Say you’ve been planning to get more eyes on your brand and reach out to those who show potential to buy from your business. You’ve settled on a number of channels through which to do this and email is a major priority among them.

The problem is, getting enough email addresses on your own could cost you more than you’re willing to spend.

How do you build relationships via email without a long email list? Well, there’s a number of ways to get a free email directory for your sales journey:

Google searches

A quick search via Google or other search engines like Microsoft Bing can be a good starting point for finding a free email addresses directory. You get a lot of results from which you can pick those closest to the target customer you pictured.

Using Google or Bing’s advanced search parameters, try searching for “free email addresses directory” (with quotations) or similar variations.

Blogs, curation and review websites

There are many websites that review software and other online services in different categories. For email address directories, you can try:

When using such websites, it is important to stick to categories like sales intelligence, sales outreach and other related terms like sales engagement. This is where you’re most likely to find good information on free email address directories.

There will be many other email-related solutions but they just might be for different functions. The good thing about review sites is that you get to see some of the opinions you normally wouldn’t find on a particular tool’s official website.

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This is where you’re more likely to find things like non-compliance issues, service limits, and other hidden terms of use. Remember, you don’t want to get caught off guard and have a free service end in fines.

Directory sites

You can always go straight to email directory sites and check whether they have free email directories or if they offer free trials for their services. Some websites where you can get free email addresses include:

Free emails directory

Change of Address services

It’s possible to send emails to addresses you know are correct, but still get no response. Sometimes, the owner has stopped using that email address and switched to a new one. The good thing is, there are services where a person can register both their old and new email addresses.

When you visit these websites and type in the old address, you will get the new one. Such services that are free to use include These can come in handy if you’re dealing with information that you’re not sure is up-to-date. They also help if you’d built a relationship with someone through their work email and they happen to move to a different company.

Regional and specialist email directories

Regional email directories usually focus on a country, federal state, province, or some other kind of geographical area. For example, is a free regional email directory which helps you find Australian people.

Specialist email directories are built around specific categories like professions, educational institution alumni, etc. These can work well when you’re trying to target a particular group, say medical professionals, pilots, and more.

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Other considerations

A free email addresses directory is a fair place to start when trying to do sales outreach. However, there are plenty of limitations that can make these free services very ineffective for a young and growing business.

For starters, the data quality in free email addresses directories is notoriously low. Many of them are not regularly updated and can have a very random collection of addresses. This means that you won’t know whether you are communicating to recently active users. You will also hardly know whether you’re messaging people who are interested in what you’re talking about.

The data quality in free email addresses directories is quite low, you won’t be able to use advanced filtering options, and compliance is a major issue.

Additionally, you are likely to have smaller lists and spend a lot more time trying to look for people who fit a unique description. Without advanced filters, finding data that is relevant becomes much harder. More importantly, many free email addresses directories do not provide details on how they obtained their data.

This can expose your business to lawsuits over violation of consumer data and other privacy-related laws. The last thing you want as a small or medium business is for people to know you as the intrusive one. You are better off trying an email database like Growbots as a business directory solution.

At Growbots we put time into validating the business email addresses we provide, collecting our data using legal methods, and offering advanced filters to help you sift through it efficiently. You can rest assured knowing that you’ll be reaching out to actual potential buyers, with the ability to bring automation into the mix.

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Hans Dekker

Hans Dekker

Coming from an agency background I'm naturally obsessed with lead generation and cold email. Being surrounded daily with people who share that same passion brings out the best in me and inspires me to write content that will hopefully do the same for you. Setting up your outbound sales campaigns for success can do incredible things for you business, and I'm here to help you get there. When I'm not nerding out over cold email I enjoy hitting the gym or taking my dog Morris for a long walk.