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How to find a prospect’s email address the smart way

How to find a prospect’s email address the smart way

9
min read

Meet Deborah.

Deborah is a sales rep for April’s Catering, a catering company that employs top-notch chefs for weddings, graduations, and business events.

So why aren't they landing any good clients?

It isn’t their lack of quality or good practices – it’s that they can’t seem to grow their business and get in front of the right customers.

There's nothing more frustrating than having a great product or service and not knowing how to reach the right potential customers.

Finding prospects online and successfully reaching out to them is a skill any sales rep needs to master.

This blog is going to go over how to find a prospect’s email address the traditional way, from Google searches to LinkedIn to old-fashioned asking.

Then, we’ll cover one smart way to find someone’s email address: using an email auto-enrichment tool for your contacts.

How to find a prospect’s email address online

Finding a prospect’s email address online requires a bit of creative thinking and trial and error. 

Since you’re only looking for information that the prospect has provided publicly, you might find success with different methods for each person. Someone may share their email on LinkedIn, while another person you met at a conference may offer it up so you can stay in touch.

Before you give up and move onto the next lead, make sure you’re covering all of your bases.

These 8 methods can help you find a prospect’s email address: 

  1. Run a Google search. A quick search of your prospect’s name + “email” is always worth a shot. 
  2. Make a LinkedIn connection. A prospect’s email can sometimes be found in their LinkedIn profile under “Contact info”.
  3. Try an advanced Twitter search. Searching for email addresses using your prospect’s Twitter handle could give you what you’re looking for.
  4. Subscribe to their newsletter. It’s possible that subscribing to a company’s newsletter could reward you with a real email address. 
  5. Create gated content. Offer content that provides value to your prospects, like a webinar, podcast, or guide, in exchange for their email address.
  6. Ask. When the opportunity is right, like after a great conversation, ask your lead if you can reach out to them via email with more information.
  7. Subscribe to email finder tools. Paid online tools can assist you in finding leads’ email addresses. 
  8. Use Streak’s contact auto-enrichment tool to verify email addresses and scour the web for publicly available information. Streak's CRM in Gmail can help by equipping you with a handy tool for finding someone’s email address. Every time you add a contact or organization to your CRM in Gmail, Streak does some of the heavy lifting for you by scouring the internet for publicly available data. When it finds something useful, it auto-enriches the contact or organization in your CRM. 

Let’s explore how to approach each method.

1. Run a Google Search

Google is where you go for everything; recipes, news, and settling arguments with friends about movie trivia. So it’s no surprise that it’s also the first place you visit to find company email addresses.

Some Google searches to find email addresses include:

  • [Name] + “email”
  • [Name] + “contact”

You can also do more detailed searches if your prospect has a common name or profession. Try patterns that include their profession and company name.

Example:

  • [Name] + [profession] + “email”
  • [Name] + [company] + “contact me”

It’s also effective to search the prospect’s company website. But we don’t expect you to do it manually – instead, try site searching on Google. 

Simply type into Google [site:], then add the website and your search terms.

Example:

  • site:company.com [name] + “email”
  • site:company.com [job title] + [name] + “email”

This will pull up results just from the target website, instead of the entire internet.

2. Make a LinkedIn connection

Some people share their email on their LinkedIn profiles, so it’s worth making a connection.

Most email addresses on LinkedIn are going to be unavailable until you connect with the person. Once you do, it will be in their contact info along with the possibility of their:

  1. Website
  2. Other useful social profiles like Twitter and Facebook
  3. Phone number
  4. Birthday

Yes, that last one is worth knowing, too. Wishing someone a happy birthday builds great rapport.

Didn’t find their email on LinkedIn? 

It’s still a great place to learn what topics they’re interested in and build a relationship while you’re there. Your connection may lead to something in the long run – 40% of marketers indicated LinkedIn as the most effective channel for driving high-quality leads.

3. Advanced Twitter search

If your prospect is active on Twitter, an advanced Twitter search is worth a try.

When people want to share an email address on twitter, they often spell it out phonetically to avoid their email address being picked up by spam bots.

For example, instead of sharing “alex@acme.co” in a tweet, Alex might share “alex (at) acme (dot) co”. 

Using Twitter’s advanced search, you can search within a specific profile for instances of “at” and “dot”. This will bring up any instance of your prospect talking about emailing or asking people to reach out and contact them.

