Thankbox

Online group card & gift collection for teams.

No Employees
Founders Code
Solo Founder
B2C
Community
SaaS

Thankbox addresses a key frustration I've faced in the many different teams I've worked with - how to celebrate a member's occasion. Be it a birthday, farewell or just expressing gratitude for a job well done.

June 11, 2021 Blasted past $10k in monthly revenue, still growin

Super thrilled to report that, a year after launch, Thankbox has moved into $10k territory!

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And for June I'm tracking to get even higher. Here are a few of the latest highlights:
๐Ÿ’Œ Users are consistently leaving over 2000 messages a day in Thankboxes.
๐ŸŽ I now have days where users collect over $5000 for gifts for their friends & colleagues.
๐Ÿ›  I had to learn how to edit my Nginx config to allow more simultaneous connections because it was starting to hit the limits.
๐Ÿ’ท Received the first part of my grant funding, which allowed me to increase my ad spend.
๐Ÿ’ฐ Sold Thankbox number 7000! 6.1k of all sold Thankboxes have been in 2021 alone.

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Thankbox is now maturing as a business, dealing with many different users and running into problems I wouldn't have expected when starting. With that in mind, I decided to invest a sizeable amount into having a lawyer do a review and rewrite of my terms and conditions. This should be ready soon and help me sleep a bit better at night ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ While an increased ad budget is definitely responsible for a large part of the growth, it's definitely not the only thing. Networking effects are starting to compound now. More and more people are reporting that they found out about Thankbox through their work or friends.

๐Ÿ“Š SEO efforts are also paying off, with Thankbox ranking on the first page of search results for a lot of relevant terms.

May 3, 2021 Secured a ยฃ10k grant for Thankbox

I found out on Friday that I was one of the seven finalist in the Scottish Young EDGE competition this year. I applied back in February and, after a final where I had to do a 3 minute pitch, followed by a Q&A on Zoom, I found out that I won a ยฃ10,000 grant!

This is really big for Thankbox because it means I can 2x or even 3x my Google ad budget. April was the first month since October 2020 that Thankbox did not grow because - mainly due to increased competition in PPC spend. My average CPA went up from ยฃ1.70 to ยฃ2.70.

Despite that, ads continue to be my main traction channel and will be my main focus moving forward. Using this grant to increase the spend here should bring back growth.

The good news for April is that even with the reduced amount of acquisitions the month finished with a similar revenue to March. This is a clear indications that customers are sticking around and networking effects are pushing growth on their own โญ๏ธ

April 1, 2021 Chasing 10k - Thankbox grew by almost 50% in March

March marks the 5th month in a row of amazing growth for Thankbox. This month brought in just over $3k more revenue than Feb, inching Thankbox elusively close to that $10k/month goal! I still find it unbeliavable that a one-off charge product with a low base price of $5.99 can achieve this.

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Some notable highlights from March:

I've had an increase in returning customers. Nearly 20% of all purchases in March were made by users who've previously bought a Thankbox:

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Premium sales have also increased. The premium Thankbox tier is priced at $9.99. 12% of all monthly sales were premium. Up from 8% last month.

Thankbox has now issued over $120k in gift cards. This is all cash that users have collected for recipients through the platform. Almost $50k of that was just in March.

A few of the things I've done and improved:

I hired a dedicated google ads consultant to manage the Adwords account. He only spends a few hours a week on it but he's already figuring out how to optimize ad spend based on time of day and day of week results.

I've slightly increased my ad spend, resuming to run ads in the US. Unfortunately the cost per conversion there is quite high but I will maintain them and hopefully try to bring costs down. I've already had some really high profile US clients discover and start using Thankbox regularly so it's a good long term investment.

I added more options to the premium tier - custom fonts that users can use for their messages as well as an increased collection cap of $600 (compared to $300 for the standard tier).

I'm almost ready to launch a blog as I want to invest in long term SEO. I have found a couple of really good copywriters who'll be able to provide content for it. I hope the first posts to be live by end of April. Thanks to @andreboso for continuously nudging me towards this direction with his tweets ๐Ÿ˜‚

What's next?

Blasting past $10k this month, of course ๐Ÿ“ˆ

March 9, 2021 Started breaking into 1st page of search results

Last May when I was getting started with Thankbox I had very little knowledge of SEO. I thought it was this magic box of inaccessible tactics that surely I'd never figure out.

Once Thankbox started getting real traction with search ads I realized that, if search ads work so well, then that means good SEO and discoverability is where my long term traction goals should be.

After all, while ads work, what's even better(and cheaper!) is naturally ranking for the keywords I'm bidding on.

I started working through the Ahrefs recommendation and doing as much as I can to get my health score up. Here is a few of the more important things I did:

  • Created links to all of my dynamic landing pages from my main page
  • Updated meta tags and descriptions to recommended lengths and created unique, keyword-optimized ones for each page
  • Started collecting public reviews for Thankbox on Capterra so there is a good top result when people search for "Thankbox reviews".

I'm currently sitting on ar eally nice Ahrefs healthscore and slowly starting to accumulate some backlinks:
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But what really made me happy was when I started seeing Thankbox appearing in the first page of search results for terms like "virtual leaving card" and "online leaving card" which I've been targetting the longest.

There is still a long way to go - some of my competitors that have been around for longer have a lot more backlinks but it's at least a sign I'm doing something right!

I actually got an email from a user who told me to "work on my SEO" because Thankbox "barely made it into the first page of search results".

