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find email addresses

How To Find Someone’s Email On Linkedin

 

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In the old days, if we wanted to find someone’s contact details we just picked up the phone book.

It worked well for everyone – except Sarah Connor.

These days, building a b2b contact database from Linkedin is a bit trickier. Sometimes it takes a few seconds to find an email. Other times doing research for B2B sales requires a bit of effort.

In this guide we’ll go through the process for finding ANY and EVERY email.

Follow the steps below and you’ll find your target email 100% of the time. Here we go!

Consider a Private Message First

Every good hunt should exhaust the easiest options first. And email hunting is no different!

So before you start searching for an obscure email address, ask your virtual sales assistant to check if they haven’t shared it publicly on their Linkedin profile page or other social networks – it happens!

Next, see if you’re a 1st degree connection. Direct connections can (usually) see the email addresses of their contacts.

And if you’re just looking for a couple of emails, maybe send a connection request? If they agree to connect then you’ll have saved yourself some effort. And you might be able to continue the conversation via private messages.

 

Finding Emails Is A 2 Step Process

The first thing to understand is that finding an email is NOT the same as having a valid email address.

Huh, what?

Yeah, just because you found an email address, doesn’t mean it’s valid or will be delivered.

You need to consider the process of finding an email as one task. And verifying an email as a completely separate process. I know it sounds silly now, but you’ll thank me later.

Email Verification

In the image above, look how many emails on this mailing list are invalid. 

To illustrate the importance of verifying your emails, imagine you are looking for a hot prospect and find their contact details on their website. You’d think that email would be guaranteed a 100% success rate.  

But what if they changed jobs already? The email used to be valid, but it isn’t working any more. They just haven’t updated their ‘About Us’ page yet.

The point is, always double check your work. You’ll be glad you made the extra effort.

Find The Email Pattern

The best way to find an email address is to look for the pattern that other people in the company use for their business email addresses. 

For example, in a small company a typical email pattern is: {FirstName}@exampledomain.com.

In larger companies, first names tend to repeat. So you might see a pattern like: (FirstName}.{LastName}@exampledomain.com

As long as you know the person’s full name and their domain name then using the pattern you’ll probably be able to extrapolate their personal email address.

Fortunately, there’s a great tool to easily find the most common patterns in any company.

Tomba

Log into Tomba and you’ll be greeted with a deceptively simple search field. 

Just enter the domain you want to find email addresses for, and Tomba will spit out a list of people they found across the internet for that domain.

Some of the email addresses are generic like info@exampledomain.com. Others are personal email addresses – for example, bobby.davis@exampledomain.com.

tomba.io

Take a look at the image above. In this example, you can easily see they are using a {FirstName}.{LastName} pattern. Which Tomba highlights at the top of the search results.

It’s worth noting that some companies use multiple patterns, so be prepared to try a few until you get it right.

The great thing about Tomba is they also provide the original sources where they found their emails.

This can be very helpful. You’ll get some additional information about your prospects. And also confirm the quality of the underlying source.

One of the things I like best about Tomba is that integrates with directly with Google Sheets. You can connect the Sheets extension via API, and it’ll check for emails, right in your working tab. There’s no need to create CSV files and bulk upload them to an external tool.

When you’ve found the underlying pattern, the first step is to verify it (see below) before contacting your prospect.

Tomba has a huge free trial tier so you can do tons of monthly searches, as needed.

Use An Email Extractor Tool

At Sales Higher we find and verify email addresses all day, every day. It’s one of the biggest parts of our b2b lead generation solutions. ContactOut image

Twice a year we audit the tools we’re using and pick the ones with the highest hit rates. ContactOut consistently makes our short list of favorite tools.

And the reason is their ability to find ‘obscure’ emails that are otherwise difficult to identify. Just put in the needed info and hit enter. There’s a good chance they’ll find it. And it’s dead simple to use.

ContactOut

The first step is to install the ContactOut Google Chrome extension in your browser and open Linkedin.

From your Linkedin search results (or Sales Navigator results) open the Linkedin profile you’re interested in.

Then click on the extension and BAM! you’ve got their contact details with surprisingly good accuracy rates.

Contact Out can even show you the phone number for some Linkedin users, if you need it.

ContactOut also has a robust free plan. So if you’re only looking for a few email addresses per month then the free version is perfect for your needs.

Verify The Email

I mentioned above that you need to consider the finding and verifying emails as two separate processes.

To verify an email address is correct, you need a tool that specializes in email verification.

To be clear, there are a LOT of email verifying tools available. And many of them are exceptionally good.

