The Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address

In link building, few things are more frustrating than finding the perfect link opportunity but being completely unable to find a contact email address.

It’s probably happened to you — if you’re trying to build links or do any sort of outreach, it almost always entails sending out a fairly significant amount of emails. There are plenty of good articles out there about building relationships within the context of link building, but it’s hard to build relationships when you can’t even find a contact email address.

So, for today, I want to focus on how you can become better at finding those important email addresses.

Link builders spend a lot of time just trying to find contact info, and it’s often a frustrating process, just because sussing out email addresses can indeed be quite difficult. The site you’re targeting might not even have a contact page in the first place. Or, if the site does have a contact page, it might only display a generic email address. And, sometimes, the site may list too many email addresses. There are eight different people with similar-sounding job titles — should you reach out to the PR person, the marketing director, or the webmaster? It’s not clear.

Whatever the case may be, finding the right email address is absolutely imperative to any successful outreach campaign. In our industry, the numbers around outreach and replies aren’t great. Frankly, it’s shocking to hear the industry standard — only 8.5% of outreach emails receive a response.

I can’t help but wonder how many mistakes are made along the way to such a low response rate.

While there are certainly instances where there is simply no clear and obvious contact method, that should be the exception — not the rule! An experienced link builder understands that finding relevant contact information is essential to their success.

That’s why I’ve put together a quick list of tips and tools that will help you to find the email addresses and contact information you need when you’re building links.

And, if you follow my advice, here is a glimpse of the results you could expect:

Screenshot of high open and reply rates on an email

We don’t track clicks, in case you were wondering 😉

ALWAYS start by looking around!

First, let’s start with my golden rule: Before you fire up any tool, you should always manually look for the correct contact email yourself.

Based on my experience, tools and automation are a last resort. If you rely solely upon tools and automated solutions, you’ll end up with many more misfired emails than if you were to go the manual route. There’s a simple reason for this: the email address listed on your target website may, surprisingly, belong to the right person you should contact!

Now, if you are using a tool, they may generate dozens of email addresses, and you’ll never end up actually emailing the correct individual. Another reason I advocate manually looking for emails is because many email finding tools are limited and can only find email addresses that are associated with a domain name. So, if there is a webmaster that happens to have a @gmail.com email address, the email finding tool will not find it.

It’s also important to only reach out to people you strongly believe will have an interest in your email in order to stay GDPR compliant.

So, always start your manual search by looking around the site. Usually, there will be a link to the contact page in the header, footer, or sidebar. If there’s not a page explicitly named “contact,” or if the contact page only has generic email addresses, that’s when I would recommend jumping to an “About Us” page, should there be one. 

You always want to find a personal email, not a generic one or a contact form. Outreach is more effective when you can address a specific individual, not whoever who is checking info@domain.com that day.

If you encounter too many emails and aren’t sure who the best person to contact is, I suggest sending an email to your best hunch that goes something like this:

And who knows, you may even get a reply like this:

Screenshot of a reply telling you to contact someone else

If you weren’t able to locate an email address at this point, I’d move on to the next section.

Ask search engines for help

Perhaps the contact page you were looking for was well-hidden; maybe they don’t want to be contacted that much or they’re in desperate need of a new UX person.

You can turn to search engines for help.

My go-to search engine lately is Startpage. Dubbed as the world’s most private search engine, they display Google SERPs in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you just stepped into Times Square. They also have a cool option to browse the search results anonymously with “Anonymous View.”

For our purposes, I would use the site: search operator just like this:

If there is in fact a contact page or email somewhere on their website that you were not able to find, any competent search engine will find it for you. If the above site query doesn’t return any results, then I’d start expanding my search to other corners of the web.

Use the search bar and type:

If you’re looking for the email of a specific person, type their name before or after the quotation marks.

With this query you can find non-domain email addresses:

If that person’s email address is publicly available somewhere, you will likely be able to find it within the search results.

Email-finding tools

There are many, many excellent email finding tools to choose from. The first one I want to talk about is Hunter.

Hunter has a Chrome extension that’s really easy to use. After you’ve downloaded the extension, there’s not much more that needs to be done.

Go to the site which you are thinking about sending an email to, click on the extension in the top right corner of your screen, and Hunter, well, hunts.

