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Email harvesting using web scraping is broken - here is how to fix it

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate sales. Every successful marketing campaign is driven by a high-quality lead list.

Marketers know how hard it is to build a quality email list. One of the common methods they use is free web scraping tools to scrape emails from a public source or a business directory. Once they

got the emails, they load this into an email marketing tool and start firing the messages.

Many marketers prefer this option as they think it is cheaper.

This method appears to be logical and cheaper, but the fact is the opposite.

Here is why it is illogical and costly:

  • As high as 50% of the data in public sources will be outdated.

  • The email list won’t be a targeted one which results in low conversion.

  • The bounce rates are high and your email deliverability and IP reputation will be harmed.

  • Your email might not get noticed because you are not the only one sending them emails.

You will end up losing the opportunity and wasting time if you are using just a web scraping tool or service.

Is web scraping for email harvesting completely useless?

Absolutely not, here is the right  way to do it.

Build an ideal customer profile

According to Lincoln Murphy, an ideal customer profile is the customer type that – over a

clearly-defined time frame – you will dedicate Sales and Marketing Resources to acquire. 

Here is a nice blog post explaining how to build an ideal customer profile

Don’t trust a Single source

The data in most websites are not up to date, so It is not wise to trust a single source for generating emails. You need to extract and correlate data from multiple sources like social networks, business directories etc.

Get only what you need

By now, you might have aggregated a lot of data. To save time, money and resources, you need to  separate the wheat from the chaff. You have to filter the companies using ideal customer profile as a reference.

Verify & Enrich

Verification of the email is essential in reducing the bounces. Once the email is verified, use a lead enrichment solution like leadintel to enrich the data.

Here is why this option is logical:

  • Low bounce rate.

  • Targeted emails resulting in better conversion.

  • No harm to your IP reputation or email deliverability.

Web scraping isn’t a silver bullet that can solve all the lead generation problems.

However, intelligent use of web scraping can bring in amazing results.

Thanks for reading this blog post. Datahut offers affordable data extraction services (DaaS).

If you need help with your web scraping projects, let us know and we will be glad to help.



Do you want to offload the dull, complex, and labour-intensive web scraping task to an expert?

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