🎙️ Podcast

Watch the 2020 summit videos

In today’s episode, Joe sits down with Rafi Glantz, Strategic Partnerships Manager at accessiBe – a fully automated web accessibility solution for ADA & WCAG Compliance. Powered by AI, accessiBe protects your business from ADA and WCAG lawsuits, boosts your brand perception, and opens your website to potential new customers.

Joe and Rafi talk about how the accessiBe plugin works, opening more avenues for web accessibility, getting websites become more accessible, and strategic partnerships in the WordPress space. 

Tune in and learn about running a globally accessible website.

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:01 Welcome to the pod, Rafi Glantz!
  • 04:17 Rafi’s journey in the WordPress space
  • 08:55 Why do you think most of the clients are now coming from the US?
  • 12:06 Takeaway from a convention presentation about web accessibility 
  • 19:33 The team at accessiBe
  • 21:48 How the accessiBe plugin works
  • 25:10 Pricing model and customer acquisition
  • 28:17 Will there be free options for clients?
  • 31:29 The best approach to finding new customers
  • 34:09 Strategic partnerships to work on
  • 38:09 Where to find the accessiBe team

Episode Resources

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] Hey folks, Joe Howard here. So today I got to sit down and chat with Rafi glance. Rafi was really cool to talk to. We got along right away. I’m just one of those guys who super easy to talk to super easy to get along with. We had a pretty good rapport right away. So this is definitely a fun podcast episode to record.

Yeah, rough feet. And I chat a lot about the plugin that he is working on called accessibility. It sounds like when I say that, like he’s working on it like him and a small team, but access to, we actually just raised $12 million in series a funding. And from what roughly said, they have about 75 folks on the team over there working on the.

This plugin, that their goal with the plugin is to make the entire web fully accessible by 2025. So pretty cool vision they have over there. One of the really cool parts of talking to Rafi today was hearing some of the ways that accessory has grown in the past. It’s like it’s a non-traditional approach in the sense that not a lot of folks use this approach to grow, but also a lot of.

Companies, I just don’t think like it’s in their best interest to grow this way. And I found a really novel way that they were focusing on in order to gain more customers in certain markets and certain areas. So that happens about, I don’t know, 15. Minutes into the episode, 20 minutes into the episode.

Definitely keep an ear out for that. All right. That is it for today’s intro. This episode is going live just after Christmas, right before new year’s. So hope everybody is having a nice end of 2020. Thank goodness. Am I right? And here’s to a fantastic 2021 for everybody listening. Enjoy today’s episode. All right. We are live this week on the podcast. Raffy, tell us a little bit about some of the things you do with WordPress.

Rafi Glantz: [00:02:01] Mostly I work with accessiBe. I do strategic partnerships and partner success and access me does web accessibility. We like to say web accessibility is accessiBe. It’s a very important part. Thank you. Now, my idea, you had to come up with that tagline, but I’ll take credit for some other things later, but WordPress, I actually had my own small WordPress website. Very briefly. It was a blog called the finance@aglance.com. My last name is glance. I thought it was a very clever name. Unfortunately, thank you.

Unfortunately, the blog itself is not quite as clever as the name and so it didn’t really continue very long. But that’s pretty much my personal experience with WordPress and building websites. Mostly I do the business side of things. What I like to say is I make friends for money.

There’s a lot of different goals and targets and things that you need to do and things you need to explain and empower partners, give them the tools that they need, but at the end of the day, building a personal relationship and helping people understand why accessibility is important to business. And also legally, that’s what I do. And that’s what I like to do.

Joe Howard: [00:03:05] Yeah, very cool, man. So the reason I wanted to have you on the podcast, regardless of that, the reason I wanted to chat with you and learn a little bit more about you is because of the success of the plugin. I’ve seen it around the first time I landed on the website, I was like, damn this is like the website’s great.

And this is a plugin that I’ve actually seen around on other websites. Like I remember seeing it on, I think it’s this website called  dot com. I forget. That’s exactly the name. They do, like shoes that my wife and I actually liked to buy because you just like they’re made so you can just slip them on.

And I remember seeing this like little circle on the bottom, with a dislike. Totally cool. Oh, you can make the fonts bigger. You can change like the modes for accessibility stuff. This is super cool. And it said, I think like maybe it says at the bottom, powered by accessibility or something.

And I remember being like, yeah, I know that plugin like, cool. Like on a website I use and buy from like this plugins on there. So I, at some point. And this podcast, we’re going to dive into that, but I love to hear about people’s backgrounds before they got into like especially diving into like software products and stuff.

