By: Firmapi SARL
Hunter is probably the most recognizable email finding tool. It has been around since time immemorial and has been helping outreach experts find the right emails for their campaigns. It comes with some other tools that allow the user to conduct research in more ways and keep the results organized. The browser extensions and the email automation tool make it a lot more appealing to users.
Outreach campaigns usually have a major role to play in the success of businesses. It is one of the ways to get more clients, exposure, partners, and conversions.
People often focus on how to approach a prospect and spend a lot of time pondering over it and don’t think much of the process of gathering contacts, which are usually emails for most cases.
But finding out relevant email contacts is just as important as the rest of the outreach campaign. You can’t base a successful outreach campaign on top of a poorly collected assortment of email contacts.
There are two ways to go about finding email addresses off the internet. The first one is to conduct manual research in which you browse through various domains and look into all its corners and crevices for useful email addresses.
It is a time and labor-intensive process that doesn’t guarantee the best results. However, if your outreach campaign isn’t huge and needs you to put together a list of only a handful of prospects, you can give this kind of scraping a shot.
For most use cases of outreach campaigns, finding out the emails manually is rarely a good plan. You would rather need the help of software, and it is where email scraping tools into the picture.
Hunter.io is one of the earliest tools in the business that helps businesses across the globe to gather a list of email contacts for outreaching. The fact that it is one of the OGs of the business means it enjoys huge popularity, and rightly so.
In this review, we would go through all the features of Hunter.io and find out if it’s still the best in the business. They have added a lot more features and tools on the platform over the years, and we will have a good look into those.
Hunter.io is the table topper among email hunting tools for a lot of good reasons, but the new players are doing well too. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to catch up on Hunter.io anytime soon.
By the end of this review, you will have a much better idea of whether or not Hunter.io is the right tool for you.
It all depends on the kind of information you have to begin the search. Hunter has different tools for you, depending on how much you already know about what you need to search.
Let us have a quick look at the different methods of finding and verifying email addresses on the platform.
It is the most elementary way of finding email addresses associated with a domain. It allows you to enter the domain in which you are interested, and then Hunter will show you all the email addresses it can find for that particular domain.
You can add filters for the search, such as if you want to find personal emails on the domain or the generic ones, or if you want to go for all of them. The process is as simple as it gets.
If it’s a popular or huge domain, you might get a lot of results in the search. Hunter usually divides the results into multiple smaller groups. You can easily narrow down your research if you are interested in a specific group.
You will be able to see all the sources based on which Hunter.io came up with the results, and then even give you confidence score along with the result. You can hover over the dots to see the exact figure of the confidence score, and color-coding helps, as well.
You can further enter the full name of a person to filter the results even further. If you are merely assorting a list of email contacts, then you can use the option to export the list.
The search is what one would use if they need to find the contact information of executives in an organization. The tool is as quick and effective as it can be. However, it might sometimes leave some of the relevant email addresses because of the algorithm. We will shed some more light on the topic in later sections of the review.
Finder is a slightly more advanced version of the search tool. Here you can enter the name of the contact along with the domain name.
So, if you know the name of a person in an organization, Hunter can help you find out their email address. It will show you all the email addresses that relate to both the name of the person and the domain.
Often, you will get only one result, which means that it is highly likely that it is the email address you were looking for. If there are multiple results, you might want to look at the associated information with those addresses and boil it down to the one you are looking for.
One of the reasons your outreach campaign isn’t doing well might be because you don’t have the correct email addresses. A wrong email address not only ends your chances of getting a conversion at a particular avenue, but it also affects the rest of the campaign.
Once the IP servers start noticing that the emails you are sending out aren’t getting delivered, they might start perceiving your account as that of a spammer. It will increase the likeliness of your email to end up in the spam folder.
The verifier tool on Hunter will help you make sure that the email addresses you already have are correct and won’t contribute to bringing down your campaign.
The verifier would show you one of three statuses for the checks you conduct on the platform.
Deliverable email: This is the result you would usually want to see when you try verifying an email address. Deliverable emails pass all the checks, including format inspection, server check, and email status.
The platform can also show you the sources of the email address that gets marked ‘deliverable.’
Accept all email: Certain domains accept all kinds of email addresses. For instance, usually, you get a notification that the email wasn’t delivered because of an incorrect email address.
But if you are sending an email to a domain with an ‘accept all’ policy, you will never get a notification stating that the email address you used was incorrect. Such domains would always mark email status as ‘OK.’
Since Hunter can’t say with confidence about the correctness of the email address, they just let you know that it’s an ‘accept all’ domain.
Invalid email: Invalid emails are the ones that fail one or more verification checks from Hunter. It can be either because it failed the server test or because of the email status. In any case, you will know that you don’t need to waste your efforts focussing on the particular email address.
It will also help you verify the email addresses that you obtained from the platform itself.
Bulks is a large scale version of all the tools we just discussed. You can enter or import more than one entry and then get results for all of them.
You can enter multiple domains at a time and find related email addresses for all of them. If you have a list of people, then you can import it in the bulk tool and search for email addresses of all of them.
