Given a company domain name company.com, and the first and the last name of a person, we can construct the address – if the company follows a certain pattern in email addresses (such as fist-dot-last-at-company.com). How can we find out what the pattern might be?

 

1. What NOT to do

Do NOT search on Google for

“*@company.com”

You may be lucky and find some email addresses. But you will be just as lucky (or unlucky) if you search, for example, for “*\company.com”. Both @ and \ are special characters and both are ignored. If you are in doubt, please compare the results of these searches:

 

2. Check these sites that publish collections of patterns (thanks to Gary for pointing these out):

These sites cover several thousand companies; hopefully, their coverage will grow.

Have access to Jigsaw or Zoominfo? Check a few individual addresses there and you will see what the pattern is like.

 

3. Google for emails of company employees by using the search string

“email * company.com” (plus some optional keywords)

and/or “email * * company.com” (I have added one more asterisk). Sometimes you will have to exclude addresses starting with “support”, “info”, or “sales” to get to “human’s” emails; we all know how to do that. It’s not necessary, however, to remove false positives if we see enough results to come to a conclusion.

Here’s a simple example:

“email * companyname.com”

If nothing can be found, you may want to find out whether the company website domain and the email domain differ and correct the search appropriately.

 

4. Verify

Sites like Mailtester.com work all in the same fashion, so it’s enough to just try one of them. They do work if the company mail server allows verification of individual emails. They don’t work if the server doesn’t allow that, or if there’s a catch-all email address, or if the server is down at the moment.

 

5. Cross-reference for verification

This method still works fine! You could use Facebook’s and many other sites’ “find friends” functions as well. To be found, of course, the person needs to be a member with the address registered.

(Cross-referencing via social media also provides a glance at the person’s profile and lets you verify if you do want to send that email.)

Views: 515

Comment by Tim Spagnola on August 18, 2011 at 2:15pm
Really great stuff Irina - thanks for sharing with the RBC
Comment by Louis Bina on August 18, 2011 at 11:06pm
Good share Irina, I like the practical work tips being shared here lately.
Comment by Katrina Machado on August 19, 2011 at 12:03pm
Thanks Irina.  This is very valuable info!
Comment by Stuart Musson on August 19, 2011 at 2:25pm
Awesome information Irina....Saves me from BCCing a number of different options of suffixes and waiting to see what comes back undelivered
Comment by Ari Waller on August 21, 2011 at 11:20pm
Thanks Irina!

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