Money Selling Names And Addresses
Based Business Ideas Part 1
Yes - it's true! You can make money simply
selling names and addresses - and there are many successful
businesses about to prove it! It's easy too - and the demand
for your service is considerable!
Anyone considering any business will know
that one of the
best ways of selling can be by mailshot - that is, a personal
sales approach through the post. Writing to potential
customers for your business can be very effective - and
certainly it is quite cheap compared to other techniques.
But - just where do you get names and addresses
customers from. For success, you just can't 'make them up' -
nor compile them from the telephone directory. The answer,
quite simply, is that they are bought from list brokers.
List brokers are small, efficient businesses
who buy names of
'consumers' and then allow other firms to use the names for
the despatching of mailings. It's a simple buying and
selling operation - and a service in great demand!
Although such services may not seem to have
a great deal of
potential - they do. Good name and address lists can earn as
much as œ100 per 1000! So, dealing in them is very
desirable. And, when you realise its often a simple
administrative part time business from home - even better!
For best results keep your list broking business
on a simple
'buying and selling' basis. That is, you are buying names
and addresses (little capital required) from customer lists
of suitable firms. Then, you just sell them to firms
requiring names and addresses for sales purposes. For
example, many of the large mail order houses derive a huge
proportion of their business from mailing list mailshots.
Maybe you could even sell to them?
Buying Your 'Stock'
To set out in this business you will need
to buy in some
stock. That is, your names and addresses suitable for
resale. Many mail order businesses operate a lucrative list
broking sideline - so mail order makes a good addition in
that you get your stock free! Why not consider it?
Initially decide what sort of names and addresses
going to deal in. A popular type is of 'opportunity seekers'
i.e. people looking for business opportunities. Another type
of 'mail order buyers'. You can really deal in anything
though. For example, why not deal in mailing lists of 'car
buyers' or 'tyre and exhaust buyers'. For this there would
certainly be a lot of interest in purchasing - from motoring
associations, insurance companies etc. - indeed any firm that
sells to motorists. It is best to deal in just one category
to start with - later you can expand to offering hundreds of
With a category decided you can proceed to
names and addresses to make your lists. Do note that you
cannot usually buy names from existing list brokers for
resale - except by special arrangement. In any case it is
best to develop your own original sources.
The best way to get stock is to write direct
who may have customer name and address lists you can use.
For example, if compiling a mailing list of 'furniture
buyers' write to furniture stores. Incidentally such a list
would sell well to those who supply fitted kitchens,
bathrooms, etc. There are many other good possibilities!
Write and explain what you are doing to potential
suppliers. Some will prefer to keep such lists confidential.
However, effort should reveal those who are willing to sell
their names. If you further explain the financial benefit
they should be even more interested.
When finding suitable names you could offer
a fairly high
price for them. Around œ100 a 1,000 would not be
unreasonable - though you may be able to get them for as
little as œ10 per 1,000 - negotiate! If you have no capital
then agree to pay the supplier when you first sell the lists.
You may need to obtain the names from the
e.g. copy invoices etc. And, it is generally a matter of the
more addresses you can buy the better. Several thousand
would provide an excellent business - though you could
probably start with as little as 500.
The obtaining of new stock should be made
process. Ask your suppliers to keep you informed of new
names they obtain. Every extra name and address you can add
to your list means direct extra profit!
Organising Your Lists
With names and addresses obtained it is necessary
them into formal mailing lists. This makes your service look
more professional. But, it also means that your work is the
very easiest it can be.
If you have a computer, or can obtain one,
then this is an
ideal way of sorting and storing mailing lists. Even quite
basic machines are capable of the task. However, when
starting a computer is far from necessary. You can build a
considerable business without the need for any 'technology'
A manual system can quite easily cope with
a large number of
names and addresses. Quite simply, all the names and
addresses should be typed up on an A4 sheet - 24 entries in 8
rows and 3 columns is the usual format. Each entry should be
given a code number - and each sheet a code number. This way
you can refer to any particular name/address easily.
When a customer wants to buy your mailing
list you just have
the necessary number of A4 sheets photocopied (at a local
copy shop) for them. An added service is having these copied
onto special A4 sheets of labels which can be obtained from
printers suppliers. Saves work in that the labels can be
stuck straight onto mailshot envelopes!
With careful organisation selling the addresses
need not be a
difficult or tedious business. For a fee of approaching œ100
per 1,000 your customer is just buying a set of valuable
To get the very best results it is necessary
to keep mailing
lists in good order - or 'clean' them as it is called. This
is done by asking your customers to return any envelopes they
receive marked 'Gone Away' for which you credit them. Then,
locate the out of date address in your mailing list originals
and cover it with a new address. This way your lists are
always fresh and will command the best price!
