Everything You Need to Know About Finding Email Addresses

An email address is a unique type of virtual currency, and most people go to great lengths to find email addresses belonging to people of interest. Many also take great measures to guard theirs; after all, so many people want to get into your inbox with different messages – from sales offers to marketing pitches and even job requests.

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So while the email is one of the most effective networking methods available today, that doesn’t mean it is easy to find email addresses. And for anyone who is involved in any type of online sales and marketing, that can be a huge problem. There are tons of legitimate reasons why you might need to contact someone through cold email:

  • Contacting potential customers or buyers

  • Reaching out to influencers within your niche

  • Talking with various webmasters and editors to build long-term publishing relationships such as cross promotions and guest posts

  • Getting in touch with journalists for product launch pitches or PR outreach

  • Networking with established professionals in your industry for mentorship opportunities

  • Reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers for job and internship opportunities

So it is safe to say that you can’t run any outreach campaign without the correct and current email addresses for any prospect. In fact, cold emailing would be impossible without it. Unfortunately, there’s no Yellow Pages-type directory for email addresses.

On the one hand, it’s understandable: no one wants to receive a ton of spam, junk, and unsolicited mail in their inboxes. Apart from issues of privacy and online safety, they are far too busy for that! But on the other, these measures can be a serious challenge for people looking to engage in valid cold email marketing and networking outreach campaigns.

The good news is that there are many different white hat techniques that you can use to find email addresses. All it takes is a little digging and thinking outside the box. That said, there are so many ”tips” and “tricks” that claim to help you do this but don’t work – at least not effectively.

But there are certain strategies that are tried and true that can help you find email addresses. While some still may not work 100% of the time, these methods will give you the best shot at getting the information you need.

Table of Contents

Why Should You Care About Email?

In this age of social media, you’d think that the email is done and dusted. Wrong! Emailing is the most personal and effective way to contact someone, especially people who don’t know you.

Sure, you could use various private messaging features on different social media platforms. But we already know – from the example of LinkedIn – that people rarely respond to this kind of outreach. On the other hand, email is focused on one single purpose: to get in direct contact with somebody. That said, here are three reasons why you should care about email:

1. It is the most professional way to contact someone

If you want to reach out to another professional to talk about work-related matters, then one of the best ways to get a serious conversation going is through email. After all, you are more likely to close a business deal through email than in private chats on Facebook or Twitter.

2. People pay close attention to their email inbox

The fact is that not everyone takes the time to check their private messages on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. They don’t expect to have any serious communication that could impact their work on these sites. They just want to browse and interact with their friends and family on social media.

On the other hand, they expect more from their email inboxes. After all, email is meant for getting private messages from people they know or need to talk to via work conversations or important subscriptions. Because of this, your prospects are much more likely to keep a close eye on their emails.

3. Everyone has an email address

Email is one of the only things that make it possible to personalize what you do on the Internet. Think about it: these days, you can’t sign up for an account on any website or online service without an email address. That means that – at least theoretically – you can reach anyone on the Internet through their inbox.

But you can’t say the same for even the largest social networking sites in the world. Just because platforms like Facebook and Twitter are popular doesn’t mean that everyone is using them.

So, whatever your feelings are about emails, it is a basic part of interacting online. Even if you do start your conversation with a prospect on social media, you will have to ask for their email address sooner or later. That’s because it is a common courtesy that shows you want to move the conversation to a more professional, one-on-one medium.

With that in mind, let’s move on to the most important question: how do you find email addresses?

Ways to Find Email Addresses

There are various ways to find email addresses. Some work better than others, but all of them will increase your chances of success significantly. These methods include:

  •    Running basic searches on Google
  •    Using an email discovery service
  •    Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  •    Using the prospect’s phone number (if you have it)
  •    Plain old guesswork (but with confirmation)

For this post, we’ll concentrate on how to find email addresses using white hat methods only. So let’s get into it:

How to Find Email Addresses on Google

This is the most basic – and, in certain cases, most effective – way of tracking down someone’s email address. And best of all, it’s pretty easy to do. It is best to use a large, extensive search engine like Google to get the best results.

If you’re wondering about how to find email addresses on Google, here’s how.

