Mailbird CEO Andrea Loubier On ‘Fixing’ Windows E-mail And Winning 7,000 Customers With Andrea Loubier


andrea_profile_picToday we’re talking with Mailbird CEO Andrea Loubier. Known in the email world as the Sparrow for Windows, Mailbird launched in April, 2013 and to date has over 7,000 users. Andrea’s background doesn’t come from the start-up, or even from the technology world. Instead, she decided she wanted to live in Bali and started Googling for a job, ultimately landing a job as the CEO of Mailbird. Her job perks include gathering in a co-working space with like-minded entrepreneurs on the oceanfront in Bali.

Key Takeaways:

  • Drew on Mac’s Sparrow client for inspiration, and aimed to bring innovation back to email.
  • Talks about how her team realized nothing much had changed in email over the years, despite it still being the #1 online activity.
  • Insights on gaining momentum with 7,000 active users and 75% paying customers in roughly a year since Mailbird launched.
  • Leveraged a freemium based model for people to familiarize themselves with the product, with a 24% conversion rate of users upgrading to a $12 a year subscription model for more features and services.
  • Shares the surprisingly simple reason Mailbird charges $12 a year, and how conversions actually went up when they raised their price.
  • How the company stays afloat and pays employees through a combination of equity and intangible perks of living and working remotely across Copenhagen and Indonesia.
  • Thoughts on why an influx of entrepreneurs are choosing to set-up shop in Southeast Asia and the community it creates.
  • Illustrates how a tiny $3,000 apartment in San Francisco would cost more than renting out an entire villa with a full-staff in Bali.
  • Credits her exposure to different cultures and environments while growing up in Jakarta as a path to her live-work lifestyle as a CEO in Bali.
  • Shares how her staff works towards creating a cohesive team feeling while working remotely.
  • Discusses how crucial it is to find the right team members from the start who can demonstrate autonomy, a great work ethic and ability to help each other as obstacles arise.
  • Talks about the unique pros and cons of working remotely, and lack of intense hierarchical structure it fosters.
  • How her team uses consistent content marketing to build brand awareness, and what they did when Google acquired Sparrow to piggyback on its success.
  • Methods behind using established consumer days to convert loyal users and reach out to new customers.
  • Using an easy Dropbox strategy to get 10,000 people interested in Mailbird.
  • Why figuring out what sticks and trying lots of different things is actually an effective way to market a product.
  • Thoughts on using the Pomodoro technique to increase productivity.
  • How not checking your inbox first thing in the morning and batching your email time can actually increase efficiency and get work done faster.
  • Staying realistic about time management and the need for a phenomenal project manager to lay out a road map and deal with miscalculations and obstacles as they arise.

Mailbird Email Productivity Hacks:

Andrea’s recommended resources:

“Marketing to Win: How Small Businesses Can Do More With Less”


Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.