September, 2010

Sep 10

SpamHero Turns One Today!

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Wow, that first year sure blew by quickly!   Today is the first anniversary since our launch, and it’s been an exciting and fun year for us at SpamHero.   Again, I look at what’s been reported in this blog and see very little of what should be here.  Somehow I need to find the time to report more on what’s happening here.   Since it would be impossible to write it all in this entry, I’ll just report on the years highlights.  I’ll report on what we’ve learned, some of our accomplishments and what’s coming next.

What we’ve learned…

I think the most important thing we learned this year is that there is a real market for what we have to offer.  SpamHero’s service is unique in that it provides a very high quality service at a very low price.  This model has proved to require very little advertising because most of our business comes by way of referral, which provides a steady stream of new business for us.   In fact, we’ve purposely shied away from advertising so that we can focus on quality of service and not take on more than we can handle.

What we’ve accomplished…

Perhaps 80% of what we’ve accomplished this year is completely behind the scenes work that really can’t easily be flaunted (although, I’ve tried).   It is work that won’t be appreciated until we are ready to open the flood gates and we can “effortlessly” scale to adding thousands of new customers daily.  The other 20% of the work is stuff that directly benefits our existing customers.  In the future, I’d like to see these percentages flip flop so that 80% of our resources are put towards adding value to our service and only 20% of our efforts are put towards building our infrastructure.  That being said, here are some of the things we’ve accomplished recently that directly benefit our existing customers:

Improved filtering.  Out of the gate, our service started at 98% accuracy.  We have added and continue to add deep filtering engines that re-examine all email that is not blocked by the main filter, which should push this accuracy percentage even higher.

Domain-wide Filtering Policies have been added.  These optional filters can be accessed and enabled by selecting the filtering policies option on the Settings tab.

ClamAV filtering has been added.  This hasn’t blocked much because our main spam filter already blocked most viruses already.  However, we figured it couldn’t hurt to add another layer.  Side note… there is a virus being sent by email that morphs every time it is sent which ClamAV does not catch.  To block this, we recommend enabling the “suspicious attachments” filter on the Domain-wide Filtering Policies page mentioned above.

Missed spam reporting has been improved.  Each domain has a unique address for which to report any spam that slips through the filter.   (See the message at the top of your dashboard when you first log in to your account.)   If the missed spam system is unable to match your report with the original email that came through the filter, a link will appear on your dashboard that takes you to a page that explains why.  In many cases it’s because spammers are sending directly to your server.  For those cases, we provide tips for securing your mail server.

Quicker payouts on our affiliate program.  The default setting on the affiliate program we licensed had payouts going out once an affiliate reaches a $100 balance.  Well, since we pay $30 every time you send us a customer, it took 4 sales to trigger a payout.  That’s the way most programs work out there, but we really don’t like that.  We lowered the minimum payout to $30 so that you get paid faster.  Of course, you still have to wait until the person you referred gets through their trial and becomes a paying customer.   Without that rule, it’d be too easy to sign up a million fake people and instantly make $30 million dollars.  If only it were that easy! 😉

A ton of other stuff.  Ok, that sounds like a cop out.   Because it is.  But really, we’re constantly making minor improvements and we’ve failed to report on them here.  We need to do better in that regard.  For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, you’ve seen new stuff pop-up and know what I’m talking about here.

What’s coming next…

We’ve got a list of ideas and suggestions a mile long.  At the moment, we’re wrapping up parts of our scalability project.  That project is pretty huge, but we’ve broken it down into chunks so that we can make progress in areas you can see more readily too.  As for things that directly benefit you the customer, we’ll soon be adding additional filters in the Domain-wide Filtering Policies page.  Once we add a few more options to that page, we think that most of our customers can get very close to 100% blockage of spam without any false positives.  There will be some customers that will not be able to take advantage of all the new filters because of their individual business needs, which is why they will be optional.   But, on our list of ideas are some very sophisticated “deep filtering” engines that are yet to be added that we feel will make us the most accurate spam filtering service on the planet… even for those that don’t use the optional filters.   We’ll get there.

Oh, and before you ask, we haven’t forgotten about the long awaited reseller program.  This still remains the most popular request that we get.  However, since launching a reseller program will be opening the flood gates, we’ve not been able to deliver on that yet.  We need to get that scalability project done first.  We know that a lot of you can hardly wait for us to get that done.   Believe me, we’re pretty excited for that day to come too!

And please, if there’s something we can add that would make our service even better for you, please let us know.  We look forward to serving your spam filtering needs for years to come (or until spammers stop sending their junk)!


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