The same goes for email verification. You can paste or import a list of emails that you want to verify, and Hunter will check all of them at once.
Hunter provides the user with enough variations of search so that they can almost always find what they are looking for. Be it finding new email addresses or making sure that the existing ones work, are good enough for the campaign.
Before we get into what makes Hunter probably the best email hunting tool, let’s consider the process they use to come up with all these email suggestions.
Email hunter analyzes domains and indexes the publicly available email addresses. And they have been scavenging the internet for longer than anyone else. It implies that they have a much bigger dataset of email addresses available on the internet.
However, you don’t become the champion just by having the biggest muscles. There is more to it.
Since Hunter.io has been gathering email addresses for so long now, it is highly probable that a lot of those email addresses aren’t in use anymore. It implies that Hunter.io must not only be having the biggest dataset but the dataset with most number of obsolete email addresses, as well.
To prevent such a situation from prevailing, they use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) tests to check if the email address is functional or not. It is also one of the ways to determine the accuracy of an email address in email verifier.
Hunter does not stop at scraping email addresses from the internet. The tool goes through the available addresses in the dataset and tries to come up with other possible ones by analyzing the pattern of available ones.
This feature allows Hunter to come up with some accurate suggestions when you enter the name of a person along with the domain name to find the email address of that person.
Coming back to the process of getting rid of unwanted email addresses, the algorithm would also make sure that the email address makes some sense. If it is just a random collection of numbers and letters, then Hunter might remove it from the list.
So, they have been scraping the internet for email addresses for the longest period, they have developed mechanisms to get rid of obsolete email addresses, and they also analyze the existing email addresses to guess some more.
It is the combination of these factors that makes Hunter.io one of the better email finding tools available out there. Even though most of the similar tools work along the same line, Hunter has time on its side and comes up with better results because of the huge database.
Before email hunting tools became popular, sales teams used to conduct manual searches for emails. They would Google the information related to the domain or the person to find out the email address.
It can be a long process, and bigger campaigns can often lead to a lot of working hours. There are times when a few searches would easily lead you to the email address you are looking for, and then there are the cases in which it takes almost an eternity to find out the email address.
You can’t always be sure of how long it will take you to assort a list of said number of emails. There are a lot of variables involved in the process, but you can almost always be sure of the fact that it is going to be a time-consuming process.
If we talk of email hunting software, they take almost no time to come up with the results. And all of us know that time often translates into money.
For a tool with the caliber of Hunter, you can trust the number and scores you get for the confidence level associated with an email address. So, there is nothing to worry about the quality of results, as well.
However, there are still some ways in which manual searches are much better than digital ones. Let’s take a few examples.
Unlike an email finding tool, a human does more than simply scanning the pages for an email address. They understand and interpret the information provided on the page and therefore end up with a much better quality of email addresses.
You can try out this theory yourself. If you have a collection of email addresses that you have gathered manually, you can try to find out the same email addresses using Hunter.io.
It is highly likely that it will miss out some of the email addresses that you found and maybe come up with slightly poor suggestions for some other domains.
If your outreach campaign demands you to come with a very long list of email addresses of prospects, then you can use a tool for the search, and the tradeoff for efficiency for the time would still make sense.
However, if there aren’t enough avenues for your outreach campaign already, then you might be losing a significant number of opportunities by using an email scraping tool rather than trying to find the email addresses yourself.
Another factor you need to consider here is that you will not find email addresses for domains such as Gmail and Yahoo. It is because Hunter focuses on helping users find only professional emails, and emails on such domains are often used for personal communications.
However, there are still a few businesses and professionals that use email addresses from these domains for work, and by using an email finder, you are going to miss out on all such email addresses.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the scope of your outreach campaign and the quality of human resources you have for the job. For smaller campaigns involving fewer recipients, we feel it’s better to find the email addresses manually if you want to improve the reachability of the campaign. And for almost all the other use cases, Hunter is a better tool for the business.
Once you start finding the email addresses you want, you would now want to make sure you keep the information organized. You can simply save the email addresses on Hunter as you discover them.
Each email address would come with an option of saving it within the tool, and it will take just one click to save the address along with other useful information.
The ‘leads’ section is where you can manage all the contact information you have for the campaigns. You can use it as a hub to manage all the leads you have for the campaign, or you can integrate it with your CRM and email marketing tools to make the campaigns a lot more fluid.
The section stores all the email contacts you obtain from the platform, and then there is also the option to add email contacts of your own. They also allow the import of contacts in bulk from other tools.
When you save a contact from Hunter.io, you get a lot of other information with the contact, as well. It will have the domain name, company name, position, and many other details. Apparently, you can include all this information while manually adding the contacts.
These information fields then allow you to use multiple filters available on the platform. You would be able to sort the contacts by company, position, country, source, and so many more filter options.
The filters allow you to manage the contacts a lot more efficiently and use them better for the campaigns.
Hunter also allows you to create a different list of contacts. It becomes a lot more convenient to keep the contacts associated with different campaigns separately. You can also create lists based on the different filters, and have a list of contacts ready for different purposes.
