Accurate phone numbers can be hard to come by. Phone number databases sold by the big boys are expensive and outdated. And searching the web yourself can be time consuming and tedious. Append rates and accuracy vary widely. Is it worth all the effort? From my experience, taking more time, finding more hits, and suffering a few more wrong numbers can lead to gold. If it’s difficult to find a number then that means your competitors are having the same problem. Going that extra mile to append could be your key to success.
So where are your best bets to find business numbers? From an append rate standpoint, company websites provide the highest percentage of found numbers followed by search engines and business phone sites. The lowest append rate usually comes from phone number databases at about 30%. In general, I believe a hybrid approach using multiple sources and looser (but reasonable) matching criteria are vital. A few percentage point increase in append rate could make a huge difference in your bottom line. Again the more difficult to connect with a sales lead, the higher probability of a sale.
But let me guess, you send mailers instead of calling leads. Well, the same problem exists here. Addresses provided with sales leads can be notoriously inaccurate, from misspellings to simply being the wrong address. Companies often put the address of their accountant, lawyer, or some other person on their formation documents and vital records. The address on the company’s website or one of the business sites is more likely to get your mailer where it needs to go. Again a hybrid approach rules the day, and sending a couple of extra mailers to multiple addresses can really be worth it.
Ironically, all of this gets easier when you make a lot of calls or a send a boatload of mailers. Statistics are your friend and simply tracking phone disconnects and returned mailers can quickly help you refine the accuracy of your system. Our mantra is append more, analyze, and refine. At the end of the day, more connections means more sales. It’s a competitive industry and the strategies that focus on the hard to find phone numbers and addresses often give companies the edge they need to win more clients.