Email permutator tools attempt to solve a common problem: not having the necessary contact details for someone you need to reach out to.
These tools use information input by the user surrounding a contact’s name and domain to generate a list of possible email addresses for that contact. However, it’s important to remember that these are only possible email addresses – so further steps are required to verify the contact information.
Here’s a closer look at how email permutators work, a list of the best tools, and why they’re not always an ideal option.
Using Email Permutators
To use an email permutator tool, you simply need a few surface details of the contact you’re attempting to get in touch with.
Most domains have pretty simple formulas for generating email addresses that go something like [firstname.lastname]@domain.com or [firstinitiallastname]@domain.com. However, putting together every single possible email address for one contact can be incredibly time-consuming given all the potential different variations on the formula.
An email permutator simply takes the manual labor out of this task by coming up with a long list of possible email addresses. This hands you back the time and money you would have spent by completing this task in a non-automated way.
However, if you’re faced with a long list of email addresses for all the contacts, it would be ill-advised to simply send to all the email addresses and hope that one is right.
Sending messages to incorrect email addresses – especially so many of them and on a regular basis – is a surefire way to put a hefty dent in your sender score. If you harm your sender reputation, domains are less likely to trust emails from you, and you may find your emails being caught by spam filters a lot more.
As a business, you need to be able to send emails simply to operate, and harming your domain reputation can be a major setback.
So, how do you take this long list of emails and whittle it down to the right one?
The best option is to use a bulk email verification tool, which will comb through the possible email addresses and let you know which one is actually a verified email address.
In general, email permutator tools are best when combined with an email verification tool – otherwise, you’ll simply have to take your chances with the addresses you think seem most likely. And this is not a great way to retain your sender reputation.
That said, here’s our list of the best email permutator tools:
1) Email Permutator+
The Email Permutator+ from Metric Sparrow is most people’s first choice when it comes to email permutator tools.
With a simple interface, it’s hard to get the process wrong. One of the best things about Email Permutator+ is that it allows you to permutate addresses for three domains at one time.
For instance, you might assume that your contact is on Gmail given its popularity, but you can spread the net wider by adding other popular domains such as Yahoo, or even localized domains if your contact is in another country.
You can then use an email verification tool on the email addresses you’re presented with to hone in on the correct option.
2) Foxfire’s Free Email Permutation Generator
The good news is that Foxfire’s email permutation generator is “free to use for life,” as it’s built on Google Sheets.
This service runs up to 33 different email combinations, widening the scope to include less likely email address formula. Foxfire also provides a handy YouTube tutorial to help you use this tool.
Foxfire specifically notes that the tool is helpful when used with an email validation tool, which is good practice for all email permutators, as we mentioned above.
3) Rob Ousbey’s Email Permutator Spreadsheet
This OG email permutator was built by Rob Ousbey at Distilled. It was the blueprint for the slightly more sophisticated Email Permutator+ from Metric Sparrow, outlined above.
Ousbey says he created the tool as he knew that when doing outreach and link building, it’s more useful to send a direct email than using a contact form. He wanted to provide a tool to enable people to do this.
This tool requires a Gmail account, the Rapportive plugin, and access to this spreadsheet.
Using Email Finding Tools
While email permutator tools can be helpful in determining possible email addresses to send to, they’re not as helpful or efficient as email finders.
Why? Simply because they generate many possible email addresses rather than probable ones.
At the end of your search, you’re left with a long list of email addresses – one may be right, but the others won’t be – and sending to incorrect email addresses is likely to get your message caught in spam filters and harm your sender reputation.
With an email finder tool like Voila Norbert, you can cut out the extra steps and find the exact email address you’re looking for in seconds.
Simply type in the name and domain, and Voila Norbert will deliver the most probable email address. The email address will come with a confidence rating, so you can see how likely it is to be the address you’re searching for.
What’s more, a handy bulk verification tool means you can verify your email addresses without expending much manpower at all – Norbert is an email finder and verification tool wrapped up in one handy package. Simply put, Norbert saves you time and gets you the result you want.
Email permutators can be helpful tools when looking for email addresses of potential contacts, but they’re far from the best solution. Unless used with an email verification tool, they will require a lot of extra legwork to come up with the correct email address. The bottom line is that in most situations, you’ll want to rely on a more efficient and accurate email finder tool instead.
Have you tried an email permutator tool before? How do you think they measure up to email finders? Let us know in the comments!