From a Side Project in 2018 to Now a Team of 10: Corentin Shares Mailmeteor’s Growth Strategy
Table of Contents
- Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?
- How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?
- Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?
- What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?
- What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
- Your recommended books/podcasts/newsletters etc.:
We started Mailmeteor in 2018 with Jean, my co-founder.
Back in the days, Jean was in charge of partnerships at Station F, a startup campus based in Paris, France. He was in need of an emailing solution to reach out with hundreds of partners. But nothing was really suited for its needs.
Either the solution was aimed for large audiences (Mailchimp & co.) or for salespeople. He needed a way to reach out both individually and in mass to its base. Without complicated feature like CRM and at a cheap price.
Of course, there were other mail merge solutions. But they looked clunky and not privacy-focused. For example, all of them needed to read your inbox to work. There are very sensitive information in your inbox so you think twice before granting such access.
That’s the main reasons why we decided to build an emailing tool that fits our needs. With a strong focus on privacy and ease of use, Mailmeteor was born.
Mailmeteor started as a side project. In the beginning, the goal was to make enough profit to pay us a really good restaurant once per month (~$200 MRR) - good restaurant are pricy in France. But at some point, we had enough revenue to go full-time. Which we did in early 2021.
Today, there’s a team of 10 people around us.
I remember we listed everyone we knew in a Google Sheets, from your best friends, to friends of friends, colleagues, ... The list quickly counted hundreds of people.
We manually reached out to each one of them asking for feedback. Either via email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, whatever suits them well. Those were our early users. And some converted to paid users. We are thankful to both of them!
Then we listed the solution on several websites and made a Product Hunt. That attracted even more users.
At some point, we got enough users to be promoted on the Google Workspace Marketplace which added even more users.
In total, it took less than a week to get 50 users. About a month to get 1 paid customer. And a bit less than 3 months to get 50 paid users.
At Mailmeteor, we send millions of emails per month, so we need an infrastructure that scale well. We rely mostly on Google Cloud and Firebase.
We are heavy fan of Telegram. We use it as a messaging app for the team, but also for logs, notifications, support, etc.
The other tool that we use is of course Gmail. Customer support is done via email so we spend a huge amount of time in Gmail.
What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
First, I would say that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Try to look for a business that interest you and you think you can make it better. In our case it was emailing, and more specifically mail merge solutions. There were dozens of emailing solutions when we started, but we feel like we could provide a better way of doing it. That’s how Mailmeteor started and now we have millions of users and 4.9/5 rating.
Second, try to launch fast. Don’t wait for yet another feature to be build. You should launch a minimal version in a fast manner. Then you improve based on feedback from your customers and the team.
Last, it’s a marathon. You will have low and high. So you need to stay focused and motivated. But you should also do other things, like walking, doing some sports, lecturing… It takes a long time to build a successful side project.
As a developer, I really like Human Who Codes newsletter, by Nicholas Zakas. It’s full of nice little things that I’m interested in. And one book that I’m reading right now and I recommend is "Who not How" by Dan Sullivan.