I have been longing to pen this down for a while. Recently I told about the email validation service from https://weblegit.com to one of my friends. His first question was - whats so special about this ? His listed out couple of email validation services that he has used in the past and how there are tons of others. That made me to smile since I was expecting those questions. It helps you to validate your idea when some one asks the question that you have been anticipating already.
I asked him two questions before answering his original question:
His answers were exactly what I had experienced too. Most email verification services are used for processing emails in bulk before sending out the news letter. Secondly there are literally no sites that use email validation for signup, contact us or subscribe pages.
Some of the services did indeed provided real time API’s but as an engineer I know that there are hidden and ongoing costs for any code integration. The API keys can definitely not be stored on client side, even on server side they need some sensitive handling. One way or another there is maintenance involved for API integration.
Next I asked my friend if he has any personal website, and he indeed had one. However since he did not had access to his code I showed him how one can integrate the Weblegit Email verification with their site with a simple static HTML site on my machine. He was blown away by the fact that it could be done with even static sites. He got more curious into security aspect of it given that there is just one line required for integration. I did revealed all the details to him and even told him how one could possibly hack the service. BUT, since I already know about that, I have implemented a real good security measure against it. The experience of securing platforms, applications comes handy to think of such solutions.
I can still remember his expressions when he saw the integration in action, that was indeed rewarding.
Now comes the harder part about accuracy. He raised some doubts about the accuracy of the results. Good thing was that we have been working on improving our algorithms and code for better accuracy and performance for this whole time. Even though the Mantra is to reach out to your customers early we decided to take time (4 months) until we have a good product to show. My validator friend started with some easy ones before moving to the harder ones and was really surprised to see the better results compared to other email providers in parallel windows.
Towards the end I asked him the most important question — What would it take for him to become a customer ?
I am not sure how much thought he put into it, he finally came up with 1/3 of the price that I had in my mind. This essentially meant that Weblegit will be providing email verifications for half the price compared to any other service provider even with better ease of integration and privacy , security features.
It did not took me more than half a second to change the prices in real time to reflect what my friend asked for. I had heard stories about how hard is it to find your first customer especially if you do not have good sales skills. I have to say our product features came in real handy for us to cross that barrier.
Being en engineer has its own short comings. Writing code and logic is lot easier than documenting things especially when that is not design or code. All this happened about couple of weeks ago and I had promised my friend that I would write down this story. He has been anxiously waiting for it to share it with his other friends. Finally I crossed that barrier today.
Its hard to distinguish your product if it is like everyone else. What keeps us motivated is that its not just another email validation service. We are aiming to make email verification simple and affordable enough so that it can be added to all the signup, contact us and subscribe pages.