One of the most critical pieces of sales prospecting is finding the correct contact information. While LinkedIn has made it infinitely easier to find who we need to get in touch with, actually getting in touch with them still requires a little bit of detective work.
Unfortunately, direct contact information isn’t always easily available within the public domain and sometimes an educated guess is your best course of action.
Typically, there are three pieces of information you’re looking for when adding a lead to your prospecting cadence. They are:
- Direct Phone Number/Extension
- Main Corporate Phone Number
- Email Address
In today’s post, we’ll focus specifically on finding your prospects email address in an efficient and scalable way.
Hunter.io is a website that aggregates email address from across the web for any domain name you type in. From there, it quickly shows you the most common pattern for how that organization structures the email addresses of its employees.
While you may not find your exact prospect, the “most common pattern” allows you to extrapolate and make a fairly educated guess as to what your prospects email address might be.
The best part? Hunter.io has a free subscription tier that allows you 100 free searches per month. This makes it easy to test whether it fits into your workflow before having to spend any money.
Pro Tip: Make a calendar reminder for the first of the month to login and utilize your free searches. Consider an upgrade only after you’ve consistently hit your maximum free searches for 2-3 months in a row.
LeadMine is another online email prospecting resource you can leverage to find your prospects email address. However, rather than aggregating emails and guessing at an email pattern like Hunter.io, LeadMine follows a different three step process.
Step 1: Search for your leads using any type of demographic information you may have like name, title, company, location and industry. This will return any results that match your search criteria.
Step 2: If the results are accurate, you can then save your targeted leads into the prospect list. You can even segment your leads by creating separate list for each category.
Step 3: Once you’ve added a bunch of leads to a prospecting list, you can then export that list via CSV and import your leads into your CRM (like SalesForce, Agile, etc).
Overall it’s a slightly different process, but can be just as effective. Best part is that, just like Hunter.io, there’s a free subscription tier you can experiment with.
3. Google Search
While using Google might seem obvious, there are some advanced techniques to finding email addresses that you may not know of.
For your first couple searches, stick with the basics and see if anything pops up.
[name] + email (or) email address
[name] + contact (or) contact information (or) contact me
If that preliminy search doesn’t yield any results you can take it to the next level by using qualifiers to narrow it down further.
Say, if the name of your prospect is Felicia Jones, you can search more accurately by adding personal information to it. For example instead of giving just the name “Felicia Jones” add their company name, domain, profession, headquarters location, etc while searching.
Companyname + [name] + email
Companyname + [name] + contact
site:companywebsite.com + [name] + email
site:companywebsite.com + [name] + contact
In reality, a Google search isn’t always going to work. But, depending on who your prospect is and what they do, you might come across a press release or news article that contains their contact information. If that’s the case, you can feel pretty confident whatever you’ll be sending will at least hit their inbox.
4. Pick Up The Phone and Call
So lets say we’ve tried all the online email finder tools, scoured through the depths of Google and still have had zero success finding an email address. What do we do then?
Well, at this point in the journey it’s best to just pick up the phone, call into the corporate/service number on the website and simply ask for an email address.
Here’s an example of a script I would use:
“Hey Felicia, my name is Pranav and I was wondering if you could help me out. I’ve been trying to get in touch with Blake but haven’t been able to catch him on the phone. Curious, is there a good email address for him so I can send over some information he asked for. Really don’t want to disturb everyone with all my calls. Is that something you can help me with?
Sure, some companies have policies around giving out email addresses or direct numbers. But, 8/10 times you’ll find someone willing to help you out.
4. Email Permutator
And last but not least, if everything fails, you can give it one last shot and simply go with a “spray and pray” technique.
Remember Hunter.io and how it would take an educated guess at what the email pattern would be for an organization? Well, if you can’t find the information to make an educated guess the next easiest option is to try as many different combinations as possible.
This is easy to do by using an Email Permutator.
Fill in a few fields, hit submit and BOOM you got a long list of different possible email addresses.
Obviously this method isn’t the most time efficient, but it can be effective if you’ve scoured the web and have no other option.
Well, that’s it! At the end of the day prospecting and gathering the appropriate contact information is a huge aspect of making sure all your future call/email activity is actually effective and reaching your prospect/account. Hopefully the methods outlined above were able to help add a few more tools to your toolkit.
What did we miss? What methods do you use to find contact information when you don’t have access to a database?