identify leads work from home era

Here’s How Leadfeeder Identifies B2B Leads in a Work-From-Home Era

30 June 2021 by

2020 has thrown quite a few challenges our way.  

In February, Google removed the service provider and network domain from Google Analytics. The removal of this data made it much more challenging for our website tracking tool to figure out who visited your site. 

It wasn't just us — plenty of other website analytics tools and Leadfeeder competitors were also disrupted by this change. (Thanks, Google.) 

Luckily, the engineers at Leadfeeder were already building something that didn't rely on GA, and we were able to launch our next-level IP matching tracker just a few days later.  

Phew. 

And then, COVID. Most of our team works remotely, so that didn't directly impact how we work. 

But, it did change where people work — which is one way we figure out who visits your website. 

The core of Leadfeeder is our tracker, which traces the IP addresses of site visitors to identify the companies the site visitors work at. 

So, how do we know who people are when they aren't working from their office? 

First, let's talk about how the Leadfeeder tracker works, then we'll cover how it's still able to track the companies that visit your website — even when people are no longer working from their office. 

Note: Want to uncover which companies visit your website? Sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to track B2B leads and their activities on your website.

How the Leadfeeder Tracker works (in Normal Times™) 

The Leadfeeder Tracker is a small piece of JavaScript you install on your website that allows our software to identify the companies that visit your website. It is similar to Google's Tags and Facebook's Pixel. 

In Normal Times™, our software uses the data collected through our script and matches that with information in our database to figure out where site visitors work. 

How do we get this info? By tracking company IP addresses. 

So, while we can't (unless you’re integrating with MailChimp or ActiveCampaign) tell you that Brian Cornell, the CEO of Target, visited your website, we can tell you if someone from the Target headquarters in Minneapolis visited your site and that they viewed your pricing page. 

That data can then be turned into buyer intent data, which can help you find leads and qualify them. 

(In addition to tracking site visitors, our dashboard is also a killer data filtering tool that allows users to sort leads based on location, activity, size, industry, and much more.) 

This was all easy enough to track when people were at the office. 

Then came COVID, and a lot of people started working from home

How Leadfeeder tracks B2B leads when most people are working from home 

Before we dig into how Leadfeeder works when people are working from home, we need to cover something a bit more boring: the difference between static and dynamic IP addresses. 

As you may already know, IP addresses are unique numbers attached to every device that accesses a network (including the internet). Your phone, your computer, even your smart fridge all have their own unique IP address. 

So what's the difference between static and dynamic IP addresses? 

Static IPs are usually used by companies. Their IP address is often (not always) listed in the public directory and usually doesn't change. This makes it very easy to track when someone from that company visits your website. 

Dynamic IPs are given (typically) to home users or small businesses. These dynamic IPs usually stay with one device for weeks to several months and change once the user resets or unplugs their router. 

When people work from home, they switch from a Static IP address to a Dynamic one. 

That could be very bad. But it's not. 

Luckily, we track both dynamic and static IPs — and then match them with a custom database. 

As you can imagine, the static IP address database is easier to build than the dynamic one — simply because static IP addresses don't generally change, and public data is available. Once we know the IP address for Microsoft's Washington state office, we know anyone with that address works for Microsoft. 

Both Static and Dynamic IP addresses use the same sources. However, the dynamic database is very dependent on the data we receive from additional data sources. 

So, how do we know John Doe works for Microsoft when he's working from home a dozen or more miles from the office? 

We use multiple commercially available databases, plus our engineering team has developed algorithms to combine the commercially available databases with our own proprietary database effectively.

Our own proprietary database focuses on identifying cases that are not possible based on the commercially available or public data sets. 

Our database is more of an intelligent system than a traditional database. 

It receives a constant stream of updates from multiple data sources to stay up to date when ownership of IP addresses change. This allows us to identify companies even if the dynamic address is allocated for them for a short period.

This means we can track the companies visiting your website — even if their entire staff is working from home, from dynamic IP addresses. 

Happy new year from the Leadfeeder team 

2020 has been a challenging year for most of us. Rest assured that the team at Leadfeeder is doing everything in our power to ensure your company still has access to the same powerful website visitor data as ever. 

If you have more questions or need help navigating Leadeeder, our support team is available via live chat or email from 10:00 AM - 11:59 PM EET (3 AM - 5 PM EST), Monday to Friday, except for holidays. 

Note: Want to uncover which companies visit your website? Sign up and try Leadfeeder free for 14 days to track B2B leads and their activities on your website.

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