Written by toomaime
Last Updated 🗓 6 months ago
Running a Gsuite add-on
Lessons from the Mailmeteor founder
Hey Jean, first of all can you tell us a little bit about you and what are you working on?
Hi there, I’m Jean, maker of Mailmeteor. I’m 24 and live in Paris where I work in a big startup campus. In my job, I have to exchange with hundreds of people frequently, such as partners, investors or entrepreneurs. That's a lot for one guy! But I still want these people to feel special when reaching out to them by email. Hence the idea to build Mailmeteor, a tool to send mass personalized emails with Gmail (https://mailmeteor.com/).
I’m using Mailmeteor very often, for various occasion such as cold emailing prospects, new year wishes to our partners, inviting people to an event… In fact every situation where you need to send a lot of personalized emails quickly.
There are other existing mail merge solution, but I wanted something special for two reasons: first, I did not need a heavy and costly marketing solution (such as Mailchimp or Sendgrid). Second, the existing add-ons (Gmass, Yet Another Mail Merge) are too limited (only 50 free emails per day) and requires extensive access to your email data. With Mailmeteor, we’ve built a simple yet powerful tool that matched exactly our needs.
Fortunately, we are two on this project. My associate Corentin is the technical lead. He has designed all the technical infrastructure of Mailmeteor. Since Mailmeteor is a Gsuite add-on, you could think it’s rather easy to build an integration, but it takes a lot of patience and hard work! Overall, we’re very complementary, we share the same entrepreneurial mindset.
How do you get attention for your project Mailmeteor?
Mailmeteor is distributed on the Google Suite marketplace as an add-on for Gmail and Gsheets. This is our main distribution channel for the product. We have been officially reviewed and published by Google in April 19. Hence, we are just starting our efforts to get attention on the product.
Our strategy to get more attention is very methodical. We’ve built persona of the users that would benefit using Mailmeteor (for example growth hackers doing cold emailing campaigns) and listed all the communication actions we could implement, literally speaking. We test and learn each actions. What we measure, we improve.
A new post on Indie Hacker, a featuring on betalist, or this article on growthhacklist.com are as many ways to grow attention around Mailmeteor. We track the conversion rate of every articles. Google analytics is obviously a great way to track this, for free. You can measure how many people went on your website in the traffic sources panel. My advice here is to keep an organized list of every action you’ve implemented and follow all steps thoroughly.
What social media strategies are you using for Mailmeteor?
Currently, we have not developed our social media strategy. It’s a choice we’ve made because we have other distribution channel to care about first. Our main focus is to go up the ladder in the Gsuite marketplace.
What SEO strategies have worked for you?
To follow up on the previous question, our SEO strategy is two-fold. On the one hand, we are focusing on the Gsuite marketplace referencing. We do so by ensuring a great experience to our users, which then leave a review on the marketplace. The more positive reviews and comments we have, the more Mailmeteor goes up in the referencing. It’s not the fastest way, but we really want to satisfy our users and we are sure it will pay in the end!
On the other hand, we’ve been working on our website strategy. At the beginning, you wouldn’t even be able to find Mailmeteor when searching on Google. Again here, there are no secrets, you have to be patient and be careful about details. There are many SEO checklist available on the web. Make sure to check all steps one after the other. What has especially worked for us is to lighten our website using videos instead of gifs. We’ve divided our website’s size by 20 since the initial release. Also, take advantage of every occasion to reference your website on external pages. This interview on growthhacklist will surely contribute to our SEO referencing!
Let’s talk about content marketing - any plans for Mailmeteor and do you have any recommendations for other makers?
Currently, we focus on publishing content to external website to increase Mailmeteor’s awareness. However, we have kept a list of interesting stories to tell. For example, it took us two months to get validated by Google trust and safety team. We may share this story on Hacker News, because we know this audience is receptive to stories related to security and technical aspects of a product. We’ve began to write articles that we will release on our website, the key here is to be consistent.
Don’t fear people’s reaction, nor procrastinate on this for whatever reason. Actually, people are really keen to help you out and try your solution.
What advice would you give someone to get his first 100 customers?
Getting the first hundreds customers might be more easy than what you think. My advice would be to make a list of 100 persons you know (friends, professional network) in a spreadsheet. Then, contact them one by one. It may be painful, especially if you are a product / tech person who enjoy more developing or designing rather than reaching out to people and put yourself at risk. Don’t fear people’s reaction, nor procrastinate on this for whatever reason. Actually, people are really keen to help you out and try your solution.
Of course, pick people that will potentially be user of your product or service. If you don’t know 100 people, list 50 persons and ask them to recommend someone who might use the service as well!
Last but not least, I would recommend maintaining relationships with your first users. A good way to do that is to keep a list of these people’s email address and share them some insights about your latest progress. Who knows, Mailmeteor may be useful for this? ;-)
PS: you can join our Telegram community to share your thoughts and follow our development: