I used to hate unsolicited email, until I got unsolicited texts, calls, Twitter DMs, Facebook messages and LinkedIn invitations. Now I think email is the most polite way to reach a stranger directly. In that vein, I recommend this thorough guide to finding anyone’s email address.
He also explains some strategies for figuring out email formats on your own. For example, he says, a company’s founding members often use their first names, like [email protected], whereas later employees use their full names, like [email protected]
Lifehacker health editor Beth Skwarecki adds one more tip: “If your target is a scientist, doctor or academic, look them up on Google Scholar. If you can find a recent paper where they are the corresponding author, their preferred email will be right there.” This helps a lot with academics who keep their email addresses off their faculty pages to hide from randoms.