How RecordJoy got its first 10 customers

Today RecordJoy officially got its 10th customer and to celebrate I wanted write a Medium article about the journey of how we got this far.

For those who haven’t heard about RecordJoy yet, it is an online web tool that allows you to record your screen, voice audio, and webcam and create an instantly shareable video in less time that it would take to type an email.

RecordJoy homepage

Here’s a list of the milestones we’ve accomplished so far:

We officially started working on RecordJoy on May 24th, so it took us about 3 months to get to our first 10 customers, which was about 5 weeks after we got out first paying customer.

BetaList and Product Hunt

Our first customer came from after we got listed on Betalist. I submitted RecordJoy to Betalist a while ago, but it took a month for it to actually get approved. There was an option to pay $250 to expedite the process but I chose not to pay the fee.

BetaList listing for RecordJoy

The traditional startup advice is to get 1 customer in a way that doesn’t scale, and then repeat the same process 10 times to get your next 10 customers.

However, we weren’t able to repeat the Betalist process 10 times. While Betalist gives an enormous amount of exposure, the exposure only lasts for about a week and then your project listing goes into the archives and doesn’t get any traffic. You can’t relist your project either. In total we got 2 users from posting on project launch websites such as Betalist and Product Hunt. Both of these users had paid $39 for lifetime subscription plans.

Google Ads and Facebook Ads

Our next 2 users came from Google Ads. We experimented with different keywords in a variety of different countries. Ads in the USA were too expensive so we tried countries with cheaper costs-per-click. We were able to get thousands of click when we advertised in India, but very few purchases. A lot of the users from India would also create an account, but not do anything so we thought some of the traffic might be from click farms. Switching to Malaysia and Indonesia eventually got us 2 more customers at the $5 per month subscription plan.

Traffic after we started using Google Ads
India and Indonesia drove the most traffic

On average we spent about $10-50 in Google Ads per day and had a click through rate of about 20% for a cost-per-click of about 10 cents. When thinking about whether Ads are worth it or not, we liked to ask ourselves: “If we could pay someone 10 cents to try our product, would we? If yes, we should pay for ads.”

Facebook Ads ended up being expensive and had a much lower click through rate than Google Ads. It was nice to be able to target people by profession though. We ultimately decided that since our CPC for Google Ads was already pretty good, it would be better off to spend the Facebook Ad money on Google Ads instead. Google Ads are also very intent based, since someone at that moment in time wants to find a way to record their screen. This wasn’t true fore Facebook Ads since it appears randomly while they are scrolling.

Appsumo

We had read on Indiehackers that other SaaS products had good success when launching on Appsumo. Some people even said that they got $1000 in their first week. I also was a big fan of Noah Kagan’s (CEO of Appsumo) Youtube channel and liked the startup advice he gave in his videos. Appsumo seemed liked the fastest way to grow our revenue so we decided to try to get RecordJoy listed on Appsumo Marketplace.

Appsumo Marketplace takes a 30% cut if an existing Appsumo customer buys our product and a 5% cut if we bring a new customer who never bought any deals from Appsumo to them.

We spent a few days perfecting our Appsumo listing page description and banner graphics. We really wanted our listing to stand out among the sea of other listings.

The way Appsumo works, is that you generate 10,000 codes and give them to Appsumo, and then implement a way for users to redeem those codes on your website.

We decided to price our product at $49 for lifetime subscriptions and decided to only spend a week preparing for the Appsumo launch. I wasn’t too optimistic and had guessed that we had a 50% chance of making $0, 30% of making $0–1000 and 20% chance of making $1000+ in our first week.

However, to my surprise, we got 2 customers on the first day and then every other day we would get another customer through Appsumo. In total we got 7 customers from Appsumo, but one customer asked for a refund. Another benefit of Appsumo is that some customers left us great reviews that we can use later as testimonies. We also got some valuable feedback on what to build next on our roadmap ( a lot of people requested enterprise features).

Summary

In total, we were able to get our first 10 customers from the following acquisition channels:

  • BetaList / Product Hunt — 2
  • Google Ads — 2
  • AppSumo — 7 (with 1 refund)

Appsumo definitely changed how I think about acquisition channels. With only one week of effort, we were able to almost double our previous efforts without spending any money on ads.

After reaching 10 customers, our next goal is to get to 100. Is it possible to just repeat what we did 10 more times? Appsumo currently has brought in on average 1 customer every single day, but I don’t think that rate is sustainable since there is usually a large spike on the initial launch. Otherwise, we would only have to wait 90 more days to get to 100 customers. We are considering finding other software resellers similar to Appsumo, so maybe if we get listed on 10 of those we could reach our goal of 100 customers.

I want to tell the story of how RecordJoy (www.recordjoy.com)

Writing about my journey