He made it! France (Allez les Bleus! 🇫🇷) will face Croatia (Čestitamo! 🇭🇷) this Sunday in Moscow for the 2018 World Cup Final. Bravo Didier! 👏👏👏
Millions of French people right now would love to give him a warm hug to thank him. But this won’t happen, at least not until he made it home. But, what about shooting him some kind words by email?
This is possible! It’s called email scrapping and this is my technique to find (most of the time) anyone’s email.
For the email pattern, we know two important things:
It sounds silly here but this is the first step of every email scrapping session.
From here, let’s assume that Didier Deschamps professional email will end by “@fff.fr”.
You will help yourself with a few tools online. Let’s begin with hunter.io
Hunter is a French startup that I considered to be the best email scrapper around.
Co-Founder François Grante wrote many inspiring stories. Make sure to check them out (and to read my personal favorite here)!
Most of the emails both found and verified by Hunter work. It’s always a good move to ask Hunter before scrapping anything yourself.
Go to Hunter and click on “Finder” section. Then, enter the complete name and the domain.
Hunter’s best guess for Didier Deschamps email is [email protected] When I hover my mouse over the orange dot, a black box pops up to display a confidence score of 69%. It’s not bad but it’s not a sure shot yet, they tell us they “haven’t found this email on the web”. A verification is mandatory here.
There’s only one tool that is trustworthy for checking emails, it’s MailTester.
Go visit it, copy and paste the email recommended by Hunter and hit the “Check address” button. Let’s see what MailTester thinks about [email protected]
Well, it didn’t work as expected! MailTester says [email protected] is invalid.
Don’t blame Hunter. They warned us with the orange dot and a confidence score quite far from 100%. Remind that Hunter didn’t find the address online.
Instead of leaving you alone in the dark, Hunter scan the domain to see what’s the most common pattern used. From there, they build up an email with the complete name of the person you are looking for.
We have learned a few things so far:
The second point here might be the most important of the three. Many servers decline to answer to MailTester requests, making verifications impossible. MailTester returns a result like this when it happens:
Either the server doesn’t allow e-mail address verification or your guess is wrong. When this happens, you have to roll your sleeves and go back to Google to start your investigation.
How can we guess Didier Deschamps email from here?
We know a valid domain, his email may be not over there (that would be unfortunate) but we must be sure before sailing away ⛵️
MailTester told us the part that failed in our first try was the name. To fix our email pattern, the best thing to do is to look for other emails hosted on the same server.
Let’s use Google advanced search syntax and type: email “@fff.fr”
Here’s what I’ve found on the 5th page of results:
Don’t expect to find people emails in the first pages.
You must often read 4–5 results pages to find something relevant like here. Google found two people, B. Marchais and E. Bougeard, as their emails went public. Before going any further, let’s do a sanity check.
[email protected] works! 🎉🎉🎉
For the record, [email protected] is invalid.
I googled “marchais fff.fr” to make sure she’s still working at the French Football Federation. Turns out that yes, she is but…
Looks like there are several patterns active on this server. Another quick check to make sure it is:
Mailtester says it can’t verify her email, the server seems to filter access depending on the pattern. Still, what are the odds to publish somewhere on the Internet a fake email address on a contact webpage? 😏
My confidence score for her email: 99%
That’s what Google is also useful for. When servers restrict MailTester, your best shot is to google the email to find it somewhere.
Trusting the email pattern is mandatory to get results here.
Based on the email patterns we’ve found, we can try these two addresses:
So we may not be able to verify [email protected] with MailTester. Let’s try anyway:
Well, this is weird! Could it be possible that this server reads the name pattern to deny checking only valid emails?
That would be hilarious 😂 It seems to be the case as it returns [email protected] as not valid! But joking aside, we still haven’t found Didier’s email.
It’s time to test our second guess: [email protected]
Voilà! You got it! This email exists, you can now send your kindest words to Didier Deschamps! 💌
For the record, [email protected] works too. Various patterns exist on this server, sometimes you can find a few correct ones.
Email scrapping could be hard and there’s one very important thing you have to know:
You will fail sometimes!
It’s impossible to find all the existing email addresses, some of them are invisible out there. Some others use old domains that now redirect you to the official website of the company.
Personal emails are the hardest to find, don’t waste too much of your time on these ones. And last but not least, some patterns can be super difficult to decipher.
But still, this tutorial can do the trick for those interested in leads generation.
Hungry for code? You can write a script to google an email domain, scrap the results, pick up emails and check them on MailTester. Languages such as CasperJs might be useful.
👉 Clap if you liked my tutorial! More stories are on their way to Medium, hit the subscribe button to make sure to miss none of them. Feel free to post your comment below or shoot me an email at… Well, you’ll figure it out 😉
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