You Need an Email Address, You Say?
I’ve recently been working on email outreach. I’ve got my personalized pitch ready to go, but I’m missing one thing. The perfect email address. I’m not just looking for a generic email; I’m looking for a valuable employee email who is relevant to my search.
Most of my searches I’m pretty lucky and after digging around I get the email I want. I will say there are some people who are really good at hiding themselves and I give them kudos. In this day in age, it’s hard to truly hide yourself with such sophisticated tools to track people.
Not to Spam, but to Enlighten
Before we dive in let’s just be clear, use these tools for good, not evil. When I’m reaching out to leads I truly believe our service can and will benefit them. I don’t use these tools to spam, but to enlighten potential customers. Every email sent should be personalized and tailored to the recipient. If it’s not, then you should reconsider your email outreach process. Email outreach is generating valuable leads that will be genuinely interested in your service, not just shouting to the masses that you have a new product.
Tools of the Trade
I use a variety of tools to find an email. Most are free or give me X number of searches per month. While by the end of the month I’m usually out, I still enjoy these tools and you can too as long as you don’t require significant scale which requires payment. These are the tools I use to assist me on my endeavors:
- Email List
- WHOIS data
- Twitter Advanced Search
- Email Hunter
- Anymail finder
I first begin researching the company and if I stumble upon an interesting email I make note of it, but keep researching until I know that is the exact person I want to email.
While at the end of the day I’m trying to find the perfect email address, my search really begins with the company. I begin looking around, trying to figure out the structure of the company, who does what which leads me to my potential contact person. To show how certain steps work my example subject throughout the post will be our VP Marketing, Gur Dotan.
Know Your Company
This may seem obvious, but begin your research at the company website. You will, of course, learn a lot about the company and you might even find the email you’re looking for.
Find the “Team/About Us” page. Read about the various team members and decide who is the best person to reach. If they list the employees and their job descriptions pay attention! This will give you a great starting point of who you need to target.
Also, if you can find the company’s social media pages, open them because you’re going to want to go over them.
LinkedIn – Details, Details, Details
Moving right along to my favorite tool, LinkedIn. Wow! Has LinkedIn helped me more often than not. It doesn’t always give me the email, but it helps me learn about the company and/or the person and that’s where looking at the details is important. When I begin my search in LinkedIn I have two objectives:
- Nailing the right contact person with the right role in a company.
- Exploring if LinkedIn connections permit a more personal reach out than a cold email. Maybe a coworker has a connection and can make an introduction.
I have found, that for the most part, professionals keep their LinkedIn profile up to date. There have been times I have someone in mind, but when I go to their LinkedIn account I realize they don’t work at the company anymore. It’s important to look at these details and read their job descriptions. You might have in mind that you want a Product Manager, but read their description and realize you actually need someone else in the company. Pay attention to their job descriptions and make sure they’re the right target.
I usually begin my LinkedIn search with the company page. I like to:
- Read/skim the company page top to bottom. I re-familiarize myself with the overarching theme and mission of the company.
- Review their location and see if they give a range of how many employees work at the company.
- Members – check to see if you have any second or third connections, if so this is a great way to wiggle yourself an intro or connect on another level.
Once I’ve reviewed the company page, I find my target and hone in. Each LinkedIn profile is set up differently, so it’s important to go over the various sections to find the information you’re looking for. When looking at a personal LinkedIn account:
- Review current and past positions.
- Go over job experience and descriptions (the descriptions can be eye-opening and tell you if you’re even researching the right person).
In Gur’s account, he has the relevant information in his summary, rather than his job description.
Facebook – Did you remember to add your email address?
Most companies list an email on their Facebook page under the “About” section. While this might be a generic email address, it is a good starting point and might even show you how their emails are structured.
You also want to review their latest posts and make sure they’re recent. If they haven’t posted since 2013, then sending them a direct message on Facebook might not be the best avenue to reach out.
Make sure you pay attention to what they’re posting about. Note if they’re posting about any major events, such as conferences they’re attending or an event they’re hosting. If so, it’s unlikely they’re answering emails or, if they are, it could be at a slower rate. For example, if you look up, our VP Marketing, you’ll find that he was on vacation a earlier in the week and know not to start emailing him.
Let’s Find That Email Address
You have now done your research, you’ve got a target in mind, yet no email. This is when the real searching begins. There are a ton of tools that can help you find the email address of your target person.
The very first email list I go to when searching is our MailChimp list. If you don’t use MailChimp, that’s fine, just go to your email list and search. What would be better if the person I’m trying to reach has already signed up! It doesn’t happen often, but I have found team members from that company signed up for our newsletter, which is a great sign! It usually means they’re interested in your company and you can begin by reaching out to that individual. Which could then eventually lead to an introduction to your target.
WHOIS data is publicly available data and is usually collected when registering a domain. Any WHOIS tool such as Who.is will generate the information you’re looking for. It’s not my favorite tool, but it has proven useful. Most professional companies will have their domain secured and registered with privacy protection, but I have occasionally found a few relevant emails.
Well, it doesn’t hurt to just Google it. It’s quick easy, might won’t work, but it doesn’t hurt. Have a name? Have a domain? Type them it into Google and see what you get. You might not get an email, but some other sources that can lead you to an email.
It might be surprising, or not, that a lot of people will just ask for emails via Twitter. Use Twitter Advanced Search to help you find an email address.
- “All of these words” – search (at) (dot)
- “From these accounts” – add Twitter handle of said company
It will then pull up tweets from that company with any (at) (dot) and potentially give you the email you’re looking for.
Sidekick is a one stop shop email extension from HubSpot. They offer a variety of tools such as tracking email opens, link clicks, how many times a person opened your email and scheduling emails. However, I took advantage of their email profile tool for this process. Sidekick generates a profile for the email recipient when composing an email. I was able to check email addresses by going over the individual’s profile.
When looking at Gur, I can see his job title, company, education and Twitter handle. If you’ve used Sidekick to track the email it will show any opens or clicks as well as mutual connections.
Mixrank is an awesome tool. We pay for the service, but it helps generate targeted lists of potential leads. You can create lists from specific keywords or categories. We use it in a variety of ways from looking at specific games to looking at various companies in our industry.
To find Gur, I would go to our main page, contacts and search for Gur Dotan. He then pops up and I have his email.
Maybe you have an idea what the email address is, but you don’t want to send an email just to have it bounce. MailTester lets you do exactly what it says, test the address. Put your the email address in their finder and see if it’s right.
Email Hunter, another life saving tool, collects and organizes email addresses all over the web. I use the Chrome Extension and it works wonders. I have a little button at the top of my browser and when I’m on the site, I click it and it compiles all the emails for the website.
On LinkedIn, an Email Hunter button pops up on every account page and can generate an email (usually).
So you’ve gone through your tools, but still don’t have an email. Rapportive, a tool acquired by LinkedIn, shows LinkedIn profiles when you have the correct email. If I have a first name and a domain, I use Rapportive and play with different email options such as:
When it’s a match, you get a popup on the side of your email (like below) and you know you’ve found the right email.
Still can’t find that email? There have been times I know the name of the person, have the domain, but don’t want to go through Gmail and/or Rapportive just guessing. Anymail Finder, does the guessing for me which is pretty handy.
Keep Calm and Find Email Addresses
You are now equipped with a variety of tools to help you find the email address of a potential lead. While these tips will take you far, there is no 100% way to find an email address unless it’s given to you directly. Take your new found knowledge and use it wisely.
Have you ever used any of these tips and tricks? Or do you have any other tools you use? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below!