As these things typically happen, I stumbled across something that was completely new to me, on a site I had heard of for quite some time, but had never really investigated. I wandered over to melissadata.com, which is a clearing house of data used by mailing houses to clean up data for marketing purposes. I didn’t know too much about them, but my impression was that their products were quite expensive and probably not something that would help me source or find contact information. Something else that typically happens when I don’t actually investigate something and just decide something based on assumptions, I was proven wrong!
While the process I’m about to show you isn’t a silver bullet, I have found value and it can be another tool in your toolbox when you’re trying to find someone’s contact details! On top of that, this is a free part of their site!
The product is found in the “Free lookups” portion of the website. In order to use the free portion of their site, you do need to register an account. There are dozens of free tools, however, the one I have found most interesting and most useful is the one titled “Email to Address”.
Email to address
With the Email to Address tool you are able to put an email address into the search and see if there are any home addresses associated with that email. Similarly, it will also tell you if there are any phone numbers associated with the email (I have even seen it find cell numbers listed here!). Alternatively, you can put just the email name, with out the domain and see if there are any other emails with the same name, using other domains. The last way to use the search is by putting a physical address (home or work) into the search and seeing what email addresses have been associated with the physical address.
Here are a few examples of how I use this tool:
- Often I will first try to find an address (or at least an accurate City/State) for the person. My favorite site to look up this kind of information is from Pipl.com. Unlike other options, Pipl will often give past addresses, possible phone numbers, user names, and social profiles. All of these can be helpful to finding the right individual.
- I will then enter the possible addresses into the melissadata search to see what comes up. Sometimes they will come up with older addresses, but it still gives insight into the naming conventions.