Experian Creates Online Access to Prospecting Databases

Experian, Orange, CA, last week unveiled an easier way for customers to access the company’s massive InSource database of 110 million households and its commercial database of 13 million businesses. Through List Online, mailers will be able to select, purchase and download prospecting lists from the databases via the company’s Web site.

“What we’ve done is begun the transition of our list ordering and fulfillment business to the Internet,” said Gary Laben, vice president of marketing and business development at Experian.

Mailers access the service through Experian’s Web site, www.experian.com. Using a self-guided selection system, mailers can choose from seven demographic attributes in the consumer list, including gender, size of household, annual income, type of dwelling and several geographic variables to assemble their lists. Lists can be obtained yielding names and addresses only, names and phone numbers or addresses with phone numbers. Experian also is developing a database of opt-in e-mail addresses, which Laben said the company hopes to post by the end of the year.

“Every month you’ll see enhancements to the system,” he said. “Going forward, we’ll add both increased functionality as well as increased access to data.”

The Web site calculates list counts automatically, allowing mailers to enter a variety of criteria and obtain counts before actually downloading the file. After they register and have their identity verified, mailers can download lists directly onto a personal computer, and Experian will bill the transaction directly to the mailer’s credit card. Costs are not expected to change with the new service.

Laben said Experian plans to market List Online to small businesses, such as insurance brokers, consulting firms, schools and other direct marketers seeking to generate lists of up to 25,000 names at a time.

“I think there will a migration of some of our customers to this new way of doing business,” he said, “and I think there also will be an opportunity for customers that have never heard of us or who are operating businesses where cycle time is so important that they need this information as quickly as possible.”

List Online also offers access to 13 million U.S. businesses through its business database, which, like the consumer database, also is segmentable by state, county, city and ZIP code. Mailers can select businesses based on six variables, including number of employees, annual sales, number of years in business and business type.

Meanwhile Acxiom Corp., Conway, AR, last week launched an online version of its InfoBase database of consumer records, which offers a similar service.

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