What Groove Team Did To Grow Their Startup To Over $50,000 In Monthly Revenue

What Groove Team Did To Grow Their Startup To Over $50,000 In Monthly Revenue


Groove enables teams small or large to stay on the same page and provide their customers with the personalized experiences. The app helps businesses build deeper relationships with their customers. Groove allows companies to interact with customers over multiple channels including Twitter and Facebook.

Alex Turnbull, the CEO & Founder of Groove shared these lessons on the Groove blog as part of the series on their journey to $100k in monthly revenue.

He writes:

“It’s been seven months since we’ve officially started documenting our journey to $100k. Here’s where we stand today…

The 7 Big Wins

1) A New Approach

About six months ago, we had a massive, fundamental shift in the way we saw our business.

In the past, our decisions had been driven by the ultimate question: how can we succeed?

And while that approach got us to a decent starting point, eventually things began to slow.

We tried to test and tune every aspect of Groove: our site, our product, our brand, our emails, our blog. Everything.

And through that process, we did hundreds of hours of research.

Surveys, one-on-one conversations, digging deep into our metrics.

One of the most enlightening things we learned was that when our customers succeeded, so did we.

It sounds so ridiculously obvious and almost trite, but it was something we’d never truly been confronted with before. We shouldn’t have been surprised by it, but it was a revelation.

When our blog readers succeed at business because of the lessons we share, many of them become trial users.

When our trial users succeed at making their whole team better at support, many of them become customers.

And when our customers succeed at making their customers happy time and time again, and growing their business because of it, Groove succeeds.

We realized that our success has very little to do with getting people to pay us money, and everything to do with delivering so much value that paying us becomes the easy choice.

This approach informed — and continues to inform — everything:

1. Our successful marketing site redesign doubled conversions
2. Our email onboarding optimization increased trial-to-customer conversions by 10% or more.
3. Our blog overhaul got us 5,000+ subscribers in five weeks.

Takeaway: Your prospects care very little about your business. They care about themselves, and their own problems; we all do. Rather than thinking about how to benefit your business, think about how to benefit your customer, and the revenue will follow.

2) Committing To — And Investing In — Data

That research I mentioned above?

It would have never been possible without the right tools.

Sure, a lot of it was done by ‘hand’: emails, Skype, phone calls.

The data we got from those sources was unquestionably valuable. It led to huge changes in positioning and strategy, including the decision to improve our communication about product updates.

But a big part of the data we collect comes from the apps we use to track our business.

Apps like:

KISSmetrics for deep insights into our visitors and customers.

Crazy Egg for helping us understanding where our site was failing.

Campaign Monitor for super-valuable analytics on our email sends.

Qualaroo for breakthrough lessons about why visitors weren’t converting.

I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs who think that some of these apps are too expensive.

They say things like “when we get big enough, we’ll pay for it.”

We wouldn’t have gotten big enough without paying for it. These apps have paid for themselves many times over.

But it’s important to understand that apps aren’t everything, and neither is the one-on-one data collection. The two need to work in concert.

The way we see data at Groove is pretty simple: tools can tell us what is happening. It’s up to us to figure out why.

Takeaway: Research isn’t sexy, and it isn’t easy. But it’s the only way to get the deep understanding of your audience and customers that will put you ahead of your competitors.

3) Inbound Marketing

One of the most common questions we get is where do you find customers?

And the answer is right here.

Literally.

This blog, the community around it, and our efforts to publish content that’s hugely valuable to readers every single week have all had a massive impact on Groove’s growth.

It’s come a long way since we first envisioned building a resource for entrepreneurs that I wish had existed when I started my first business.

We read everything we could get our hands on, talked to anyone who would listen and worked hard to build a network of influencers that would help us get 1,000 subscribers in less than 24 hours after we published our first post.

This blog is our brand.

Without it, I have no doubt that we would not have reached this milestone.

It’s our biggest source of leads by a huge margin.

And the best part? Unlike an ad, a good blog post pays off forever.

We get hundreds of visitors each day from people stumbling upon blog posts that are several months old.

That evergreen traffic benefit has helped us go from a $30,000/month business with very little online footprint to a $50,000/month business that ranks on the front page of Google for many of the topics we write about.

If we had started blogging earlier, we would have reached $30,000 a lot faster.

And it’s not just subscribers and search traffic that comes from publishing this blog. We’ve gotten tens of thousands of visitors from our posts appearing on the front page of Hacker News, and from the bit of guest blogging we’ve done on the Shopify and KISSmetrics blogs. The latter is an effort we plan to double down on (in fact, we had a guest post published on the Buffer blog yesterday) and explore much further.

Takeaway: If you’re not blogging, you need to start yesterday. But blogging for blogging’s sake isn’t enough. Find a specific, unique angle to deliver value to your readers, and do it better than anyone else. You’ll be rewarded forever.

4) An Obsessive Focus On Support

As Paul Graham says, we’ve had to do a lot of things that don’t scale.

The most important of those things is support.

Of course, we use our own tool to make things easier, but delivering the best support possible will always require a human.

And delivering the best support possible was a big part of what got us to $30K, and now to $50K a month.

It’s not something we’re willing to compromise on.

Every customer gets the same personal attention now as they did when we were in beta.

In fact, they get more.

There are parts of the experience that we’ve been able to automate (like email onboarding), but we still offer a human touch to every customer that signs up.

And it’s certainly helped us grow.

Takeaway: If something made you special to your customers when you were just starting out, do everything you can to never compromise that differentiator. Even if it means doing things that don’t scale.

The Next $50,000

There’s no question about it, Groove has come a long way since we started this blog.

We’re a more successful company, sure. But we’re also a better company.

There’s still a whole lot more to be done. We’re going to be exploring and testing:

  • Referral programs
  • SEO
  • Retargeting
  • More Guest blogging
  • Community building
  • Education
  • More partnerships and integrations

And much, much more.

And we’ll keep working on the product, and on support, and on making our customer experience the very best.

Over the last six months, we’ve focused on completely relaying the foundation of our business, and re-engineering our strategy.

It’s paid off, but what worked for us won’t necessarily work for you.

And what didn’t work for us might be your breakthrough.

But I hope that above all, by sharing our experiences, we can convey how important it is to always be looking for big wins in your business.

Those big wins might lie behind a tiny a/b test on your landing page.

But they probably don’t.

When we study what’s happening, do the hard work to dig into why it’s happening, and then test big changes, we make huge leaps in our growth.

And I hope you will, too.”

Check out all The 7 Big Wins as published on Grove’s blog.