It's often the case that getting in touch with just the right people can make all the difference between success and failure in business. 

In this digital era, though, it's not enough just to find a person's phone number and get past the gatekeeper so you can make contact. You should also try to find his or her email address.

Here are a few ways to get them, and then what to do next.

1. Email Hunter

Email Hunter is a free tool that lives up to its name. It operates as a Google Chrome extension, so you'll obviously need to use that browser.

To use it, just visit a website and click on the red target in the upper right-hand corner of your Chrome window. You'll be provided with a list of every email associated with the website's domain.

With that list, you can often parse the prefixes to determine the email address of your intended recipient. For example, if you're looking for John Smith who works for XYZ Corporation, take a look for an email address like "jsmith@xyz.com".

However, in a company with thousands of employees, you still might not be sure that you have the right address. Fortunately, Email Hunter provides you with a testing tool so you can verify the email address before sending the email.

2. Emails4Corporations

Another free option for finding somebody's email is Emails4Corporations. It's not the most well-designed site in the world, but what it lacks in user experience it more than makes up for in functionality.

Plus, it's free.

Just navigate to the website and click the industry that you're searching for. Then, navigate through the list to find the email pattern of people at a specific company.

3. Datanyze

Datanyze is free for a trial period but then requires payment. Unlike most companies that offer a trial period, though, Datanyze won't insist that you enter a credit card number up front.

You can think of Datanyze as Email Hunter on steroids. In addition to searching for email addresses, the tool will also provide the Alexa ranking of a website, keyword bidding that it's using, and much more.

Another great feature of Datanyze is that it allows you to find companies who've stopped using a technology platform. That's great news if you're looking for new business and you've found that some company just dropped one of your competitors.

4. Toofr

Do you know somebody's first name, last name, and company but have no idea how to reach that person via email? If so, then Toofr is for you.

Here's how it works: You provide Toofr with the person's first name, last name, and the domain name of the person's company (e.g., ibm.com). Then, Toofr will provide you with his or her email address.

Even better: The company offers a Chrome extension so you can search for prospects the moment inspiration strikes.

Toofr uses the credit system. Essentially, you start with 12 free credits. Once those credits run out, you'll have to pay $20 per month.

5. CEO Email Addresses

If you're looking to talk to the person at the top of the food chain within a given company, maybe you should give CEO Email Addresses a shot. It's an especially good option because it's free.

Just select the industry of choice, then click on the CEO's name to find his or her email address. It's another tool that offers valuable information without great design.

Bonus Ideas

If these tools don't work, consider going to the person's LinkedIn profile. Often, there will be an email address listed. If there is not, you can always send them a direct message through LinkedIn or another social network. Finally, Pitchbox and BuzzStream are two other good tools for finding emails.

What to Do With Email Addresses

For starters, you don't need to immediately contact that person via email. You can begin by following the contact on Twitter, LinkedIn, or another social network.

This will allow you to get to know the person. You can also ease into the relationship by interacting with him or her on the social network first.

No Email Marketing?

You might notice that thus far there's been no mention of email marketing. You might be thinking to yourself: "I have the email addresses of these people! Why aren't you mentioning anything about email marketing?"

The answer to that question is simple: It's because those contacts never gave you permission to add them to any email list. They might do that at some point in the future, but they haven't done so yet.

You can ruin your reputation and your business if you engage in email marketing abuse. Never take advantage of someone's email address in this way.

Advertising on Facebook

Facebook allows you to specify people who will see your ads based on their email addresses. That gives you a great opportunity to market your products or services to people whose email addresses you've recently acquired.

You Can Also Just Send Them an Email

Finally, there's the direct email approach. That's different than more traditional email marketing because it doesn't involve the use of lists.

Email the contact directly with a very personalized pitch. Make sure it's tailor fit for that contact's business model. Introduce yourself, be polite, and explain your business model. Finally, tell the contact when you're available for a phone call. It's typically a good idea to use digital communications as a starting point and move on to "old school" salesmanship afterwards.

Now Get Started

In many cases, the hardest part is not getting someone's email; it's knowing what to do with it. Don't be too aggressive, unless you have something really good to offer. Whenever you approach someone new, don't think about what is in it for you, start by finding ways you can help them.

Published on: Apr 25, 2016