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Ruttl generated over $40k Revenue in just 5 days! AMA! ⚡

Before you begin reading this post, not everything is going to be glorious. That's why I want to share every angle of my experience with all of you, not just the good parts. This might help out anyone who is planning to launch their product soon to the public.

Background

Around 2 months ago, I considered launching Ruttl’s lifetime deal offer on the famous SaaS platform Appsumo. The main idea behind this step was to

  • Generate some actual revenue from ruttl
  • Understand how people react to the product
  • See if people are willing to pay for it
  • Collect proof that the problem of feedback collection exists

After a lot of sprints of development and testing, we finally got the green signal and launched on Appsumo. First few hours saw us getting a bunch of sales right away. However, things started to go haywire after the first 10 hours. Let’s dig into the nitty-gritty of what happened post-launch.

The Good Parts

  1. Huge number of people bought the top tier plan on our lifetime deal which was something that we weren’t expecting at all! Our average order value was over $100.
  2. Even though this launch was expensive for us in terms of cost, we still ended up generating well over $40,000 collectively as revenue
  3. Several people were asking questions related to the product and bunch of them even spoke how Ruttl is extremely helpful to their daily activities
  4. A LOT OF PEOPLE came up with suggestions and new features ideas which we had not envisioned ourselves. Now we have a lot of work in the product pipeline haha!
  5. This was the first time we tried a lot of new copywriting strategies in all of our marketing materials so that was a new skill development for the team!

The Bad Parts

  1. We knew that post launch we would have to answer a lot of questions and queries. However it turned out to be a havoc. Even with 4 members, answering every question became tough. This made us realize that we needed a strong plan of action and dedicated people for sales support henceforth.
  2. Many people started complaining about the product errors, issues and platform not working properly. So in spite of testing a lot, it helped us understand that we need a proper system for testing Ruttl in the future.
  3. I thought that Ruttl would get good reviews but our average product rating was not up to the mark. Several users talked about a bunch of things around Ruttl that were a deal breaker for them. (But we were quick on our toes and started working on them right away)

Learnings

  1. Ensure you are really READY for the launch. We felt that we rushed into it and that’s what affected our ratings most likely.
  2. Be prepared to face objections and bad reviews. No matter how good your product is, there will be people who won’t like it. Address their questions with respect, don’t fight them.
  3. Be open to new ideas that you might have not even considered. Chances are what you like about the product might not be liked by the people. Ultimately the market will decide so stay adaptable.
  4. Lastly, revenue does not single handedly depict how good your product is. What matters is if people are satisfied with it and feel like their problem is actually being solved.

Hope you guys find value from this learning experience of mine. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me anything! I’d be happy to answer them!

Have a great day!
Harsh 💯


And just in case you've used Ruttl in the past and found it useful, then do consider getting the lifetime deal on Appsumo before the offer ends! 🙌

  1. 5

    Congratulations. Is the $40k your cut after AppSumo has taken their commission?

    1. 6

      He says $40,000 collectively, so I guess the answer is no. They probably made $12k (30%)

      1. 3

        Wow. Appsumo takes a 70% cut??

  2. 4

    Thanks for sharing your experience with such openness 😃

    Appsumo is the biggest marketplace for lifetime deals and a great place to launch for some, but definitely not for everyone!

    I've met quite a few founders who had a similar experience to yours and others who struggled much more after the deal, even to the point of having to shut down 😞

    In my opinion, Appsumo is only ideal for SOME companies.

    The problem...

    Appsumo "Select" deals - the ones featured on their main deal page such as Ruttl - get hit with a massive 70% cut so you only keep 30%... BEFORE tax!

    I guess this might still work for some who might have low costs but not for most platforms who end up with a big spike in users (resource consumption) and only 30% of revenues minus whatever taxes you need to pay in your local country, this can be a huge burden.

    Then you have Appsumo "Marketplace" deals - the ones kind of 'hidden in the back'. Appsumo takes a lower percentage (30%), but you get little to no marketing unless you first hustle hard and get sales and reviews yourself. I get "Marketplace" deal founders reaching out to me almost weekly asking if they can post their deals in my Facebook group (4.8k+ SaaS deal buyers - https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaaSWiz ). Some of these founders even email their current customers/followers to get the first sales and reviews Appsumo requires from them before their deal can be listed!

    To me, all this is shocking...

