February 2nd, 2020
this is excerpt of a monthly email I send to stakeholders


This email is a monthly review/retro of how we did for January 2020. I send this to stakeholders, friends & colleagues to keep you updated, and also so I can stay accountable! No pressure to read at all and definitely no pressure to respond - and if you don't want me to send it to you, just let me know.

January 2020, tldr:

the good

- Biggest month all time for revenue, traffic, # of content, increase in email list! 
- January is always a great month for the business because of New Year's resolutions. 
- Pigeon has been finally approved by Google (a 6 month process) and the future looks good.
- Starter Story premium membership is growing and we will put more focus there

the bad

- got banned from reddit
- trying to stay on top of everything getting trickier


- Total Revenue: $8,547 (90% Starter Story / 10% Pigeon)
- Starter Story Traffic: 106K uniques / 138K sessions / 176K pageviews
- Interviews published: 76!
- Email List: 11,418 total subscribers (+1,229 subscribers)
- Starter Story Premium paying users: 99
- Pigeon active paying users: 28

What got done / what went well:

- We published 76 interviews in the month of January! That is an all-time high. The goal is to keep working to increase this number each month, so that we are at 180 interviews/month.
- We started parsing data from interviews to get testimonials / reviews. See "Reviews" section here.
- Alternatives pages launched, example.
- New roundup content launched (email marketing list) - will continue to do more "lists" like these.
- Google audit complete for Pigeon, which has allowed us to add a free trial and users can sign up on their own / self-serve.
- Added a free trial for Pigeon now
- Set high level plan to consolidate Starter Story and Pigeon. Pigeon will slowly become a part of Starter Story, rather than running two separate businesses. And we now look at revenue number as a whole. More on this over the next couple months.
- Shipped tons more pigeon features (email tracking / link tracking / attachments on emails / skip weekends on follow ups / more zapier integrations)
- Pinterest reach increasing (~200k monthly impressions)
- Added the ability to leave on comment on Starter Story without logging in.

Goals for February:

- Increase value for starter story membership
(onboarding email drip, send "special" early newsletter, more filters, ask people why they canceled, data export feature, subscription details, discounts on tools, establish plan for premium community)
- 80 interviews
- Increase content offering through new articles (a true "get started" index page, 8 new roundup posts, 5 more pigeon case studies, backfill testimonials for all old stories, more filters on backend / tags / topics)
- Improve onboarding and make features more reliable for pigeon (onboarding email drip, perfect the email tracking features, perfect the templates features, improve onboarding experience, establish a plan for the move to freemium)
- Ship new pigeon features (more smart columns, Reporting / data export feature, suggested actions feature, free trial without CC)
- Build MVP for "self serve" interviews (self service interviews (MVP) for inbound, fix all the messed up user stuff, social logins)
- Better and more leads for starter story (find more sources for leads, establish plan for new types of businesses we want to interview, put starter story on "lists" around the internet)

Thanks for reading!