I am a man who loves walking and nature. Walking literally everywhere. I enjoy the fresh splash of air on my face, the rain caressing my hair and the brown leaves crunching underneath my feet. Man, what a joy it is to be alive.
I vividly remember the times when I was walking from my apartment to work, creating all kinds of scenarios about my future in my head, counting my blessings, humming some catchy songs that I’ve overheard on the radio or just simply breathing the fresh air and letting the sun warm up my face.
I don’t want to use my car when I don’t have to. Walking gives me plenty of time to think about anything and everything. I have made millions of business strategies, crafted tons of outreach plans and planned my whole future, walking down that road.
I told you it was a long road.
But I didn’t mind the distance up until the moment I became parent and every minute of my life was calculated and there wasn’t any more time to waste.
I needed a shortcut.
A way to make my path shorter but still enjoyable.
So I started discovering new routes and alleys around the block, and surprisingly so, I discovered some hidden gems along the way.
For example, I discovered a fantastic local bakery. They had the most delicious stuffed buns (pirozhki). In case you haven’t heard of pirozhki, these are delicious deep-fried buns, stuffed with filling of your choice. It can be pizza filling, cheese, cream, mushrooms, etc.
I was taking my breakfast from there for years.
What I am trying to say is that a good shortcut isn’t about cheating your way out of the necessary effort. It’s about finding a better, smarter, more efficient way to do something — ideally one that saves time, makes life easier, and gets you closer to your goals. Experts in every field use shortcuts. In fact, in many cases knowing the best shortcuts is what makes someone an expert in their field…
Shortcuts are everywhere — even in nature. Our eyes are wired inside-out not because it makes sense for them to be that way, but because it simplifies other aspects of brain growth and doesn’t cause too many other problems, so evolution never bothered to fix it. It’s also why eating spicy foods hurts — instead of creating a new receptor for pain, the body repurposed one that detects heat (and also, completely by accident, detects chili peppers). Some of the best systems ever to evolve — our bodies and brains included — are chaotic, beautiful, kludgy piles of shortcuts.
In the world of prospecting, building meaningful business relationships, and outreach, we indulge in these shortcuts that we’ve created. It’s not just that they come in handy, they are essential in the prospecting world, where every minute is precious.
That’s why shortcuts like data scrapers exist in the prospecting world. To help us get where we want but in a shorter, faster and more efficient way.
What are data scrapers?
When it comes to B2B prospecting, building fruitful and meaningful relationships with clients and using the best outreach tactics, data scrapers are your best pals.
My team and I are using them whenever appropriate and I testify that they have made our lives so much easier.
Confused by the terms and how you can use them in your business to deliver the best results?
No need for panic, because I am here to clear up the confusion.
First things, first.
Data scraping is the process of importing information from a website into a spreadsheet or local file saved on your computer. It’s one of the most efficient ways to get data from the web, and in some cases to channel that data to another website. Data Scraping Tools are used for a large number of purposes like:
- Data collection for market research.
- Contact information extraction.
- Price tracking from multiple markets.
- Lead generation.
- News monitoring.
And that list’s just scratching the surface. Data scraping has a vast number of applications – it’s useful in just about any case where data needs to be moved from one place to another.
These data (or web) scrapers as you may find them, are, in fact, software apps, developed specifically to simplify the process of data extraction from websites. Data extraction is quite a useful and commonly used process. However, it also can easily turn into a complicated, messy business and require a heavy amount of time and effort.
So, what does a data scraper do?
In data extraction, from preventing your IP from getting banned to parsing the source website correctly, generating data in a compatible format, and to data cleaning, there is a lot of sub-process that goes in. Luckily, web scrapers and data scraping tools make this process easy, fast, and reliable.
Often, the information online is too large to be manually extracted. That is why companies who use data scraping tools may collect more data in a shorter amount of time at a lower cost.
Besides, companies benefitting from data scraping get a step ahead in the competition between the rivals in the long run.
How can scrapers be used for B2B prospecting?
As I already mentioned, data scraping can be used as a prospecting technique that gets a machine to do all the heavy lifting for you.
In other words, a program extracts data from many websites —or apps or databases— and presents it to you in a human, readable form. The most common method is data being delivered directly to you in a spreadsheet, preferably a CSV file.
Quite the trick, isn’t it?
So now, you are probably wondering how all this scraping can help you generate more leads, enrich your sales funnel and improve your B2B prospecting.
It will surely save a lot of time and spare you major headaches while getting big loads of data.
You can use the data for different things in your business. Lead generation, prospecting, price comparisons, sending bulk emails, market research. No matter what’s your end goal, the best scraping tools will save you hours of manually building these massive spreadsheets on your own.
