Weird Tricks to Find Anyone’s Email Address

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Hey everybody,

Lots of people seem to be having trouble finding personal email addresses for people or decision makers in their market.

Never fear, I’ve got you covered.

Today’s post might be the easiest I’ll ever have to write.

Reason is, I am going to give you the exact instructions I give my VAs to find these email addresses for me.

These options might seem labor intensive and some of them are… But, when you can outsource it for a couple dollars an hour, it makes a lot of sense… Especially if you are not just doing “idea extraction” and have a specific target within your market like I do…

That said, let’s get started.

Start with directories
Most markets have directories that list contacts within that market. This is the first thing you should look for once you pick your market. The easiest way to get emails is to scrape on of these lists. To find them search for {your market name} + {directory} or {your market name} + {association}. I just randomly tried this searching for {financial planner directory} and found a great list to scrape in the first result. Go ahead… Try it…


From here you could just pull the data yourself, hire a scraper, or pay a VA to do it… If you go this route, once you are committed to a market I’d recommend the scraper route. You can hire one on ODesk.

Using Google
So you’ve already checked the companies website for email addresses, with no luck. If they have listed the decision makers name, thats great. If not here is the first step.

Step 1 –
Search for {Title of the person you want} + {company name}. Check the results… Try a few different combinations. This should at least get you the persons name. If not, you can try searching on LinkedIn.

Step 2 –
Go back to google and search for {the persons name} + email. This might seem obvious but it sometimes works. If it doesn’t, search for * So if the company you want has a website at You’d search for * The first few or even the first couple pages of results may give you no luck. But usually if you look far enough down in the results you can find an email. It might not be the person you want, but it will give you a format to go off of.



In this example you see “” you know that you have a chance at guessing Michael Scott’s email is

The Rapportive Hack
Validate the guess with the rapportive hack. There are lots of videos on how the rapportive hack works… Here is one that I recently found… You could just start guessing like this guy does, but I like to search google first because if you find it it’s faster that way. Click here to learn the rapportive hack.

All else fails… Get on the phone.
People usually think of using the phone only to call their market directly… But you can just call to gather information, including EMAILs. I’ve done this as well. Dont have my VAs doing it yet, but I might do that soon. All you have to do is call and talk to the person that answers the phone… Be nice, and ask for what you want. Tell them you are a software entrepreneur and just wanted to ask a simple question via email…

BONUS – Connecting with LinkedIn:
There is a way you can send private messages on LinkedIn to anyone for free, even if you don’t have them as a connection. It’s also a great way to find and connect with your market in general… It probably deserves it’s own post, but here is the short version.

Step 1 –
Log on to LinkedIn and under interests, search for groups in your market. You will likely find lots… Join those groups… SIDE NOTE: Sometimes if there is someone I REALLY want to get in contact with I’ll use the tips above to google their name… If I can’t find the email Ill search {name} + {LinkedIn}. Click their LinkedIn profile, and see the groups they joined. Then Ill join those groups too so I can message them.

Step 2 –
Once accepted to these groups, if you click people from within the group you can send a private message without needing to be contacts yet. All you have to do is go to the group, click on the persons name, and click the dropdown next to where it says “follow..”. Then click send message.

Another great way to connect is to read some of the treads people are commenting on in the group. Then you can reply to peoples comments either publically or privately. If you do this, and you ask a question or make a comment related to what the people are talking about it is a really good way to connect.


I’m sure there are LOADs of other ways to do this, so if you have one, throw it in the comments.

Hope that helps!


PS – If you have something you’d like me to cover that you haven’t mentioned yet let me know in the comments and Ill do it.


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  • Edouard Dopper

    Hi Carl,
    Just started following you after seeing you on thefoundation and smartpassiveincome. Needless to say your story is very motivating. Your practical mindset is effective.
    You speak of a link for the rapportive hack. Where is the link?
    If i want to get into thefoundation? What do I need to do to get in? What did you do?

    • Carl


      Thanks for the kind words and for letting me know.

