Content Digital Marketing

Stealing Competitor's Customers

GL Content Team Nov 01, 2017

Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

Contacting people using the internet is the easiest thing in the world. The tricky part is contacting the right people. Are you struggling to find clients who actually need what you’re selling?

Are you sure that your idea of “value” is valuable? You may be missing the mark. Wouldn’t you prefer to talk to clients who are already aware of the problem you’re trying to solve? It’s the smart way to go… Your clients will have already qualified themselves!

The important part is to ensure that you are making a good impression from the start. The only way to achieve that is to ensure that your product is worth selling. Your solution has to fit your audience. Remember, you’re trying to get these people to switch to your service instead.

You need to understand an important truth. People don’t hate cold emails and Facebook Ads that are relevant to them. If you’re bombarding them with stuff they don’t care about (spam), they will hate you.  The solution? Don’t spam people.

Once you’re sure of making a good impression, use an approach that finds the right people. There is a common angle to each these methods:

– Find out where your competitor’s customers spend time online.

– Pull the data you need from that space.

– Use tools & tricks to make the data work for you.

– Reach out.

METHOD 1: Use Their Reviews

There are a ton of sites out there brimming with customer reviews. It’s a goldmine for finding out what matters most to the people you’re trying to reach. Once you understand them, you can connect with them on their level.

You’ll be cold-emailing these individuals, so you need their email addresses. There are tools to get hold of these, as long as you know their first and last names, and their company name.

Step 1: Build a Scraping Recipe

There is a simple, free tool available that does this job. DataMiner is an extension for Chrome that you can set up to scrape the data you’re after. You’ll need a second extension called Recipe Creator. Download it, open the page you need to scrape, and create a new recipe. It takes some time to set up the recipes, but you can reuse them for any product page on the website you chose.

Step 2: Scrape with DataMiner

Open up Data Miner and select the recipe you’ve created. Now you can download the names, positions, industries, and company data.

Step 3: Phantombuster Matches Names & Domains

To grab email addresses we need two things. The names of company employees and the domains their companies use. Our recipe gave us the names we need, and Phantombuster can reveal the domains. It’s a great automation tool for repetitive data scraping tasks. It auto-checks searches Google for company names, and saves the result in a .CSV file. You’ll need to create a free account.

When you’ve done that, select “Agents,” and then “New Agents.” Delete all the data shown on the form. Copy and paste this script (https://salesfla.re/CompanyDomainRetriever) into the box. Copy the data in the .CSV file into a Google Sheet. Paste the Sheet’s url into the available section in the code you pasted. Select “Settings” and make the “number of retries” more than 0. Click “Launch” and a file called output.CSV will download.

Step 4: Grab Email Addresses with FindThatLead

Now you can use FindThatLead to grab all the emails under a domain, or more specific addresses. For Domain search, you need the .CSV that Phantombuster created. Lead search requires the .CSV that DataMiner created. Remember the .CSV includes the names and surnames, as well as the domains.

The full names are in a single column, which isn’t ideal. The easiest way to split the first and last names into separate columns is to use Excel. Select the name column, click “Data,” and “Text to Columns.” Be sure to set your delimiter to “space.”

FindThatLead only gives you free 10 credits per day, so you’ll want to upgrade to a paid account.

Step 5: Phantombuster Finds LinkedIn Profiles

The names and domains we’ve found make it possible to find reviewers on LinkedIn. The process is the same as in Step 3, but using This Script instead.  (https://salesfla.re/LinkedInProfileFinderScript)

Phantombuster won’t overwrite your data, instead using the first available column. At this stage, you will have a goldmine of data on your competitor’s clients.

Step 6: Dux-Soup It!

Now you can use those LinkedIn URLs in Dux-Soup! It’s an awesome growth-hacking tool that visits LinkedIn profiles for you. You’ll be able to get connections, leads, and introductions. Dux-Soup will also pull as much data as possible from these profiles and deliver the results in a .csv file.

To make this happen, you need to make use of the paid “Revisit Data” feature. You have to trick Dux-Soup into thinking it has already visited these LinkedIn pages. You need a .CSV that matches the required format, and the first and last names filled in.  (https://salesfla.re/DuxRevisitTemplate)

Paste your LinkedIn URLs into the “Profile” column, and let Dux-Soup do the rest!