The way to considerable profits in this business
is just to
keep building and improving your lists. As we have already
said, every single address you add is extra profit!
Selling Your Service
A well prepared set of mailing lists is indeed
commodity. So, market it with this in mind. Despite some
complaints about 'unsolicited mail' direct mailshots are
still a very important way of selling all sorts of goods.
They are also generally accepted as very successful. Many
firms will pay highly to get good quality names and addresses
for sales use.
Before selling decide on a price for your
lists. Names and
addresses are usually sold in multiples of 1,000 - though
offering smaller quantities can be a business booster. Also
offer discounts on large quantities so you attract the
attentions of the large buyers!
As we have already said, œ100 per 1,000
names and addresses
is quite reasonable (at the time of writing) for good quality
data. Though, if you feel your names are not yet of the best
type there is lots of demand in the œ40 - œ80 per 1,000
bracket. As your service improves the more you can charge!
You will find all types of businesses are
purchasing mailing lists - or could be persuaded to try the
idea. Try and aim your service at businesses that already
sell by post. They have a definite need for your services.
A reliable way of getting business is to contact potential
customers in person. Some may be interested in a long
standing arrangement to supply names. A good way of getting
customers is to mailshot potential buyers. And, you can even
buy mailing lists of possible mailing list buyers for your
own use! Sure to illustrate the success of the system.
One advantage of this business is that it
is a strictly cash
with order operation. Another is that orders are easy to
fill. Just select suitable sheets from your original mailing
list and have copies made to send to your customers. Keep
careful records so that you know which entries have been
sent. This avoids duplication, if they order from you again
- which is more than likely if you have good lists!
And now, just why is the trading in mailing
profitable? There's a simple answer! Although you buy
mailing lists outright - you do not sell them outright - you
only rent them out. So, although you can sell the lists as
many times as you like, your customer only buys one time use
for their œ100/1,000 or whatever. Make it quite clear your
prices only allow for one time use - and no resale by the
Quite simply, although you might have to
invest something in
compiling the list - it can then keep earning and earning for
you - at up to œ100 each rental. As many times as you like!
And that's just for 1 list - consider the potential if you
have many (maybe hundreds) of different mailing lists!
This is the beauty of selling mailing names
Individually they are worth very little. But collectively
they can be worth a fortune! Never underestimate the
potential of this simple product.
Making More from Names and Addresses
Throughout this book we have talked about
a basic '1000'
names and addresses. And, even at this level you can develop
quite a good sideline income. Obviously though there is much
more potential than that!
The usual development for the list broker
is to expand lists
in quantity. However, you can also consider expanding them
in quality which will allow you to charge even more! One
idea is to test mail your lists yourself first. From that
list select only those who respond best to compile one select
'superlist'. Such a work would be an extremely valuable
An alternative is to expand into highly specialised
Because of the rarity of these they tend to be much more
costly. For example you might compile mailing lists of 'Bank
Managers' or 'Managing Directors' or 'People with salaries
over œ200,000 pa'. Such lists can be highly sought after
lucrative for you. Because of the value sell in smaller
batches e.g. 100 or 250.
A rather less exclusive expansion is to deal
in mailing lists
of 'enquirers' - not necessarily purchasers. These are less
valuable but you can make money from the sheer volume of
names and addresses sold.
In fact, there are many different ways of
trading in mailing lists. The great advantage of this is
that there are so many opportunities left unexploited. You
may well be able to think of and compile a list or lists that
no other broker has thought of. Hence, you can have the
market for that list all to yourself!
An interesting expansion of the business
lies with those who
use mailing lists for mail order business - which is by far
the biggest use. That is, to establish your own mail order
business in conjunction with list broking. This is also very
lucrative, but when combined has a special double-edged
impact. You not only get to use the names and addresses
free, but you get suppliers of names and addresses from your
business and to hire out to others completely free to you. A
truly unbeatable mixture!
You may be able to think of many variations
on the theme -
and further uses for the list broking. However, quite
simply, the fact remains that the name of a potential
customer is of immense value to any business. As a collector
of that information you are in a very lucrative position!
A FINAL WORD
Many people in search of a business opportunity
know or hear
of the idea of list broking - but they don't take the matter
any further because they don't believe the potential that
exists. As we have already said a name and address does not
mean much individually - but when assembled with others in a
useful list it suddenly takes on an enormous value. And,
it's so easy to collect, compile and sell this valuable
If you've been looking for a lucrative product
to sell in a
business then think again. It could be something as lowly as
your name and address!