Tout is a freemium web-based app (also available as a bookmarklet and Chrome extension) that lets you scrape email addresses from websites, make email templates on the fly, and track whether your emails get opened.
The free account lets you create three email templates, send up to 10 emails a day and view analytics for the last three emails you’ve seen. The most tricked-out version, at $199/mo., gives access to 25 people who can send unlimited emails per day, schedule emails, send attachments, manage multiple identities, share templates and see team-wide analytics.
Tout’s users are in business development, sales, public relations and start-ups, in that order, says Tawheed Kader, creator of Tout.
Mr. Kader, or T.K., quit his job at a hedge fund last year to work full-time on his then-main start-up, Braintrust, a web app for email conversations. It wasn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped. “I kept struggling with Braintrust. It was a solution in search of a problem in an already crowded market,” he wrote in a lookback post on his blog. He built Tout in a weekend, relying on cloud-based services to take care of much of the functionality, in order to promote Braintrust.
That’s not exactly how things shook out. Tout now has more than 1,000 users. “I basically stumbled onto Tout. I went through a lot of explicit thought processes for my other experiments in 2010 (e.g. Braintrust and Main Street). Tout came naturally. I kind of just discovered it. And I kept going back to it. And the more I dug into it, the more I realized was there,” he wrote.
Mr. Kader continues to roll out new features for the app. Last week, Mr. Kader released TwitMail, which automatically mediates the request for an email address using an @ reply to a Twitter ID. He also released the Chrome extension, which scans the page you’re viewing and parses out all the e-mail addresses and Twitter IDs. “Our plan is to extend this into a Gmail plugin over the next few weeks,” Mr. Kader said.
Planned features include e-mail distribution lists and dynamic templates, where users can add custom variables into templates. In another measure of success, the app recently secured the #2 spot in Google’s results for the word “tout,” just behind Dictionary.com.