The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
Related: The Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address
Imagine you have a great piece of content. A complete piece of awesome, we’ll call it. You know exactly who you want to share it with, but you can’t find any email addresses for them.
There are some pretty obvious ways (and some not-so-obvious ways) you can attain such information. In this post, I am going to share with you my methods for acquiring the email addresses of crucial influencers, which is a critical step in amplifying your content.
1. The contact and about us pages
You might think, “Seriously, Freddie? That’s pretty obvious.” Well yeah, it is, so how comes it’s missed so often?
Some people hide these pages in footers, in random links in the sidebar, or in author images.
If you still can’t find it, just try putting it in the web address bar as in the examples below.
Example.com/contact Example.com/contact-us Example.com/contact-me Example.com/about Example.com/about-me Example.com/about-us
2. The author page
Scrutinizing the author page is a much underused tactic but is the ideal starting place.
Some WordPress themes and sites automatically show a lot of information on this page, usually linked to the author’s name on any blog post.
I found this author page on Econsultancy. Their editor-in-chief, Graham Charlton, has been so kind as to put his email address on the page.
3. WHOIS data
WHOIS data is publicly available, and is primarily used when registering a domain.
Looking at Freddie.pro’s WHOIS data, you can see my address. (Oops, that’s actually my old one. I need to update that!)
Check the full data out at Who.is.
How would you search for anything else?
Simply enter the name of your target, followed by “email address”.
In the example below, you can see how to quickly identify Rand’s email address within the meta descriptions. You don’t even need to click through to find it.
Sometimes, if you are super lucky, the email address will be displayed via Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Facebook pages are a great place to find email addresses for blogs and companies. When setting up a Facebook page, most people willingly fill in all the information they can and forget about it. This makes it super easy for you to pick up the email address they use the most.
Spokeo makes the sourcing of email addresses super easy—sometimes. All you need is an account ($5 per month), and you can get cracking on sourcing email addresses.
It really is as simple as that. Well, usually.
The problem arises when you are searching for a popular name and have no other information about the person. You can end up with a list of potential emails, yet have no clue which one is correct.
So make certain you know as much as you can about the person beforehand (e.g., where they are based, age, and full name).
7. Your own email list
If you have any visibility in your industry, chances are good that people have signed up to your email subscriber list. Chances are also good that at least a few of those people are part of your target outreach list. By conducting a quick search of your database, you could save yourself some hassles.
8. Buzzstream’s Buzzmarker
Buzzstream is a long-time market leader in the outreach space, and for good reason: The service is awesome.
As well as providing an amazing outreach tool to track your sends, replies, and more, Buzzstream allows for some great contact details via its extension, the Buzzmarker.
In the above example, you can see that while the service cannot find a direct email for Brian Dean at Backlinko, it has picked up his contact page and about us pages.
Check out Paddy Moogan’s guides for a step-by-step ways to use the Buzzmarker and Buzzstream for outreach domination.
9. Ask for help on Twitter
You may think asking for help on Twitter is simple, but your tweet could easily be lost in a sea of mentions for your target (depending how popular they are).
Keep your tweet concise, and provide a compelling reason for the target to respond to it. That is, make them want to give you their email address.
(Note: The images above are fictitious tweets.)
Sometimes you can suggest they DM you, as giving out an email address on Twitter can lead to serious spamming. (Be sure to make sure you are following them first, though.)
10. Ninja Outreach
Ninja Outreach is the new kid on the block, but it is poised to become a strong player in the outreach space.
Rather than making you crawl through the potential contact details of a site, this service automatically brings it to you.
Ninja Outreach is not foolproof, but can be a great way to attain an email address quickly when it works for you.
Along with email addresses, it can provide you with social media accounts and a whole host of other interesting data to help you qualify and connect with your outreach targets.
11. Export your LinkedIn connections
Chances are good that some of your connections on LinkedIn fall into the realm of outreach targets.
A little known tool in LinkedIn’s settings is the ability to export your connections. Here’s what to do:
1. Pop over to your connections page and click on the small cog in the top, righthand corner.
2. On this screen you will see “Export LinkedIn Connections”.
3. Click the button to see all your connections’ email addresses organized in a beautiful spreadsheet.
Your list of emails appears right before your eyes!
Warning: Please do not abuse this method. If you try to add random people in your industry on LinkedIn, you will be banned from adding future connections and could potentially lose your account.
12. Take a guess
Well, don’t blind guess. Construct an educated guess based on experience and how the company structures its email addresses. Potential structures of email addresses include the following:
[FirstName]@example.com [FirstName].[LastName]@example.com [FirstName][LastName]@example.com [FirstInitial].[LastName]@example.com
If you have someone else’s email address from the same company, you can likely infer how your outreach target’s email address is structured.
13. Ask for an introduction
We all know the best form to get an “in” when building a relationship is being referred by a mutual friend (particularly an influential friend).
Chances are, you’re linked in some way to your desired contact, whether it be through a single person or a network of people. Maybe you’re linked by a small chain.
Conspire is a great tool to use for seeing the ties between people, and could prove invaluable for identifying the contact you need for an introduction.
What’s great about Conspire is that it also shows an indication of how close connections are, from “acquainted” (meaning you have spoken once or twice) to “knows very well” (i.e., connections regularly contact each other).
In the image above, you can see that there are multiple possibilities to connect with Rand—potentially through Gianluca Fiorelli, Alex Holliman, or even through Lindsey Scott at Seer (via Wil Reynolds!).
I could even go direct to Wil and ask for the connection if I was feeling brave enough.
14. Response Source
Response Source is a paid subscription service that brings journalists’ content requests directly to your inbox (much like a UK version of HARO), so you know they’re ready to receive content requests from you. The best part? They all have to leave at least one email address. Most supply a phone number and Twitter handle, too.
There are shortcuts out there like Response Source, albeit really expensive shortcuts. (Hat tip to Matt Evans for reminding me to include this particular example.)
If you haven’t heard of Rapportive, take the time to check it out. This service is absolutely worth adding to Gmail, even if you only set it up to check it out.
Instead of rehashing what’s already out there, I’m going to point you to this excellent how-to post on Rapportive by Rob Ousbey for Distilled: Find (Almost) Anybody’s Email Address.
Do you have any other tips and tricks for finding elusive email addresses?
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