My Google Sheets add-on API Connector reached $2,225 in January, with about 6,000 free users and over 80 paying users.
What I've done:
Next steps: a new feature to support pagination and....testing another price increase.
This is a cool milestone for me.
Once upon a time, back in June 2019, I posted on Product Hunt about my then-new app API Connector (add-on that imports API data into Google Sheets).
I got a great response that resulted in 249 installations that week. This was huge compared to the two weeks before that, right after launch, where I got less than a third of that.
Sadly, the Product Hunt high didn't last...installations went back down again after that. But they've continued climbing incremementally, week by week, month by month. 7 months of organic growth later, I've now passed my initial Product Hunt numbers, with 250+ installations last week and similar numbers the week before.
I think these launch sites can be great for an initial boost of interest and getting some validation and enthusiasm. But that's it...in the long run it doesn't matter that much, and our products will succeed based on their merits and long-term marketing efforts.
Big surprise update for my add-on API Connector for Google Sheets.
OK, it's not monthly recurring revenue, since it mostly came from annual plans. However, it blew past my expectations for the month. Literally just 2 weeks ago I posted on IH asking how long it took people to reach $1000 MRR . At the date of posting I had earned $200 for the month to date, and didn't expect to hit the $1000 milestone until maybe mid-2020, based on the subscription numbers I'd been seeing. These are my monthly revenue numbers, you can see why October came as a surprise:
So what happened?
Mid-October, I raised prices! This is the advice I'd read repeatedly, and received from some kind advisors on IH. It took being hit over the head with it a dozen times before I actually did it :)
Within the next 2 weeks, I sold 5 of the annual plans at the new increased prices. ($95 and $240). This basically accounts for the entire jump, as it was 5 more annual plans than I sold last month, and all at a higher rate than before. My theory is that the increased prices pushed people to get annual plans instead of monthly, since there's a discount for annual.
👉 updated pricing page for API Connector.
My add-on API Connector for Google Sheets now has 25 paying users. When I launched, I remember thinking I would feel like the idea was validated if three users paid for it. Then, in the first six weeks I promptly made....a single sale. Ha! So I definitely doubted its potential as a product, but continued building in the features I needed personally, since I make a lot of API-based reports & dashboards for my freelance analytics clients.
I added features like new algorithms for converting JSON to Sheets format, and new ways to create API requests based on the value in a cell.
I also started limiting usage on the free plan (to 10 daily API requests).
Once I made these changes, paid subscriptions finally started coming through. These 25 users represent an overall 1.3% signups-to-subscription conversion rate. I think this is low, but perhaps standard for freemium products, especially since the free version is good enough for most casual users. Now that the idea is validated and the feature set is pretty well developed, I want to start experimenting with pricing.
I published my Google Sheets add-on on May 27, and haven't done any promotion except a launch on Product Hunt early June (where it reached #6 for the day), and a Show Hacker News post which was a total flop.
So I'm happy to say, a couple days ago API Connector for Sheets passed 1000 users! I investigated and found that this already puts it in the top 40% of all Sheets add-ons, which is a pretty good sign given it's only been alive for 2 months :) .
(The Sheets store has a really skewed distribution where most add-ons get very few downloads, while a handful get hundreds of thousands. I reported some stats on this here: https://mixedanalytics.com/blog/july-2019-update-top-google-sheets-add-ons/)
I've also been selling a pro version of the add-on with more features, I'll add more on that in my next milestone.
Exactly 3 weeks after releasing API Connector onto the Chrome Web Store, I got the first paying customer. It was a great feeling to see the Stripe email come in... immediately followed by anxiety, haha. What if he didn't like it?? I sent him an email thanking him for his order, wondering if he could tell he was the first and only customer.
I posted my add-on to Show Hacker News, and even included a cool (I think), relevant meta-example of using API Connector to pull from the Hacker News API to display all the top Show HN's in a Google Sheet.
Result: 3 upvotes, about 20 visits, 0 installations. Total flop...
This was definitely a case of solving my own problem.
I made this add-on after receiving a lot of client requests for spreadsheets and dashboards displaying data from platforms like Shopify, Mailchimp, Harvest, VWO, etc. Unlike the big APIs like Facebook Ads and Google Analytics, a lot of smaller services don't have any existing integration or plugin. That means getting their data into Google Sheets required writing a custom script to pull out data from their platform.
API Connector was designed to de-code the process of connecting APIs to Google Sheets.
API Connector is a Google Sheets add-on that extracts data from APIs directly into Google Sheets.