There are a number of email scraper scripts available on-line but are they any good? Is there any value to your business in using these products?
Scraping email data from public data sources such as web pages is easy when you have the right tools. However, it's important to bear in mind that there are restrictions with what you can do with email addresses gathered in this way. For example, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 prohibits the sending unsolicited emails to just anyone without their permission.
Please be aware that sending unsolicited emails can land you in a heap of legal trouble. Therefore, don't use email scrapers to build lists with mass emailing in mind.
Positive Uses Of Email Scrapers
Putting to one side for a minute the negative applications for data gathered from email scrapers, there are some positive potential uses for email scraping systems. Here are a few:
Order From Chaos
Have you ever had a document / text file that contains some email addresses that you need to extract? Manually eye-balling the jumble of text in the document to find just emails can be error prone and boring. An automated email extractor can make the task a lot faster, easier and more accurate.
Get Contact Information - Fast
Whilst it's not acceptable to send unsolicited, commercial emails (see above), it's perfectly fine to use email to get in touch with an organization with whom you have an existing relationship - for example you are a customer. Sometimes, finding the contact details for someone who can help with your inquiry can be difficult. Perhaps the company has a "contact us" web page with email addresses buried in lots of text. An email scraper service can quickly and easily extract addresses from this page thus saving your time and energy getting to the email address information that you need.
Email scrapers are inherently neutral in the argument of whether it's "right" or "wrong" to use them. It's the data that is output from email scrapers that we need to be consider. Using data for unsolicited email purposes is inappropriate and the laws against doing so are clear. However, data from scrapers can be used in useful, legitimate ways to increase efficiency of various data gathering tasks in a business.