Leads are a necessity for all businesses. Leads lie in the core of the business success because they represent the first step of the sales process. Companies always strive to collect a lot of lead information, as this data is one of the most valuable information that the company can have. Evaluating such kind of data gives a company access to acquiring new prospects.
Customer acquisition is a required step in business development, and this process is simply impossible without leads data.
Considering how much people love hanging out on the web today, we can confidently state that all businesses can find their potential leads on the internet.
But the amount of the information available on the web is simply enormous, so how are businesses supposed to use that information and find out the leads?
That’s where data scraping from websites can help. Web scraping is the process of scanning and extracting data from web pages. It’s a super helpful method of collecting data from the websites and putting it all in one place for further usage. Thereby, web crawling can be a great way of extracting leads data from the internet for using the information in the lead generation process.
What are Leads in Sales?
First thing first, we must understand what leads are in sales and the importance they carry to the company. A
lead is a potential sales contact, an individual or an organization that shows some interest in your product or service. They are potential buyers that your company can profit from. When people refer to leads, they usually think of new customers with whom they have no past experience.
However, leads can also be people with whom you maintain the already existing connection that was previously cut off for some reason.
Leads are treated differently depending on the industry.
For example, some companies refer to a lead as a contact who’s already determined to be a prospective customer. Others may consider a lead to be any sales contact. However, regardless, lead is always about a person who is a potential future client.
The sales team must work on converting leads into customers, thus creating high rates of conversions for customers.
The Importance of Lead Generation
So, how exactly are leads generated and why this process is so important to the company’s success?
Usually, the marketing and sales departments are responsible for lead generation.
Leads are generated when the person responds to advertising or promotion that was created by the marketers. While the marketing team creates attractive promotions that will interest the leads, the sales team makes sure that the message gets to the actual person or audience. Basically, the main idea behind lead generation is to create unique ways to attract people to the business. However, it’s not about selling, but rather creating the urge and necessity so that the person would want to buy from you.
Lead generation falls into the second stage of the buyer’s journey in inbound marketing.
Here’s the whole logic behind how to generate leads:
1. First, a person, or a visitor at this stage, discover your business through one of the marketing channels you use. Channels include social media, a blog or a website.
2. Then, the visitor clicks on the call-to-action (CTA), which you have initially created to encourage the visitor to take action. An image, message or button are all types of CTAs used at this stage.
3. The visitor is then taken to a landing page, which is designed to capture lead information in an exchange for an offer.
4. The CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer. The offer on this page must be attractive enough to grasp all the attention of the potential lead. At this stage, the most important thing is to make the visitors an offer that will be valuable enough, so that the visitor decides to provide some personal information in exchange. It can be a course, an ebook, or a template.
5. On the landing page, there must be a form with a series of fields that are supposed to collect information in exchange for the offer. When the visitor fills in the form, you create a new lead!
Targeted Lead Generation
When you understand the idea behind lead generation process, you can start using different marketing channels to start driving traffic to your landing page and generate new leads. The hardest question to answer is what channels will be the most effective ones for lead generation.
We’ll consider the channels that work well for almost all industries:
- Email – reaching people via personalized emails is a great way to encourage your potential leads to take actions. Email is a great place to include CTAs that have an eye-catching design.
- Social Media – nowadays, social media is one of the most easy-to-use platforms. This is the most suitable place for relationship building with your prospects. From the swipe up the option on Instagram to the Facebook bio links, there are numerous possibilities for including CTAs. Social media is also great for promoting your special offers and provide a link as a CTA.
- Blog/Content – the best part about blog posts is that it can be tailored according to the end goal. Same goes for content. Content is supposed to provide visitors with useful and valuable information and take them to the same end goal: CTA to the landing page. You can include a CTA anywhere in the post, simply make it relevant to the text – bottom of the post, inline, or on the side panel. The more the reader likes the content or the blog post, the more likely he/she is to click on the CTA and get to the landing page.
Lead generation is an important step for all companies’ success; however, since finding and generating leads is a never-ending process for all businesses, it can become very time consuming and tiring.
That’s where data scraping will help your business.
With the help of web crawling, you can always have enough data on your potential leads. So if you’re wondering how to use web scraping for lead generation, then keep reading.
Data Scraping for Targeted Leads
Now let’s explore how exactly data scraping from websites can benefit the lead generation process.
Does any business ever get to a point where they feel that they have enough customers and don’t want to grow anymore?
That will hardly happen to any company ever.
For that reason, lead generation is a never-ending process. Having a huge amount of data, the internet gives an opportunity to find possible leads to convert them into customers. However, considering that the current output of data is roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes a day, it’s quite unrealistic to think that you can actually benefit from that data. It’s impossible to manually data crawl all the available info and reasonably use that crawled data.
You can ease the process of web scraping if you use special web crawling tools or services. It’s simply inefficient to try to do that by yourself manually. You will lose your time and not have any meaningful results.
So, in order to scrape data from websites for finding potential leads, you need to optimize your search process and create several indicators for filtering the data.
First thing first, let’s find out what websites should be crawled, or in other words, what are the sources that may have potential data for scraping leads.
Explore Your Competitors
Competition can be viewed as an obstacle, however, a successful business owner always recognizes the importance of having competition.
The healthy competition gives endless room for ongoing improvement and betterment.
So, there are also ways to use your competition for lead generation. Your competitors have a base of customers, followers, fans and a lot of lead prospects. Data scraping from websites can help to collect a lot of data on them. Data crawl their forums to see who’s interested in them, their social media to find who follows them, as well as public portals and other online platforms. Basically, scrape all the places where potential leads are engaging with your competitors.
Big Websites and Blogs
A website or a blog that operates in a specific industry is also a good source for web crawling leads data. Look for websites that are devoted to the industries where you’re operating. Scrape their blog section’s comments, their public portals, community portals, as well as their social media pages.
Scrape data from the website to find out who’s engaging with them.
Events have always been a great way to increase your brand awareness and create a bigger network.
Today, the world is too digitized. Everything is created, announced and promoted online.
There are many websites that carry event information and announcements. These websites are extremely helpful and beneficial for lead generation. Find an event website that has your industry relevant information, and scrape data from the website for lead generation.
The Process of Data Scraping From Website
The process of web scraping must have three main steps:
The first thing to do is to understand from which sources you should scrape data. At this stage, you must clearly define your target customer and understand where to find them. In the previous section, we have already identified the best sources for data extraction for leads generation.
After you choose the sources, you proceed to the process of web crawling itself. You can do this by special tools or you can outsource the work to a web scraping service. Both are good and reliable data crawling sources that will provide you with data on your potential leads.
When you have all the data extracted, the information can be quite a mess. You need to clean it from incorrect or corrupt data. After, you need to structure and format the data, in order to make it usable. You want to make sure that the data is nicely organized and easy to understand. The privilege of working with a web scraping service is that such companies provide you with data that is already structured and ready to use.
When you have a ready and nicely organized data, you can start creating your leads. Having a huge database on your potential leads will help to enlarge your customer base. You need to analyze the data and sort your leads per target groups and start creating your advertisements to reach them. Lead generation is way more time and cost-efficient with web scraping!