Interview with the Grabby team

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Email marketing is one of the most effective channels of communication for a variety of businesses. It is also a way to strengthen the customer relationships by way of sending special offers, promotions, etc. In fact, it is the channel that gives the highest ROI to the marketers. According to a survey, for every $1 spent on email marketing, it generates a revenue of $38 in return. And given the cost-effectiveness, it becomes an important channel for startups too. But one thing that has always been a herculean task for the marketers is to get enough legitimate email addresses for their marketing efforts. A company while planning their marketing strategies felt that there isn’t a perfect email address collection application and ended up creating one themselves.

Grabby is a fast and powerful email address collecting platform that lets a user collect email addresses by just providing a list of websites and the rest is done by Grabby. The platform is entirely cloud based and requires no installation as such. It is also one of the most economical tools for email collection available out there and thus is an ideal platform to use for startups and small businesses.

We caught up with the Grabby team for a small interview.

What motivated you to start the company and what is it all about?

We are a startup business, which is still in the development phase, of a customer relation management and communications platform for specific corporate applications. While planning our marketing strategy, and being fully aware of the value-added impact of targeted B2B email marketing, we realised the lack of powerful and easy-to-use email address collection applications that can be used to build extensive contact databases. Therefore we took it into our own hands to fill that gap in the market by creating Grabby.io.

Grabby.io is a new powerful, cloud-based service optimised to generate email marketing leads for startups and marketing businesses. At Grabby.io’s core is a fast and efficient email address collecting platform. Users provide a list of websites and Grabby does the rest by searching each and every page for email addresses. The service runs entirely on the cloud, is active 24/7, and requires no software installation. It is very easy and intuitive to use.

Grabby’s efficiency is rooted in its powerful algorithms and the fact that it creates a dedicated server infrastructure for each user and project. Grabby allows setting up an unlimited number of projects which makes its service also infinitely scalable. Our service is therefore quite flexible and bespoke to each user’s needs.

Very importantly, Grabby is very economical to run. After a small one-time project fee of $5.00, costs only accumulate on a per usage basis at rate of less than $0.05 per hour (specifically $0.0446/hour). All that makes the service very attractive for large as well as small customers, for startups, established businesses as well as established direct marketing firms.

Grabby was recently featured on Product Hunt and received many upvotes and great reviews. Customers describe Grabby as: “I love this product. It’s like a much cheaper version of emailhunter.co, clearbit.com, and fullcontact.com. $0.04/hr and $5 per a project. That’s so cheap.”, “Great product, this came to me a couple days ago… perfect timing as kimonolabs.com is closing.”, “I forgot to say how cool this tool is. I’m so excited to use it.“, “Nothing to install and all via my browser. Loved it. Will use it again.”, “[We're] running several projects at the same time. It’s extremely scalable, automatic and 24/7. Ideal for building large email databases…”

Can you tell us a bit about your partners who are part of your core team?What is the current Team Size?

We are a dedicated team of three people. Each team member has different areas of focus. We have one business focused individual, dealing with operations, financials, marketing and strategic planning as well as two experienced developers. They consist of one back-end developer and one front-end developer, who is also a graphics designer. Despite being fairly lean we manage to cover all the areas necessary.

How did you hire your initial team? Which recruiting channels work best for you? Referrals/Job Boards/ Staffing Agencies?

We found our team members through on-line advertising on a range of hiring and staffing websites.

What are the key factors that you look for in a potential candidate?

For running a small start-up business, all team members are crucial. It is upon everyone to take the initiative, work hard and efficiently, maintain motivation and take responsibilities. Everyone’s input counts and contributes to the final product. At the same time it is a key prerequisite for each member to be smart, experienced and on top of their field in their respective areas of specialisation. After reviewing many applications, we managed to form a final team of different nationalities (German, Finnish and Indian) with two team members relocating from New York and Mumbai to join together in London.

According to you how much is the competition in your vertical? How big is the industry? Who all are your competitors and what are your views on them?

There are several other email collection services in the market. Many of them are software based. They require an installation of the software on the users’ machines and use their computing infrastructure and broadband capacity. Most products have to be acquired rather than subscribed to. There are also a few online-based services but we find many lack the performance or ability of Grabby and cannot compete on the price.

We feel that Grabby.io uniquely differentiates itself from other available offerings in the market at the moment. Grabby runs on the cloud 24/7 and is assessed through the user’s browser. It is very easy and intuitive to use, does not require any installation and does not use any user’s capacity as it runs on dedicated servers that we provide. It is also infinitely scalable by adding an unlimited amount of projects and servers. The user doesn’t buy the product, but subscribe to it and pay for their individual usage only. Our rates are among (if not) the cheapest and most economical that can be found.

What are your marketing strategies? Do you take help of Social platforms to promote? Which channels have been very effective? Which marketing channels have been super flops?

Our product is very new. We just launched it a few months ago. As such we are still experimenting with different promotion strategies.
We do advertise Grabby.io with Google, and at the moment we are experimenting with LinkedIn and Twitter. We have also started to inform other online sources such as Product Hunt and other sites about Grabby which has provided a significant resonance.  We also noticed that Grabby.io has been recommended a lot on user forums like Quora and others. We feel that once users find us and give Grabby.io a try, the feedback is very good and they have been quite complimentary about their experiences. We do listen to our users a lot and with the help of their feedback we have identified further services and additional functionality that we can offer in our future releases.

What has been your experience with paid marketing channels?

In terms of paid channels, we use Google Ads which provides a significant amount of traffic at a reasonable price per click. The campaigns have to be monitored regularly and we try to improve on our targeting and ad effectiveness. We found LinkedIn’s ability to target specific users very interesting but the price per click is too expensive to use on a larger scale.

Can you elaborate on the Challenges in promoting your website/ App?

We are still in the very early stages as we are launched just recently and it is currently our main priority to create some awareness around Grabby.io. Our key challenge is to get users to try out the service. Once users get to experience our service they tend to stick. Our main challenge is therefore to address a larger audience for Grabby.io. We are still experimenting with different channels and need to create more awareness on relevant sources, product sites and blogs. Also, Grabby.io is highly attractive for any start-up that needs to promote their services, and which start-up wouldn’t like that, so we would like to feature on start-up frequented sources as well in the future.

What is the current traction? Can you share some numbers on Usage and Revenue?

As a matter of policy we do not publish any usage or revenue figures. However, we can say that we have experienced a significant and accelerating take-up of services in the last few months. We feel that we do get a good product loyalty with users who try Grabby, and most of them turn into long term customers. The recent features on blogs and product sites have resulted in an increased awareness and more subscriptions.

Based on your experience would you have any advice for the new Entrepreneurs / Startups?

Grabby.io was not strategically planned. To some extent it was a coincidental product and was born out of our findings that a gap for a relevant, attractive offering in the market existed. Based on that experience we would advise to keep an open mind and be observant to what is needed in the market and what is available. Also, we think that good product development and execution with user experience in mind is paramount as only then can one achieve customer loyalty and repeated business.

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