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How Long Does It Take To Build A List?

List Building Timeline Estimates From Full Time List Builders

List Building can be done in many different ways.

How Long Does It Take To Build A List?

Some people are list brokers, reselling pre-compiled lists which have been built by software tools, magazine subscriptions, demographic segmentation, public records, and more.

Some services have huge list databases, with high tech web portals & interfaces so you can manually shop for, compile, and download your lists. These companies often build their own databases as well as leasing or purchasing those compiled by other firms.

Some companies, like us, actually build our lists manually, using low-cost offshore human labor to research & compile lists from all of the above sources (as well as our own in-house lists that we’ve built over the years).

Depending on which method you choose, the time it takes to build your list will vary.

List Brokers & List Consultants

This type of list building service will spend most of the time going back & forth to help you determine the right list (and heckling over price). At the end of the day, they are just a middle man adding very little value other than their knowledge of what lists exist & where to find them (which is no small feat in & of itself).

As such, once you have carefully discussed your situation to the point your broker or consultant truly understands your target market criteria, then they will go out, buy or lease the list, and resell it to you.

This whole process can take anywhere from 1 – 5 weeks.

List Portals & List Websites

Some of the biggest data & list building companies in the world operate this type of online portal (Experian, Hoovers, Jigsaw, etc). While the list building process might not always have all the fields of data you require… and the price might be pretty high per record… and you might not be an expert enough to build the right list on your first try (or two or three)… if there’s one thing nobody can deny about these providers: they are super quick!

You can literally reach the site, set your list criteria, pay, and download all in just a few minutes (if you already know what you’re looking for, and how the site organizes your target market).

So, this process can take less than an hour!

Manual List Building

This is what we do, at our back offices in East Asia, 24×7. While I can’t speak for the type of results you’ll get outsourcing these tasks ad hoc, or with other providers, I will share some stats from our own Operations.

Using a variety of list building sources, our Virtual Assistants can typically compile between 12 – 60 records per hour – up to 1 every minute. In some cases, we can go even faster, especially when only one or two fields of data are required (name & phone number only, for instance). On the slower side of things, it is possible for a VA to spend 5 – 8 minutes manually Googling or searching social media when it comes to more complex data appending activities.

Since we work in 3 shifts, and can bring extra contractors on at a moment’s notice for rush jobs, once we have the list criteria, we can typically compile between 10,000 – 25,000 records per 24 hours (and even more if necessary).

That means even for large projects, we usually finish a client’s list within 5 – 7 days at most.

If you’re wondering how many records we can get for you, feel free to request a free list building services quote.

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