In today’s world, relevant sales leads can be searched across the Internet and found in the most unexpected places: lists of group members, participants at events, recipients of awards, industry rankings, local listings are all publicly available for entry into your own database. For most smaller to small-medium companies, e-marketing, cold calling, cold mailings and cold e-mailing, as well as on-line and off-line social activities, are still the most effective and most cost-efficient ways of building a pipeline of leads and new prospects.
Lists that can be purchased from lead resellers such as InfoUSA and Superpages are not current, a waste of money, and create embarrassing ROI for all of us.
To keep the labor cost of data entry down, we have been testing the offshore companies that specialize in this function. Recently we have found very reliable and very inexpensive labor (in Pakistan, as it happens) who can take on multiple simple data entry projects for us and our clients. This means that any list, book, certain search criteria, links to zip code-generated searches, etc., can be cost-efficiently transcribed into a spreadsheet or a CSV file that can be used for export to any type of broadcasting, publishing or shipping application.
Here’s an example that makes the point: We began working with a national airline from a South American country 3 months ago. Despite having been in business for 54 years, they only had 400 names in their database, which meant that we had to start from scratch in building them a mailing list. Through research we found a zip code-generated database via a certain Tourism Authority, but despite several attempts to contact the association we were never able to speak with someone who could tell us how we could purchase the list directly from them. We then engaged our team in Pakistan to manually enter each zip code between 10,000 up to zip code 99,000 resulting in the full contact data (including e-mails) for 4,000 certified expert travel and tour operators in the United States with a specific interest in our client’s key destination.
In this case we found a database where each zip code had to be manually entered, and if registered travel and tour operators existed under this zip code our data entry team would copy and paste the information into a simple spreadsheet.
It’s hard to overstate how valuable these qualified contact lists can be. We suggest you speak with your team to learn if they can help us help you increase the size of your e-marketing/ mailing lists on a weekly basis. Speak with them about the importance of making it a habit for each employee to provide you with or enter their leads into your company’s CRM system (such as Highrise) or submit ideas, printed lists, and new search criteria ideas to the person in charge of marketing.
There are no short cuts in building great businesses, and it is the small, tedious and time consuming activities that generate results every time.