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By Christian Somcio.

There is always that time when we have to find someone else’s email address. We may simply be looking for a way to contact an old acquaintance via email, reach out to a business that is unable to conveniently provide their contact details, or maybe you just want to fill in the gaps in your email list — the list goes on and on.

More often than not, email addresses can prove to be rather elusive creatures, but do not ever let that frustrate you. There are so many ways to track down the address of anyone online, and here are some techniques that you will certainly find useful in your quest:

Do some googling

If you are looking for someone’s email address online, using search engines like Google to do so is anyone’s logical first step. You can start with this very useful search format:

“Person’s name”+“email”

You can also add in their company’s name or their job title. If you want to go more in-depth with your search, however, you can always use one of Google’s really handy search operators such as site:, inurl:, and double quotes (“”).

Ask a mutual acquaintance

If you know someone who are acquainted with the person whose email address you are looking for, you can simply ask the former for the latter’s email address. This especially works if the said mutual acquaintance is your friend or one of your colleagues. You can also ask them to introduce you to your prospect prior to any attempts at email outreach. In this way, they will end up anticipating your email and be more receptive.

Find it in your prospect’s company website

Some company websites provide the contact information of some, if not all, of the members of their staff. This is especially true with educational institutions, who tend to list down in their site every single one of their employees. As such, it will be wise for you to start looking for your prospect in their company’s site. The About Us page, in particular, often holds a treasure trove of staff email addresses. Now, if the email address that you are looking for is nowhere in the site but the staff emails present follow a consistent format, you can simply refer to this format to make an educated guess.

Look in your prospect’s social media page

It is quite unheard of these days for someone to not have a social media profile, and a good chunk of these social media users own a page. Page owners, usually people who run a business or lead a cause, often display their contact information — including their email addresses — in their pages. That said, if your prospect happens to run a page, don’t waste time to head over to their page and, hopefully, uncover their email address.

Use an email search tool

Perhaps the fastest way to find anyone’s email address is to invest in a good email finder tool like ContactOut. This, however, is the most expensive option in the list as email search tools tend to be SaaS (software as a service) that costs a certain recurring payment. This is best if your efforts to find email addresses result in profit, e. g. if you are building an email list or are updating an existing one.

Supplied by Christian Somcio.

By Olivia Scott

The world has moved on from what it used to be in the 90s, especially in terms of the use of emails in the delivery of business services worldwide. Businesses and individuals nowadays not only require an email to receive vital communications but also for accessing essential services across multiple web platforms.

But what exactly does your email address say about you? Could the perceptions received from your email be harmful or beneficial to you or your business? Are you using a reliable and secure email provider?

This article explores all you need to know about what your email address may be revealing about you and some of the best tips for taking your email marketing game to the next level.

Examples of email addresses and what they say about you

As human beings, we’re bound to have first impressions or other perceptions when we meet people and this is no different when we receive emails. Here are some examples of different email providers and what they reflect about you.

@Hotmail.com

Hotmail is owned by Microsoft and was eventually changed to Outlook.com. It is the biggest email provider outside the US (over 360 million addresses). However, because it’s been around for so long, and since most millennials don’t even know what it is, it usually reflects that you’re old and behind the times.

@Yahoo.com

Yahoo is the biggest email provider in the US and is widely popular for its many data breaches. Although Yahoo is also an old provider, using it will most likely reflect that you’re neutral and not overly sensitive about protecting your data online.

@Gmail.com

Gmail is owned by Google and is compulsory for accessing a wide range of services offered by the provider. Gmail users are typically tech-savvy, conscious about their IT security and generally, know their way around the internet.

Work/University Email

Sending out an email from a Whitehouse.gov or Harvard.edu will usually be received with a lot of respect because of the reputation of these prestigious establishments. Similarly, if you’re claiming to work in an organization, nothing says “I work here” better than a work email.

Customized/Domain-based email

In today’s business world, it’s critically important to ensure you set up a professional email for your business and even personal use.

By all means, you must avoid using an email address that contains inappropriate words or connotations. If you can, stay away from any religious or political to avoid crossing any sensitive barriers.

A professional email format like johnsmith@hiremybusiness.com essentially allows potential clients to take you more seriously and allow you to put one foot in the door.

Top tips for improving your email marketing strategy

In 2018, 281.1 billion emails were sent per day worldwide and this figure is expected to double a decade from now. If you’re still wondering whether email marketing is worth your time or investment, you should be aware that the average ROI on every $1 spent on email is $44, making it one of the most effective marketing options available.