It returns every email address it can find associated with that domain. And also allows you to filter the results based on categories.

Did I say “email address?” I meant to say email address, name, job title, etc. Essentially, it’s a one-click fix to get everything you need to send outreach.

Because I use Hunter regularly (and for good reason, as you can see), it’s the one I’m most familiar with. You can also use Hunter’s online app to look up emails in bulk.

The major downside of working in bulk is coming up with an effective formula to sift through all the emails. Hunter may generate dozens of emails for one site, leaving you to essentially guess which email address is best for outreach. And if you’re relying on guess-work, chances are pretty high you’re leaving perfectly good prospects on the table.

There are several other email finding tools to pick from and I would be remiss to not mention them. Here are 5 alternative email-finding tools:

Even though I personally try not to be too dependent on tools, the fact of the matter is that they provide the easiest, most convenient route in many cases.

The guessing game

I know there’s no word in the digital marketing world that produces more shudders than “guessing.” However, there are times when guessing is easier.

Let’s be real: there aren’t too many different ways that companies both large and small format their email addresses. It’s usually going to be something like:

If you’ve ever worked for a living, you know most of the variations. But, in case you need some help, there’s a tool for that.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you just pick any one of these random addresses, send your email, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Far from it. There are actually tools that you can use that will indicate when you’ve selected the right one.

Sales Navigator is such a tool. Sales Navigator is a Gmail extension that is easy to use. Simply enter the name of the person you’re looking for, and it will return all of the possible standard variations that they may use for their email address. Then, you can actually test the address from your Gmail account. When you type in the address into the proper line, a sidebar will appear on your screen. If there no is no information in that sidebar, you have the wrong address. If, however, you get a return that looks like this:

Congratulations! You’ve found the right email address.

Obviously, this method only works if you know the name of the person you want to email, but just don’t have their email address. Still, in those scenarios, Sales Navigator works like a charm.

Trust, but verify

There’s nothing more annoying than when you think you’ve finally struck gold, but the gold turned out to be pyrite. Getting an email that bounces back because it wasn’t the correct address is frustrating. And even worse, if it happens too often, your email can end up on email blacklists and destroy your email deliverability.

There are ways to verify, however. At my company, we use Neverbounce. It’s effective and incredibly easy to use. With Neverbounce, you can enter in either individual email addresses or bulk lists, and voila!

It will let you know if that email address is currently Valid, Invalid, or Unknown. It’s that easy. Here are some other email verifiers:

Subscribe to their newsletter

Here’s one final out-of-the-box approach. This approach works more often with sites where one person clearly does most, if not all, of the work. A site where someone’s name is the domain name, for example.

If you come across a site like davidfarkas.com and you see a newsletter that can be subscribed to, hit that subscribe button. Once that’s done, you can simply reply to one iteration of the newsletter.

This method has an added benefit. An effective way of building links is building relationships, just like I said in the opening. When you can demonstrate that you’re already subscribing to a webmaster’s newsletter, you’ll be currying favor with that webmaster.

Conclusion

When you send a link building outreach email, you want to make sure it’s going to a real person and, even more importantly, ending up in the right hands. Sending an email to an incorrect contact periodically may seem like a negligible waste of time, but when you send emails at the volume a link builder should, the waste adds up very quickly. In fact, enough waste can kill everything else that you’re trying to accomplish.

It’s well worth your time to make sure you’re getting it right by putting in the effort to finding the right email address. Be a picky link builder. Don’t just choose the first email that comes your way and never rely solely on tools. If you email the wrong person, it will look to them like that you didn’t care enough to spend time on their site, and in return, they will ignore you and your pitch.

With the tips outlined above, you’ll avoid these issues and be on your way to more successful outreach.

Break Free B2B Series: Janine Wegner on Building Brand Thought Leadership With the Help of Influencers

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wenger of Dell Technologies

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wenger of Dell Technologies

Influencer marketing is in a state of flux. In the past 10 days alone, I’ve seen suggestions that paid influencers are out, and that “influencer marketing — in the traditional sense — is in the midst of an irreversible fail from grace.”

Neither of these arguments is off the mark, per se, but they both frame the concept in outdated B2C-centric terms (the authors more or less acknowledge this with their qualifiers). No one can deny that the impact of hired celebrity influencers, transparently shilling products or services, is waning. It’s not an approach that builds trust or credibility. 

However, strategic B2B influencer marketing is still very much on the rise, and nowhere near its peak yet. When done right, this practice isn’t about celebrity status, nor solely about paying for influence (although that can be part of the equation). It’s about building mutually beneficial relationships with established thought leaders in your space, founded on the focus of delivering value to your audience first and foremost. 

In this growing field, Janine Wegner and her team at Dell Technologies* are blazing trails. Few other B2B organizations have developed a level of influencer sophistication that matches Dell, and we’ve been fortunate to partner with them on several projects.

[bctt tweet=”Influencer marketing comes back those voices telling the story, helping our customers understand what the future looks like, and how they can get there. @JanineWegner #InfluencerMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis recently sat down with Janine, who is in charge of global thought leadership at Dell, for a lengthy interview on the path forward for influencer marketing in the B2B space, as propelled by her area of specialization. 

Join us for a fun conversation that touches on the serious side of B2B influencer marketing while also incorporating lighter themes of “dating and fun games.”

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wegner

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 0:30 — Definition of thought leadership
  • 2:15 — Activating internal subject matter experts 
  • 4:00 — Identifying B2B influencers
  • 6:45 — Democratization of influence
  • 8:30 — Building relationships with macro vs. nano influencers
  • 10:30 — Influencers at different stages of the funnel
  • 11:45 — Challenges of getting started with influencer programs
  • 16:30 — The future of thought leadership and influencer marketing
  • 18:30 — How can marketers break free?

Susan: What do you think are the big gains or advancements in thought leadership and influencer marketing?

Janine: What I’m really excited about and what I’ve been seeing over the past years is that there’s this kind of democratization of influence, right? Social media provided us the tools to share our opinions, but now we advance to a stage where people are very passionate and have an incredible reach to — maybe a small subset of community — but their authenticity and their integrity are so valued that people listen to them. And I find this fascinating for society overall, let alone for us from a marketing perspective. So it’s all coming back to: what do you want to achieve as a marketer and what type of influencer is the right one?

[bctt tweet=”There’s been a democratization of influence… Now we’re at a stage where passionate people’s authenticity and integrity are so valued that people listen to them. @JanineWegner #InfluencerMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Susan: How are the activations and partnerships different at the nano vs. macro influencer levels?

Janine: Again, it goes back to your business objectives and what you want to achieve. What we’re trying to do is map out throughout our campaign, what’s the customer journey? And what are the content pieces we want to develop? And what are the voices we want to have in each of them, and how to then activate and amplify those? So it might be that you take into account people that don’t have as much reach, but that have incredible subject matter expertise and credibility on a certain topic, that you engage in something like an eBook, or a report, or getting some quotes from them very early on a key pillar asset. But then you want people to talk about it and actually know that this exists, right? So you might want to leverage social amplifiers that are talking about this topic and are using this eBook as a resource that they recommend to their community, and really getting that reach and spreading it far and wide. And then there might be tactics when you then invite them to a webinar, or maybe a face-to-face event, to participate as part of a panel, and so forth. So there are all of those different tactics. And we usually are, what I would recommend is like, look at your business objectives. 

Susan: For someone thinking about digging deeper into influencer marketing, what might a pilot program look like for example?

Janine: So right now, for instance, although we are already a little bit advanced, we’re still testing and piloting, because we want to be smarter. We want to get better, we want to spend our resources a little bit more wisely. Right? So one area that we’re testing is really leveraging the power of those social amplifiers. When we launch a certain research study, product news, or so forth, how can we then brief those influencers, give them everything that they need, you know, for the day X, the day that it launches? And then ask them to amplify and what does this look like what does a good kind of social media amplification kit and like cadence look like for these influencers? Because we need to think about the fact that most of them also serve other companies, so you don’t want to overdo it, but you also want a certain share of words.

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Janine Wegner on Building Brand Thought Leadership With the Help of Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

Break Free B2B Series: Janine Wegner on Building Brand Thought Leadership With the Help of Influencers

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wenger of Dell Technologies

Influencer marketing is in a state of flux. In the past 10 days alone, I’ve seen suggestions that paid influencers are out, and that “influencer marketing — in the traditional sense — is in the midst of an irreversible fail from grace.”

Neither of these arguments is off the mark, per se, but they both frame the concept in outdated B2C-centric terms (the authors more or less acknowledge this with their qualifiers). No one can deny that the impact of hired celebrity influencers, transparently shilling products or services, is waning. It’s not an approach that builds trust or credibility. 

However, strategic B2B influencer marketing is still very much on the rise, and nowhere near its peak yet. When done right, this practice isn’t about celebrity status, nor solely about paying for influence (although that can be part of the equation). It’s about building mutually beneficial relationships with established thought leaders in your space, founded on the focus of delivering value to your audience first and foremost. 

In this growing field, Janine Wegner and her team at Dell Technologies* are blazing trails. Few other B2B organizations have developed a level of influencer sophistication that matches Dell, and we’ve been fortunate to partner with them on several projects.

Influencer marketing comes back those voices telling the story, helping our customers understand what the future looks like, and how they can get there. @JanineWegner #InfluencerMarketing #BreakFreeB2B Click To Tweet

TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis recently sat down with Janine, who is in charge of global thought leadership at Dell, for a lengthy interview on the path forward for influencer marketing in the B2B space, as propelled by her area of specialization. 

Join us for a fun conversation that touches on the serious side of B2B influencer marketing while also incorporating lighter themes of “dating and fun games.”

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wegner

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 0:30 — Definition of thought leadership
  • 2:15 — Activating internal subject matter experts 
  • 4:00 — Identifying B2B influencers
  • 6:45 — Democratization of influence
  • 8:30 — Building relationships with macro vs. nano influencers
  • 10:30 — Influencers at different stages of the funnel
  • 11:45 — Challenges of getting started with influencer programs
  • 16:30 — The future of thought leadership and influencer marketing
  • 18:30 — How can marketers break free?

Susan: What do you think are the big gains or advancements in thought leadership and influencer marketing?

Janine: What I’m really excited about and what I’ve been seeing over the past years is that there’s this kind of democratization of influence, right? Social media provided us the tools to share our opinions, but now we advance to a stage where people are very passionate and have an incredible reach to — maybe a small subset of community — but their authenticity and their integrity are so valued that people listen to them. And I find this fascinating for society overall, let alone for us from a marketing perspective. So it’s all coming back to: what do you want to achieve as a marketer and what type of influencer is the right one?

There’s been a democratization of influence… Now we’re at a stage where passionate people’s authenticity and integrity are so valued that people listen to them. @JanineWegner #InfluencerMarketing #BreakFreeB2B Click To Tweet

Susan: How are the activations and partnerships different at the nano vs. macro influencer levels?

Janine: Again, it goes back to your business objectives and what you want to achieve. What we’re trying to do is map out throughout our campaign, what’s the customer journey? And what are the content pieces we want to develop? And what are the voices we want to have in each of them, and how to then activate and amplify those? So it might be that you take into account people that don’t have as much reach, but that have incredible subject matter expertise and credibility on a certain topic, that you engage in something like an eBook, or a report, or getting some quotes from them very early on a key pillar asset. But then you want people to talk about it and actually know that this exists, right? So you might want to leverage social amplifiers that are talking about this topic and are using this eBook as a resource that they recommend to their community, and really getting that reach and spreading it far and wide. And then there might be tactics when you then invite them to a webinar, or maybe a face-to-face event, to participate as part of a panel, and so forth. So there are all of those different tactics. And we usually are, what I would recommend is like, look at your business objectives. 

Susan: For someone thinking about digging deeper into influencer marketing, what might a pilot program look like for example?

Janine: So right now, for instance, although we are already a little bit advanced, we’re still testing and piloting, because we want to be smarter. We want to get better, we want to spend our resources a little bit more wisely. Right? So one area that we’re testing is really leveraging the power of those social amplifiers. When we launch a certain research study, product news, or so forth, how can we then brief those influencers, give them everything that they need, you know, for the day X, the day that it launches? And then ask them to amplify and what does this look like what does a good kind of social media amplification kit and like cadence look like for these influencers? Because we need to think about the fact that most of them also serve other companies, so you don’t want to overdo it, but you also want a certain share of words.

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite: