These days, finding a stranger’s email address is easier than ever. Whether you’re looking for press coverage, reaching out to an influencer, or just want to get in touch with someone, it’s good to brush up on your email finding skills.
Below I discuss four simple steps to track down an email address for nearly any professional.
A note about contact forms: Most sites will have an easy-to-find contact form. I recommend you look for an email address instead of using a contact form. With an email address, you can track who opens your emails and can easily follow up with them. Contact forms are much clunkier for these reasons and I only use them as a last resort.
Step 1: Check website contact pages.
On the website for the publication you wish to contact, look for pages titled About, Contact, Submit, Contribute, or Masthead. These pages are generally a good place to start. If you know a specific department or person’s name, a masthead page will usually give you an email address or a link to a person’s Twitter account where their email is likely to be posted.
If you haven’t found a direct email address, move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Use an email finding tool.
There are tons of great email search tools out there. My favorite is Hunter. It gives you 150 free searches per month, which is perfect for someone just starting out in PR. Another powerful free search tool is Big Picture’s Email Finder. If you fancy trying out a few other apps, feel free to explore Voila Norbert and FindThat.Email.
Keep in mind that email prospecting tools like the ones above work best for professional email addresses. Personal email addresses tend to be harder to figure out. Since most people I know prefer to keep business-related matters out of their personal inboxes, this shouldn’t slow you down.
If this step doesn’t work, move to Step 3.
Step 3: Do a power search.
Use BuzzStream’s Email Research Tool to generate a bunch of searches likely to dig up the right email address. If you don’t find it within a few minutes, move on to Step 4.
Step 4: Ask your network for an introduction.
Although it’s probably the most time-consuming option, asking your network kills two birds with one stone. Not only can you find hard-to-get emails, but if a friend has your prospect’s email address, they can probably introduce you!
What should I do if I can’t find an email address?
You have three options:
- Use a general contact form. Again, since this limits your ability to track email opens and follow up on the same email thread.
- Find a different pitching prospect and go through the above steps to find their email address. (This is usually what I do.)
Now that you know how to find email info for virtually any professional, who are you going to pitch?
Leave me a comment below and tell me what you can do now that finding emails is no longer an issue 🙂