Every recruiter and sourcer will find themselves in the position where they guess what a potential candidates email is. LinkedIn InMail policy makes it even tougher to reach out to candidates. This post will give you eight ways to verify email addresses and even help you guess what their email is.
Rob Ousbey, COO of Marketing Agency Distilled, created a search method that he was can help you find an email address for almost ANYONE! But, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Please keep that in mind! (Don’t spam anyone.)
To find someone’s email address, you can try to come up with a number of guesses, using “email permutators,” known email formats for employers, or even something you make up. For larger companies, try this custom search engine to find company email formats.
Note #1: Researching company email formats deserves a separate blog post; I am not covering it here in any detail.
Note #2: The eight verification techniques listed below can work with whole lists of guesses. Verifying just one or two email addresses can be done in some additional ways; that would be the subject of yet another blog post (coming soon).Once you have a list of email address guesses, here are the eight ways to try and pinpoint the correct address. These eight methods all work in different ways.
If you are not successful with one, you can try another and you may succeed. Each of the 8 ways is quick to try; all are free except the last one.
8 Ways to Guess and Verify Email Addresses
- Find emails with Rapportive (by Rob Ousbey). LinkedIn recently changed Rapportive, so this technique is less robust now: it won’t cross-reference against any Social Networks, other than LinkedIn, any longer. But the method still works, by finding the LinkedIn profile registered with the correct address, if the profile exists.
- Find Almost Anybody’s Email Address with #LinkedIn this, actually, works differently from Rob’s technique. This method is dynamic cross-referencing; Rapportive provides cross-referencing against stored information, which can, in some cases, be incomplete or outdated. It’s pretty reliable and provides up-to-date information.
- Find Almost Anyone’s Email Using MS Outlook: this technique will check email address guesses against LinkedIn, Facebook, and possibly XING, depending on your Outlook version.
- Uploading a list of emails to Gmail will identify those with Google Plus accounts. Unfortunately, this is not 100% reliable in our experience, meaning, it may miss the correct profile even if it exists; it’s still worth a try, of course.
- The post, “Find People on Google-Plus by Emails” has a few more relevant hints.
- Uploading a list of emails to Gmail will let you cross-reference them on Twitter. This method will not work with extensive lists, as our experience shows, but will work just fine with a few dozen email guesses.
- You can verify a list of email guesses against Facebook. This option is not easy to find! On the page Invite Your Friends locate the link “Import your email addresses” and point to a text file with a list of emails. No worries, you can use it without inviting anyone. Cancel all the invites – and see which email address is right. Note that if you work with a larger volume of addresses to verify (say, for several people at once) and wanted to look at the imported list in detail, the page Manage Contacts is not that helpful, but exporting your Facebook data would be. In the exported data you will clearly see the addresses which have and have not been identified as belonging to members. (I guess there’s another blog post this can be expanded into.) The downside to exporting is that you can’t select only some data to download, so you’ll have to get a complete archive.
- Finally, tools like Mailtester.com provide free email checking for one address at a time. They “ping” email servers without sending an actual email. We know that they only work with some email servers. Checking email lists using that technique is offered by a good number of vendors for a price; I have not used that, so my comments will be minimal. Aaron Lintz has pointed me to this site as a good one.
About Irina Shamaeva
Irina is an Executive Recruiter, an Expert Sourcer, a Boolean Strings Master Teacher, and a Social Media Innovator. For the past five years she has been a Partner with Brain Gain Recruiting, placing senior full time employees in IT, Strategy Consulting, and Finances. She has an MS in Mathematics and a strong technical background. Irina runs the fast growing “Boolean Strings Network” (please join!) and multiple groups related to Social Media Recruiting and Internet Sourcing on LinkedIn.
This post was originally published on RecruitingBlogs by Irina Shamaeva, edited by Jackye Clayton.
Irina is an Executive Recruiter, an Expert Sourcer, a Boolean Strings Master Teacher, and a Social Media Innovator. For the past five years she has been a Partner with Brain Gain Recruiting, placing senior full time employees in IT, Strategy Consulting, and Finances. She has an MS in Mathematics and a strong technical background. Irina runs the fast growing “Boolean Strings Network” (please join!) and multiple groups related to Social Media Recruiting and Internet Sourcing on LinkedIn. Irina’s LinkedIn Profile can be found here and her blog is here. Follow her on Twitter at @braingain
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