the like online.

Isn’t It Cheaper to Cut the Middle Man Out?

You may think that cutting out the list broker is a good idea – after all, why should you pay a percentage to a middle man? In many cases, not paying the percentage does make sense. It make sense for example to not pay a percentage to the middle man when you can buy a product directly that you know meets your needs.

List Brokers Can Help Pinpoint Just the Right List

However, in the last of mailing lists, you need to consider more than just the question of saving money. You need to consider as well the question of what you actually need. A list compiler, even one who doesn’t cheat and compiles a quality list, knows only about his or her own mailing list and nothing else. They can’t help you to find a different list which may be a better choice for your needs because they don’t have one. In this respect, it’s no different than working with a real estate broker in a new city – you try to use someone who knows the area because you don’t know it yourself.

List Compilers Don’t Like Small Clients

The other reason why you want to work with a quality list broker as opposed to a list compiler is quite simply that most compilers are busy running their own businesses. They aren’t interested in renting you 1,000 e-mail addresses. They want to rent out the whole e-mail list of 250,000 people or not at all. A list broker by comparison can make deals with individual list compilers to arrange access to their lists so that you can get rent or buy just what you need.

Bottom Line

In short, think of the list broker as being the personalized service that you need when you work in an unfamiliar area whereas the list compiler is kind of like dealing with the manufacturer when you know exactly which product you need and you just want to negotiate the best bulk deal available.

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