Finding someone's email: Sales tips for when obvious solutions didn't work

Finding someone's email: Sales tips for when obvious solutions didn't work

Finding someone’s email address can go a long way. The two biggest deals I ever closed (<brag>) started from a simple cold outreach and ended with 7-figure contracts months later (</brag>).

Before anything, how ethical is it to reach out to someone out of the blue? Here’s my take:

  • You believe so much in what you have to offer;

  • You have the right intentions, as in, you’ll be helpful, provide substance and a new perspective on your prospects’ challenges (might even throw in some data in there too);

  • You firmly believe that what you do/sell/offer can have a positive impact on someone’s life (or at least job) because you’ve seen in happen to others;

  • You target your prospects’ based on relevant criteria in terms of Title, Geography, Industry, Company size, relevant triggers (raised money, changed job, a new offer they launched, seasonal stuff)

  • You don’t pray & spray (send 1 email to 500 people in one day with dynamic keywords);

  • You take the time to research the person you’re reaching out to and humanize your approach;

  • You know there’s a chance that reaching out to them won’t turn into a sale, but at least they’ll know the option’s there, and you might even make a friend in the process.

In this guide, I’m going to upload 10 years’ worth of Sales Hustle so you can go about reaching out to your potential customers and spread the love about your widget.

The obvious solutions we need to mention first though.

#1: LinkedIn

If you’re connected with the person you’re trying to talk to, hit “Contact Info” on their LinkedIn Profile. If their professional email address is there, BINGO. Just don’t use any personal email like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com if you’re in a B2B environment, that would be weird.

#2: Website

We also need to cross this one off the list. Check their website, and typically for smaller firms, there’s a Team section and some addresses might be listed there. It’s also where you’ll start sharpening your instincts and realize that companies work with email structures.

Once you know how a company structures the creation of their email addresses, you can extrapolate and build it for your contact. 

#3: Email finders (Hunter, Lusha, Snov, etc.)

Some are great, some are awful. Make sure you check them out, they all have free versions. I suggest running your results on mailtester.com or neverbounce.com but if they couldn’t find anything, keep going.

Now for the cool stuff

#4: Google

Search their company domain in “double-quotes” + email

As in "amethystassociates.co.uk" email

Try it. If you scroll down you’ll see:

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So now you know how this company models their email address, you can apply that model to the person you’re reaching out to.

#5: Google + LinkedIn

Step 4 leads us to a search aimed at LinkedIn specifically, still using Google.

If you search site:abc.com, you ask Google to only look on this specific site.

So if you try site:linkedin.com “domainofthefirmyouwanttochatwith.com”, there’s a chance you’ll be served a result of someone listing their email somewhere on their profile, as seen here.

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Again, you’ve now got the model.

#6 LinkedIn part 2

Salespeople want to be found, called, and emailed. A lot of salespeople will put their company email address in their profile to achieve that.

If your prospect isn’t a salesperson, try opening LinkedIn profiles of the sales reps of this specific firm, make sure you check in their About, Experience, or Contact info sections. 

#7 Email permutator 

This one might be a bit time consuming but can give great results.

Go on http://metricsparrow.com/toolkit/email-permutator/ and put in the info of your prospect.

You’ll be served the most common combinations of email structures. Now the tricky part is using the info.

IF you’re using Gmail and they are too (that’s already a lot of IFs), and paste the combinations in a new email and hover your mouse over each one of them. The “winning” formula will most likely show a picture.

You can also create and use a “dummy” email address, and send an email to all of these. The winning formula will essentially be the email that hasn’t bounced (you’re probably looking at 30 min to find the email address, in that case, they have to be worth it!).

I suggest running your results on mailtester.com or neverbounce.com.

#7 Call them

I know, I know, cold calling isn’t for everyone, and this isn’t the subject. 

But if you’ve exhausted all your options and know for a fact that this person HAS to hear what you have to say, there’s still hope.

Either you try and call the person and get them on the phone, which, if you’ve never done before might seem daunting, or, you can call and ask the receptionist: 

  • Allo?

  • Hi, I’m trying to send an invitation to Jane Doe, but the email I have which is jane.doe@acme.com just bounced. I was wondering if you could confirm the correct email address with me, please?

There’s no certainty in this day and age, but it’s worth trying.

#8 Send a letter

With the whole Covid thingy it’s harder than before but snail mail still works. If you write a handwritten note to someone with the reason why you want to connect with them, you might standout:

Hello Jane, I’m trying to get in touch with you because I work with executives in the ABC space on the subject of YOUR VALUE PROP. Since I don’t know your email address, I figured I’d send you this beautiful card of dogs wearing glasses. Is this a conversation you want to have? If so, my email address is michael@scott.com

#9 Twitter

Are they “publicly recognizable on Twitter? As in, they’re showing their actual first and last name most likely list their company name in their description? It’s worth trying there too, slide into their DM.

Or use Advanced Search and see if someone dropped their email somewhere by putting their domain in double-quotes. 

#10 Ask someone from their team

Were you able to find information about someone else from their team? Be brutally honest:

“Hey Gerry, trying to get in touch with Steve here, can’t seem to be able to connect with them. The reason why I’m reaching out is that…”

#11 Subscribe to their newsletter

Get the email, and ask a question. You’ll most likely have someone from Marketing or Support reply to you, and unless they’re a Fortune 500 firm, the response you’ll get will come from an identifiable email address.

#12 Wait for them in the parking lot with balloons 

No, at this point, you’ll have to face the facts: this company is most likely out of business, keep your balloons.