How Our Recurring Revenue Grew by 144% in 6 months: Announcing Open Metrics for

Note: This is the first in a series of monthly posts we plan to do giving color and explanation to complement our public Baremetrics dashboard (which you can see whenever in real-time). We believe in transparency and openness with our customers and have been inspired by great businesses like Buffer, Ghost, Baremetrics and Groove before us. Let’s learn together how to build and scale a business using Net Promoter to drive organic growth while proactively reducing churn.

Believe it or not there are companies out there willing to genuinely be transparent about their operations, their financials, their struggles, and successes. Call it a product of the information age, but we at strive to be one of those companies. Short of Periscoping our trips to the bathroom, we’re opening ourselves up to scrutiny, applause, and feedback on all aspects of the company’s “internal” metrics (good, bad, and the ugly). This, friends, is our startup journey.

Baremetrics plugs into Stripe to automatically track your financial metrics

Our Goal

The team at Promoter is building the most powerful and comprehensive self-service NPS platform out there. Why, you ask? Because we’re passionate about helping other businesses grow and succeed. See how it works? It’s pretty simple – your company grows, we grow. We grow, your company grows. Man, do we love capitalism. That’s what motivates and drives us every damn day. In that same light, we want to share our growth story as openly as possible as another way to benefit other companies and fellow entrepreneurs. It’s that whole mutually beneficial thing again. Having the ability to get an inside peek at what a company measures, how they are growing, managing churn, etc., is immensely helpful for others. We’ve found this level of transparency to be extremely rare, but we genuinely mean it. We’re not about buzzwords here at Promoter.

So in addition to our open NPS data which you’ll be seeing shortly, we’re excited to make all of our internal metrics truly open in the hopes that this will help you in some form and also show how NPS ties in with your financials over the long-term. And even if you just like startup voyeurism, well, that’s fine, too. We don’t mind.

March Summary

Background: officially launched in December of 2014 after ~8 months in a closed beta.

What’s good about March? The Ides of March? Hm, no. March showers bring May…wait no, not that. March 9th: Fill Our Staplers Day. What the…? Yeah, so March was kind of a bipolar month around here. We had another wave of “happy” churn (those start/stop customers) that’ll boomerang around here soon enough, but we keep on moving ahead. We’re pretty pumped to be finally rolling out some long-awaited features, a few of which are live as we speak…write…type, but we’re still testing the last few pieces before we make that final announcement.

As far as happy churn goes, we’ll be doing an in-depth analysis of our challenges with it in the next few weeks. It ain’t easy, but not much about creating a startup is.

Some Metrics for March

  • Our NPS score for Q1: 63 (firmly in the excellent category but plenty of room to improve…we’re staring at you, world class)
  • Visitor to Trial Conversion: 3.42% (compared to 5.94% in February = 42% decrease)
  • Trial to Paid Conversion: 8.70% (compared to 9.40% in February = 7.4% decrease)
  • Total uniques: 4,703 unique visitors (compared to 1,971 in February = 238% increase)
  • Top 3 referring sites: Google, Product Hunt, Quora
  • Top 3 keywords: “promoter,” “net promoter score” “nps software”
  • 5 full-time team members and two contractors

We tried our hand at paid search and retargeting in March for the first time which unsurprisingly drove some highly unqualified traffic (and exactly ZERO conversions, great). Money down the drain and time wasted, but hey, Google sent us a free Chromebook to try, right? Awesome…In short: save your money. More on this later…

The “free” Chromebook Google sent us to experiment with Adwords

Thanks Google. Thanks.

A Few Experiments This Past Year

  • We did a guest interview for Inc magazine that was shared 276 times on social media (our moms accounted for only a large handful of those shares, we promise)

Questions and Ideas

  • The biggest concern we have right now is high revenue churn at 25.3% (bleh) for March. Churn makes a HUGE difference to the lifetime value of customers, so getting this down is mission critical. Luckily for us the majority of this is, here’s that term again: “happy” churn, meaning some customers pause and reactivate frequently, but you can’t effectively build a business with sporadic usage like this. And you know what? It’s our own damn fault. But with the new features and workflows we’ve been working on, including drip surveys and automation with our API, we’re more than hopeful they’ll turn us in the right direction and keep us sticky while providing more value for the customer at the same time.
  • The response from our Product Hunt listing was amazing with hundreds of new people discovering our service and over 10 new paying customers.
  • We’re trying to prioritize our next partner integrations based on customer needs. Let us know which integrations would be the most valuable to you! Leave us a comment below (Segment, Salesforce, etc).

Looking ahead to Q2

  • A few weeks from now, we’re releasing our next major product update. We hope to streamline customer usage of our platform and drive more overall value out of the NPS process. This update will include:
    • Promoter API
    • Zapier Integration
    • Persistent campaigns (launch a campaign once and all future surveys go here so we can trend data effectively over time)
    • Drip surveys (drip surveys DAILY over a period of time, for example over a quarter and get consistent feedback)
    • Recurring campaigns (used in conjunction with drip to automate the entire survey process)
    • Reusable email templates
    • New customer detail views with historical trending, follow-up tracking, attribute tracking, etc
  • This blog, which has been dormant for almost a year, is now a priority for us and you’ll start to see regular content going forward.

Let us know any other stats that you’d want us to share! You know, things like how many bags of chips we go through in a month (we swear it’s the visitors to our office), money in the bank, or our most listened-to songs on Spotify. Get creative and we’ll see what we can do.

P.S. Our Net Promoter Score software focuses on making NPS a joy to implement. Check it out! The free plan doesn’t even need a credit card to give it a spin.

10 thoughts on “How Our Recurring Revenue Grew by 144% in 6 months: Announcing Open Metrics for”

  1. Hi Chad,

    I love the transparency! I think you’re right that this is going to build a lot of trust, respect and loyalty among your startup customers!

    I’m particularly excited to hear the API is on the way, can’t wait to get that plugged into Trakio! 🙂

    1. Thanks Liam, I appreciate the comment. We’re very excited about being open and sharing what works and what does not, plus the long-term revenue tie in with NPS.

      Stay tuned next week for some news on the API, just putting on the final touches and working on some documentation (yay). Really appreciate your patience while we worked on this. A bit behind but better late than never!

  2. Love the transparent blog! I discovered you through Groove who I feel nailed that space – they got me as a customer and you soon will too – just playing with trial at the moment. I know the power of NPS through a friend with a company measuring this the old fashioned, expensive, manual way. Been telling him for a couple of years there’s an app in that…too slow…glad you did it, I think you guys will nail it!

    1. Thanks Trevor! We’re big fans (and customers) of Groove as well and they are part of our inspiration for doing this amongst other things.

      I had wanted to build something in this space for many years myself and hunted several times for a solution like Promoter. As soon as I had the opportunity I knew it needed to be built and everything we do is based around personal experience running an effective NPS program, the right way. Focus on continual feedback, action on that feedback and strategic engagement of your Promoters/Passives/Detractors.

      What you’ve seen is just the very early version of our platform. Big release coming next week and much more planned for 2015/2016. We look forward to working with you!

  3. I’d like to get promoter set up to work smoothly with Shopify… I guess it’s possible through Zapier but haven’t really looked yet…any tips?

    1. It should be extremely simple once we’re added to the Zapier Zapbook. Our integration is in their final review stage and we’re hoping that it will be public next week. Stay tuned and we’d be happy to walk through this with you once it’s live!

  4. Pingback: 4 Little-Known Factors That Could Hurt Your NPS Score - Blog

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