Victoria Yu is a Business Writer with expertise in Business Organization, Marketing, and Sales, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.
Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.
Updated on July 12, 2023
How to Find Anyone’s Business Email Address
What’s a Cold Email?
How Do I Find One Person’s Email Address?
The first step to making a sale these days is often acquiring an email address. Once you’ve got that, you can make your cold email pitch and hopefully start the ball rolling toward a sale.
So what’s the best way to get email addresses of potential customers? Some will of course be easy to find. But with privacy and security concerns in mind, many people are uncomfortable publicly sharing their personal or professional email, so it could take a bit of digging.
But don’t worry. When it comes to finding business email addresses for your outreach campaigns, you’ve come to the right place, as this guide walks you through nearly a dozen of the most successful methods to find business email addresses.
Cold emails are a low-cost way to make first contact with a qualified potential customer and can often lead to a sale.
To find a lead’s email, you could do a Google search for their name and employer, check their company website and social media accounts, or use an email lookup service.
Some more involved methods are to ask for a referral, subscribe to their email list, leverage their phone number, extrapolate from other email addresses, or use an email permutator.
What’s a Cold Email?
Let’s start at the beginning of the customer-company relationship.
Much like a cold call, a cold email is an unsolicited email to a prospect you and your company have never contacted before.
Cold emails are not just for sales; they can also work for job prospecting, networking, collaborations, and just about any other type of professional connection.
This particular guide, however, focuses on cold emails that aim to make a B2B sale. Unlike sales emails sent in bulk, a cold email is usually researched and tailored to the recipient. It might use an email template or outline, but it will contain more detail than your average copy-and-paste bulk email.
Why Write Cold Emails?
You might be surprised to hear it, but eight out of 10 buyers prefer to be contacted by email rather than a phone call, according to sales consultancy Rain Group. Better yet, Rain found that 77% of buyers had responded favorably to a cold email in the past year.
Sending cold emails is actually a smart way to make a good first impression and move leads toward a sale. And crafting a cold email is pretty straightforward: just take your time researching the lead, draft your message, then edit and polish the message before sending it out.
Last but not least: don’t send bulk emails – just 1 out of 20 buyers is a fan.
Who Should I Email?
Ideally, you’d only target qualified leads – that is, leads that have been confirmed as matching your ideal customer profile, that have a need for your product, and that have the funds necessary to make a purchase.
But it will often be the case that the new lead will be largely unfamiliar, and you’ll need to do some research before crafting your email pitch. Check out sources such as the lead’s company website or LinkedIn profile to learn more details about them before composing your email.
How Do I Write a Cold Email?
A cold email is a carefully-crafted message meant to build a connection, hook your reader, and entice them, all in a one-minute read.
How Do I Find One Person’s Email Address?
You’ve found a company that fits your ideal customer profile and might have some serious interest. Now you need to find someone high enough on the totem pole to make a purchase: a manager, department head, or executive.
Once you’ve found a name, you’ve got a lot of options for finding their email. Check out our list below: we’ve compiled 11 of the best methods to find someone’s business email. These methods are ranked by the amount of effort involved, with the easiest first.
The simplest method, and the one you’ll likely do reflexively, is to Google it. Enter the potential lead’s full name into the search field and tack on “email address.” You could include the name of their employer as well.
For a more complex search, brush off those Boolean operators and use tools such as quotation marks, pluses, and minuses to hone in on the person’s name and words like “email” and “contact.”
With a bit of luck, you’ll find the individual’s page on the company website, where their email is prominently displayed. Or you might be led to their personal website, which will provide further info.
2. Business Website
The next option is to visit the website of the person’s employer. You should be able to find the site by Googling the company name. Once you’re there, review the “Contact,” “About us,” and “Staff” pages and see if your lead is listed there with an email address.
Even if you don’t find your lead’s email, make note of the other company email addresses you find along the way – you may need them later on.
3. Social Media
Your lead may have put their email address in a social media post or profile. Start with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter before moving to Instagram and TikTok.
Their email address could be hidden in plain sight in their account bio but not appear in the Google search because they replaced the “@” with the word “at” or the period with the word “dot.” This form of privacy protection is especially popular on Twitter to prevent spam.
There’s also a chance the person’s email address is embedded in an image or video, in which case it won’t be found by a search engine. If you don’t find their email address on any of their social media accounts, you could attempt to connect and send a message on the social media platform.
This is perfectly acceptable to do on LinkedIn because the site is focused on careers and networking. It might also be fine to do on the other sites, as long as it’s done respectfully and without aggression.
4. Email Look-Up Services
Usually for a fee, lookup services such as Hunter, Find That Email, and Whitepages are often able to find email addresses if given a full name. These services can also provide further details like a phone number and street address.
