As we all know in the SEO world, links are still 70% of Google’s ranking algorithm. For a site to perform and rank at an optimal level it simply needs to generate links from sites with a high domain authority. Google and Matt Cutts want you to think that guest posting is dead… and most certainly the old ways of guest posting are in fact dead, however, building links in the right way is very much alive, and a necessity.
We all know content is now king. Google expects us to build out content that is so awesome that it gains natural backlinks, but if you don’t have enough traffic to your website, gaining natural links to your site can be a huge struggle. You can build out the greatest content in the world but if nobody sees it then it’s not going to provide any value. That’s where outreach comes into play.
When it comes to outreach one of the most frustrating and time consuming tasks is finding email addresses of the influencers that you want to reach out to. It’s hard enough to identify people that you actually want to reach out to, not to mention then having to find their email address. Some site owners and writers make their email addresses easily accessible, whereas others make theirs nearly impossible to find.
Today I am going to show you some of my favorite tips, tricks, tools, and more to finding the email addresses that you’re looking for.
A Simple Google Search
This is always the easiest and the first way that you should check for someone’s email address. By using some simple advanced search queries and operators you can find places and sites that your prospect may have their email address listed.
- “First Name Last Name” email
- “First Name Last Name” Contact information
- “First Name Last Name” contact
- “First Name Last Name” writer
- “First Name Last Name”
- Site:websitetheywritefor.com “Name” Email
- “First Name Last Name” Twitter
- “First Name Last Name” Facebook
Things to look for when doing these searches include: Personal website, social profile, portfolios, and other sites that they may write for.
Social Media Accounts
This is another simple method for not only finding contact information but actually reaching out to the influencer via social media. Everyone these days uses Facebook and Twitter. Chances are if the writer works for a big publication, then they are definitely active in social media. When landing upon someone’s social media page I would first look around to see if you can find an email address. If you can’t then just reach out to them via social media. Facebook is easier since you aren’t limited to only 140 characters, but Twitter is also a viable place to reach out to someone to gain their attention. I actually used social media to gain a backlink on Forbes that you can read about here.
Email Format + Rapportive
This is actually my personal favorite option when it comes to finding email addresses. These two tools combined can wreak havoc on people who try to keep their personal emails from being found. It’s the ultimate outreach email stalker tool.
Simply go to Email-Format.com and search for the domain that the writer you are trying to reach out to works for. Email-Format will then give the most common email address that someone at that site uses. For example, if you are trying to reach out to Forbes you would type in Forbes.com and it would give you something like JSmith@Forbes.com.
You then download the Rapportive plug-in. Once you do this, open up G-Mail, compose an email, type in the email address that Email-Format gave you and hit the tab button. Rapportive will then show you on the right hand side in a box that pops up whether or not this email address is in fact an email address. It will even give you information about the person such as their LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, etc. It will look something like this.
If it is in fact a real email address go ahead and craft your email and start your outreach.
Contact forms should be one of your last go to options. The reason is that for any reputable site, they are going to receive thousands of these contact form fills a day and your request is just going to be swallowed up in a pile of other contact form submissions. The only exception would be is if the contact form is on a writer’s personal website. Those contact forms usually funnel straight to the writer’s inbox and is much more of a legit way of contacting a writer versus using a contact form on a site like the Huffington Post.
Another method with contact forms that is useful is viewing the source code of the contact forms. Occasionally you can find an email address attached to the contact form by viewing the source code. If that’s the case definitely use the email address instead of filling out the form.
Domain Registration (Whois.net)
This should absolutely be your last resort 99% of the time. Typically if you are searching for a webmaster’s email address and it’s not listed on their site you can find it by looking up their information. You can do this by going to Whois.net. However, be careful with this method. Never reach out to an administrator email, or an email with a bunch of numbers, etc. Only outreach if the email looks legitimate. This can also be combined with the Rapportive plug-in to make sure that you are outreaching to a legit email address and not some backend email address. Also, don’t use this method if you’re outreaching to a high authoritative site like Forbes. If anything your email is going to hit the webmaster or administrator and they are going to know exactly what you’re trying to do (get links) and they are much more likely to report you as spam. But, for a writer’s personal website this can be a great way to find their contact information.
Buzzmarker is a plugin that you can download from the webstore that is ran by BuzzStream. You do have to have a BuzzStream account to use it but you can sign up for a free account and still use the plugin to its full potential. Buzzmarker is designed for faster prospecting which in turn leads to smarter outreach. Buzzmarker has several great outreach aspects to it but for the purpose of finding email addresses it basically scrapes the website and returns every email address that it finds throughout the site. This means that you don’t have to go searching around the website page by page yourself because Buzzmarker can do this in a matter of seconds.
Using this arsenal of tools can allow you to use your inner CIA intelligence capabilities to stalk out the email addresses that you’re trying to acquire. Combining your promotional team with these plugins and tools will lead you to be an outreach marketing ninja.