And that surely comes in handy while reaching out to future prospects.
Instead of focusing the majority of your effort on manually building a database, you can now focus on the really important thing: Building a solid, prosperous relationship with your future clients. Now that you don’t have to dig all the data completely manually.
For instance once you know who your ideal clients are, you’d like to build a prospect database. And there are two directions you can take. You can try the manual route, and spend significant time just copy-pasting, and searching for data by hand. Or you can take the scrappers route, and let technology ease your way.
Business owners around the world are scraping data from websites and social media. This is no longer something that only coders or programmers do. We are busy people and don’t have the time to manually gather all the information we need for the clients or industries we are targeting.
That’s why, us, business people, have different requirements around what kind of data we need and how we want it. Scraping tools are learning about this and many are coming up with friendlier interfaces and customizable dashboards, ready to scrape what you require.
Once you scraped the web using any of these tools, there are many things that you can do with all the data available.
Since this blog focuses on prospecting, lead generation and sales, we’ll focus more on scraping tools to automate your lead-gen.
Without further ado, here is a list of the 30+ best scraping and lead generation software that will help your business prospect, sell and grow.
The scrapers list
- FindThatLead – A chrome extension that helps in finding emails from any LinkedIn profile. With FindThatLead you can search for specific new leads, verify emails, build email campaigns, and more. The most affordable “growth” plan is 49$/month.
- Octoparse – Octoparse is everything you need for automatic data extraction. It helps to quickly scrape web data without coding, turning web pages into structured data within a few clicks. The standard plan designed for small teams costs 75$ a month.
- Snovio – It’s one of the best cold outreach automation platform to find potential customers, build powerful email drip campaigns, track your outreach success, and access high-performing sales templates. The basic starter plan which is suitable for start-ups and solopreneurs starts at just 39$/month.
- Phantombuster – A single place that gathers the tools and the knowledge to grow your business faster. Phantombuster automates your sales and marketing processes. You can use it to scrape useful data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and all over the web. All the automations are executed from the cloud.
- Texau – Loved by 7000+ business globally, this automation platform can extract data from any social media platform including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Texau can also perform actions like sending messages, sending connection requests, and perform cross-platform Drip campaigns. The Cloud Starter pack starts at 29$/month, and the recommended Cloud Growth pack is 79$/month.
- LeadGibbon – A great automation platform that will grant you access to over 20 million business contacts. Using LeadGibbon you can find emails for leads in positions and industries you target with Lead Database, find email addresses from LinkedIn in one click with LinkedIn Extension, and find work emails for your contact lists with Email Enricher. Pricing starts at 49$/month.
- RocketReach – A web-based tool which lets users find email addresses, phone, social links for over 250 million professionals, across 6 million companies, worldwide. RocketReach gives its users all they need to use someone’s professional or personal LinkedIn profile URL to retrieve email addresses. It is trusted by Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook. The Essentials basic pack starts at 39$/month.
- LeadLeaper – A LinkedIn scrapping solution that discovers, captures, automates, e-mails, and tracks your leads obtained from LinkedIn. They offer a free 100 Credits/Month pack, and the cheapest paid GROWTH plan is 29$/month.
- Linked Helper – Advertised as the safest and most powerful LinkedIn automation software and CRM. Technically it is a web-browser, which can automate your manual work in LinkedIn. It really repeats human actions without any code injections into LinkedIn page or LinkedIn API calls. Subscription for one month is only 15$.
- Skrapp – An out-of-the-box tool that helps you find verified B2B email addresses of people that matter for your business. Whether it’s through Linkedin, companies’ websites, or using their in-app features, Skrapp will help you build the email list for your next outreach campaign. The paid starter pack for a 1,000 emails is 49$/month.
- Blockspring – Blockspring’s features help you pull data from apps like Twitter and scrape websites with import.io. It’s an easy and simple but very powerful automation platform offering list development, report automation and landing page development. Within the lists, it is integrated with Hunter.io and other APIs in order to find contacts or enrich existing contacts with data. Great for building lists for sales & recruiting, it has add-ons for digital marketing and live pages for growth. Price for each package is 29$/month.
- Lead411 – Provide sales leads and intelligence, business email lists, company and people data including verified email addresses and direct dial phone numbers, president and executive biographies, as well as news alerts for sales professionals. The starter pack is $50 per month/per user.
- Anymail Finder -Anymail integrates several transactional email service providers (ESPs) into Django, with a consistent API that lets you use ESP-added features without locking your code to a particular ESP. They only charge for emails that can be verified. Pricing is 49$ for 1000 verified emails.
