Why You Should Care About Skip Tracing

Leverage enriched data to build a better contact-information database and help you find the people you want to find faster.

Leverage enriched data to build a better contact-information database and help you find the people you want to find faster.

Sometimes people appear to turn into ghosts just when you most want to find them. That can be inconvenient. Maybe the only known phone number is disconnected and physical mail is returned stamped “forwarding address unknown.” That’s when you might need to turn to “skip tracing” in order to find someone with whom you need to urgently communicate.

Skip tracing is a term that refers to finding a person who has “skipped town” or “skipped out” on a bill or payment. It is typically used to refer to determining a person’s whereabouts, especially when this cannot be done with the contact information that is readily available.

The term skip refers to the person of interest and tracing refers to the action of a person, company, or organization attempting to track down that individual. Skip tracing is valuable for many situations.

Skip tracing tools provide a way to speed up the process of finding an individual of interest. Relevant applications run the gambit of uses. Possible scenarios include a debt collector attempting to receive payment from an individual who cannot be found at a “current” address listing, or a real estate investor who wants to reach out to specific homeowners.

By using a skip tracing tool, companies can collect all contact information associated with an individual in one data record for a 360-degree view of the person of interest. Instead of sending mail to an old address or making phone calls to an old number, skip tracing tools can accumulate all contact information associated with an individual so that outreach efforts can be optimized. 

Skip tracing, when used in marketing, is called data enhancement, enrichment, or appending. A marketing application involves the adding of data to an individual’s contact identity in order to retrieve more information on that specific individual. The same strategy can be applied in skip tracing.

For example, suppose you are trying to contact John Smith and the only information you have is an email address (such as jsmith@randommailservice.com), and a phone number (such as 555-5555). However, in this situation, assume neither of these are functional, and leave you with no direct way to contact John Smith. However, you can input this information into a skip-tracing tool which will generate additional data points that can be appended onto the target individual’s contact information. A skip tracing report can then return several phone numbers, postal addresses, email addresses, and even demographic information.  

Learn more about how the Versium REACH data-enrichment solution can be used in a skip tracing application.

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