If you have someone’s email address, you have the ticket to get in touch with them in a direct and personal way.

But that’s easier said than done. Most people don’t publish their email address for everyone to see. You’ll need to put in work to find it.

In this guide, we’ll show you proven methods — free and paid — that you can use to find anyone’s email address.

  1. 8 Free Ways to Find Anyone’s Email Address

  2. 2 Paid Methods to Help You Find Emails

  3. 4 Ways to Find Emails on Social Media

  4. Verifying Your Email Addresses

  5. How Your Email Source Can Affect Your Response Rates

You’ll end up with a verified email address that you can use to send your prospects a personalized cold email to start a conversation.

Finding Personal vs. Business Emails

In this guide, we’re only going to talk about finding business email addresses.

You should never send prospecting emails to anyone’s personal email address. It’s going to reflect badly on you, and most people won’t want to reply to you if you don’t respect the line between their business and personal life.

So, all of the email finding methods listed below are focused on finding company email addresses.

Dangers of Emailing Non-Existent Addresses

If you’re making up email addresses and hitting send without being certain that the address exists, you’re putting your email address and entire domain at risk.

When your emails bounce – and they will if you’re relying on guesswork – you’ll start getting noticed by email service providers.

You’ll be seen as an untrustworthy sender, and risk having your personal email address and domain blacklisted. Your emails will end up in your prospects’ spam folder, and you’ll be leaving opportunities on the table.

To avoid that happening, take the time to create your prospect list. Verify that the emails you have are accurate, and don’t make anything up.

In the next section, I’ll show you some of the most effective ways to find your prospects’ email addresses.

8 Free Ways to Find Anyone’s Email Address

1. Understand Your Recipients’ Email Pattern and Make a Guess

If you’ve already been in contact with someone at a company, but need to email someone else there (for example, a key decision-maker above them in the hierarchy), you can use the company email pattern to make an educated guess.

Usually, these will be something obvious and simple.

Common email patterns include:

  • {first_name}@company.com

  • {first_name.last_name}@company.com

  • {first_name_initial}{last_name}@company.com

Small companies and startups will usually stick with an email pattern like {first_name}@company.com, and larger companies tend to use both first and last names in their email.

The risk of using this strategy is that you’ll end up sending emails to non-existent email addresses. To make sure you aren’t sending emails to invalid addresses, use a tool like NeverBounce or Dropcontact to verify the emails you’re using.

The main downside of using this method is that it takes time — you’ll need to manually guess and then verify every email you’re trying to send emails to, which isn’t an efficient use of your time.

2. Use an Email Permutator to Find Emails Based on Name and Company Domain

You can use a tool like this Email Permutator or our email permutator spreadsheet to give you all of the potential email pattern options a prospect might have. 

Email permutators suggest email addresses based on commonly used company email address patterns. As long as you know your prospect’s name and the company they work for, you’ll have a shot at finding their email.

It’s simple to use but will require some manual work to verify if the email is correct.

Add in your prospect’s full name (or nickname) and the URL for their company website. The tool will then use that information to give you a list of all common email address combinations.

Technically, you could do this manually. But, this tool automates it for you. Even if your prospect list is small, it’s going to save you time.

Once you have your list of possible emails, you can do further research and run them through an email verification tool to find out if any of them are valid.

I’d strongly caution against sending an email to every single one of these options. The recipient company could have a catch-all email address, and if that’s the case, they’ll receive every email you send – it’ll be obvious you haven’t done your research and are trying to get lucky.

3. Let Gmail Tell You

If you have a list of potential emails, you can use a handy feature in Gmail that will give you an idea of whether or not your email is valid.

Head to your Gmail inbox and draft a new email.

In the send box, paste in your potential email addresses.

If your prospect has a Gmail account, Google will auto-populate their profile with their image, like so:

If the email doesn’t exist on Gmail, then you’ll see a blank profile.

It won’t always work (not everyone uses Gmail or sets up their account with a profile picture). But if it does, it’s a simple and completely free way to find and verify your email addresses.

4. Use Search Operators to Find Emails in Google

If you’re stuck, head to Google.

