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HOW TO FIND ANYONE'S EMAIL ADDRESS

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There’s a type of virtual currency that’s highly guarded, rarely provided, and coveted by all. And it’s not bitcoin.

It’s an email address -- a digital pot of gold.

A hiring manager, an investor, a recruiter, a founder, a long lost friend from middle school, a hard-to-reach CEO, a John Smith -- we’ve all tried to email them at some point.

The problem? Their emails are nowhere to be found. Or at least pretty difficult to uncover.

We’ve scoured every nook and cranny of our computer, our phone, our old address book -- and no dice.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

And we have a few ways. In fact, we decided to compile three proven approaches on how to find someone’s email address. This guide to finding emails includes:

  • Three approaches to finding an email
  • A step-by-step how to video on our favorite approach
  • An email permutator

Keep reading for more details on each approach.

How to Find Someone's Email: Strategic Guessing To Find An Email Address

Approach 1

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This strategic hack was coined by Ginny Soskey, Section Editor of the HubSpot blog. Here are the steps in the process:

 

Step 1 Search for other company email addresses.

If our contact’s email address isn’t readily available, we have to do a little more digging. There’s typically one email structure for each company, so everyone who works for that company has a consistently formatted email address.

For example, firstinitial_lastname@company.com. If we can find someone’s email address from that company, we can likely copy that structure to determine our contact’s email address.

Where can we find company email structures?

  1. Check out LinkedIn. If we find a first connection that works at the company, we can look at the “Contact Info” section of their profile to see if they included their work email.
  2. Press releases are a hidden treasure for finding the structure of a company’s email address. Search for a company’s recent announcements with Google or on their website and, if they have a PR person, their contact information should be at the bottom of the release.
  3. Try the company’s blog as well, it will usually include the author’s contact information at the bottom or top of the page.

Pro Tip: Try this website to quickly find a company's email convention based on their domain.

Step 2 Plug the person's information into that structure.

 

Once we find the company’s email structure, we can plug in our contact’s name. For example, after some digging, we find the company’s email address to be:

firstname@company.com 

Now let’s plug in the rest. Say our contact’s name is Steve and he works for Culture Company. Here’s what his email would look like:

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This isn’t fool-proof though. Steve might actually be a pet name for Steven or Stephan or Stephen. We should try all possibilities by including these emails in our list as well: 

steven@cc.com 

stephan@cc.com 

stephen@cc.com 

Pro Tip: Use thrust.io to generate a list of these possibilities automatically. The free tool pulls any valid email addresses for your contact’s given name and domain. Here's how Sam Parr used this tool to connect with 27+ CEOs without any introductions.

Step 3 Check the email with HubSpot's CRM.

Once we determine our list of possible email addresses, we should compose a message in Gmail and enter each email into the “To” line. If they’re valid, HubSpot Sales will show us their contact profile with information like where they work and their social media profiles.

verify-email-contact-profile

See how Brian’s information appears in his contact profile? We know this is a legit email address. On the other hand, if the email isn’t valid, we’ll get a blank profile like this one:

 

 

 

... And we have to continue guessing. 

 

  VERIFY EMAIL WITH HUBSPOT SALES

Step 4 Try other common email structures.

No luck? Our email structure guess may be wrong, so let’s be sure to check all potential email formats before we go back to the drawing board.

Here are the most common email structures:

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[Click to Tweet This Image]


Step 5 Plug these options into HubSpot, and find the winner.

Type in all of the options into the “To” line of a new email, and make sure HubSpot Sales is installed. Once we see our contact’s information pop up, we know we have the right email.

Now we can focus on the part that matters: sending an email that people can’t ignore.

Prefer to walk through those steps easily with a video tutorial? Your wish is our command:

How to Find Someone's Email: Using Email Permutations To Find Someone's Email 

Approach 2

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Step 1 Copy this google spreadsheet.

 

Step 2 Enter your contact's information.

 

Step 3 Verify the email with mailtester.com.

