All these tools are publicly available and are either free (such as browser extensions) or are very cheap. I'd also like to provide some context as to why I use each tool and how they help me save time and reach the right people faster.
When I started my business I first wanted to get a list of every premium listing in the New Zealand yellow pages for particular industries. To do this I used a free Chrome browser extension named Instant Data Scraper. With this tool, I was able to harvest company names, telephone numbers, and web addresses of companies who are already paying money to the Yellow Pages for exposure. With these leads, I had to do a fair amount of cleaning (removing duplicates, missing websites etc), but the results were worth it. I managed to pull 1,000 high-quality prospects this way.
The next step was to qualify my list further. I knew that people who had invested in SEO would be more likely to buy from me than those who didn't. I believed that having premium Yellow Pages ad as well as either a current or former SEO campaign would mean they are that much more qualified for a prospecting call. The problem was that I had thousands of leads in my sheet now, and going through each domain one by one would have been impractical and a waste of time. So I downloaded a free Google sheets add-on named Moz API for Sheets. This allowed me to see how many indexed backlinks each company had in Google. The more backlinks the site had, the more likely it was that they had used an SEO service in some capacity. I set up some conditional logic in the sheet to filter the companies who had 'N' amount of backlinks. By now I had a good looking list of potentially qualified prospects. I just had to find a way to shake out the low hanging fruit before deploying heavier weapons.
The sheet had the domain, phone, but no email address. Having these emails would be important because I was going to send out a cold email blast before phoning each lead. Fortunately, there's a tool for scraping email addresses that runs in the cloud. I used a service named Phantom Buster and received email addresses for 60% of my list. Most of the emails I received were generic catch-all addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com etc.. I wasn't bothered by this, as my first contact cold email was structured to qualify them further and get an idea of their decision-making process.
I then took this list of emails and used an email validator named Neverbounce to ensure that they were valid. Using the fields from my scraped Yellow Pages database I was able to create some basic personalization in the messages for the subject line and body (I believe using an emoji in the subject line helped..) and sent the emails off in small batches of 30 emails each. My IP was new and didn't want to be blacklisted, so I took my time. In terms of results, under half of my prospects responded, and under half of the respondents showed interest in what I was offering, so, in other words, the campaign was a success. I wanted to pre-qualify the list and get the easy appointments, as well as weed out the people who would have been a waste of time calling anyway.
But now I had a new problem. I had exhausted my list and had nobody new to email. I thought else businesses spend money on to show they could be qualified for my service and then the obvious answer came to me: Google ads. Again, I'm not a fan of manual labour or data entry, so I found a service that could scrape the results for me. I used a tool named Stat Scraper to get the results of businesses advertising in my local area, drilled down by location and keywords. These people had some budget to advertise immediately, so they fit into my profile of what a prospect looked like. What I like about this service is that you could run thousands of queries to its API and have the results sent to you via email. You can configure it to run it in the background, and only notify you when new advertisers have appeared in your targeted list of keywords. This list of prospects has become an important part of my business and is compatible with all the aforementioned steps above in qualifying them further.
I'm interested in hearing about the tools and strategies you personally use in your own markeitng, and I hope you can take something out of this post.