How We Grew By 189% With Zero Marketing Costs

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The Rotterdam based startup Spaceship grew 189% m-o-m in revenue. Here's how they made this happen and what you can learn from it for your company.

How we grew by 189% month over month in revenue with zero marketing costs?

First of all I need to admit something to you. I’m not a big fan of these types of articles myself. And I have two reasons: one, the m-o-m growth might seem like an important KPI. However, especially in the beginning of a startup it’s not as impressive to grow at a three digits rate. And two, these articles rarely offer any valuable insights.

I wrote this article a few weeks ago and I deleted it because of the reasons I mentioned above. But then I thought wait.. let’s try turn it around and write something different. So let me give it a shot 🙂

My Three Golden Rules

  1. Never wait to make money.
  2. Look at your freaking data.
  3. Test a bazillion channels.

1. Money, Money Money

Okay, this may sound a little harsh. But if you don’t make at least 500$ in revenue the first month, drop your idea. It doesn’t matter if you feel ashamed of your product or if it’s not fully ready yet. Don’t look for excuses, you just don’t know how to sell it or it’s not a good product-market fit. Of course, there are a few exceptions.

But there are two good reasons why I follow this rule:

  • Even if you only make 1$ a day, it shows that there are people ready to pay for your product. And it will help a lot with motivating your team.
  • If you already have paying customers, it will force you to continue improving your product based on their feedback. So you have a certainty that whatever you develop will find its customers.

2. Look at your f***ing data.

I cannot stress this enough. Find a Live Dashboard that you can afford, set it up & look at your data all the time. This will force you to push your business further every day. And if you don’t have significant funding, your company will very likely die.

3. Test A Bazillion Channels

It doesn’t matter whether you’re bootstrapping or not, just get behind your laptop and test every single channel you can. Anything from Social Media, Reddit to E-mail and phone. After two months, we have 20 conversion channels. We have tested literally everything. If you need some help getting started, we’re currently helping hundreds of companies from 35 different countries.

So How Did We Grow By 189% M-O-M In Revenue?

To be honest I can’t give you a precise answer. Nobody can. I would probably say we grew so fast because we worked very hard and tested every channel we could get our hands on. We also spent a fair share of our time understanding and learning from our data.

But the most important part is how you treat your customers. And there I believe we are pretty good. We’ve only had to issue a single refund so far and I try to attend to every single customer personally – it makes a difference. That much I can tell you.

 

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