If you want to know how to find an email address, it’s most likely for 1 of 2 reasons:

  1. You have a specific decision maker or thought leader in mind, or
  2. You have a target audience and you’d like to reach them in their inbox.

The majority of these tips on how to find an email work for #1. Only a handful work for #2 (emailing promising prospects at scale).

What’s the ‘best’ way to do anything? Is it what’s fastest? Easiest? Organic? Most scalable? Most accurate?

We won’t answer that for you. Instead, take a look through these methods for finding email addresses and decide for yourself. Then check out the tools to get started.

#1: Check the Website

It’s the easiest place to start.

Start with the Contact Us page, then check out blog posts or the Team/About Us page.

This step is especially important if you have a request (i.e. a guest post or partnership opportunity). Some companies will have explicit instructions for those processes — so be sure to follow them.

The Good: Checking a company’s website is great for specific questions or if you’re trying to get in touch with a team instead of a particular person.

The Bad: 90% of the time it only works 10% of the time. Companies typically include a contact form or generic email address instead of employee-specific email addresses.

It’s worth having a look, though.

#2: Add a Personal Touch to a Generic Email Address

If you’re not entirely sure of the person you want to get in contact with, it may be better to send a message to the company or department email. Try for emails like:

These email addresses most likely receive dozens (or hundreds) of emails each day, so it’s critical that your email message stands out. Follow this short checklist to make sure you get a reply:

  • Include the company name in the subject line and first line.
  • Make the email just as much about them as about you.
  • Get your point across quickly and make a specific request (“can you get me in touch with who I should be talking to?”)

The Good: It’s a simple step when you’re not sure (or unable to find) who you need to contact. Personalizing otherwise generic emails is a good practice to get into, too.

The Bad: There’s no guarantee your email will be read — more so than with your typical cold email. Use this one as a last resort.

#3: Start with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Instead of casting a wide net and trying to play detective, start with where you know your leads will be: LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Email finders often find technically correct email addresses for someone who has since switched companies. Annoying, right?

With Sales Nav, you can start by identifying the person you need to contact at a specific company or entire lists of people based on position, industry, geographic location and more. Then export the emails using your favorite email finder tool.

The Good: You can easily ensure you’re sending to the right emails, whether it’s for one person or hundreds of leads.

The Bad: You’ll have to need to have a Sales Navigator account already — or set one up. See how much Sales Nav costs.

A version of this post originally appeared here: How to Find an Email Address (12 Methods & Tools).