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I was just bloody thrilled to even be there ๐Ÿ˜‚

February 1, 2021 Sold the first Premium Thankbox and grew in Jan

I was originally setting myself up for a slow January - I thought it'd be about 80% of December revenue.

In a case of classic underestimation Thankbox actually ended up growing by almost 20% in January compared to December ๐Ÿ˜

The best day was funnily the last work day of January - Friday the 29th. I think this was due to two reasons:

  • Friday is usually a strong sales day - most Thankboxes get created at the start of the week and sell on Friday
  • The end of the month is usually when most people have their last day at their work (if changing jobs).

Both of these combined into a day of 77 sales! I actually ran into some scaling issues I have to address because of that. All good problems though ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Last week I also released the new premium Thankbox tier.
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I've not started properly advertising it yet but have already had a few premium Thankboxes created. Just yesterday I sold the first one! For this month I'll try to focus more on marketing the premium tier. I'm putting some hope into it being a driver for a step-up increase in revenue for the next few months.

One massive other event that happened this month was that the awesome @andreboso did a case study on Thankbox for his excellent www.zerotomarketing.com newsletter. Already working away on some of his tips!

That's it folks - hope to write another one soon!

P.S. Did you know, that February is a perfect square in the calendar (if your week starts on Monday). How awesome is that?

January 16, 2021 Got interviewed by IH about how I grew Thankbox

I was super happy to be invited to do an interview with IH about my journey building Thankbox.

I spent a lot of time on it and aimed to capture as much of the important details of my journey as I could. I hope it serves as inspiration for others here.

You can find the full interview at https://www.indiehackers.com/interview/how-i-launched-and-grew-my-startup-by-500-during-the-covid-crisis-d526999b35

The IH Editorial team also did a great summary of it their Deep Dive series at https://www.indiehackers.com/post/deep-dive-valentin-hinov-of-thankbox-723727219e

Thanks @HaldenIng and team for the opportunity and the awesome piece โค๏ธ

December 16, 2020 $2k monthly revenue and got 1000 messages in a day

I have been riding the Christmas wave with Thankbox and it's brought mindblowing growth.

I had a day with almost 40 sales in one day (~$250 in a day).
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Today I finally hit the 1000 messages being posted in a day goal I wanted!
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At the end of November I noticed that a huge use case for Thankbox would be for parents organizing Christmas cards for their kids' teachers. Therefore I decided to increase my search ad spend for December a bit (just by about ยฃ5-10/day) and target a few new keywords.

The effect was immediate - about 20-30% of all Thankboxes sold this month are bought by parents. Some buy one for each teacher their kid has - it's great ๐Ÿ˜

Obviously, this particular use case will dry up post-Christmas so I am expecting a slowdown in January 2021. Though despite that, I am still getting more and more companies (my bread and butter) using Thankbox and most seem to love it.

My latest scores on the "would you use it again" survey question I send buyers were all 9/10 or 10/10. All in all, a great end to the year!

December 2, 2020 Beat $1k monthly revenue and relaunched on PH

November was absolutely bonkers for Thankbox, as you'd see in my recent milestones. At the end it just managed to get to $1k in revenue for the month which is nuts!

I went from 3-4 daily sales at the start of the month to having one a day with 24 sales towards the end ๐ŸŽ‰

I love the IH revenue charts - I think it's those sweet bezier curves.

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I've decided that this is enough proof that our landing page and messaging is clear enough to try re-launching on product hunt which I've just done today. Fingers crossed this could result in a nice springboard for continued growth in December ๐Ÿคž

https://www.producthunt.com/posts/thankbox-2

November 24, 2020 Sold Thankbox #200. Have made $600 in November!

Christmas arrived in November for me and Thankbox. The month has been absolutely crazy in terms of milestone after milestone being smashed.

I know things will start settling down a bit in December and the growth won't be as crazy, but I wanted to take the opportunity to ride my high and share how long it took me to get to 200 sold Thankboxes.

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I never knew how exponential growth felt like until I started modeling Thankbox sales in increments of 50.

1st thankbox sold: 05/05/2020
50th thankbox sold: 28/08/2020
100th thankbox sold: 23/10/2020
150th thankbox sold: 12/11/2020
200th thankbox sold: 24/11/2020

From 1->50: 116 days
From 50->100: 57 days
From 100->150: 20 days
From 150->200: 12 days ๐Ÿ”ฅ

I've mentioned in earlier milestones that Thankbox is suited heavily on networking effects. Since I've had search ads running for about a month now I've already started seeing the networking effects compound. People who received a Thankbox or left a message on one end up making one of their own just weeks after. It's awesome!

I'm now working on better KPI modelling so that I can more precisely track these networking effects.

November 12, 2020 In just 11 days November has become my best month

In my last update I mentioned that leaning into search ads was starting to have a massive impact for Thankbox.

There's no bigger proof of that than the fact that in just the first 11 days of this month I've beaten my previous best milestone (which was October). I also had the best day in terms of messages created on Thankboxes, which was 198!

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I'm already sitting at ~$220 of sales for November. I've been selling, on average, about 4 or 5 Thankboxes a day.

I'm advertising in the UK right now and have already had some really big companies and organisations use Thankbox for their employee occasions.

Now that the top of the funnel is mostly working my next goal is to address what follows after a user creates a Thankbox - helping them use the product and guiding them to a sale. I'm working on a whole new and improved dashboard as well as a pricing plan for smaller teams.

Really excited for what's ahead ๐ŸŽ‰

Thankbox addresses a key frustration I've faced in the many different teams I've worked with - how to celebrate a member's occasion. Be it a birthday, farewell or just expressing gratitude for a job well done.