Personal introductions always trump cold emails, but sometimes you may not have a connection or want to burden a friend. When such a case arrises, it’s quite useful to know how to figure out someone’s email address. Below are various tactics to do so.
1) Rapportive – Rapportive is a browser extension that shows additional information about the person you’re emailing. It begins searching for this additional information as soon as you type an email address in Gmail’s “to” field. As a result, one can often find a person’s actual email address by simply trying different email address formats in the “to” field until an address makes additional information appear.
Try using the following formats.
For a personal email account, try the above formats ending with @gmail.com. If the person has their own website (search Google to see if they do), try using that domain as well. Another trick is to take the person’s username(s) from their social media accounts (e.g. “bigjohn” from twitter.com/bigjohn), and adding it to @personaldomain.com or @gmail.com.
Note: Make sure to be extra respectful/cautious when contacting someone through their personal account.
2) Whois Search – A whois search often reveals information about the person who registered a domain (including their email address). If the person you want to contact has a personal website, try entering it here: whois.chromefans.org
3) Company Email Address Formats – Many companies use the same email address format for all of their employees. There are two tools that can help you determine this format. Try searching for the person’s company on Emails4Corporations.com (use the search box in the upper right corner) and Toofr!.
4) Email Verifier – When you send an email to someone, the mail server looks for the MX records of the recipient’s domain, and then determines if the email username is valid. Using this same technique, services like VerifyEmailAddress.org will help you determine if an email address is valid.
5) Check Bios – Sometimes people openly share their email addresses in bios on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s worth checking.
6) Last Slide – If the person has spoken at a conference, there’s a good chance their slides can be found online somewhere like SlideShare. Many presenters list their contact information on the last slide of their deck.
7) Paid tools – If you’re desperate, you might be able to buy the person’s email address on Jigsaw or send them an InMail on LinkedIn.
8) Reach out through Social Media – While it’s not a method for finding a person’s email address, you can often get in touch with people simply by sending them a tweet or Facebook message.
Of course, be careful with all of the above advice. Please be respectful to the person you’re emailing!