- LeadFuze – A lead generation software that leverages AI to discover specific leads in particular roles and industries. Apart from basic information, the solution provides you with in-depth data such as verified emails, contact numbers, social accounts, and more. The starter pack is perfect for individual sales reps, recruiters or founders looking to start prospecting for new customers or recruit new talent. It’s 132.30$/month.
- X-ray search (RecruitEm) – Free online tool that helps you use Google to search profiles on LinkedIn, Dribble, GitHub, Xing, Stack overflow, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
- Adapt Prospector – An automation solution for lead building, LinkedIn prospecting, and e-mail outreach via Gmail.
- GetProspect – It can help you find emails and enrich contact data, and organize LinkedIn contacts in a CRM. GetProspect also integrates with other tools and analyses data. They are developing a feature that can launch automated email campaigns and cold outreach. The starter pack is 49$/month.
- Web Robots – A solution provider offering web crawling and scraping services. It offers various options from self-service to fully managed scrapping service.
- Get Email – Software for e-mail finding by providing name, surname and domain. The started basic pack costs 49$/month, and gives you 300 credits, CSV download, and API access.
- Skymem – Skymem is a tool that once you provide a domain, it will scrape the website, and show you all the e-mails available on that page.
- Prospect.io – It is a multichannel sales automation platform that can help you build lists, make automated personalized outbound campaigns, increase productivity, better analyse campaign performances, and improve the process. The essential starter pack is 89$ a month.
- Lusha – Lusha helps business professionals establish a fast and true connection with their leads, contacts, and candidates. B2B engagement is based on trust. Lusha helps you build that trust using simple tools which allow you to enrich and verify business profiles. Today, over 250,000 sales representatives, recruitment managers and marketers transform the way they engage with their leads, contacts, and candidates using Lusha on a daily basis. The professional pack which allows 2 users is 99$/month.
- Nymeria – A Chrome extension that finds e-mails and builds lead lists. The starter “KILO” pack is $39/month.
- LeadIQ – Is a Chrome extension that helps you identify people within specific companies, identify their contact information, and execute outreach campaigns. The starter pack for small sales teams that are just starting out is $75 per user/month.
- AeroLeads – Another Chrome extension that helps you find your prospects’ verified business emails. It also helps in finding leads with their job title, company, website, location, LinkedIn URL and build an email list in real-time for your business. The cheapest pack is 49$/month that gives you 1,000 credits.
- LeadMine Prospector – One of the best lead generation system for sales team. With LeadMine, your team can search for companies and people, lookup for people’s business email addresses, and verify the deliverability of any email address. The basic pack is 49$/ per month. It includes: Lead Finder, Chrome Extension, Email Verification, Email Lookup, CSV Export, and Email Support.
- LIX – Is a Chrome extension that helps you export search results from LinkedIn. The subscription for one month cost 40$.
- SellHack – A tool that can help you easily find emails, build lead lists, verify emails, and sync with SalesForce. Built for large & small sales team, it helps them find more qualified leads. Simple Lite version costs only 5$ a month for 100 email credits.
- Data Miner – Is a Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browser extension that helps you scrape data from web pages and export into a CSV file or Excel spreadsheet. The cheapest solo plan is 19.99$ a month that allows you to scrape 500 pages.
- Hunter.io – A top-notch email scraping platforms with a chrome extension. By using Hunter.io you can connect with anyone. Find the email addresses of people you want to contact one by one or in bulk. With 100+ million emails indexed, it’s the most powerful email-finding tool ever created. You can search the email address of a company via domain name or search for a particular professional with email. The cost of a starter pack is 49$, billed monthly.
- Wiza – Is a Chrome extension that can turn any LinkedIn Sales Navigator search into a clean list of verified emails, ready for outreach. The “pay as you go” plan is $0.15 per valid email, and the “pro” costs 50$/month.
- Slik – Is a Chrome extension that can help you generate leads, find emails easily, save them to a list or export them to CSV. The starter pack with 750 email credits cost 49$/month.
- VoilaNorbert – An intelligent lead generation tool that can find anyone’s corporate email address and enrich it with data that drives conversion. They offer a good variety of packages, the “valet” starter plan for 1000 leads costs 49$ a month.
- Orbitly – Is a powerful email extractor that can assist you in finding social media profiles as well as the emails of your target customers or prospects. The features are reverse email lookup, mail merge, and upload data to a CSV file. The cost and pricing plans range from $15 to $5000 so you can choose a plan depending on the credits you require.
Data scraper pros
As you may have realized so far, there are many, many cases where we can find tremendous use of the different data scraper tools.
