Need to make contact with a business-related contact, but don’t have their email? Perhaps you want to submit a press release to a local newspaper, or reach out to a new potential B2B client via email. Let’s look at how you might go about tracking down that elusive email address.
1. Business websites
The most obvious place to look is the website of the company that the contact works for. Some websites will feature a directory of all their staff members with their email addresses which will make your job much easier. Unfortunately, not all businesses have these so you may need to dig a bit deeper. You could:
- look for email addresses on the About Us and Contact Us pages. If you can find the email address of another staff member at the company, you can probably figure out the email address of the person you want to contact as most companies standardise the email addresses of all their staff by using a formula like: [email protected]
- leave a message via their online form requesting that your contact details be passed on to the person in question.
- search through the company’s blog posts to see if your contact has posted any articles as they often include an email address for return correspondence.
- try searching Google directly on the website itself by using “site” prefix:
- site:BusinessName.com + first name + last name + “email”
- site:BusinessName.com + initial + last name + “email”
- and any other search variations you can think of
- also try Bing and other search engines because they each maintain their own unique indexes of content
- contact the website developer (whose contact details are often listed in the page footer).
- search for the domain owner with the tool WhoIs Lookup. Unfortunately, that’s a last resort as many domain owners pay extra to have their contact details protected from would-be spammers.
2. Social network accounts
These days most businesses have a presence on social networks and one of the advantages of this is that it provides another method of contact. For example, Facebook has an option to private message a business page and even lists you their typical reply time. You can also look at the profile/about section as this is where many businesses list their contact methods and other platforms. Check LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or any other platform that you are aware that they have a presence on.
3. Third-party services
By the time you’ve tried the first two options unsuccessfully you’ll be wary of wasting more time. Luckily there are services out there that can help automate the service as they maintain an extensive database of email addresses that they have found and collated. Some examples of third-party services include:
- MailTester can be used for single guesses if you think you might know it
- FindThat.email provides a number of options, including a free search
- Hunter.io is another service that includes a free option
- ClearBit Connect has extensions you can install for Gmail and Outlook
- Voila Norbert is another popular choice with a free option
- FullContact.com has an email verification service but you’ll need to contact sales before you can try it
- Anymail Finder is another paid service
- and finally, Data.com Connect is a service which maintains lists of company directories
Searching for a contact can certainly be time consuming and frustrating. If you have the patience you should be able to find a good starting point through their website or social network. If searching is something you find yourself doing frequently, then it’s probably worthwhile engaging a good, professional, paid service to help you. The fee might be worth the investment if you are unable to find success via other means.