The Best List Broker Services of 2020

By Andrew Martins,
business.com staff
| Updated
Feb 21, 2020

Looking for the best list brokers? We have easy-to-read, expert reviews and feature comparisons of the best and cheapest brokers.
Best Overall
Email and postal leads available
Pricing available online
Lists in PDF and CSV/Excel format
Best for Consumer Lists
Consumer and business lists
Advice on best list options
Email lists are all opt-in
Best for Email Lists
Complies with privacy laws
List updates several times a month
Unlimited use of email lists
Looking for the best list brokers? We have easy-to-read, expert reviews and feature comparisons of the best and cheapest brokers.

A strong marketing campaign relies on multiple points of data. With the right information, your small business can make sure it lands in front of your ideal audience, whether you're planning to run an online campaign or send promotions through direct mail. With the help of a good list broker service, you can target your ideal audience through the use of demographical data and up-to-date lists.

Based on our examination of the list broker industry, we've chosen the best services for different business needs.

Find the right list broker service for your business

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Direct marketing efforts live and die by the mailing lists they're based on. Through the use of a good list broker, your small business can get a tailored list of names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and other contact information that can ensure your message gets in front of the right people.

While obtaining a person's contact information from a third party may feel like you're capitalizing on a recent data breach or digital intrusion, the information sold by brokers comes from several legitimate sources. Professional list brokers get their information through extensive databases that have compiled consumer and business contacts from phone books, public records, and surveys.

With a list broker's help, you can take this raw data and narrow the list down to the households or businesses you want to target based on demographics. Listings can get down to very specific details, so you can maximize your business's return on investment by only reaching out to the parties you know will respond well to your brand.

A mailing list provided by a good list broker can boost your public awareness of your business and get new customers through the door, whether you're looking to sell directly to businesses or to households.

How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
18
Considered
7
Researched
3
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

   LeadsPlease Prospects Influential  ListGIANT
Regular updates? Yes. Monthly Yes. Depends on providers Yes. Two to three times per month
Guaranteed? Consumer lists are 95% accurate. Business lists are at least 93% accurate Yes. Depends on providers Yes. Direct mail deliverability guaranteed at 94-99%. Email lists aren't guaranteed
Opt-in email lists? Yes Yes Yes

Our Reviews

LeadsPlease: Best List Broker Service Overall

The interface makes it easy to generate lists.
Lists are provided in three different file formats (Excel/CSV, PDF or as mailing labels).
There is a required minimum of 1,000 leads for each order.

LeadsPlease is the best overall list broker service, thanks to its litany of features and comprehensive list-generation options. The company offers postal and email lists for consumers, businesses or any number of specialty needs. We were impressed with how frequently LeadsPlease updates their data and their exceptional guarantees.

With many list brokers, obtaining an exact price often requires calling the company's sales department. LeadsPlease, though, posts pricing on its website.

For postal lists with 1,000 consumer leads, LeadsPlease charges $99.50. For 1,000 business records, it charges $99.75. For 5,000 leads, expect to pay approximately $325 for household leads and $600 for business leads; 10,000 leads had a $400 and $800 price tag, respectively. The above prices are estimates; your needs will vary from our research and testing parameters.

For 1,000 household email leads, LeadsPlease quotes a price of $125; email business leads cost $170. For 5,000 household email addresses, the price quoted was $500, while that same number of business leads cost $600. Household and business lists with 10,000 entries cost $900 and $800, respectively.

Using accurate data is paramount for your company's marketing campaigns. LeadsPlease updates their databases every 30 days; postal addresses are checked against U.S. Postal Service-approved software, and emails undergo electronic confirmations. For certain databases, like the ones used for new movers and new homeowners, data is updated weekly.

In addition to providing up-to-date lists, LeadsPlease offers businesses special features that are designed to streamline the list generation process and make it more convenient. For example, LeadsPlease can provide generated lists in PDF, Excel/CSV format and as preprinted mailing labels.

LeadsPlease also offers the best guarantee on their postal lists among the services we researched. For consumer, new mover, and new homeowner postal lists, the company guarantees a 95% or higher accuracy rate; LeadsPlease guarantees its business postal lists have an accuracy rate of 90% or higher if you use the list within 30 days of purchasing it. If, however, the percentage of undeliverable addresses exceeds the company's guarantees, LeadsPlease will refund your costs for those addresses. (The company does not, however, reimburse printing or postage costs.)

Our interactions with LeadsPlease's customer service were generally positive. Their representative asked us several questions to make sure they understood our needs before they ran a list count for us. They concisely answered our questions and were affable during our encounter.

While there were many things we liked about LeadsPlease, we found the company's minimum order rule – each order must have at least 1,000 records – restrictive.

Prospects Influential List Brokers: Best List Broker Consumer Lists

Prospects International had the best prices for consumer lists.
It has access to more than 70,000 lists worldwide.
There is a $50 processing fee.

Prospects Influential is our pick as the best list broker for consumers lists. The company's hands-on approach to list generation gives your business a highly customizable list that fits within your marketing strategy.

With more than 70,000 lists to choose from and connections with major list compilers throughout the industry, Prospects Influential can help your business target both common and niche demographics. What differentiates Prospects Influential from other brokers we examined was their ability to negotiate for a lower price on your behalf for the list you want. We didn't see with other services; in fact, most brokers have set prices for their lists.

We contacted Prospects Influential posing as a small business owner seeking postal and email lists for consumer households. Please note that our figures do not reflect what every list will cost. Each list is different, depending on who you're attempting to target and the quantity of your list. We've provided these figures to give you an estimate of what you can generally expect to pay.

For 5,000 postal leads, we were quoted a price of $225, while 10,000 postal leads would cost $450. As for our email needs, 5,000 leads cost $375, while 10,000 leads came with a $750 price tag. These prices were among the lowest we found during our research for opt-in email lists.

Along with competitive price quotes, Prospects Influential offers its clients expert advice on the lists they generate. During our conversation, the rep with Prospects Influential asked thoughtful questions about our business and marketing plan before offering pointers. That kind of one-on-one approach can be a major help to any small business owner, especially if you've never carried out a direct mail or email marketing campaign.

While our experience with Prospects Influential was positive overall, the company charges a $50 processing fee, which seems excessive. No other broker we evaluated charges a processing fee.

Prospects Influential states that its lists are accurate and up to date. We asked their sales rep how often the company updates it lists and were told that the frequency depends on the vendor the list came from. Prospects Influential doesn't own the lists; instead, it relies on other companies to provide accurate lists. We were told that if a company doesn't update its lists regularly, Prospects Influential stops working with them.

ListGIANT: Best List Broker for Email Lists

Lists are updated two to three times each month.
You can use your purchased list an unlimited number of times.
Prices for the higher volume lists are higher than their competitors.

Thanks to modern technology, people are never too far away from their email inboxes. An email list from ListGIANT, our pick as the best broker for email lists, can help get your business or brand instantaneously in front of countless people.

With more than three decades of experience in the list broker industry, ListGIANT's email lists and marketing options help small businesses stay with the times. Every email address the company collects and sells has opted into the service. ListGIANT's email lists comply with U.S. and Canadian privacy laws.

During our testing, we posed as a small business owner looking to purchase email and postal addresses for both businesses and consumer households. After telling the customer service rep the general demographic we wanted to advertise to, we received the following price quote.

For 5,000 consumer leads, the cost was $600; for 10,000 records, the price was $1,000. For 5,000 business leads, ListGIANT quoted a price of $1,100, and for 10,000 records, the cost was $2,000.

These costs reflect a generic list of contacts; they may not reflect the price you are quoted for the demographic you are targeting.

Besides supplying you with email contacts for your small business, ListGIANT also comes with some welcome features that should help your marketing campaign run smoothly.

In the world of email marketing lists, up-to-date information is paramount. Since email addresses can be changed easily, good list brokers update their databases frequently. In our research, ListGIANT updated their lists the most frequently. Their sales rep stated that their email lists are updated two to three times per month, with additional checks for other issues that may crop up. ListGIANT also states that every list they sell complies with existing privacy regulations.

Our interactions with ListGIANT's customer service were positive. During our conversations, we were given multiple options and never felt like we were being upsold on anything we didn't need.

ListGIANT is an exemplary vendor, but we did note a couple of drawbacks.

First, the company does not guarantee the accuracy of its email lists. There is a 94-99% delivery rate guarantee on its postal mailing lists, but ListGIANT's sales rep informed us that they do not guarantee email records because of the nebulous nature of email. For small businesses, spending upward of $1,000 represents a significant expense, and some type of assurance would be welcome.

Second, while the prices we received were comparable with those quoted by other brokers, the prices for their higher count lists were more expensive than other vendors we looked at.

List Broker Service Pricing

Since list brokers take a custom approach to each order based on a company's needs, it's rare for them to post their pricing structures online. That may be frustrating if you're trying to determine how much a service will cost your company, but it's the nature of a business where no two orders are the same.

When coming up with a new list order, you will have to decide on a number of factors. Chief among them is where you want to begin your search. Most brokers will ask you to set a search radius around an address or select a specific area like a state, county, or city before they ask for specifics about the demographics you want to hit.

When you draw up lists for consumers, data points like the number of people in a household, residents' ages and occupations could help you hone your targets. For a business list, however, you may want to only get listings for businesses with a certain number of employees or within a certain industry. In this instance, most searches will be through the use of a government-defined Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code.

Based on your selected criteria, the broker will be able to draw up a list that meets your needs. Prices will vary by the number of business or consumer listings you manage to draw up.

In our research, we identified similarities between list brokers in how each one quoted us. While the specific prices varied, we found that most companies charge on a per-entry basis,  usually 6 to 36 cents per list entry. The more entries we requested in a list, the lower the individual cost would go. Prices also depended on whether the entries were email or postal addresses and if they were for a business or consumer list. In every instance, email lists and business lists cost more per entry than postal and consumer lists. We saw prices as low as $75 for 1,000 entries and as high as $3,600 for 10,000 entries.

Buying Guide

Benefits of Using a Purchased List for Your Direct Marketing Campaigns

Businesses have used direct marketing for decades to reach new audiences. Direct marketing involves reaching out to a specific target audience via mail, email or over the phone in hopes of converting them into customers or clients.

A successful direct marketing campaign can result in a boost of customers, whether that is consumers or businesses. How successful your marketing efforts are, though, depends on several factors, including your message and call to action.

However, to spread your message, you need contacts, and the success of your campaign rests largely on the quality of those contacts. Not only do list brokers provide you with these contacts, with their knowledge and expertise, they help you determine the right demographics for your campaigns so you reach an audience that is receptive to your message.

Types of List Broker Services

In the mailing list industry, there are two types of vendors: list brokers and list managers. List brokers are the intermediaries between you and the owner of the list you are interested in purchasing. Brokers recommend the best lists for your marketing campaign, they handle mailing dates and order the lists. Brokers also negotiate for the best lists and deals for your campaign. Brokers work on your behalf to make sure you maximize your return on investment.

List managers work to generate the most revenue for a list. They promote their lists to brokers and marketers for future campaigns. Managers also maintain lists, ensuring they are accurate and update to date.

List compilers produce the lists. They are familiar with the sources they get their data from and generally deal in bulk listings of hundreds of thousands of entries. If obtaining contacts from a list broker is akin to getting your water from a faucet, list compilers are like getting water from a fire hose.

How to Choose a List Broker

When you're choosing a list broker service, there are some key factors you want to consider. Ask yourself

  • Does the company specialize in consumer or business lists? Consumer lists are useful if you're trying to generate more foot traffic or general interest, while business lists comprise more precise data sets that target businesses in a particular industry. In both instances, a good list broker can create a targeted list that relies on specific geographic and demographic data points.