We subscribe to the school of thought that says that the best way to find leads for a campaign is to use a combination of manual and digital email scraping in conjunction with each other.
Hunter provides a Chrome extension that makes it a lot easier to use Hunter as an assistant for the searches rather than leaving it all on the tool.
The extension sits fairly snug on your browser until you need it. There is nothing much that you need to do while trying to find email addresses using it.
If you are looking to find email addresses from a website, all you need to do is visit the website and click on the Hunter.io extension. It will show you all the email addresses associated with the domain, making the job much easier for you.
The extension displays the information in a similar manner as you see it on the platform. You can choose between the different categories of email addresses, and you can also search for people by name if you are looking for a specific person on the website.
The addresses come with all the usual details, such as the source of the email address, confidence score, and the role of the person.
We ended up loving the Chrome extension of Hunter.io more than the web application itself. The extension is quick and fairly simple to use.
You can save the email addresses with just a single click, and there is no need to go into the platform and deal with all the nuances. You can make sure that the contacts are added to the list that you want. With the Hunter extension by your side, it won’t take you much time to skim through websites and domains.
If you are not much into using Chrome, then you can find an extension for the Firefox browser, as well. The add-on for Firefox is equally effective and assists you the same way as the Chrome extension.
Once you have done the hard work of collecting all the emails, the next step would be to reach out to these people and request them to take the action that you want.
If you are already using an email management software, then you can import the contacts to that tool and take care of the rest of the business on that tool.
However, if you want, you can also use Hunter.io to send out the emails. You can synchronize your Gmail/Gsuite account with this platform and send out the emails.
Hunter’s campaign management tool works like any other email management tool that you might’ve used. It’s just that it lacks the usual collection of beautiful templates that those tools usually offer. Since you don’t need to showboat much in outreach campaigns, you won’t feel like missing out much.
[Image 7: The campaign section]
You can create a text message template for the campaign, and include the custom attributes from the contact list to make sure the entire thing is scalable. Hunter would allow you to include the column details available in your contact list.
They would automatically include an unsubscribe button in the body of the message to make sure you are following the regulations and don’t end up annoying anyone with your outreach campaign. The unsubscribe button will help both you and the recipient.
If someone is not interested in your proposal, they can prevent getting any more emails from you, and you would also not want to send out emails to someone who is disinterested. Instead, you can focus your energies on someone with whom you have a better chance of a conversion.
Hunter allows you to set up follow-up emails in case the recipient doesn’t reply to your first email. It can help you make sure that the recipient doesn’t miss your email, and allows you to improve the visibility of emails that you send out.
You can schedule a follow-up email for anywhere between 0 to 2 weeks. They allow only two follow-up emails for each mail to make sure people don’t start bombarding recipients with a series of emails.
Talking of the recipients, you have options to manually add contacts or use the ones from lists you created on Hunter. There is the option of scheduling emails instead of sending all of them at once. You can select the appropriate time and zone and then schedule the emails for the time and days when you feel you will get the best response.
There is an upper limit to how many emails you can send each day. It is at 400 emails per day since that is what Gmail allows.
Once you have sent out the emails, the campaign section would help you keep an eye on all the modifications. The statistics section would let you have a look at the status of all the emails you send out.
You will have a clear picture of the number of emails you have sent, the percentage of the emails viewed by recipients, and the percentage of emails for which you got a reply. There will also be other numbers along with these stats. You will be able to see the number of emails pending, the number of bounced emails, and the number of opted-out emails.
Hunter allows you to modify the content of your email campaign even after it has gone live. It would change the text for emails that are still pending, allowing to make as many amendments as possible.
The campaign section of Hunter comes with all the necessary features needed for managing an outreach campaign. Things get a lot easier if you can do everything on a single platform.
Hunter.io is among the biggest players of email hunting tools, a significant number of people would even go on to say that it is the king of the niche.
And there are plenty of reasonable arguments to support the statement. First of all, Hunter.io has one of the richest databases when it comes to email scraping, and there are no two ways about it.
They help you find out new emails and verify the existing ones, as well. The platform offers the user multiple ways to hunt for email addresses. It allows for singular as well as bulk searches. There are enough ways for one to find the right email addresses.
The confidence scores attached to email addresses make it easier for the user to decide if they want to include an email address in the campaign or not. It is easy to add the leads into a list with just one click. You can select the list and then add the selected email addresses to it.
The browser extensions added a lot more flexibility to the process. One can find out the emails associated with the domain and then filter them for a specific name. There are so many ways for one to take the help of the browser extension and speed up the process.
Hunter strives to provide the user with everything to run an outreach campaign by allowing them to send out emails from the platform itself. The email automation section has enough features to handle your outreach campaign needs.
Hunter adds speed and accuracy to the email hunting process, and that is what makes it one of the more preferred tools of outreach experts. They have a free subscription plan that comes with fewer tools for the platform. However, it should be enough to give you a fair idea of the competence of the platform.