The Internet is full of digital information that can help you better segment your product or service and provide personalized solutions to your target customers. One of the best ways to find relevant business opportunities is to get contact information from sites like Yellowpages.com, Yelp.com, Google Maps, and LinkedIn. Sometimes it is more effective and useful to talk to people in the field over the phone (or Zoom, Skype) than just sending an email or letter. A phone call can help you better deliver a more personalized message to your prospects.
How to make effective business phone calls?
Phone numbers are relatively sensitive and not-easy-to-get data. So you should definitely use them wisely. How can you make an effective business call?
First, always get yourself prepared before the phone call. It would be best if you could gather enough information about the person you’re going to connect with. For example, if you can address his/her title, name, and possible business concerns (how your product or service can help them solve the problem) correctly and concisely. This way, calls are less likely to be rejected.
To achieve your goal in one call, you also have to think about the messages you are going to deliver, the goal you’d like to achieve, the way you’d like to be “asked” when exchanging ideas, when is an appropriate time to call, how long should the call be, etc. Check this guide to learn more marketing-calling tips.
How to find accurate phone numbers?
Before you can start collecting any phone numbers for your marketing campaigns, you should know where to find this information, ie. data sources for the particular customer groups you are interested in.
Today, personal data can be quite sensitive. It is suggested to gather public web data to minimize any possible illegal consequences. As for phone numbers, business phone numbers are usually deemed less private and safer to collect.
Here are some popular online business data sources for various business categories. These data sources have already gathered extensive business information. All you need to do is to come up with the right keywords to search with, such as the type of business and location, so to find the business info you need effectively.
|Business Data Sources||Intro|
|www.google.com/maps/||(Global) A good source for finding business listings with a physical location.|
|www.yelp.com||Yelp connects people with great local businesses in the US.|
|www.yellowpages.com||The original source is to find and connect with local plumbers, handymen, mechanics, attorneys, dentists, and more. It has emails and phone contacts.|
Yellow Pages also have pages for different countries in different domains, such as yell.com for the UK, yellowpages.ca for Canada, etc.
|https://www.brownbook.net/businesses/search||Brownbook is the crowd-sourced global business listings database, with more than 35 million businesses listed in over 200 countries|
|https://www.bbb.org/||Better Business Bureau helps United States, Canada, and Mexico consumers find businesses and charities they can trust.|
|https://clutch.co/||The original source is to find and connect with local plumbers, handymen, mechanics, attorneys, dentists, and more.|
|https://www.spoke.com/||Spoke.com is a tool that anyone can use to create custom streams of business information.|
|https://www.superpages.com/sitemap||The original source to find and connect with local plumbers, handymen, mechanics, attorneys, dentists, and more.|
How to get phone numbers in bulk from websites?
Now you know how to find prospective customers from online directories, you may be wondering how you can get all of these phone numbers downloaded from the webpage fast and effectively.
Generally speaking, there are three options to choose from:
– Buy data directly from the website owner
– Manually copying and pasting from the webpage
– Use a web scraping tool (e.g., Octoparse) to fetch the data in bulk
Buy data directly from the website owner: It may seem straightforward to try to buy the information directly. Well, the truth is, it is rarely available for sale and if it is, the cost is usually high.
Manually copying and pasting from the webpage: Without a doubt, you can manually copy and paste from search results line by line. Yet, this process is apparently tedious and slow.
Use a web scraping tool: This approach is similar to manual copying and pasting but only with a bot instead of a real human. So you can imagine the difference in opportunity cost. An automated web scraping tool, such as Octoparse, can help you collect and download targeted web data, such as phone/mobile/fax numbers, email addresses, and other contact info from various data sources quickly and effortlessly. It will not only extract what you want from websites automatically but also transform web data into structured data formats like Excel.
If you are looking to scrape a large amount of data from any single website, say a directory website like Yelp, you can set your own scraping workflow using simple drag and drop. Octoparse also offers lots of task templates for popular directory websites, such as Yelp, Yellowpages, Google Maps, etc. Simply enter keywords such as the business type and your scraper is ready to go.
Alternatively, if you are looking to scrape data from many different websites, such as companies’ official webpage, you can set up a scraper to crawl through all the sites and use the built-in XPath tools and regular expression tool to match any phone numbers that are found in the HTML of the crawled webpage. Check this guide to learn how to use RegEx to collect phone numbers.
There’s no coding required for using Octoparse so even if you have absolutely no programming skills, you can still use Octoparse to build your own custom database of contact numbers.
How to scrape Yelp numbers with Octoparse
Last but not least, I’ll walk you through a specific example of how to use Octoparse to collect phone numbers of companies in Dallas, TX on Yelp.com. More details can be found in this tutorial: Scrape business information from Yelp
Step 1：Open the website Yelp.com and find the companies in Dallas, TX. Then copy the search result URL into the clipboard.
Step 2： Quick start a new task (Advanced Mode) and drag the Open Page icon to the Workflow Designer. Paste the URL into the PageUrl box and click Start. Open the web page.
Step 3：Scroll to the bottom of the web page in the built-in browser, then click the “Next” link to create a pagination action in order to extract data from multiple pages.
Then choose “Loop click Next Page”, and we have created a pagination action.
Step 4：We will extract the names and phone numbers of these companies.
Click the company name “Dallas Movers Pro” and choose the “Extract text” option. Same way to extract the phone number. Then rename the fields as “Company” and “Phone number”.
Step 5：Before executing the extraction rules, we check the order of each action. Because we want to extract all the data needed before turning to the next page, we drag the “Extract Data” action in front of the “Click to Paginate” action in the Workflow Designer. Then click “Next”>” Next” (both at the top right corner of the interface) to proceed to the next step.
Step 6：Finally, click “Run on your device” to run the task. Now, you can wait for the data to come out.
In the data output window, you will see that all the phone numbers have been extracted.
Apart from the web scraping tool itself, Octoparse has an expert data team that offers data solutions directly. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about the possibilities.