In this article, I'm gonna show you how to find anyone's email address by name.
Whether it's for B2B sales prospecting, link building strategy, contacting journalists or getting in touch with potential talents, finding someone's email will become your secret weapon.
Actually, I will go through all the different processes that we've used at lemlist to find thousands of email addresses of potential partners or prospects to reach out to, helping us keep a 30% month over month growth in the last year!
We will dive into:
- How to find someone's email for free?
- Which data enrichment tool to use and why?
- What are the best databases on the market?
- What are the best chrome extensions on the market?
We'll also compare the advantages and drawbacks of each method, so you can choose the one that fits your needs. 😇
Before diving into what are the best tools, let's try to understand how email addresses work.
If you look at how work emails are typically structured, you'll notice that there are some similarities.
In many cases, business email addresses are created using various combinations of an employee's first and last name, in front of the company's domain.
This combination is called a "pattern."
In any given company, you'll usually find that all of the email addresses follow the same pattern (because it makes it easier).
For example, at lemlist, our email pattern is the firstname@domain(dot)com.
Ultimately, if you understand the company's email pattern, you can technically get the email address of anyone who works there.
So, how can get that pattern? What's the best way to find the email address of the person you're reaching out to?
How to find someone's email address by hand
The first step is to analyze and find the right email pattern!
The email permutator method
You can try to figure out all possible combinations yourself, but there is a better way. There's this nice free tool called Email Permutator.
By simply putting the first and last name of the person as well as their company domain, all the combinations will be provided to you in seconds.
Ok, what's next?
It's time to test these combinations and discover which one is the real one.
But how can I do that Guillaume?
Easy, let me show you through a practical example. 🤩
Let's take an example and try to dig out Francois' email address, one of two technical geniuses at lemlist!
Step 1: let's enter his information in the Email Permutator
Step 2: In order to verify the right email address, there is a little trick that you can do. Go to Gmail and paste all the different email addresses.
If the right one exists, you'll be able to see it directly. Gmail will show you the information of the person you want to contact.
Pretty sweet, right?
As you can see from the example above, the valid one is super easy to spot!
At this stage, some of you might be asking themselves:
"But why are we checking the correct email address when we could be sending an email to all those addresses at the same time, and only take the one that doesn't bounce?"
It's ok, it's ok... we've all been there at some point!
To make it as clear as possible: DON'T DO IT!
Sending emails to addresses that don't exist will damage your domain reputation and two things might happen:
- You'll get blacklisted from every internet service provider
- Your account might get blocked, or worse, you'll get banned
Make sure to read our quick guide about email deliverability. In it, you'll learn how to get your emails delivered straight into the inbox of your prospects.
Let's get back to our manual search.
The Google search method
It might sound silly, but the internet is full of resources! All the information is free.
For example, by simply using the query "email@example.com", you can check if the email address exists or not.
By using "" in your search query, you're telling Google to search for results that contain that exact keyword.
Here's how I've found the email from Dropbox's CEO Drew Houston.
Go to their website
It might sound like the dumbest thing to do if you don't want to receive emails, but sometimes people put their email address directly on their website.
That tends to happen if they're freelancers or owners of a small business.
Subscribe to their newsletter 😇
A lot of marketers or founders are using their own email address to send newsletters. Why? Because it creates a unique and stronger connection with their audience.
Ask yourself, would you rather get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org or from Elon Musk himself?
I guess you wouldn't say no to a quick email from Elon, right? 😉
Let's take another example and go to Sparktoro's website:
As you can see, there's a signup form to receive Rand's tricks. After signing up, here is what you get...
... his email 🎉
Well done! You can now go and subscribe to hundreds of newsletters. 😜
Check on LinkedIn
This one might also sound a bit weird if you don't want people to email you.
You'll notice that a lot of people, especially if they're working in sectors like Growth, Partnerships or Sales, put their email address directly on their LinkedIn profile.
Let's take the example of our good friend Jeremy who works at Spendesk. 😎
In two clicks you have access to three important things:
- 💌 his email address
- 📱 his phone number
- 🔑 the pattern of his company - in their case it's email@example.com
Please don't spam Jeremy because he'll ask me to remove him from this article. 😜
With the pattern, you can now find the right person to contact, and you'll be able to find his/her email in a second.