Then, use search operators to find your target prospect’s email address.

If you add a double quotation mark (“email@domain.com”) search operator around your search query, the search engine will return an exact match of what you’re searching for. 

So, if you want to verify an email address, run a search with the email address you’re looking for, like this:

“{{prospect.first_name}}@company.com”

If the email is listed anywhere publicly on the web, it will be included in your search results.

For example, if you wanted to find Dustin Moskovitz’s (co-founder of Asana/Facebook) email, you can try typing in your best guess at his email address, such as: “dustin@asana.com”.

As you can see, Google finds an exact match on multiple websites, so it’s safe to assume the email address is legitimate.

If there are no results, then either the email doesn’t exist, or it hasn’t been listed publicly anywhere, so you can try another verification method.

This is one of the more time-consuming methods if you want to build a list, because you may need to try multiple variations for every prospect, but it can still consistently deliver results.

5. Check Your Local Chamber of Commerce Directory

It’s not the first place you’ll think to look – but your local Chamber of Commerce is a gold mine for prospecting.

For example, if you were targeting marketing agencies in New York, you can head to the Greater New York Chamber of Commerceand run a search.

You’ll essentially have a prospect list generated for you, with contact details.

Business owners will list their company details here. You’ll be able to see information like:

  • Who owns the business

  • Contact phone number

  • Their email address

  • Information about their company

It’s all public and you won’t need to jump through hoops to see the business directory.

This is a simple way to find emails for people in a specific locale and it's the perfect email finding tactic if you sell to location-dependent businesses, like marketing agencies, real estate agencies, lawyers, or hospitality businesses.

Plus, you’ll already have a great way to break the ice in your cold email as you’re both based in the same city.

6. Subscribe to Their Newsletter or Mailing List

If your prospect runs a newsletter or regularly emails their customers, consider signing up to their newsletter or product/service.

Finding out if someone has a newsletter doesn’t take long – most sites have a clear call-to-action to get you on their mailing list.

Once you’re on it, wait for the emails to arrive.

In many cases (particularly if it’s a small to medium-sized business where a founder or head of marketing runs their newsletter), the email will come directly from a personal email address.

For example, Nathan Latka’s newsletter on SaaS comes from a personal email address.

If you wanted to cold email him, all you’d need to do is sign up for his newsletter.

Another major benefit of this strategy is that you can learn more about your prospect.

You can use the topics they write about to start a genuine conversation and when you reach out they’ll be happy to hear you enjoy their content and aren’t emailing them out of the blue.

7. Listen to Podcasts They’re Guests On

If your prospects are actively building their personal brand, you can probably find them on a podcast.

At first, this is going to be time-consuming.

Do you have hours to spend listening to podcasts just to find one email address? No.

If you’re strapped for time, there are two options. First, check the podcast show notes. Most podcast hosts will add all of the key details from the episode to the show notes, and if your prospect shared their email, it will be listed here.

If there are no show notes, fast forward to the end of the episode.

Podcast hosts will usually round off an episode by asking their guest a question:

“Where can people learn more about you and get in touch?”

Usually, people will provide a social media handle, but many will also give out their email addresses if the podcast is lesser-known. If they’re a well-known figure, they are less likely to hand out their email, but you’ll already have an icebreaker when you reach out to them on social media. 

Most people will be happy to hear from you, particularly if you show that you’ve listened and learned from them.

That said, I’d recommend listening to the whole podcast episode that your prospects are on. It can act as a great way to learn about how they think about their business, and you’ll likely find a few uncommon but highly relevant and unique conversation starters.

8. Ask Your Prospect’s Customer Support Team

If you want to get in touch with a busy decision-maker, whether it’s a head of sales, CEO, or HR manager, you’ll need their email address. But, it’s not always going to be publicly available. Despite that, you’ll still have a way to get in touch with the company via their customer support channels.

Using your prospect company’s live chat or support email, reach out.

Let them know that you’re looking to get in touch with someone at their company, for example:

“Hi there, I’m looking to connect with the person in charge of recruiting at {{company.name}}. Noticed you’re hiring a {{prospect.custom.Job_Vacancy}} and I know someone who’d be a perfect fit.”

