If you know me, you'll know my background is with search engine optimization. I've been doing it for over 10 years and have worked with several Fortune 1000 companies including Motor Trend, CostCo and TVG to just name a few.
Since SEO is one of my core competencies, I'm always trying to find unique and interesting ways to mine data from Google. Google is an extremely powerful tool to mine data and get the information you need to contact individuals. There little spiders crawl into the depths of sites, even if coders didn't realize they were exposing themselves or not.
Manta.com is a website that is like any other business directory website. They list information of businesses. Here's a nice little search feature that shows companies that are PROACTIVE with claiming their business in Manta (which is good because they must be seeing the value of the internet). When I say PROACTIVE, I mean giving away their email addresses...
site:manta.com "more contact information" - Google Search
The search above shows 1.4million results of companies that list additional contact information. If you add a specific vertical, you can narrow it down, like so:
site:manta.com "more contact information" +plumbing - Google Search
The search above finds plumbers who have entered in more information.
If you wanted to take it one-step further, you could GEO-target, like so (Los Angeles):
site:manta.com "more contact information" +plumbing +"los angeles" - Google Search
OK, so we've uncovered businesses that understand that value of claiming their business in Manta. This is important as lots of companies don't claim any listings and aren't paying attention to directories.
We've segmented the Manta website into "qualified" companies that we can target. These companies understand they need more presence on the web.
So, now what?
Next step is to email them an offer. Here's what I would do:
Vertical-Specific: Shoot them an email inviting them to a free webinar, free video or free presentation of how to get more revenue to their plumbing business overnight!
City-Specific: Shoot an email and let them know you're going to be in the area on Date, Time and you'd love to stop by and show them an opportunity to acquire 50% more leads and steal them from their top competitor (find a local competitor to put in the email).
For the city-specific emails, the point is to get them to respond. Once you have a dialogue, you can qualify them a little more with a phone call and talk to them about their business.
The vertical-specific email will weed out people that "don't get it" and others will be qualifying themselves to you anyway.
I know it can be tough getting leads, etc... so this is just one way to find leads, email your prospects and start the dialogue process.
You can outsource this whole process on Odesk.com or any other freelance website and just wait for the responses.
We currently have systems in place to do this (outsourcers) so that we only work with qualified individuals that are interested in working with my company and taking the next steps.