For example, if you want to get in touch with Chloe Lecerf, Product Marketing Manager in the same company, you can leverage the pattern - firstname.lastname@example.org.
But how can you be 100% sure?
Let's go back to our little Gmail/GSuite trick. 😎
Simply copy/paste the domain as if you were going to send her an email. Hover over with your cursor and double check if it exists.
As you can see, the email address is valid! 🎉
You can now say something like:
Thanks a lot Guillaume, that's awesome!
And I'd be like:
You're welcome! I'm glad you find it useful. Make sure to share this article and comment at the end so it can help others too. 🙌❤️
Let's go back to our email address hacks!
Ask for contact info using a generic email address
Generic email addresses are quite often the only ones that you can find on websites. Remember email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org etc...
Behind those addresses are real humans waiting for your email... or maybe not! 🤩
But, real people from the company you're targeting will be reading those emails!
In order to get some valuable information, it's now time to put yourself in your target's shoes. What is the company you're reaching out to looking for?
Is it more sales? More money? Maybe more partnerships?
I mean who isn't, right?
That's exactly what you can leverage here to find contact information.
You can send an email saying that you'd like to make an intro with one of your customers and that you'd like the email address of someone who works in their sales team.
In sales language, it's like asking a sales guy/girl for their bank account number so can send them money. 🤑💸🤑
Will they reply?! HELL YEAH!
Is this ethically correct?
I'll let you draw the line... you're a grown-up. 😘
Here is a screenshot of one of the messages I've used in the past to find an email address.
Ask for an intro using their website live chat
In essence, this approach is very similar to the one above.
If the company has a live chat, why not use it?
I've used the same approach on Drift's website. They've almost made me give up with their exhausting bot, but after repeatedly asking to talk to a human, I had the chance to meet with Lindsey. 🙌❤️
Here's the outcome of our conversation.
Thank you Lindsey! ❤️
Now I can clearly see Drift's email address pattern. 🎉 It's (first letter of the first name)lastName@drift.com.
The rest of the work is now like a walk in the park.
Let's make a quick recap about this manual approach:
- It's free, so if you're cheap French bastard 🇫🇷🥖, go for it
- Anyone can do it, even my 82-year-old grandma who passed my test... love you grandma! 🎉😘
- It's suuuuper time-consuming 😩
Time to have a look at some faster alternatives. Introducing data enrichment tools!
Using data enrichment tools
A data enrichment tool will allow you to get a lot of information about someone by simply inputting first, last, and company names.
But how do you get that info in the first place?
You can do four things:
1) Use social networks like LinkedIn, AngelList, Crunchbase, Facebook...
Here is an example of how to find someone's email on Facebook. Say hello to Des Traynor, Intercom's CEO.
Since most people don't think of Facebook as a way of obtaining information about your prospects, I thought I'd use it instead of LinkedIn.
2) Go on to their website and search for "About us" or "Team" sections.
3) Get the list of all attendees to a specific event.
There are many ways to get a list of attendees to an event and I'll link a great article about that below...
My preferred tactic is to actually use advanced search in Google like: site:mgma.com inurl:attendees.
Mgma.com is the website I want to see Google's results for and I'd like for the URL to include the word attendees.
And voila... 23 pages list of attendees!
Obviously, you can also use a different domain to find the event you're looking for.
And if that doesn't work, make sure to check out this great article on how to get the list of attendees. Huge thanks to Aaron for pointing it out to me. 🙌
4) Use Google X-Ray
In essence, Google X-Ray is simply the marketing way to call an advanced search. 😅
I already mentioned that you could use social networks like LinkedIn to find your target, however, LinkedIn has removed a lot of filters for free accounts so the search is less and less efficient...
But worry no more my friend! With this tool, you're able to retrieve all the filters you've been missing.
Once you get that, you now have the necessary information you need to use a data enrichment tool!
By doing so, you'll be automating all the manual work of finding the right email address.