If you’re looking for a small business owner, WHOIS (or who.is) is a domain search tool that will provide the contact info of a website’s registrar and administrator. There’s a chance the business outsourced this work, but the lookup is free, so there’s no harm in checking.
5. Check Your Own Contact List
If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you or another sales rep might’ve already gotten in contact with the lead and simply forgotten about it. Check your CRM and all of your company’s contact lists. Ask colleagues if they’ve ever contacted the company – you might have had the email address this whole time!
But even if you don’t find it, you might find the phone number or email address of one of their coworkers, which you might use later in the search.
6. Ask Someone to Refer You
If you know someone in the same industry or company, or find a mutual friend on social media, contact them and ask if they’d be willing to put you in touch with your lead. They might also provide advice on how to approach your lead or suggest other potential prospects.
7. Subscribe to Their Email List
If your target company has a fairly large customer base, there’s a chance they have a newsletter or email list. Subscribe, and once you’ve become familiar with their approach, email the newsletter administrator a question. With a little luck, this will spark a conversation that will put you in touch with your lead.
Alternatively, search the company website for a support email; the customer service rep on the other hand may oblige and give you your lead’s email address.
8. Use Their Phone Number
By this point you might’ve gotten the lead’s phone number. Plug it into a reverse lookup tool such as Spokeo, which could spit out the email address and other contact information.
Or you could switch gears and cold call your prospect. A phone conversation could be better for building rapport, and may provide you with intel faster than internet research would. Then, once your lead has warmed up to you, ask for their email so you can send more details about your product.
9. Trial and Error
We’re starting to get a bit desperate, so it’s time to dig up the emails of your lead’s colleagues and coworkers we came across earlier in the search.
From the emails you’ve got, determine the company’s email name pattern and make an educated guess about your lead’s email. This may not work, especially if your lead has a common name, but it’s worth a shot.
But wait! Before you send emails to these possible addresses, it’s best to validate the email address to make sure it won’t bounce. Online tools such as Hunter’s Email Verifier can tell you whether or not an email address is real.
Gmail is able to verify all Google email addresses, which could help if your target business uses Google Workspace to provide their business email addresses. These verification services are free and only take a moment, so it’s always worth checking.
10. Use an Email Permutator
Finally, we have the email permutator, an online tool capable of turning a person’s name and company name into a list of possible email addresses following common business email patterns such as the ones listed above. Metric Sparrow and MailMeteor are free and respected online permutator tools.
If you frequently permutate email address lists, you could make your own permutator program in Google Sheets or Excel; here’s an open-source version you can copy. As with the previous method, run your list of email addresses through an email verifier to ensure there’s a real person on the other end.
Cold emails might seem outdated in such a high-tech world, but sending a personalized email remains an effective way to reach key clients, stand out from other sellers, and close a sale.
Once you’ve found the perfect lead, this list of email-finding techniques could open the door to a great sales pitch and a new happy customer – all from the comfort of your office.
FAQs on Finding Business Email Address
How do I get a lot of lead emails at once?
If you’ve decided to start cold emailing but have no customers to email, lead databases like ZoomInfo, Lusha, and UpLead can provide thousands of qualified leads’ email addresses for a fee. The quality of these leads depends on the provider, however.
How do I get my recipient to open and respond to my emails?
Just because you sent an email doesn’t mean the recipient will open it or respond: only about 2% of recipients respond to cold emails, according to media group Fast Company.
To improve your open rate, make your subject line short and attention-grabbing. To make sure recipients read your emails, personalize the content to each recipient, and keep it short and sweet. Finally, to improve your reply rate, have a clear and specific call to action.
Why should I write cold emails over cold calling or cold messaging?
Out of the big three cold outreach methods (phone, email, and online message), why would you ever choose to write an email? Isn’t it just the unhappy middle child of personal selling?
Calling, emailing, and online messaging represent a sliding scale of personal attention to the client, with online messaging via tools like Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram, being the most casual. In general, we recommend against using online messages for sales.
There’s no guarantee your prospect regularly checks their chat apps and social media. And if they do, a social media message is generally seen as unprofessional; they may even think it’s a scam!
Though a phone call might show the most respect, it can be inconvenient for your potential client. They may be in a meeting or in a distant time zone and sleeping. And if you plan on delivering your entire sales pitch during that first call, you may end up wasting a chunk of their time.
Meanwhile, there’s little limit on how much information you can include in an email. Plus, your recipient can open, read, and refer back to your email at their leisure. Maybe they’ll see it on Friday, open it and give a quick glance on Monday, and then finally read it thoroughly on Wednesday, when they have time.
Considering this, it’s no wonder prospects prefer to be contacted by email! Additionally, choosing to initially contact the prospect by email doesn’t mean you’re stuck emailing them forever. In your cold email you could set up a call or urge them to call you when they’re able.
Then, once you’ve built a strong relationship with your client post-sale, you can connect with them on industry forums and social media.