Step 7: Find Facebook Audiences

Dux-Soup will offer to find email addresses for you as well. There is a points system that returns one email address for every one point you have. You can buy points or exchange for your email list. The addresses returned will often be personal Gmail accounts. Most people signed up to LinkedIn with their personal addresses. They also never changed them. You can use these personal email addresses to build Facebook audiences.

METHOD 2: Track the Technology

BuiltWith.com and Hunter Tech Lookup are fantastic sites. You can use them to find out which domains are accessing specific software. BuiltWith.com returns more results, but limits free users to 50 domain results. Hunter Tech Lookup is a free option with no strings attached. The downside is that it is less powerful than BuiltWith.com.

Here’s how you can convert your list of domains into leads:

Step 1: Find Your Competitor’s Clients.

Using either of the tools mentioned above, select the software you want to track. Then download the data.

Step 2: Use FindThatLead

Follow the same steps as in Method 1 — Step 4.

Step 3: Matching Names to Email Addresses

You have the email addresses you need, but don’t have the names. You can’t always figure out what their names are from the email addresses. Why should they trust you if you don’t even know their name?

Virtual Assistants are affordable and efficient with this type of work. While they’re matching names, get them to make note of the company roles attached to each person. You want to target decision-makers, after all.

Step 4: Matching to LinkedIn with Phantombuster

Follow the same steps as in Method 1 — Step 3.

Step 5: Dux-Soup

Follow the same steps as in Method 1 — Step 6

Step 6: Connect on Facebook

Follow the same steps as in Method 1 — Step 7

Step 7: Send Amazing Emails

Cold emailing is still a vital part of selling online. You have to be relevant and avoid wasting time. Your tone should be conversational, yet direct. Clever use of humour can go a long way.

Method 3: Use Your Friends on Twitter

On Twitter, friends are those people who follow you, and you follow back. Do your competitors follow fewer people than actually follow them back. Find individuals who are friends with your competitors on Twitter. That way, you’re more likely to find the people they care most about.

You’ll be using their Twitter handles to find their email addresses & LinkedIn URLs.

Step 1: Find your competitor’s Twitter Friends.

Step 2: Use FindThatLead to match their Twitter handles to their Gmail addresses.

Step 3: Use FullContact to find the remaining email addresses.

Step 4: Use Dux-Soup to find the LinkedIn URLS.

Method 4: Upvotes on Product Hunt

Product Hunt matches new products with people who are ready for a new solution. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that users who upvoted products like yours would also check yours out. Product Hunt links user profiles to their Twitter handles. So you can access them too.

Step 1: Get your Product Hunt Developer Token.

Create a Product Hunt account if you don’t already have one. Click your avatar and select “API Dashboard,” and “Add an Application.” This can have any name and point to any website. Select, “Create Token.”

Step 2: Scrape Twitter Handles from Upvoters.

Use this tool (https://product-hunt-upvotes.herokuapp.com/) to scrape Twitter handles from Upvoters.

Step 3: Target with Cold Emails, LinkedIn Automation, & Facebook

Follow the same steps as in Method 3 — Steps 2-4

Method 5: Watch Social Sharing

BuzzSumo is a great tool. It finds the most popular content within a specific subject, or on specific websites. You can track social media content & shares on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, & Google+. In short, you want to know who is sharing your competitor’s content.

Step 1: Use BuzzSumo to find content sharers.

Create a free 14-day trial account and search for the information you need.

Step 2: Use Dataminer

Dataminer has a public recipe called “BuzzSumo -Sharers” to scrape their details. By selecting ‘View Sharers’ you can view the individuals who shared specific content. Focus on their Twitter handles.

Step 3: Follow the same steps as in Method 3 — Steps 2-4

Method 6: Use Their Fame

There’s a way to use Google Ads to use your competitor’s’ brand recognition and keywords.

Why would you do this?

– Brand Name keywords are cheaper.

– You’ll get focussed traffic

– You build brand awareness

Make sure you don’t become the top ad. These have high bounce rates and could affect your quality monitoring. Ads lower down get clicks from focused individuals looking for another option.

You can also do this on Facebook by going to Facebook Ad Manager. Select Interests, and type your competitor’s page name.

– Go to Interests in Facebook Ad Manager and type the Page name.

– If you get a match, you’ll be able to target that page and have it’s followers see your Ads.

You can broaden your approach to include other similar pages followed by the same people.

– Select Audience Insights (or search for it using the search bar).

– Insert the page you’re analysing and you’ll be able to see which other pages are being liked.