When you click the "request a count" button, going to the page, there`s ample room at the top (right below the "Customize your marketing list..." heading) for a brief explanation. You could even use what you wrote in your post in this topic, something like:
"We`d like to offer you an opportunity to see how targeted mailing lists work. By using your business name and information, we will put together a specific list for you. You`re under no obligation, but we`d like to give you a follow-up call to answer any questions."Most people----business people---aren`t dumb. They`ll understand that you`re giving away the count as marketing materials. They`re also not trying to get something for nothing, but I think Steve`s point is that when there`s a reason for a request, more often than not it smooths the way.
I think we had a topic on this, come to think of it, with a study done about offering a reason for a request versus just making a demand.
I`d still like to see a more obvious explanation of the actual word, "count." But this is definitely getting better. :-)
Oh...one other thing, referencing your "this isn`t for newbies." That might be a bit of a dangerous pathway, given that people already using direct mail likely also have a favorite vendor. The object isn`t only to take customers away from other vendors, it`s also to grow your own customer base, right?