So no surprise. You started your WordPress journey with a, I won’t call it a blog, but he didn’t go the way exactly that you wanted it. Two, maybe I’ll put it that way. Most 95% of WordPress people, I talk to that’s how they started in WordPress or they tried to freelance or they try and, it was hard going. I’d love to dig a little bit more into that. So you started a finance blog and you were blogging about finance. Related topics using WordPress blog,

Rafi Glantz: [00:04:32] Bitcoin stuff, almost exclusively using WordPress, but I was actually in the military from 2012 to 2015. And then when I got out, I realized that in Israel, having native level English guarantees you a job without a degree, pretty much. So I just started working. I started learning about Bitcoin and pretty much getting into that 2015, 16. And I started writing about it. I thought people would listen, nobody listened. And then I lost interest and started working in other high-tech stuff. Thank God. I held on to some of the Bitcoin, but Given where it’s been the last few days.

But when I started working in other high tech spaces, I realized that I really enjoy putting my time into things that helps people. So one of my projects before this was, I was advising on a project called SIM labs, which is today not doing anything, but we were working on and developed a large portion of. A customized digital audio workstation for people with disabilities, particularly people with autism, because a lot of times people would start of those disorders can visualize something and draw something that they could not actually make a sound for. They might not be able to play an instrument. They can draw a picture. And so this workstation allowed somebody to draw a picture. That’s also a musical piece.

Joe Howard: [00:05:52] Oh very cool. Totally. I was a high school, cool math teacher in my previous career. And one of the big things I tried to focus on was teaching people with different learning modalities. I’m very visual. Like I need to, that’s why I like hopping on video calls with people so much. Like I like to see people, I like to see body language I learned from not just from thinking I was, studying math in college. I don’t, doing the math in my head is one thing, but being able to write it down and seeing it on a chalkboard like that, I can.

Do the calculations and I can do the actual math behind things way easier if I have visual, but some people are auditory. Some people are kinesthetic, some people need to draw something. There’s a lot of different modalities. Yeah. Very interesting. And so I assume that’s what kind of led you into this world of accessibility?

Rafi Glantz: [00:06:32] Yeah, it was actually a funny story. I was going from a different job. I was lucky enough that I could take some time off to deal with the divorce, which is a whole other story. And learning how to take care of this cat on my own, which is such a huge burden as we discussed before. And I went to a company called inbound Jackson.

It was a great well-known marketing company in Israel. They have their fingers in a lot of pots. It’s called inbound junction. Yeah. Josh and I have a couple of friends who are executives there happens. And so I went there. I had an interview. Incidentally it didn’t get the job. And then a week later had an interview with excessively, got the job here, found out a month later that my friends at inbound junction at work early investors in accessory. As it’s a very small world.

Joe Howard: [00:07:20] There you go. Being from Israel and working in Israel is a big tech hub. There obviously there’s a lot of big tech companies, people know Israel from a technology standpoint because companies like, like weighs or from Israel, now Google, but ways, I still use ways over Google maps cause I’m a big fan, but they’re also a lot of WordPress companies from Israel, probably most noticeable. One is elementary. Which is, raised a lot of money and a big page builder and WordPress space. You have any contact with the element folks, the folks over there doing any work together with them?

Rafi Glantz: [00:07:49] Not personally. I know that we service at access to be, I think. You go to the statistics, it’s gotta be at least 15,000 WordPress sites. So we do have a lot of touch points with them. I’ve worked with a lot of agency owners in WordPress, but surprisingly enough, almost all of our business now is in America. So I don’t have too much contact with the Israeli tech space. Other than a few relatively large partners here.

Joe Howard: [00:08:13] Interesting. I want to dig into that a little more. Why do you think that most of your business is now coming from the U S as opposed to the rest of the world?

Rafi Glantz: [00:08:22] So part of it is regulatory and part of it is intentional. And those two are of course linked. So in Israel a few years ago, they passed this law. I S 56, 58, 68, 56 58. I forget the number. I apologize, but it basically mandates that everybody has to have an accessible website per the WCAJ web content accessibility guidelines. It’s the only set of guidelines in this space. So that’s just what everybody has to go by. Our founders own a digital agency and people started coming to them going what do we do about this?

And they said if you want us to make your website accessible manually, it’s going to be, 30 grand. And they said, we can’t afford that. We’re a small business. And so I said you’re going to have to deal with the government. So there wasn’t really a good solution. And we realized that until it’s affordable, easy enough for a business owner to actually do it on their own and automate it.

There will be no widespread web accessibility. We’ve made a big dent in the Israeli market. And then we saw that the us was having this very big wave of lawsuits starting in 2018 because the department of justice announced that websites are places of public accommodations. And so boom, that opened the flood. At that point, we realized we’re very proud to host well, not hosts, but protect. At that point, I think it was something like five, 10,000 websites, but there are 90 million in America. And fast.

Joe Howard: [00:09:40] Big market, right?

Rafi Glantz: [00:09:41] Everybody needs the service. And also there’s more money in the American market. And a lot of cases, the price point can be higher. One issue with Israel is that a lot of times high value, high dollar value items are not as feasible for businesses because many of them run on small merchants here. Whereas in the U S there’s a much wider selection of businesses that can and need to pay for this.

Joe Howard: [00:10:02] I always like to talk with folks about lead gen generation and how they’re actually growing their business and finding new users, because for a lot of people that’s the big challenge, right? A lot of WordPress folks, they can build a really cool plugin or, they can build cool websites, but it’s really finding new customers and getting a regular influx of new customers and this flywheel sort of marketing.

That’s a big challenge. I don’t know if I’ve talked to someone like you, who can market based on new regulation, that’s coming out from governments. That’s a really interesting Oh, like these, there’s a lot of regulatory stuff happening in the

US probably a lot of people are going to be searching for solutions. Okay. Let’s focus on the U S market now. Like we don’t really that’s not something we do.

Maybe that’s something like I’ve talked to the folks from term again before they, they do like a WordPress plug. It’s a WordPress plugin, but it’s really just like a terms of service. Agreement that live updates on your website.

And I think they probably could use that some, a similar marketing strategy to that’s like when new regulation comes out, they want to be there for, so it sounds like you went to the U S market based on that. And that’s how you’ve started getting bigger Holden in the U S market in terms of accessibility.

Rafi Glantz: [00:11:06] Yeah. One of, we’d only been in the U S market for a few months. It was a February, maybe a year at that point officially. And it was February of. Of, I guess this year of 2020 inches to be over very soon. Probably the last time I left my city because this Corona nonsense and I was in Las Vegas giving a presentation to the carpet convention about web accessibility and. I was interrupted in the middle of the presentation.

Joe Howard: [00:11:31] It was the carpet convention? Yeah don’t even,

Rafi Glantz: [00:11:34] it was the carpet convention and it was surprisingly a great convention. And I will say the people that we went with, fantastic people Carol Krause, the global marketing is an excellent partner of power. So very happy to do that. But my favorite takeaway from that event was in the middle of my presentation to the board of directors of the something or other organization. Which I probably not to be denigrating it. You don’t recall exactly what it was, but somebody interrupted me and said, look, these lawsuits are real.

I own a chance of a payday loan companies. He had 60th. And so clearly a very empathetic guy who cares about other people. And it was sued for one of them. You got a demand letter. They asked for 10 days, a thousand dollars. He said, if you give us $10,000, we’ll go. He paid the $10,000. And the next day he got 59 more letters, just like it.

You had to pay $600,000 to settle the whole thing and suddenly everybody’s paying attention to the screen. So what I would say to that is for most industries and most business owners, they don’t realize that they need this because most of us. Actually a surprising amount of Americans, 26% of American adults live with a disability, but most of us don’t think of it very often.

And so unless you’re in the hospitality, restaurants, hotels industry, that deals with those regulations already in their physical locations, you don’t think that you need it online. So the big issue for us really is pointing out. Number one, Hey, this is the law. This is something that you need to be aware of and you need to take care of.

And that’s something we work on with our partners. So that our partners know that they can explain this to their customers the right way, not in a scary or threatening way, but in a positive way. And the other side of that positive way is, my grandmother, for instance, all of our grandmothers, they could probably see a little bit better.

They’re not as sharp as they used to be. They’re old. That doesn’t necessarily mean they consider themselves to have a disability. But if you have that little toolbar you talked about before that can make the fonts a little bigger, make things a little brighter. That’s going to make them spend more money. And as a business owner, it’s your job to get people, to make it as easy as humanly possible for people to buy stuff from.

Joe Howard: [00:13:36] Yeah. I couldn’t agree with that more. I had a conversation with a med Khalifa on episode, 118 at this podcast actually. And the whole episode is about, he’s a big accessibility guy, but most of what we talked about was it’s great to make websites accessible so that everybody can.

