overview, use cases, challenges & best practices

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Email scraping is the process of automatically extracting email addresses from various websites or social media platforms.
Email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every $1 spent.  Due to cost efficiency, businesses rely on email more than social media or other channels to communicate with potential clients. It is the primary customer acquisition channel for 81% of small businesses.

Collecting many accurate email addresses manually is the most challenging part of email marketing. Web scraping enables businesses to get a list of their target audience’s email addresses in bulk. It reduces human errors in manually entering email addresses into a database and accelerates marketing and sales processes. As a result, we go into detail in this article on email scraping to aid marketing and sales directors in improving the effectiveness of their campaigns. 

What is Email Scraping?

Email scraping is the process of collecting email addresses from various websites or social media platforms in bulk.

Top 3 benefits of email scraping for businesses, including challenges, use cases and suggestions 

1. An effective way to acquire customers compared to other channels

Email marketing is more likely to drive sales than other digital media channels (see figure 2). Looking for qualified leads or identifying prospects that are a good fit for your organization can take extensive time. Since the process takes so long, following up with your prospects becomes more complex. 

Automating manual processes augment sales representatives enables sales teams to focus on selling rather than manual tasks. One of the channels sales teams use to reach out to their potential clients is email marketing. A web scraping tool  provides you with a list of email addresses of your prospects. 

Figure 2: Effectiveness rating of different marketing channels

According to the study, email marketing is the most effective channel for return on investment.

Source: GetResponse

Challenge

Struggling to identify target profiles to scrape: Companies have difficulty finding their ideal sales prospects. Lack of clarity on lead qualification causes time and effort to be wasted extracting email addresses.

Tip for success

Mismatched prospects: Do not spend time scraping leads’ contact details that don’t match your organization’s target profile. Quality is over quantity. You need to identify who is worth reaching out to and focus on sales-ready leads. It is not about scraping harder but scraping smarter. For instance, if you are targeting enterprises, you can give the organization’s decision-makers priority.

Use Case/Application

Google maps are a primary source, especially for B2B companies that work with local businesses, to generate leads in a certain sector. To reach out to these new clients, you can extract contact information, such as email addresses, social media accounts, and phone numbers. Web scraping allows companies to get a list of all service providers’ contact information in a certain area.

2. Accelerate email campaign processes with email scraping

Email campaign is the process of informing people about a company’s products and services to drive traffic and increase sales. You must first make an email list of your target audience. Your website, social media platforms, forms, and sign-up sites can all be used to collect client information like names and email addresses. 

For example, people who engage in your company’s marketing materials by downloading a whitepaper/ebook, filling out online forms, signing up for a newsletter, buying a product, or leveraging a free trial are your target audience to engage. Web scraping tools extract all relevant information about your promising leads, including their names and email IDs, from your websites and social media accounts.

Challenge

Email accuracy: After scraping all relevant email IDs from your websites, ensure you reach the correct email address to send your content. Sending emails to inactive email addresses affects your email campaign’s quality and email click-through rates.

Tip for success

Email hygiene: The email address you will reach might be closed. Since the email is invalid, your content will not be delivered. You need to ensure that the email address is still active. Otherwise, the number of inactive subscribers in your email list will increase while the email deliverability rate decreases. Building a small but clean email list increases your email list value. The most important thing is consistency. Inactive email addresses need to be removed regularly.

3. Boost brand building/monitoring process with email scraping

Email marketing is one of the popular channels to build or position a brand. Web scraping helps companies to crawl various channels to engage with people who have mentioned their company on social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.). and other online platforms. 

You can detect all mentions about your brand as a keyword or relevant hashtags on social media. By searching your brand hashtags, location-specific hashtags, and audience-specific hashtags, you can extract relevant information, such as user profiles, comments, post URLs, and post author ID. Web scraping reduces the time spent finding your clients and accelerates the email marketing campaign process. It helps businesses to focus more on content than email ID search. 

Challenge

Check rules/regulations: Scraping publicly available data on the web is legal but you must consider data security and user privacy. You have to ensure that every step of your email outreach process complies with privacy regulations such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Tip for success

Do not scrape personally identifiable information(PII). If you scrape this type of data, data masking is a quick solution to comply with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. Understanding your sensitive data helps you identify the most suitable data masking technique to protect it.

the images shows how data masking works

Source: Informatica

Sponsored

Bright Data’s Data Collector is a data extraction tool that complies with all relevant data protection laws, including GDPR and CCPA. It enables businesses to extract automatically email IDs from different websites by complying with all relevant data protection legal requirements.

Source: Bright Data

Use Case/Application

Brandwatch used Twitter data to increase campaign impressions and reach out to potential customers. By monitoring related hashtags and keywords on Twitter, it is possible to gain insight into how brands’ campaigns are going, including tracking and ensuring campaigns’ success.

For more on web scraping

If you want to learn more about web scraping, feel free to read our in-depth whitepaper on the topic:

Get Web Scraping Whitepaper

If you have questions about email scraping and its applications, we can help and check out our data-driven list of web scrapers:

Find the Right Vendors

Gülbahar is an industry analyst of AIMultiple. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Dokuz Eylül University.





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