Building a $70k/Month Email Add-On Business: An Interview with yet Another Mail Merge Founder, Romain Vialard

I am Romain Vialard, creator of Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM), an email marketing and email personalization tool for Gmail.

2. Basic Demo’s (RECOMMENDED)
a. Monthly Revenue
b. Date Started / Years in Business
March 2014 / 4 years
c. Location / Homebase
Paris, France
d. # of Employees
2 full-time employees

In the beginning (or even now) do you maintain a full-time job while launching?

It was during my internship in 2011, I started with Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM) as a script that I shared with other developers for free. It was more of a minimum viable product (MVP) that served with features that were just sufficient to satisfy early users.

Later in 2014, YAMM’s launch as an add-on in the Google’s marketplace, transitioned it from a simple script to a real SaaS product. I had to find better ways to manage the growing user base and finally, the solution was to make YAMM my full-time job 🙂

How did you acquire customers/subscribers/users?

YAMM’s growth to-date is 100% organic. Our current user base of almost a million users found YAMM through discovery or word-of-mouth within Google Sheets Add-on store (marketplace of G Suite add-ons). From being one of the first 50 add-ons on this marketplace, YAMM’s growth is consistent and happened in parallel with the growth of G Suite.

Aligning the product to meet the needs of this one marketplace, had earned YAMM its rightful position as the #1 add-on for Google Sheets, also with a strong and loyal customer base. With more than 100K monthly active users and 35 million emails sent every month, YAMM’s new installations keep growing.

What software/platforms/tools have you utilized since launch?

YAMM was from the start, tightly integrated to the G Suite environment. The UI is displayed inside Google Sheets and we rely on a lot of Google APIs (including the Gmail API, of course) to deliver our service.

Which have worked / not worked?

Paypal was perfect to easily test the potential of monetization. I implemented the first version of our paying plan even before adding a real database! And when I decided to add one, I chose Firebase, a real time database product bought by Google at the end of 2014 and it made a big impact on the quality of the product. People love to see our email tracking UI updated in real time with the number of emails opened, clicked and responded.

How did you fund your startup and how do you make money/revenue?

Shortly after YAMM’s launch in Google add-on store market place, I decided to monetize the product. After many experiments and fine tuning, I successfully switched it from a 100% free product to freemium. The script is free for anybody with a Gmail account to merge up to 50 emails per day. Our premium plans offer users a higher email quota (400 emails a day for Gmail users and 1,500 for G Suite users) at an affordable price. Our revenue comes from annual subscriptions and renewals.

Most importantly, we don’t spend any money on infrastructure (we do not own any email servers and we rely on the Gmail API to send the emails) and don’t pay commission to sell on the Google add-on store. So, our profit margins are very high

Lastly, if anyone reading this wants to know more about your company… where do we send them?

Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM)