With the average person sending and receiving 121 business emails every day, you can’t blame people for not publicly posting their email addresses. However, by using the right verification tools and strategies, you can continually add new prospects to your email list and improve email deliverability rates.
How to find anyone’s business email address
Here are the steps to finding unknown email addresses using readily available online resources.
Collect the person’s basic information.
You may already have the details you need to obtain a prospect’s email address, depending on how you were introduced or came to know the individual. But this process will be super easy even if you don’t have the info since all you need to start is their name.
There are other details you can use to find anyone’s business email address:
- Full name
- Company website domain
- Phone number
- Social media handle(s)
- Job title
One of the best places to source all of this is LinkedIn.
>> Learn More: How to Create a Business Profile on LinkedIn
Find the contact on LinkedIn.
Type in the prospect’s name in the LinkedIn search bar. You can find the company the individual works for on their profile and then simply type the company into Google to find its domain name.
You can also attempt to connect with the person on LinkedIn by using your own account. When you reach out, add a short note to let them know why you want to connect. Most LinkedIn accounts will provide you with the user’s contact information once a connection has been made.
If you do not want the prospect to know you viewed their profile before emailing them, follow these steps before clicking over to their profile:
- Click on your account icon or picture, and select Settings and then Privacy.
- Click on the Privacy tab.
- Scroll down to Profile Viewing Options and click Change on the right side.
- Select Private Mode.
Now you are in ghost mode; the prospect won’t know you viewed their profile.
Do a Google search.
LinkedIn isn’t the be-all and end-all for finding someone’s personal information, though. A simple Google search could yield more results than you might think, as will a search through social media. With those sources, you can at least find someone’s full name, possibly where they work and if they are on any other professional platforms where their email would be listed.
Jennifer Mancini, the founder of Mancini Media Strategy, said that by searching for someone on Google, you often could pull up the business page or individual’s personal page where they list all their contact info.
“There almost always is at least an option to contact them from a form on their page,” Mancini told us.
Use review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp to source contacts in the restaurant, hospitality and travel industries. Skimming reviews can yield a manager or owner’s name, which you can use to search for more contact information.
Search an email database.
Depending on your business needs, you may desire to contact multiple prospects at the same company. Utilizing email databases can help you automate email verification on a larger scale. Email databases are also vital for providing detailed information such as job titles, locations, etc.
Consider using Hunter.
Jade Hickton, private investigator at The Smith Investigation Agency, said Hunter is another service you may want to consider.
“This email search site allows you to input the company or business of the person you are looking to contact and [it will] provide you with all the company’s [email addresses],” Hickton said. She said it also gives you the common format of the emails used for the employees, which can be helpful.
Consider using Snov.io.
Hickton said another useful site is Snov.io, which offers various services, including an email finder. “Some of the search options include by domain, company, name, etc. Snov.io also offers bulk searches of up to 20,000 at one time.”
Consider using AeroLeads.
AeroLeads is one of the best tools for finding email addresses online. It can also unearth personal details of the prospects, such as company name, contact information and location, according to Sonya Schwartz, founder of Her Norm.
Consider using Apollo.io.
Krystal Covington, a marketing consultant, recommends Apollo.io. She said it allows her to use company search criteria to find relevant individuals and add them to lists or email contact sequences.
The match rate of emails will not be perfect. Some email address finders won’t be able to find all the email addresses you want.
Though not foolproof, all of the resources listed above are quick, easy and free ways to find email addresses and engage in cold outreach, even at scale. The “at scale” part will cost some money, but it will be worth your effort and funds if you work out a successful cold email strategy,
Test the email address.
Upping your deliverability rate is more effective than sending thousands of unverified emails. Guessing at business contact information can increase your bounce rate and get your marketing emails sent straight to the spam folder.
Verify email contacts before you send an email. This crucial step can lead to better response rates and elevate your chances of getting your email in front of intended recipients.
Once you have what you think are viable email addresses, there are a few ways to test them to see which ones are correct.
Use email verification tools.
If you still have only the name and company where the person works, you can try using an email verifier such as VoilaNorbert. The service is free if you just need to find a few email addresses. After signing up, you simply enter the name and domain of the individual you want to contact, and their email address will be automatically generated.
It is also entirely possible to conduct outreach at scale. Initially, you must collect data for all the contacts you want to connect with. You can organize it in a spreadsheet with “Name” and “Company Domain” as the two columns. Then, you can upload it to a leads finder like VoilaNorbert, where the data will be processed. You can then download the entire list of email addresses.
Some email checkers allow you to import your contact list, making it easy to clean up your contacts. Email verification services like CaptainVerify don’t require you to register to use their services, making it easier to check a few email addresses.
Complete a Google search.
With email in hand, type in the contact information into the Google search bar. More often than not, the email address will appear in the search results.
It is becoming commonplace to put email contact information on social media networks, business websites, press releases, etc. The email address is likely current and valid if it appears in a Google search.
Verify the email address through Gmail.
If you are a small business verifying accounts one by one, Gmail is one of the most reliable sources for verifying email accounts.
To verify an email address through Gmail, use the following steps:
- Log out of your Gmail account.
- Click “I don’t know my password.”
- Type in the prospect’s email address.
- If the email is invalid, Google will instantly notify you with the error “No account found with that email address.”
The dos and don’ts of sending cold emails
Using the right strategies when cold emailing can increase your success rate. It’s vital to focus on your prospect when sending a cold email. A/B testing your subject lines, offering an incentive and crafting a creative pitch can all increase your chances of receiving a reply.
Let’s look at the top dos and don’ts for sending a cold email.
Do: Keep it short
A cold email should be considered an initial success if it’s opened and read. People already have too many emails to read and reply to, and strangers are the lowest priority.
It’s essential to keep your cold email straight to the point, ideally fewer than five sentences. Always include why you are contacting them, what you offer and a call to action (CTA).
Do: Research your prospect
A cold email should always include personalization. Do you have a connection to the prospect’s company, hobbies or background?
Finding a way to “speak their language” can give your cold email intentionality. While companies and spam bots mass email business professionals daily, a simple Google search on your prospect could give you the information you need to catch their attention.
Do: Make it worth their time
The end goal of a cold email is a reply. While you want to establish a connection that benefits both you and the recipient, the cold email you send should sway the benefits to the recipient.
Pitch your best value to the prospect, ensuring that you can eliminate their pain point. Ultimately, the recipient cares about solving their problems, not yours.
Do: Follow up
Everyone is juggling multiple plates in their business and their personal life. Even prospects interested in your cold email may have time or remember to reply initially only.
Following up tells the prospect you care. You are eager to solve their problem and genuinely interested in getting to know them.
Don’t: Copy and paste
If you have a list of leads to send a cold email to, it might be tempting to make an email template and hit send. Unfortunately, while this may be a time saver on the surface, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Using an email template can sound more robotic and less like a conversation with a friend. Customize each cold email to match the recipient’s needs, tone and mission.
Still trying to figure out where to start? Praising a prospect for a company achievement is an excellent way to show off your research and character.
Don’t: Try to sell
Let the prospect know what value your company can provide, but the initial email shouldn’t sound salesy. It’s inappropriate to attach pricing or give them an ultimatum.
This is also not the time to sound entitled or use anger to communicate your point. Ensure that the cold email is one you would reply to if you were in their shoes.
Henry Foster and Jennifer Post contributed to this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.