Independence and integrity: The secrets to Fastmail’s success as a leader in email

Fastmail chief of employees Nicola Nye. Source: Supplied.

With over 100,000 customers worldwide and a US acquisition underneath its belt, Fastmail is a nice instance of an Australian start-up that has achieved profitable development. According to Fastmail chief of employees Nicola Nye, the corporate’s development story is a easy one, constructed on a sturdy set of core values and a willpower to deal with its prospects as folks, not merchandise, and a dedication to defending its prospects’ privateness on-line. 

Nye spoke to SmartCompany in regards to the firm’s scale up expertise and the key to its success. 

An impartial email supplier with highly effective options

Fastmail is an Australian, subscription-only email internet hosting service that locations the privateness of its prospects on the centre of all it does. Fastmail was based in Melbourne in 1999, and has achieved sluggish and regular development over the previous 20 years. 

“We’ve been round for 23 years (we predate Gmail). We’re an impartial email service that gives simple to use, highly effective options for our customers,” says Nye. “Our enterprise is email. That’s all we wish to do, and we do it very effectively.”

Being an impartial supplier has been instrumental to Fastmail’s development and has allowed it to make investments in and increase highly effective options for its prospects, principally people and households although the corporate additionally serves a small proportion of companies.  

“As an impartial email supplier, all we do is email. We’ve obtained no break up loyalties and our enterprise is completely employee-owned,” Nye explains. This has given the corporate the flexibility to make investments in rising its product providing and enhancing its providers, together with the 2015 acquisition of the US-based IC Group, which incorporates the corporate’s Pobox and Listbox. 

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Fastmail’s prospects pay for his or her privateness, not with it

The understanding that individuals need – and deserve – full possession of their private knowledge on-line has set Fastmail other than free email suppliers and is one thing that every one email customers ought to care about, as a result of as Nye places it, “in case you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” 

“Email is your gateway to all of your on-line providers. Whether it’s the place you purchase your footwear from, your books from, meals supply providers or your financial institution. Everything is tied to your email tackle,” says Nye. 

The willpower to shield its prospects’ knowledge is why Fastmail developed Masked Email, an progressive partnership with password supervisor 1Password that enables prospects to generate alias email addresses, offering them with ironclad safety from on-line assaults. The partnership noticed Fastmail shortlisted for the Cyber Security and Online Safety Innovation Award in the 2022 Australian Communications Awards. 

“We’re a firm with email experience, not fee experience”

As an Australian firm working globally – the USA has at all times been Fastmail’s largest market – there was by no means any query that Fastmail wanted help from a devoted fee supplier for managing buyer funds, significantly for its abroad customers. So, Fastmail turned to Pin Payments

Being in a position to facilitate USD processing and settlement into its Australian checking account was a precedence for Fastmail, and one thing Pin Payments was in a position to simply facilitate. 

“As an Australian firm ourselves, discovering a supplier who understood the challenges of foreign money conversion for an internet service that wasn’t based mostly in the US, with help in our time zone was great,” Nye explains. 

“They understood the restrictions of Australian banks, significantly in the early days, as far as managing worldwide currencies.” 

Having tried two different fee suppliers in the previous, Fastmail discovered the help Pin Payments have been in a position to supply was the important thing differentiator, and is the explanation why 9 years later, their partnership has continued. 

“With Pin Payments [there’s been] pleasant, educated help, in our time zone. It’s been incredible. We don’t have issues typically, however if you’re speaking [about] fee offering methods, you need any issues solved right away, and that’s been our expertise with Pin Payments.” 

The secret to Fastmail’s development: attracting and retaining prospects

Nye credit Fastmail’s potential to scale with its potential to construct a optimistic repute with prospects. Thanks to its independence, the corporate has been in a position to channel its power into providing high-quality help.

“Coming to an impartial email supplier, not solely are you getting the service you pay for and nothing else, you’ve obtained pleasant, useful, educated individuals who may also help you out when there’s a drawback,” says Nye. 

Being a firm that respects its prospects’ values has resulted in regular development that got here largely via referrals. “We’ve seen sluggish and sustainable development yr on yr, primarily from phrase of mouth, and that comes from having a enterprise that has a strong repute. To get to that time means you’ve obtained to ship what you say you’ll ship.” 

Equally necessary is the flexibility to adapt to your prospects wants and change with the instances. 

“Being in a position to perceive the shifts in the panorama is a crucial facet of creating certain that you’re sustainable, as a result of significantly in the tech business, nothing stays nonetheless.”

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