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Over the last year, I’ve got the chance to meet amazing new people who helped me push harder, think better and grow the company better.
I wrote about this on: my FB profile and I still think the list would have been super long, if I started naming everyone.
One of the brilliant people who helped us think better is Ken Moo.
My latest conversation with Ken started with him asking: “What made you guys come back?”
Context: We released the brand new Squirrly SEO: Peaks, that Sumo-ling feedback helped shape up and build. (presentation email here)
There are many reasons, so I will place them in order of importance:
- Sumo-lings. The LTD community has helped us so much with ideas and feedback, that I personally feel covered years of learning in just a few months.
I have a lot to say on the topic of learning from the LTD community. Here you can read our thoughts on the LTD community (sent to LTD holders in Nov 2021):
But: Sumo-lings have been waiting almost a year for a new LTD from us. We never thought a product of ours will be so craved by the market. Once 2022 hit, our channels were filled with requests to bring back Squirrly SEO to AppSumo.
Even individual requests to sell outside AppSumo, which we don’t do, due to our special agreement with AppSumo’s team for Squirrly SEO.
I promised Q2 of 2022, and ever since April 2022 came around, requests on our channels have been even bigger.
Let’s be honest: We’ve learned a lot from the AppSumo LTD community and we’ve got other HUGE benefits as well thanks to all their help. It’s only fair that we come back and give everyone another shot at the LTD. Including those who refunded previously. We’ve learned a lot from them as well. And there were those who wanted back.
- Business Plan ($71.99 USD / month) has become our Best-Selling pricing plan for Squirrly SEO.
We could directly correlate the growth and demand for the Business Plan and the decline of the PRO Plan ($20.99 / month) with the success we’ve had on AppSumo.
Business Plan is now working so well for us, that we’re considering to retire the PRO Plan from our official pricing page. We might just let it for some of our affiliates, but it won’t be reachable on our site anymore.
There’s even more to say, though.
Ken told me:
“I was very surprised. Coz people don’t always support returning LTDs, thinking they may have ran out of cash or smth.
But the support was overwhelming. That only mean that you’ve built an amazing product.”
Yes, that might be the case for others, because they don’t know how to take all the benefits from LTD owners and also give them many things back.
We spent a lot of time with many who purchased our LTDs last year and, as I said, we learned a lot.
Because of that, the package of Benefits for us is HUGE.
But, since the main concern is about money, let’s see:
- Business Plan became #1 for Squirrly SEO in new sales.
- Our affiliates started promoting Business Plan, instead of PRO as well.
- Our Hide My WP Ghost business has doubled since we launched (without taking into account the AppSumo money).
- We reached $1 Million USD in ARR last year
- We now have LTD community members who purchased 3 different LTDs from us: Squirrly SEO, Hide My WP Ghost, Education Cloud PLUS.
- We reached 1,000 Premium Members of Education Cloud PLUS last year, after making a Black Friday LTD offer to LTD buyers of Sq SEO and HMWP.
- Squirrly SEO’s MRR has also improved (due to selling more Business Plans)
I know founders who hate the LTD community for various reasons, and always complain about their LTD holders – but that’s because they [the founders] are extremely rigid.
And those founders don’t really love working with customers.
We get 14 USD / code. But that’s not the value for us. What we get out of it is huge. But I guess most founders don’t how to look for the benefits that help their company AND also help sumo-lings.
So you saw above:
$1 Million USD in ARR, Business Plan is Best-Seller, we started selling Web Dev Kit Tier #2 Plans as well (pretty expensive stuff), HMWP Ghost doubled, Education Cloud PLUS grew a lot as well, and more.
But: we also gained huge exposure and visibility. A lot of people know about our AI for Chances of Ranking, about Focus Pages and our technologies.
We’ve been getting partnership requests from BIG companies, who I pretty much think have been ignoring us until last year.
We learned from Sumo-lings how to perfect the UX of version 6.0 of Hide My WP Ghost. After understanding their UX needs, we applied those same teachings to the brand new UX of Squirrly SEO.
Squirrly SEO was the most awarded SEO Tool of 2021.
We gained visibility on G2 and Capterra as well.
Market Research when it comes to Feature Parity, Competitive Advantages, and even TRAPS, has been really invaluable for us.
And here’s one more. This one, I think is a complete game changer for us:
LTD community members aren’t shy about showing their success with our tools, so that’s incredibly valuable for us.
This has also been a powerful driver of growth for us.
By the way, we’ve gone this far into this post, but I didn’t cover all the benefits yet. There are many more things that were put into motion for our Company and our Marketing, but they are more subtle and would take quite a while to explain.
We also received big acquisition offers in the millions of dollars for the whole company or just for a few products, from reputable companies and funds.
These were nice to have, but we will not sell, nor take on any new investors. We might still think about investments at one point, but I think selling is out of the question.
We now have customers who purchase 7 to 8 products from us. This is just the beginning.
Look, we’ve been founded in September 2012 and released our first product in Feb 2013.
But this is just the beginning. Our portfolio of products just works. And with all the support, ideas, feedback, conversations and buzz that the LTD community offers us, the sky’s the limit.
VCs and other founders told me: “They will buy from you one time, Florin, and after that you’ll gain nothing from them” – this really hasn’t been the case for us, and I’m happy I followed my 2010 dream of one day launching on AppSumo.
So I hope we came back with the product you were dreaming of.
You’ve helped build it.