    How a deal platform making $85m a year in revenue, that should be looking out for their deal partners (developers), can take such a massive cut (Select) leaving the founders to support customers for a lifetime with only 30% of the revenue, or do little to no marketing (Marketplace) for founders where you pretty much GIVE Appsumo 30% of the commission to bring THEM new customers (Appsumo's brilliant, yet horrible lead generation method).

    Look, I'm just scratching the surface here (I know a lot of founders and dirty little secrets).

    But there are definitely Appsumo alternatives. We are one asking founders for a much lower commission so they keep the biggest chunk and ONLY working with a select few vetted founders that a lifetime deal makes sense to, as well as doing whatever we can to help with MRR after the deal, but I'll just leave it at that as I don't want people to think that this post was to promote myself...

    All that I wrote above is truthful and unbiased to the best of my knowledge. I just hate seeing founders/developers not properly looked after by the big marketplaces as I believe some founders/developers should be told "no" by the marketplaces rather than, "let's just launch every single tool on lifetime deal" - it's really not for everyone.

    Hope you guys are able to implement the feedback and use the funds to acquire MRR.

  3. 2

    Hey, Congratulations!!

    Vikesh here from TexAu, I had also launched TexAu on AppSumo and we did close to $420,000 on AppSumo (after AS commission).

    I'm happy for you 🙂

    1. 2

      I saw your launch post. You nailed it big time. Thanks for such a great inspiration.

  4. 2

    Hey, thanks for providing so much detail! We're knee deep in AppSumo right now, and I've seen your app and got to take a look at it! :) I just want to share another perspective from the Marketplace listing.

    We launched on AppSumo Marketplace in June (they reached out to us for Select, but they wanted around 2-3 months of dev work first). We'll probably break $6k (for ourselves) over 2 months, although a huge driver was Sumo Day (about 50% of our purchases).

    I'm actually really glad we ended up on the marketplace instead. We would have LOVED to see the crazy purchases and reach of Select, but:

    • We got to start slow and gauge the response a little more thoughtfully.
    • We get to keep 70% of the revenue, which gives more runway before LTD users start costing us money.
    • The slower growth was perfect for a 2-person indie hacker team.
    • Not being in front of the mass market, the Qs posted have been more focused, and we've had a chance to personally connect with users, which has led to much better reviews.
    • We could connect and promote on LTD FB groups on our own time to get boosts in sales.

    There have been downsides, of course.

    • First, I'll mention Vidds is in a popular category, and not everyone can get the visibility we've had on AppSumo just from the nature of the product.
    • LTD customers are really picky and the refund rate has been around 30%!
    • We regularly get compared to 100+ person companies (which can simultaneously stroke the ego, and make you feel like you have no place in the market haha).
    • We get requests (like better stock photos) that would cost us way too much money, or will take a long time to implement (like built-in recording).

    Overall, I've actually loved the AppSumo Marketplace experience so far. We've had plenty of eyeballs on our app, we've generated some real revenue, and had plenty of feature requests and feedback. There's pretty much no marketing option that could've done this for us so early - even if we released the full app for free!

    We've gained a lot, and we've met some excellent customers who really want to see us succeed and will (hopefully) recommend us to their own network!

    1. 1

      If I can respectfully disagree, Andrew...

      There are definitely other channels to get the kind of money you mentioned ($6k in 2 months).

      We can easily generate that (actually, 4.3x that for one of our last deals in just over a month-long campaign) in our network of Facebook groups and affiliates' audiences - our group alone is nearly 5k members strong + the several other communities and audiences our affiliates promote to.

      Appsumo is an amazing marketplace and what they themselves say - the #1 marketplace for entrepreneurs - but it's not necessarily the best place for everyone to launch...

      I'm co-founder of SaaSWiz (saaswiz.com) and we normally take 20-35% commission depending on the option you choose, but the big difference is that we actually market the deal for you, unlike Appsumo who doesn't do much for Marketplace deals, especially at the beginning where you're kind of left to fend for yourself to get those first sales and reviews to hit the milestones.

      The reality is that many developers go to these marketplaces because they need help with marketing/sales so it makes me kind of sad when a big marketplace such as Appsumo adopts a passive stance on the deals on their platform and developers/founders are left disappointed...

