Even in this age of social media and instant messaging, email is usually the best way to reach out to potential customers. The only thing is, you need to find someone’s email address before you can make contact.
If you’re lucky, your chosen prospect will have posted their contact info online somewhere. More commonly, decision makers like to keep their company email under wraps.
Either way, finding the right email address can be a challenge.
To help cut this task down to size, we decided to create a playbook. Here’s a closer look at the best techniques, tools, and processes for finding email addresses in 2023 and beyond.
Why Finding an Email Address for Every Prospect Is Really Important
There are many different ways to get in touch with potential buyers — via social media, in person, over the phone, through direct mail, and so on.
However, email reigns supreme when it comes to cold outreach.
With an average open rate of 44%, cold email allows you to reach nearly half of your prospects with minimal effort. Even if they don’t reply initially, that first message can prime your prospects for a follow-up call or DM.
Of course, some recipients will be interested enough to reply straight away. From an analysis of 65 million messages, QuickMail found that half of all cold email campaigns see a response rate of 20% or better.
Accurate Contact Information Is Key
These figures are clearly encouraging, but success here rests on whether you build a good-quality email list.
It’s easy enough to visit a company website and find a contact email. But if you try sending a pitch to this address, your chances of getting through to a decision maker are pretty remote.
This is because many public email addresses are checked by what we call “gatekeepers.” These people are the receptionists and PAs, who decide whether your email is worth passing on to the boss. Unless your message is outstanding, it may end up in the trash.
The way to get around this problem is by sourcing a company email address for the person you’re hoping to reach. While some people share these details freely, a little more legwork is often required.
How to Find Someone’s Email Address
Finding a person’s email address can take seconds or hours — but in most cases, it’s possible to find the key information in the end.
Here are the most time-efficient ways to track down the email for pretty much anyone:
Use a Dedicated Email Finder Tool
It kind of goes without saying that a tool which is specifically made for rooting out email addresses is probably your best option.
Email lookup tools allow you to search for people by name, phone number, LinkedIn profile, or even company page.
Most work pretty well, serving up your desired email address in a few seconds — although you might need to verify the results they provide before sending out emails.
The only downside to this approach is the cost involved. Putting aside the limited free searches, you will almost certainly need to pay for access.
Most apps in this area operate a pay-as-you-go, credit-based system. However, some let you pay a monthly fee that covers a specific number of searches.
Buy Information From a Data Provider
If these highly specialized tools don’t float your boat, you could look at working with a B2B data provider.
These companies use a variety of sources to compile massive databases, packed with useful information about millions of business professionals. Along with email addresses, you will find phone numbers, role information, company financials, and more.
Of course, access to this information comes at a price. And as a very general rule, the accuracy of the data you receive is linked to the amount you have paid.
We’ll look at the best of these providers a little later.
Track Down Their Email via Google Search
If the specialist tools are not working or you just want to save some money, Google might be able to unearth the information you need.
Using the world’s most popular search engine may sound like a really obvious tip. But there are ways to use Google that allow you to go further than a regular search.
We’re talking here about advanced Google search operators. These commands allow you to target very specific keywords, meaning you can track down email addresses wherever they might be posted online.
Here are some of the most useful formulas:
- “[first name] + [surname] + [company name]”
- “[first name] + [surname] + email”
- “[first name] + [surname] + contact”
- “[first name] + [surname] + gmail”
Replace the content in brackets with the relevant search terms, and be sure to include the inverted commas — these tell Google to look for these terms exactly.
Even if you can’t find an email address using these methods, you may find other routes to the same information using Google.
For instance, it’s worth checking whether your target prospect has a personal website that includes a contact form. It’s also quite common for business executives to include their email in press releases.
Check Social Media Profiles
Haven’t checked LinkedIn? You might be surprised by how many people post their work email on their profile.
It’s true to say that many LinkedIn users have adjusted their privacy settings so that only connections can see their email address. But hey, it might be easier to connect than it would be if you had to find an email some other way.
Another good tactic is to look through your target’s recent activity. In comment threads, people will often drop their business email for easier communication with a specific person.
LinkedIn isn’t the only social network where you can find email addresses. If you know that your chosen prospect is active on Twitter, it’s definitely worth using the site’s advanced search to discover whether they have ever tweeted out their email.
