This is a person or firm that sells categorized lists of people and their contact information for use in direct mail, telemarketing or email advertising campaigns. At the smallest level, list brokers provide a database which contains a person’s name and email address (or mailing address or phone number). However, these lists can include more advanced information such as a person’s sex, age or location.
List brokers are also a resource for email marketers to do list research, list counts, or receive recommendations or response evaluations. Because brokers often do not keep pre-made lists, email marketers are able to request lists made up of individuals who fit their target audience. As list brokers will have to do research to compile these lists, email marketers can leverage their findings to advance their campaigns and maximize their ROI.
List brokers often act as the go-between for marketers who want to buy or rent lists and those who are willing to rent or sell their lists. For these transactions, the broker may receive a commission from the list owners — or may receive a portion of the return on sales. In these deals, brokers may also be able to provide their marketer clients with purchase information, price guidelines and other information to help maximize their returns.
However, most email newsletter marketing services restrict the use of purchased or rented lists, as these, in many cases will generate spam reports and are in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. Major email newsletter service providers may also risk having their IP address blacklisted with major email service providers.