A customized prospecting list is a great resource for your cold calling, direct mail, and email marketing efforts. If you prefer to "do it yourself," here are nine steps for building a free B2B marketing database for your outbound marketing campaigns.
1. Identify the industry
Start by picking the industry and, if possible, the sub-industry. Some of the resources listed at the end of this article offer free industry lookup, including Jigsaw.com and Manta.com. You can also conduct a SIC code lookup for the target industries at Osha.gov. Build separate lists if you want to cover multiple industries.
2. Identify companies
Define the broad criteria that will help you identify companies within the chosen industry. You can segment by revenue, geography, number of employees, etc. (e.g., software product companies with a revenue range of $100-$500 million in North America).
Perform searches using those free tools I mentioned to come up with the list of companies. This step will help you determine the market size. If you come up with, say, 500 companies on your list but you need more, adjust the industry criteria and run another search.
3. Select companies
You can now select the companies you like. Download or copy the list of companies to a spreadsheet. Keep all the data you get, such as revenue, industry, number of employees, etc., with the company name in the spreadsheet. That will later help you segment and target your marketing campaigns.