October was an unusual month for us, numbers-wise, as a result of us moving from 7-day to 30- day trials of Buffer for Business. Here’s more about that and everything else going on at Buffer in our October 2015 investors’ report.

Key metrics

  • 2,841,519 total registered users (+3.0%)
  • 226,445 monthly active users (+3.0%)
  • 55,460 average daily active users (+2.0%)
  • $650,478 monthly recurring revenue (+1.0%)
  • $7.81M annual recurring revenue (+1.0%)
  • $2,546,589 cash in bank
  • 56 team members across the world in 40 cities

October 2015 metrics

It can clearly be seen in the numbers here that our move from 7-day to 30-day trials for Buffer for Business has significantly impacted metrics (most noticeably MRR).

The reason this has stalled our revenue growth is that it created a 30-day gap with no expiring trials and therefore no new converting Buffer for Business customers.

This is an expected outcome that we decided was the right move for us to grow Buffer for Business.

I’m happy to share that from the trend we’ve seen for the first week of November, we are seeing an increase in both the number of trials and the conversion rate of trials as a result of moving from 7-day to 30-day trials.

Team and hiring

In October, we closed Buffer’s physical office to go entirely remote and distributed.

As we grow, we started experimenting with an employee NPS survey to get the “pulse” of Buffer regularly.

We also evolved some of our team tools: we left HipChat & Sqwiggle for Slack & Zoom and joined Okta as a security solution. On the transparency front, Leo shared more details on How We Explain Stock Options to Team Members.

  • 8 new team members started their bootcamp in October.
  • At least 8 more people will be starting bootcamp throughout November.
  • We looked into 1,992 hiring conversations in October (+29% MoM)

In November, we’re hiring across 12 open positions, listed on Buffer’s Journey page.

Product

We launched Pablo 2.0! More than 500,000 Pablo images have been created so far, and we’re excited to keep going with our quick images tool.

Pablo-2-launch

We also made several improvements to Buffer for Business, including the move from 7 day to 30 day trials, a new groups UI, the ability to search profiles and improved reliability/speed of analytics.

  • Calendar View feature in beta (and launched in November)
  • Awesome Plan ($10/mo) MRR: $379,189 (+2.3%)
  • Buffer for Business ($50+/mo) MRR: $272,227 (-0.3%) (a result of our move to 30-day trials)
  • New landing page experiment (awaiting results)
  • Multiple photo upload feature for Twitter

Happiness

In October, the Happiness teams continued to focus on speed for customers who reach out. With response time as our primary success metric, we’re prioritizing hiring in November. We also added more specialized roles in the team, for example, having one liaison between each of the Product and Happiness teams in order to streamline some meetings (and cancel others!), as well as one team member focusing on self-help resources. We’re now hiring to form a Twitter-specific team, too.

We also separated out business support last month. The new business support and customer success teams will focus on the specific needs of customers using Buffer as part of their business strategy. Key metrics for this area will include increased customer engagement, reduced churn, NPS score and customer satisfaction score to mention a few. We’re excited to incorporate new tools and continue to hire in this area as well!

  • 12,282 replies sent
  • Customer Happiness Percentage: 95%
  • 67% of emails got a reply within 1 hour
  • 85% within 6 hours
  • 54% of Tweets got a reply within 15 minutes

Marketing

We had a really exciting month in terms of traffic and sign-ups. After we bared our souls and shared how we had been losing social media traffic for quite some time, we got a lot of great feedback, insights and encouragement.

In October we focused a lot on improving the calls to action on the blog, which had a lot of success. We also dove in more on the paid ads side and hired someone full-time to help us with that—stay tuned for updates!

Thanks again for being part of the Buffer journey!

One quick ask: Recently we launched a brand new feature: Social Media Calendar. We’d love your help to spread the word. Tweet or Buffer!

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Written by Joel Gascoigne

Joel is the founder and CEO at Buffer. He is focused on the lean startup approach, user happiness, transparency & company culture. Say hi to him anytime @joelgascoigne.

  • Great update!! Looking forward to seeing your paid ad results. I’m sure the team will give us some useful content on that! Keep keeping on!

