June 12, 2017

Salespeople: Your Email Finding Tool is a Lie!

If you’re in sales and want to reach out to a prospect, you simply won’t be able to without a valid email address.

I know that sounds obvious, but a lot of us still use tools that guess at an e-mail address and churn out a confidence score but never tell us whether the email is actually valid.

When you think about it, these tools are a lot like a friend who tells you something that sounds too good to be true, and when you ask “Are you sure about that?” you get a suspiciously long pause followed by, “Oh yeah, I’m totally sure! I mean... I’m like 90% sure.” The problem is, 100% sure is extremely useful; 90% sure means it might be a waste of your time.

The reality is that, without exception, all email addresses fall into one of four categories:

1. Valid: The email address passed a series of tests, including a check on syntax, MX records, and SMTP

2. Invalid: The address overtly failed email validation tests

3. Catch All: These are domains that responded to every verification request in the affirmative and, therefore, cannot be fully verified

4. Undetermined: At the moment of checking, it wasn’t possible to determine the outcome of the tests. Most of the time, this means a domain didn’t respond quickly enough


This information is critical. If you send emails to invalid addresses, a good percentage of them are going to bounce. And those bounced emails will lower your sender score and increase the likelihood that future emails end up getting caught by spam filters.

The best solution I’ve found to this problem is to use a two-fold approach. First, connect with your prospective clients on LinkedIn (this lets you view their email addresses). Second, don’t give up when your email finding tool fails—just move on to the next one. You’ll often have to search for an email using multiple tools before discovering a valid address.


I had to go through those steps myself, and to save myself time and trouble, I created an extension that automates the process. You can check it out for yourself at: www.linkedhub.io