Have access to them, right? That’s the core tenants of making a website accessible, but we talked about all sorts of benefits to making your website accessible. That benefits everybody, regardless of whether you have X have accessibility needs or not like my wife and I love to watch. Shows with the captions on we’re not, and we don’t have visual impairments, but we like to watch with those on.

And so that’s just one small stupid example of it, but there are two great things to talk about in that episode. So I assume you’d agree with that X, these accessibility benefits don’t just benefit, whatever that percentage you said. I think 20 about 26 from the population, but really can benefit about a hundred percent.

Rafi Glantz: [00:14:31] Definitely benefits a hundred percent because number one, the 26% of people living with a disability have families. So pretty much everybody, if you really think about it as connected to someone with a disability on top of that, you have temporary disability. Let’s say that you break your arms. You can’t use a computer at the same way.

You could use it maybe with a voice control or something like that, but you have to live your life differently. I have a buddy who went through, I think it was 17 overseas deployments. Totally fine. Came home, flipped a three Wheeler and training and managed to crush his entire hand wasn’t traction and surgeries for an entire year. Really screwed with his life and how he lived his life. And he’s the last person who would consider himself to have a disability. Even now when he’s short one finger. There’s a very wide spectrum out there. And at the end of the day, even if you don’t have one of those, it does also help with SEL.

It decreases your bounce rate increases your on-site time because the second somebody who is using a screen reader or others, such technology, Is on there. They’re going to be on there for a few minutes, looking through your website and marveling at the fact, Oh my God, I can use this website. I can’t tell you how many responses our customers have told us about that. Their customers have reached out to them saying thank you so much for making an accessible website. I’m going to continue buying things from you.

Joe Howard: [00:15:46] Yeah, I love that. That’s the feedback that makes, you’re on the right path, right? Because people usually give feedback either if something’s really good or really bad, like usually in the middle, like there aren’t a lot of two, three and four star reviews. Most reviews are going to be one star or five star. So obviously the one star in do so hot of a job and people are not very happy with you, but.

For someone to take five minutes out of their day and leave a five star review with a comment. I know how hard that is. I tried to get iTunes review on the show all the time, or we don’t get as many as I’d like, because it takes someone’s time to personally do that. But when people do, I know They really enjoyed that episode, or they really had a good experience listening to this guest on the podcast.

So I’m totally with you. If you get that feedback directly to your customers and your customers come to you and say, people thank us for this all the time. Like clearly you’re adding value. So cool. I want to dig into the actual access of B. Plugin because I’m on the website right now. It’s just access a, b.com, ACC E S I B e.com.

I remember the first time I came on the set, I was like, wow, this is a it’s a sharp site. It really describes everything that the plugin does. The designs really good. Just the general goal of the whole website is our competitor stole that a while ago. Dude, that has happened to us too.

We had to get, we’re going a little tangent here, but we have we have Copyscape, we used to have Copyscape on our website, which just tells us if there’s duplicate content of ours online. Cause we’re big in SEO. So we want to make sure other people aren’t, if people are like,

Rafi Glantz: [00:17:12] Trying to piggyback off, what do we do?

Joe Howard: [00:17:13] Some sort of exactly. But at one point we found a website that like had literally copied our entire website two different times, literally copied the website onto their own, the domain. It was like, and even with the same links and it said, WP bus on and stuff. And it was like, wow, this is crazy. So it sounds like that’s happened to you too. Your design was so good. Other people wanted it to.

Rafi Glantz: [00:17:31] I’ll tell the designers, they did a great job, but I’ll tell you a secret. We are coming out with a new design pretty soon. So get excited.

Joe Howard: [00:17:37] Oh, nice. Good. Okay. I was just leading into that announcement. We didn’t even talk that.

Rafi Glantz: [00:17:41] We shared it with you before we started.

Joe Howard: [00:17:43] Yeah. Yeah. I’m on the website. Now, the one thing I do notice at the top of the website, a little announcement says access to be announced analysis 12 million. Dollars in series a funding. So I’m not sure if you’re like the perfect person to talk to about all this, but any insight you have into just like the scale of the company. I always like to, it’s good for people to know is this a startup with three people working on it or is this has it raised $12 million in series a funding? And are there 30 people working on it? What kind of team are you guys working with over XSLT?

