Ever needed to send a link request but lacked anything better than “firstname.lastname@example.org” as a contact address? I’ve been back to basics with a client recently, and of course, this classic situation has come up. Here are a few tools/tricks I’m using to get more information to personalize the email/phone call and increase the success rate:
1) Whois data: For those who don’t know, “whois” refers to the registrant information and associated contacts for domain names. Often a person is listed in the whois data even though the site itself doesn’t give any names of people to contact.
2) Sometimes, Whois only lists a company name. In such a case, I’ll look up the company on both Bing/Google and LinkedIn. Maybe the company behind my link-target-site has a brochure site about themselves with contact info. Better yet, maybe they’re on LinkedIn and I can contact them there!
3) At times, you’ll find a site for the holding company via Google but because of server or other issues, the site’s not accessible. And that’s where search engines’ cache and a preview can be really handy! In particular, try a site:example.com inurl:contact search to find a contact page on your target domain, then use cache or preview to see if there’s an email or phone number publicly visible.
4) Another valuable resource I just discovered is searching for a company by name – often yellow pages type directories come up in the results with valuable data.