  • How current are the lists? The best list brokers update their databases regularly. Most vendors run their postal list through the U.S. Postal Service's National Change of Address file, while email addresses are checked electronically. Most services check their lists every 30 days, though you can request that the service run a check again before providing you with the final list.

  • Is the data available categorized as compiled or responsive? Compiled data is largely gathered through open records, including phone books, government records and credit files. The household or business contacts on these lists can be further sorted by geographic locations, gender, ethnicity, income and age. Responsive lists are based on contact information that was volunteered in some way. They are usually gathered through sources like magazine subscriptions, catalogs and previous direct marketing responses. List broker sites often refer to these as "opt-in" lists, meaning the contacts may be more receptive to your message, but opt-in records are usually more expensive and harder to come by.

  • Do the lists come with any guarantees? Addresses and contact info, especially with large lists, are always in flux, so there are bound to be delivery errors and bounced mailers. List brokers usually offer a deliverability guarantee and will refund your costs for items that are returned by the U.S. Postal Service. However, a broker is not responsible if your campaign does not attract new customers.

  • Are the lists sold or rented out? When you buy a list, it's yours to keep and use. Broker companies sometimes rent lists for temporary use. When you rent a list, you're given a set number of times that you can use the list. You enter into an agreement with the list broker that you will only use the list for the agreed-upon number of uses. Often, the rented list contains seed addresses that alert the broker if you use the list beyond the number specified in the rental agreement, which can result in fees and penalties.

  • Does the broker offer additional, direct marketing services? Some brokers will design your mailers (or emails) and send them for you. Their experience can save you money and a lot of potential headaches. Of course, you can always purchase a list and use a direct mail service for fulfillment and mailing. If you are renting an email list for one-time use, though, most brokers typically send emails on your behalf, which also ensures their list stays private. List broker services can help you find new customers to boost your business's sales or visibility. With the help of a list broker, you can easily connect to a larger audience and open new doors for your business.

List Broker Service FAQs

Q: What are the benefits of using list broker services?

A: Direct marketing is a method businesses have used to reach new audiences for decades. It involves reaching out to a specific target audience by mail, email or phone in hopes of converting them into customers or clients.

A successful direct marketing campaign can boost your base of customers, whether they are consumers or businesses. The success of your marketing efforts depends on several factors, including your message and call to action, but to get your message to these people in the first place, you need to obtain lists of contacts. A big factor in the success of your campaign is the quality of those lists. Not only do list brokers provide you these lists, they can help you determine the right contacts for your campaigns, with the right demographics for you to reach the audience that will be most receptive to your message.

Q: How do list brokers work?

A: A list broker connects you to extensive databases with the contact information for consumers and businesses. These databases are assembled from various sources, including phone books, public records and surveys. Records can include names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of people or businesses you're trying to market your products or services to.

List brokers help you narrow your list of consumers or businesses to those likely to be the most responsive to your mailers, emails or telemarketing calls.

Q: What is the difference between a list broker, list manager and list compiler?

A: In the mailing list industry, there are two types of vendors: list brokers and list managers. The differences between the two are easy to recognize when determining which company you're going to use.

List brokers are people who stand between you and the list owner. They can recommend the best lists for your marketing campaign, handle mailing dates and order the lists. Brokers also negotiate the best lists and deals for your campaign, working on your behalf to maximize your return on investment.

List managers work to generate the most revenue possible for a list owner. They do this by promoting their lists to brokers and marketers for future campaigns. Managers are usually also responsible for maintaining and updating lists while ensuring the lists are attractive to potential buyers or renters.

List compilers produce the lists. They are familiar with the sources they get their data from and generally deal in bulk listings of hundreds of thousands of entries. If dealing with a broker is like getting your water from a faucet, list compilers are more akin to a fire hose.

Andrew Martins: Writer
Andrew Martins,
business.com Writer
See Andrew's Profile
I am a former newspaper journalist who has transitioned to strictly cover the business world for business.com and Business News Daily. I am a four-time New Jersey Press Award winner and prior to joining my current team, I was the editor of six weekly newspapers that covered multiple counties in the state.

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