In business, finding email addresses is often an important first step in building relationships or getting sales leads. Email outreach can be used for any of the following:
- Content Promotion
- Media Coverage
- Increasing Sales
- Growing Your Network of High Value Contacts
However, finding email addresses can be a challenge. Some people don’t have their direct emails listed and it can also be time consuming to find all the email addresses that you need.
Luckily, people have created a lot of tools and resources that can help you more easily find email addresses. I’ve used some of these tools myself for outreach campaigns that resulted in thousands of social shares to some of my blog posts and to find contact info for potential sales contacts.
Although finding contact info isn’t hard, people should use this information responsibly by making sure their message is relevant to the recipient, personalized and well targeted. Forming mutually beneficial relationships is what makes outreach efforts worthwhile.
This guide delves into numerous ways that you can effectively find email addresses of people you may want to contact.
My favorite way to find email addresses that aren’t publically listed is with email finding tools. These tools make it easy to either verify someone’s email if you guess it or some tools will even find email addresses for you.
Rapportive is a browser add-on that integrates with Gmail that was acquired by LinkedIn. This add-on can be useful for finding email addresses, especially if you are well connected on LinkedIn.
Most company email addresses follow similar naming conventions. For example, many emails will use the following formats:
With Rapportive, you can guess a person’s email and then copy and paste each email into Gmail to see if any information is connected with that email address. Once you find an email that turns up info, then you know you have a valid email address.
Rob Ousbey at Distilled created a free spreadsheet to generate all the email combinations that are commonly used for company email addresses. You can then copy and paste these addresses into Gmail and click on each one until Rapportive finds an email with info connected to it.
I also found this nifty online tool that was created from Rob’s spreadsheet. Just enter the name and domain info here and it will provide all the permutations without having to use a spreadsheet. You can then copy and paste it as needed:
If Rapportive doesn’t work, then try out MailTester.com. This tool can often tell you if an email address exists on a server.
Simply enter your best guess at the person’s email address. If the email is valid, then it will display a message saying that the email was found on the server. If not, then you will get a not valid message instead.
3. Full Contact’s Person API
Cost: Starting at $99 / month
If you want to get a complete profile of a person including social media accounts and other demographic info, you may want to check out Full Contact’s Person API. This API can be used to get a person’s full contact info including social media profiles if you have partial information, like their full name and Twitter ID, for example.
Rapportive gives you a link to the person’s LinkedIn profile, but Full Contact also includes other social media links. API access starts at $99 / month.
Cost: 15 free searches a day
Thrust came out with the Anymail Finder, which will allow you to enter the person’s name and domain name to find someone’s email address. It also came up with a bulk email finder tool that you can use to search for multiple email addresses at once.
This tool is free to use, but has a limited number of daily searches. One nice feature is that it does have an API though.
Cost: Free for individuals, Companies can contact for pricing info
Vibeapp is a free alternative to Rapportive that allows people to easily find someone else’s contact info, including email, social networks and more. Vibe can be installed as a Chrome app, Outlook plugin, or iPhone app and works across multiple email platforms (not just Gmail).
Cost: Free for 10 emails a day or paid plans starting at $15/month
Find that Lead is a Chrome plugin that allows you to find anyone’s email address and social info when logged into LinkedIn. They also have a CSV import feature where you can import contacts and have it find their contact info. They have a free option which allows you to look up 10 emails daily or paid options starting at $15/month.
Cost: Free trial, starting at $20 a month
Toofr was founded by Ryan Buckley who also founded scripted.com. This tool allows you to find email addresses with first and last name and domain name. It also shows you info about the email address conventions of the domain and company information as well. Toofr also has a CSV upload feature and you can use either the company name or domain URL.
You can get 12 credits for free to try it out and paid packages start at $20/month.
8. Voila Norbert
Cost: Free. Paid plan for bulk searching for $0.25 per email or starting at $5 unlimited searches.
Voila Norbert is a popular free tool that can be used to find email addresses on a domain. For bulk searches, they have inexpensive paid options that can speed up the process.
9. Email Hunter
Cost: Free for 100 emails per domain up to 200 queries a month, $49/month for more and CSV export
Email Hunter (co-founded by François Grante and Antoine Finkelstein) allows you to enter a domain name and attempts to display all email addresses associated with that domain. It does this by searching the web for instances of email address from that domain. The free version allows you to see the first 100 emails, but upgrading to a paid version will allow you to see more and export it as CSV.
