Despite the tons of communication mediums that we have today, I still strongly believe email is the most impactful.
In the past, the top marketing methods for a business would include cold calling and direct mailing.
Cold-calling, however, had some problems, namely that it is time-consuming, and it has a low chance to get prospects through the phone. Direct mail used to be useful, but in the advent of today’s technology, snail mail is losing its value.
Almost everyone is now acquainted with email, and there is a much higher chance of someone reading your advertisement if done through email. You can also send up to thousands of them in minutes, and allow your prospect to look over your email during their preferred time.
Especially today, with data suggesting that checking email through their mobile device is becoming increasingly common, and that building personal connections will be more critical.
That is why cold email marketing is slowly gaining traction, especially after being considered as a top-quality marketing channel.
But a cold email campaign is useless if it does not reach its intended target, or reach no one at all. Email marketers, therefore, must know the email addresses of their target prospects.
But how will they, if they do not know the email addresses? Here enters different techniques and tools involved in the search and verification of email addresses, for them to be added into an email listing.
In this article, I will outline what I deem are the easiest and most effective ways and tools you can use to find someone’s email and verify them if they are indeed valid and deliverable. At the end of this post, I hope that this guide help youin your future cold email marketing campaigns.
Find an Email Through a Web Search
A search engine, such as Google or Bing, is a great place to start when trying to find email address information. A search engine scans and sifts through a vast number of databases and websites at once, so searching through a web engine can be your first step.
However, it is basically impossible to move through each result by hand and filter through the addresses to find the one you need. It is essential, then, to use many tools and techniques at your disposal to narrow down the results.
For instance, with Google, search operators can help you find emails by getting specific. As an example, if you are searching for the Gmail address of one certain Carl Jones, you may type “@gmail.com AND Carl Jones.”
Adding other information to your search, such as where a person lives or works, might be of help to your email hunt. Also, if you are sure on the email provider they are using (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, etc.) then you can try to use them separately, like this:
“@gmail.com” AND “@yahoo.com” AND “Carl Jones” AND “Philadelphia”
Or through the use of the OR search operator, such as this:
“@gmail.com” OR “@yahoo.com” “Carl Jones” AND “Philadelphia”
Find An Email Using Social Media
To create a profile on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, one will need an email address. Using this knowledge, you might be able to find someone’s email addresses by scouring their social media accounts.
Visit these sites and find their profiles, the main one, and any others you suspect they are using, and look at the profile sections where their email addresses may show up.
Sometimes a profile page is not set to public, but the owner may still allow the email address to remain visible to anyone so that when someone will want to contact the owner, they can through an email address.
If you are unsure of the social media sites to visit, then you may perform a simple search on Pipl, an identity verification site. The results will show any known social media profiles linked to that specific person.
Now, these first two are obvious email finding methods. Most of the time, they are enough, but in situations where there is no luck, consider the following.
Find An Email Using Hunter.io
Hunter.io, formerly known as Email Hunter, is a great resource that allows its users to find contact information connected to any domain. The site touts themselves as the “most powerful email-finding tool ever built,” citing over 100 million indexed email addresses and effective filters and scoring.
Hunter.io offers the following functions.
1. Domain Search
The Domain Search function enumerates the people working or are associated with a company, and lists their names and email addresses.
2. Email Finder
The email finder function lets you find the email address of a professional or professionals, either one by one or in bulk. Hunter.io finds the most probable and proven email address of anyone in a matter of seconds.
3. Email Verifier
With the email verifier, the user can do a check of whether or not the email address is authentic, letting you send emails with confidence that it is the right contact. Hunter.io’s Email Verifier uses a unique dataset, so it can still return a result when other email verification services couldn’t.
Hunter.io also believes in transparency. Each email address that gets added to their database has public sources and discovery dates that they indicate.
To use Hunter.io, register on their site for free. Then take time to familiarize yourself with the UI and layout; it is pretty straightforward and clean.
The first 100 requests (includes Domain Search, Email Finder, and Email Verifier) are free, and past that, you will need to upgrade to a paid subscription plan of your choice.
Find An Email With Clearbit
Another tool you can use is Clearbit Connect, which guarantees that you can find any email you want in under five seconds.
Clearbit is a little extension that lives in the Gmail sidebar. It shows useful information about the people contacting you through email, and lets you find email addresses from the comfort of your inbox.
Here are the steps to set-up and find and email with Clearbit for your Gmail.
- Firstly, you must add the Clearbit Connect extension to your computer’s Google Chrome. To do this, go to Clearbit Connect’s official website (https://connect.clearbit.com/) and click on the orange “Install for Gmail” button.
- Wait for a few seconds for the extension to be installed. You may have to restart your browser for the extension to be recognized.
- Once the extension is installed, head to your Gmail page then click ‘refresh.’
- When the page reloads, you will see a new link named Connect. Click it to start the Gmail account connection process.
- If you want to, you can choose the free version of the software. You can change this later.
- After the account connects, click on the Connect link again to show a list of options. Click on Find an Email.
- On the search window that pops up, enter the name of a company.
- On the screen will appear the names of employees of the organization you searched for. You can also click on an entry to view his or her detailed information.
- If you want to acquire information on the sender of a mail, then open it and look at the right-hand side of the window, which shows a compiled look of the links associated with the sender, along with personal information.
You can make Chrome smarter with this email finder extension from Clearbit.
Permutation, in mathematics, means the process of arranging the elements of a set into a logical sequence. Permutations are ordered combinations; elements are arranged in a definite order, and the order matters.
In finding an email, permutation means more or less the same.
A method tried, tested, and has stood firm over the years is taking the first and last name of a target and their domain, then combining them in multiple ways. This is the essence of email permutation.
Most people owning an email address use rather unsophisticated email address names based on a combination of variables, such as first and last name, nickname, initials, and birthdate. It does not take a NASA scientist to combine and guess the possible combinations.
However, doing permutations can be a pain, because often there are not only 1,2, or 3 results. That is why it is advised to seek the help of an email permutator.
There are several of those email permutators online. Still, I personally like Email Permutator+ of metricsparrow.com, because it allows its user to permutate addresses for up to three domains at the same time.
This email permutator has been designed to help you guess the email address of the person you want or need to contact. It refines and extends the functionality of Rob Ousbey’s permutator spreadsheet.
It contains features such as:
- A simple but effective interface
- Entry boxes for several domains
- A field for nickname entry
- Direct copying to the clipboard with one button
- Automatic removal of whitespace
- Cross-domain prioritization for multiple domains
- Removed redundant emails
To use the tool, simply fill the needed information, such as first and last names and domains. You can also choose to enter a middle name and nickname for additional permutations.
After clicking permutate, a window will show all the permutation results. Copy all these to your clipboard or a notepad file.
On the LinkedIn website, the Sales Navigator is a tool that will help the user find the right leads and prospects much faster with sales-specific and customized insights, such as lead recommendations.
For finding an email, the LinkedIn Sales Navigator gives you the ability to take a look at the LinkedIn details of your contacts directly through Gmail. This is through the installation of a Google Chrome extension.
- Visit the Chrome Web Store.
- Search for Sales Navigator or Sales Navigator Lite
- Once you find the extension, click Add to Chrome. You may have to restart your browser for it to be recognized.
Once the extension is installed., it will appear on the right-hand side of your Gmail. When you click an email, you will see details about the sender.
So now, we combine the email permutations with the Sales Navigator.
Open your Gmail account, compose and email, then paste the list in the “to” field of the email you are making. There you will see the different email permutations listed in their bubbles.
Hovering over addresses in the cursor will let you see the details on the Sales Navigator sidebar.
If you hover over the email and see a result on the Sales Navigator, then a LinkedIn profile belongs to that address. If there is no matching LinkedIn profile, then the Navigator will also show that.
Also, hovering over any email address will show a matching google account with the full name and a profile picture (or an initial if there is no profile picture). This is one secure method to verify an email address, and may also work for other email providers.
However, permuting emails has its disadvantages.
It only uses a preset number of variables, and these variables cannot be changed. What if the person you are looking for is not using his or her name in an email address?
As with many open-source intelligence (OSINT) tools out there, it will most likely not solve your case, but it gives you a puzzle piece, a place to start. Once those pieces pile up, they will provide a clearer picture.
Also, this technique only makes use of publicly-available data. If people want to keep their email addresses hidden, then this method will not find it.
Moreover, recent developments make it so that very soon, this technique will be entirely unusable.
LinkedIn is shutting down the Sales Navigator for Gmail extension. Yes, that’s right. By the 18th of March 2020, LinkedIn will sunset the extension because their data suggests that the tool is simply not seeing that much meaningful use.
However, do not fret, because you can still access pretty much the same information through Outlook, owned by LinkedIn’s parent company, Microsoft.