      I added the link above but here it is again…


      • Edouard Dopper

        No worries, man.
        btw I surf too. It’s not great here in the Netherlands but it’s ok. And I love doing it. If I could transpose that passion and energy into starting a business. Awesome

        • Carl

          Awesome. I met some surfers from the Netherlands when I was in Mexico a few years ago. Was shocked there was surf there. Pretty awesome.

  • Lyla Anne

    Hello Carl!

    I am going through this process right now, and I’m not sure WHO I do need to be addressing. I have heard that I need to speak with a “decision maker” but does that mean CEO/President or the Office Manager. Who did you target when mining for email addresses?

    Thank you so much!

    • Carl

      Hey Lyla,

      Glad you brought this up…

      The decision maker is just the person who has the clout to say “yes”, whip out a credit card, and pay. It can be different company to company, but is usually the same person within 1 market…

      What’s your market?

      That said, you can still find problems and ideas by talking to people that are not the decision makers… You just need to be able to get through to them for payment.

      Make sense?


      • Lyla Anne

        Hey Carl,

        Totally makes sense. I’m still not sure what to do in this particular market. I am focusing on In Home Care Givers. Some are run by doctor’s, a lot are franchises, some are huge businesses others small. Where to start?

        Also, I’ve always wondered this. If I was to hypothetically reach out say as a “Lindsay”, how do you back peddle from that and become you again?

        Thank you!


        • Carl

          Home Care is a great market.

          Personally I don’t ever bother to fake my name. Don’t see why that would be worth it… Be real.


          • Lyla Anne

            Right on, that’s how I feel about it too.

            Thank you for confirming!

            Keeping it real,


  • Jason Griffing

    This post has been really helpful. I just started this week and am already building a promising list of email leads. Going to start in small batches (i.e. Find 25 emails, make initial contact, gauge response results, follow up as needed, rinse and repeat). I’m nearly at 25 emails now and getting quicker with every attempt. Hoping to finish that out today, and start drafting / sending initial emails this week!

    Semi-related question – did you use any sort of CRM system to track whom you had reached out to already? I don’t want to get bogged down into a full blown CRM system, but can already see that I may need someway to reference whom I’ve reached out to already, and when. That way six months or a year down the road, I’m not wasting time duplicating efforts on leads that have already said no…

    Or perhaps in your experience that’s not necessary? Any thoughts on that?

    • Carl

      Hey Jason – No I did not. I am a planner and like to be organized so I intentionally tried to go so fast that I made mistakes like contacting the same people twice. It happened but was not a huge deal. I’d encourage everyone to just go as fast as they can and not worry about tools during this stage. And a year down the road, you def. want to follow up with people again. Things change and they might need what you have or you might offer something different.

  • Leah

    HI Carl,

    Loving your blog. I really appreciate the specific tactics. It’s definitely helping me as I’m starting to compile my own list for the market I’ve chosen.

    For other projects, I found it successful to even contact them via their personal emails if I can’t find their business email address. e.g. After finding the decision maker’s name, I’ll check out their social profiles and blog. People tend to be more open on those platforms and have their personal emails on their blog for example. And the response rate is good. Not sure how well that will work when trying to talk to them about a potential b2b solution though. Just throwing the suggestion out there.

    Look forward to your upcoming posts!

    • Carl

      Hey Leah – Yeah personal emails are awesome if you can get them… I’ve used them too.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Chris Thorne

    Hey Carl, thanks for the great advice. I’d kicked off email gathering a couple of days ago and managed to gather about 20 addresses over two evenings. I’ve used your tactics tonight and managed 40 in an hour and a half. Very timely advice for me!

    Hopefully will make some faster progress from now on.

    Also found that the first market I started on was much harder to find email addresses than the second – which I guess may ultimately impact which route I go.



    • Carl

      Awesome Chris! Keep killing it!

      • Chris Thorne

        Thanks Carl – and also trying out ToutApp on your recommendation – so far so good! Keep up the good work. Chris

  • Jeff Craven

    Carl – Great and helpful post. Thanks very much for sharing. Using the directory search, I’m finding more phone numbers than emails for one of my possible markets (day spas). Any reason you wouldn’t just call them up directly? If not, would you just ask for the owner?

