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5 Best Ways to Find an Email Address

There comes a time when the best of us need to find an email address that is nowhere to be found. Whether you’re a journalist hunting for a quote, a PR trying to get coverage or a single gal trying to get in touch with your old high school sweetheart, it’s always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve on how to find the Mr. or Ms. Hard to Find. Some people view the process as stalking but I prefer the word research because how else are you to find any information on this planet. So without further ado, let me enlighten you about five of the best ways to find an email address.

1. Be a Detective

A little detective work never hurt nobody. As a matter of fact, even though it may sometimes feel like you’re playing a round of Where’s Wally, doing some independent research might just find you the email you were looking for. Start with the basics: google their name, check Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media for any information. Usually you will be able to find an email address or at least a way to contact them. When searching with Google, use quotation marks around their name and even add modifiers such as “email”, “contact information” etc. to make the search more to the point. With Facebook and Twitter, check their profile info because usually there is an email somewhere.

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Photo by GlowPlug

2. Online Tools That Can Find an Email Address 

If being Sherlock Holmes isn’t your kind of thing, let the tools within the Internet help you. There are several tools out there that can help you find an email address but Thrust.io is especially a good one where by typing in a person’s name and web domain, it will dig up the email for you. Snapbird is also worth mentioning as it will go through your hard-to-get person’s Twitter feed to find useful information, in this case their email address. These tools aren’t bulletproof but worth trying. However, if you do hit a brick wall and end up in a mental fight with Thrust or Snapbird, move on to the next strategy rather than get stuck and annoyed – the Internet may know a lot but sometimes it needs a human touch.

Thrust

3. Eenie Meenie Miney Mo

Make a guess. Yes, you heard it right. Making a guess on someone’s email works wonders if the person you are after works in a publication or a company of some sort (don’t we all). So if you need to know John Smith’s email and he works, let’s say at BBC, and all other BBC emails are in the form of name.surname@bbc.co.uk then the chances are that John Smith’s email is john.smith@bbc.co.uk. This is a trial and error way of finding an email but can work. With this process, it’s good to keep in mind not to send any sensitive information until you have received a reply confirming it actually is the correct email of the person you were trying to contact.

4. Facebook

This is where things get a bit scary. Why? Because with Facebook you can pretty much send an email to anyone as long as the person is registered on Facebook. With this tactic, you won’t technically find out their email, not directly anyway. But you can send them an email in a creepily accurate way which will pop up in the email address they have used to register their Facebook account with. So, when they read it and reply, voila, you have their email and better yet, a response from them which surely was the point in the first place, not just finding the email address itself.

Here’s how you crack the code:

1. Go into the person’s Facebook profile URL, in this case our good old fella John Smith’s, which should be in the form of https://www.facebook.com/john.smith?fref=tsblahblahblah

2. Delete everything in the URL beyond the question mark and replace the beginning with “graph”: graph.facebook.com/john.smith?

3. Press enter. Now, a coding page should pop up but ignore everything else besides the last part which is the username so in this case “john.smith”. Add the username to “@facebook.com” which in this case would be john.smith@facebook.com and there’s your email. I would recommend testing it with your own email first before emailing away tens of love letters.

Facebook

5. Do It Like a Pro

This takes all the fun away from the hunt and kills the buzz when you do find the email address, but they are genius. Who are they? Cision, PresswireGorkana and Fashion Monitor but these are just a handful of them. What are they? Information databases of all possible journalists, writers and all round word wizards but more importantly, the databases include their email addresses. Why should one use them? It’s an easy yet costly way for those in the hunt of coveted journalists’ email addresses and store precious information that is only a click away. Everything has its price (they cost several thousand pounds a year) but when time becomes somewhat more important than money, these are a good way to tackle the problem.

Alternative Action

As unpleasant as it may be, we need to be willing to face the cold harsh fact that one’s email might not be possible to find and we may need to resort to other ways of communication. So ask yourself: Do they even use email? I know I know, every normal person who lives on this planet circa now should have an email and maybe they do but if they don’t use it, there is no point in sending them 10 emails. So if you have found their email and they’re not replying, try other means of communication. You might find out that the reason they haven’t replied is because they’re not interested in what you have to say but it’s better to make sure than wonder for the rest of your life. Instead, tweet them, contact them via Facebook or simply pick up the phone and give them a call.

Now, I know the chances of you finding out their phone number if you didn’t even know their email isn’t high but…well, that’s a whole other issue for a different blog post.

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