We’re back with another monthly update! This month was a bit quieter in terms of activity but we saw revenue tick back up and had a bit of time to do some more long-term planning.
Now, let’s get to the update!
Monthly Revenue for June: $1,909.35 (+43%)
As we start to see more of these monthly numbers come in, I’m realizing just how inconsistent SaaS revenue can be, especially when you’re charging annually for your product and it’s at a relatively small scale. Normally, a 43% increase would be something amazing to report, but in the context of Kanban for WordPress, that’s either a couple sales or even just one lifetime sale. In addition, because we’re charging annually, there are months where a lot of customers renew (pushing cashflow up for that month) even though we didn’t really take much action to drive new purchases.
That said, it’s a great feeling that the existing brand assets and codebase is continuing to drive sales to support the business, even if improvements are happening a bit more slowly than originally planned.
Increased support emails
As some of you may know, I’ve been working on finalizing another acquisition in the WordPress plugin space and that’s occupied a lot of my time this month (and is the reason why there was no mid-month post here!). I’m excited to be able to share more details in the coming days and the mid-month post this month will be a full breakdown of how the deal came together and what the future looks like for that plugin.
Because of that, I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to Kanban for WordPress and have mostly been focused on responding to support emails and making sure pre-sales questions are answered promptly and hoping they convert into purchases.
For whatever reason, it seems like there has been an uptick in these emails, especially as it relates to questions about existing features. Questions like “I want to be able to do this with the plugin. Is it possible?” seemed much more common this month especially.
When I get these, I always go look at our existing documentation and see if there’s anything in there that explains the answer to their question in more detail. As I’ve been doing this more, I’ve realized there are some gaps in the documentation that, if filled in, will help more people potentially answer their own pre-sales questions. And even if they don’t look at the documentation first, being able to link them to a thorough documentation piece with more detail can be a great way to build trust with a potential new customer. That said, one of our big goals for the next month is…
No documentation set is ever fully complete, but having a thorough library of documentation is a great way to build trust in would-be buyers when they encounter your product and are trying to make a purchase decision. If we can get most of the plugin as well as the integration plugins documented, that will go a long way to both reduce support burden as well as be its own form of “marketing”. The biggest difficulty here is knowing where to start.
My plan right now is to record a screencast showing how to install the plugin, configure the board, add some cards, take advantage of the various features of the cards and just generally show the workflow from beginning to end. At this point, I’m relatively experienced with using the plugin itself, and I think going back through this screencast will allow me to generate an outline of the various sections that the new documentation will need to have.
Once we have this outline and an idea of the various articles we need, it will be much easier to fill in the content around that outline. Right now, this whole task feels very overwhelming, but I’m hoping that breaking it down like this will allow us to get going and gain some momentum. In addition, once we have this outline written up, it will allow me to bring on additional help with filling in some of the content, which is one of the ways Alpha Particle is going to help support the plugin going forward.
In addition to customer-facing documentation, we’ll also be working on developer-facing documentation to give developers a better idea of how they can customize the plugin for clients or even for themselves. I think that the developer market is largely an unexplored customer base for Kanban for WordPress, but having rock solid developer docs will help us break in there a bit better (similar to how Stripe became the go-to solution for developers, in large part because of their extensive documentation).
Another upgrade we’ve been considering, and something that’s generated a lot of emails, is how to communicate our planned feature upgrades as well as handle incoming feature requests. We have a lot of customer requests for new features and we’re currently tracking them mostly by keeping those support emails in our inbox as opposed to using a dedicated project management solution (yes, I’m completely aware of the irony).
We’ve considered using a Kanban board for tracking these, but we’d like them to be publicly exposed and for users to have the potential to vote on them and help us prioritize, similar to how some companies like Dropbox or Spotify get community feedback on feature requests.
The solution we’re looking at right now is the Simple Feature Requests plugin. This would give us a public-facing “feature request” board and allow us to give customers that are paying for the pro version to vote on these potential features and leave feedback.
I really like the idea of giving paying customers more of a say in how we’re developing the product and I think that’s definitely a selling point that we can use to encourage more people to pick up an annual subscription. At the same time, if we get a support email with a feature request, we will now be able to put it up on the board and respond to that email with a link telling them that it’s now on our roadmap.
I’m looking forward to using this feedback to make sure that we’re building the features that our users want to see in the plugin and continue to make it even better over time.
Are there any questions you have that I didn’t cover in this issue or is there something you wanted to ask about specifically? Just hit reply here, or if you’re more comfortable with Twitter, my DMs are always open @kkoppenhaver. I’d love to answer your questions in a future edition of Micro-SaaS Monthly, so let’s talk!
Until next time!