We are introducing Domain Score API

Back in 2012, I was in Silicon Valley going through 500 Startups acceleration. The project I was, and still am, working on, called WhoAPI was getting initial traction, and people were signing up. I noticed that some of the companies were large, and to my surprise, I’d never heard about some of them. That’s the beauty of building a global business, there could be a giant company interested in your service on one of the continents, and you’ve never heard of it!

Focus on big companies could grow your startup

Fast forward to 2016, I was still chugging along slowly with WhoAPI with a small team. But with several large enterprises as our clients, Adobe, Google (US) King (Sweden), Mercado Libre (Argentina), eWay (Australia). Pretty quickly, I realized I should focus on those. One problem, I don’t know all the big businesses in the world, so I have to check sign-ups manually. Not to mention I actually have to log in to administration every day and check every signup. Sure, I could hire a dedicated account manager, but that would cost a fortune. Besides, if we get clients from Australia, the EU, US, that’s going to work only in certain time zones if we want to follow up on the signup quickly. And, as the old adage goes, there had to be a better way!

Email scoring

Email scoring

Then I remembered what Isaac Saldana (founder of Sendgrid) said when he invested in WhoAPI back in 2012. Perhaps we could use some of the data we are getting with WhoAPI and create something like a salesforce plugin that would help us rate important emails. If anybody understands emails, it’s Isaac Saldana! We started working, and during the initial phase, we just rated domains. So while we could make the difference between name@whoapi.com and name@gmail.com, we couldn’t make the difference between name@whoapi.com – name2@whoapi.com. However, we are able to rate name@whoapi.com differently from name@largecorporation.com or name@NewWebsite.com.

Are you providing SAAS in a B2B environment and getting signups on a daily basis? If so, converting your signups to paid clients is probably one of the most difficult and important tasks you are facing. I am sure that as a business owner or a sales executive, you want those numbers to go up every day. Not to mention, it is one thing to get a client and another to keep one. And there’s this thing called client size. Everybody loves doing business with large companies! It can certainly prove to be more lucrative, as they certainly have the budget.

Imagine if there was an automatic way to alert you in an instant that a large client just signed up for a free account on your website! Well, that’s exactly what our Domain Score API can help you with.

Once someone signs up on your website and leaves their email address, our Domain Score API can create a reputation score for that domain name and email address. This number can then show up in your Admin, Salesforce, or email marketing automation. You don’t have to share the email with us; just enter the domain name in the request, and we will return you the reputation score. I already wrote about the importance of follow-up and email marketing automation in our “Digital marketing for SAAS” post, and our Domain Score API is a perfect add-on.

Opportunity window for follow up

This way, you can immediately separate the VIP signups and address them differently. I am not saying you should leave any stones unturned, but if you don’t have the bandwidth to email, telephone, and contact each and every person that signs up within the hour, then I am positive you need help in picking the people you can contact. If you are providing SAAS in a B2B environment, there’s a good chance you are doing business globally.

What happens if you want to follow up with someone in Australia, India, Germany, United Kingdom, United States? It’s hard getting someone on the phone, and it’s hard finding the right time to call. If you call within 15 minutes of a signup, there’s a good chance the timing is right because the person is evaluating your service, they just signed up. Also, even if you are automatically following up with tools like the ones I mentioned in “Digital marketing for SAAS”, with the Email reputation score, you can create a different email for more important signups. With Domain Score API, you could immediately be notified of important signup, which would basically allow you to contact the person within the signup process. If, during the signup process, they left you a phone number, you could call them just 5 minutes after they signed up! They would feel like a VIP, and it would increase your conversion chances dramatically because you would catch them during the decision-making process.

I’ve never heard of this big company…

So we created an initial service that was extremely simple. And then, one day, it hit me. Someone from Texas Roadhouse signed up. Being from Croatia, I’ve never heard of Texas Roadhouse. However, our little Domain Score API rated this email very highly! I was excited, so I immediately proceeded to check Google for the validity of this score. I quickly realized this was a publicly traded company in the United States! Trading at around $50 per share, the market capitalization of $3.53 billion! Not too bad, either!

I would like to show you how we integrated this into our own system. Due to security and privacy reasons, I had to white out most of the information, but the most important information is still there. This screenshot is a live example of signups on whoapi.com and serves as a great example. Let’s say you are from Europe like me, and you’d never heard of Texas Roadhouse – you would probably overlook that signup. Here we’ve added a new column called “score,” and we display the data that are provided with our Domain Score API. Incidentally, the user from 7parkdata.com upgraded, but we were unsuccessful in reaching out to texasroadhouse.com.

Domain score API - integration in WhoAPI

Domain score API – integration in WhoAPI

The signup with the email on the domain name texasroadhouse.com has a reputation score of 90. Since this is extremely high, you are prompted and motivated to try to close or upgrade this client as soon as possible. If you haven’t heard of Texas Roadhouse, they are a chain of restaurants that operate in about 627 (August 2021) locations.

Our email scoring system will improve over time. But right now, we can guarantee that we will detect reputable clients. Also, an important thing to note is that Domain Score API probably won’t work well if you want to use it to analyze cybersecurity threats (domains with a negative score).

Obviously, we are no strangers to creating and building new APIs. As a matter of fact, we even published a short guide on how you can launch your own API, even if you are a beginner. So it’s no surprise that we launched Domain Score API and Email Score API. Both are available, and if you want to learn more about our Domain Score API, click here, and for Email Score API, click here.

Do you have a large email list, but not sure if it’s worth anything? Do you have an active email marketing automation workflow but treat all the emails / potential clients the same? Finally, do you treat all the people/companies that sign up the same? No more! Domain Score API and, even better, Email Score API will help you score the quality of emails in an automated way! Now mind you, we still can’t tell apart from one Gmail address from another, but we are pretty good at rating regular business email addresses.


Goran Duskic has been the Founder and CEO of WhoAPI Inc. since 2011, a company that specializes in developing APIs, including the well-known Whois API. He started his career in internet entrepreneurship in 2006 and has co-founded several online businesses, including a web hosting company that he later sold. Goran's work primarily involves creating practical API solutions to meet technological needs.

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