    • Carl

      Hey Jeff – Yes.

      1) When you call someone and interrupt them, it’s much harder to build rapport and they are often on edge before you start. Sending an email first warms them up to who you are before hand (even if they don’t respond). It also gives you a reason to call.
      2) If you do set an appointment up, then you have them at full attention and they are much more ready to open up to you.
      3) If you’re market is PT, or Drs, or Dentists, you will never get through cause they’re busy seeing patients all day. This is the case for a lot of industries.

      Some markets work better with cold calls. Car dealerships was one that worked great that way. You have to test but in general, people who were most successful followed the above strategy. Email then warm call. No cold calls.


      • Jeff Craven

        Exactly the insight I was looking for. Thanks again, Carl!

  • Jay

    Hey Carl,

    How’s it going. Thanks for putting all this information out there, great help.

    I was just wondering how did you get on with just straight cold calling people, instead sending emails, waiting for responses and so on.


  • Stephanie W is another AWESOME way to gather contacts. I think it was referred by Josh Isaak. It’s also an easy task to hand off to some VA’s. I work on my primary market (the one I’m most hot after) and I have handed off two other markets to VA’s I’ve hired on ODesk. Tried (I LOVE FIVERR) but hasn’t been great for admin/data entry work. I’m sticking with ODesk for that.

    • Carl

      Agreed. I have not had to try Manta yet but have heard good things.

      ODesk is really the best place for VAs.

      All my friends use it now over other options.

  • Derek Knight

    Just had a great idea that has worked a few times to find email addresses. Do a “whois” search of the domain name. This often posts the owner of the domains email address, which often is the owner of the company!

    Go to

    Type in web address

    See where it says Registrant Email:

    It shows the email address as an image so that it cannot be copied by a robot… but you can type it into your email.
    It works often, but like the other ideas, it does not work everytime.
    Good hunting!

    • Carl

      Derek. Awesome tip. Will have to add that to my list.

    • Gitali Devi

      I use this trick, but the problem is this trick is valid only for small businesses. Typicaly for businesses with 50+ employees it does not work.

  • Zach Tyler

    When all else fails, you can always take a guess at what the email is. Then inside the BCC, you can fill in different variations to try. If you can hit the mark on any of the emails listed, you’re in.

  • Michelle Yan

    Hi Carl, (a salesforce product) is great for those emails that are really hard to get. I use this for my 9-5 analytics job. They have an amazing list- you just have to either contribute emails to earn points or pay for them. Also, they can compile lists of companies in certain industry categories which is free.

  • Joe D.

    Quick question; I’m currently doing IE and trying to use LinkedIn to connect with my market. LinkedIn must have changed their website since your post on Oct. 3rd, “Weird Tricks to find Anyone’s Email” because I have not been able to message people simply by joining a group they’re in.

    Have you found any other way to message people on LinkedIn that are not connections?

  • Benjamin Pyle

    Hi Carl, when I start to compose a new email on gmail it brings up a smaller window for you to compose your message and rapportive hack doesn’t work. I tried expanding the window but that didn’t help. Have you come across this?

  • Sam

    Finding contacts for IE (or job hunting) through LinkedIn just got so much easier. Let’s say I am looking for a Sales Managers in Denver. I Google “Sales Manager Denver site:“. All the results that pop up are LinkedIn Results. Then with the linkedin result I goto and it provides me with their email address and social networks. So much easier than even a few months ago!

  • Geetha Singhee

    Hi Carl,

    You showed some great tricks of the trade when figuring out
    people’s email addresses. Typically, if you know a person’s full name and know
    where they currently work, then you can figure out their business email address
    in seconds from a newly launched tool ” Email Prospector”.

    I am a part of the product management team, Who built eMail
    Prospector tool.
    As a Bonus, This tool works well with Linkedin too.

    You can try the tool for free here ->
    Hope you like it!