    • Hey David, thanks for the encouragement! We do have a lot in the works to share on paid ads; coming soon!

  • Great update. I love all the changes and improvements. Congrats to the new teammates.

  • Sylvia

    I’ve definitely noticed faster replies in general, especially via Facebook! Alfred’s been so responsive and helpful :)

    • Yay, so happy to hear that! Alfred is definitely super awesome!

      • Sylvia

        I love hearing from you too, Courtney! Did you change your position within the last few months or was there just a shift/rotation of roles/tasks with Kevan? :) I feel like when I first discovered and started following you guys in the Summer most of the posts were from Kevan, but recently I’ve read a lot of your articles! Both are fantastic, by the way! I glean a bit more insight into Buffer and your team each time.

        • Oh, thanks for noticing! Yup, we change and evolve roles around here a lot! Right now i’m focusing on the Open blog while Kevan focuses on Buffer for Business. :)

          • Sylvia

            Woot woot for keeping things fresh :)

  • WHOOOO!!! Nice one Joel and team! You guys seriously fu**ing rock!

  • Wow, so curious about the switch from Squiggle to Zoom. I figured that Squiggle was good b/c it was basically like presence and it made it easy for ad-hoc gatherings. Zoom seems to be more like “traditional” video/web conferencing (if such a thing can be said to exist). What prompted the change?

    • Hey Andrea, great question! I think the Sqwiggle team is evolving their product a bit to focus on a new tool called Speak: https://go.speak.io/. Looks pretty cool; excited to keep an eye on it!

  • Cathryn Parker

    Great article, congratulations on the 95% happiness rate you are receiving from your clients! May I ask what tools you use to collect user feedback and customer happiness?

  • Dear Joel:

    What happened to Kevan Lee’s article, https://blog.bufferapp.com/lost-traffic? I had to Google it to find it.

    I think that there are limits on how much transparency can help or hurt a company, and the line was crossed with that article.

    You have a business that is in the process of growing and (as others have noted with more statistical insights and data analysis–http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/10/23/buffer-social-traffic-loss) there may have been other reasons why, in this particular time period (and a short one at that), that traffic had dropped. I have to say that publishing this article IMO was a blunder. Buffer is coming out with other technologies such as Pablo, great idea, and with your overall excellent staff you are still experimenting with what works and what doesn’t so, let’s not scare off the potential users and investors with a spot of bad news that wasn’t thoroughly analyzed, right?

    I also hope that you, Joel, step back and takes a more thorough look at Tony Hseih’s methodology in lieu of his entire history of business-building and don’t completely take to heart all of his theories on business and marketing. Might I add recommending the excellent examination of Hseih’s Downtown Las Vegas Project, examined here in a series of articles by recode’s Nellie Bowles: http://recode.net/special-series/las-vegas/. I live in Las Vegas and I saw from the beginning to what I consider the end of this project (which occurred maybe two years ago) when Hseih stopped investing in pet projects from his inner circle and went back to managing Zappos, giving up and disappearing from the Downtown Project as far as I can tell, completely.

    Is this a failure that Hseih could not make downtown Las Vegas a little bit of Techy/Coolsville paradise, or a success in that Hseih now owns a considerable amount of downtown Las Vegas real estate? My observations are that he could not buy enough land to get rid of the riffraff around his project site. We’re talking about active drug sales, prostitution, high crime. Now he owns ShiPaTown (South Park reference) and in time it may turn around but for now it looks dead in the water.

    I’m taking a big chance in writing this response to your blog post as I had wanted to apply to work at Buffer. But I’m not fond of kool-aid so I have to say what’s on my mind and what I have observed directly, and if I differ in opinion and I get a chance to air it, I guess I’ll take the risk (after all, I do live in Vegas and it’s in my blood).

    Wish I could’ve made this a blog post of my own site but I have been ill for some time and it’s all I can do to get online for a little while at a time and take that time to point out what I consider are observations which are not meant to hurt or demean but to help and be constructive.

    Thanks for letting me share (do I get a one-day chip now?)

    Vickie Comrie
    Digital Strategist, Content Writer

  • Love the update, as usual! The speed of your replies is always incredible! :)

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