Email addresses are the first point of contact between you and a prospective client, investor, advisor, or business partner. Of course, the adage ‘first impression is last impression’ is ever so true here – but sometimes, one needs a little help in setting the stage for that first impression itself. Bigwigs like CEOs, CXOs and founders of emerging companies try to make their email addresses relatively difficult to find, so that they aren’t bombarded with hundred of uninteresting or spammy messages everyday.
Interestingly, this creates a kind of challenge for enterprising and enthusiastic minds to hunt down their contact details and really sell them a first impression.
Before you begin, there are a few things to take care of. Make sure you have a definitive plan of action after you have the contact details. Have an endgame in mind – what do you want to talk about, what do you have to offer, and what do you want? It’s important to be able to answer all these questions clearly, concisely and confidently. Value the time of those you contact as much as you value your own – be prepared.
Now that you’re ready, here’s all you need to know about tracking down the email address of any C-anything-O you might think of getting in touch with.
1. Use the company website
Company websites often have ways to get in touch with higher-ups that aren’t accessible to spambots and webcrawlers. This may be a photograph of contact details, a web profile or personal page, or even simply an email address from an archived post. Many companies offer a way to send a message, feedback, or professional enquiries via the website itself. Messages that stand out from the crowd may often reach the people you want to get in touch with. In fact, for some recently emerging companies, the company heads often handle such correspondence personally. This is always a good way to start out.
2. LinkedIn is your friend
Even the biggest of CEOs and CXOs are on the lookout for opportunities for growth. Given the right set of common connections on LinkedIn, you may be able to access their contact details and send off an email right off the bat.
LinkedIn also offers the opportunity to message well-connected people asking for help. There is absolutely no shame in doing this, if done right. Besides, it may just be the easiest way to get required contact details. A simple – “Hello, can you help me get in touch with so-and-so.” – is often the ultimate solution.
3. Use social media
Several companies have active social media accounts, and messages to the page, or especially interesting, insightful or funny comments can easily percolate up the hierarchy to the right set of eyes. It’s important to present your best via social media – remember, only put it online if it’s something you’re proud of.
4. Use search engines
An oft-neglected tool to deliver contact details is simply a search on a popular search engine. Going through archived results can often give you their contact details from a time when the founders were still struggling to make it big. Similarly, searching through old or archived copies of resumes and CVs, newspaper clippings or news articles online, as well as advertisements – can help collect useful contact details.
5. Look for personal email IDs
Everybody has a personal email address, and while most decision makers are careful not to let them go public, they often slip up somewhere. Checking their blog active, Quora posts, as well as social media, is often a useful start. Be careful while using personal IDs to make first contact – one needs to make sure it seems friendly and not at all intrusive.
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