Peter released Habitify, an app for tracking behaviors and increase productivity, with no sales in the first few months. Since then, it has 1 million users, brings in $21,000 a month, and employs 20 people. Alan joined the company to help improve KPIs for user acquisition, conversion, and retention. The goal of the program is to help users develop and keep track of positive behaviors. Peter, co-founder and CEO of Habitify, was promoted to project manager two years after joining his first company.
Peter didn’t like working as an iOS developer; he wanted to help people and make a difference in the world. He released Habitify, an app for tracking behaviors, a few months later. There were no sales in the first several months. At the moment, Habitify has 1 million users, brings in $21,000 each month, and employs 20 people. A peek behind the scenes is shown here!
What is your background and what are you concentrating on right now?
Hello! I’m Alan, the head of growth at Habitify, a cross-platform software that lets you build habits and set priorities.
When Habitify was just a year old and its marketing was in its infancy, I joined the company. Since then, I’ve developed and put into practice ways to help improve KPIs for user acquisition, conversion, and retention.
Please note that I too started off as a blank piece of paper. I studied economics in college and had no prior marketing experience. So, even though it’s not really noteworthy, what you’re seeing now is what I’m most proud of.
The first product born out of my co-founder’s passion to make the world a better place is called Habitify. The goal of the program is to help users develop and keep track of positive behaviors so they may gradually improve as individuals.
What is your background, and how did you come up with this idea?
I’ll go on how Peter, one of my co-founders, started Habitify.
Only two years after joining his first company, iOS developer Peter was promoted to project manager. The pay was good at the time and often more than that of the majority of his colleagues.
But he wasn’t satisfied.
He has always wanted to live life to the fullest and use his skills to make the lives of others better. Although the given job may guarantee him a comfortable living, it couldn’t satisfy his actual needs.
So he gave up.
Spending the following few months at home doing nothing (literally, he was looking for inspiration for his new enterprise) was a challenging beginning for him. Now that his mother was continually pushing him to get out and do something (as Asian moms generally do with their lazy sons), Peter was really uninspired.
You don’t know how to appreciate life, she said one day at the height of her wrath. In Africa, hundreds of children are dying as you enjoy in all of these delights.
Peter had an idea. He wanted to build an app that would change the world. At first, he thought that this software ought to provide some of its profits to African orphans. In order to determine his current market niche, he carried out market research. This is where Habitify, a habit tracker, got its start. With every purchase, it gives $1 to help African children have access to water.
How was Habitify created?
The launch of Habitify took place a year after my absence, but I wasn’t there. Despite this, I had the impression that I had been present for the entirety of a baby’s growth.
Peter told me that throughout Habitify’s first six months of operation, there were no sales. Although it was downloaded, the software was too simple to be appealing from a business standpoint. There were only Peter (an iOS developer), Dat (marketing), and Son (designer) at first. They cohabited and worked together on the fifth floor of a poor apartment without air conditioning in the 40-degree heat of a Vietnam summer.
When Peter was the only person in charge of the operation, I joined the team to help with the growth of the apps. Because we lacked an office, we were forced to work every day for more than six months at a coworking facility.
At the time, we were among the first habit trackers to aim to be cross-platform.
The original Mac, iOS, and Apple Watch trio was joined by Android and the Web last year. Making habit tracking as simple as feasible was our main goal. No matter what kind of technology you have in your hands, you may start forming habits.
By employing this technique, we increased the team in 2018 and 2019 from two people working without an office to over twenty people.
The subject of pricing strategy is intriguing. At first, the cost of a recurring premium subscription was simply $2.99. Costs rose as Habitify expanded to other platforms, requiring us to change the business strategy. We started individually charging $10 for iOS, macOS, and Android, which caused a premium synchronization problem.
We transitioned to our current strategy, which blends subscription and lifetime programs, because maintaining this one was too challenging for us. The fact that we decided on $39.99 for the lifetime version, $29.99 for the yearly version, and $4.99 for the monthly version sometimes defies belief in my mind. People keep on buying it! In fact, our revenue is more than ever (and only becoming higher)!
What marketing techniques did you use to grow your company?
There isn’t a clear answer to this. I think a variety of marketing efforts, including both traditional and non-traditional growth hacking strategies, contributed to the success of our app.
Localizing and extending the app into other areas was one of the earliest remedies for the weak income stream. Then, in an effort to gain traction, we released Habitify on Product Hunt. After six months, we are now making our first purchase. the first month of each team member’s pay period.
After Apple highlighted us, everything was different. It was highly well-liked. Every day, thousands of downloads were produced from millions of impressions. People started to notice and share the news about our independent app. The press covered us. Apple has once more featured us. We will hit one million downloads in a few months after reaching 500,000 in just two years.
We tried a number of different tactics over our journey after Apple named Habitify as a New App We Love, including Facebook ad campaigns, Instagram story ad campaigns, and several seasonal giveaway, referral, and special campaigns.
Today, content marketing and affiliate marketing are extensively emphasized in our most successful marketing tactics. One-off events, like Product Hunt launches or commercials, were very expensive and not worth our effort.