They have so many pros, it’s really difficult to point out just a few. But for the purposes of this blog not being too long, I’d list a couple of them which I find the most beneficial.
First and foremost, most of them are not costly. Data scraping tools provide an essential service at a low cost. Data scrapers do the job in an efficient and budget friendly manner.
Also, l’d like to stress this as much as possible – they are easy to implement. Once a data scraping tool deploys the proper mechanism to extract data, you are assured that you are not only getting data from a single page but from the entire domain. This means that with just a onetime investment, a lot of data can be collected.
And (I know that you gonna love this) – they are low maintenance and they are fast. What else could we ask for?
One aspect that is often overlooked when installing new services is the maintenance cost. Long term maintenance costs can cause the project budget to spiral out of control. Thankfully, web scraping technologies need very little to no maintenance over a long period. Another characteristic that must also be mentioned is the speed with which web scraping services do their job.
And last but not least, they can save us tremendous hours of manual work when it comes to prospecting. No one wants to sit staring at the computer screen, copy-pasting data into miles long spreadsheets. Scraping tools can easily do a job that could take a person a week to finish in a matter of hours. It’s only logical to ask. Can’t we rely on scraping tools entirely?
Sadly, no. As in many areas, we can’t completely rely on automation. Database building needs the perfect balance of human touch and automation tools.
Why is that? Do read on.
Data scraper cons
As everything goes in life, there are always yins to the yangs, sunsets after beautiful sunrises and cons of the many pros.
Data scrapers are no exception from this rule.
Despite the many advantages they have, there are also some disadvantages I’d like to warn you about.
However handy, data scrapers can be difficult to grasp. For anybody who is not an expert, the scraping processes are confusing to understand. And if you are just starting with prospecting maybe it’s wiser to take the long road.
The thing is, the data that has been extracted will first need to be treated so that it can be easily understood. And if you are a beginner in this area, this might take a long time and a lot of energy to complete.
It is common for new data extraction applications to take some time in the beginning. Because the software often has a learning curve. Sometimes web scraping services take time to become familiar with the core application and need to adjust to the scrapping language. This means that such services can take some days before they are up and running at full speed.
But this is just the part of the problem. I’ve worked with many scraping tools and still haven’t found the one that can make a perfect prospect database. Missing or outdated info is the major issue. Nowadays things change in the blink of an eye, and rarely anybody can catch up.
There are also the speed and protection policies. Most web scrapping services are slower than API calls and another problem is the websites that do not allow screen scrapping. In such cases data scrapping services are rendered useless. Also, if the developer of the website decides to introduce some changes in the code, the scrapping service might stop working.
But when it comes to data mining, we mustn’t forget the GDPR. If by any chance you are unfamiliar with it, it is the most comprehensive data protection law ever introduced. Fundamentally changing the way companies can use the personal data of their customers and prospects. So it goes without saying that you need to check if the data scraper you’re planning to use is GDPR compliant.
Every sale starts with a prospect. However, you need to constantly update your prospecting database to find your ideal client.
That’s why building a comprehensive prospect database is one of the most important parts of any sales process.
But building lists with quality leads is often not easy. In fact, some companies make it their entire job to generate prospects and find their contact info. After all, who has the time to build these massive lists while also running sales campaigns and following up with potential prospects?
That’s why data scraping is one of my personal favourite ways to optimise the prospecting process.
It makes my employees’ and my life so much easier.
Using these tools daily to scrape leads online for free and without having to write any code, has been a true revelation. But it was a bumpy road till we fine-tuned the balance of scraping tools and manual work. So be careful. You might end up losing more time than if you do it all by hand.
It has helped me so much in gathering all the data that I needed with just a couple of clicks. And clearing up my time so that I can focus on what’s really important: Building relationships with clients.
Sparking conversations, doing quality research and nurturing the clients has always been my first priority, that’s why I find these kinds of tools soooo helpful.
They’ve been the shortcut that I needed so I wouldn’t waste any minute of my life in vain.
Shortcuts are beautiful things if you are cautious.
They can lead you towards the most magnificent of destinations. Giving you the space and the results that you wished for.
However, taking the short path is not always the best choice.
Keep that in mind when you will be doing your next outreach campaign.
There’s no short way towards the warm leads that you want.
You have to take the stairs and do the process step by step.
Dancho is a serial entrepreneur, founder & CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of two boys, and a ‘kafana’ enthusiast. He’s also the author of Amazon’s bestseller, ‘Sweet Leads.’ Dancho believes in building relationships with people and is inspired by growth. His ‘ZZ framework’ and formula for growth have brought 500+ clients the results they sought.
Eager to learn more? Follow Dancho on LinkedIn and Facebook.