Rafi Glantz: [00:18:13] So I’ve had the privilege to be here more than a year and a half now. We have gone from, I believe it was six employees when I joined two and about 3000 websites on our management to 75 employees today. And more than 70,000 websites under management, K one is a fantastic partner for us. They are fairly well known, very well known in the tech space on the West coast. And they’re known for making investments in companies like ours.

They have great connections for us in the space. And on top of that, I can, without revealing too much, I can tell you that we’re very happy with our trajectory right now. And we have an infinite amount of money way because our product is infinitely, scalable. The big difference to say it very quickly between manual accessibility work, which a lot of people listening might be familiar with in a peripheral way that sort of, Oh, okay, this is wrong.

Or I need to add an all text to this image because otherwise somebody using a screen reader won’t know what it is. Manual work is just it’s too time intensive, more than anything else. It’s not even about the money. It just, you don’t have the time for it. So with accessibility, we can install our tool on literally 10,000 domains at once, and it will work perfectly fine. Within 48 hours, everything is good to go. So that’s really the kind of scalability and functionality that we need to make the entire internet accessible, which is our goal by 2025.

Joe Howard: [00:19:36] Yeah. The one thing that I am like noticed that probably the big thing I noticed also just glancing through the homepage of the website was so when I was on that, shoe website, you see your little circular button down the bottom corner, you can make any manual adjustments to accessibility options right there in that, which is great, right?

People can go directly to it and say, I need bigger. Content here, or I need to see this a little better and access to be. We’ll do that for you and allow your website to do it. The thing that I am interested in from the, how the plugin is built, point of view is the automatic screen reader adjustments powered by AI.

That sounds super interesting in which it sounds like the plugin actually will regularly. Go through your website. And if let’s say I make a change to my homepage, within 24 hours, it’ll have read my homepage again and say, Oh, you made this change, but there’s an accessibility issue with this. Maybe it automatically changes it. Or maybe it just gives you a warning. Hey, this is not quite accessible. You need to make another adjustment. That sounds super interesting. How does that part of the plugin work?

Rafi Glantz: [00:20:38] You got it. You got a lot of it right there. Victory is yours. We use a couple of different AI’s so we have a contextual understanding. AI that’s proprietary. It’s been exposed to hundreds of millions of data sets now, and it basically can look at a page like the shoe store that you’re on. And the second you put access beyond that page, the contextual understanding, and you say, Oh, this is a shoe store. They’re selling shoes. Okay. So that’s going to inform everything else.

That’s happening on that website. It’s going to understand, okay. There’s an e-commerce structure. This menu needs to open this way. And then the other AIS, which we have OCR, optical, character recognition and Iris they actually help us look inside the images and identify, okay, what are the objects, the people in those images and what are the words and letters.

And then it writes an alt text. Now there is a little bit of a debate on how. Descriptive you want those texts to be because somebody who’s actually using a screen reader is generally having the words read out to them about this very fast. When we had a demonstration for the company, the guy, his name’s a is brilliant dude, but he had to turn his screen reader speed down to 40% so we could understand what it was saying.

You don’t want to have too much information there. These people are not mentally impaired. They just can’t see. And, 99.9% of cases. And so you don’t need to overexplain. They have the context, they know they’re on a shoe store. They know it’s going to be a picture of a shoe. You need to tell them the details and the instructions on top of that excessively is not changing anything permanently in your website.

It’s all session-based. So the template never needs to change. And will we actually have a shot clock? So from the moment you install access to be on your website, there’s a 48 hour window. Anytime in that 48 hours, you’re going to get a statement of accessibility to your email. And that’s the point at which you are now accessible.

That starts our shot clock of 24 hours or every update, some websites update more than once a day, some websites update once a month, every 24 hours for every update, we’re going to do a full scan on that website and make sure that the statement of accessibility is still valid, that you are still accessible.

And if anything needs to be changed, so it will be done automatically. And if there’s anything that access to be, can’t take care of which. Very rarely happens. The most common thing I’ve seen causing a problem with that is when something is egregiously mislabeled, like an image carousel that’s labeled as like a payment page or something.

If that’s the case, then excessively we’ll throw up a red flag on our scanner. So we have a scanner that ace.accessory.com ace.xsp.com. And you can completely for free get an audit on any website. It’s a downloadable PDF. You can even do page by page through the entire thing, and we’ll automatically send you one of those every month. So that if there’s anything that the automatics kids missed, you’ll be able to go through the PDF and see everything.

