After a little bit of a rough start, the automatic address book updating service WriteThat.Name has become one of my preferred “set it and forget it” tools for keeping things organized. Built by Paris-based Kwaga, WriteThat.Name is one of those under-the-radar technologies that doesn’t get a lot of media attention, but is slowly approaching profitability with more than 40,000 paying users and revenue growth of more than 15 percent month-over-month.
For those who missed it the first time around, the company last year launched a service that tackles an area in need of more attention and solutions: the address book. While a number of companies, including LinkedIn, Brewster, Cobook and recent Yahoo acquisition Xobni, have built standalone apps meant to replace default address books on mobile devices, WriteThat.Name is less focused on the user interface (that’s still your call), and more on the content – that is, the actual names, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses and more that fill out a user’s contact info.
Initially, I’ll admit I was not thrilled with Kwaga’s product. After glowing reviews on the web promised a marvel, I was disappointed to find it engaging in some spammy techniques involving emails sent on your behalf that you couldn’t opt out of without paying. But credit where credit is due: the company immediately responded to these concerns, and stopped that behavior. I signed up and have been using it ever since.
Here’s how it works: you either authorize the service on your Gmail account or install an Outlook plug-in and choose one of the company’s plans. There’s a free tier for those who just want to check it out, and others are priced reasonably at $35 or $59 per year for additional features. WriteThat.Name will scan through your email automatically, then update your address book using the data found in senders’ email signatures. You can also buy an add-on called “Flashback,” which will dig into the past year or five years of your email archives to get you all caught up.
Pricing for business users is also available, offering features like support for Google Apps, HighRise, Salesforce and more.
WriteThat.Name is not something you have to think much about, but it’s definitely a useful service to have on hand, especially since Gmail only adds email addresses to your Contacts list automatically, but then leans on Google+ for other user-profile data, which many people don’t choose to share.
Today, the company is expanding beyond its more passive address book-scanning service with the launch of a Chrome extension. The new browser add-on lets you grab contact information from anywhere online – a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook Page, etc. – and add it to your address book, Salesforce (by year-end), Evernote, or other CRM program. In early testing last week, the extension was already installed 860+ times, and offers up to 42 contact updates without paying. Existing premium subscribers can use the extension at no extra cost.
The company today has just 10 people working in both Paris and London, but is thinking now about how it can continue to move toward profitability – a goal it’s currently expecting to hit before next summer. After teaming up with French company Process One to run the Boxcar service (founder Jonathan George sold it to Kwaga last summer and has moved onto Evomail), the company is thinking about how WriteThat.Name could be integrated directly into Evomail itself.
In addition, the company will be doing a rebranding involving a name change, too, but isn’t planning on announcing that detail for a few more weeks. In the meantime, you can give the new Chrome extension a try here.