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I use google. If I am trying to email john smith at general motors, I'll google john + "gm.com" which will return pages where John's at GM have left their email address. That gives me the pattern.

Silvia Quintanilla

This is good to know about. What I do also is use Spoke (www.spoke.com). They will give you the email patterns (and sometimes a company will have more than one). But Spoke charges a monthly subscription.

Patrick Ahern

I will also use Google and type "@company.com" and it will return all instances where @company.com is used which always contains an employee email address and then you can derive the pattern from there.

Ryan Sasaki

I worry that resources like this will get abused.

It's another resource that will help marketers spam people. As a marketer, just because I know a person's name, it doesn't give me the right to market to them.

I guess this has become an "accepted way" but that doesn't make it right.

I wonder what Seth Godin would say about this?

Joel C.

Jill, you should be embarrassed that you would even consider cold call emailing as an effective tactic. You just lowered yourself from the major to the minor leagues.

Jill Konrath

If you think I'm talking about spamming, you've totally misunderstood what I'm advocating. I do NOT believe in sending out mass mailings to prospects. Not only is it illegal, it's also grossly ineffective.

However, I do support emailing a targeted individual with a totally personalized message based on in-depth analysis of his/her business challenges, strategic direction and more. This email would likely read something like this:


In researching your company's strategic direction for 2007, it's clear that improving sales productivity is a prime objectives.

I thought you might be interested in our white paper on "How to Create More Leads at 1/2 the Cost. Here's the link:...

Quick question: Is your firm leveraging triggering events to shorten the sales cycle?


Jill Konrath

John Vinch

I don't see how contacting a prospect by email defaults you to being a spammer. If the subject is highly relevant to the recipient and provided you don't add the prospect to a mailing or autoresponder list without his or her explicit consent, how is this any different from looking up someone's business phone number and making a call?

Jill, we wrote about this post on our site a few days ago. Unfortunately, I hadn't noticed it until just recently.

Christoph Dollis

Hi Jill,

This was a really great post on something I have little experience with.

Phone calls, yes. Reactive emails, yes. Even web copy and direct mail. But direct email... well, as Ryan Sasaki points out, that's controversial...

I’m putting a link to you on my blog’s sidebar.

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