16 replies
Hello All,

What is a typical return rate for direct mail? I bought a list from infofree. I sent 800 B2B prospect letters and 230 of them were returned.
#list #mailing
  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Rob that's crazy. Did you send these out yourself with stamps or did a mailhouse to do it?

    If a mailhouse did it they could have ran the list through the USPS NCOA database which would kick off most of the known bad addresses.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      Rob that's crazy. Did you send these out yourself with stamps or did a mailhouse to do it?

      If a mailhouse did it they could have ran the list through the USPS NCOA database which would kick off most of the known bad addresses.
      Have you seen the integration prices for that?

      Its like 7k upfront and then + 30k a year.

      The last time I talked to them it was 175k for the larger 3rd tier
      ( as long as its below or higher then - i forget which - 50% )

      I seriously doubt any of these fly by nights are paying that fee to scrub.
      I think the LSP alone is 15k

      edit-
      OP here this might help you out. As a scrubber they are great. Actually they do a lot
      of good things. - However - support sucks and depending on who you get on the phone
      if you have an issue, sometimes they are a bit condescending.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

    Hello All,

    What is a typical return rate for direct mail? I bought a list from infofree. I sent 800 B2B prospect letters and 230 of them were returned.
    Thank you for posting this. I was thinking about trying Infofree again, but the last time I used them the list was about 40% bad (businesses no longer existed), so I cancelled the subscription. This is making me re-think spending with them again. I think I'll stick with scraping for prospects.

    I do a lot of mailings and I usually get about 6 back out of 200( my usual batch size).
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    @Ken... they should definitely have access to an NCOA service provider if they're doing any kind of volume, since you have to have recent NCOA cleaned list to mail first class presort or standard mail.

    @Digi I buy most of my lists from usadata.com and leadsplease.com... they're both fantastic.
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      @Ken... they should definitely have access to an NCOA service provider if they're doing any kind of volume, since you have to have recent NCOA cleaned list to mail first class presort or standard mail.

      @Digi I buy most of my lists from usadata.com and leadsplease.com... they're both fantastic.
      Jake, I did them myself at my office. I wanted to do an inexpensive piece 1st just in case I had bad addresses. I was going to follow it up with the certificates that you just printed. I was going to place them with a letter inside of a 6x9 envelope that supposed to look like an Express envelope. I went by the office and checked, I had about 20 more returns last night.
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  • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
    Beware folks. Returns in my mail box daily. I'm over 300 returns from 800 pieces sent. Thanks Infofree! Lol
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      • Profile picture of the author sdingram
        @longrobnc that is terrible that you bought such a bad list. The industry standard for accuracy guarantees is usually 85% for phones and 92-93% for postal addresses.

        I own 2 businesses and one of them is a list brokerage firm. I won't mention the name because I don't want it to seem like that's my reason for posting.

        Legitimate list brokerage firms like UsaData, InfoUSA etc all offer accuracy guarantees.

        Some (like my firm) allow you to run counts and order lists online for small minimums. Other companies have minimums of 5,000 records.

        In future I wouldn't recommend buying a list from a company with "free" in their name lol

        It amazes me how people always want to skimp on the list, when the printing and postage costs so much more. For a good quality B2B list, you are looking at paying about 9-15 cents a name, depending how targeted you want to get. Compared to the printing and postage, that's peanuts. Oh and I do not mean to offend you by saying that (please don't take it that way)... I have seen it hundreds of times over the last 10 years. People come to us, get counts, buy somewhere else cheaper, then come back to us, all sad because the list they bought was crap.

        If you need any help, just let me know.

        All the best to you, and again, I am sorry to hear that you got ripped off.

        Suzanne
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by sdingram View Post

          @longrobnc that is terrible that you bought such a bad list. The industry standard for accuracy guarantees is usually 85% for phones and 92-93% for postal addresses.

          I own 2 businesses and one of them is a list brokerage firm. I won't mention the name because I don't want it to seem like that's my reason for posting.

          Legitimate list brokerage firms like UsaData, InfoUSA etc all offer accuracy guarantees.

          Some (like my firm) allow you to run counts and order lists online for small minimums. Other companies have minimums of 5,000 records.

          In future I wouldn't recommend buying a list from a company with "free" in their name lol

          It amazes me how people always want to skimp on the list, when the printing and postage costs so much more. For a good quality B2B list, you are looking at paying about 9-15 cents a name, depending how targeted you want to get. Compared to the printing and postage, that's peanuts. Oh and I do not mean to offend you by saying that (please don't take it that way)... I have seen it hundreds of times over the last 10 years. People come to us, get counts, buy somewhere else cheaper, then come back to us, all sad because the list they bought was crap.

          If you need any help, just let me know.

          All the best to you, and again, I am sorry to hear that you got ripped off.

