My Library and Courses
Last Update: Thursday September 23, 2021

Key Idea: Use a List Professional

You would probably not think about trying to do your own legal work and John Wargo tells host Hattie Bryant  that you shouldn't try to manage mailing lists alone.

Key Question:


Increase your market reach by going to a list broker. A professional list manager can sell you lists of prospects that fit the profile of your current customers. Also, the lists you buy are maintained by someone else so you are not stuck doing data entry.

Since addresses are always changing you'll find it cost effective to lease or buy lists for marketing. However, once a person becomes your customer, you must commit to the tedious task of keeping your own list current.

Many people dream of having thousands of customers but only a few do the work that must be done to find and win them. In the book, Good to Great, Jim Collins writes that great companies pay attention to details and no task is too tedious.

One couple, Scott and Marthalee Mooney, built Country Supply to $17 million in revenue because they were willing to do the tedious task of building and maintaining a customer list.

Think about it

What tedious task needs to be done for you to move your business forward? We guarantee, it is something that no one wants to do.

Clip from: Tejas Office Supply is all Texan.

Houston: Texans are resilient and resourceful, and people of deep faith.  When Hurricane Ike struck, they began turning to each other to  pull through thiat  storm together.  Pictured above is Lupe Fraga.  He came with his family to Houston as a young boy and grew up as a Texan.

He captures the spirit of this part of the world.

In 1962 Lupe Fraga left his bookkeeping job to buy an office supply business but steady profits did not come quickly. Today, over 150 employees turn $40 million a year making Tejas Office one of the largest minority - owned businesses in the greater Houston area.
He borrowed some of the start-up capital from Irene, his girl friend; and, the owner financed the purchase. He married Irene -- "the best thing I ever did in my life" -- and then he learned  profits do not come easily.

This is a family business. Michelle is their first born; and the day we met her, she was busy teaching a new manager and leading a customer service training session. Alisa, the middle child, handles human resources and says that caring can be measured on the bottomline.  Stephen, the youngest Fraga says that they all wear many hats. Stephen followed in his father's footsteps and graduated from Texas A & M. Rather than coming to work at Tejas Office right from school, Lupe encouraged him to work for a large company which he did for two years before joining Tejas in 1998.

Named by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas A&M Board of Regents and currently Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank Dallas-Houston, Lupe also volunteers for the Greater Houston Partnership and The United Way.

Tejas Office

Lupe Fraga, Owner

1225 W. 20th Street
Houston, TX 77080

Visit our web site:

Office: 7138646004

Business Classification:
Office Supplies

Year Founded: 1961

Use a List Professional

HATTIE: John Wargo, our marketing adviser, says if you have to build a mailing list, there's help.

JOHN: About 20 percent of the addresses in the United States change annually.

HATTIE: You're kidding.

JOHN: Twenty percent. So the first thing you want to do is to make sure that you're using the change of address services that are available so that you keep your address list updated. By keeping it current, you at least have the base. Now in order to add to the base, my first recommendation: go to the Yellow Pages and look for list brokers or letter shops. Because these companies are professionals in showing you how to build your list. Because there's a couple of ways that you can build your list. You can get a compiled list. You can get a response list. You can get a list based on recent buyers who are buying similar products to yours. You can get a list that's geographically based. So there's a lot of ways to build the list. What you want to do is to sit down and say, `Let's, first of all, look at my customer base. What does it look like?'

HATTIE: Who are these people?

JOHN: `Who are they? Where to they live? What are they buying? What are some of the demographics and psychographics?' And then what you want to do is to start finding a list that matches that. Now the best way to do that is, really, to be dealing with people that are familiar with list management and list services. They're in the Yellow Pages, they're on the Internet. My recommendation is that when you want to expand your list is go to a professional. Sit down and work with them and make sure that what you're getting is the most up-to-date list with the most up-to-date addresses.

HATTIE: Can I afford a professional?

JOHN: You can afford a professional because the flip side is, as you want to build your mailing list, you want to reach your target audience. What you don't want to do is just make another mailing. You want to make a mailing that's relevant. That's their business. So what you want to do as a business person is go and buy that service. It really will pay for itself.

HATTIE: Don't think that friendship and charm can make up for outdated business practices. High touch must be supported now by high tech. We'll see you next time.

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!