Boolean Strings for Building Email Lists

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What follows is a how-to post.

Being short of InMails while sourcing in an industry, where those few who are on LinkedIn never open InMails, is a challenge. Emails have a better response rate and often, instant replies, at least in my experience recruiting Registered Nurses.

I am not going to talk about email-finding tools – there are plenty of informative blogs on that. I would like to expand on the concept of my last few posts.

If you have a list of email addresses, for many, you can find out who these people are professionally, filter down to your requirements, and contact for free.

For every new position I source, email collection is one of the first things I do after having gathered intelligence on terminology, job titles, companies, and anything relevant.

For the collection, I use two tools, both developed by my partner Julia Tverskaya, a Sourcer who codes, (who is in Wikipedia, by the way – how many of us are?):

1. Chrome Extension Email Extractor

The beauty of the tool is that it can follow you to every page you visit, collect emails from the source code, and keep adding to its list until you ask it to stop and copy to clipboard (make sure to mark that in the options). It has a superior extraction algorithm. The output list is deduplicated.

This morning, Julia has added two new useful options:

a) Alphabetize results

b) (Handy!) remove non-personal emails like info@, recruiter@, support@, admin@, etc. Anyone who has done email collecting knows that cleaning up lists is a headache, and it’s a big help.

2. Online Email Extractor

Paste your text, extract emails.

The reason I need both tools is that the extension doesn’t work on PDF files, so for them, I copy the full content, paste it into the second tool, and copy the output.

I merge and deduplicate the two lists.

Now, off to Google. I construct all sorts of search strings to capture emails right from results pages. Remember, any search would get no more than 300, maybe, 400 results, so variations are in order.

It is boring, but for the best outcome, you need to be methodical. (I am not, but I force myself.) Put on your favorite background music and sit in a comfortable chair.

Here are some string components I use to pull out emails from snippets, on most Google results. They are optimized for email addresses to be included in snippets.

As attractive as it may seem, do not use these substrings in OR combinations – use them individually for a much better outcome. Combine each of the terms with a variation of professional words, and keep the email collector running. If some of the results are PDF files, use the other tool. Notice every result that looks interesting based on its snippet and investigate the site.

There are some creative “exotic” searches you may think of that in practice do or don’t produce much. Anything is worth a try, though.

This list is far not exhaustive. Let me know of other good ones!

  • “” (this is “the king” keyword, so you may want to vary the other part of your search, such as job titles and locations, to find more)
  • “”
  • “”
  • “” (you can add other free domains if you want to be thorough)
  • “email me * *”
  • “me at * *”
  • “email * * com”
  • “email * * org”
  • “email * * edu” (do the same with country domains if you need)
  • “e-mail”
  • “email * * <company email domain>”
  • “email” “<company email domain>”
  • two company email domains
  • “” “<company email domain>”
  • -“at http” -“at www”  -“at https” “<company email domain>”
  • this one is exotic; however, it performs impressively well, depending on the company – email “david.*” I used the fact that many emails have the format [email protected]. Here, lovers of ORs, celebrate! If results are slim, it’s fine to include an OR of popular names in one string.
  • same as above but include one name and an OR of companies
  • and this is even wilder – I am now skipping the email domain altogether: email “david.*.*.com” healthcare.
    Here is what the results look like. The search can be narrowed down in various ways to continue producing new results.

The most productive are LinkedIn X-Ray searches since I can instantly reach the identified people with the knowledge of their professional background. The most volume comes from open-ended searches, with no sites specified, and X-Raying “interesting” sites that show up.

It also helps to add the words association, directory, and list – one at a time – to the string.

Note that you needn’t worry if you capture a school parent list or a basketball team roster. It costs nothing to keep emails, and filtering will remove false positives.

Tip: Don’t make additional, “professional,” part of the string too long because emails will stop showing up in snippets. Experiment, and you will see the right balance.

Any searches are useful, but it’s best to shoot for 100-300 results in each.

I am confident that this approach will significantly increase your outreach for any open position. It’s easy to follow; if you try it out, let me know how it works out. It is the easiest if you have a Recruiter subscription but y

If you are interested in other methodologies, get the recording of the latest Find Anyone’s Contact Info Workshop.







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