The following are some of the best tips aimed at helping you improve your email marketing game a notch higher.

1.Choose a reliable and secure email provider

While this may not be a regular tip, it’s become one of the most important steps to take for anyone that uses emails. Email is the most common attack vector for phishing and with cyber breaches constantly rising, it goes without saying that you should ensure you’re using one of the most reliable and secure email providers to back your email marketing efforts.

2. Focus on building quality lists

When it comes to email marketing in these highly competitive times, quality will always trump quantity. Building a long extended list that never engages with your emails makes absolutely no sense. You can use email verification services to check for deliverability and also avoid some spam traps.

You could also remove old and inactive subscribers to reduce campaign costs and improve profitability. This is even more important as email providers like Gmail are constantly evolving their machine learning algorithms to block around 10 million spam emails per minute.

3. Create an engaging header

The importance of email headers to your marketing campaign cannot be overflogged. An email header typically refers to the visible information directly above the content of your mail, including the subject line and your name. You’ll need to be as creative as possible to create an engaging subject line to stand a chance of having your email opened.

 

For example, Birchbox, a New York City-based subscription service includes the image of a mailbox in its subject line to encourage subscribers to open the mail. According to Salesforce, only 2% of businesses include an emoji in their subject line. This is certainly something businesses need to take advantage of since Experian’s research suggests that including an emoji in subject lines can lead to a 56% increase in open rates.

4. Personalize email content and build segmented lists

Emails addressing their receivers usually receive more attention than the generic “Hi there” since they’ll most likely be considered more relevant. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to build segmented lists that cater to individuals with different needs. Just be sure to test that it works effectively so you don’t end up calling your subscribers the wrong names.

According to research, marketers who used segmented campaigns experienced as much as 760% increase in revenue. Using segmented lists is certainly a no-brainer if you’re looking to experience success in your email campaigns.

5. Optimize for mobile

Since most emails are opened from mobile devices, it certainly makes sense for you to set up your messages to be easily accessible and readable from these devices. For instance, increasing font sizes to 13 and ensuring the entire message or image does not exceed 600 pixels should go a long way in ensuring your emails are optimized for mobile devices.

The following key stats should ideally convince you that optimizing for mobile is not optional.

  • 74% of smartphone users check their emails from these devices.
  • 55% of emails are opened from mobile devices.
  • Only 20% of email marketing campaigns are currently optimized for mobile.
  • Consumers are more likely to respond positively to an offer when they open an email from their mobile devices.

6. Run tests where possible

As mentioned earlier, running tests is essential for the success of your email campaigns. Testing for the efficiency of your segmented list personalization and deliverability are some of the key tests you should consider running.

For example, a broken link in an email that wasn’t tested can seriously harm your ROI. Similarly, since the digital landscape is constantly evolving, running tests will help ensure that you do not end up in the spam folder.

7. Track your email stats

Tracking your email campaigns is the best way of understanding how well they’re performing. Tracking your email stats will give you detailed insights into why campaigns are performing badly and what can be done to improve the situation. For instance, too many hard bounces are a clear indication that your list is old and outdated or simply has too many inactive email accounts.

By tracking emails, you will also be better informed about how recipients are accessing it and better optimize for the future. Clicks and open rates, as well as complaints, are also essential to look out for when tracking emails.

8. Include a CTA

A Call to Action (CTA) essentially prompts readers on the next steps to take after reading the mail. Since the email message is ideally aligned with your marketing goals, the CTA should also be in line with your objectives, whether it’s to sign up to your mailing list or to your paid service.

The bottom line

Email marketing has evolved over the past two decades to become perhaps the best marketing options especially because of the decent return on investment it offers.

If you use an email for business as you rightly should, you’d want to avoid using a free account as much as possible to avoid giving off the wrong vibes. Whatever email address you choose to use, you should ideally ensure it’s one of the most reliable and secure email providers available.

By Olivia Scott

Marketing Manager @ VPNpro.com
Team of online security & privacy professionals

By 

One of my resolutions for 2018 was I wouldn’t write about the fraught relationship between technology journalists and the startups and publicists that pitch to them. Partially because nobody cares. It’s such a niche subject that’s relevant to only a handful of people. The punters at home aren’t interested; they just want to read about cutting-edge tech.

But New Years resolutions exist only to be broken, and here I am writing yet another piece about article pitching. Sorry about that, but trust me, I’ve got a good reason to.