          Suzanne
          Hi Suzzane,

          Thanks for the info. I actually got the recommendation for Infofree from several people on this site. It was my first stab at B2B prospecting by direct mail. I generally get my business customers by my sales staff cold calling, or doing bid projects. the only issue I see me having with some brokers is the 5k minimum. There just isn't enough targets in my niche to send that many. By the way, despite the fact that their name implies free. It wasn't free. I invested $150 in the list. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    I use to do direct marketing....hopefully you got the bulk mailing rate that is offered for large quantities of mail
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

    Hello All,

    What is a typical return rate for direct mail? I bought a list from infofree. I sent 800 B2B prospect letters and 230 of them were returned.
    Long... I am only kidding when I say.. I looked up "financial business loss" in the dictionary yesterday, and it had your picture next to it... hmmm First SEO now this? Dude you need to skip the business stuff right now and maybe invest in some Karma correction appointments! haha
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    Success is an ACT not an idea
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Long... I am only kidding when I say.. I looked up "financial business loss" in the dictionary yesterday, and it had your picture next to it... hmmm First SEO now this? Dude you need to skip the business stuff right now and maybe invest in some Karma correction appointments! haha

      We do our selling face to face. I also produced over 1200 leads this year with PPC, I had over 600 referrals and 3000 leads from print ads. Couple that with the fact that I have contracts with an International Airport, a major city and another 1500 companies, and trust me, I'll be more than fine. The activities on this site are no more than testing. Where do you think the knowledge came from to produce print ads and PPC that work, here. Just so you don't lose sleep with worry over me, my company did over 5,000 projects in 2014. Think I'm bluffing? Check with Bob Ross, he printed the work orders 1k at a time. As far as the mailers, I did happen to get 2 new clients. One has already spent $12k with me. The point of the thread was to make people aware that they sell bad list. Lots of people here are just starting out and don't have money to just throw away. Thanks for your concern. Lol

      Btw, Karma doesn't exist.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

        We do our selling face to face. I also produced over 1200 leads this year with PPC, I had over 600 referrals and 3000 leads from print ads. Couple that with the fact that I have contracts with an International Airport, a major city and another 1500 companies, and trust me, I'll be more than fine. The activities on this site are no more than testing. Where do you think the knowledge came from to produce print ads and PPC that work, here. Just so you don't lose sleep with worry over me, my company did over 5,000 projects in 2014. Think I'm bluffing? Check with Bob Ross, he printed the work orders 1k at a time. As far as the mailers, I did happen to get 2 new clients. One has already spent $12k with me. The point of the thread was to make people aware that they sell bad list. Lots of people here are just starting out and don't have money to just throw away. Thanks for your concern. Lol

        Btw, Karma doesn't exist.
        Understanding that what one shares here is usually at best a thin slice of what reality really is, I understand there was more at play than a unsuccessful SEO campaign and a bad mailing list... I was simply pointing out in jest, that in the aspects of what you have shared here, your luck has not been that good. It is great to see that YES you are successful, and YES, these setbacks are far from setbacks, but worked within the process of learning... that's great.

        I also think it is great that you are sharing your experience albeit a bad one... sharing is caring in my book. And THAT is good Karma
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        Success is an ACT not an idea
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          Understanding that what one shares here is usually at best a thin slice of what reality really is, I understand there was more at play than a unsuccessful SEO campaign and a bad mailing list... I was simply pointing out in jest, that in the aspects of what you have shared here, your luck has not been that good. It is great to see that YES you are successful, and YES, these setbacks are far from setbacks, but worked within the process of learning... that's great.

          I also think it is great that you are sharing your experience albeit a bad one... sharing is caring in my book. And THAT is good Karma
          I have to admit, ,most of the things that I try are absolute flops. I understand that, and it does not faze me in the least. Bad service providers, however, do upset me. I always put a portion of my profits aside for testing. I try pretty much everything that anyone here can think of. If I get a little bit of traction, then I scale it. If not, then I put it to the side and move on. I some times circle back and try it a different way. I will not back off of buying list. The returns suck, but I took them out of my CRM and sent a 2nd PC to the good addresses.

          As far as SEO, its just not a good investment for everyone. I sunk way too much money in to it for what it could provide in my geographic area that I cover. I put $20k + this year, as well as my trust, in to the hands of people that were no more than crooks. I did the same last year. I don't intend to keep beating a dead horse when I'm not in need of the rankings. I'm trying to build a 7 figure income, so you will indeed see more of my crash and burn failures.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    I can definitely vouch for Rob's success, this guy rips through carbonless contracts like water.

    One thing I want to mention is that you'll hear list sellers talking about how they guarantee a certain percentage of accuracy; it doesn't mean they'll make sure they get delivered; it means they'll refund you the cost of the undelivered leads (and maybe some of the postage depending on their terms) above what they guarantee is accurate.

    So if you spend $750 on mailing 1000 pieces out, and 150 come back returned (15% undelivered), they might refund the cost of 70 leads (92% accuracy minus the overage)... so you might get back a whopping $25 after submitting claim paperwork and returning undelivered mailers, etc.
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    • Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      I can definitely vouch for Rob's success, this guy rips through carbonless contracts like water.

      One thing I want to mention is that you'll hear list sellers talking about how they guarantee a certain percentage of accuracy; it doesn't mean they'll make sure they get delivered; it means they'll refund you the cost of the undelivered leads (and maybe some of the postage depending on their terms) above what they guarantee is accurate.
      Exactly. AffordableMarketingLists.com does a 100% replacement or refund on any bad data, but deliverability runs around 97%.

      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      So if you spend $750 on mailing 1000 pieces out, and 150 come back returned (15% undelivered), they might refund the cost of 70 leads (92% accuracy minus the overage)... so you might get back a whopping $25 after submitting claim paperwork and returning undelivered mailers, etc.
      I know you do a lot of mail. Have you ever done much by calling before you send? I had a small campaign (less than 1k pieces) we ran by calling up law firms and asking them what their practice area was (using that to qualify and validate addresses), that really cut down the cost of the mailer because of qualifying that there was at least a spark of interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Add canvassers and a window/siding arm of the company and you'll be there no prob.
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