Email outreach is a core function of any good sales team. Finding the emails of your customers can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Getting the right email address for your prospects makes the lead generation and conversion process much more efficient.
We’ve worked in sales support and been through the process of data collection more times than we care to remember. The advances in free and paid tools to automate the most manual processes have been revolutionary. Even if they have their limitations.
We’re often shocked at how much time and effort sales teams put into collecting data, work that’s often done by sales people who are not data specialists, simply because they don’t know these innovative tools exist! So we’ve reviewed five of the best free email lookup tools.
These tools allow you to get email addresses directly from LinkedIn, but also allow you to target specific websites to get a list of contacts.
All of these services are ‘try before you buy’ and we recommend giving them all a go to see what works best for you before you pay. You can certainly get plenty of utility out of the trial periods without any commitment to ongoing payments. So here they are:
Reply.io provides a pretty broad range of tools to assist sales teams. Their primary product focus is on email automation – not just finding contact information, but then using that information in email sequences.
Reply.io is compatible with LinkedIn, Gmail, Salesforce, Hubspot and Copper CRM, and once you’ve signed in to your account and LinkedIn, it’s very easy to use.
The sign up process is simple. You get access to the full functions via an in-browser interface.
The email discovery tool is actually just the first step in their process. In our opinion it’s the most useful part of the product.
In terms of usability and accuracy, it performs as well as any of the other products we review below. The accuracy of the information that you get is of a good quality. Around 70% of the email addresses being correct but not necessarily up to date. That’s a limitation of automated processes. They’ll find email addresses but are limited in terms of verifying if these email addresses are up to date.
Aeroleads operates in a similar fashion to reply.io. But unlike Reply.io, Aeroleads is more focused on the data collection as the primary focus of their product as opposed to offering the function as part of a larger process. This means that it is slightly more functional with this specific purpose and it’s very well reviewed online.
You can’t, however, use Aeroleads on every site as it’s focused primarily on LinkedIn, Sales Nav, Angel List and Crunchbase. The LinkedIn function, for example, requires you to search for the group or audience that you wish to get email addresses from. You then open the Chrome extension and it will pull all those email addresses for you. Their intro video is quite good (below). It isn’t the *best* in terms of UX, but it’s by no means difficult or unwieldy.
Once you’ve selected the emails you wish to use, you can build and edit lists of prospects within Aeroleads. You can also export them to most major CRMs, which is useful.
Like reply.io, aeroleads requires you to sign up and the functionality on the free trial is somewhat limited.
The best thing about Skrapp is that their sole product focus is collecting business email addresses and building lists with them. They really make an effort to educate you on the process of list building via LinkedIn. Skrapp also has the ability to be used on almost any domain, not just LinkedIn.
Once you’ve signed up, their video tutorials are great introductions to the product. Skrapp’s YouTube page provides some interesting introduction videos that give you a glimpse into its functionality if you don’t want to sign up to access the video tutorials.
The dashboard for reviewing the contacts that you’ve captured is also very clean and clear. It clearly identifies the email addresses that are correct and provides an extra verification notification once it has been able to complete the verification process.
Unlike the other tools, Hunter actually doesn’t work on LinkedIn any more. Why are we reviewing it? Well, Hunter is actually useful for assessing the validity of individual addresses or searching specific domains for email addresses.
The interface on the website is very clean and the actual Chrome extension is one of the easiest to navigate out of all the five free tools, so it’s a shame it doesn’t work with LinkedIn any more.
One of the features that Hunter does well is its ‘Bulk’ function, which allows you to scrape a particular domain for email addresses which Hunter will then put into a presentable format to download. This information includes social media handles, phone numbers and a confidence score for each entry. This extra information is actually quite accurate and provides valuable information for sales teams looking for more qualified leads.
All of these five free email lookup tools are a great starting point for list building. They will assure higher quality leads for you or your sales team. Gone are the days of sales professionals doubling as data entry administrators and manually creating lists. These free tools are a great way to replace the bulk of that manual work.
They all use algorithms and automation to complete the verification process which is a great technology advance in that it saves considerable time and effort. However using human verification for that ‘final mile’ is also a great way to ensure quality. Not only making sure the contact information is up to date, but the position of those people within the company is correct. Including human verification also gives you the chance to extract important lead-qualifying information ahead of any sales engagement. That’s our bread and butter – reach out if you’re interested in making sure that your sales team are contacting the right leads to maximize their efficiency.