What is the difference between a direct mail house list and a prospect list?

House List (or Retention List)A permission-based list that you built yourself. Use it to market, cross sell and up-sell, and to establish a relationship with customers over time. Your house list is one of your most valuable assets because it is 7 times less expensive to market to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Use every opportunity to add to it and use it.

Prospect List

List of individuals qualified to purchase a product or service, maintained

for promotion in the expectation that they will become customers.

Rental List (or Acquisition list)A list of prospects or a targeted group of recipients who have opt-in to receive information about certain subjects. Using permission-based rental lists, marketers can send e-mail messages to audiences targeted by interest category, profession, demographic information and more. Renting a list usually costs between $.10 and $.40 per name. Be sure your rental list is a certified permission-based, opt-in list. Permission-based lists are rented, not sold.