If you need to find someone’s email address and all you have is a name, there are a few free options you can try. If those don’t work, you may need to resort to paid options. We’ll list them for you here. Keep in mind, though, that the tools you need depend on the information you need.
Do you need to locate the email address of a long-lost friend or colleague? Or do you need to find email addresses for an extensive list of leads? Many of the free options will work well for the former, but if you need a lot of data be prepared to pay just a little. But don’t worry. It’s a small price to pay for the time you’ll save manually researching a long list of names!
We have over 5 tricks and tools here you can use to find someone’s email address with just a name:
- Search Engines
- Social Media
- Blogs and Websites
- Trial and Error
- Verification and Lookup Tools
Find the ones that work best for you and get to emailing responsibly today!
1. Search Engines
You may or may not have tried this already, but it can work if done correctly. Google is the most obvious choice, but DuckDuckGo is another you might not be familiar with.
You probably turn to your favorite search engine when you need information. Contact information should be no different. If it’s listed publicly, chances are Google can pull it up. What you need to search is your prospect’s name + “email” or name + “contact”. This option is free and easy, but you might have to sort through a list of results if your prospect has a fairly common name.
If you have more information, you can use it too. For example, name + company title + position. Or, if you get a long list of results you can try to narrow it down geographically by city or state if you have that information.
Last, try an Advanced Google Search. This works well if you are looking for a company email address. Enter firstname.lastname@example.org. Sift through the results. If there are none or you don’t see what you’re looking for, try other variations. We’ll talk about this more in the Trial and Error section of this article.
If this search engine is a bust for you, try your luck with DuckDuckGo.
DuckDuckGo.com is an internet privacy browser you can use just like Google. They pride themselves on not tracking your activity. When you search on DuckDuckGo, you get the same results as everyone else. Google results, on the other hand, might be affected by previous searches.
If you’re tired of your default browser or just want to maintain a modicum of privacy, you can search a name + @domain.com to get results for a list of email addresses that match. The problem with searching @domain.com on Google and other search engines is that @ is also associated with social media tags. So if you want to try to search this way, make sure you use an alternate browser like DuckDuckGo.
2. Social Media
Social media is a great way to find people because it’s so popular and there are so many platforms you can use. Only about 8.5% of outreach emails are answered. So connecting on social media first can help increase your chances of getting your email in front of your intended recipient. We’ll cover three platforms here: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Although there are so many social media platforms, Facebook is still relevant. Plus, you can search both personal and business pages to find contact information. This doubles your chances of getting the information you need.
If your prospect doesn’t have an email listed on either a personal or business page, try sending a message asking to connect. Depending on what you need the email address for, you might try just asking for it.
Twitter users sometimes include their email addresses in tweets or on their bio. However, they might be disguised to keep them hidden from bots. It might look like “name dot domain” or “name at domain” instead of “name.domain” or “name@domain”.
Twitter also has an advanced search you can use to search your prospect’s tweets. Use keywords like “at,” “dot,” “email,” “reach,” or “contact” in your search. You can customize your search by choosing exact phrases to look for, words to ignore, hashtags, specific accounts, and timeframes.
You can try drafting a concise tweet with your intention and request for your prospect’s email address. Twitter also has a direct messaging feature which might get more attention than a reply or a mention. But, depending on the privacy settings, you might need to already be following each other for messaging to be allowed.
There is also an app called All My Tweets that generates a list of anyone’s last 3200 past tweets. Just login to your Twitter account. Enter the Twitter handle of the person or website you’d like to search. Then hit Ctrl+F to search for keywords that might lead you to an email address.
The process for researching prospects on LinkedIn is similar to that of Facebook and Twitter. Search for the person you’d like to contact and see if there is an email address listed on his or her profile. If you aren’t already connected, give that a try and, of course, see if you can just request the information. Or if you have a mutual connection you can ask for an introduction!
If you are already connected, you can message your prospect for the information or see if LinkedIn has access to it. If so, you can export your LinkedIn connections data. Click “Me” at the top of the LinkedIn homepage, and select Settings and then Privacy. From the Privacy tab, under How LinkedIn Uses Your Data, select Getting a Copy of Your Data and request archive for your connections.
Then, you’ll receive an email with all of your connections’ email addresses in a spreadsheet. Make sure you use this information responsibly or you could lose your LinkedIn account.
