Hunter vs LeadCrawler - A Case Study




LeadCrawler vs Hunter - A Case Study

... And why LeadCrawler found 34% more emails

Hunter is the main tool for finding B2B emails. While it's excellent at returning many email contacts for people in big companies, when it comes to finding emails of ordinary website owners (LeadCrawler's focus), it's not ideal. Here I'll show why we consider LeadCrawler superior to Hunter (and, for that matter, every other email finding tool we've tried, since most of the below applies to other services as well) if you're just looking to return 1 email contact per website for a list of normal websites.


The Test

In this test I'll be showing Hunter's and LeadCrawler's results finding emails for 1,500 different URL's. I'll be asking Hunter to return just 1 email per URL.



These URL's were found by asking Ahrefs (a popular SEO tool) to return a list of websites linking to something:


  1. The first 750 URL's are websites reviewing and linking to a popular hosting company.
  2. The second 750 URL's are websites talking about how to write a resume (or something similar) and linking to a resource on that.

Among these 1,500 URL's is everything from completely obscure websites, medium-sized websites with some presence, and extremely high-authority websites. The first 750 sites (reviewing a hosting company) have a relatively higher portion of small sites, however.


The Results

Of the 1,500 URL's, LeadCrawler found an email for 513 URL's, while Hunter found an email for 383 URL's. This represents 34% more emails found by LeadCrawler.


For the first 750 URL's (websites linking to a popular hosting company), LeadCrawler found an email for 238 URL's, while Hunter found an email for 120 URL's.


For the second 750 URL's (websites talking about writing a resume), LeadCrawler found an email for 276 URL's, while Hunter found an email for 263 URL's.


Another very interesting stat is that LeadCrawler found emails on 262 URL's where Hunter didn't, and Hunter found emails on 133 URL's where LeadCrawler didn't.


Download results
LeadCrawler Results
All 513 emails found by LeadCrawler (.csv)
All 262 emails LeadCrawler found that Hunter didn't (.csv)
Hunter Results
All 383 emails found by Hunter (.csv)
All 133 emails Hunter found that LeadCrawler didn't (.csv)

Why did LeadCrawler beat Hunter?

Let's go through some of the 262 emails LeadCrawler found in this test that Hunter didn't.


1) Emails where the website owner has an @gmail.com email, instead of an email at theactualwebsite.com


As it's not always trivial to setup email on your own website, many website owners setup an @gmail.com email for handling website enquiries. LeadCrawler finds @gmail.com emails IF AND ONLY IF they definitely look like they belong to the website owner. Examples:


URL
Email
http://answersforthefaith.com/movies-tv/2021/02/01/27 answersforthefaith@gmail.com
http://excellentopinion.com/bluehost-review opinionexcellent@gmail.com
http://www.freshlyvibes.com/specifications/?specs=nokia_9_pureview-8867.php freshlyvibes@gmail.com
http://yourinfinitybook.com/blogs/5-best-web-hosting-for-wordpress yourinfinitybook@gmail.com
https://265entmw.live/reviews/unmasking-the-pitfalls-in-opposite-sex-love-affairs 265entmw@gmail.com

Hunter and other tools never return @gmail.com emails, even when they clearly belong to the website owner.


2) Emails for new sites that Hunter has never looked at before


A major difference between Hunter and LeadCrawler is that Hunter only returns emails it previously found. When you give it a domain to search, it doesn't search it in real-time; it merely checks its database to see if it has a previously stored result. If you're checking a new or small site, there's a good chance Hunter will have never looked at it before, and won't have a result. LeadCrawler, by comparison, searches in real-time the second you give it a website to search an email. Examples:


URL
Email
http://bestehost.com/product/siteground-review info@bestehost.com
https://bestreviews.link/start-a-blog-site-for-under-4-a-month webmaster@bestreviews.link

Any email-finding tool should find these as they're clearly listed. LeadCrawler finds them, but Hunter returns no results at the time of writing, most likely because it has never checked these websites before.


3) Emails for sites with Cloudflare obfuscated email protection


About 16% of websites on the internet use Cloudflare according to W3Techs. By default, Cloudflare obfuscates emails, making ordinary email-finding tools unable to find them. LeadCrawler is different. Take this example of a site on Cloudflare:


URL
Email
https://hcopy.in/xiaomi-mi-11-ultra-leaks-specification-features-price-release-date contact@hcopy.in

While this email is plainly listed at the bottom of the page if you're a human looking at it in a normal browser, for a bot, it'll be obfuscated. Unlike Hunter and other tools, LeadCrawler recognizes Cloudflare obfuscated emails and easily decrypts them.


4) Emails that are only listed on the websites Facebook page


Facebook pages are a hidden goldmine for email addresses. Many websites don't list their email addresses on their website, but have a Facebook page for the website and list their email on the "About" section of their Facebook page. Example:


URL
Email
https://hostguide.me hello@hostguide.me

The hello@hostguide.me email doesn't seem to be listed anywhere on hostguide.me. However, LeadCrawler sees that the website has a Facebook page (https://facebook.com/hostguideme) and checks the About section (https://www.facebook.com/hostguideme/about) and finds the websites email there. This is another unique feature of LeadCrawler that no other tool does.


5) Emails found for a specific URL, not just a website as a whole


There are many websites where anyone can publish (such as blogspot.com) and have their own blog (such as artbenknight.blogspot.com). Hunter never works for finding emails of these people, as if you give it a big website it can only return all emails on the whole domain, without looking at a specific URL. But here's what LeadCrawler finds:


URL
Email
http://artbenknight.blogspot.com/2012/09/fine-artist-of-month-linked-chess-piece.html studio@benknight.net

Or take another example:


URL
Email
https://guides.stlcc.edu/careers/resumes kabotsi@stlcc.edu

Here LeadCrawler goes straight to the URL and searches for an email, returning the email of the person actually running this page. With Hunter, all you can do is ask it to return 1 or more of all @stlcc.edu emails it's collected (of which there are hundreds). For big sites where you want to find the contact email of someone running a specific page on that site in an automated manner, therefore, Hunter is useless.


When does Hunter beat LeadCrawler?

As mentioned, while LeadCrawler found emails on 262 URL's where Hunter didn't, Hunter found emails on 133 URL's where LeadCrawler didn't. There are 2 main cases where Hunter beats LeadCrawler. The first is when the email is on a page other than where you'd expect it (i.e. not on a Contact or About page, but some random part of the website), as LeadCrawler only checks parts of a website where you'd expect to find an email. The second is when the website owners email is listed somewhere on the internet outside of the website itself, as Hunter.io scrapes the entire internet.


Final thoughts

We consider LeadCrawler and Hunter to be only indirect competitors, and here's why...


LeadCrawler is a tool for finding contact emails of website owners, or people running a particular page on some big website. It's made for this purpose and nothing else. That's why it outperforms Hunter in this test.


Hunter is a tool with a different focus. Rather than being designed to find emails of ordinary website owners, it's clearly more focused to be good at returning many leads (along with as much information on them as possible) of potential outreach targets who are working at real, established companies. Say you want to send a cold email outreach to someone at Google, and want to find the best person to send an email to. Hunter returns over 30,000 leads for Google with information on them like title, department and even phone number. It's also great at returning an email of someone if you enter their name and company. If you want to do things like this, we 100% recommend Hunter. But if you just have a list of ordinary URL's, and all you want is a contact email for each one without any effort, use LeadCrawler.