If you do business research for a living (which might explain why you landed here), chances are you’ve been tasked at least a time or two with waving your magic research wand to produce an executive’s email address out of thin air. Assuming you have, you’ve probably found that it isn’t quite as easy as just heading to the company website and plucking the address from there. Not only that, but the difficulty factor almost always seems to increase exponentially with the level of power or prestige held by the executive in question. Still, it’s not impossible. Far from it. In fact, here are few tips that may help you in your sleuthing: 1. If it’s a smaller company, do a WhoIs search on the company at GoDaddy or another domain registration service. A lot of times, there will be a contact person listed along with an email for them and often that person is the CEO, president, owner or what have you.
2. If it’s a big company, head to Google, Bing or the search engine of your choice (are there any others anymore?) for some background/personal information on that particular executive. Since these kinds of folks tend to have big bucks, their kids tend to go to private schools and they, in turn, often wind up on their boards, committees or what have you. Sometimes, following those leads can lead to to email addresses, as can seeking out information on country clubs or other private organizations they may belong to. In the past, I’ve found CEO addresses on everything from websites for soccer teams that executives coached their kids on to organizing committee contact lists for Fall festivals, Winter carnivals, etc. Your creativity will definitely come in handy here.
3. During your background information search, also try to see what boards these people serve on, be they corporate or non-profit (these tend to have a higher email address hit rate), as sometimes you can stumble on a document (add filetype:pdf to your Google search and see what you find) or a website that includes board members’ email addresses or other clues as to their contact information.
4. Rich people also often have their own foundations, which you can search for at places like Guidestar.org or Fdncenter.org. Here, you can search foundation profiles for contact information or examine the Form 990s these organizations have filed for additional clues that may well lead you to an email address.
5. Finally, don’t rule out going straight to the company’s website and digging around there. You might well be surprised by what you’ll find, especially if you dig through enough press releases.