This is the first “Transparency Report” by Wild Audience written by Bastián (founder). And I am super pumped about this!
So it makes 100% sense for us to continue with our authenticity & transparency efforts to become a more open, real & transparent company.
From now on, we will publish a monthly Transparency Report in the first week of each month covering the past month to talk about how we grow Wild Mail from 10,000€ MRR to 50,000€ MRR.
In case you have missed it: We launched our first software product called Wild Mail (in partnership with ActiveCampaign) and we have hit 10,000€ in MRR in March 2020.
You can read the whole story of how & why we turned SaaS in this article.
The monthly Transparency Report talks about what we do in order to grow and how we progress on our journey (including the good & the bad).
In the past months, we aimed for a 16% growth rate. Looking at our performance, I can see that we grew on average 14% every month.
But due to the corona pandemic we have decided as a team to go with a more conservative approach moving forward as we are not sure yet how bad our company will be impacted.
10% MRR growth rate would mean that we would hit 50,000€ MRR in September 2021. A 14% growth rate would allow us to hit our goal in March 2021 (keeping a linear growth rate is hard to do so we will adjust our target as we go). We will do our learning over the next few weeks and months and may adjust our growth goal up or down.
Since this is a new initiative by Wild Audience & we missed the first two months (January & February), I will do a little exception and cover the first three months in this article.
Our goal is to have a super transparent business. Obviously we can’t go from 10% transparency to 100% transparency and that is why we will roll out our transparency initiative month-by-month, adding more elements to our Transparency Report each month. I hope you’re excited!
We tested the waters with software for the first time in 2019 reselling ActiveCampaign. Our MRR for Wild Mail on January 1st 2020 was €7,014.
By the end of the first quarter of 2020 we managed to grow it beyond 11,000€. As the corona crisis started we experience some churn and ended the month with €10,442.
If I compare that to Q4 2019, I can see that we grew Wild Mail by almost 50% compared to the previous quarter.
We need to consider two things here:
- We are still in the set-up phase. We had to build a new website (more about this later) and change our funnels & branding. We are not yet in growth modus.
- Corona crisis is hitting as we speak. Let’s see what the impact will be over the next quarter.
Overall, we are happy with our growth. We managed to hit the famous 10,000€ MRR goal and 100,000€ in annual run rate.
In this chapter we will talk about you guys. The most important people in our business: Our customers.
Thank you so much for believing in us and trusting us with helping you grow your business.
In Q1 of 2020 we had a total of 1189 conversations with 579 customers. We are so happy to have Emilie in our team to support and help you guys.
Our customers (you!) are giving us a 94% happiness score which is great!
One metric we need to improve on this quarter is our “First Response Time” aka how long it takes us to respond to the initial ticket. The reason it is slightly up in Q1 is mainly because of Christmas holidays.
Our normal “First Response Time” is between 4-5 hours which is also what we achieved the previous quarter in Q4 of 2019.
We also published three new customer success case studies!
Case Study #1:
How Frank went from €300k/year to €300k/month [Accelerator + Wild Mail]
Case Study #2:
How OMR built stronger customer relationships [Wild Mail]
Case Study #3:
How ActiLingua generated 71% of their digital sales with email marketing [Wild Mail]
Pretty stocked and happy for our customers 🙂
And we started a new initiative for customers to submit customer testimonials. We used a tool called VideoAsk for that and it worked out well. We received 8 new video testimonials which made us really happy 🙂 You can click on the videos below and watch them if you like.
Let’s talk product! We have lots to share and we were able to ship a ton of new things. Here’s a summary!
“What’s new?” Page
We have a new public page since February 19th 2020 called “What’s new?”: Link
The goal is to publish all new things we ship on this page. Think Instagram Stories but in text format with links and screenshots 🙂
The goal is to keep the people that follow us in the loop of what we are working on. Most companies focus on new features but our What’s new? page covers marketing, sales, website, content, product etc..
100% Public Roadmap
In the spirit of transparency we have now made our internal roadmap public. This is the exact same roadmap we use internally to plan our sprints. It covers all departments of our business (not only product!). Have a look here.
Wild Mail is our marketing automation software that enables companies to grow their business by building authentic relationships with marketing automation. Here’s a quick demo:
We work together with ActiveCampaign to provide the product while we do the billing, support and marketing & sales ourselves.
While our goal is to build new features and products on top of Wild Mail, we focused in Q1 to build the foundation. That meant in order to support our customers best, we wanted to launch our own billing app.
Our most requested feature was for customers to be able to download their own invoices. So we built it 🙂
We released new banners to make it easier for new trials to schedule software demos with our team.
And we also fixed 30 bugs!
While Q1 and Q2 of 2020 is all about building a great foundation for our new SaaS journey, Q3, Q4 and beyond will be about launching new features and offering more value to our customers 🙂
Accelerator is our done-with-you consulting program that is designed to help companies implement a marketing automation system to build authentic relationships with their audience and grow their business.
While we have not changed anything inside our offer (it is rock solid and proven to work), we have done a lot to support our clients grow.
I asked Benji (our head consultant) how many consulting calls he did and how many questions he answered from our awesome Accelerator clients:
- Consulting Calls: 27
- Consulting Questions: 275
Pretty cool 🙂
We have also published a new Accelerator client success case study and have a few new ones in the pipe.
Case Study: How Frank went from €300k/year to €300k/month
Frank is such an amazing guy and keeps crushing it with his business. Here’s an email he sent me on the 5th of March 2020.
If you want to learn more about Accelerator and apply to work with us, you can do that here.
In case you were wondering what AU is ..? Automation University is the new name for our previous membership “Automation Rebels”.
Automation University is an online university that teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their business by building authentic relationships with marketing automation.
What’s the difference between the two offers?