As long as your message has clear value for the company you’re reaching out to, most people will be happy to refer you to the best person.

2 Paid Methods to Help You Find Emails

1. Use an Email Finding Tool

There are tools designed to help you find anyone’s email address from their social media profiles, or based on information you know about them.

Some will let you search for emails one-by-one. Others will make assumptions based on emails they have for other people in a company.

Most of these email-finding tools crawl the web for emails that are listed publicly and bring them into their tool where you can get access to them.

Some popular and effective email finding tools include:

The tools all work slightly differently. As an example, if you visit your prospect’s LinkedIn profile and click the Skrapp extension, the tool will show you if it can find a valid email for them.

Most email finders have a free trial or offer a limited amount of free search credits, so you can start finding emails for free. If you want to access a high volume of emails, nearly every tool out there will ask you to pay.

If the person you want to email doesn’t have any publicly available contact information, some tools will give you a ‘best guess’ email. It’ll be an assumption based on the most common email pattern used at a company, but the tool can’t verify that it actually exists.

The accuracy of these email-finding tools can vary, so be careful when using the emails in your cold emails and make sure you verify them before using them.

You can also go to the sources directly to see what context the email is used in.

2. Buy Access to an Email Database

There are a variety of email address databases out there, like Apollo, ZoomInfo, Uplead, and others that you can find with a quick Google search. They come at different price points, but as an example, UpLead costs $79 per month for 200 email-finding credits. ZoomInfo is more pricey, but if you’re consistently running outreach and need access to high-quality B2B data, it’s another good choice. 

These contact databases contain millions of data points about companies and key decision-makers, including email addresses, phone numbers, LinkedIn profiles, and more.

Search for the person or company you want to contact, and you’ll see available and verified contact details they have.

But, there’s a catch.

A typical email database decays at 22.5% per year, for reasons like:

  • People switching jobs

  • People opting out of their emails being stored

Because of this, you can’t just export a list of emails and throw them into your cold email tool.

If you do, you’ll see a high number of bounces, which will hurt your email deliverability

To make sure the emails you download are accurate you’ll need to verify the emails in an email verification tool. It’s an extra step but will pay off in the long run. You can link your email verification provider with QuickMail to keep your workflow smooth.

As you upload your prospects to a Bucket, choose the ‘Verify emails’ option and select your email verification provider.

If you choose to reject invalid emails you’ll ensure prospects with potentially invalid email addresses are never added to your campaigns.

If you’re confident that your cold email campaigns will generate new business, then the cost of access to an email database will be worth it.

4 Ways to Find Emails on Social Media

1. Check their LinkedIn Profile Contact Info Section

You’re probably using LinkedIn as part of your sales prospecting workflow already.

As you’re reviewing your prospects’ profiles, check if they’ve filled out the “Contact Info” section.

Not everyone does, but some will. 

If you can see the Contact info link, click it, and a new window will open.

You’ll be able to see the contact details they’ve made public, and if you’re lucky, their email address will be there for you.

It’s that simple.

The downside to this approach is that some people will include a personal email address rather than their company email address. If that’s the case, avoid emailing them on their personal one — you should never use people’s personal email addresses in a cold email campaign related to your business.

This method has a low-to-medium success rate, but it can work, particularly if your prospect is active on LinkedIn and uses it as a way to expand their personal network.

2. Ask Them Directly (and Politely)

If you’ve already talked with someone on LinkedIn, Twitter, or at an event, then you can keep things simple.

Rather than trawling the web to find their email, just ask them for it.

Even if you’ve only had a single conversation, if you gave a good impression, most people will be happy to provide contact details for you to follow up with them.

The key part is that you need to promise value in some way and show you’re not just interested in selling to them.

This could mean:

  • Sending them a useful resource you mentioned

  • Continuing your conversation on a topic you’re both interested in

You can then build the relationship and if their company would be a good fit for your product/service, see if they’d be interested in learning more.

