That single piece of information is your lifeline to success if you want to pitch prospects, land assignments, and make a living writing.
Your first stop should always be the magazine masthead or the company website to find emails. But that doesn’t always pan out.
So do you throw in the towel, shake your fist at the sky, and spend the afternoon crying about how hard it is to find emails?
Stop. Right. There. Skip the pity party and follow Carol’s advice: “Take the attitude that you are an unstoppable force of nature, and you won’t give up…”
If you want to find emails for editors, marketing directors, or sources, you can. Wondering if your pitch email got read? There’s a way to find that out, too.
Check out these tools you can use as a freelance writer to dig up contact info and find emails:
Connect Contacts+ to your email account and use it to organize all the people in your network, make it easy to find them, and keep all that information in one place. It’s a time-saver that way.
But you can also use it to find email addresses for people, says Carol Tice. “I’m a fan of using Contacts+ for Gmail because, it will give you absolute confirmation of an email address the person has used to set up one or more social accounts.”
Looking for an easy way to build a targeted list of potential prospects in your niche you can pitch? It could take you hours to sift through Google searches and find emails for the right people. Fortunately, there’s a tool that can simplify the process, and it’s FREE.
“GetProspect is great for finding contacts and emails,” says freelance writer Alyssa Goulet. “It works similarly to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, but you can get 100 emails a month for free.”
Spend just a little time online learning about lead generation and content marketing to grow your freelance writing business or help a client, and you’re bound to come across HubSpot.
It’s “customer relationship manager” software simplifies the process of managing, organizing, and staying in touch with your contacts. But you can also use it to find emails and prospects you can pitch. There’s even a free version for start-ups and small businesses.
If you need to find emails, the Hunter.io user interface can help you in a couple of different ways.
- Verify email convention. From the Hunter.io home page, enter the URL of the organization where your contact works. Hunter shows you the email convention (such as [email protected]), along with verified email addresses. If you know your contact’s first and last name, give it a shot and send your email.
- Confirm accuracy of email. When you install the app version of Hunter.io on your computer, you can also get details about the accuracy of an email address for a prospect. Sometimes it’s 90 to 100 percent, and that’s great. But the downside, sometimes the enough Hunter coughs up might only give you a 50-percent confidence level it works. “I don’t really like Hunter, because sometimes it will tell you that there’s only a 60 percent chance or something that the email you’ve got for the person is correct. And I just need to know.”
If for some reason you don’t already know this, here you go. LinkedIn is one of the hottest places on the Internet to connect with people in your niche, find clients, and tap your network to ask for referrals. And it’s free.
However, LinkedIn offers a bunch of different services you can use to find emails and prospects like as LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It’s a paid service, $64.99 month-to-month, and free for the first 30 days. And it’s one service that’s helped some Freelance Writers Den 2X members level up their prospecting and marketing efforts.
Or you could just go with LinkedIn Premium like freelance writer Emily Omier to find people in your niche, send connection invites, find their email address, follow up, and ask for referrals.
Not many online resources to find emails have been around longer than ZoomInfo, which was founded in 2000. It’s a paid service similar to LinkedIn Sales Navigator or the paid version of Get Prospect and costs around $79 per month.
You can use ZoomInfo for your own marketing purposes so prospects can find you. For example, that’s where Carol Tice first hung up her shingle as a freelance writer years ago. But it’s also a useful resource to get really specific info about people in your niche and find emails.
Tip: Need to find emails for editors, marketing directors, or sources? Always check the magazine masthead or company website first. Ask Google. And if that doesn’t turn up a good contact, use one of these tools.
Did your email get read? Here’s how to find out…
One you send a query letter to an editor or fire off a letter of introduction to a marketing director, you probably want to know if any eyeballs are actually reading your message.
If the email address you used is bad, you’ll usually get an “undeliverable” message in your inbox. But if that’s not the case, did someone read your message? Here are a couple more tools you can use to find out.
Add this useful app to your Gmail or Outlook account, and Boomerang will notify you when your email gets read. And if you’re the kind of freelance writer who likes to follow up or stay in touch with prospects or old clients you haven’t heard from in a while, it can help you with that too.
Here’s another tool like Boomerang that notifies you when the emails you send are read. Install the app using your Gmail account, and that’s about all there is to it. When you’re really trying to reach a prospect, source, or editor, it’s super helpful to know your email is being read.
My Mailtrack story: When I heard about one of the leading companies in corporate wellness shutting down after 30-plus years and leaving all their clients high and dry, I wanted to hear it from the source. I made a ton of phone calls and got nothing. Then I emailed the PR and marketing director. It took about six weeks to finally get a reply, but in the meantime, Mailtrack told me my email was read over 100 times. No doubt, my contact and her peers were trying to decide what to tell the press.
Find emails…pitch prospects…repeat
If you want to make a living writing, and you’re just starting out, marketing has to be your number one priority. Identify prospects and the right person to contact. Then find emails. These tools can help, but there’s also…
- The old-fashioned method to find emails. Pick up the phone. Talk to an administrative assistant, secretary, or intern. Ask a couple of simple questions. Who’s the person who works with freelancers? What’s their email address? These sleuthy tools are great, but sometimes a simple phone call can save you a ton of time.
Once you get that critical piece of information (an email address), send a query letter or letter of introduction. And repeat the process. You can do this!
What tools do you recommend to find emails? Let’s discuss in the comments below.
Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultra-marathon.