Whoever said running your own business was easy definitely haven’t tried to run a technology startup. Since we started Designer Task, our main challenge has been to identify places and set up processes that our team can replicate to help us grow our service constantly month after month.

After testing different things, we finally identified what was the single most effective way to get new customers.

You guessed it!

Email outreach. The problem with email outreach is that is really time-consuming, hard to escalate and it only works when you target the right person within the organization. With our team, we set a goal of sending 15 emails a day to these prospects but the most difficult part of the process was finding the email addresses to send these emails.  In order to succeed, the main lesson learned here is that finding the right person to email is crucial to your success.

But…

How do you find these email addresses free of charge?

Well… We came up with a 4 step process to find anyone’s email address.

Depending on the type of websites sometimes will be easier than others to find proper contact information. We divided them into three types, single author, multi-author and a company website.

What are the differences?Proven ways to find anyone's email address

a. A website with 1 author (bloggers).

A Web site with a single author is ok to find general contact emails (contact@site.com, etc). Generally, the same person managing the generic email manages the whole site, including the content.

b. A website with multiple authors (media).

A multi-author website, we can’t use general contact email because you will never get a reply. In this case, we need to find the personal email address of the journalist covering the content or category relevant to what you are trying to pitch.

c. A company website

These are your regular small businesses website. In this case, like the single author website is ok to test with a general contact email since they offer some sort of services and much likely they will read it. The conversion rate in this type of website is not that high because often the person that responds (customer service) is not the one in charge of taking important decisions for the company.

Got it?

Let’s continue to the steps.

1 – Run a http://whois.sc/domain.com query.

Whois Domain

By running this query on your browser bar you can find the WHOIS information (contact information) of the person who registered the domain. This method works best for single author and company websites. Also, sometimes people purchase a domain privacy protection that won’t allow you to get their email address.

2 – Use Social Networks to Prospect

Name Google Search

Once you know the name of the person you are looking for, we’ll look for their name to see what social accounts they have on Google using this query.

First and Last name of the person” inurl:linkedin.com OR inurl:angel.co OR inurl:twitter.com OR inurl:facebook.com OR inurl:instagram.com OR inurl:youtube.com

Found their profiles? Cool…

Now, let’s stalk them!

Facebook

Small businesses and bloggers usually have a Facebook Page and often list a contact email on their Page. Check their “About” or “Contact” page on their site.

Twitter

If they list a website in their bio, visit the website and refer to the other steps to find their email.

Linked In

When visiting their profile, make sure you have the Email Hunter browser extension installed in your browser – you’ll see a red button appear by their profile. Click it and let the plugin try and find their email from LinkedIn.

Instagram

Check their profile biography. People usually list their website or their email address for any business inquiry. By visiting their website, refer to the other steps to find their email.

YouTube

Click on their “About” tab and see if they have an email listed.

4 step by step proven ways to find anyone's email address for free. Click To Tweet

3 – Using browser plugins

BuzzStream’s Buzzmarker browser plugin

We use BuzzStream as a tool to manage outreach targets. They built [what I think] is the best browser plugin out there, the Buzzmarker. The Buzzmarker scans the page you’re on and looks for social profiles, names and contact info. Not only is it an incredible time saver, but it syncs with your Buzzstream database.

Download the Buzzmarker plugin here

This tool generally only finds the right contact info for smaller, single author or blog sites.

Email Hunter browser plugin

Hunter Plugin

There’s a number of browser plugins that help to find email addresses, but this is the one we’ve had the most success with. The plugin runs checks with names and domain to find the right email address. It’s accurate, fast and free.

Download the Email Hunter plugin here

Connect by Clearbit Gmail Plugin


This is by far our favorite. After installing, open Gmail, on the top right you will see a ClearBit link, all you have to do is input the domain.com you are looking for and it will list all the available contacts along their position within the company. The plugin is free for 100 searches a month.

Download the Email Hunter plugin here

4 – Browsing the website author, about or contact pages.

The most overlook step when trying to find someone’s email address is to check the contact or about page on their website or if is a single or multi-author blog, their author page.

In conclusion… Here is what our workflow looks like.

Find anyone's email address workflow

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed this article.

Until next time.

Miki Vicioso

I'm a Digital Strategist, Entrepreneur and multiple businesses owner. I run the digital agency Scale and an unlimited graphic design monthly plans startup named Designer Task.

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Also published on Medium.