Joe Howard: [00:23:23] Tell me a little bit about the pricing model and kind of what the what does a customer acquisition look like? Cause I’m on the pricing page and it looks like, at least for right now it’s based on unique page or a unique page views. And you’re paying a yearly cost for how many page views are happening, but you also have a seven day free trial, just we ages. Okay.

Rafi Glantz: [00:23:49] So we do Google index pages. So the easiest way to check is if you just type site, colon, domain.com and the Google search part, you’re going to get the number of Google index pages. Exactly.

Joe Howard: [00:23:59] It’s just number of pages on your website is determines your cost guide.

Rafi Glantz: [00:24:03] Exactly. And so we start pretty low, I think. 490 a year.

Joe Howard: [00:24:09] And you do a seven day free trial with no credit card required. Was that kind of a strategic choice on your part to make it as easy as possible to get started with a free trial and then potentially, Hey, if this is working for you, you’re compliant now. You can stop your trial if you want to, but then you won’t be compliant anymore. And then it hooks at, in, through the free trial.

Rafi Glantz: [00:24:29] Yeah. Recently we started doing something with our partners. We partner with literally over 3000 agencies in the United States. And so we offer many of our partners, the opportunity to automatically put accessibility on all of their customer’s websites across the board for a month free or three weeks free, depending on the situation.

And then the decision for the customer becomes, do I want to become inaccessible? And then a lot of times the partner will ask him even to sign a waiver because there is a legal liability. So they say, I customer name acknowledged that my agency explained to me the risks of non-compliance and offered me a solution.

And I accept that and all responsibility. And again the reasoning behind it is not so much to come from a salesy place of fear is to say, look, we’re the agency that you trust to take care of. Your web needs. All of it. We did your website, we do your compliance. This is part of that compliance. If you don’t want to do it. That’s on you. You’re your own person. Fine. But don’t drag us down with you. That’s the bottom.

Joe Howard: [00:25:27] I’m on the agency partners page right now. I see a nice little video with someone’s face who looks pretty recognizable on that.

Rafi Glantz: [00:25:32] That’s an old video. That’s an older video and the camera, not only does the camera add 10 pounds, but I look like a tomato.

Joe Howard: [00:25:42] I see you’ve been on that page before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Cool man. Okay. So accessiBe has raised a significant amount of funding goal of making the whole web accessible, by 2025, pretty ambitious goal. Do you think that at some point, obviously like it has to work within your business model as you grow and as you scale, and now that you have a funding as a company, $12 million of funding means you have a pretty aggressive approach to growth in the future too, to try and grow the company, which is, sounds like what you want because you want to make the whole web accessible.

Do you think at some point in the future, you’ll have to do more than a free trial because from what I can see right now, you have the free trial, which is great, but it seems like everybody who uses your service is paid. At some point after their seven day free trial or whatever free trial they have. Do you think at some point you’ll have to offer some kind of free option for folks?

Maybe it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or something, but to make every website online accessible at some point, like you’ll probably have to offer a free option. Is that something that’s maybe somewhere on your board at some point, or have you not quite gotten that far ahead? Obviously you want to make the business profitable and you want to make sure that it’s generating good revenue, but. The whole web is a big place. So is that something that you’re thinking about at some point?

Rafi Glantz: [00:26:59] It’s definitely a big place. I think a great way to answer that is like this. We have great partners in a lot of cases, strategic partners, one of whom synchro digital is a great example of them. There’s CDK. Automotive’s a digital arm, long story short. They manage websites for 4,000 dealers in the United States of automotive. It’s not other kinds of dealers and they We worked with them to come up with pricing and an arrangement that would enable them to offer access, to be, to all of their customers at no additional cost.

And so I think that trajectory definitely makes a lot of sense, particularly with very large hosting organizations and other companies like that. At the same time, there are free options out there. Like user way, WP access, that kind of stuff. And there’s a reason they’re free to buy. My dad always told me you get what you pay for.

And that, that is very much true. Here. There is a value beyond. Just compliance with accessiBe like we talked about before if you can make it easier for people to buy stuff on your website. And that’s a valuable thing. I know several of the large e-commerce customers that we work with have told me, on a call just like this, Hey, we would have paid for this, even if we don’t have to, because we know that it’s going to, it’s going to help drive sales.

And another thing. In 2020 and in 2021, it is very difficult to advertise for anything Pepsi without being attacked. For some aspect of that advertising accessibility is something it’s very hard to screw up. It’s any approved advertising that you’re accessible to everybody. And you want everybody to come shop at your store? There’s no store, there’s no physical store in the world that wants to keep out somebody in a wheelchair. So it shouldn’t be that way online.

