Do you need to email someone but don’t have their email address?
There are many reasons you may find yourself in such a situation.
Maybe you want to get in touch with a long lost friend. It could be you are in a career where you frequently need to find people’s email addresses, for example, a news reporter or salesperson trying to get in touch with the right person. Or maybe you are a disgruntled customer trying to send a complaint to a company.
Whatever your circumstances, finding an email address requires some ingenuity. Below are some of the actionable ways to find anyone’s email address once you have exhausted all the obvious methods such as looking up their contact information on their social media pages.
Yep, you read that right. Try as many guesses as possible. It may sound obvious but it isn’t and most people wouldn’t know where to start. It is important to mention that this method works best where the email address sought is a corporate/official email address, for example, [email protected]
Therefore, to use this method, you need to know where the person works. You then Google the company website and take note of the domain name address e.g. company.com, company.net, company.org, etc This method would be difficult where the email sought is a personal email address on say Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and other services.
It is a fact that most companies allocate their email addresses to staff following a particular format. There are five formats that are common as shown below:
Email Format Possible Options
- The person’s first name [email protected]
- The person’s first name + last name [email protected] , [email protected]
- The person’s first name + the 1st letter of their last name [email protected], [email protected]
- The person’s 1st letter of their first name + last name [email protected] , [email protected]
- The person’s Initials [email protected]
Having analyzed the possible options above, fire up your email program, draft your email and send your email to all the possible emails. Most email programs will let you know if the email is undeliverable or if the recipient does not exist.
A Permutator and Sales Navigator Lite for Gmail
You can take the first method a step further by using a tool that helps you guess all the possible email address options. An email permutator takes each of several possible ways in which a person’s names can be ordered or arranged when creating an email address. There are many free online email permutators which you can find with a simple Google search such as this Google Sheets Email Permutator.
Once you get all the possible name combinations, you need to check the validity of the emails in bulk. This is where Sales Navigator Lite for Gmail (formerly known as Rapportive) comes in handy.
It is a Google Chrome Browser extension and is available in two versions, “Lite” for free LinkedIn members, and “Premium” for LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscribers. Once installed, you can view publicly available contact information including a person’s email address, Twitter handle, and LinkedIn URL, right from Gmail.
But more importantly, by pasting the results from the email permutator into the recipient’s email address “TO” section in Gmail, you can tell if an email address is valid simply by hovering your cursor over it. Google will also reveal whether the email address is associated with a Google Profile.
This solution used to work on Google a few years ago but was deactivated. DuckDuckGo is an alternative search engine. To use this method, you need to know the domain name of the organization where the person works. Thus, if the person works at company.com, got to DuckDuckGo and enter “@company.com” in the search bar then press Enter to search.
Take note of the quotation marks (“) as this is what tells the search engine to run an exact match. You will get search results for all publicly available email addresses on the domain company.com. Scroll through the search results to see if you can see the name of your person of interest.
Advanced Twitter Search
People share their email addresses on Twitter all the time. However, combing through tweets of heavy Twitter users one by one can be a herculean task. Unless you know how to go about it, you could be combing through tweets for the rest of your life trying to find an email address. Thankfully, Twitter has advanced search features that many people don’t know about.
When most people share their email publicly they tend to hide the “@” symbol and replace the same with the words “at” (sometimes in brackets) or a dot. To search for an email address, head over to Twitter Advanced Search and search the words “at” and “dot” in tweets by your person of interest.
To narrow down your search results, you can include words such as “Contact me”, “Email”, “Reach me” of any other words you think someone would reasonably use when sharing their email address online. Go through the results to find the email address of your target person.
Email Lookup Tools
Finally, there are a number of Email lookup tools that you can find online. These basically are search engines and aggregators that search through all publicly available information about the target person and return a set of results. We will mention only the best tools that we have tested here in our order of recommendation.
Nuwber is our preferred email lookup tool. Nuwber is a people search engine that not only provides you with email addresses of persons of interest but also returns a heap of contact and background information such as phone numbers, addresses, police records, lawsuits, property ownership, and much more. There offer a free option for light users and a paid option that offers real value for money considering the amount of information you get.
Hunter is an email lookup tool that comes as a Google Chrome extension. It offers 50 free searches a month which is more than adequate for the ordinary user. However, if you want more than that there is an option to sign up for a paid subscription.
Clearly, there are several hacks to finding anyone’s email address. However, a word of caution, use the methods described above responsibly because you could be invading someone’s privacy. But, these remain the best way to get in touch with someone when all other ways have failed.