If someone doesn’t want to give you their email, it’s a sign that they didn’t feel the interaction warranted them handing it over. There’s nothing to worry about — if you continue to engage with their content in an authentic way there are still going to be opportunities to connect with them in the future. 

3. Check Their Facebook Company Page

Another place to find emails is on a Facebook Company Page.

If you’re targeting small businesses, the founder or CEO may have set this page up themselves in the early days of their new venture and included their own email address.

In other cases, you’ll see a generic company address, like “info@” or “support@”. If that’s the case, you can still send a friendly email asking to be put in touch with the person you’re trying to contact.

Checking a Facebook page will only take 30 seconds, so it’s worth a shot. You won’t get a hit every time, but considering how simple it is to check, you might as well if you can’t yet afford to buy expensive email-finding tools.

This is generally more relevant if you’re emailing decision-makers at B2C companies, as today, there’s a high portion of B2B companies that don’t invest significant resources into their Facebook presence. 

If it’s clear the company hasn’t recently been active on Facebook then make sure to verify the email address before you use it, as it might be out of date.

4. Dig into their Tweets with Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter’s Advanced Search tool is an undervalued feature of the social platform.

You can use it to search the whole of Twitter for tweets mentioning your prospects’ email addresses.

You can narrow down tweets by:

  • The exact words they include (such as “my email is”, “@”, or “email” )

  • Accounts that sent the tweet

  • The date range it was sent in

If your prospect is active on Twitter and regularly has conversations with people in their industry, chances are, they may have tweeted at someone to send them an email in the past.

This tactic has a surprisingly high hit rate, but you have to be willing to experiment with the search terms you’re looking for (some people won’t write their email out, but may add brackets or spaces to stop it being as easy to find).

Verifying Your Email Addresses

Before reaching out to any prospect on your list, make sure to verify their email address.

There are a range of effective email verification tools on the market, including:

You can also verify your emails directly from QuickMail, and before any emails are sent to your prospect their email address validity will be checked.

Verifying your emails is a simple but powerful way to reduce the number of bounced emails in your campaigns, protecting your sender's reputation, and improving your deliverability.

Something to Consider: The Email Source Can Affect Your Response Rates

The source of your email can be a conversation starter.

For example, if your prospect is on a podcast and tells listeners they can get in touch via email, the podcast topic is a conversation starter.

If you met them at a conference or event and you swapped details, that’s a perfect way to open your email.

However, if you found their email using Google or an email finding tool, you’ll still need to research to find a conversation starter. Don’t assume that just because you found their address that they’re going to want to talk to you.

A Word of Warning: Finding an Email Address Does Not Mean You Should Reach Out

Before we wrap things up, I need to warn you that just because you can find someone’s email easily, it doesn’t mean you should use it.

Before you use any of the tactics in this article, make sure you know who your ideal customer is.

It’s a cliché, but if you’re emailing people who don’t fit your ideal customer profile just because you can find their contact details, cold email isn’t going to work for you and your business.

You’ll get no replies, and risk getting marked as spam if what you sell isn’t a perfect fit for the person you’re emailing. After a few weeks, you’ll write it off as something that just doesn’t work for your company (even though it probably would if done well).

Take your time to narrow down your ideal client profile.

Figure out exactly who you should be emailing.

Identify their pain points, and make sure you’re emailing them about something they’ll care about.

Send Personalized Emails and Track Your Outreach with QuickMail

Once you’ve created your prospect list complete with verified emails, it’s time to start sending your cold email campaigns.

Sending these manually is going to be hugely time-consuming. You’ll need to set reminders for every time you want to follow up with a prospect, and you won’t be able to track key metrics like reply rates automatically in Gmail or Outlook.

If you want to improve your productivity and personalize cold emails at scale, QuickMail is for you.

Our platform lets you import your prospect list, build customized outreach sequences with as many follow-up emails as you need, and track your cold email performance.

If you’re working with a team, you can add as many inboxes as you need at no extra cost.

QuickMail is the perfect way to scale up your cold email campaigns without compromising on personalization.

Try QuickMail with a free trial – just click here to get started.