Joe Howard: [00:28:39] Yeah. Yeah. I hear that. I’d love to, to hear even a little bit more about what the future of access to be looks like. Because this is a WordPress podcast, so we talked about a lot of WordPress stuff. So in a lot of the contexts, when I think about accessibility, I think about implementing it on WordPress websites, which is a significant. Portion of the web, the top, millions of websites about 40% are WordPress. So it’s a huge market share, but there are other websites out there on well, as well.

And I see, obviously in your homepage, you help, Wix websites, you probably help Squarespace websites and. Maybe some Shopify sites. So there’s a lot of different options out there. Like it can be used on platforms across the board and maybe just a random HTML site too. There’s not really a limit to that. What is your approach to finding future customers come from? Are you like targeted on like Squarespace users? Okay. Here’s Harris, how we are targeting Squarespace users, WordPress users. Here’s how we’re being part of the community. Is that like part of the, part of what you’re thinking over there?

Rafi Glantz: [00:29:35] It’s certainly part of it. Right now we’re compatible with pretty much every kind of CMS and website you could want to build right now, my understanding of where we’re targeting is a lot more based on industry who is being targeted for this by number one by lawsuits, because of course, then they come to us. We’ve had literally, I think it’s over 3000 people this year, come to our doors, sporting a demand letter in hand and saying help. And we do, and we managed to amicably resolve pretty much every last one of those cases, because we do manage the issue is in a demand letter, they have to number one, claim something specific is not compliant.

And number two, generally, I believe in every state, they have to give you at least 14 days to remediate the problem before they can actually demand a settlement. And so accessibly is good in 48 hours. So as long as you haven’t waited two weeks to come to us, Generally we’re able to solve that problem. So for anybody out there listening, come send me an email.

Joe Howard: [00:30:30] Your role is a little bit like partnerships and customer success. Was that..

Rafi Glantz: [00:30:34] Is that strategic partnerships and partner success.

Joe Howard: [00:30:38] Yeah. So strategic partnerships, I think that’s really interesting because WP buffs is as we grow, when we started, Growing WP Bluffs that the primary driver of that was SEO and contents and people finding us via organic search and booking calls and then grabbing a care plan. And then we have a white label program too. So we help agencies and freelancers through strategic partnerships. Although there, there are directly working with us, but as we’ve grown, we’ve realized, Hey, we have to diversify our. Customer acquisition channels. So we can’t rely a hundred percent on SEO anymore because Hey, if one day Google is like, Hey, you guys suck now.

Sorry. We’re screwed. So we’ve pushed a little bit more on our affiliate program. We’ve had more strategic partners in the WordPress space and that’s been a really. Positive area of growth for us. We have a community person now we, we do strategic partnerships or head of growth. So we’re starting to do more of that. And that sounds like that’s your bread and butter. So is that like a, is that also a big area where you’re bringing in, instead of one person coming to you with a demand letter? Sure. We’ll help you with that. But a strategic partner comes in with a thousand websites.

They’re working on, Hey, WP Buffs manages, Thousands of websites. Hey, you’d work with WP Buffs. Hey, we can offer this to all your clients. That’s much more bang for your buck, right? In terms of like bringing on one strategic partner for a bunch of sites. Is that something that I guess you’re working on?

Rafi Glantz: [00:31:54] That’s something that I do. It’s something my colleague Shelby is now taking a much bigger hand in, which is very exciting for me because I get to take a little bit of a step back. And it’s definitely the most logical way to go about it. But on top of that, we go by industry because there are certain industries that get targeted more. There are certain industries that have more knowledge of this and need it more. And then finally, there’s more industries that particularly during COVID are flush with the cash still. Because even though every business in the United States that has a website definitely has to be accessible by law.

Many of them have the attitude of, come at me, bro. Particularly, and you’d might get a kick out of this law firms are like that. The people that are supposed to be the lawyers say, come at me, just Sue me. Cause I guess, a lawyer exactly. Who’s going to go after a law firm for this, but I will say that it’s, it’s actually surprisingly easy to forge, really good strategic partnerships with people with a product like this, because you have a bunch of really positive factors converging which one nobody can argue against this in an effective way. Just you sound like a terrible person. It is legally required and it’s, we’re solving a problem that they knew that they had all large organizations knew that this was something that was on their radar, but they also knew.