Email Hunter also has a free Chrome extension that displays a person’s email address on their LinkedIn profile (if it is in their database). It is limited to 200 searches per month, but can be upgraded with a paid account.
10. Datanyze Insider
Datanyze Insider is a browser plugin that is free to the public that was released in January of 2015 to make it easier for sales people to find contact info when prospecting. It allows you to more easily find email and contact info without leaving the page you are on.
The animated gifs on this blog post show how it works.
Cost: $0.50-$1.00 per valid email
Emailfinder.io is a paid tool that you can use to find email addresses on a domain. They have a bulk option for a lower price and you are only charged for valid emails.
Cost: Starting at $69/month
Leadfuze allows users to find contact information for prospects after installing their Chrome plugin. Prospect data is then added to their database. You can search on LinkedIn or directly from the plugin.
Cost: Starting at $47/month
AeroLeads is a prospect generation software using which you can find emails of any person. It is ideal for small businesses and even big organizations who are looking to sell a product or service and want to contact decision makers. Just install their Chrome plugin and do a search on LinkedIn and you can import leads into the database.
Sidekick is a free Chrome plugin by the creators of Hubspot. Asides from finding contact info, it also shows you who opened and clicked your mail and allows you to schedule emails to go out at a later date.
People often get asked for their email address on Twitter and sometimes, they will reveal their address publically by tweeting it to the other person. You can sometimes find people’s email addresses by using a Twitter tool to search through their tweet history.
1. Advanced Twitter Search
Twitter allows you to search through someone’s tweet history with their Advanced Twitter search feature. Just enter the Twitter username of the person who’s email you want to find under “From these accounts” and then search for phrases like “email” or “dot com”.
Then scroll through the tweets until you find an email address. This approach can work if the person has tweeted his email address to someone else.
All My Tweets, developed by Felix Turner, is a third party app that can display someone’s entire tweet history on a single page, up to about 3200 tweets. You will need to log in first with your own Twitter account.
Once you’ve logged in, enter the person’s Twitter handle and run the search. Then click “CTRL + F” and the word “email” or “dot com” and scan through the tweets until you find an email address.
This post has a quick tutorial:
Snapbird, built by Remy Sharp, allows you to search through a Twitter user’s tweet history. If they ever tweeted their email address to someone, Snapbird can help you find it.
Enter the person’s twitter handle and then search for phrases like “email” or “gmail”.
Quite a few tools have been created for email outreach. These tools are designed to make it easier for marketers to reach out to new contacts for content promotion, manage the entire outreach process and to build relationships with influencers. These tools can also help find email addresses for new contacts, although that is just one of the features.
1. Authority Spy
Cost: $47 + $17 / month
Authority Spy is a paid tool that helps people identify influencers. It provides links to their social profiles and also finds email addresses from websites.
Cost: Starting at $29 / month for businesses or $19 / month for solo bloggers, 14 day free trial
Buzzstream is a popular outreach tool that was created for SEO link builders and content marketers to streamline the email outreach process. It finds email addresses that are listed on websites and allows people to keep track of their email communications in one place.
Cost: Starting at $49 / month, 14 day free trial
Content Marketer is an outreach management tool created by Sujan Patel and Collin Mathews to streamline the email outreach process for content marketing promotion, launched in July of 2015. It is a tool that they had originally created for themselves to reduce the time needed to find contact info for outreach targets.
Asides from crawling the website to look for email addresses, Content Marketer also has an algorithm to guess the person’s email. You can then do email outreach using mail merge or Twitter direct messaging.
Cost: Around $9,000 / year
GroupHigh is a blogger outreach software designed for agencies and high end clients. It can automatically find the contact person and their email address from a website, as well as help manage the outreach process.
Cost: Starting at $79 / month
Inkybee was co-founded by Hugh Anderson and is an outreach tool that was created to streamline the entire influencer outreach process that also helps you search for and find influencers quickly. One nice feature of this tool is that it will suggest email addresses from the contacts that you find.
6. Ninja Outreach
Cost: Starting at $19 / month
Ninja Outreach is a tool by Dave Schneider and Mark Samms that assists in identifying influential bloggers in a niche as well as lead generation for companies. You can prospect through their database to find results via keywords, or do a live import and NinjaOutreach will crawl the websites. Additionally, it functions as a full CRM with email and relationship management.
