The 7 Most Likely Email Formats At Any Company

An informed email guessing strategy that works

Photo by Yannik Mika on Unsplash

Social media is a sea of passive interactions. Sure the big numbers are nice but they don’t always correlate into revenue. Think about it, it costs nothing to have a social media account, and a tap on a screen to “like” a photo or video is not a worthy measurement of, well anything.

Confusing strong social media as a strong business is foolish and dangerous.

Any business model relying on an algorithm they have no control over, managed by a private company allowing you to monetize their platform without compensation is risky.

Don’t get me wrong, strong social media is an ingredient to success, but it’s not the recipe. The smartest account managers still drive followers to email lists, text contact lists, or websites with pixels installed. That’s a benefit of strong socials, but don’t get confused, email marketing and text-based marketing are the highest-ranking members of the royal family of marketing.

The advantage email and text-based marketing have over any other channel is direct inbox access. This commodity of direct inbox access maintains its value across any industry, category, and role.

If you run partnerships at Converse and want to design a sneaker with Leticia Bufoni, you’re most direct route is an email address or phone number. Even if you open a conversation on a social channel, it’ll get directed to email.

If you’re a maple syrup company, trying to get into national grocery retail, you’ll want the email address or phone number of the responsible buyers.

Heck, if you’re applying for a job, the path of least resistance to an interview is being in direct contact with the hiring manager. How do you get there? Email.

Implied in any outreach is the ability to write creative copy, be original, and not abuse any inbox access. I should have mentioned that earlier.

Between email addresses and phone numbers, one of these methods of communication is much easier to guess.

That would be email.

The 7 Most Likely Email Formats At Any Company

At any company, there are typically only 7 variations of email formats. With these, if you know the first and last name of the person or persons you wish to get in contact with, you can apply these 7 to their name, and find out which one is correct.


*Confirm company domain name, to appear after @ symbol, by visiting their website as some may be .co, .app, .edu, or other

The question then becomes, which one of these formats is the right one?

The easiest way to find out is using Yet Another Mail Merge.

Yet Another Mail Merge allows users to send their own personalized, trackable email campaigns from their Gmail account. I consider Yet Another Mail Merge the best-kept secret in business. I mean, for $40 a year, I can send 1500 personalized emails per day, track their open, click, and bounce rates all from a single draft in a Gmail account.

The speed of this strategy is real. No more expensive tools, brutal bells and whistles, bulky CRM’s, or design-void email marketing templates.

The test then is simple: Select the people you want to get in touch with, open a google sheet populating its cells with emails according to the 7 variants above and send your mail merge.

The google sheet you send from will show you which 6 emails bounced, and which email was opened and clicked. Voila, inbox access to that company granted.

How to know who to contact at a given company

If there was one platform never to pay for it would be LinkedIn, so let me tell you why you should pay for LinkedIn Premium Business.

LinkedIn Premium Business is the ultimate list-building tool. Within seconds of a well-crafted boolean search, you can know the full names of the exact people within a company that you wish to get in touch with. You can then do 1 of three things:

  1. Send a connection request, wait for acceptance, and send a message
  2. Send an InMail with an original subject line
  3. Guess their email…

Option 1 is a minimum effort play.

Option 2 is what everyone else thinks they do well, but usually, they just write some corny ass copy that moves to a sell waaaaaay to fast.

Option 3 is what you hadn’t considered, until now.

Do option 3.

When considering which type of email to send, I’d suggest including 5 key parts:

  1. Use a <<First Name>> merge tag to address the person you’re sending to.
  2. Include a note of gratitude to them for allowing you into their inbox since you did just kinda show-up uninvited.
  3. Include a second merge tag (<<, >>) with some sort of personalization.
  4. Attach a one-pager, or a deck to highlight you’re the real deal (Use Canva to build this).
  5. Sign off with acall to action such as “When would be a good time to explore this more?” — you got this far, don’t sign off with a let me know type line.

Got it from here?


Oh! Wait, forgot one thing.

Often founders will try shorthand versions of their name. These can get tricky but are worth the extra 2 minutes of time invested.

For example, my name is Richard, if I were a founder or early employee that lots of people try to contact I’d use shorthand versions of my name like Rich, Richie, or Rickie.

K, good luck!

The difference between Seth Godin, The Morning Brew, and me is that I respect your inbox, curating only one newsletter per month — Join Below The Fold, my behind-the-words monthly newsletter to feel what it’s like to receive a respectful newsletter.

Rode a bike across America, wrote about it. Went sober, wrote about it. Built RICKiRICKi, wrote about it. Is a human, writing about it | Cr3ate @

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