Although our income has not significantly improved as a result of our marketing initiatives, we are on the right route. Our content initiatives have considerably greater LTV of visitors than other advertising, which is a positive development.
One of our 2020 focuses will be content marketing in order to promote the app in a sustainable way. We are dedicated to provide the best software available as well as the most thorough blog on goal-setting and habit tracking.
What are your long-term goals?
Our goal is to make Habitify the best habit tracker available across all platforms. To be more precise, people must think of us first when they want a basic and uncomplicated habit tracker. Profit, in our opinion, is only a byproduct of this. Although we don’t have a set income target in mind, we do want to raise it to a level that will enable us to fund the creation of new apps.
In 2020, additional staff members will be required to sustain and grow Habitify, and we will accomplish just that. The creation of a solid, cooperative team is the main outcome of the aforementioned goal. In order to make the app and all websites easier to use, we are working to give the Habitify brand a more sophisticated appearance. We have hired more designers and a UX/UI specialist. In order to make sure the app is as comprehensive as possible prior to big changes, we are also seeking internal assessors.
Milestone for Habitify
We have 800,000 installs in October 2019.
We are currently thinking about making a substantial change to Habitify this summer. We’re now having an ideation session to figure out which additions will really help customers remain on track and accomplish their objectives. In fact, Habitify will undergo a substantial transition in 2020.
What were your biggest challenges, and how did you get over them?
The hardest thing I had to do as a growth lead was figure out a lucrative marketing route for the company’s goods. Because each product has distinct qualities, it is difficult to immediately put all of the conventional techniques taught in the courses into practice. My product targets a limited group of consumers and operates in a smaller market sector with few to no case studies.
It takes a lot of testing and analysis of the data to find the ideal channel, so as you could think, it’s a problem of balancing your expenditures with your return on investment. Even if the ROI was occasionally unclear, I still had to grab for my cash since my customer survey had made it clear. I had to control my irritation as I saw my money evaporate with essentially no return on sometimes when the ROI was a bit apparent, but these instances were few.
I think my best course of action at the moment was to put everything on hold and reevaluate my long-term goals for the product. This made it easier for me to decide which tests to run first and what results to expect. I’m counting on some expensive, short-term techniques, but I’m also making long-term investments in case the plan doesn’t work.
My mother is a typical Asian mother who values having supper with the family and working at “traditional” state-owned establishments. She couldn’t stop whining to me and asking why I’m constantly late to dinner, and she was worried that I was so excited about this project. The family pressure intensified everyday as soon as I periodically began working on Saturdays (rare in Vietnam) and as I started to feel more worried from failing campaigns.
In order for her to understand what I am doing and the importance of my job inside the organization, I made the decision to have a heart-to-heart with her and started off by describing every facet of my employment in my mother’s language. Even though things have calmed down, I can see she is still worried on the inside. She no longer presses me, though, at every late supper.
What are your biggest flaws, exactly? What were your biggest mistakes?
The biggest flaw of Habitify, in my opinion, is the team’s ignorance of the market. We are focusing on Japan and the United States, the two nations with the greatest economy in the world and the most varied cultures and social norms. A part of us kept wheezing as we were launching ads because we weren’t sure if we were providing the “right” goods for our customers. I also acknowledge that this drawback kept us from improving the product and putting thorough marketing plans into action.
Our greatest errors included investing in short-term growth hacking tactics, which I mostly blame on a lack of understanding of the market. We spent too much time hoping for quick fixes and bemoaning missed chances rather than building strong foundations. I must admit that I was so focused on quick figures that I made every effort to advance the reputation of the business. Although I did incur a considerable financial loss as a result of this, the damage to my reputation and lost time was far more significant.
What actions would you do differently if you had the chance?
I would put money into the business’s long-term initiatives, notably its content and analytics efforts.
Our unwillingness to spend money on a thorough analytical tool to track user characteristics and all of the interactions they have had has resulted in an incomplete picture of our devoted users.
In terms of substance, I wish I had started earlier in my journey. Content, in my opinion, is more useful than any other lead-generation strategy. In comparison to traffic from direct shop searches, the LTV of traffic from content is at least twice as high, if not three times as high. Permanent, long-lasting content will drive a ton of traffic with little work.
What educational tools would you suggest for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
I found that networking with other entrepreneurs and independent programmers through online and local networks was the most efficient way to learn. I gain a lot of insights and ideas from viewing my own activity from their point of view that I never would have discovered on my own.
I’d suggest Hacker News and Indie Hackers as great places to start. Subreddits like this have value as well: startups, company, and entrepreneur
I like checking out other people’s websites and services. I’m constantly able to pick up new information regarding copywriting or their marketing plan. I think this gives me a broad understanding of the world and a ton of ideas for new products.
For further information:
There are many places:
First and foremost: Habitify
On his Medium account, I wrote a few pieces on our journey under the pen name Peter.
On my own blog, I also offered marketing knowledge.
Check out the Habitify Twitter account to see how we engage with our followers.
Visit our blog page where we’ve published both the success stories of our own users and the pieces we’ve laboriously written. The focus on material on this channel will increase.
Main pic is from here.
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