First time here? Get up to speed.
- Chapter 1: Sex, Drugs & Fraud: I spent 6-figures on a Nightmare of a SaaS Company
Chapter 2: The Unraveling of the Business I Just Bought
Chapter 3: I want my money back, and the big gamble
Chapter 4: Sex, Drugs and… Engineering?
Chapter 5: Does this count as a Cease and Desist?
As you know from the early blog posts, when we acquired MailTag — we acquired select assets, and no liabilities (haha, seems funny now). The chief asset in almost all internet businesses is the domain that the service runs on.
www.mailtag.io is ours. We acquired the domain and anything associated with it. That includes the emails on the @mailtag.io email (Google Enterprise Email, aka GSuite).
Of course, when you take over a GSuite account, ALL of the email addresses within it become yours as well, calendars, google drive, etc. They are company property, not to be confused with a personal email address.
This is sort of an odd detail that most people don’t think about in the corporate world: When you have an address at a company, it’s not really YOUR email, it’s the email address of the position your filling. So, in our case, the seller’s email belonged to the CEO of MailTag, now that the company has changed hands, it’s ours.
Before we changed all passwords on the day of the transition, we told the seller we were entering his old email, and that he should clear out anything personal/sensitive. We locked him out and worked out our arrangement where if some email came in that looked important and intended for him, we’d bring it to his attention and help re-route. Early on, this was no problem — twitter accounts, bank notices, I’d text him and we’d work it out easily.
Anyway, some time passed… the code was a nightmare, more skeletons presented themselves and the blog was put up, then taken down.
Why am I telling you this? Because recently, the seller accused me of hijacking his email address and spying on him with it.
Why not just delete the email address? Vendors, customers (a lot of them) and business development opportunities would periodically email the address — and because we take everything seriously, especially when angry customers email us about their past issues — we need to know, and reply to them ASAP.
Imagine if there was a great Biz Dev opportunity from the past, and now the partner is finally ready to launch? All customers, leads, contacts, etc — we acquired those too… so, this is an important channel for us. We send zero outbound emails, it’s only incoming.
It seems fair, right? Right… I know.
After we removed the blog, it was quiet for a while, but we got forwarded an email that was health-related and without consulting Joe (or my lawyer), I texted the seller with the best intentions. Conversation below:
Anyway, I bring all of this to Joe’s attention — and JG’s — we decide the best course of action is to just ignore this guy. And as luck would have it….it seems to ignore made his temperature rise even more:
There is more to this, and I promise I’ll come back to it. Because there are emails, calls, texts to me/Joe, phantom calls from unlisted numbers. But I need to change direction because October 1, 2019, is a significant date in our ownership of MailTag.
When MailTag was launched in late 2017, the team tried to make the service freemium.
So basically, you could track emails for free. There would be a little “powered by MailTag” clickable area in the signature of your emails. If you wanted to remove that ad, so that your recipients didn’t know you were tracking them, you could upgrade to MailTag PRO which would remove that, along with adding PINGs and Scheduled Emails. At the end of the day, it’s very hard to make money in freemium without enormous scale — they decided they couldn’t do it anymore and would only give 14 days free to all users, as a trial — then the users would need to make a decision, to pay for a subscription or to churn out.
When did the old regime draw the line in the sand? October 1, 2018. Why does that make the same date, a year later significant? Because of how the pricing works in MailTag, you have the choice:
- Pay Monthly (about 25% more expensive than paying in 1 shot)
- Pay Annually (offered at a discount)
There was A LOT of users who decided to upgrade to the MailTag PRO-Annual plan. So around midnight on October 1st, a ton of subscriptions were set to renew for the next 12 months of their MailTag Pro service. Stripe, our billing platform — has PAGES of this:
The end result? We made more money on October 1 than we did in ALL of September.
I’d say we went through enough shit by now to get a lucky break, don’t you think?
Eyes on the long term, people.
We hired 2 people and you can see the beginning of our content strategy on our MailTag blog where we post high-value articles about these topics:
- Cold Emailing Insights
- Email Tracking
- Gmail/Chrome Tips & Tricks
- Pitching Insights & best practices
- Quotes (Motivational & Inspirational)
And for good measure, since the rest of October went nicely — we hired a third person in the month. The original Product Designer of MailTag, so you who use the product can expect the user experience to get even slicker 🙂
What’s next? Copyright claims, legal jargon, another weird Cease & Desist, my filing of a police report and more.