MailDB has a plan to save your emails from the void

by Andreas Rekdal
October 10, 2017

Cold outreach can feel like sending emails into the void, in part because that's often exactly what you're doing.

MailDB wants to keep that from happening. The Chicago startup lets users find email addresses from any domain on the web and confirm whether emails to those addresses are still deliverable.

The idea was born out of the challenge co-founders Conner Hewitt and Robert Bednarz confronted in finding email addresses in their own work. Although they knew people routinely post their email addresses around the web, there was no single destination for looking them all up.

So the pair decided to build it themselves.

“What we built is a web crawler that searches the entire web looking for emails associated with every domain,” said Hewitt. “If someone posted their email in a blog post, a comment section or on any site that can be crawled, our crawler will find it and show it to you.”

In addition to crawling the web for email addresses, MailDB can guess the most likely address for a point of contact based on their name and the format of other addresses on the domain. The platform also lets users test whether emails to a specific address are deliverable before doing the initial outreach.

Maintaining a database of the world’s email addresses on a startup budget is no easy feat — especially if it needs to respond quickly to user queries. One of Hewitt’s biggest challenges, therefore, was to build a back end that made the absolute most of the server’s available resources. The site’s crawler is designed specifically to crawl the web quickly while running on low-end hardware.

Founded last year, the two-person startup has already been through several iterations of its core product. After starting out by collecting emails, MailDB started tying email addresses to names and phone numbers based on early user feedback. Email verification was added shortly thereafter.

Upcoming features, said Hewitt, include the ability to upload lists of names or email addresses to be looked up or verified. Currently in beta, MailDB is planning for an official launch by the end of the year.


Image via Shutterstock.

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