Prospects in a Snap

By Heather Baldwin

If you’re still mining for leads the old-fashioned way – with a telephone and manual Internet searches – you’re likely using a lot more manpower and time than necessary. Not only that, your results may well be missing brand new companies which established a Web presence just days after you queried that corner of the Internet. Update.com rolled out a solution to that challenge, Prospectminer v2.5, at the end of March, and three or four major enterprises are already evaluating the product designed to filter a large number of high-value leads from the Web at a low cost-per-lead ratio.

Say your business targets application service providers (ASPs) and you want to find every ASP to run a marketing campaign. Click on “new search,” name the market you want to search for (i.e., ASPs), type in three sample Websites that are representative of the types of companies you are searching for, enter a few keywords that will be on all the sites you’re looking for, identify any words or phrases that would be used to reject a site, then hit the search key. The software immediately takes a look at the three sample Websites, makes a model of them so as not to pull up Internet clutter, such as stock pages and white papers which mention ASPs, then finds other sites that match that model and presents a list of the results – all in about 30 seconds. “It works for any market segment where a company will put up a Website,” said Brad Walker, update.com’s director of North American sales. After a couple taps on the keyboard he added, “I can see 12 new ASPs that showed up this week.”

The “reject terms” feature is new and was a real boon in a recent demo for an online toy retailer. When update.com ran the program looking for other online toy sellers, the results generated a lot of casino sites in addition to the target companies. “I just typed ‘gambling’ in the rejection list and the next run was perfect,” said Walker.