How To Find The Email Address Of Any Position Within Any Company

By David Veldt - 08/01/2013

Disclaimer: The following method is one I use on occasion to reach out to industry thought leaders and the like for non-spamming purposes only. Use this information as you will, but please, use it wisely and respectfully.

Whether you're a job candidate that wants to open a direct line with human resources, a link builder that wants to get in with the marketing or IT departments, or you simply misplaced the email address of someone you just met, chances are you've wished for a little black book full of all the most elusive email addresses.

The good news is that you can easily find these email addresses relatively easily and quickly. The method shared below accomplishes this by using two free resources: LinkedIn and the Rapportive add-on for Gmail.

If you already have the first and last name of the person you seek, you can skip down to the section on using Rapportive to narrow down their email address, as originally described by Rob Ousbey from Distilled last year.

Find Out Who Holds The Position

In our example, let's say we're interested in getting an up-and-coming website to join our ad network. To do so, our goal is to reach out to someone in the advertising department with the authority to make such a decision, or at least open the conversation so they can connect us with someone who can.

Advanced LinkedIn SearchTo find out who holds key positions, we'll turn to LinkedIn. While not every professional uses LinkedIn, there are over 200 million that do, so it's a good place to start. We'll use the advanced search function to search by company and department.

You can be as broad or specific as you'd like by using the Keywords or Title fields. You can try to guess their title (i.e. Director of Advertising or Head of Advertising), although I usually prefer to put the name of the desired department into the Title field to bypass guessing their company's naming conventions.

Be sure to select "Current" in both drop-down menus beneath Title and Company in order to eliminate people who have moved on. Also, if you're seeking someone at a business with multiple locations, you may want to narrow down your search further using the postal code field.

Depending on the size of the company, you may need to narrow down or broaden your search to find an appropriate contact within the company.

Tip: LinkedIn will only display the first name and last initial for 3rd degree connections to entice you to upgrade your account. To get their full name, simply copy their first name, last initial, company and the position they have listed and paste into Google. Google will display their public profile without the "Out of Network" filter LinkedIn adds if you go through their search function.

We've now answered the question as to who we should contact. Now all we need to do is track down their email address.

Find Their Email Address

I first became aware of this method from a Distilled post from Rob Ousbey last year, and it is simply awesome.

RapportiveFirst, make sure you have a Gmail account and hop on over to Rapportive and download the free add-on for the browser of your choice. Rapportive essentially takes email communication a step further by automatically tracking down social media accounts and pages associated with the email address in the "To" field of your Gmail composition so you can further foster your online relationship with the person you're already emailing.

The concept is simple: Rapportive scours the internet for the email address you've typed in. If it finds a match, you'll see information populate the sidebar of your email. If it doesn't, you won't see much of anything.

Of course, not all companies use the same naming convention for their email addresses. Small companies or the addresses of early founders might contain a first name only, followed by There are numerous variations involving initials, order, periods and so forth such as, and

To help with this, Rob created a Google doc which generates a large list of possible variations once you enter in the first name, last name, and company website (it is a read-only doc, so you'll have to go to File > Make a copy). Once you generate your list, simply copy and paste it into the "To" field of a new email. From there, simply click down the list of email addresses until Rapportive finds a match.

I'll let Rob recap the entire process in his own words:

I actually really enjoy this process and I feel a minor thrill when an actual face appears on the side of Gmail. From here, the ball is totally in your court. Be respectful, don't flood anyone's inbox, and use this method responsibly.

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Leave a comment


10 years ago

Hello I have installed rapportive on my web browser but when I use my gmail account nothing is coming up

David Veldt

10 years ago

Hi Mayur,

I've gotten emails from people a few times about this and since I do not work for or with Rapportive, ultimately I would refer you to their Help section:

However, I've known people to have trouble because they downloaded the wrong extension. They have separate versions depending on whether you use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to browse the internet and open your Gmail. If you download the Chrome version, for example, it will only work while you're viewing your Gmail in the Chrome browser.

Also, it does not work if you're using one of these browsers in a "private" window. For example, if you're viewing your Gmail while in "Incognito Mode" in Chrome, or if you're in "Private Browsing" in Firefox it will not work.

Lastly, you might have to just close and re-open your browser for it to work the first time. Those are the only things off the top of my head, I'm sure the Help section of their site will provide more insight.

Hope that helps!


10 years ago

Hi Rob, I've just come across your blog regarding the installation of Rapportive into gmail accounts, I've been able to download the spread sheet and copy it successfully but cannot get it to import and become part of my gmail. We've just started a new business here in the UK and it would a great tool for us.

kind regards,

Phil Burvill

Tom Blue - Lead411

10 years ago

David, I have tested over 2000 emails with Rapportive... at least. The only issue with the Rapportive method is that 80% of the business world is not findable on it. For tech/web companies it is a pretty good resource, but for other businesses it is pretty dismal.

For situations like that you will either want to google, go to a resource like or use a service like ours e.g. Lead411, ZoomInfo, InsideView or


10 years ago

Unfortunately I am having the same issue as Mayur - since the last gmail update (quite some time ago), there is a new feature where the compose screen opens in a new window - you're no longer getting the ads along the side. Rapportive gives you info if you've already sent or received email to someone - but not as you're attempting to. You can try some of the variations, hit send, then go into your sent folder and click the name - then you'll see any info if it's available.

David Veldt

10 years ago

Hmm...strange, everything still works fine for me. The small compose window opens up and when I hover over an email address (even one I've never corresponded with before) the Rapportive sidebar appears.

This does not work if I click to maximize the compose window, however, and it is taking up most of the screen.


10 years ago

I love this LinkedIn & Rapportive idea. I'd like to point out that in recent months there have been a number of new apps which take this idea + Rapportive to the next level. One such example is, where it does all the work for you. You just need to know the first and last name and company they work for.


9 years ago


Love this tool. I was searching today for a client. (I am a Virtual Customer Relations Specialist-VA). She has a list of companies for me to search LinkedIn and Google for their directors or vice presidents names and ultimately wanted to locate a phone number or email address. Well, as you know email addresses just aren't listed online typically - unless the company itself provides them, so with that issue there were quite a few fields blank after my initial search to find the names with the titles first. When I found a name, finding the email address was the next step and next to impossible. We still have a challenge, however your information and tool provides a new avenue to try. I found your article and your tool very helpful. Thank you!

Van B.

8 years ago

I tried rapportive on my gmail after I downloaded the extension on my Chrome. I restarted the browser because it didn't show up the first time. After the restart the reparative appeared but no details on the email address. Am I missing a step. How could I make this work?