How to Find Anyone’s Email Address
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Why You Need Emails
Equally important is finding the right person to email. Too many beginners send their pitches to generic inboxes that never get checked and then complain that outreach-based link building doesn’t work.
Today we’re going to talk about who you should be emailing and how to find the best email address to actually reach them.
Time to learn: 5-10 minutes
Impact (1-10): 8
Tools required: None
Tools suggested: Hunter
Now, let’s get to it…
Our Step-by-Step Email Finding Process
As you may have noticed, most strategies related to SEO have two approaches – the slow and careful way and the automated way.
Finding people’s emails is not going to be any different.
Before we talk about that – there’s a more important question to answer.
Who Should You Be Contacting?
As I mentioned earlier, one of the most common reasons people fail with guest posting or any other kind of outreach-based link building is that they’re emailing the wrong people.
Imagine trying to get featured on Huffington Post – would you really try to email Arianna Huffington personally?
Obviously that’s not the best approach.
(Although that is exactly how our Marketing Director, Karl, got his column on Huffington Post a few years back)
Here is a list of the best people to contact at an organization if your goal is to get a piece of content published, in order of success rates:
- Content (Marketing) Manager
- Marketing Manager/Director of Marketing
- The Author of similar posts
- Generic email (contact@ etc)
Now, there are some details that apply to this.
If you’re reaching out to a smaller blog that is run by one person, you’ll obviously end up reaching out to the Founder.
When dealing with medium-sized organizations, such as a software company, you’ll probably have the best chances by finding their Marketing Manager (because they won’t have a Content Manager)
For bigger and more serious publications, it’ll almost always be the Editor-in-Chief or the Editor of a specific column you’re reaching out for.
How to Actually Find The Emails
Considering that your main objective is to land a guest post on these sites, the first thing you’re going to look for is a “Guest Posts” page or “Write For Us” page.
You can usually find this in the header, sidebar, or footer.
I also like to do a search in Google for “site:TARGETDOMAIN.com guest post”.
This shows any and all pages from the site you’re looking at that has to do with guest posting. You can either easily find the guidelines or at least, see whether they’ve published any before and perhaps even what account it was posted under.
The second thing I look for is an “about us,” “team,” or “contact” page. If you’re lucky you’ll find the editor/marketer there and perhaps even an email address already.
Here’s an example from our own site and it even includes the email of our Marketing Director.
Let’s pretend the about page doesn’t exist… Plan C!
Next up, I’ll usually head to the company’s LinkedIn page and click on “See all X employees on LinkedIn”.
Again, you’ll already know which role you’re looking for so skim through the results and find the appropriate person (Editor, CMO, etc). Check out their profile, expand the “About” section, and look for an email address.
Now that you know exactly who you’re looking for (hopefully…) we can pull out the big guns.
Hunter.io is a super handy Chrome extension and SaaS app that is incredible at finding emails.
You can head over to a website and click on the Hunter logo to pull up all of the emails found for that domain – both off their site and from other sources.
You can see that for Smash Digital, it successfully found our Marketing Director’s email (thanks to a podcast he appeared on).
For bigger companies with hundreds of emails, they also have a handy search box in the top right corner.
Still not able to find anything? You can often guess the email based on their name and the format they’ve used for other emails. (firstname.lastname@example.org for example)
If that doesn’t work either, here’s a few last places I dig around:
- Check Twitter bio/Facebook
- Google their name + “email”
- Check the company Facebook page about section
- Check website whois information
Now, finding the email of an actual person increases your chances of success tenfold but as an absolute last resort, you could also send your pitch to a generic email such as marketing@ or use the contact form on their site.
These rarely work out, but it may be worth a try.
Finding Emails in Bulk, Automatically
Finding hundreds of emails by hand is truly one of the worst jobs on the planet but it’s worth the time investment if you’re after true authority links.
For those of you who prefer to “spam” the lower quality sites and play the numbers game, there’s a bunch of ways you can pull emails automatically.
The aforementioned Hunter.io tool comes with a bulk email finder function.
You paste in a list of URLs and it finds all the emails for you within seconds or minutes.
In terms of the settings, I like to set it to “10 maximum emails per domain” which means you’ll be able to select which one seems like the best fit. In a lot of cases they’ll also pull data on the person’s role at the company, which makes it easy.
I’ll leave it to find personal emails and set the filter strength on flexible. Obviously you can modify these settings based on your own preferences.
And here’s what it spat out within just a second:
You’ll have easy access to all of the emails, whether they’re personal or generic, a confidence score regarding the accuracy of the email, and a ton more data.
Got any other email finding tips? Shoot me an email!
Next week, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about anchor text for link building.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll see you next week with yet another actionable SEO strategy.
Meanwhile… Let’s Smash it!