The most famous ones are:
- Hunter - free for 100 requests - $34/month for 1000 contacts
- Clearbit - $12k per year for 36k contacts
- FullContact - free for 100 requests - $500/month for 50 000 contacts
- Dropcontact - $15/month for 1000 contacts
Every tool has its advantages and disadvantages, but DropContact is the tool I like the most, because of the following:
First, I really like their drag-and-drop interface that's super easy to use. For comparison purposes, FullContact and Clearbit ask you to use their API for such service.
Just drop your excel file or .csv directly on there, and they'll email you the enriched file.
Another reason why I prefer DropContact is the fact they also verify an email address they give you. In other words, they protect you from damaging your domain reputation with a high bounce rate.
For example, Hunter does not verify email addresses by default. When I tested it on 300 contacts, this resulted in a 25% bounce rate. 😱😡
As I mentioned above, getting a high bounce rate is one of the main reasons behind your domain getting blacklisted or worse, having your account blocked.
If you don't quite understand what I'm saying right now, please make sure to watch my video about email deliverability.
Let's make a quick recap about data enrichment tools
- Automatically enrich data based on first, last, and company names
- It's very affordable
- It saves you time compared to the manual methodology
- Takes time to input the data manually, but it's also a great way to add extra personalization
- The email find rate is never 100%... expect results between 40% and 70% depending on your target
In order for you to get the most out of those tools, it's actually possible to link them to the automatic scraping tool. 🤩
Using a scraping tool combined with data enrichment tools
"What the hell is a scraping tool and how am I gonna link this to a data enrichment tool?"
I know, I know, that sounds pretty technical, right?
Don't worry, it's not!
It's gonna be super easy to set up! Trust me 😇
Essentially a scraping tool is a tool allowing you to extract automatically all the data from a website.
Pretty cool right?
Well, that's what the guys at Phantombuster thought and decided to build their amazing tool!
So how does it work?
Step 1: Use the LinkedIn search export API from phantombuster
Essentially, this API will allow you to export all the results from a specific search on LinkedIn.
As you can see below, the setup is super easy and straightforward.
In this example, I've been pretty lazy and inputted only the job title "CEO" in search.
I would advise you to leverage the LinkedIn filters in order to get a more targeted search.
In the end, your targeting is really key so make sure to spend a little bit of time to find your perfect target. 😊
In the end, this "API" allows us to get a .csv file with 1000 LinkedIn URL profiles matching our search criteria (10 results per page over 100 pages) in less than 5 minutes. Pretty sweet! 😎
So what's next?
It's now time to get the email addresses of each profile automatically!
Step 2: Use the LinkedIn profile scraper API
This API allows you to extract the data of all the profiles you want, simply by inputting the URL to their LinkedIn profile.
Lucky for us, we now have a list of 1000 LinkedIn URLs after step 1!
But how exactly can you link to a data enrichment tool?
Well, that's the amazing part about Phantombuster, they're directly integrated with multiple data enrichment tool like DropContact. 😍
Which means that this API will allow you to get all the emails, first name, last name and company name of your target!
If you're not sure how to define the right search criteria, make sure to check my guide on how to build your buyer persona or also called Ideal Customer Profile.
As you can see on the gif, the profile scraper also allows you to save the profile picture as an image and also take a screenshot of the profile which can be used for to personalize your cold emails.
In order for this API to work, it will visit automatically each profile in order to extract the data.
This will allow you to automatically generate a visit on someone's profile at the same time which is a great way to generate interest 😎
Let's make a quick recap about using a scraping tool and a data enrichment tool
- Automatically get a lot of data about your potential target
- Since it's totally automatic, you're saving a lot of time
- Your email find rate is better because you're also getting private emails available on the person's profile
- Since it's automatic, you can't get an ultra-personalized approach for each prospect
- It's a bit more expensive compared to using a simple data enrichment tool
Before giving away my top secrets for best Chrome extensions to find anyone's email address on social networks, let's dive into another type of a tool - Email Databases.
Using online email databases
Those databases include people's name, job titles, emails and much more.
In essence, online databases are often very similar to LinkedIn, except that email addresses are available and that you don't have the same amount of data.
