Working with one company for list brokerage and list management

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A common question among many mailers is whether or not to consolidate their list brokerage and list management with the same company.

The most frequently given reason for keeping these services at separate companies is, "We don't want to put all of our eggs in one basket."

On the surface, this is a reasonable approach. Maybe a mailer has been burned in the past courtesy of a company that came upon financial difficulties or was acquired and consolidated with a larger entity, thus losing its competitive edge.

Sometimes, a mailer wants to work with multiple vendors in order to maintain as expansive an industry network as possible.

Whatever the rationale, when it is done right, and with the right company, nothing can be as beneficial to a mailer as a strong, coordinated and comprehensive relationship with one list services company handling both list management and list brokerage.

The true benefit to a mailer working with the one company for both services comes when the company in question operates in a cohesive manner.

Let's face it. Some list companies run their brokerage and management divisions in such a way that they may only interact at the company holiday party.

Conversely, when the company's list managers and brokers work together both formally and informally on a daily basis, there can be many benefits. For instance, the right partner will make certain that your strategic exchange relationships are being properly maintained. There is more to this than debiting and crediting an exchange journal. It requires that both the list broker and the list manager understand the circulation strategies and goals of the client.

If your list manager is not on board with your circulation needs, you may place yourself in danger of over-extending your exchange balances and find your orders being approved on a much more costly rental basis, or worse, of being cut off from usage until the balance owed has been whittled down.

At the same time, a creative broker with a strong consultative background and analytical capabilities can benefit the list manager by contributing mail plans that help you grow your customer list.

A customer list grown from multiple list sources is the most responsive, best performing list. Armed with a strong product, an aggressive list manager can then generate new business that will result in either increased list rental income or additional exchange opportunities that, in turn, will continue to fuel your future prospecting efforts.

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