Doing great PR or even expanding your startup’s reach depends on the networks you built. Twitter is already well known as a great tool to build relationships, but when you want to take further base your relationships or pitch your story you’ll need to go to the next level. Emails.
In this post I want to show you 4 simple ways you can find an influencer’s or a reporter’s email using Twitter.
Finding someone’s email is not always as simple as we wished it to be, especially when speaking of influencers and other popular figures. People who are often sought out by others tend to try and keep their emails to themselves to avoid getting spammed or hassled too much.
When you’re a wanted man or woman, you need to make it harder on people to find your personal contact details. So only the ones who really want it, who really deserve it get it. It means you probably won’t just post your email on your website.
There are many ways you can find someone’s email. You can simply search for it on Google, you can ask for an intro through LinkedIn, or you can use tools such as ciscion or Vocus (though not a favorite of journalists).
You would be surprised how many reporters and influencers simply display their email address in their Twitter bio. After all, many of them might benefit from you reaching out to them as well. Reporters might get a big time story and influencers might get a new offer that they just can’t refuse.
To check if your person of interest has his / her email written in their Twitter’s bio section you simply need to find them on Twitter.
There are three simple ways you can find someone’s Twitter account:
Twitter: Just go on http://search.twitter.com and start typing the name of the person you’re looking for. When you start typing the name you’ll see a list of topics and afterwards you’ll see a list of Twitter accounts. Unfortunately, not everyone optimizes their twitter account for search so they might not have listed their full name or chose a Twitter handle that is relevant to them. This means you probably won’t find them using the simple Twitter search.
Target Websites: The good thing about influencers is that they’re experts at building their network, offline and online. If you visit their blog or website you’ll usually see a “follow me” button that will lead you straight to their Twitter account. So just go to your target person of interest website and search for it.
Google: Chances are you won’t have to get this far. If you’re looking for an influencer this means they’ve done the work to get where they are now by making it easy for people to find and follow them via their social channels.
Simply go to Google.com and type Twitter and then the name of the person you’re looking for. If you get several results and not sure which one to pick, just check the different results and check the profile picture or bio description to see if the info matches.
This tip is for pro users. Influencers and reporters get asked for their emails on Twitter all the time. You simply need to find the last time they responded positively to the request and you’ll have their emails as well. But how long would you have to scroll down to find it? You won’t.
Go to search.twitter.com. Under the text box Twitter prompts you to use their ‘Operations’ or go to ‘Advanced Search’. You need to choose “Advanced Search”.
Twitter offers some pretty great advanced search options but in order to find someone’s email you’ll need to use only two text boxes:
1. ‘All these words’ under the ‘Words’ section. In the text box write the word “Email”. Writing the word ‘email’ will make sure this word will appear in your search results. You know what usually comes after the word email? That’s right, an email address. But this is only the first part of what you need to do. Let’s go to the second part.
2. “From these accounts” under the “People” section – in this box, you can target your search so that it will find the relevant keywords if they were written by a specific account (or accounts). This text box will make sure your search will only find the word ‘email’ from the specific account you’re targeting.
After filling the two boxes hit ‘search’. If you can’t find the result you’re looking for make sure you’ve selected ‘All’ search results and not only ‘top” tweets.
If you still didn’t find the email address your’e looking for, see the next tactic.
[at] [dot] / (at) (dot)
Some people prefer not to give their email address on Twitter straight away. The amount of spam bots scanning through Twitter to get a email@example.com email address so they could start spamming you with all kinds of weird pills / porn / gambling / how to get rich emails is growing daily. So a lot of Twitter users prefer not to write their emails in plain text but use a walk around that you can use to your advantage.
To write down your email online without the bots scanning it you can fool them by using [at] and [dot] instead of your usual @ and .com. The means that if my email is firstname.lastname@example.org (I’m living on the edge right now) then I’ll write it as roy [at] roypovarchik [dot] com. How can you use this to find your target person’s email?
Lets go back to the previous tactic. Go through the same process you went through before – go to Twitter’s advanced search options but only this time, instead of writing “email” in the ‘All the words’ text field, write down [at] and [dot], if it doesn’t work, you can also try (at) and (dot). From that point it’s all the same as before. Type the Twitter handle of the person you’re looking for under “From these accounts” and click search.
Go ahead, try it.
Ask for it
If we got this far and you still didn’t find the email you are looking for, it is possible that the influencer or reporter you are interested in, never wrote their email on Twitter. This means searching for it won’t help you, because it’s just not there.
Don’t lose hope yet, though. Fortunately, what makes Twitter great is that it gives entrepreneurs a chance to build new relationships just by reaching out. So this is your chance to reach out and contact the person you’re interested in. Most times, if you ask the right way, you will get an answer including the desired email address or at least a DM with it.
How would you write a tweet that will get you an email? Here’s the exact tweet I use that often will get me results and should work for you as well:
Let’s break this tweet down to understand why this tweet works:
1. Put the @ first – Notice that I started my tweet with the reporters Twitter handle. On Twitter, if you start your tweet with another user’s Twitter handle it means only people who follow you both can see the tweet. So this conversation stays as private as a tweet on the public feed can get.
2. Offer value – Reporters are interested in two things: Getting stories that their readers care about and getting them first. In this tweet I write two things that provide the reporter with value: “I think will interest your readers” and “offer you as an exclusive”. These sentences show the reporter that I understand the main focus is the readers and the second is that I’m giving them a chance to get it first. These means that they get the chance to break the news, or simply the privilege of passing on the story first.
3. Never force to – If you read the tweet carefully you’ll see that I ask “To what email should I send it to?”. This means the reporter can answer me with any relevant email he is comfortable with supplying. I don’t necessarily ask for a personal email, just the most relevant one. It can be his or his editor’s email. Whatever he thinks is best. Assuming he’s interested in getting the exclusive, of course.
Remember that someone’s personal email address, public as the individual might be, is still personal and should be used with respect. If their email address isn’t free for all to see, this means they are not excited about getting tons of emails from people they did not personally approve.
Getting someone’s email is the easy part of your networking process or your PR outreach, now you need to start building a relationship built on value and mutual empowerment. Using Twitter to find the email is just the beginning.
How do you find “secret” emails?