      The difference with a platform/audience like ours is that we only focus on 1-2 deals per month and NEVER launch competing deals like Appsumo does. Our refund rate is below 10% and our refund period is only 30 days (instead of 60) so you get your money much quicker.

      We're definitely picky about the deals we launch and the people we let in to our group and list so we have an active audience and make sure our deals do well.

      Just a different perspective, hope I'm not coming in too strong... I just hate seeing founders/developers not properly looked after by the bigger players!

      1. 1

        Ah, right, I should've been more clear - listing an LTD was the only way we could've done this so early :)

        That's cool that you combined promotion (the best part of AS) and low commissions (the best part of AS Martketplace) into a lifetime deal site!

        Since you only do a couple deals, and are picky about it, that would definitely leave a lot of new cos out of luck. The AS Marketplace does have that going for it - when they told us "build what we want or use the marketplace," we thought nothing would happen. And we never dreamed the marketplace would come through in the way it did.

        The only marketing we really had to do was post some links in a LTD Facebook Groups and answer questions.

        All that being said, if someone told us "You can 4x that number and still get a 30% cut," it would definitely make more sense. But if an app doesn't meet your standards, AS Marketplace could be a good option.

        1. 1

          Oh don't get me wrong... there's definitely a place for Marketplace and that's why it's so popular but it's just not right for everyone I believe.

          The problem, there are more than 1,514 deals on Marketplace right now. Most of them have zero reviews and receive zero to a few sales. It's like survival of the fittest and that's fine if you're aware of that, but what I don't like is that it's not sold like that...

          I honestly believe the highly maligned JVzoo could get these deals more sales!

          Then add to that 156 Appsumo Select deals currently and then you can see that it's all bit crazy over at Appsumo.

          Still, some companies do very well.

  5. 2

    Wow that's a great achievement 👏. I'm happy for you guys. Thanks for sharing all the information. It's a great inspiration. Keep going @harshvijay @siddhitaupare

    1. 1

      Thank you so much @remidi! Appreciate your support and motivation in this journey 😄

  6. 2

    Awesome! What did you use to create the autoplay animations/video on your homepage?

    1. 1

      By combining recording and adobe after effects 🙌

  7. 2

    Awesome stuff Harsh - appreciate the transparency.

    I'm actually dealing with a bit of a somewhat similar situation with these LTD platforms for a startup I'm intimately involved with.

    Launched the MVP on SaaSmantra (little brother of AppSumo) at the end of April

    Got 250+ LTD sign ups

    The intent was exactly what you said -> get early users, validate the problem, gather feedback...revenue was sort of a bonus but by no means the focus of the "experiment"

    Now that we've had a lot of success with the LTD on SaaSmantra, the folks at AppSumo are reaching out nearly every day trying to get us to list on their platform...

    We've made the decision to kill the SaaSmantra deal and to turn AppSumo down.

    Our rationale was that:

    1. the experiment worked and now we have a lot of feedback and early users -> it's time to focus on implementing features and iterate on that feedback
    2. In the long run, LTDs are sort of a suckers deal when you have a SaaS model...sure the rev is nice but it's WAY different than recurring rev...with every sale to an LTD customer you're actually starting to cannibalize your market...

    Our next steps:

    1. iterate on the feedback
    2. focus on making these early users (600+) happy
    3. start running traction experiments around getting recurring rev sales by means of a bunch of traction experiments
    1. 2

      Really interesting thoughts. We had the same calculus when both Saasmatra and AppSumo approached us. AppSumo was super aggressive when we even wrote them saying no they tried to set up a meeting.

      We were father along with a growing customer base and couldn’t figure out any scenario where a LTD would make sense. It seems the LTD only works if you are looking to acquire your first customers, which is ok if you look at it as a marketing, learning cost. Launching on these platforms could be a great way to start.

      As you stated, real reoccurring revenue is how your business will grow.

      1. 2

        1000% on the same page as you here on all of this - couldn't say it better myself haha

      2. 1

        Appsumo is relentless and spammy, even with companies that launch on other deal sites...

        I'm co-founder of a similar community but focus on quality over quantity and give the biggest chunk of the revenue to the founders (80% to founder), and sometimes even before the deal is finished on our site/in our Facebook group, Appsumo has contacted the founder to launch on their site 🤦‍♂️

    2. 2

      NOt sure if SaaSmantra got you to sign an agreement about not getting marketed from any other platform similar to them. I signed a similar agreement.

