The Foundations For Growth - October Report
Time for the tenth, monthly business review at NinjaOutreach.
October, was honestly, a relatively slow growth month for the business as the founders took a bit of time off and went on vacation.
However, still a lot of development progress was made, and November is already shaping up to look like a great month!
Development - State Of The Web App
A couple very big ticket items were completed in October:
- We integrated with Stripe and now accept credit cards
- We integrated the Chrome Extension to the web app, and added a contact form submitter.
It's a bit painful to think about how long these oversights persisted, but to be honest, it was very difficult to find an opening.
They were important, but just not the most important thing at the time.
But finally, with the help of some additional developers, we got them done in October, and they are already starting to pay off.
For example, we're seeing our daily signups increase by around 20% since integrating with Stripe.
Additionally, the Chrome Extension has added several hundred users in just the few weeks that we've integrated it to the web app. Over 1100 people have it downloaded in the chrome store.
For example, here is usage of the extension:
In addition to those two items, numerous features and improvements were made throughout the application, particular in the areas of outreach such as adding Message History, Message Alerts, Replies, and Filtering By Non Replies (for follow ups).
Three things are very clear concerning the application:
- It has to be partially redesigned
- It has to be made to be more sticky
- It has to be more automated
As for the first point, we've been piling on features for months now, and unfortunately, there hasn't been a coherent way to express them in the app.
The problem is the app was not designed with these features in mind, and as a result they often get stuck behind buttons and tabs and don't get the engagement they deserve. This is most noticeable with things like Message History, which I suspect many users don't know we have.
As a result, key pages like Your Prospects and Outreach Mode are being redesigned and those redesigns will be launched this month. We brought on a UI/UX designer to help with this task.
That brings us to the second point - stickiness.
The app is currently not particularly sticky, because some of the key sticky features are hidden, and others, simply don't exist yet.
Therefore, we're going to be focusing on features that engage users, like alerts, and status updates, and reporting. People need a reason to come back to the application week after week, so we're going to give it to them.
Outreach is tedious, even with NinjaOutreach, I sometimes am frustrated with how tedious outreach can be.
We've brought a lot of features into NinjaOutreach, but we haven't brought a lot of automation, however, the goal is to change that this month by introducing some key features such as automated email sending and follow ups.
Overall, I feel we have the right goals for our dev team, and should be able to make some significant improvements before the end of the year.
In October we experimented with bringing on a few interns, who honestly are just getting started, but we are seeing some promise and potential in what they're working on.
Mostly, they're helping us with tasks that are important, but sadly, have gone unloved as a result of the founders just not having enough time to pursue ever marketing initiative.
These are things like:
- Growing our affiliate program
- Improving our email conversions
- Paid advertising
We have an intern for each of the above and will be seeing if this is a workable solution for the business.
These webinars are geared towards engaging our audience of blog followers and trial users with how we're approaching outreach and influencer marketing.
Basically, how we're getting our traffic to go like this:
We increased our traffic 6x since we launched in January, primarily through practicing what we preach - it works!
Unfortunately, we haven't made this a big enough part of our onboarding, retention, and overall marketing strategy, which we hope to change going forward, starting with webinars.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Although October was a relatively slow growth month, I believe that the improvements we've made in the software and the strategic goals we've created for the remainder of the year are going to help the business get to the next level of customer base.
I'm really excited about the direction of the business, and specifically who we're working with and what we're working on.
What's happened in your business last month?