To search someone’s tweets, open Twitter’s advanced search dialog and put the target company’s domain name in the All of these words box. Then, put the individual’s Twitter handle under From these accounts.
Some third-party apps allow you to search Twitter for email addresses specifically — more on this later.
Harness Your Network
Of course, some people almost never reveal their email address to the wider world. These individuals give out their contact information on a strictly need-to-know basis.
Inevitably, they tend to be the big decision makers — the very people you really want to contact.
But don’t despair. It’s perfectly possible to get your hands on the email address of pretty much anyone. You just need to call in a few favors and ask the right people.
Consider whether anyone in your network might have a personal link to your target, and get in touch. Even if they don’t have the information themselves, they may be willing to ask on your behalf. You can even end up getting that all-important email through multiple layers of connections.
5 Top Tools for Finding Email Addresses
Now we have looked at the various ways you can find a person’s email address, it’s time to look at the best tools for the task.
There are literally dozens of solutions in this niche, so the list below is not comprehensive. However, we believe that these options stand out from the crowd:
1) Datanyze: Find the Email Address for Any LinkedIn User
Many platforms allow you to hunt down email addresses. But Datanyze makes the process really smooth.
Instead of endlessly flicking between different apps, you simply navigate to any LinkedIn profile or company page and run the Datanyze Chrome extension.
In seconds, the extension delivers accurate contact information and company data for your chosen prospect.
Price: Free to try, premium plans from $19/month
2) Snov.io: Email Search and CRM in One
If you’re reading this post, there’s a fairly strong chance you already have a CRM. But if you’re willing to switch things up, Snov.io is worth a look.
This all-in-one sales toolbox lets you track down email addresses, save them to the built-in CRM, and send out email campaigns — all in one workflow.
It won’t sync with the needs of every team, but the concept is pretty smart.
Pricing: Plans from $30/month
3) AllMyTweets: Search for Email Addresses on Twitter
As we mentioned earlier, many Twitter users end up posting their email on the social platform at some point. Unfortunately, it’s not super easy to find these tweets — even with the help of Twitter’s own advanced search.
AllMyTweets is a really simple service that can help you discover what you’re looking for. All you have to do is sign up with your own account, and then run a search on your prospect.
If you include terms like “email,” “gmail,” “hotmail,” and “dot com”, you have an excellent chance of picking up relevant tweets.
4) Anymail Finder: Email Hunting via API
If your entire outreach strategy is based around finding email addresses, Anymail could save you some time.
This email lookup service has a relatively basic web presence, but it has one outstanding feature: the ability to run searches via an API.
This means you can integrate Anymail with pretty much any workflow, and automate the process.
Pricing: Plans from $49/month
5) Metric Sparrow Email Permutator
If you can’t actually find the right email address for someone, your next best option is educated guesswork.
This is basically what Metric Sparrow’s Email Permutator is all about. You simply enter the person’s name, along with their company domain name, and the app generates a list of possible email addresses.
Most of these probably don’t exist, but they follow the common patterns used when companies create new staff email accounts. Try them all, and you have half a chance of finding the right one.
Why You Need to Verify Email Addresses
No matter which tools you utilize, it’s really important to verify the email addresses you collect.
Why? Well, even the best email lookup tools are sometimes wrong. They either collect incorrect data, or their information is out of date.
And this is not the only reason. By verifying your list, you unlock these key benefits:
- Reduce your bounce rate — High bounce rates can leave you stuck on spam lists. By checking your list before you hit send, you can massively reduce your bounce rate.
- Improve your deliverability — By checking that you have valid email addresses, you can improve your deliverability. This means avoiding having to repeat-send loads of messages, and it keeps your sender rating in good shape.
- Improve your email outreach data — Measuring the success of your email campaigns is difficult if many messages never reach their intended target. By verifying your email list, you can weed out these “ghost” contacts and get to the real data.
NeverBounce: Check Your Whole Email List in Seconds
If you want to verify email addresses without a whole lot of hassle, you should try NeverBounce.
Our hands-free platform automatically checks the validity of every contact on your list, and removes the invalid email addresses. It works with 80+ sales and marketing platforms, with live syncing to keep your database looking pristine. If you prefer, you can use our API.