Cost: Starting at $150/month
Outreachr allows you to find influencers and manage outreach, even if you have multiple team members working on a project. You can contact sites from within the Outreachr dashboard. Their customer support email address doesn’t seem to work though.
8. Raven Tools
Cost: Starting at $99 / month
Raven Tools is a popular SEO suite that has a lot of features including website auditor, SEO reports and backlink reports. Raven tools also has an email finder that quickly finds email addresses for people.
This post explains how the tool finds contacts:
Cost: At least $8,500 for the first year
Traackr is an enterprise level influencer outreach platform. Asides from finding email addresses for you, it also displays a profile of the influencer including social networks and their content stream. It’s a bit pricey for solopreneurs and really small businesses, but businesses looking for aggressive growth may want to consider it.
There are many businesses that compile and sell lists of email addresses or allow people to get access to their lists for a fee. These databases are often used to quickly generate new sales leads.
While many companies sell email addresses, we must be careful to use companies that have a history of providing accurate data that is up to date. Data quality can vary greatly between providers.
Here are a few prominent sources for purchasing email lists:
1. Dun & Bradstreet
Dun & Bradstreet has been around since the 1800’s and has 240 million business records and is a popular source for new sales leads.
2. Exact Data
Exact Data is another source for purchasing emails and contact info for direct marketing. List costs can vary depending on the category, but you can do a quick search on their site to get estimates.
3. Hoovers Leads Builder
Hoovers Leads Builder is a product by D&B that businesses can use to generate a list of new leads from their database. These cost $0.24 per lead and up.
One well known provider of email and phone leads is InfoUSA. They maintain a database of millions of email addresses.
Unlike other providers, they do not send you a list of email addresses but instead send emails on your behalf. You can then gather emails from people who respond to your offer. This is done to prevent people from abusing their system and spamming.
Zoominfo allows you to quickly build a targeted list of sales prospects from their database.
Getting someone’s email address is important for sales. It can be a starting point for sales outreach and relationship building, or it could just be a good way to follow up with prospects. Here are a few tools that are commonly used by sales people to find relevant emails.
1. Bypass GateKeeper
Cost: $0.05 per successful lookup
Bypass Gatekeeper cost $0.05 per successful lookup and allows people to quickly find contact info. Free trial allows 10 free successful email lookups.
2. CEO Email Addresses
CEOemail.com provides email addresses for CEO’s of companies in the UK. The service is free, but they ask you to pay if you are using the information for business purposes.
Data.com by Salesforce accesses D&B database information for a fixed monthly price.
4. Emails for Corporations
Emails for Corporations provides the naming convention used for email addresses at large corporations. With this information, you can guess a person’s email address at a company with a high chance of success.
Email-format.com is a tool that provides the naming convention for email addresses at a company by analyzing emails from publically available sources. This tool seems to work better for finding email conventions for larger organizations, but it is free to use.
6. Email Breaker
If you want to quickly find the naming convention for emails at a company, then try Email Breaker. Just start typing the company URL and it will reveal the naming convention for emails at that URL.
7. Data.com Connect (formerly Jigsaw)
Data.com Connect is a crowdsourced database of email addresses. You have to add an email address to the database to get access to another email. You may want to verify email addresses in a tool like Rapportive or Mail Tester before using them to be sure that the information is accurate.
8. Sell Hack
Cost: Starting at $9 / month
Sell Hack is a browser plugin for Firefox or Chrome that you can use to find hidden email addresses when browsing through social media profiles. You can enter first and last name plus the URL and it will attempt to find an email address. A nice feature of this tool compared to similar tools is that you don’t have to leave the webpage that you’re on to go to another site every time you want to look up someone’s email address.
Cost: Starting at $49 / month, 7 day free trial
Leads411 generates new leads each day by searching the news. You can also generate contacts to add to your database by using search criteria.
Reaching out to journalists can be important if you want to get mainstream media exposure for your business or get quoted as an expert source. According to a PR survey, 93% or journalists prefer to receive pitches by email.
Before emailing a journalist, you should also become familiar with the types of stories they cover. Here are a few ways you can get in touch with journalists.
1. Freelance Journalist Directory by DWPub
Journalist Directory is an online directory where freelance journalists can enter their contact info and editors and PR people can search for them.
Gorkana maintains a database of journalists and offers other services to help PR people get exposure for their stories.
3. MuckRack (journalists)
Muckrack allows journalists and PR people to connect. PR people can find email addresses for bloggers and journalists and pitch them directly.
