Every sale begins with a lead - a person that is interested in your product and potentially ready to buy it. Acquiring leads is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Yet, it can become simpler with the use of modern digital tools.
The Internet made the lead generating process both easier and harder. It became easier because there are more ways to get the required contacts now - there are social media platforms and numerous different websites where potential buyers leave their emails and phone numbers. But at the same time, it’s harder now to gather leads because there are too many sources and potential buyers. For a human, it’s virtually impossible to acquire all of them, and the gathering process will be very slow.
That’s the reason why you need web scraping.
What is web scraping?
It is a process of data gathering from web pages. A special robot - a scraper — crawls through the required websites and extracts only the data you require from the content. Then this bot analyzes the information and organizes it for you. As a result, you receive a well-structured list of leads that you can utilize right away.
Proxies are another instrument that will let you get quality leads. Supplying your scraper with them, you can fake your location to access the information meant for an audience from a certain country. Moreover, with proxies, you will avoid anti-scraping measures and bans. Therefore, you will be able to gather leads faster and more efficiently.
We advise you to choose residential proxies for scraping as they offer the perfect anonymity. They are real IP addresses that belong to existing devices. Thus, using residential proxies, you will remain unnoticed while you’re gathering leads. Infatica offers a large pool of residential IP addresses from different locations so that you can expand your search and reach as much content as possible.
What data to gather to create leads
It depends on your approach. Of course, emails will be the easiest type of contact information to acquire as we use our email addresses almost everywhere, and only a few of us decide to hide it from the public eye. Phone numbers are harder to get because users don’t share them often online.
Social media profiles can be good data to gather, especially if the user allows everyone to send them a direct message. Then you can slide your offer right into the DMs of a potential buyer. Another approach is to target these users with ads. For example, you can invite them to like the page of a brand, or join the group. No matter what method you will choose, it’s relatively easy to begin interaction with users on social media.
Step-by-step guide for lead generation with web scraping
Now let’s see what actions exactly you should take to gather leads for your business. Regardless of the scraper you’re going to use, the process remains more or less the same.
Step 1: Determine the source
Of course, you need to know your target audience before you jump to scraping. So let’s assume that you already know who your potential might be. Now think where you can get their contact information: which websites they visit, which social media they use. Create a list of sources that could provide you with leads - this will allow you to speed up the search and make sure you don’t receive irrelevant data from your scraper.
Some advanced scrapers might be able to decide which websites to work with - especially if we’re talking about programs enhanced with artificial intelligence. But if you’re using a simpler bot, you need to give it a precise task with all the conditions outlined. Then you can expect a good result.
Step 2: Set up the kind of data
At this point, you should know what kind of contact data you want to gather. The scraper needs to know what to look for - phone numbers, social media accounts, or emails. Of course, you can set it up so that it collects all the contact information and then organizes it in a spreadsheet putting different kinds of data in different columns. But it will take more time, and businesses rarely need all types of contacts. So it’s better to focus on one thing at a time.
Step 3: Gather the data
Now when you told your scraper all your needs, you have to wait for it to do the work. This process can be simple, but there are some pitfalls you should know about. First of all, let the scraper make a short break between requests it sends to destination websites - even a 2-second pause will make a difference and the server will not think you’re trying to DDoS-attack it. Also, it’s important to set up a proper proxy rotation system so that your scraper uses another IP address for each new request.
As we have already mentioned, proxies are a must for scraping. They will help you gather data without interruptions, and give you access to more content. If your scraper doesn’t have a built-in proxy management feature, you will also need a proxy management tool that will rotate IP addresses properly. Finally, if your scraper is not supplied with parsers for all kinds of websites you’re going to work with, you will need to get them separately. A parser is a bot that is tailored to specific features of a particular kind of site. Therefore, it can gather data from it more efficiently.
Lead generation is a cornerstone of the sales process. If you don’t have people to sell your product to, you, obviously, will have a hard time selling it. Scraping helps you gather the needed information quickly and without hassle. Using this technology, you won’t get lost in this world of big data. Web scraping will supply you with ready-to-use leads constantly so that you can streamline the selling process and reach your goals faster. And Infatica proxies will be on guard of your anonymity and help your scraper fetch the data faster.