Email marketing is an inevitable part of growing the business and scaling up. Being the easiest way to reach a large number of prospects without spending too much, it is one of the favourite tools of marketers across the globe. When executed the right way, it can help double or triple your leads. Many companies use different methods to acquire email addresses. However, there would be a huge difference in the quality of email contacts depending on the method used to acquire it.
Many companies use web scraping to collect email addresses for building their mailing list. While this might be an easy way to get a huge number of emails within a short span of time, it is not without its downsides. There are many drawbacks to collecting emails using web scraping technologies. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t depend on web scraping to gather email contacts.
People holding key positions in a company are not likely to have shared their email addresses publicly. Even in websites having profiles of professionals, the email field is never shown publicly. This makes it impossible to get their emails using a bot. By using web scraping, the emails you collect are likely to be of less worth to you from a business point of view. Hence, if you rely on web scraping, expect to get emails that are less likely to convert. Eventually, you end up with an email list that doesn’t possess much value and makes your email marketing campaigns look less effective.
Bounce rate in email marketing refers to the number of emails that couldn’t be delivered. Since the email list you scraped from the web could have anything like old, expired and abandoned emails, there is a possibility of seeing high bounce rates when sending emails to this list. Emails change when people switch companies or delete their free email accounts like Gmail or Yahoo. Since these emails weren’t submitted to you directly, there is no way to check how fresh they are.
When you want to reach out to your customers using email marketing, you must first get the right emails to target. When you send emails to a lesser targeted list which by far includes role-based email addresses like info@ or contact@, your marketing efforts are going in vain. This would need some manual intervention rather than a bot scraping emails from web pages. Services like Zoominfo and Hoover’s provide contact information collected by using semi-automated mechanisms. This means the emails they provide have gone through a thick manual layer which ensures they are valid and useful in your campaigns. The more targeted your mailing list is, the higher will be your conversions.
Most reputed websites would make sure that user emails are not publicly visible. Pages containing emails are generally hidden behind a login form which makes them inaccessible to web crawlers. Apart from this, many websites can detect and block web crawlers to prevent data being scraped from their pages. In short, collecting emails using web scraping is not going to be an easy task at all.
This is one of the biggest drawbacks of using web scraping to collect emails from the web. The emails you can scrape from the web is available to everyone scraping emails from the web. This would mean that they are already getting a considerable number of promotional emails. If you join the list of companies mailing them, it is simply going to fall on deaf ears. The people receiving your emails are hence going to consider it as another message to mark as spam. This is going to do you more harm as there is a possibility of getting blacklisted by email servers and ISPs if many people mark your emails as spam.
There are many better and less intrusive ways to collect emails that are actually worth the extra time spent. Having an email subscription form on the website is surely the best way to go. By having people subscribe to your newsletters or blogs, you are also gaining their consent to mail them. Apart from this, you can always use people search engines like Zoominfo and Hoover’s to find contact details of targeted people. Since these sites have contacts sourced from users’ outlook accounts, they are valid and conversions are usually high. They also overcome the limitations of web scraping and provide ready to use list of contacts. Since the emails you get this way are targeted and active, your email marketing campaigns will see better results.
Although there are many different ways to acquire email contacts for marketing, they all differ when it comes to the results. Web scraping wouldn’t be the right approach for such a use case because emails are scattered across various web pages and focused crawls on few websites wouldn’t provide you with the volumes you need for your marketing campaigns, besides being more expensive. It is always better to acquire email contacts naturally or with some manual intervention as these are really worth the extra mile. Web scraping is indeed an extremely powerful tool if you are looking to gain competitive intelligence to take over your industry.
In case you are looking for a reliable web scraping service, don’t hesitate to talk to us about your requirements.