3. Blogs and Websites
There are two ways searching blogs and websites works: either your prospect is the owner of the blog or website or is an employee of the company that owns the blog or website. Either way, there are a few places you can check and tools you can use if you know your prospect is associated with the website.
If the person you’re trying to reach has a blog or a website, you can check these to see if you can dredge up an email address. Look for pages like “Author Page,” “About Us,” “Contact Us,” and “News”.
“About Us” and “News” pages are going to be more common if the person you are looking for works for a company that has a blog or website. If your prospect isn’t listed, you can use another email address that is listed to guess what your prospect’s might be. Just follow the same format using his or her name.
Or you can reach out to an admin to either ask to get in touch with your prospect or to verify an email address that you might have been able to piece together using a standard format. A “News” page might list a public relations contact if this is the person you’re trying to get in touch with.
Typically, the “Contact Us” page will offer a generic form you can submit in lieu of a personal email. This can still be useful if you want to get in touch with the author of the blog or owner of the website. Submit the form with your intention and request an email address for further communication.
If the contact form messages are outsourced to a virtual assistant or other employee or partner, you can request to get in touch with the person you are looking for. You might get a response with the information you need or even a direct response from your prospect if the message gets forwarded.
Many blogs and websites offer the option to subscribe to a mailing list for newsletters and updates. You can try this route in the hopes of connecting with your prospect directly. Again, depending on your prospect’s role in the business, you might have to go through one or two people to get him or her.
Just reply to one of the emails and state your purpose. Just like submitting a contact form, you might get the information you need, or the prospect will respond to you directly. It just depends on your message and the company’s specific communication process.
When website owners register their domain, they are required by law to enter their contact details. This data is collected and stored in the website’s Whois Information and is publicly available unless the owner specifically requests that his or her public information be hidden.
To find this data, search the domain of the email you are looking for on who.is or similar lookup tool. This works best for websites of independent business owners, entrepreneurs, writers, etc. because they are the most likely to register their own domains under their own contact information.
4. Trial and Error
If you have someone’s name and need his or her email address, you might need to use the name to find other information first. You should be able to find an associated company, blog, or website. If you can find any email address for the same company, blog, or website, you can use that domain and/or format to try to reach your contact.
If you find email@example.com, you might have to try a few variations of your prospect’s name at that same domain. But if you find anyone’s email address, try to copy the format. Is it first initial + last name? Firstname.lastname? Then plug in your prospect’s name and give it a shot.
Trial and error can be risky, especially if your prospect has a common name. If the email address is invalid, you’ll receive an error message and then you’ll know you got it wrong. But if it is valid for someone else, you’d hate to send your email to the wrong person.
To check your guesses before sending the email, you can use an email verification tool. This will tell you whether the email address is valid, invalid, or unknown. Just enter the email address you’d like to verify and see if your guess is right before sending the trial email.
5. Email Verification Tool and People Search Service
To avoid unnecessary risk, time, and energy searching the web for your prospect’s email address, you might consider conducting a people search. What this does is locates last known contact information for you. Enter the name of the person you’re looking for and the results will include last known contact information such as address, phone number, and email address if available.
A paid service is the best option if you need email addresses for a long list of names. You can upload the list to a bulk email verifier and verify a number of email addresses in minutes. Or, if you don’t have email addresses at all, you can use a batch append tool to gather the information for a list of names.
Free email verification tools and people search services are not always 100% accurate because it costs money to update the database. So if a website offers the service for free, chances are it isn’t paying to have the information updated regularly.
And email addresses change often as people switch companies, abandon old email addresses that receive too much spam, and change domains. So if you want to avoid sending your email to a spam trap, consider paying for up-to-date data. Searchbug.com verifies information in real-time, there is no subscription required, and you only pay for results.
With just a name, you may not be able to get an email address in one step. But you can find other information such as colleagues or connections, company names, websites, etc. This information can move you closer to getting in contact with the person you’re looking for.
Use online searches, messaging options, and people search service to get in touch with one or two individuals as the need arises. To get email addresses in bulk, try Searchbug’s email verification tool and batch append tool. You can get the information you need in minutes. You don’t need a subscription. Just pay for what you need!
Most importantly, make sure you only use trusted websites and tools to get accurate information. And don’t forget to use that information responsibly. Check out our article on “How to Avoid Spam Filters” to make sure your email makes it to the inbox once you get your prospect’s email address!