This is a series on how we create email outreach programs that get 20-40% reply rates. If you want to know how to source the right leads to get higher reply rates, click here. You can check out all our articles on email outreach here.
Finding an email address with just a name is challenging, but doable. If you master this skill, the other methods will fall into place.
You can experiment with different combinations of their name and email client. From my experience, 90% of personal emails follow these formulas:
Most people use Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo for their personal email. It’s helpful to have their company name, which you can find on LinkedIn. This is an easy method when finding a smaller number of individual emails.
But this process starts to become a pain with over 50 email addresses. That’s why I place email discovery tools into two categories: bulk and individual.
Email tools like Email Hunter are better at finding individual business email addresses.
But if you are looking to find 100’s or even 1000’s of emails at a time, bulk tools like Voila Norbert are better for this job. While the quality may drop, you will save more time and hassle.
With bulk email tools, I recommend you verify the email addresses, which Voila also can do. However, this is as a separate action you need to take after finding the email address.
Removing bad emails reduces the number of emails that bounce. Too many emails that bounce will result in your email account becoming banned.
The same is true for too many messages marked as spam. Even worse, your reply rates will drop like a rock as email clients will start sending your message to the spam filter. No bueno.
With that in mind, let’s look at some more ways to find quality email addresses, fast.
What I’m about to share will sound obvious. But sometimes the obvious is the most overlooked.
Ask yourself this question: How are you already collecting email addresses?
Answering this question will help you to find low hanging fruit. Not only do you have their email address, you probably have more trust.
First, if you have customers, I bet you have their email address. Doing email outreach to your customers to create a content strategy is how we lower customer acquisition costs. It’s like creating a custom audience for content marketing.
Second, if you offer a free trial, I bet you have their email address. Emailing those experiencing your tool for the first time is a great way to build a relationship and reduce churn. Ask these users why they choose to try your tool out to discover how to optimize for the first “Aha!” moment.
Third, if you have a blog, I bet you have your reader’s email addresses too. You might find an email outreach campaign can help you learn new products or features to build to turn them into customers.
But perhaps these emails aren’t in your target outreach list. Not to worry! For this, we will turn to our friends on social media.
Slack can be a great way to build relationships with potential customers in your community. I’ve done email outreach campaigns to deepen relationships with those in these communities.
To find someone’s email address, click on their profile picture. Then, look for their email in the Workspace Directory on the right.
It’s not easy to scale collecting these email addresses. But it’s almost guaranteed to work because you are not relying upon an old database.
If you want an easier way to get quality addresses at scale, I’d focus on LinkedIn.
In the past few years, LinkedIn has cracked down on getting email addresses through its platform. However, there are still plenty of opportunities available.
Here are two simple ways to find an email address from LinkedIn:
1. Become a friend on LinkedIn, and collect their email address.
The moment you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you can get their email address.
In your account settings, go to the privacy section. From there, download your connections data. You will receive a file that lists out your connection names and the email address they use with LinkedIn.
That was easy.
Before you use these emails, I recommend doing a search for “+”, “linkedin”, and “li”. It’s unlikely these people will respond. And removing these emails will reduce the chance your emails will be marked as spam.
2. Become a friend with Google, and collect their email address.
Now, the person may not connect with you. Or it will take too long to wait for them to connect with you. With fewer options to scrape anything on LinkedIn, what you gonna do? (What, what?!).
Turn to our friend Google, that’s what’s up.
You can refine your web searches with advanced operators, such as using a site search. Start by search site:linkedin.com/in/ + KEYWORD.
Want to find every content marketing manager on LinkedIn? Try a search like this.
Maybe you want to target content marketing manager’s who are savvy in SEO. Simply add “SEO” to your search string, and voila! Instant results.
We’ve got our target list. How are you going to get everyone’s email address? You can outsource this process to a VA. But this might get expensive.
The Duck will use a Google search result of LinkedIn profiles, visit each profile, and help you collect first names, last names, company domains, and more from their LinkedIn profiles. Dux-Soup also allows you to visit the profiles to send connection requests too, which can combo well with the first LinkedIn trick above.
When you visit their profiles, you can have The Duck find email addresses, and then you are off to the races! This process does take time. So I recommend you set it and forget it (Ron Popeil style). Once you go Pro, you can download your data into a CSV file.
Now, how do you turn a LinkedIn URL into an email address? If you want quantity over quality, I recommend using Find That Lead. Check out their bulk upload tool, then add a CSV using the Social URL tool.
I found the quality poorer than other bulk email tools. However, you can’t beat the speed. This is a great combination using Dux-Soup’s X-Ray tool, which collects the LinkedIn URL. For any email addresses still missing, you can use Voila to get the remaining addresses in bulk.
Do you still need more emails and ideas to grow your site? I like your style. Keep on readin’...
Do you ever wish you could connect with anyone who shared an article similar to the one you are writing?
With Buzzsumo, you can find similar articles to your own article. Then by clicking “View Sharers,” you will see everyone who shared that article on Twitter. Similarly, you can find everyone who linked to an article similar to yours and reach out to them too.
Most profiles will have a website URL in the Buzzsumo spreadsheet. In which case, you can use an email finder tool to collect their email address.
But what if you want to reach out to someone who doesn’t have a website listed on Twitter? Or what if they listed a social media account?
Not to fear! Here is another opportunity to find emails from Twitter.
We humans are creatures of habit. Therefore quite a few people have emails that are identical to their Twitter handle. As mentioned earlier, most people use Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, or Yahoo for their personal email needs.
So, if I want to find Mike Maples personal email from his Twitter handle “m2jr,” I would try firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Then, you can verify the email using Voila to find out which is correct.
Perhaps you are wondering, how do I do this at scale? I’m glad you asked :).
Excel spreadsheets have a list of formulas that help the everyday marketer do their work faster. For this tactic, you will use concatenate. Concatenate is simpler to use than it sounds, let me show you.
In the first column, list out the Twitter handles of your targets. You can use Followerwonk’s Compare Users feature to find who James Currier (@jamescurrier) and Mike Maples Jr. both follow.
Then, in the second column, you will use “=CONCATENATE($A3, "@gmail.com")”. “$A3” means the formula will start with what is written in “A3.” The dollar sign keeps the letter A the same when copying it over to the third column.
For the third, fourth, and fifth column, you will change @gmail.com to the other email clients. Here is a spreadsheet what this looks like in action.
Before you send an email, you will want to delete any names that are not relevant. For example, Currier and Maples both follow @BarackObama and @realDonaldTrump. Unless you plan to do a political campaign, you probably should delete those names.
Sometimes, those pesky emails still can’t be found. What’s next? How about hiring someone to generate email addresses for you.
Got money, but not much time?
Hiring professional contractors is a great way to expand your team without the commitment of a full-time employee. Whether they are a virtual assistant (VA) or a freelancer, they often have their own tools and processes, which saves you more time and money.
We’ve shared how to outsource work before. Here are a few things to consider specific to hiring a VA to find email addresses.
You’ve found the right email address. Yay! Next, you will want to create an email sequence to help you get more traffic, links, and sales.