Hi, fellow marketer!
When it’s time to expand your lead generation process or the sales department is hungry for more pre-qualified leads, we all have to go through the ordeal of searching for new lead sources.
If you have the budget, you can use AdWords or Facebook Ads to generate an incoming lead flow for you. But what if you want to grow your lead generation process at no cost?
Why use web directories
Web directories are great for a few reasons – businesses listed there are already segmented by niche, size, geographic location, and other parameters. Besides, many web directories will provide you not just with websites (which are already enough to generate a lead) but also with phone numbers and local addresses, which you can use for cold-calling campaigns or postal marketing (don’t laugh now, this method still works in some industries).
Once we have a list of websites, we generate email lists using Bulk Domain search or individually using email finder tools. For example, with Snov.io’s Email Finder, you’ll easily gather high-quality contacts from any website on your list and then build your accurate targeted lead list just in minutes. So, if you haven’t tried it yet, it would be a crime not to do it right now by simply signing in (find your first 50 emails for free and then decide for yourself if you want to commit to the tool).
But let’s return to business directories: more directories = more business = more websites = more emails = more leads.
Web directories for lead generation
Note: this list consists of web directories focused on only US businesses, as the US market is usually the most desired for sales and marketing campaigns.
- Yelp – one of the biggest directories of small US-based businesses online. If small businesses are your target audience – then start with Yelp. You will find thousands of beauty salons, real estate agents, automotive businesses, restaurants, home services etc.
- CitySquares – this web directory has been on the market for over 10 years. CitySquares allows you to search by cities and industries easily.
- Yellow Pages Directory – another decent source of small US-based businesses segmented by cities, counties, and states.
- Angi – web directory that is focused on home services. If your target audience is companies within the plumbing, roofing, heating, electrical, or remodeling industries, don’t hesitate to try Angie’s List for lead gen.
- Local.com – a good source of local businesses. The search results look messy, but you can get used to it, considering the abundance of leads.
- USCity – one of the oldest web directories on the market. Search results are not just loaded as a list but also highlighted on the map, which is always on the right side of the screen. If you’re focused on local businesses, try USCity!
- Fave – another web directory that displays local businesses on a map. Try it if you like USCity mentioned above.
- Merchant Circle – another good choice for local merchants and businesses. The good thing about this directory is that it covers one-man businesses and individual professionals.
- Kompass – this directory is not focused just on the US; plus, it covers more medium and enterprise-level businesses. So if you need mid to large-level companies, use Kompass to navigate you through this niche (pun intended)!
- Superpages – more like a Super-source-of-leads to us! Find local businesses, both small and medium, easily. Good for cold calling campaigns as phone numbers are displayed in a font even larger than the businesses’ names.
- MyHuckleberry – search not just for businesses but also for products. Good source of leads if you need to find vendors or resellers of specific products.
- Combo Directory USA – this directory looks old-school, but it’s a good source of established small businesses that have been listed there for years and are still in the business. The industry navigation is very simple too.
- Insider Pages – another decent source of small US-based businesses. What sets it apart is reviews – you can see whether a business is still active through recent reviews.
- ThomasNet is a directory that can be particularly helpful for B2B businesses in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. It also provides a free prospecting report where you can see which specific buyers are currently searching on Thomasnet.com for the products and services you specialize in.
- City Data – an informative directory with an interactive map, with the only downside being that it contains data on just a few niches – restaurants and schools.
- USA Citylink – web directory that is still alive and kicking despite being active since 1994. It doesn’t have many industries or filters, but it’s worth checking out since it offers comprehensive data for travelers and covers related businesses.
- Best of the Web – another web directory focused on local businesses displayed on a map. Not the best directory there is, of course, but notable for providing extensive details per listing.
- Akama – an easy-to-use web directory for not just businesses but also products. Good for small niche searches.
- UpCity is a directory of B2B service providers and consultants, making it a great resource for B2B businesses looking for support in communicating with clients across the U.S.
- Official USA – a web directory that aggregates not just local businesses but also federal institutions, radio stations, financial companies, media, newspapers, and more. Has been active since 1997.
Web directories are worth a try when you feel like social networks and other lead sources have run dry. Surprisingly, directories can still be effective for lead generation, although their effectiveness can vary depending on the industry, location, and target audience.
So, take your time to evaluate whether or not a business directory is a right fit and then find emails of thousands of businesses ready for picking. Good luck!