How do you find the email address of the people you want to reach?
As you build a list of people to outreach to, this is THE key question.
I’ve experimented with a number of systems and tools to automate this process, bought lists of leads and email addresses, and tested dozens of different strategies.
Time and time again, I’ve learned it comes down to the same, simple fact: there is some amount of work you have to put in in order to find the email address of the person you want to contact.
Busy People Protect Their Time And Attention
Most likely, the people (or person) you’re trying to reach is busy. And because they’re busy, they’ve put up walls to protect their time and attention:
- Only including an assistant or “gatekeeper’s” email address on their site, making it impossible for you to directly email them
- Only using a contact form on their website and not including any email address, making it very difficult to follow-up
By following the three outreach principles you learned about in the first two emails (personalization, ‘you’ focused language, and a clear call to action), you make it more likely that when they receive your email they’ll respond, but if you can’t find their email address, how will they receive your email?!
In today’s email, we’re going to look at a few resources, tools, and systems that make it easier to find someone’s email address.
Now, you’ll never be 100% guaranteed to be able to find someone’s email address — sometimes you will need to give up and scratch a promising prospect off of your list.
However, by using the tools and systems outlined below, you maximize your chances of finding the email address for the person you’re trying to reach.
Let’s dive in. And if you have any questions about these tools and systems (or have your own to suggest) just hit reply and let me know!
We’re going to look at six different systems and tools today that will help you hunt down someone’s email address.
Let’s dive in!
Searching On Their Website
First off, I recommend searching on their website for their email address.
Even if they’ve taken steps to hide their email address, occasionally you can find it buried on an about page, a contact page, or in a post.
First off, you’ll want to take 5-10 minutes to click through their website and scan through the pages of their website. Do you see an email address for them? For someone else on their team?
Sign Up For Their Newsletter
If you can’t find a trace of their email address on their site, there’s another path that might be fruitful for you.
If the prospect you’re researching has an email newsletter, try signing up for that newsletter. Typically, the reply-to address is either their main inbox or a separate email that they check for replies.
Often, if you sign up for their newsletter, the confirmation (or welcome) email you’ll receive will have their email address. And now you can send a personalized email to that address.
The Magic Google Search for Email Addresses
Can’t find their email address on their site? No luck signing up for their newsletter? (Maybe they use firstname.lastname@example.org for their reply-to address).
In that case, you can deploy the ‘Magic Google Search’ for email addresses.
You’ll need two things for this ‘Magic Google Search’:
- The person’s First and Last Name (example: “Kai Davis”)
- The Site URL for the person you’re trying to reach (example: DoubleYourAudience.com)
(You can example this Google search to include multiple sites if the prospect you’re researching has multiple sites, but for this example we’re only looking at a search that includes a single site URL)
Once you have their First and Last Name along with their Site URL, you’ll want to plug them into this Google search:
[First Name Last Name] “email” intext:”@[site url]”
Replacing [First Name Last Name] with their first name and last name and replacing [site url] with their Site URL.
Let’s take a look at this for our example:
- Name: Kai Davis
- Site URL: DoubleYourAudience.com
That gives us a Google Search of:
Kai Davis “email” intext:”@doubleyouraudience.com”
We get back these results:
A number of solid leads for my email address. Go ahead and try this for you, a colleague, or a prospect you’re researching:
[First Name Last Name] “email” intext:”@[site url]”
An alternative format you can try (to pick up on cases where someone included their email address but replaced the ‘.com’ with ‘dot com’ would look like this:
“site:[site url] dot com”
“site:doubleyouraudience.com dot com”
Twitter Email Address Finder
This is a cool little hack to find someone’s email address — if they have a Twitter account.
You’ll be using the tool All My Tweets for this.
