Commercial Mailing List Companies
Mailing list companies have grown in diversity as well as number over the past few years. It's a pattern that mirrors the growth of the whole communications industry, albeit on a smaller scale. Once, the only mailing lists you could buy were lists for postal mailing, and the costs involved in postage kept a cap on the direct mail industry. However, with the fast pace of Internet growth, suddenly email mailing list s are far more numerous than the old snail-mail kind. But the growth isn't all about numbers. There is now great variety in the kind of mailing list and in the kind of company connected with mailing lists.
These mailing list companies are involved with selling the lists, usually to businesses. Our page on where to buy mailing list s gives you more information about them. Some sell targeted mailing lists , while others sell lists that have been culled from the Internet, often at random. Of course, you will get a much higher rate of response with a targeted list.
These companies - or individuals - act as intermediaries between the list seller and the list buyer. Some buyers use them because of their experience in the industry, although there can be pitfalls. See our page on mailing list brokers for more information.
There are many kinds of software associated with mailing lists, whether the list is a discussion group for friends or a business's marketing list. Some companies sell harvesting software that takes email addresses from the Internet, while others sell email validation software to confirm that all the addresses on a list are valid. Other kinds of software include information management software, usually bought by businesses that want to break down customer information for targeted mailing. See our page on mailing list software for more information.
Some companies host mailing lists on your behalf. Many of the companies that host not-for-profit discussion groups provide their service for free. Most of these free hosting services are Web-based and funded by advertising. See our page on free mailing list hosting for more information.
Businesses and not-for-profit societies are finding increasingly imaginative ways of using mailing lists. Those innovative uses will almost certainly require support, so the number of mailing list companies is certain to grow and diversify along with people's use of mailing lists.