Validate the Emails
If you are a digital marketer and are undergoing an email marketing scheme, then a valid email address is a cornerstone for success. It is essential to confirm if your email list is correct and error-free and that the emails included really do exist.
To get a sizable volume of quality emails, you will have to use email validation.
Email validation is a process where an email address can be verified if it is valid and deliverable. It confirms if an address is registered in domains such as Yahoo and Google, and also runs a technique that catches errors and typos.
Most email service providers are also offerors of email validation services, and there are numerous free tools online to help authenticate them.
And one sure-fire way of making sure that the emails are valid is the use of third-party tools.
Neverbounce is one of the best of such tools.
Relevant: Easy ways to contact Google
Validate Emails With Neverbounce
Neverbounce touts themself as the most accurate email verification system on the market today, in addition to an easy to use the platform and fantastic customer support.
Neverbounce was built by its creators based on their own necessity. They were former digital marketers themselves and as such, they are well acquainted with the hardships involved in reaching customers through emails.
Neverbounce focuses on the safety and accuracy of consumer data while making sure that their product works, and works well.
Here is how to get started with Neverbounce.
- Create a Neverbounce account for free.
Visit this link to register with Neverbounce. Creating an account is totally free.
- Sign-in and view the dashboard.
Sign in with the details you registered with. Upon logging in, you will see different tabs on the top right of the page showing the several product offerings of Neverbounce: Clean, Sync, and Verify.
At its most basic definitions, clean is for bulk verification of email listings, verify is for point-of-entry authentication of an email, and sync is for automatic email list cleaning with your chosen integrated platform.
The Apps tab shows external connections you can utilize to integrate Neverbouce’s services to your platform or third-party services.
Under the account dropdown arrow, you will be able to see your purchase and payment history, help pages, and account settings.
“Clean” with Neverbounce
Here are the steps to use the ‘Clean’ option from Neverbounce.
- After navigating to the Clean option, click add a list on the right.
You will be given two options – either you upload a list directly from your computer, or connect to one of their ESP integration options. Neverbounce puts “upload from computer” by default.
- Analyze the list.
You will have the option to analyze your list. This is free, and Neverbouce will give you suggestions on whether or not you should pay to clean the file you uploaded.
- Clean the list.
On the chance that the list will need cleaning, then click on “Clean My List.” There will be two payment options – either you pay with pre-purchased credits, or pay through a credit card.
- Download the results.
The list will begin its validation. When it is complete, you will receive an email notification. Click on “download” on a complete list to save it on your computer. When you click on download, however, you will see different options for custom downloading of segments.
There are several options, but if you only want to be given “valid” results, then click on “Deliverable.” This gives a safe and secure list with valid email addresses you can upload and send from your email provider.
“Sync” With Neverbounce
Here are the steps to use Neverbounce’s “Sync” option.
- Add a list.
Navigate to the Sync tab, then click on the “Add List” button. If you already have a list integration set up through Clean, then you’ll find it listed at the top under the heading “Current.”
If you have no integration yet, click on a provider and connect your account. You will then be able to view available lists on that platform, which you can then choose by clicking “Import to Sync.”
- Select your payment plan and begin the sync.
After selecting a list, you will be prompted to choose between a monthly or yearly payment plan. Note, though, that there is a minimum of a 3-month commitment plan to a monthly subscription.
Once you determine the payment method, Click the “Pay now & Start Sync.” The daily automated list cleaning process then begins.
You can pause a list if you want to stop syncing temporarily and resume it at a later time. You can also remove a synced list from the dashboard, and update or cancel your sync subscription altogether.
“Verify” Emails with Neverbounce
Here are the steps to use the single email verification product of Neverbounce.
- Verify single emails.
In the “Enter Emails to Verify” box, you can enter up to 10 email addresses at a time for authentication. Simply type in the email or emails, and then separate them with a comma or line break, and when satisfied, click the “Validate” button.
Validation requires one credit per email, and the balance of credit is shown at the top part of the page. You can purchase more credits through the website.
- Analyze your results.
Users can find the results of all their Verify transactions going back up to three months or 90 days. To download the available results, click the “Export to CSV” button, which will prompt an automatic download of a CSV file outlining the findings.
The CSV file will contain details such as:
- A timestamp
- The email addresses
- The results
- A “Flags” section that includes additional information about the email address
- Suggested corrections for invalid emails and domain addresses, which could have been misspelled.
And that covers what I consider the best email search and verification services today. Novice email marketers would find these tips and tools to be quite of help in their digital marketing journey.
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Comment your insights and suggestions below.