Preparing your file to be searched
Preparing your file for BellesLink batch search is easy. The secret to good results is spending a little bit of time and attention on the formatting of your data. There are six required columns for a batch search—first name, last name, address, city, state, zip code—and one option column—record id. Before we get into those details, let’s review the information you’ll get back in your search results.
The data included in batch search results
Batch search appends high-quality data to the the spreadsheet file you upload to be searched. The data is added in new columns that include:
- Up to 5 phone numbers, ranked by quality
- The caller ID and phone type for each number
- A most current address
- Up to 3 no-bounce emails, ranked by quality
Getting the best search results
The secret to getting good batch search results is making sure the data in the file you upload is cleanly formatted. Clean data in equals accurate results out. There are things types of data formatting you need to pay close attention to for best results.
First names and last names must be in separate columns
The formatting of names is most common cause of poor search results. First names and last names must be separated into their own columns in your spreadsheet. If the names in your file are not separated, there are several ways to fix the formatting.
Tiles such as Mr, Mrs, and Ms, and suffixes such as Jr, Sr, II, and III, should be removed from all names.
Problem: Full names in a single column
If your file has full names, such [Joe Smith] in a single column, the BellesLink batch search upload tool can separate the names for you. When you specify the columns to be searched, choose your full name column, and click “No” on the name format radio button that asks, “Are your first and last names separated?”
Problem: Spouse names in a single column
If you have spouse names in a single column, such as [Jane and Joe Smith], you will have to separate these names before they can accurately be searched. Use the text editing functions, such as split text, in your spreadsheet software to create a single full name in a column. The BellesLink upload tool cannot split spouse names into a single column.
It can be valuable to search both spouses, create two rows with the same address information and different spouse names.
Problem: Partner names in a single column
It’s common to have partners with different last names in a single column, such as [Jane Johnson and Joe Smith]. The names will have to be split into single full names, each in its own row with address information, in order to be searched.
The BellesLink upload tool cannot split multiple full names into a single column. The text functions in your spreadsheet software can help you correct this formatting. Also, add-on tools such as Ablebits, can make the process easier.
Addresses must be separated into columns
Each row in your spreadsheet must have an address that is separated into four columns: address, city, state, zip code. If your spreadsheet has full addresses in a single column, the BellesLink upload tool can separate the address into the required columns.
When you specify the columns to be searched, choose your single address column, and click “No” on the name format radio button that asks, “Are your addresses separated into columns?”
Remove businesses, LLCs, and family trusts.
Batch skip tracing cannot search businesses, LLCs, or family trusts. Any of these types of records should be removed from your spreadsheet before submitting it to be searched. Checkout our tutorial on how to search LLCs and family trusts »
Required columns and the best header names
The six required columns for a batch search are first name, last name, address, city, state, and zip code. If you name your columns as listed, the BellesLink batch search upload tool will automatically recognize the column headers.
Best header names for your spreadsheet columns
- Record ID (optional column)
- First name
- Last name
- Zip code
You can add an optional column for record ID. A record ID should be a unique number you can use to identify that record across your business systems. If you include a record ID in your file, it will be carried through to your search results and to your contact records when you import your search results into the Contact Manager.
If you do not include your own record ID, a BellesLink ID will be added to each of your search results. This unique ID can also be imported into your contact records and included in any contact or contact group export.
Additional columns in your spreadsheet are ok
BellesLink does not require you to use a spreadsheet template. As long as your spreadsheet has the six required columns—first name, last name, address, city, state, zip code—for you to choose during the upload process, your spreadsheet can have any number of columns.
You do not have to delete extra columns from your spreadsheet. You can keep the spreadsheet format that works best for you. BellesLink will search on only the columns you choose. All other columns will be ignored for search.
Upload your spreadsheet file
Once you have your data formatted for best results, it’s time to upload your file. Save a copy of your file in the .CSV format. This is the only file format which you can upload to BellesLink.
In the BellesLink app, go to Searches > Batches > Upload Batch. Use the select file button or drag your file into the browser window. Once your file uploads, you can select your search columns.
Select your search columns
On the second page of the upload tool you will select the required search columns in your file. From the dropdown menu for each of the required fields, choose the corresponding column in your file. If you name column or address column need to be separated, you can choose to do that. You can also choose a record ID column. This is optional.
When your columns are selected, use the preview button to preview the data you are submitting to be searched.
Preview your search data
With your columns you selected, you can preview the data you uploaded before submitting to be searched. The preview will show you the data in each of the required columns for every row in your spreadsheet.
You’ll see a summary of the searchable record count. Each record is equal to a row in your spreadsheet. You’ll also see a count of any skipped records. Skipped records are rows in your spreadsheet that missing data and cannot be searched. To include these records in your search, fix the data and re-upload your file.
Below the searchable record count is the total price for your batch and below that, the price per search. BellesLink batch skip tracing is charged per search. Each searchable row in your spreadsheet is one search. If you have a promo code, use the link below your price to enter it now.
Name and submit your batch
After previewing your data, you’re ready to submit your file to be searched. Give you batch search a name and use the submit button. Congratulations, your batch search submission is complete.
Getting your search results
Depending on the size of your batch search, your results could take as long a 24 hours to be available. Batches of less than 10,000 records are typically available for download within 2 hours.
When you batch search results are ready, you will receive an email. Batch results are saved in your BellesLink account. Go to Searches > Batches > Results.
Click the batch name to view the results, export a CSV spreadsheet of the results, or create a contact group of your results in the free BellesLink Contact Manager. Check our our Contact Manager tutorial to learn more.
Easy, affordable batch skip tracing search
BellesLink batch skip tracing search is fast, accurate, and affordable. It appends high-quality data to your list to make it easy for you to contact your next customers.
Remember, the secret to getting good batch search results is making sure the data you upload is cleanly formatted. Clean data in equals accurate results out.