In the world filled with information, direct contact with someone you do not know personally is the only adequate means of attracting attention. This is especially true for professional communication, where distractions are simply not tolerated. Sure, anyone can try to reach out to people on social media, but this approach is not always effective. For example, plenty of requests and messages on LinkedIn remain unanswered for days (if ever answered). And, trying to convey business on Facebook is something most people frown upon, so it will not help you reach potential partners, investors, or even freelancers.
So, using an email hunter is your best hope to make any sort of business-related offer to someone you do not know personally. Unlike a direct phone call, sending an email is more discreet and unobtrusive, which surely boosts your chances of a positive reply. The question is — how do you find an email of a person you need to contact? There are several ways to find email without overpaying.
Start with official websites and social media
Heading directly to the company website to make your offer is always the first and most logical step. The problem is, most sites have a contact form today, and any messages sent over those forms end up in spam more often than not. Besides, if you want to reach out to a particular person, a contact form will hardly ever do. And, not all businesses list their executives’ (or other employees’) emails on their official websites.
Another solution would be to head to the professional social media accounts and try to find there people you need. Often, this idea has higher chances of success than hitting an official website. But, as already mentioned, not all social media messages are granted an answer. However, some experts do publish their contact details on professional networks. So, you might just get lucky.
Consider personal sites and accounts
While searching official websites and professional networks is the first logical idea, you should not neglect personal communication channels either. Of course, making any kind of business offers via a personal account is not always wise. Still, many professionals post their email addresses and other contact details on personal media. Besides, there is really no such thing as a ‘purely personal’ social media account for a person with an active business lifestyle. Even if there is one, it is restricted to first-hand friends and connections.
Another suggestion would be to search for personal blogs — that is, of course, if you cannot find someone on social media. Plenty of business owners, experts, and influencers work hard on their personal brands. So, there could be a website or a blog that would fit your purpose. Both are good ways to initiate first contact. More importantly, the chances of a reply are quite high in this case.
Use a professional database
Still, one of the best (and easiest) suggestions is to use a professional contact database, used by businessmen and recruiters alike to find an email without overpaying. For example, you can look up a system engineer job description on SignalHire and get plenty of professional contacts that meet these search parameters. The person you are interested in could be among those contacts and, even if not, you will get plenty of contact suggestions in the same industry.
Using a professional contact database, however, has way more advantages than that. If you know the exact name of the person you are looking for, you will most probably find them. Most of these tools have millions of contacts, conveniently sorted by industry and experience. The main drawback is that most of the truly good tools, like SignalHire, are paid. Still, any reputable service offers within 5-10 free searches as a start. Sometimes, users can even get a certain amount of free searches every month. So, unless you are looking for people on a regular basis, a free account should suffice. If not, subscriptions are usually moderately priced and offer enough value for their cost.
Try Googling it
This one sounds obvious, and many people ignore this simple step. However, top experts in most niches do not have a problem when strangers are contacting them with offers. So, if you have failed to find any contact details on social media, how about trying the good old Google search? Quite often, you can quickly find public contact details of the people you are looking for.
If a standard search did not work for you, try the advanced one. For this, you might need some guessing to do. As you well know, most corporate emails follow one and the same structure, with first and last name, followed by a unique company mail address. Use this simple fact to your advantage and try looking up a few options in Google search. The only difficulty you may come across here is a common name that can be repeated among large corporations. So, you might need to make a few trial searches for email without overpaying, but one of them might work out.
Reach out to other people within the same company
Finally, there is always a way to contact company representatives directly. For example, you need to contact the CTO, but only have a project manager’s contact. You can simply ask for introduction — and often, people you already know personally, will oblige. Even if you do not know anyone in person, you can always contact a relevant corporate department — be it human resources or reception. Sure, this approach will not work if you want to keep your communication private — for whatever reason. Still, if discretion is not vital, this is another certain way to contact prospective partners or colleagues.
There are more ways to make your business offer directly. For example, one can engage in forums and professional communities to get in touch with relevant experts. This approach will help build the connections before making any business-related suggestions. The downside is that networking, both on social media and real life, takes time, which is often of the essence. So, whenever you do not feel like beating around the bush, one of the above suggestions should work for you to find an email without overpaying.