Mailtester will tell us whether we’ve found a valid email address. Let’s try it out with our previous example: fredflinstone@gravelcompany.com.

 

mailtester-valid-email-address.png

 

Invalid, just as HubSpot told us in the first approach. A valid email will show up on this screen in a green box and display “Valid mail domain” instead of “Invalid mail domain.”

 

Step 4 Conduct a final test in HubSpot before composing the email.

Navigate to HubSpot Sales and type in the validated email address in the “To” line of a new message. If we see information appear in their contact profile section, we’ve confirmed that we found the right email address. We can also conduct this email verification test using another tool, Rapportive.

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VERIFY EMAIL WITH HUBSPOT SALES

How to Find Someone's Email: Scouring the Internet to Find An Email Address

Approach 3

  New Call-to-action

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Step 1 Let's try googling our contact’s information in one of these formats:

 

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Step 2 If none of those work, look on the company’s website

The goal here is to verify the @company.com email structure. To do this, we can look at the company's blog to see if they include contact information for authors, we can check the bottom of their PR announcements for contact points, or we can sift through their "About Us" page in case they've included any employee contact information.


Step 3 Once we've verified the structure, try Google again.

Again, we can conduct a common search, such as "Fred Flinstone @company.com" or if we want to limit our search to just the company's website, try this search:

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Pro Tip: If we can’t find our contact’s company email address, we can turn to their personal email address. Perform a search like the one below to see if they have a personal website.

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Step 4If we don’t find success here, we can turn to social networks.

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Let’s start with Twitter. Does our contact have a Twitter handle? We can also Google search this: “Fred Flinstone Twitter.” Check out their description in Twitter for clues to other websites where we might find their email. If that doesn’t work, we can try following our contact and then tweeting or direct messaging them to ask for their email.

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The key here is to let he or she know why you want to get in touch. Be specific and get to the point, but don’t tweet a simple “what’s your email?” And remember, we only have 140 characters to send something compelling.

Pro Tip:Try Twitter’s advanced search to see if our connection ever tweeted out his email. In the “Advanced Search” menu type (at)(dot) in the “All of these words” space, and then the person’s twitter handle in the “From these accounts section.”

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 No Twitter? Try LinkedIn. Do the same search here: “Fred Flinstone LinkedIn.” Once we find their profile, we can look for a personal website or an email which might be listed under “contact info” right underneath their profile picture.

No luck? Let’s try sending them a request to connect.

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If we find any common interests or connections, use these to increase the “compelling” factor of our message. Keep in mind we only have 300 characters to urge our recipient to accept the invite. People also respond well to compliments, so we can also try something like this:

linkedin-request-connection 

Once (and if) they accept our invitation to connect, we can message them in more depth regarding our outreach and then request their email.

Pro Tip: As soon as they accept our invitation to connect, we have their email address. Click “Connections” in the LinkedIn Nav bar and then click the settings gear in the upper right corner of the page. Under “Advanced Settings” click “Export LinkedIn Connections.” Voila - we automatically have all of our connections email addresses [Click to Tweet Tip].

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Still not working? We can turn to Quora. Let’s type in [First Name] + [Last Name] in the search bar to see if our contact has a Quora profile. If they do, click their profile and we can gather more information about their social profiles or websites.

Look at their activity to see what they’re interested in, if they’ve asked any questions, and what questions they’ve responded to. Once we gather more information about our contact, we can try messaging them by clicking the “Message” button on their profile page.

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Pro Tip: We can reverse email lookup with Facebook to verify that we've found the right email address. All we have to do is type in what we presume is our contact’s email address in the search bar. If a profile appears with our contact’s name, we know we’ve found the right email address.

Lost email = found. Just like that. And by transitive property..

Email found = door opened.

And opened doors can lead anywhere... to a new relationship, an overdue reunion, a business deal, or life-altering insight.

Find emails, open doors.

Now that the easy part is over, let’s look at how we can build meaningful relationships with connections through proven examples.

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