      1. 1

        The did not, but that's interesting! Regardless...personally we've made the decision to ditch the LTDs...no regrets, it was a success in providing some validation, acquiring early users, generating a ton of feedback. But we're moving on and focusing on acquiring true recurring customers.

        1. 2

          Yes that's the usecase :D

  8. 2

    Great job dude. Hopefully, this product is going for the Long haul for Dev teams and Project leads. Will also work perfect for remote dev teams.
    A quick question. How did you acquire early users?

    1. 1

      From Indiehacker and my agency Brucira's clients

  9. 1

    Hello Harsh, I am happy you have achieved good product market fit. I read it today only. So just wanted to congratulate your team. Please keep in touch. - Venkat

  10. 1

    Congrats on the successful launch! That's an incredibly difficult feat to achieve!

    PS: I read that you were looking to properly test Ruttl. May be check out Zylitics. It's an all-in-one test automation tool that allows anyone to write and run complex tests in an easy way, all from a single place. No prior test automation experience required.

  11. 1

    Knowing what you know now, would you do an Appsumo deal again? :)

    And congrats on all the sales! Revenue trumps everything.

    1. 1

      @prasanth_p haahaa that's good one. I would say Yes but if I could go back, I would correct lot of things and do the launch much better :)

      1. 1

        Would be glad if you can share those as well :) I am planning to do an LTD early next month.

        1. 3

          Here's few things to keep in mind -

          1. Test, test, test. My team and I did test everything but lot of the things were broken and we rushed into the launch. So avoid rushing. Take your time if you need.

          2. But don't get bogged down into point 1 for too long or else you'll get stuck with the issue of perfection. Because no matter how much you test, new issues will come up. Just make sure the product doesn't offer too much of broken experience to the users.

          3. When you say LTD, I am assuming you are doing it through appsumo. If you are, ensure you create few creatives for promotion yourself. Use canva, it's easy and won't take much time. You can refer to Ruttl's instagram handle if you need references.

          4. Don't underestimate pricing structure. I thought most people would buy the cheapest tier plan but the exact opposite happened. So structure you pricing packages carefully otherwise it will become tough to handle the future lifetime users.

          And lastly, relax after 1 week of launch! (Cause you will definately need it haha!)

          Hope that answers your question @prasanth_p!

  12. 1

    Hey @harshvijay
    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your insights.
    The video product demo on the homepage is a great idea, what tool or software did you use to make it? Or did you hire someone for that?

  13. 1

    Congratulations on your success and thank you for sharing your insights with us here. You'll see an even bigger sales spike when the deal is counting down :D

    I remember when it first launched during SumoDay, everyone in my LTD community was super excited. And maybe the traffic load was too much, it went down for a while and no one could sign up.

    I agree with you. The Appsumo launch traffic (especially during big events like SumoDay or Black Friday) is quite ecrazy . So it's wise to prepare the servers to accomodate the traffic.

    Even consider hiring several part-time support staff during the launch campaign period so you can focus on the more important work. (Rmb, more product updates during launch campaign will foster confidence and sales)

    An often underrated marketing channel for LTD launches are private Facebook groups.

    Think about it, who would join private saas lifetime deal groups and discuss about them all day long? Those who are REALLY passionate about software and LTDs!

    What if you can get their support to leave reviews everywhere and share your deal with like-minded people? (bingo!)

    I run a super active SaaS lifetime deal community on Facebook. There are daily LTD discussions with thousands of reach and hundreds of comments. (Of course, we have the Ruttl discussion thread too ;)

    Here is the link to the discussion thread for Ruttl : https://www.facebook.com/groups/softwarelifetimedealsdigitalmarketingsaasltd/posts/1213997069072817

    If you need help getting more reach and honest reviews for your LTD campaign, feel free to reach out. I am happy to help!

  14. 1

    Wow.. what an interesting product !! Congratulations :)

  15. 1

    CAn I ask you who revealed themselves as being the most interested in your app? Was it marketing and web development agencies? Did you find a lot of your target market using appsumo?

    1. 1

      I think mostly our buyers were agencies and that comprised majority of appsumo's userbase

  16. 1

    Congrats! Awesome figures

    1. 1

      Indeed @ViceCaz and thanks! 🙌🏻

  17. 1

    Let’s wind back to the beginning of your journey with Ruttl.