That it wasn’t something that they could feasibly solved. Now we’re bringing it to their attention in a way that it’s technically solvable very easy to implement, very easy to deploy across a thousand websites at the same time. And most importantly, they can actually afford it and their clients can afford it. Now, is that going to be the case for everybody? You’ve seen our pricing. There is a lot of people out there and on WordPress, on Wix on these large CMS, has they pay five bucks a month? If they’re paying $5 a month, it may be that in the future, we’re going to have some sort of plan that’s adapted to that. But for now we are putting a focus on companies that are of a size and have a volume that allows them to afford a product.

Joe Howard: [00:33:49] I can’t really think of any scenarios where arguing against something like this in terms of maybe you couldn’t afford it. There’s always that option, but there’s no other real I don’t think I want my website to be like that doesn’t really there’s no, I don’t feel like there’s room to argue there.

Rafi Glantz: [00:34:06] No, especially now with a large organization that has compliance issues we talked to, you talked to banks, we talked to very big companies. One of the first companies that I got excited about us closing, which one of them recently was Oreo. So you can see from my face and body structure, I enjoy Oreos, but I also have played a Taylor guitar for the last. 15 years now. And Taylor was one of, one of the first customers that I dealt with personally. So I was very excited about it. And I asked them like, did you have a solution for this before? And they said, honestly, we didn’t have a solution for this before. We tried, they tried to do it in-house to my recollection, not to say anything bad about them, but doing web accessibility in house is a very difficult proposal because it takes a lot of skilled labors, a lot of time and money and on a website that updates. Any kind of frequency, it’s just an ongoing problem that will never be perfect. And so this kind of approach where you customize to only what the session user, the visitor needs that’s what we think is the best way to go about it.

Joe Howard: [00:35:06] That was a great podcast episode, man. I appreciate you jumping on. Let’s wrap up quickly. I’d love for you to just tell folks where they can work and they go to find out more about accessiBe and maybe you online, social stuff, any of that jazz.

Rafi Glantz: [00:35:17] I actually don’t have social media. I am planning…

Joe Howard: [00:35:19] My guy, I made the good decision, probably.

Rafi Glantz: [00:35:23] I’m planning to buy a farm up upstate Michigan and raised some dogs and have a little greenhouse and such. It’s going to be a nice life, but. If you want to learn more about accessiBe, we go to accessibe.com. If you want to learn more about how your website is not accessible well now to fix it, go to ACE, ace.accessibe.com. Get a free scan. And if you have any questions at all, you can email me at success. S U C E S S @accessibe.com .

Joe Howard: [00:35:47] Very cool. And the last thing I always ask our guests for is to ask our listeners for little iTunes review. So if you wouldn’t mind asking folks, leave a little review for us. I’d appreciate it.

Rafi Glantz: [00:36:01] Please review this podcast on iTunes. Now we went through this before. A lot of people don’t do it because it takes a few seconds out of your life. I’ll tell you right now, I’m going to go do it. So please leave a review for Joe. He’s a good guy.

Joe Howard: [00:36:14] Yes, appreciate it. And people can go to wpmrr.com/itunes and redirect you right to the iTunes page. If you’re on a Mac. So pretty easy. If you do leave us a review, make sure you, you can just leave a star, five stars there. We’d love. If you leave a comment, cause then we can hear something you learned from this episode. Hey, thanks for asking for hopping on. That was really cool episode. You can send them a screenshot. Thank you for helping us to get a review and we know what other episodes we want to do. More, what more content we want to put out there on the podcast.

Someone leaves a few reviews for this podcast. We’ll know, Hey, we’ll do more accessibility content for sure. So go to WP, mrr.com/itunes for that. If you are a new listener, we’ve got like 120 or so odd episodes on the podcast. We’ve done past couple of years. So if you have questions about anything or you want to learn about a certain topic, just go to the search bar on WP mrr.com/podcast.

And. Do a search pricing growth, new customers. Accessibility, whatever you want. We’ve had a few episodes on everything. So go ahead and check that out. If you have questions for us on the show Christie and I like to do Q and a episodes every once in a while. So shoot us questions at yo@wpmrr.com and we will answer any questions you have live in a Q and a episode that is all for this week of the podcast. We’ll be in your podcast players again next Tuesday. Rafi. Thanks again for being on man. It’s been real.

Rafi Glantz: [00:37:42] Thanks for having me.

Joe Howard: [00:37:43] Yeah, let everybody peace.

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