(Post 3 of 4 in the direct mail series)

Data Mining has many definitions.  For online marketers, it is the process in which marketers pull consumer data from websites in order to market to consumers.   In this post we outline the how to effectively data mine online for direct mailing.
The most important thing when data mining is to be organized and be sure your information is current:
Create an excel spreadsheet containing Business Name, First name, Last Name, Address 1, Address 2, City, State, Zip code, phone number, email, website, source (where found information), Lead source (direct mail, email, phone), Industry of lead and a sample result link (#1  article or something personal and interesting about the company).  Bold these Descriptions so that they will stand out on the Excel Spreadsheet.  It is often helpful to create tabs on the bottom of the Excel Spreadsheet according to the industries of your leads.  This will be helpful later when you are trying to target a specific industry when doing mail merges.
To find information on a company do a quick google search on the company.  Try and find the company’s website.  The company’s website will have the most current information on the company (Especially if they recently moved or only accept correspondence through a PO Box).  If you cannot find the information you are looking for on their website try looking in Manta (http://www.manta.com ), Yellow pages (http://www.yellowpages.com ) and the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org ).
Think about who you are trying to reach.  Do you want to reach out to the CEO?  Are you trying to reach the office manager?  Whose hands do you ultimately want your information to be in?  The company’s website may not have who you are specifically looking for.  Try looking the company up on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com ), Hoovers (http://www.hoovers.com ) and Corporationwiki (http://www.corporationwiki.com ) to find who you are trying to reach.  If all else fails simply call the company and explain who you are trying to reach.  Be extremely courteous and honest with the front desk person.  They are the gatekeeper.  However, also be confident and assertive so that the front desk person would think twice about questioning you.
Copy and paste all the data you find right into your Excel spreadsheet.  Don’t worry if it is in different fonts or colors.  You can always go back at the end of the day and highlight the entire document and change the font and color.  You will notice some websites are actually using white font on a dark background.  You can still copy the font and put it into the excel spreadsheet and change the color later.
To make this process even easier I highly recommend adding an additional screen to your computer.  Open the excel file on your second screen.   Do most of your data mining on your original screen and simply copy and paste everything onto the second screen. After creating your mail merge, import your excel spreadsheet into your CRM.

This is series 3 of 4 posts on Direct Mail:

1.  3 Easy Ways To Get Opens

2. Big Surprises Come In Small Packages

3.  How to effectively data mine.

4. How to create a drip direct mail campaign.

 

About The Author

Brendan Devine is a data monetizer at King Monetizer.