    When validating the idea and seeing all the other feedback tools on the market, what kept you going and stopped you from quitting the idea right there?

    Also, what was the main pain point/problem that was unique to your solution?

    Thanks!

    1. 1

      The uniqueness of the product is what kept us going. Check out this link here: https://ruttl.com/competitors/
      Also during our earlier days we were totally focussed on improving our internal review process and for the same reason created this tool. Only at the later part of the journey we decided to launch it publicly seeing the potential and the need. So giving up was never a thing :D

      1. 1

        Good thing! It all starts from the journey of your company or yourself and what struggles are taking place. Then once you’ve built it, there’s bound to be others who have the exact same issue too.

        Thanks for answering!

  18. 1

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing 🙌

    1. 1

      Happy to @Michael_Sieb! Btw, type studio looks absolutely fantastic haha! What’s the story behind coming up with the idea for it?

      1. 1

        Thanks a lot :) We first started with another idea and therefore we talked to a lot of online course creators and noticed that they are all experts in their area but don't have any experience with editing. That's how we come up with the idea to make the editing especially for content-focused videos much easier.

  19. 1

    Congratulations!!!

  20. 1

    Ensure you are really READY for the launch. We felt that we rushed into it and that’s what affected our ratings most likely.

    To me it sounds like despite the challenges, you still ended up much better off having launched than not. Without the launch not only would you not have the revenue, but probably wouldn't have even discovered all the things you really need to improve. And are you really ever 100% ready?

    1. 2

      Definitely @bemmu. No one is ever ready honestly. I strongly believing in executing quickly and adapting along the way. In fact, the bad parts were super crucial for long term improvements of Ruttl, which wouldn’t have happened if we kept perfecting for the launch.

      That being said. when I say people should be ready is in terms of preparations for launch, ready to answer objections and a marketing plan of course.

      Cheers!

  21. 1

    This is super helpful Harsh. So appreciate the reality check abt post launch.

    1. 2

      Absolutely, that’s the key thing with launches @mcandler haha. Two sides of the same coin.

  22. 1

    Great sharing Vijay! Your points are so true.

    Have you directly launch Appsumo or did some demand gen campaigns at first?

    1. 2

      This was my first launch. I think it's a good practice to do appsumo launch before product hunt launch

    2. 1

      This comment was deleted a month ago.

  23. 1

    Congratulations! that's a really amazing achievement and I wish you a lot of success for your product.
    I have two questions if you can kindly answer them.
    1- Did AppSumo promote your product to help you get the sales?
    2- Was the process of launching simple and easy or you need to go through multiple steps like product certification or something like this?

    Thank you.

    1. 1

      Appsumo promoting your product will depend on the agreement you have with them.

      Appsumo has 2 different agreements:

      1. Appsumo Select - In "Select" you feature on the main deal page. They do all the work. You get a video and good deal copy. They push your deal to their list and with ads, etc. For this they hit you with a massive 70% cut so you only keep 30%. This might still work for some but not for other platforms who end up with a big spike in users (resource consumption) but with only 30% of revenues minus whatever taxes you need to pay in your local country.

      2. Appsumo Marketplace - You get little to no marketing unless you first hustle and get sales and reviews yourself. They have certain milestones you need to hit, but even then, you're not going to get the exposure you get with a "Select" deal. You pay Appsumo 30% and keep 70%.

      Many are going for Marketplace now and emailing their own lists of customers/leads asking them to go on Appsumo to buy their deal and review it. I honestly believe this is horrible since as a founder/developer, your pretty much paying Appsumo 30% to bring THEM new customers with the hope you will get more customers after a while if your deal starts to do well.

      I think there are better options to this depending on the platform/SaaS you have.

    2. 1

      Yes, app sumo did all the work. All you need to do is improve your product as per their testing experts.

      2- It's amazingly simple and the team is super duper helpful

  24. 1

    Hi

    That is great result!!, congrats to the team!, thanks for sharing your experience, those are really good advice.
    Don't be to harsh on you about the launching bugs, there are always details on the launch.
    I totally agree with the bad reviews bullet, feedback good or bad is one other most valuables things that a product can get, that is the first step to improvement.

    I have a couple questions please
    How did you calculated your LTD price? and your tier to features offers?
    Are you advertising the deal on google/fb/etc? or it is just organic appsumo customers?

    Thank you and congrats!

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