4. Response Source by DWPub
Response Source is a service similar to HARO where journalists can request expert opinions or other information and PR people can reply directly to them.
5. Media Directories like Cision and Bacon
Cision maintains an updated database of influencers and journalists that you can pitch your story to.
6. Call Someone the Journalist Interviewed
Sometimes, if you can’t find a journalist’s email address, you can call someone that they interviewed and ask them.
7. Society of Professional Journalists Free Directory
The Society of Professional Journalists maintains a free directory where freelance journalists can enter their information.
8. On the Journalist’s personal blog
Many journalists have personal blogs, so sometimes you can contact them through the contact page on their own blog.
9. On the media site they write for
Some media sites will display the contact information of their journalists on their website. Check the About Us pages, journalist bio page and contact pages.
10. Hey Press
Cost: Free. Paid plans give you more data.
Hey Press (Founded by Ed Moyse and Harry Huang) makes it quick and easy to find media contacts if you have a story to pitch. Just enter the topic and click on the search button and it will display the journalists name, recent articles and email address. The founders also created Journorequests.com, which sends you alerts for PR opportunities from Twitter to your inbox.
A lot of times you can find a person’s contact info on their own site. Here are a few places to look.
1. About page
The about page is a good place to look for a person’s email address. Sometimes, companies have their leadership team listed on the about page and email addresses are sometimes included.
2. Author page or profile
If the website has a blog, sometimes authors will list their email on the author profile page. Just go to one of their blog posts and click on the link to the author’s name (if available) to view their author page.
3. Contact page
The most obvious place to look for a contact email is the contact page. Note that if it is an organization with multiple people, a general contact like “info” or “support” might not be the best email address to reach the person directly, in which case you may want to try another tool or method.
5. Press Kit PDF
Press kits are often available in PDF format on websites for larger organizations and these press kits will often have a media contact listed on it.
6. Social Media Profiles
Many sites will link out to their social media profiles, so a quick visit to someone’s social media profile could reveal their email address, if they chose to put their email on their social profile.
Still can’t find the email you’re looking for? Here are some more ideas that are worth trying.
1. Google It
Sometimes a simple Google search can turn up someone’s email address. Just try searching for the person’s name and “email address” or “contact info”.
2. Call and ask (them or someone that knows them)
If you don’t know someone’s email, you can try to call someone that knows them and ask. This technique is especially useful for finding email contacts for people at large companies.
3. Website Whois lookup
People are required to provide contact information when registering their website, so a whois lookup can sometimes turn up their email address. There are plenty of websites that provide whois lookup – just enter “whois lookup” in a search engine to find one.
4. Slideshare, on their slidedecks
Sometimes people will provide their contact information on the last slide of a presentation. If these presentations get uploaded to Slideshare, you can use this source to find someone’s email.
5. Trade Shows (sometimes listed on website and attend to get business cards)
Retailers and other service providers sometimes go to trade shows and sometimes their contact information is listed on the trade show website. If you are attending the trade show live, you can collect business cards from people you want to reach out to later.
6. Industry Associations (sometimes listed on website)
Industry associations often have websites that list their members and sometimes these websites provide contact information including email addresses. Industry association websites can be a good place to generate a lot of leads at once.
7. LinkedIn Profile
Many people will display their email address publically on their LinkedIn profile. Sometimes an email address is required to connect with someone, so displaying this information on the profile makes it easy for people to connect with them.
8. Export LinkedIn contacts
If you want to get email addresses from some of your current LinkedIn contacts, you can export your LinkedIn contacts. This will create a spreadsheet where you can easily search and find the email addresses you are looking for.
9. Facebook pages
Businesses and public figures will sometimes display their email address on their Facebook pages.
10. Facebook profile
Some people will display their email addresses on their Facebook profile page.
11. Ask Them
If you have a good reason to contact someone, then sometimes you can ask the person directly for their email address.
12. Ask someone that knows them
If you know someone that knows the person you are trying to get in touch with, you can sometimes ask them for their email address.
13. Hire someone to look it up (UpWork or MTurk)
Finding a lot of email addresses can be tedious and time consuming, so you can hire someone on UpWork or MTurk to look up the email addresses for you if you have the budget for outsourcing.
To wrap it up, finding email addresses doesn’t have to be hard. These tools are a great way to find emails and initiate conversations with valuable contacts to expand your network, promote your brand or increase sales.