Growing a B2B (Business to Business) company has everything to do with getting your product in front of the right people who have the authority to make purchasing decisions and/or influence the decisions that are made within their companies. Contact information isn’t always readily available to you, so the trick is knowing how to find someone’s email address whenever you need to.
Sometimes all you know is a company name, and that your product could be a perfect fit for them if you could get it in front of the right set of eyes.
One way to do get it in front of the right eyes is by cold or warm emailing a decision maker (although warm is obviously preferred, it’s not always an option).
Not friends with a bunch of VPs? Me neither.
All you need to know is the name of the best person at the company for you to contact, and what his/her email address is. This is RAW marketing research at its finest.
Sounds simple enough (and sometimes it is), but the bigger the company is and the more important the person is, the more likely they’ll guard their email addresses in a tiny box in the dungeon of a castle, protected by a fire-breathing dragon.
I’m going to show you how to be a tech-savvy knight by walking you step by step through all the tricks I use to find almost any email address, so hang with me.
Let’s say we’re trying to find a decision maker at Gold’s Gym to pitch our CRM software designed for personal trainers at gyms (this could be any brand/company, I just picked it randomly).
Side Note: I literally did these steps while simultaneously writing this post to prove it works.
Let’s Get Started.
At this point, we don’t even know who we need to contact yet. We just know our product is a good fit, and maybe some kind of trigger event (change in management, announcement of change in sales numbers, etc.) happened that will give us a shot at some business.
The first step is to try to find the name of the decision maker who we want to email. For this example, that would most likely be a VP or Director of Sales, Marketing, or Communication, or a Senior Fitness Manager.
Nine out of ten times, unless it’s a very private company, you can find the name of a decision maker by searching with Google.
Ok, so it’s looking like John Smith (fake name to protect privacy) might be our guy, but notice the search result on top is an announcement from 2012 that he was hired, so there’s a chance he’s no longer in that role.
The third search result is his LinkedIn profile where we can confirm his current role, so let’s do that.
After looking at his LinkedIn profile, his role has in fact changed, and although he has a higher role, he’s probably no longer the best person to contact about a CRM software. I also noticed that Gold’s Gym has franchised gyms as well as corporate gyms, and I want to make sure to contact someone at corporate.
Since I’m already in LinkedIn, I’ll click through to the Gold’s Gym business page and look through the current employees. I saw that corporate headquarters is in Dallas,TX, so I went ahead and filtered the results to show only those working in Dallas/Fortworth.
On page 4 I see Bob Jones (you guessed it, fake name to protect privacy) who is the VP of Fitness. Bingo.
If you can’t find the right person this way, try going directly to the company website. Especially with smaller companies, sometimes you’ll find a decision maker on the about page (sometimes with contact info too).
Moving right along.
Now that we know the name of who we want to contact, it’s time to hunt down his email address, or find a way to accurately guess it.
In order to find or accurately guess the email address of Bob Jones, we need to know the URL the company uses for their email addresses. Don’t make the assumption that it’s always going to use the company or product website URL.
Most of the time it will, but some companies, especially big ones, will often have a different URL they use specifically for emails so they can retain a better level of privacy and avoid spam.
Also if you are looking for a decision maker over a specific product or brand within a larger company, they may use the larger company URL for email structure. For example, Dasani water is owned by Coca-Cola, and they most likely use a Coca-Cola email address rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
A quick visit to the website should give us either an answer or a good starting point.
I like to go straight to the “Contact” page to look for email address like email@example.com or anything that would confirm the URL being used for the email addresses.
The main Gold’s Gym website does not have a contact page though, so we need to go deeper into the site and go to the page of a specific gym to see if there’s anything there.
I clicked through to one of the gym locations, and found the email of the general manager of that location. Woohoo!
I blacked it out in the image, but it confirms the email structure is FirstNameLastInitial@goldsgym.com. So now we can be pretty confident that Bob Jones’ email address is BobJ@goldsgym.com.
Just for fun, let’s say we weren’t able to find any kind of email address on the website. Then what?
If you don’t find anything on the website, go to Google, and search: *@goldsgym.com
This will do a wildcard search for anything that ends in @goldsgym.com, and if that’s the correct URL used for their emails, you’ll most likely get at least an “info@” address to show up in the results so you can get confirmation on the URL.
If you are still out of luck, try Googling:
1. Bob Jones Gold’s Gym
2. Bob Jones Gold’s Gym Contact
3. Bob Jones VP of Fitness
Is this going to work every time?
I can tell you with 100% certainty this will not work EVERY time. A lot of times? Yes.
1. Submit a random question or comment through the contact form on the website. Check what the email address is that responds to you, and there’s a good chance that’s the URL used for all.
2. If they have a company newsletter, join it so you can see where the confirmation email comes from.
1. Check Yelp reviews (if on Yelp) for responses to customer reviews where management responds to a review and leaves a name and/or contact email. This works well for smaller, local companies. Sometimes they’ll use personal Gmail emails addresses rather than company website emails addresses.
2.If the company has a blog, check bylines for the name of the person who wrote the post. You might get lucky and find your decision maker’s name.
1. Send a Direct Message through LinkedIn (if you can get an introduction from a mutual connection, even better).
If all of this fails, and/or you have the money to pay for it, you can use a service like Data.com to find most emails from big companies.
These methods should help you find almost any decision maker’s email address. What you do with it once you have it is for another day ;).
**If you have other tips or tricks to find email addresses, please leave a comment! Would love to hear more ideas!