Yesterday, a friend pointed me in the direction of a product that was surging through the Product Hunt charts. Get Tech Press is a subscription service where, for a monthly fee of $29, you can access a list of over 3,000 technology journalists.

It also offers to direct entrepreneurs towards specialized Facebook groups and launch sites, where they can expose their work to a baying audience and build traction.

Get Tech Press isn’t an inherently unique concept. There are many other sites like it. The appropriately-named press.farm, for example, offers roughly the same product for as little as $18 per month. TechCrunch wrote a scathing article about this when it first came out. And that’s just one example. A search of Product Hunt yielded lots more in the same vein.

I get the appeal of these product. Genuinely, I do.

Startups are all about exponential growth, and this happens by getting the word out. If you’re a founder running your company on a shoestring budget, you almost definitely don’t have the funds to hire a traditional public relations firm.

It’s hard to understate how expensive this can be. PR firms typically charge a retainer, as well as a monthly fee. The retainer alone can be five figures.

Services like Get Tech Press offer a compelling DIY solution for founders. They’re spared ‘the effort of building a list of reporters to target. Raising awareness is as easy as copying a bunch of names into their email client’s BCC field, and then hitting ‘send.’

The legwork that ordinary PR people do — building relationships, reading mountains of coverage to identify appropriate reporters, crafting bespoke and personal pitches — is circumvented by this approach.

And it shows. By definition, bulk pitches are really impersonal. In the same way you’re more likely to open a letter from your grandmother rather than a piece of mass-mailed marketing, journalists are more inclined to open relevant, personalized pitches over ones that are clearly ‘spray and pray.’

It’s just a fact. Mass-mailed pitches are visible from a million miles away. They rarely mention the journalist’s name or publication (mail merge is hard, you guys), and include vague flattery like “I think your articles are good and interesting, and touch on subjects that are important.” I’m convinced.

Quite often, they’re about things I’d never cover, like crap Kickstarters for household goods. Absolutely nobody needs to crowdfund a bottle opener.

My personal favorite is when mail merge fails, and you get emails that start with “Hello [FIRST_NAME],” or with the wrong name entirely. Those pitches are usually worthless, but they’re good for a few chuckles on Twitter.

If you’re a startup trying to get media attention, the appeal of reaching literally thousands of reporters is undeniable. But in reality, if you send out a mass-mail, you’re just going to alienate the reporters that otherwise might be amenable to your idea, product, report, or company.

A PR masterclass, by someone who has literally never done PR in his life

I’m not a PR professional, but I’ve been subjected to some pretty horrendous pitches over my time. I’ve also seen some pretty good ones, too. That fact alone (and perhaps the existence of the Dunning-Kruger effect) leads me to believe I’m in a position to dole out some unsolicited advice on how startups can pitch themselves.

Firstly, you’re going to need some essential equipment: a web browser and an email address.

Let’s suppose your product is in the blockchain space. I’m going to assume that’s the case, simply because about 70 percent of all pitches I get these days are about the fucking Blockchain.

Pick some sites you’re going to target. This should be a list of the major tech blogs, plus smaller (but respected) sites in your startup’s niche.

Then pick some reporters. Most tech news sites assign reporters to specific beats, or areas of interest. At TNW, for example, my colleagues Mix and Tristan cover blockchain and crypto. My interests are primarily software development and security.

Find the reporter that covers your startup’s niche. Then send them an email. You typically can find their contact details on the site they write for, or under their Twitter bios.

Your email should be short (ideally, less than 200 words). It should use plain, simple language and avoid buzzwords. You should reference previous coverage, and discuss why your product is relevant to that reporter.

One of the best pitches I ever got was for a now-defunct video sharing website. The person pitching it wrote:

Quick pitch:

Vidd.me lets anyone upload videos instantly from iOS, Android, or the web. It gives you a short URL for that video, perfect for mass-sharing on sites like Reddit.

That’s it. It’s super simple, but years later I still remember it.

If there’s a press release to go with your pitch, copy it in the area below your email signature. If you’ve got visuals, make sure they’re individually attached to your email, and that the reporter doesn’t have to manually fish them out from a word document, or something. And it’s often helpful to include a phone number, so if the journalist has an urgent inquiry, they can get in touch with you.

That’s about it. It’s super simple. Bad pitches are often the product of people trying too hard, and forgetting that reporters are almost always buried under a mountain of email. It’s basically their default state. Short and simple is always best.

Okay, that’s it.

I hope you enjoyed the sole rant about tech PR that I’ll write in 2018. At least, I hope it’s the sole one, although if something pisses me off, all bets are off.