All you have to do is go to Google and do a specific search to find a particular prospect. Here are a few basic queries that you can try:

  •    “First name Last name” email
  •    “First name Last name” @
  •    “First name Last name” contact

It is important to put the prospect’s name on quotes as this will help you narrow down the search. But if the person you’re looking for has a name that is quite common (like “Jane Smith”), then you will need some additional information about them.

The more information you have, the better your search results will be. For example, you could find out where the prospect works, their place of business, hometown, or any other bit of information that you think is relevant. Then, you can add this information to your search terms and end up with a query that looks something like this:

“Jane Smith” + “Atlanta, Georgia”

How to Find Email Addresses For Companies

Most organizations do not let their employees choose their official email addresses. Instead, they usually assign them by name. You can easily take advantage of this information to figure out various possible email addresses for the person you want to contact.

If the prospect’s email address is not easily available, then you’ll have to do a bit more digging. Every company uses a typical email address format for their organization. If you can find this, you’ll be able to determine their address. So, where can you find these email structures:

  •    Search for the company’s profile on LinkedIn. If you have a first connection that works there, you can then check out their “Contact Info” section to see if they have included their work email.
  •    Search the company’s blog. It will usually include the author’s email address either at the top or bottom of the page.
  •    Sift through some press releases from the company you’re researching. These documents are usually a treasure trove of hidden contact information. For example, the company’s PR person will usually include their work email at the bottom of the page.

Of course, you have to know where the prospect works in order to find email address for company in this way. But, for most organizations, their email formats could look something like this:

  •    FirstNameLastName@company.com
  •    FirstName.LastName@company.com
  •    FirstInitialLastName@company.com
  •    FirstInitial.LastName@company.com

These formats are not as common, but you can still use them to help you in your search:

  •    FirstName@company.com
  •    LastName@company.com
  •    FirstInitialLastInitial@company.com
  •    FirstInitial@company.com

Find Email Address by Domain

These days, most domains have private registration details. That means that it won’t be easy to find email addresses by domain. But you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by using the right tools.

The best way to find email address by domain is by searching for it on Who.is. While most webmasters do their best to avoid publishing their contacts directly on their sites, this tool can give you much more information than most people believe. This is a lookup tool that lets you find out the email address that was originally used to register a particular website.

That said, Who.is works best with websites that are owned by one person. That is because they have much less reason to hide their contact information. But you could still get lucky when it comes to larger websites, some of which still have this information available.

Another way to find email addresses for a domain is by entering a specific search query into smaller search engines like Bing or Yahoo Search. This query is:

“@domainname.com”

Using this exact match search, Bing will return all the pages in a domain where the prospect’s name appears. It will also reveal all the email addresses that are related to the domain – but only if they are publicly available.

How to Find Email Address on LinkedIn

You might be wondering how to find email addresses on LinkedIn. The answer to this is insanely simple. You probably didn’t know this, but are you aware that a user’s email address is always visible on LinkedIn as long as you are direct connections?

To do this, just go to the prospect’s profile and check in the “Contact Info” section. This will show you their current email address.

Even better, you can easily export all your LinkedIn connections onto your computer in a single CVS file. All you have to do is:

  •    Click the “Connections” tab on your LinkedIn homepage
  •    Then, click on the “Settings” symbol that is found in the right-hand corner of the page
  •    Once this is done, search the page’s right-hand column and click on “Export LinkedIn Connections”
  •    Select “Microsoft Outlook (.CVS file) and then click on “Export”
  •    Save the document to finish

The file you end up with will include all the details about each one of your connections, including their email addresses.

How to Find Email Address on Twitter

One of the easiest ways to find someone’s email through Twitter is by simply reaching out through their DM (direct message) and asking for it. Believe it or not, this message actually works on most prospects. Just make sure that you have a real profile that clearly shows who you are.

But the problem with this method is that there is no way to ensure that the prospect will actually read or reply to your message.

So, it might be better to use Twitter Advanced Search to discover a prospect’s email address. Most times, people actively share their email in their tweets but hide them from bots by replacing “@” and “.” With “at” and “dot.”

What Twitter Advanced Search does is allow you to identify those specific tweets from your prospect’s page. You could also include other keywords like “contact,” “email,” or “reach” to narrow down the results.

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How to Find Email Addresses on Gmail

Research a company to find out which format they use for their employees’ work email addresses. You can then use this knowledge to come up with a list of possible email addresses using your prospect’s name.

After doing this, go on and open Gmail. Click on “Compose” and type in each possible email address into the “To” field one by one. Then, click on the email address and hover your mouse over it. If a particular email is connected to a real account, then you will see the prospect’s profile.

Find Email Addresses by Guessing (then Confirming)

The “guess then confirm” approach will only work if the prospect has a profile on Google+. And since pretty much everyone in marketing or startups is on the platform, you have a good chance of finding your target with this method.

To start off, you have to guess the prospect’s email address. You can do this by either creating a list of possible email addresses using the pattern you discovered that their company uses, or you could use this spreadsheet to generate an automatic list of possible addresses.

Once you have a list of possible email addresses, then simply type them into Google+. If the prospect is on this platform, Google+ will guide you to the right one by showing you which account is associated with a particular address.

How to Use Rapportive to Find Email Addresses

Rapportive is an innovative email tool recently acquired by LinkedIn to help make your outreach efforts easier. Once installed, it is a powerful tool that lets you get anyone’s email address – as long as it is active.

So, how does Rapportive work? Well, once you start composing a new email on Gmail, you can type in any Gmail address into the “To” field. For this to work, the email addresses must be both active and connected to a LinkedIn profile. Rapportive will then display any relevant profile information on the right-hand side of the screen.

That said, Rapportive won’t give you any suggested email addresses. But you can figure out some options using the methods outlined above, then use this tool to find the right one.

Even better? It can also give you some hints in email addresses that may not be connected to any social data. That means that generic addresses like “info@domain.com” can help confirm if you are on the right track.

And if you type in an address that doesn’t show any information in the right-hand column, then it probably isn’t a bona fide email address.

That said, some argue that Rapportive is only useful if you know that the person that you’re reaching out to is already on LinkedIn. It also involves a lot of guesswork, is only available in the form of an extension for Google Chrome, and only works with Gmail.

Best Way to Find Email Addresses

While these methods can work in a pinch, they take a lot of time and effort. This is especially true if you are running a massive campaign with hundreds (or even thousands) of prospects to get in touch with.

Going through any of these approaches in such a large outreach campaign may not be scalable or efficient enough to ensure you get the results you want.

Instead, the best way to find email addresses is by using an email lookup tool. There are various lookup tools available on the market right now, each working in different ways. Most ask you for a domain and name, then scan its mail servers for a matching email address.

While this approach works okay, RooJet gives you a much better way of doing things.

RooJet is the best way to find email addresses because it lets you search and find all the email addresses that are connected to a particular domain. All you have to do is enter the domain you’re interested in and find your prospect’s correct and current email address.

Other Tools to Find Email Addresses

You could also use other tools to find email addresses. They work in different ways and varying efficiency levels, but the most popular options include:

1. Toofr

Toofr is an email database that claims to have addresses for more than 400,000 companies. According to the best estimates, this tool is right at least 80 percent of the time. They start you off with ten free searches, but you will have to pay after that for more attempts.

2. Clearbit

Clearbit is a Google Chrome and Microsoft Outlook extension that claims to let you find email addresses in five seconds or less. All you have to do is plug in the prospect’s company name, as well as their first name or job title. Once this tool identifies the right email address, it also lets you compose a quick cold email to the prospect.

3. SellHack

SellHack is another nifty browser extension that checks through data sources that are publicly available to find email addresses. With the free plan, you can search up to ten email addresses every month. This tool works well with popular browsers like Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

4. Headreach

With Headreach, you will be able to search for prospects using their name, company, or website. Its advanced search option allows you to search by job position, giving you easy access to the right decision makers. Once you find the right prospect, this tool also lets you add them to your contacts.

5. Viola Nobert

Viola Nobert lets you search for prospects’ email addresses by their first and last names or their company domain. It does this by pinging the mail host to confirm that it’s got the right address. This tool gives you up to 50 free searches every month.

You don’t have to install any plugins with this tool, making it quite easy to use. But it also doesn’t check for catchall email addresses and limits the number of searches that you can run.

The Final Word

To be a whiz at cold emailing, you must first start by mastering the art of finding email addresses for any prospect.

Keep in mind that it gets harder to find contacts for people higher up on the corporate ladder. That said, you will have an easier time doing it with these tips and tricks. Used correctly, you will soon find yourself discovering the right email addresses in a matter of seconds.

What tools do you use to find email addresses that you don’t have in your contact list? We’d love to hear your experience with what works best in the comments below!

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