But more importantly, we crossed that magic $8,333 MRR mark, which equals a $100,000 annual run rate. In other words, we've finally got a six-figure business!
And actually, because we had some accounts sign up on one plan and then switch to a much more expensive plan after migrating their lists, our $9,309 in net revenue is more accurate as our MRR. Which means we hit 36% growth in May!
In the beginning of May I took a hard look at our growth rate and our available cash. Even though we've been growing very quickly the last 6 months, we were still running out of money. My book and courses haven't been selling very well (since I totally neglected them), so revenue on that side dried up as well.
That meant I needed to take money from an outside source (loan or investment), since I was out of money to personally invest.
Or… I could make a hard decision and cut expenses. I eventually decided that laying off one of our employees was best for the long-term success of the business. That dropped our expenses significantly and meant we were break even at just $9,000 per month.
While it was really hard to do, I think it was the right decision. I now feel so much less stress knowing that ConvertKit is self-sustaining (and growing very quickly!).
So even though we did it by cutting expenses, we still hit three big milestones: $100,000 annual run rate, over 25% monthly revenue growth, and reached break even on our monthly expenses.
We used to have tiered pricing like a more typical SaaS company, but that meant the jumps on subscriber counts would be pretty serious. If you had between 3,000 and 10,000 subscribers you were on the same tier. Meaning for a lot of people we were way more expensive than MailChimp and Aweber.
Rather than lower prices I just added more pricing plans to make each step smaller. Now we are at a comparable price, but deliver far more features and value.
For the new pricing page I designed a slider for choosing how many subscribers you have.
We also (finally) launched our affiliate program. It's invite only for now, but if you have significant reach you should get in touch. We pay a 30% recurring commission each month. So it's pretty damn compelling. 🙂
Direct sales have continued to be our biggest growth channel. It works so well that I plan to stick with it, though more scalable options would be nice. Soon we'll be launching a few new big marketing initiatives, but until then direct sales will continue to drive our climb. It got us to break even, and it will get us to double our current revenue.
Features released in May
May was a busy month for development. We actually spent most of the month on behind-the-scenes, infrastructure development. But once that was out of the way we were able to get in a couple really useful features.
Link click trigger
Now when someone clicks a link in ConvertKit you can trigger any of our automations. That means adding them to another course, marketing them converted, or anything else. It's pretty powerful.
If you send a lot of broadcasts or have custom segmenting for your broadcasts then you'll like this simple feature: now with a single click you can duplicate the broadcast!
After that just edit the content and hit send. We've got a few customers that love this feature. 🙂
Every month I like to feature a few of our customers with a custom designed profile. You can see all of our featured customers here. This month we're featuring Brad, Tracy and Emma:
Brad is a web designer from Canada. He and I connected over our love for creating courses, teaching web design, and building products. We're all excited to have him using ConvertKit.
Tracy is a web developer and author of Hello Web App, a new book that teaches you to build your first web application. She's teaching some awesome workshops to a growing audience.
Emma stands out in our features of designers and developers that use ConvertKit. She teaches something totally different: how to scratch DJ. Her videos are great, her audience loves her, and we love her too.
That wraps up the month of May. We're already a few days into June and the new things we have coming out are very exciting!
Talk to you next month,