Searching for the words “email” or “contact” will then dig up way more tweets than you need, but running a search for any tweet that contains both “at” and “dot” should weed out irrelevant messages.

4. Subscribe to their newsletters

A newsletter from your prospect’s company or personal website could include a valid email listed within it. You’ll also likely learn what their company’s email domain looks like, so you could make an educated guess and validate the email with auto-enrichment in Streak. 

While you’re at it, you’ll receive relevant, valuable content from your prospect and learn more about their work, interests, and pain points.

When you finally get that conversation with them, you’ll know what’s important to them and have a head start on making a meaningful connection.

5. Create valuable gated content

Offering exclusive content can be a great way to collect email addresses and further qualify leads. 

The “gate” in gated content typically refers to a form where the prospect has to enter their email address (along with any other information you choose to collect) in order to access the information.

Creating gated content requires an investment to produce something truly valuable. This could include content on relevant topics, tips, original research or data, or guest speakers. 

Your content has to be enticing enough to justify the extra step for your prospect, but you’ll often be rewarded with high-quality leads.

Hosting a webinar is a good example of this, as you can offer great info to a prospect in return for an email address. According to one study, about 40% of all webinar audiences convert to lead generation.

Source

If you’re willing to make the effort, you can get creative with the types of content and value you offer. For example: 

  • Ebooks and white papers
  • Templates
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Case studies
  • Courses
  • Checklists
  • Contests or giveaways
  • Events

6. Ask

The most old-school method is also the most simple.

Ask your prospect for their email by reaching out directly on social media, or in-person if you get the chance. Let them know up front what you’re asking for: to make a personal connection with them, learn where you have common interests or goals, and eventually ask if you can continue the conversation more professionally over email.

A lot of people will appreciate this old-fashioned, forthright method because you aren’t being sneaky or salesy – you’re being honest about what you want.

But whatever you do, don’t spam. You’re building a connection, not using their DMs as a channel to flood them with your product spiels.

You can also reach out by finding a mutual connection and asking them for an introduction. This can be a lot of work, but it typically leads to a more meaningful connection and conversation.

7. Subscribe to email finder tools

Certain tools are specifically designed to find business email addresses. A handful of the most common tools include:

  1. Voila Norbert
  2. Contact Out
  3. Toofr
  4. Anymail Finder
  5. Hunter.io

They usually work by typing in a prospect’s name or a company’s domain name, then the email finder scours the web for you to come up with results.

Here’s an example using Hunter.io.

Source

They’re useful that can sometimes dig up multiple emails per company so you can zero in on the key decision-maker you’re interested in.

However, these tools aren’t free. They generally allow for a few free searches before hitting you with requests for upgrading to a paid package.

Depending on the tool, these costs can range from $50 per month all the way to $500 per month.

8. Use Streak’s auto-enrich contact functionality

Streak provides a straightforward solution to finding someone’s email address.

Every time you add a contact or organization to your CRM in Gmail, Streak scours the internet for publicly available data to validate the email and auto-enrich the contact or organization with everything it finds. 

This requires an educated guess if you don't know your prospect's email address, but it pays off by:

  • Confirming their email address
  • Adding their photo or logo to the contact or organization card
  • Including links to their social media profiles
  • Adding their official job title and company name

Start by finding your prospect’s email domain on their company website. For example, if Acme Corp uses support@acme.co for their support email, you can assume your prospect’s email is going to be something like:

Try using the most likely pattern by occurrence rate first:

  1. first@example.com - 49.9% likely
  2. flast@exmaple.com - 12.2% likely
  3. first.last@example.com - 11.5% likely
  4. last@example.com - 9.6% likely

Using the above suggestions, add the email to the contact or organization field in your pipeline

When you enter a valid email, Streak will auto-enrich the contact or organization with publicly available information. This both confirms your prospect’s email address and provides additional details to help you build a connection. 

Go ahead - try it out with an email address you know to see how it works. Then start filling in your prospects' emails and reaching out to them to build a connection.

Go on, find those email addresses

So, how’s Deborah doing now that she’s implemented these tips? 

We’d ask, but Deb's way too busy reaching out to all her new prospects to answer us.

Give these 8 methods a try and see what you come up with.

When you get an email address (or make an educated guess), don't forget to auto-enrich your contact to find even more valuable information without any extra searching.

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