How to find your prospect's email address

Are you building a prospect list for your outreach campaign?

Do you want to get in touch with the decision maker for a freelance gig?

If your answer is yes to either of them, then you are at the right place.

In this post you will learn how to find the right business email address of the decision maker you trying to reach.

5 ways to find an email address

  1. Company website
  2. LinkedIn Profile
  3. Subscribe to their newsletter
  4. Email finder tools
  5. Guess the email address

4 ways to verify an email address

  1. Google search
  2. Gmail
  3. Hotmail/Outlook
  4. Mailtester

Email format

Understand how an email format works

Let’s looks at this email address for Adam Smith working with Smiths Company. The company website is smiths.com and email address for Adam Smith is adam.smith@smiths.com (this email address is totally made up)

Details you need to pay attention to:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Domain name
  • TLD (top-level domain) – e.g. .com, .co.uk, .net, .org
elements of an email address

There are 2 steps to make sure you have the right email address.

Step 1: Find or guess the email address
Step 2: Verify the email address – this step is to make sure your email is less likely to bounce

5 ways to find an email address

There may be more than 5 ways to find an email address. These are the ones that I use.

1. Company website

Before you do anything else, first check if the company website has the email address you are looking for. Most of the time we go for the decision maker, right? It can be the CXO, VP or a Director.

Now a days, almost all companies have a list of their decision makers on their about page. Check if their bio contains an email address.

2. LinkedIn Profile

I have had instances where I didn’t need to search any further than a prospect’s LinkedIn profile. You may find their email address in one of the three places

  • their about section
  • current employment section or
  • by clicking on the contact info link.

3. Subscribe to their newsletter

Subscribing to the company’s newsletter/email list is a great way to find an email address. I have used this technique many times if everything else fails.

Sometimes, I subscribe to their email list to build a relationship with the company. It need not be about selling all the time, no?

4. Email finder tools

There are many email finder tools out there you can use. Here is a great post from quickmail that provides a detailed list of 10 email finders you can explore in 2020

I use hunter if I need to use an email finder tool. Here is how it usually works. You first sign up with the email finder tool.

To find an email address you will need:

  • Prospect’s full name
  • Company domain

You enter all the details in the email finder tool and voila! You have an email address.

how to find an email address on hunter

This might not work 100% of the time. Let’s see if it can find my email address!

hunter email finder not always works

This is when you use the other techniques listed below.

5. Guess the email address

This is the part I enjoy the most. You see, higher level of difficulty excites me. What about you?

When all the above techniques do not work for me, I use ‘guessing’ to find the right email address.

You can use any of these tools to help you guess the combinations of an email address you are hunting.

Here’s how Email Permutator works

Enter your prospect’s first name, last name and company domain name. The Permutator will give you all the combinations of the email address. Copy and paste them in the ‘to’ section of your email draft. One by one hover over each email address to find the right one.

Name2Email is a chrome extension that you can use in gmail. Here is how it works.

You type in the prospect’s first name, last name, @domain and it pops up with a verified email address. If it does not return with an email address, then use the Permutator tool mentioned above.

4 ways to verify an email address

You need to have the right email address to avoid email bounces right? I have mentioned 4 ways to verify an email address here. Feel free to let me know if you have tried any other technique OK?

1. Google search

Search the email address in quotation marks. If the email is publicly available, google will show you the results.

use quotes to search an email address

2. Gmail

We already used this technique with the Permutator tool listed above. Paste the email address in the ‘to’ section of your email draft and hover over it. A window pops up with the details.

You might not always see the image of the email user. If all the icons below the email address are active (blue in color), then the email address is in use.

hover over email

If they are partially active, then it might be a risky email address to use.

hover over email

Sometimes the user may not be using gmail or Gsuite as their email client. This might be the reason why the four icons do not show active.

In such cases, use this trick. Make couple of letters of the email username in CAPS and watch what happens. Check the example below.

hover over email

3. Hotmail/Outlook

Some of you must be familiar with LinkedIn Sales Navigator Gmail extension. It was formerly known as Rapportive. It showed the user’s LinkedIn and other social profiles. Microsoft shut it down early this year. It now provides this feature to their hotmail/outlook/live email users.

It works in a similar way. You add the email in the ‘to’ section of your email draft and click on it. It pops up with the LinkedIn profile if the email address is connected to the user’s LinkedIn account.

4. Mailtester

I use Mailtester as a last resort if none of the above works for me.

I usually do not use the email address if mailtester gives me any of the two errors below:

  • email address does not exist on this server
  • server doesn’t allow email address verification

You will also get results like the one below. In such cases, I take the risk of using that email address.

Did you enjoy learning different ways to find an email address?

Did you find any tools in here that you weren’t aware of?

Is there anything else I could add in here that would help other readers like you?

Let me know OK?

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