Some online database can actually give you even more data than LinkedIn as they include external data sources. By doing so, they will provide you with the tech stack used by a company, its fundings and yearly revenue which ultimately helps you when you're doing your targeting.
The most well-known ones are:
- LeadFuze - starts at $97 per month
- ZoomInfo - starts at $10k per year
- Uplead - starts at $49 per month
- Datajar - $39 per month
The reason why I really like LeadFuze is because they allow you to have a lot of filters such as Industry, Revenue, Amount raised, AdWords budget...
LeadFuze also adds signals such as when the company is hiring, which can essentially give you an idea on whether or not they're ready to buy or not.
The more filters you have, the better your targeting is. Eventually, that translates into higher reply rates if you adapt your messaging accordingly.
If you're not sure who's your target, make sure to check out how to build your buyer persona for B2B lead generation.
They also give you access to social media profiles in one click. This is great if you want to get more information about the person you want to connect with.
When starting out with databases, you need to make sure that they verify the email addresses they give you.
The workforce is constantly changing and databases are updated only a few times per year. This often leads to a lot of invalid email addresses.
Let's make a quick recap about using online email database:
- You can build your prospect lists in a few clicks
- You can have access to advanced filters all in one place
- It's the quickest method to get a list of prospects
- No database on the market will ever get as much data as LinkedIn in B2B
- Updated regularly but make sure to find one that verifies emails
- Price is often higher compared to other solutions... still affordable
Using email finder chrome extension
In essence, a chrome extension or plugin, allows you to find anyone's email address by simply visiting his or her profile on social networks such as LinkedIn.
The number of email finder chrome extensions on the market is simply huge and finding the one that works best can be overwhelming.
But worry no more my friend, because we got you covered! 😎
We've tested most of the chrome extensions out there in order to find the best ones for both you and our team.
First of all, you'll notice that you have two types of chrome extensions:
- The ones that will give you private emails like johndoe(at)gmail(dot)com or (at)hotmail(dot)com etc.
- The ones that give you company emails like john(at)companydomain(dot)com.
Chrome extensions giving private email address:
- Lusha - 5 free credits per month then starts at $75/month
- ContactOut - 50 free credits per month then you need to contact sales
- RocketReach - 5 free credits per month then starts at $39/month
As most chrome extensions, they super easy to use. Once you're on the person's profile, you simply click on the extension et voila!
You can now get in touch with Vianney, our sexy CTO, via email or send him some text directly. Because, yeah, Lusha also gives you his personal phone number. 😅
However, sending messages to private emails may sometimes sound spammy for some, so you'll have to test how your audience reacts to it.
This is why you can actually use chrome extensions that will give you the professional email address of the person you want to get in touch with.
Chrome extensions giving company email address:
- LeadIQ - starts at $60/month
- Kaspr - 5 free credits per month then starts at $29/month
- Skrapp - 100 free credits per month then starts at $49/month
- Find that email - 50 free credits per month then starts at $29/month
All those chrome extensions have a free plan. That's usually the best route to get started and compare the results based on your target audience.
What I liked about Kaspr is the fact that they do live email verification. This means that they only give verified email addresses. Hence, the bounce rate is close to 0%.
Also, if you're targeting someone working in multiple companies or on multiple projects, Kaspr will be able to identify his/her different email addresses in one click.
The other chrome extension that verifies email addresses directly is LeadIQ. They allow you to build your list directly from the app and include some additional data like the exact location, company size etc.
Again, all these tools have a freemium version and they also tend to perform differently on different targets.
Make sure to try them out and send emails to be sure that it fits your needs. But, ALWAYS mind your bounce rate.
Let's make a quick recap about using email finder chrome extension:
- Finding emails directly from social profiles in one click
- Social networks like LinkedIn are the best place to find this info
- Checking every profile manually can be time-consuming, but allows you to add personalization
Overall, finding someone's email address by name is not difficult. But it can be time-consuming depending on the approach.
In my opinion, using multiple tools and approaches is the best way to get the data you need.
If we decide to quickly recap and compare all the approaches in this article, here's what we'll get:
Hope you guys like this article.
If yes, make sure to share it and comment below! ❤️