Ah, influencer marketing, where everyone and their cousin seeks out the big kahuna to send them the great project they've been working on. If you google influencer marketing and the theory around it, you'll find lots of philosophically vague and vaguely philosophical posts about sending tweets and well-timed emails to industry leaders.
But that's an awful lot easier than it actually is. The reasoning for this is simple: there is no solid equation for outreach. Every journalist, PR person, or marketer is different and they all want to be approached differently. Some will see a tweet and be receptive to what you're pitching. Others may not.
But why won't they promote me/my project?
You could be pitching something excellent and a journalist might see it but it won't fit their schedule for the next few weeks or it's not quite right for them or their publication. Or maybe it's right and you happen to catch them at a bad time and they're not as interested in you as they'd usually be.
The fact of the matter is that many brands and marketers are constantly pitching products, campaigns, and stories to other people. It's a lot of noise and plenty of good stuff is going ignored for one reason or another. Even more good stuff gets lost to the dirge because marketers can't find the right email address.
It's one thing to tweet at someone, but what if they don't see it or you can't find an email address for them? Sure, their work email is likely some combination of their name and domain name, but is it [firstname]@domain.com or [firstname][lastname]@domain.com or [firstinitial][surname]@domain.com or any of the dozen other combinations?
Sure you can try them all, but all you'll do is waste serious time, and possibly annoy their coworker who has some variant of their email address. Sourcing email addresses is time-consuming, and websites dedicated to PR and sourcing email addresses are often far beyond the budget of many brands and campaigns.
Introducing Voila Norbert
And this is where Voila Norbert comes into play. The oddly titled Voila Norbert is a very simple website. Enter a name and the domain of the site they work for and most of the time Voila Norbert will give you an email address for that person.
We tested it out and it actually works a chunk of the time, though it doesn't include catch-all domains which is an unfortunate oversight.
As for how Voila Norbert works, we can't say for definite but we presume it generates the most common variants of the name and then references them against the domain's mail server and pulls the winner from the hat.
While it isn't always accurate, it certainly takes much of the guesswork out of finding emails for outreach. As well as checking single email addresses, you can use the 'Massive Search' feature to upload a CSV file up to 100MB and our dear friend Norbert will do his best to generate the emails for you. One caveat: Voila Nortbert is freemium so you'll have to pay to keep him working for you.
Voila Norbert puts some serious power into your hands, so remember: with great power comes great responsibility.