Tell me if this has happened to you before. You have received an email from someone and you cannot figure out who it is from. He/she might be an old friend, a relative, a colleague, or just an acquaintance.
The email doesn’t contain enough information to identify the sender, yet it feels rude to ask them, who they actually are. This is a situation which most of have gone through in our lives at least once. Well, with reverse email lookup, you can easily solve this problem.
There are various services which will help you dig more information about the person using just the email-id. So, if you want to save yourself from another such embarrassing situation, read on to find out how to find an email sender’s identity and location using reverse email lookup:
Reverse Email Lookup: Find Email Sender’s Identity
There are a lot of methods which we can use to figure out the sender’s identity. Some of them are free while others are paid services. So, we will list them down starting from free resources which are already available to use and then move on to paid ones. One thing more to note here is that these methods work for any email services provider including Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, Rediff mail, and even mails with custom domain names.
1. Reverse Email Search on Facebook
Facebook is the best place to find information about people seeing how people happily share their personal information on the platform. Facebook’s search box allows you to easily search for people using their email ID. Just copy and paste the email ID in Facebook’s search window and hit the search button. If the sender is using the same email ID, his or her name will appear in the search result. There you can easily check out sender’s photos and basic information. However, there’s one drawback of this method. Since Facebook’s Privacy Settings allows you to disallow people from searching you by your email ID, you might not get a result.
Still, it’s an easy and free method to start your search from. Similar to Facebook, other social media sites like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter also allow you to search for people using their email ID. Chances are most of the times you will find the sender’s details at least one of these social media platforms.
2. Using Email Clients Which Automatically Extract Sender Information
Probably the best way to keep track of all the emails that you are receiving and the persons who are sending them is by using a dedicated email client which automatically extracts sender’s information and display it right beside the email.
Since I am using a Mac, my favorite email client which does that (which is also my personal email client) is Polymail. Polymail is perfect for me for so many reasons, but today, the email client is mentioned here because it is best in extracting and displaying sender’s information right beside the emails.
You don’t have to go anywhere to perform a complex search or lookup service, as all the information that you need is right there. You can look at the picture below to see how the information is represented.
For Windows users, Polymail is currently in development. You can register here to join the waitlist to get early access to its Windows release. If you want Polymail’s functionality on Windows right now, you can check out MailBird.
It’s not as functional as Polymail but it has some of its functionalities. For example, MailBird allows you to directly look up emails on LinkedIn to find who it belongs to. Again, MailBird might not be as feature rich as Polymail, but it’s still better than having nothing at all.
3. Using Browser Extensions
Another way to do a reverse email search is by using browser extensions. There are many browser extensions that can help you find the sender’s information, write on your browser when you open the mail. One such good extension is called Rapportive. Basically, the extension provides you information about the sender right beside your email. However, since Rapportive was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012, it turned out for the worst.
Thankfully, there are many alternatives which are far better than Rapportive at its job. You can see the list of alternatives by clicking here, which work with most email clients out there, like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo or custom domain email addresses.
ContactOut finds emails from 75% of Linkedin users (2x better than the next closest competitor) at a 97% accuracy rate. My favorite is an extension called “FullContact for Gmail“. It works flawlessly and always comes up with some information that can be used to identify the sender. However, FullContact plugin will only work if you have a Gmail account. You can see the below picture for reference.
4. Use Reverse Email Search Engines
If the above three methods do not work and you still don’t want to ask the sender who they are, you have one last resort to find their identity. There are various reverse email search engines which allows you to find out the information about someone by just using their email address.
However, one drawback with using a reverse email search engine is that generally they are paid, and there’s no way to know if your search is successful until you have unlocked the results by paying upfront. Some of the services which might help you do that are EmailSherlock, Pipl, Social Catfish, Spokeo and more.
All of them employ different search parameters hence the results will vary depending on the service you are using. And, since none of them show what they found before you pay them, it’s hard to know which one will give you the best result.
So, it’s pretty much trial and error here. If you really need the information badly and you have no more options then only you should try these services.
Use Reverse Email Lookup to Extract Sender’s Details
The above three methods should give you the required information, unless and until the sender is using a fake email address. In that case, no search or lookup service can tell you any information about the sender.
However, considering most of the people will be using these services just to get a little more information about the sender who in most cases will be a real person, these methods will help them figure out the required information.