Have you ever sent a direct message to someone you don’t know on LinkedIn and never received a response? Or, have you ever seen a news article quoting an executive at a company you’re interested in and wondered how you could get in contact with him? Cold emails can be a good tool for getting in touch with contacts that are too far removed from your network to get introduced via a referral. But there's one problem -- how are you supposed to find the person's email address? It’s not like people’s email addresses are published all over the internet!
Actually, a simple Google search will often do the trick, as long as you use the correct search terms. Try searching “[company name] press release” and see what comes up. Very often, a PR rep from the company will have a direct email address listed at the bottom of the article. From there, you should be able to figure out the company’s email format and will be able to make an educated guess at the email address of the contact you’re hoping to reach. In some press releases, you may find a more generic address (like firstname.lastname@example.org), and in that case, go one step further and google “@companyname.com” (including quotes) to see if any employee email addresses pop up. You can also try googling the person's name in various common email formats until you find one that yields multiple results.
Unfortunately, sometimes these strategies won’t work. If the contact you’re hoping to reach has a hyphenated name, a multi-word name, or the same name as someone else at the company, you may not be able to figure it out. And of course, some people simply won’t respond to a cold email. If that happens, don’t get discouraged -- you’ll just have to find another way in!
--Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan