Lead Generation: A Use Case for Web Scraping

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To accrue more revenue, digital companies must make more sales, and to make more sales, they need to be generating leads regularly.

But lead generation is an exercise that most businesses struggle with. This is because leads are scattered across the internet, and getting them at once can be very challenging.

For instance, you could face the challenge of being unable to grab leads from certain websites or doing it so slowly that it becomes unbearably difficult and filled with errors.

A fitting solution would be to employ web scraping, which works automatically to curate leads from multiple sources at once and with only very little effort.

Why It Is Important to Expand Your Market Reach?

Why It Is Important to Expand Your Market Reach?

It is important to expand your market and attract more customers because customers are the soul of every business.

You need customers to make more sales, increase your revenue, and continue to stay in business. More businesses are spending more money on this aspect every day. 

Martech Today predicted that the money spent on marketing automation tools to reach a wider audience would hit $25.1 billion per annum by 2023.

If you are not playing the game of expanding your market yet, the chances are you are losing sales daily to your competitors that are already generating leads regularly.

What Is Web Scraping?

What Is Web Scraping?

Web scraping can be defined as an effective method for collecting a large amount of data from various platforms.

The platforms could be competitors’ websites with which the web scraper interacts to extract user data in large quantities.

Web scraping is popular because it works automatically, making a once mundane task easy and interesting. You can also save money opting in for a good web scraping solution.

What Are The Traditional Methods of Lead Generation?

Lead generation has always existed before now, and for as long as people and businesses have existed.

People still tried to find prospects interested in their products and services and carefully nudged them into paying customers.

However, this was done in some traditional ways, with the following being the most common:

1# Content Marketing

 Content Marketing

This was one of the ways brands tried to attract customers. It involved creating an ideal customer and then constantly churning out content to woo this ideal customer.

This worked but left businesses at the mercy of the imaginary customer. It was expensive and stressful to maintain.

2# Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Email marketing involved sending out emails to email addresses you already had. These emails could contain updates or new information you think the prospect might require.

Sending a compelling copy always worked, but it limits you to only those who have subscribed to your mailing list.

3# Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

This old system of generating leads involves using your social media accounts to guide your followers into taking action.

You may also promote content on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to lure in customers.

But like many of the traditional methods, this also limits you to only your followers.

4# Purchasing Prospect Leads

Purchasing Prospect Leads

Companies have also been buying prospect lists from agencies in the past. These lists usually contain details about prospective customers. These details could include their names or email address.

The company’s job would be to continually reach out to the prospects on the lists until they have converted them to paying customers.

The problem with this is that it is usually not a specific type of targeting as the prospects may not even be interested in what you are offering.

Secondly, purchasing prospect lists may cost more than what smaller brands can handle.

How Is Web Scraping Better Than These Traditional Means?

Cost, lack of specificity, and accessibility are some of the things that make lead generation through web scraping more attractive and profitable than traditional lead generation.

For instance, it is almost impossible to use just one traditional lead generation method to attract the number of customers needed to sustain your business. Hence, it becomes important to combine as many methods as possible.

However, this comes at a cost. A cost that may be so high that smaller businesses will find it harder to cope.

Secondly, some of the leads generated through the old methods may be inappropriate. A list may serve a particular brand, and the leads may be right for one brand but are completely uninterested in another brand’s products and services. 

When a list is not specific, and the lead has never heard of a company, reaching out to that lead could be intrusive and force them to dislike the company rather than patronize them.

And lastly, it is always hard to access contacts that were not handed to you directly by the leads. In particular, buying a list may furnish you with outdated details that you can no longer use to reach the leads.

Consequently, businesses are advised to use web scraping, which provides fresh, updated leads specific to your business.

Building a web scraper also costs way less than using any traditional techniques. And the best part is, it is simple and easy to build. Using an lxml library, for instance, anyone can build a web scraper and parser. To learn how to use this tool, a simple lxml tutorial would suffice. An lxml tutorial demonstrates how to employ Python for web scraping. You can follow this step-by-step article.

Final Words

The number of leads you generate at every turn is vital to the growth and success of your company. And while there are old traditional processes for generating leads, it is advisable to use modern ones such as web scraping.

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