Here is Part One…
If you could sum up an entire story in one image, it would be the monthly recurring revenue graph for ConvertKit. So if you want the short version of the last 2 years of his work, just look at this image:
Now he’d like to share the behind the scenes stories that explain exactly what happened and what every curve of that chart means.
The story behind Convert Kit’s Success
2 years, 2 months, and 9 days ago he announced his big new goal for the year: to start a brand new SaaS company and grow it to $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue within 6 months. The other catch is that he could only make an initial investment of $5,000.
He called this The Web App Challenge and you can read the announcement post here.
If you don’t want to read through the entire history I’ll sum it up here:
He decided to solve his email marketing frustrations and build a tool that had all the email marketing best practices he was using to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of books built in by default. That tool is called ConvertKit.
Things didn’t work out as planned
They never do, right?
Unfortunately July 1st, 2013 arrived and ConvertKit was only at $2,480/month.
Basically half of where it needed to be.
Oh well, we’ll continue to grow and hit our goal in a few more months.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen. ConvertKit revenue stayed steady and then gradually declined. $2,480 was the peak month.
But he made it to that number only having spent slightly more than his initial $5,000 investment and another ~$5,000 that he brought in from customers.
Side project for Convert Kit
When things didn’t work out as planned, he focused back on his books. By this time I had three books out that were all selling very well. I was making over $15,000-25,000 from book sales each month so that’s where I started focusing my energy.
He still worked on ConvertKit, but the limited effort he put into it didn’t result in any growth.
Experiments for Convert Kit
Summer 2014 he experimented with selling SaaS like an info-product by launching ConvertKit Academy. It was initially very successful ($7,000 in revenue in one month), but then seats stopped selling and he once again lost motivation.
Even though ConvertKit Academy didn’t turn out to be as financially sustainable as he’d hoped, it was still a good experiment which helped dozens of people start their email lists.
The wrong audience for Convert Kit
Unfortunately the focus on education—particularly building a list from scratch—attracted an audience that didn’t make the best customers.
What he found is that these beginners complained the most about price, lacked the discipline to produce content consistently, and were very likely to cancel when their project failed.
On top of that the focus on beginners alienated some people who would have been much better customers – people who already had serious online businesses wondered if ConvertKit was right for them.
We were actually driving away our best customers and focusing on those least likely to succeed.
Not good. Not good, at all..
The bottom of the barrel for Convert Kit?
In October 2014 monthly recurring revenue had slid all the way down to $1,207.
Something had to change.
Treating ConvertKit as a side project just wasn’t working.
The rest of his business (book and course sales) were doing great, but ConvertKit was sliding further towards zero revenue. And it still cost a decent amount to run each month.
Decisions Decisions for Convert Kit
He had to make a decision.
Either give ConvertKit the attention it deserved or shut it down (or put it on auto-pilot).
Fully shutting down ConvertKit wasn’t really an option.
It was an incredibly powerful tool that he’d given his heart!!
It was the tool that enabled him to grow his list to over 30,000 email subscribers so quickly.
Putting it on auto-pilot was an option.
That would mean continuing to run it for existing customers, but not actively market it or develop new features.
Or he could double down on ConvertKit and give it the time and energy it deserved to see if it could be successful.
He thought long and hard about this…
Very hard decisions to be made!
We’ve all been there, right?
This next decision could make or break him!!
He had one direction that he could still try.
He decided it was time to double down on ConvertKit and give it every possible opportunity to succeed.
Sorry, it’s time to hit the back and biceps!!
I’ll try finish this tonight…
Make sure you check in at the same time, for the next part in the Growing Convert Kit to $5,020 in Monthly Income…
Till then Groover…
To grab your copy of Convert Kit here: CLICK HERE
Or copy this link into your browser:
Always Dedicated to Your Success,