LeadFerret.com is a free database of almost 5 million b-to-b contacts. The website, which debuted in beta mode in August, enables users to search for names and b-to-b companies via email address, title, telephone number, company size, revenue range and SIC code. An open source platform, LeadFerret also features a system in which in exchange for promoting the site on social channels, like Facebook and Twitter, users earn points allowing them to download contact information. Forest Cassidy, co-founder of LeadFerret.com, spoke with Digital Directions about the website.
Digital Directions: How does the LeadFerret database work?
Forest Cassidy: People go to the website. They search the website, find what they're looking for and contact those people. It's very simple in that sense. We're able to offer complete information because we don't allow mass downloads or even a copy-and-paste from the page. The information is visible to use on the page, but you can't harvest it for mass-marketing purposes; it's more for individual contacts/sales efforts. The point system does allow people to download individual records to a “v-card” When users create a free account, they are initially given five points, which will allow them to download five v-cards. You start with a handful of points and can earn points in a multitude of ways that revolve around promoting the site.
DD: What distinguishes the service from other b-to-b databases or search engines?
Cassidy: It's free and it's complete. There's nobody else out there providing complete information, including email addresses, for b-to-b contacts that's truly 100% free. It just doesn't exist. What makes the site unique is we're doing something nobody has done before.
DD: Do you consider LeadFerret to be a direct competitor to business publishers and list management companies? Are you looking to partner with business publishers?
Cassidy: We don't consider [that kind of enterprise] to be a direct competitor; we consider [them] to be a complementary service, and absolutely we're looking to partner with business publications and [business] publishers ... [LeadFerret] is for somebody looking for individual contact information on a relatively small scale, whether it's a couple of contacts a day or a contact every now and again. At most, maybe a sales rep might use this to contact 20, 30, 40 people a day; whereas publishers, list brokers and list management companies are better for people who are looking for larger volumes of data. If you're looking to run a marketing campaign where you're reaching out to thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people, then LeadFerret really isn't the right tool for you. But if you're looking for contact information on individuals or a small group of people, then LeadFerret is absolutely the best option. And you wouldn't go to a list publisher or list broker if you wanted to reach dentists in Biloxi, Miss., or something like that.