Record Growth of +41% To $3838 Monthly Recurring Revenue and Integrations in Shopify, Woocommerce, Calendly
Open Startup Report September 2020

In September, our revenue grew faster than ever before – and we integrated numerous new platforms. We also unveil our next major project in this article. Welcome to our Open Startup report for September.

September at Friendly in Numbers

  • ๐Ÿ’ต MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue): $3,838 (+41%)
  • ๐Ÿค New Customers: 8 (+14%)
  • ๐Ÿคฉ Upgrades: 0 (-100%)
  • ๐Ÿ’” Churn (cancellations): 3 (+50%)
  • ๐Ÿ‘ฉ Active Subscriptions: 35 (+30%)
  • ๐Ÿ‘‹ New Trials: 17 (+31%)
  • ๐Ÿ”Ž Website Visits: 3,136 (-13%)
  • ๐Ÿ“ฎ Emails Sent (Friendly Automate): 92,783 (+67%)
  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ Pageviews Tracked (Friendly Analytics): 1,198,430 (+6%)
  • ๐Ÿ’ธ Costs: $9,701 (+44%)
  • ๐Ÿงพ Profit and Loss: -$5,863 (+46%)

This is what moved us in September:

New Integrations of Friendly Automate in Shopify, Woocommerce, Calendly, ThriveCart, NextEvent and Contact Form 7 for WordPress

September was a month of integration. Together with our customers we tested integrations into various tools and successfully implemented them.

These include the two most popular e-commerce platforms Shopify and WooCommerce. With both systems it is possible to exchange data about buying behavior and interests with Friendly Automate. Friendly Automate can then, for example, send an email reminder of abandoned shopping carts or send special offers depending on the consumer’s interests.

Also much in demand is the linking of the appointment booking platform Calendly. The integration allows booked appointments to be entered into Friendly Automate and the lead data to be transferred, for example to automatically obtain feedback on past appointments.

We have also integrated the ThriveCart and NextEvent ticketing platforms so that event organizers can, for example, automatically remind their participants of upcoming booked events or advertise similar events.

Last, but not least, lead information from completed forms in Contact Form 7 for WordPress can be sent directly to Friendly Automate.

Higher Costs

Our costs increased by +44% to $9,701 in September. The main driver was higher spending on advertising.

It would be obvious to attribute the similarly strong increase in revenue to higher costs. However, this is not the case, since due to the 14-day free trial period at least half of the prospective customers gained through advertising would only become customers in the following month. In fact, the revenue growth is mainly due to recommendations and our partners. The effectiveness of advertising will therefore become apparent in the coming months.

Here is a detailed overview of all our costs in September:

Software Upgrade of Friendly Automate Postponed

Friendly Automate is based on the open source software Mautic. Actually we had planned to update our used Mautic version from version 2.16.2 to the new main version 3.1 in August.

Since the new version still has critical bugs that are not all fixed in the latest version 3.1.1, we have postponed the upgrade and are still waiting.

New Infrastructure for Friendly Analytics

In August we started to set up a more powerful hosting infrastructure on dedicated servers for Friendly Analytics in Switzerland and Germany. We will have completed this in October.

Outlook October and Beyond: Own Email Sending Infrastructure

Our biggest challenge has to do with sending emails. We currently use Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES) from locations in the EU. This works very well and reliably – our emails have excellent deliverability (inboxing rate).

At the same time, using a US cloud provider contradicts our manifesto for ethical marketing software. With the exception of Amazon SES, we only use our own dedicated servers in Switzerland and Germany for our customers’ data.

So far, we have not found a service provider in Switzerland or in the EU that offers reliable email sending and does not use the clouds of the US tech giants. If you know one, let us know ๐Ÿ™‚

For this reason, we are working on our own email sending infrastructure. We are well aware of the technical challenges involved. Sending emails is not difficult. Sending emails that arrive and do not end up in spam is difficult.

After all, our Joey has years of experience in the technical aspects of sending emails. Therefore I am confident that we will crack this nut. If not in October, then in the following months.

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