How to Grow Your Email List 10x With This Simple Hack

Dan Stein
Startup Thread
Published in
4 min readNov 29, 2020


Interview with Adam Robinson, CEO of GetEmails

Interview with Adam Robinson, CEO of GetEmails

Tell us about GetEmails. What do you do?

GetEmails is an Identity Resolution software that allows customers to identify up to 35% of anonymous traffic on their website. It gives customers the email addresses of the people on their site without them ever having to fill out a form.

What is your startup’s origin story?

GetEmails was a feature in Robly, and email service provider I launched in 2014, that allowed our customers to identify up to 35% of their anonymous traffic. After a couple of months of releasing the feature to our Robly customers, we did a bunch of user surveys and were getting a 10/10 response from a few different types of users to the NPS question — “how likely are you to recommend this to a friend”? After that, we deemed it a worthy pursuit.

Had you been involved in the industry before this startup? What is your background?

I have been obsessed with the identity market for years, and investigating how to actually go about doing what GetEmails does since late 2017. We finally figured it out, and our original plan was to make it a differentiating feature for our Email Marketing application, Robly. Two things happened that made us all-of-a-sudden decide to make GetEmails its own product: 1) The reception from our Robly users was incredible. Ultra-high conversion rate. 2) People we were out-bounding about the product were only using the ID feature and weren’t using the rest of our app and they weren’t willing to switch.

What’s unique about your company? What are the key differentiators between you and other players?

GetEmails is bootstrapped and grew to $250K MRR in it’s first 6 months, during the pandemic. It’s also the only Identity resolution tool that allows B2B businesses to identify and capture anonymous email addresses on customer websites.

Take us through a day in your life. What does the typical day look like?

My days vary, but they always start out the same way. I wake up every morning and swim or run 3 to 6 miles. When I get home, I make Chemex pour over coffee. After that I sit down at my desk and listen to classical piano while I drink my coffee and I write in my journal. I have 1:1 meetings with a few of my employees dispersed throughout the week as well as a big team meeting every Monday afternoon. The rest of my time is spent on marketing ideas, new feature tests and client calls.

What has been the most challenging part of growing your company?

User education and churn. We’re getting a lot of big deals in the door, but if a website doesn’t have a lot of traffic it doesn’t provide value to the customer. We’ve hired a person specifically to take on new clients and help them get the most value out of GetEmails.

What has been your best marketing channel? What are some channels you are looking to explore next?

We’ve found that advertising on social channels like Facebook has been incredibly beneficial. We run a new video ad featuring me and our Head of PR (and my fiance), Helen Sharp, every week to the same audience. We think the reason why it works so well is that it is the same two people every week and faces do well on social media. Through the past few months, people have gotten to know us through these ads. Our latest ad had 130k views 632 comments with 11,000 100% views. We’re seeing a 7–10X ROAS with immediate payback on a SaaS product. In the first 30 days we have spent 25k on Facebook ads and grown monthly recurring revenue 50k.

What apps do you use that you would recommend to others?

Intercom — talking with customers Full Story — watching customers FB ads — it’s bringing us most of our customers to talk to and watch Google Hangouts — we’re remote, it’s just essential Justworks — takes the headache out of everything payroll and compliance

Do you have a book, podcast, or Youtube channel you would recommend to other Entrepreneurs?

It’s not a book, but everybody should read everything in the Y-Combinator library, then contrast it to the 2 37 signals books, rework and remote. Decide which of the two routes you want to go down. With Robly, I picked Rework/Remote. With GetEmails, I’m sticking with Y-Combinator core values but going to self-fund it. For podcasts, Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan … couldn’t be any more boring than that. But it’s true.

If you could go back in time to the day you founded your company, what advice would you give yourself?

Focus on product, and getting to product-market fit. It’s easy to be delusional about it the first time around. There are lots of emotions that come with starting something for the first time. Read and re-read what people describe product-market fit feeling like, and keep your expenses as low as possible and your team as small as possible until you find it.

What’s something you’ve learned from building your business that someone else can learn from?

“Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise” — Ted Turner.

Interview with Adam Robinson, CEO of GetEmails



Dan Stein
Startup Thread

Startup Thread. San Francisco Born and Bred!