Bouncer

We’ve tried most of the email verification tools at one time or another. And we keep coming back to Bouncer.

The UX is great, and the quality of results ranks up with the best in the industry. Not surprisingly, TechTimes recently selected Bouncer as their #1 email verification tool. So we’re in good company!

And bouncer has a ‘secret weapon’ that makes it better than most of it’s competitors.

Most email verification tools aren’t able to verify ‘Accept All’ email addresses of any kind (see below for details). But Bouncer can validate Accept All emails that are hosted on both Outlook and GSuite / Workspace accounts.

These two providers make up a BIG chunk of Accept All emails, so this puts Bouncer WAY ahead of their competition in terms of utility.

3 Types of Email Addresses

You’d think that all email addresses are pretty much the same. As crazy as it sounds, that’s not the case.

An email verification tool checks the mail server to see if the mailbox exists. The email server responds to a query. And part of the response is to notify you what type of mail domain is being used.

There are 3 distinct types of email addresses. And it helps to know which type of email you’re working with in order to accelerate the search process.

Types of Email Addresses

 

Verifiable Email

In the case of a verifiable email address, the recipient mailbox responds with a clear, unambigious response. This is valuable information – the mailbox exists, or it doesn’t exist.

These are the best kind of email addresses! You know if you got it right, or if you got it wrong. There’s no uncertainty, either way.

If you got it wrong, you can try again until you get it right.

 

Accept All Email

The next type of mail domain is referred to as ‘Accept All’ or sometimes ‘Catch All’.

These mail domains are the WORST. If you get the email address right, the server responds with “Maybe”.

And if you get it completely wrong, you get the same useless reply.

It’s quite maddening and many lead generation companies completely remove Accept All emails from their data set. They’d rather lose out on part of their b2b contact database than risk a high bounce rate.

There is NO WAY to verify an Accept All email with 100% certainty.

That said, after confirming the email pattern, the best way  to check is to Google the email address and see if any recent references come up.

Or search Tomba to look at historical records of where they found that email online.

 

Outlook Hosted Email

Mail domains that use Outlook servers are Accept All. Because of this, most email verification tools aren’t able to validate them one way or another.

Bouncer is great because it’s one of the few tools that can actually validate Outlook emails with accuracy.

Outlook Verification

Outlook is one of the biggest email providers in the world. So this feature makes Bouncer one of the best tools of it’s kind.

Highly recommended!

Other Ways To Find Email Addresses

Sadly, not all email addresses are super easy to find. It’s time to get serious about our search!

Here are some common ways that will ultimately get you the email you’re looking for.

 

Guess!

Yeah, it’s not very scientific, but it works. If the email you are looking for is on a verifiable server then plug some email patterns into Bouncer. Because sometimes you get lucky!

 

Do a Google Search

Enter your prospect’s name and domain name into Google and let it do it’s magic. Sometimes old documents like PDFs will turn up surprising results.

 

Run the Patterns

If the email you’re searching for is verifiable then try using a tool like FindThat.Email. It’ll run through all the possible combinations of an email address to see what pops up. Just be sure to confirm the results with an email verification tool.

 

Confirm The Mailing Domain

Lots of companies have email domains that are different than the company website address .

Consider a global bank with dozens of local websites. There’s a good chance their email is on a different domain than the website you’re looking at.

The best way to confirm the mailing domain is to visit the Privacy Policy page or Term of Use Page (or Contact Us). Do a quick CTRL + F search for the ‘@’ symbol to see if there are any emails listed in the text. 

Very often the email domain used in the legal pages is the same as the mailing domain you’re trying to find.

 

Doing Business As

Loads of companies have a brand that’s different than the company name. For example, the ‘Home & Gardens’ brand is owned by a media business called Future PLC. 

In cases like this, the contact information is linked to the company website address. And not the customer-facing website that represents the brand.

So be sure to check all the relevant domains for the company you are researching. 

 

Website Registration

Finally, for smaller companies, check out the website registration on WHOIS. Most of the time the website is set to ‘private’. But not everyone sets the website ownership records to private. Every once and a while you can find the owner of the website, along with their email address.

Did You Find The Email Address?

If you did all of the steps above then you almost certainly found the email address you’re looking for.

How about you? Do you have any methods for finding an email that aren’t listed above?

I’d love to hear what you find works best. You can message me on Linkedin or send a message on our contact page.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Matthew Murray
Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Sales Higher. He knows any company can THRIVE with enough qualified sales leads. So he’s spent the last decade helping companies meet engaged prospects and win new deals.

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