Finding the right email addresses is a vital part of anyone's marketing strategy, it's difficult enough to get your emails opened and read, it's impossible if they're not sent to the correct person.
Whilst systems used for finding email addresses are getting more and more advanced, so are the systems for keeping them hidden. That doesn't mean game-over though, we've compiled the best advice for finding out someone's email:
Find the name
If you've got a name in mind already, brilliant. If you're still looking for the best person to contact a quick scour of LinkedIn should be your first port of call to find the relevant person. Try to send your email to the correct department, there's no point sending it to someone who won't have a clue what to do with it.
Generally people don't put their work emails onto their LinkedIn's and be very careful about using personal email addresses, in my experience they're very rarely ever checked. Make a note of them anyway however, as there are a number of tools which will show you affiliated websites and social profiles - all useful when searching for a more direct communication method.
Google is your friend
Before you do anything else, take a look through Google. Use the search terms below and see if anything pops up:
- First name + Last name + email
- First name + Last name + @
- First name + Last name +@domainname.com
- First name + Last name + contact
- site:domainname.com+ "First name Last name", this will show you every reference to the person on the website
Scrape the website
If that didn't work, try scraping the website. My favourite piece of kit by far is Email Format, all you need to do is plug in the URL and it will scrape the site for any email addresses it finds. Once you've got a reasonable idea about how their email addresses are formed, and you've got a name in mind you can start plugging it into email checkers.
If you still don't have a format
There's a number of nifty little tricks to find out how companies form their email addresses. Check out Voila Norbert which requires a name and a URL and extracts the person's email address. This site is pretty useful because you don't have to try every variety. Couple of drawbacks though: you can only use it a few times a day without subscribing and if they're using a nickname in their email it won't pick it up.
If Voila Norbert hasn't helped, run through as many email checkers as you can, the best one is probably Mail Tester. Quite a few servers have stopped email verification though, so you're probably looking at about a 70/30 split on success.
Maybe not the first thing you'd think of, but for smaller companies WhoIs is a pretty brilliant little way of finding out an email address. When the domain was registered the registrar will have entered their email address and a two second search will reveal it to you. Whilst many companies keep their contact details well hidden on their site, many don't consider the WhoIs look-up
Email Guesser is a pretty cool little tool for automatically generating a number of email variations from a name and a URL. It's very useful, however if someone's using a nickname or a shortened version of their name, it won't pick it up.
Your next step after finding the email address should be checking to make sure it's accurate. There's a number of neat little extensions which can help you.
While Rapportive used to be one of the major players in data acquisition, since its takeover by LinkedIn however it's functionality has dropped significantly (ain't that the case with all big-brand takeovers? Don't even get me started on the Creme Egg scandal). No longer the super useful tool it once was, the market has had an influxe of newcomers eager to take up a similar position. Here's the ones we recommend here at BeeLiked:
Remember all the brilliant features of Rapportive? The social media widgets that let you track a user's personal accounts? Remember how incredibly useful that was? Well San Fran based start-up Discover.ly have decided that they love the world enough to bring that back.
The start-up is backed by Salesforce and works remarkably well, the only draw backs are it's limited to Chrome and Gmail.
Probably the most popular replacement for Rapportive, FullContact features a simple layout and has many of the features of its predecessor. The major negative though? It doesn't work with Gmail's new compose message pop-pup, meaning you can't use it to guess emails. It tells you some pretty good info in the conversation window though
Possibly my favourite on this list, Vibe is pretty much a titan. Along with bringing up social media profiles and all connecting information, it also provides you with things the individual has liked, hobbies and uploaded photos. In addition to that, it's compatible with Firefox as well as Chrome and it can be used with a range of email services.
If you followed all the steps above you should be able to figure out almost anyone's email address, so get your message out there!
Now you've got the email, have you thought about whether your message is saying the right thing? Take a look at BeeLiked for brilliantly up to date social media campaigns that will take your brand to the next level.