- We are changing the way we deliver the offer
- We will update the pricing
- We will move everything from MightyNetwork to Thincific
But we will share more about the change in our April 2020 Transparency Report. We are working on this project as we speak and plan to launch Automation University sometime in April 2020.
If you are a current customer of Automation Rebels, don’t worry. By the time you read this you will already have received a customer only email explaining what will change.
Let’s move on to marketing now..
Giving insights & transparency into our marketing is something we plan to do more and more over the next few transparency reports. We take things step-by-step.
In Q1 of 2020 we welcomed 3171 new people to Wild Audience and exposed them to our Relationship Funnel. So that’s an average of 1000 new leads per month or 35 new leads per day.
We were using a mix of paid advertisements like Facebook ads, Instagram ads and YouTube ads as well as content marketing. I won’t go into the breakdown of our acquisition channels at this point. But that’s something I will start doing a little later this year 🙂 Stay tuned!
In the same time period we also registered 148 new Wild Mail trials. That equals a 5% conversion rate from lead to trial. We will work on improving this in a few weeks.
Wild Mail Partner Program
In March we launched the official Wild Mail Partner program! You can find all details about becoming a Wild Mail partner here.
We have onboarded our first 23 partners so far and even generated our first partner MRR already. Pretty happy with that considering we have not started to promote this big time.
We switched from SurveySlam to ConvertBox. We are super happy with the switch! We used to recommend SurveySlam in the past years but last year the team behind SurveySlam did not deliver what they promised and that is when we switched. We use CB now on all our blog posts and PPC landing pages.
I took a lot of time to think through how to best position Wild Audience and its products in the market. After going into myself, talking with the team, doing customer & competitor research we came up with the following positioning:
Wild Audience with all its products is positioned as “helping companies build authentic relationships with marketing automation to grow their business”.
The biggest project of this quarter was for sure our brand new website.
Building a brand new website from scratch is literally a three months project. It took us two months to design & develop everything and around one month to add the content.
The website features our all new SaaS look, new positioning, new branding and two languages: English & Spanish.
We will do another round of improvements in Q2 adding more functionality and updating the graphics.
The technology we use:
- Gutenberg by WordPress
We used ThriveArchitect in the past but decided to switch to Gutenberg for a few reasons.
ThriveArchitect gives you great flexibility and allows you to build a lot of things. The problem with that is though that it’s hard for team members (especially with less technical experience) to follow best practices and brand guidelines if you can pretty much adjust anything.
So what we wanted is:
- Visual drag & drop builder
- Beautiful design
- Less flexibility and options
- Make it easy and fast for non-technical team members to build awesome pages following our branding
And we achieved exactly that 🙂
We did 70 sales related calls in Q1 (based on Calendly). That’s 1.17 sales calls a day.
Our team does Wild Mail demos and Accelerator calls only on Tuesday & Thursday. Keeping that in mind, it means we got 3 sales calls each Tuesday and 3 calls each Thursday scheduled.
In this section I want to share some general thoughts about our first quarter.
Looking back, I am extremely happy with the decision we have made to switch from a service-based business model to a SaaS business model.
I also love our new transparency initiative and hope that other founders find this sequence of Transparency Reports helpful and can learn from our experiments and failures.
As the CEO of Wild Audience, one of my main focuses is cash flow. Being able to have the right amount of cash available at the right time to pay team members and growth efforts is key.
And that is why I have doubled-down on my financial planning and cashflow forecasting efforts. As a result, I feel more secure now in my decision making. I suggest to everyone reading this to go over expenses & past revenue (growth) and then project your revenue & expenses for each month. This makes realistic decision making easier.
The corona pandemic is on our mind these days. If you are Wild Audience customer or a fellow founder friend .. we all think about it constantly & wonder how this may impact our lives & businesses. Personally, I am mostly concerned about our own customers.
If you are our customer, please know that we are here for you. If you have worries, reach out to us.
Sometimes a friendly person listening to your worries does wonders. Sharing the grief and worry with someone is how I personally approach this crisis. I am in constant contact with my friends to exchange our feelings about personal & business matters. It helps.
We understand that our customers are the heart of our business. And without you guys there is no Wild Audience. Thanks for putting your trust in us.
What’s coming in April 2020?
And lastly I want to share with you our roadmap for April 2020 and beyond.
(1) Automation University:
The biggest announcement in April 2020 will definitely be the launch of Automation University. We did our learning about running a membership the last few months and are currently implementing our realizations.
The launch will include:
- New product strategy
- New platform
- New pricing structure
- New delivery strategy
- New content
Stay tuned 🙂
(2) Wild Mail:
We will also ship a few fun features:
- New Cancelation Feature (to make it super easy to cancel)
- Discount Feature
- Our own API to connect data points of different tools (Wild Mail, ActiveCampaign API, HelpScout, Zapier..)
- In-app messaging for our products (to make it easier to talk to our customers)
(3) New Newsletter Strategy:
In the past we automated our newsletter 100%. It was called the “Evergreen Newsletter”. We have done our learning and will now update our strategy. We will add some cool tweaks. You will see everything in action this month (April 2020)!
(4) New Lead Magnet:
I will work on a new lead magnet for the top of our Relationship Funnel. We do this because we updated our positioning & product strategy.
(5) New Tutorials:
From sprint #8 onwards (April 13th), we will start publishing short video tutorials on YouTube to help our audience grow their business by automating their marketing.
(6) New Website:
And finally we will ship new features for our website which we launched in March 2020. Our development efforts will focus on new blocks for customer video tutorials, client case studies & brand new tutorial library. The development will go into May 2020.
That’s a wrap!
Remember: Wild Audience with all its products is positioned as “helping companies build authentic relationships with marketing automation to grow their business”.
That’s our goal and that is how we can help you 🙂