There are a lot of products out there that promise to help entrepreneurs reach the tech press. They’re often cloaked under the nebulous jargon of “growth hacking.” Speaking as the recipient of hundreds of pitches a day, they’re largely worthless.

If you want to get the word out, it’s easy: just have a good product, and take the time to tell your story. If you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve actually built something, you probably have a good one, and it should be heard. Don’t undersell yourself by cutting corners.

By 

Sourced from TNW

By Ryan Stewart 

We pitch over 5,000 reporters, journalists and bloggers each month for clients.

Our data shows personalized emails have a 3x response and success rate.

“Personalization” isn’t just getting a name. It’s finding the right person in the organization and matching it with the right email. I’m going to give you the process we use to find that contact information.

It doesn’t matter if it’s link building, PR or outbound sales – this post will improve your success rate.

This blog post is a word for word copy of the training we give to new staff, contractors and VAs. It’s a part of our larger link building training process we put them through. Feel free to use it for yourself.

Before I get into the checklist, it’s incredibly important you understand something. When prospecting, there are 2 types of websites you will come across:

1. Website’s with 1 author (bloggers).

We would prefer to find a persons email address, but for these sites it’s ok to find general contact emails (contact@site.com, etc). Generally, the same person managing the generic email manages the whole site, including the content.

2. Websites with multiple authors (media).

For these sites, we can’t find general contact emails. We need to find the personal email address of the journalist covering the content relevant to our pitch.

With that being said, let’s get into the checklist…


1. Use BuzzStream’s Buzzmarker browser plugin

We use BuzzStream as a tool to manage outreach targets. They built [what I think] is the best browser plugin out there, the Buzzmarker. The Buzzmarker scans the page you’re on and looks for social profiles, names and contact info. Not only is it an incredible time saver, but it syncs with your Buzzstream database.

Download the Buzzmarker plugin here

This tool generally only finds the right contact info for smaller, single author or blog sites.


2. Use Email Hunter browser plugin

There’s a number of browser plugins that help to find email addresses, but this is the one we’ve had most success with. The plugin runs a checks with names and domain to find the right email address. It’s accurate, fast and free.

Download the Email Hunter plugin here


3. Check the author page

This works well on larger sites with multiple authors. When you find the post you’re looking for, click through on their name to view their author page. On larger sites, they generally list out social profiles, other websites and email addresses. This generally isn’t the case on smaller websites, who use about and contact pages instead.


4. Check the “Contact” page

Only check the contact page for smaller sites or blogs. Large websites may list an email address, but it’s a generic contact email that rarely makes it to the person you want to contact.

On smaller sites, there’s a much better chance that the generic contact email will reach the right person (i.e. contact@site.com).


5. Check the “About” page

Very similar to contact pages, “about” pages are valuable on small sites, not large ones.

One thing to keep an eye out for is when they list their email so crawlers and plugins can’t scrape it (i.e. contact [@] site dot com]. Be sure to scan the “about” and “contact” pages manually to pick up on that.


6. Find their LinkedIn profile

After you’ve checked their site thoroughly, it’s time to head to Google search. Type FULL NAME LinkedIn into the search bar to try and track down their profile.Make sure you have the Email Hunter plugin installed in your browser – you’ll see a red button appear by their profile. Click it and let the plugin try and find their email from LinkedIn.


7. Find their YouTube Channel

Search Google for FULL NAME YouTube. If you can find their channel, click on their “About” tab and see if they have an email listed.


8. Find their Google+ profile

Search Google for FULL NAME Google+. If you can find their profile, there are two places you can find an email:

  • In their “About” section on their profile
  • In their “Videos” section, synced to their YouTube Channel


9. Find their Facebook Page

Small businesses and bloggers always have a Facebook Page and 9 times out of 10 they list a contact email on their Page.

Do a Google search for BUSINESS NAME Facebook or FULL NAME WEBSITE to try and find it through search. Or, check their “About” or “Contact” page on their site.


10. Find their Twitter profile

Twitter users often link out to their own personal blogs or websites, so it’s a great place to refer to. Search Google for FULL NAME Twitter and see if you can find their profile.

If they list a website in their bio, visit the website and use the BuzzMarker or Email Hunter plugin.


11. Find their WHOIS profile

Finally, do a Google search for WHOIS site.com. For this to work, you will need their website. This method generally only works with bloggers or smaller sites.

Das it y’all.

By Ryan Stewart 

View full profile ›

Sourced from Business 2 Community