Buffer March Update: More Focus on A/B Testing, Our First Happiness Engineer and 10% MRR Growth

Apr 11, 2014 3 min readReports
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Joel Gascoigne

CEO and co-founder @ Buffer

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March was a really amazing month for us at Buffer: 10% MRR growth and awesome increases in daily and monthly active users, too! I’m happy to share with you our update for March that I just sent to Buffer investors. Let me know if I can answer any questions about this. :-)

If you want to read our update from February, you can take a look here.

Traction update

  • New users: 71,000 (Total: 1,407,000, from 1,336,000: +5.3%)
  • Daily active users: 39,000 (up from 36,000: +8.3%)
  • Monthly active users: 157,000 (up from 145,000: +8.3%)
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): $246,000 (Annual: $2,952,000: +10.3%)
  • Bookings revenue: $352,000 (Annual: $4,224,000 up from $3,996,000: +5.7%)
  • Cash in bank: $545,000 (last month: $523,000)
  • Team size: 19 people across 5 continents

One of the key things to mention this month is that we realized a mistake we’ve made with how we measure revenue. Since we’re now more clearly a SaaS business, we should measure MRR rather than bookings revenue (which we’ve been using so far in updates). I’m very sorry if we’ve accidentally misled anyone with that mistake. I’ll share both bookings and MRR from now on. I wrote a bit more about this learning here. Here is our MRR growth over the last year:

Buffer MMR

Happiness team charging forward

From the very beginning, our vision to “set the bar for great customer support” has remained unchanged, and I’m happy to say that in the past months and specifically during March, we’ve made some clear steps to move further towards this aspirational vision. In March we moved the needle from 80% to 93% of emails receiving an answer within 6 hours. This is especially fantastic since 93% means that now “the majority” of emails get a reply within 6 hours. It feels great to give this commitment to our users.

In addition, one of our earliest engineers, Colin, has moved into a new role as our first Happiness Engineer. He has been working on gathering more metrics so we can be data driven about pushing further ahead with our vision, as well as building out better tools for our Happiness team and for customers to get the help they need.

Here’s a pie chart of our email response times for March (from a total of 10,000 emails):

March Happiness report

A focus on growth with our “pass the baton” method for A/B testing

We’ve continued to work closely with Hiten on our growth efforts at Buffer. One of the coolest things to come from this has been our method to “pass the baton” in the sense that every time we have a successful A/B test, we immediately start another on that same user touch-point. We’ve also been identifying the highest volume touch-points and been gradually adding more simultaneously-running A/B tests for all the highest touch-points. At one point this month we had eight A/B tests running at once!

We’ve had successful A/B tests on the Awesome Plan pricing page, a new interstitial page to let people choose to stay on our Individual (free) plan or at that moment upgrade to Awesome or Business, as well as great validations for new features (RSS importing, a calendar view, and reporting).

A new strategy for content marketing at Buffer: doubling down (literally) on our blogs

We’ve been lucky in finding that the Buffer audience loves reading blog posts. In our earliest days, we became known for our content marketing thanks to Leo’s amazing efforts. In the past month, Courtney and Kevan have done an incredible job and this resulted in reaching 717,000 unique visitors for March and our email list growing to over 20,000.

Over time, we’ve found there are two distinct types of content that resonate with Buffer users and fans: social media insights and productivity / lifehacking tips. However, these felt like two quite different topics. In addition, we also like to write about how Buffer works on the inside, sharing all our numbers and learnings.

We’ve decided to now fully focus on two separate blogs: the Buffer blog will become our social media blog, and the Open blog will be where we write about productivity, transparency, company culture, and more.

If there are any questions at all that we can help answer, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.  :)

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