Need to email someone but don’t have their contact information? Whether you’re a frustrated client wanting to register a complaint with someone in authority, a reporter searching for the appropriate person, or a long-lost acquaintance, you may not have the recipient’s email address.
We’ve shown you how to check whether an email address exists, but finding one you don’t know takes some effort.
Guy has already given a few methods for locating someone’s email address, but I have a few more. All you need is a Gmail account and some common sense to devise techniques for determining most people’s genuine email addresses. It is not easy, but desperate times need desperate methods.
Google Your Recipient
The first and simplest step is to do a Web search for the person you want to contact. You know what a buddy looks like, but if it’s someone else, you can always locate a picture of them on the Internet. And if it’s on the Internet, you can find it on Google Images.
Look through the photos to figure out who that individual is. This is a vital step since you’ll need it to confirm that it’s the proper individual. There are several websites that can help you locate folks on the Internet.
Also, attempt to find out everything else you can about that individual, such as where he or she works, where they live, and so on.
Permutations & Combinations
As an example, suppose you wish to discover Matias Duarte’s email address. Matias Duarte currently works at Google, resides in the United States, and you have an idea of what he looks like if you Googled him. And, if it’s not a photo of him, you may find what he uses as a profile picture on several social networks.
So take all of this information and construct a list of all the potential email addresses he may have, such as:
Put your creativity to the test and construct the most complete list you can.
Head To Hangouts
Gmail’s new Hangouts function is tightly linked to Google+, with both sharing the same Gmail account. And you may use this to your advantage.
First, if you haven’t previously done so, convert your Google Talk chat window to Hangouts in Gmail. Choose “Try The New Hangouts” from the drop-down arrow next to your profile picture. Your page will reload, and you will see Hangouts instead of GTalk.
In the Hangouts search box, where it reads “Name, email, number,” input the email address guesses you made one by one. When you enter a legitimate email address, Hangouts will display a check mark with a profile picture, indicating that you have entered a genuine email address. You should be able to discern whether or not the person in the photo is the one you wish to send to.
An email address that says ‘Unnamed’ and has no profile picture is a dead end you should ignore, check mark or not.
I’ve used this method multiple times to contact individuals for articles or even to cold-call top executives. It’s quick, and it has the additional benefit of often obtaining the personal email address of anybody you’re attempting to contact, increasing the likelihood that they’ll receive the message.
Root Out With Rapportive
This isn’t a tactic I’ve used previously, but Labnol.org offers a similar hack that leverages the Rapportive Gmail plugin.
Install Rapportive, then link your social accounts and launch a new Compose window. As with the Hangouts hack, copy and paste the various email address permutations and combinations into the ‘To’ box.
Rapportive will scan the addresses and provide you with information on the individuals that live there. You may hover or click on any id to read its information and refine your search to the proper individual — and presto, you’ve got their email address.
This hack is particularly beneficial since it does not limit you to email addresses that utilize Gmail or Google Apps, like Hangouts does. That said, you won’t always locate a person’s personal id, and chances are your email to a certain work id won’t even be read, or will be deleted without being opened.
Use It Responsibly
Because this hack has the potential to compromise someone’s privacy, we encourage you not to use it recklessly. Uncle Ben’s wise words to Spidey should be echoing in your ears at this point: “With great power comes tremendous responsibility.”
Being on the receiving end of this attack may be aggravating, so keep our spam and hacker prevention techniques in mind.
Still, when there seems to be no other option, this is a terrific technique to contact the proper individual.
Do you have any ways for locating someone’s email address? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave them in the comments.
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