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Bootstrapped Conundrum - Spend $1k on what?

The answer to this question might be super simple for you. Seeking alt perspectives here than my own. So go ahead suggest the simplest thing you can think of.

I made $1k in 1 month

In August, last month, I made $1k from the SaaS I run. Pigeon, it's a CRM in gmail. While every CRM can be sold to sales teams, I'm focusing my efforts on creators, professional influencers, and even more so on Newsletter writers. It's a byproduct of being familiar with this type of creator, because I have experience being a newsletter writer and using this CRM to grow my own newsletter.

100% to Growth

I've decided to take 100% of the revenue and divert it to growth this month. I'm $200 MRR away from being profitable. If it grows at exactly the same MRR as the 2 previous months It'd be profitabile. But I'd like to account for churn too so I'm going all in.

Bootstrappers ya feel me? I'm going deep, not just allocating profits. I'm talking the whole kit and caboodle!

What would you do?

If you can do a little mental exercise, go to the comments below, before reading on, and start typing what you would do with $1k .

All users must be gmail users on chrome. It's a chrome extension. it's a CRM, mail merge, and automated followups. all CRMs are good for sales processes, but this one is especially good for one person media companies. Bloggers, Content sites, Newsletters.

Would you do google ads? facebook ads? reddit ads? Affiliate marketing? SEO optimization? Would you hire a contractor for $1k? would you hire 5 for $200?

Let's go!

Here's what I've done so far

  • $300 going to Newsletter Ads
  • $300 to editing a Newsletter Growth Guide (will be free, it's at 12k words now so massive undertaking)
  • $50 in Reddit Ads thanks to suggestion by @SeriousGamesKit

Got $400 left
edit: $350 left

What Worked?

To give some background on what worked in the past few months. I've been able to tweet more, and launch on product hunt. Those two combined have resulted in... as Borat would say... "Great Success!!"

But I can't launch on PH again. Nor spend $4k on an promoted post. Nor can I fill my timeline much more with more tweets. (working on it though)

Now What?

What would you do if you had $400 and nearly anywhere to spend it to get traffic and installs of a chrome extension for gmail?

  1. 3

    Came across this while reading another post by Brett Williams of Designjoy in the productized community fb group.

    "Three days ago I purchased an Instagram page made up of about 60k designers for $1,400. Yesterday, a follower signed up for a $2500/m Designjoy plan. I’m considering this one of the best investments I’ve ever made. 😂. Not only did I profit $1,100 in two days, but I also gained a large audience relevant to my service which I can market my products to in the future. Moral of the story? Work smarter, not harder."

    Just wondering if this might work for pigeon too 🤔

    1. 2

      What a clever man that Brett is. I think this drives me to work more on youtube integrations. Meaning reaching out to creators on youtube who talk about cold emails, inbox management, and customer relations. I think this work without buying pages directly will lead me to know if that's a good channel or not. And I'll just be out my time and not my wallet.

      Thanks so much for the nifty suggestion. I might also take 10 minutes looking through instagram ;)

  2. 2

    I've been wondering almost exactly this same thing! SeriousGamesJobs is a free product, but still looking to grow with our niche audience. I had a modest marketing budget of about $275 USD to play with in August. Of that, I spent about a third on a newsletter ad placement (still waiting for results), and the remainder split between social and display posts.

    So far, in August I've tried:
    Facebook CPC, page follower boost, post engagements boost, lead generation
    Twitter CPC, page follower boost, post engagements boost
    Reddit CPC (~$0.25-$0.30 CPC, best CPC offering I found, lots of bots but high engagement)
    Google Display ads CPC (~$0.25 CPC, high volume but very low engagement)
    Paved programmatic CPC (~$4.00 CPC, didn't convert very well at all)
    Quora lead generation ($0.20 CPC, very low volume)

    I would strongly encourage you to at least try reddit CPC advertising, tailoring to a set of subreddits which your audience would self-select for. I suspect you'll be able to work out your CPA in this channel from even splashing down $50 or so.

    I also saw success in boosting Twitter followers, though I'm still trying to work out if it's a viable long-term channel or not, so I've paused advertising on this for a month to see what our audience engagement looks like without ads. If you do, I strongly, strongly recommend you build a lookalike audience- my early experiments were seemingly plagued by bots until I created one based on accounts my audience were likely to follow. Also, don't under any circumstances enable autobid on Twitter! I was stung by a single $28.00 click, so learn from my mistakes...

    1. 1

      My god you've tried a lot of different ad systems. You've pushed me just enough to give Reddit ads a try. I'll drop $50 on them this week. Even in the last 5 minutes I signed up and put together a campaign. Surprisingly simple to get through it all, email verify, add cc to bill, and make a little card image and done.

      Focusing on a couple of subreddits I think would work well. And focusing on the "free tier" for now to drive installs.

      Thank you for your detailed reply and comradery.

      1. 1

        I'm really glad it's helpful! One other quick suggestion- if you don't already, consider adding a CAPTCHA, double-opt-in or similar as a guard against bots if you have any free signup tier, newsletter, etc. Even accounting for bots/misclicks, Reddit has had by far the best signal-to-noise ratio of any of the social or display ad providers for me.

        1. 2

          I don't think I'll have much of trouble with that. The CTA on the main page is install, not a signup. So they'll go to my page, then too google chrome store to install.

        2. 1

          Just had one more thought- if the end users must be using Gmail on Chrome, could you perhaps try a google text ads campaign which targets Chrome users and only places within Gmail itself?

  3. 1

    Without wanting to encourage the "MUST SPEND REVENUE" mentality (which I totally share btw, ha) - I'd 100% chuck $100 a month at Facebook retargeting. You may not be able to measure it perfectly, but it'll get people remembering you and coming back.

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