- First, find the Twitter handle for your prospect (Searching on Google for something like “First Name Last Name” Twitter typically surfaces a few leads)
- Then, after logging into All My Tweets with your Twitter account, search for their Twitter handle (screenshot)
- Once All My Tweets loads their tweets, hit Ctrl + F (or Command + F) and search for the word “email,” their domain name with the @ symbol (like @kaidavis.com or @doubleyouraudience.com), or their domain name with the “@” and “.” replaced with the appropriate word (like “at doubleyouraudience dot com”)
- Now, scan through the results that include the word or phrase you searched for and see if any match up with their email address
I’ve used this a number of times and the results are very positive. If this surfaces an email address for you, it will be a high-value, relevant email address.
Tools To Find Someone’s Email Address
There are two tools that I use (and love!) to find someone’s email address — or point me in the right direction to fin their email address:
I typically only use Email Hunter, but Any Mail Finder is a great secondary tool for you to use in case Email Hunter doesn’t turn up any results.
Email Hunter works like this:
First, you enter the domain (or Site URL) for the person you’re trying to find (example: DoubleYourAudience.com)
Then, Email Hunter returns a list of every email address they’ve found in their crawling of the internet that matches that domain.
On top of that, Email Hunter gives you their best guess at the format for email addresses at that domain.
Do they typically use [firstname]@[siteurl].com? [firstname][lastname]@[siteurl].com? [lastname]@[siteurl].com?
Email Hunter will give you their best guess at the ‘common pattern’ for email addresses at that domain — and then let you search for someone using that pattern:
If Email Hunter doesn’t give you the direction you need to track down the prospect’s email address, then try using Any Mail Finder as a back up.
Asking for a referral
Finally, if all of the above systems and tools don’t help you track down the email address for a prospect, then you can try asking for a referral.
If you can identify someone that they’ve worked with in the past — a podcast they’ve appeared on, someone that wrote a guest article for their site or a site they wrote a guest article for, or a colleague that they’ve worked with — then you can reach out to that person and ask for a referral.
If you’re reaching out to ask for a referral and an introduction to someone, you need to follow the essential principles for writing outreach emails:
- Personalization — Make the email personalized to the recipient by including their name, site name, or personal (not creepy!) details
- Use ‘you’ focused language — Even though you’re asking for something (an introduction), try and frame your communication in terms of the benefit to the person you’re reaching out to. Why should they care? Why should they take their time to make this introduction? Why should they put their personal reputation on the line to introduce you? Answer those questions, if possible
- Include a clear call to action — You’ll want to include a clear call to action for people to follow. “Hit reply and let me know if you’re able to introduce me to [Person Name]. If not, no worries, just let me know.”
- Write a short email — Short emails get read. Long emails get forgotten. Make your email short and to the point.
- Make your subject line relevant — Don’t get overly cute or ‘tricky’ with the subject line. Be direct with your subject line. Two subject lines that I’ve used to much success in the past have been “Kai from [Company Name]” and “Introduction to [Person Name]?”
With these six tools and systems, you’re well equipped to track down the email address of a prospect you’re attempting to reach.
And if these six tools and systems don’t uncover someone’s email address, put that prospect to the side.
It will be more valuable for you to move on and find the email address for another 1, 5, or 10 prospects than waste time fruitlessly searching for a prospect’s email address.
I typically try and spend less than 5-10 minutes searching for a prospect’s email address. If I can’t find it in that amount of time, I’ll set them aside to come back to later.
I’d rather focus on finding the email address of another prospect.
Now, your homework: now that we’ve covered how to find anyone’s email address, what’s the #1 question you have about finding someone’s email address?
Just hit reply and let me know — I’ll review your email and send you a quick answer to give you direction and answer any questions you have.
Do you want to learn the simple steps behind writing emails that get a response?
In The Outreach Blueprint you’ll learn a framework to follow for your outreach:
- How to identify the influencers and audience owners you want to contact
- How to qualify the people you’ll be emailing
- How to find email addresses for people you want to contact
- How to write emails that get responses
- …and much, much more.