Buffer monthly revenue and growthApril has been a very interesting month. MRR growth has slowed to around 7.08% increase, which is the lowest over the past few months.

What’s interesting is that most of the growth came from Business plans, which grew MRR by 15.6% in April. Awesome plan MRR growth slowed to 4.6% in March, and was 8.3% in the month before.

At the same time, churn has decreased by almost 2 percentage points to 5.28% on the Awesome plan (compared to 7% in March) and also to 5.99% on Business plans.

Awesome numbers for April

image

Where do upgrades come from?

image (1)

Business numbers for April

image (2)

Here is the full data:

 

More work on the growth dashboard

We’ve started to make a big step forward in building out our own growth dashboard by building the “user accounting” dashboard. We are now much more closely focused on tracking actual net actives, instead of signups or other metrics.

We’ve also started to look at more historical data (after a small shock whether all our numbers are going in the wrong direction) and things are looking much healthier on a 6-12 months scale, which is encouraging. At the same time, we want to make significant changes to improve all numbers.

image (3)

 

Steven has also done great work in collaboration with Joel to build out the experiments dashboard. The goal here was to make significant improvements to how we’re tracking the success of our experiments and avoid having to query the results manually every time:

image (4)

 

 

Interesting facts and takeaways for May

Over 11,000 trials were started, but only 177 users converted to paying customers. A key learning from Brian was that most customers find Buffer for Business “too expensive,” which can probably directly be translated to “it doesn’t have (show) enough value.” We are going to focus on 2 key areas in May to improve the conversion rate here:

  1. Teach value better (How can we show more Buffer trialists the value of Buffer for Business)
  2. Provide more value (We’re going to double down on key features like reporting, content suggestions, feeds, etc.)

The new monthly MRR contribution from Awesome is $16,640, compared to $12,150 from Business. Business has started to be 75% of new monthly MRR of Awesome. (Side note: Since we default to “Yearly” for Awesome users, this metric might be quite a bit skewed.)

With the new experiments dashboard, our goal is to improve the weekly experiments that are running at any given time and get more small wins across multiple experiments.

Improving measurement of “activation”: Currently, if a user posts one update, we count them as having “activated;” however this isn’t the most meaningful metric. A key goal for May is to come up with a more representative metric around activation.

Over to you

I’d love to hear any thoughts or questions you might have about these numbers. It’s awesome to be able to share these publicly each month, and we really value the feedback we receive. Ask away in the comments!

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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder and COO at Buffer. I enjoy writing about Buffer’s lessons learnt, social media tips and updates to Buffer. For some more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • Daniel Gdowski

    Interesting stuff here Leo. I would be keen to see what customers look like in the Awesome and Business plans, in terms of size/scope. Profiling their size may give you an idea (along with average/range of their respective connected account #’s) of where a given customer’s conversion pivot points are against price points.

    Ex1. A small coffee shop might not see the value in moving up to $50/mo to get to 15 connected accounts
    Ex2. A larger movie studio biz would have no issue with it.

    By understanding the user break downs, you will have a chance to see those variances in conversion, and hopefully why.

    In either case, communicating and building in more value will help conversion rates, so total win there.

    • LeoWid

      Hey there, that’s an awesome idea! We’ve in fact recently started to work more on different personas getting an insight in how our individual customers operate and which background businesses they are coming from!

      Will be fun to implement some of these learnings and adjust our plans then, thanks so much for chiming in, I think that’s the right track for us to go down! :)

  • Daniel Bräuer

    First I want to say how amazing it seems to me that (and how) you live transparency at Buffer. I mean you even openly discuss issues every other company would keep undisclosed in any circumstance! Do you even have any business secrets at Buffer? :)
    e.g. your open thoughts about how to raise your conversion from trials to paying customers. Is it really that bad, compared to the past I mean? Because I could imagine many people just trying it out because it’s for free without actually considering taking the full package in the future. Of course, that’s just a thought and must not stop you from improving this conversion rate.

    Apropos conversion rate, up in the table the conversion rates seem oddly high to me (>100%). Or am I having the wrong idea of conversion rate on my mind right now? …since it’s quite late. :) It does look like the dot jumped two digits to the right. I think I will have another look tomorrow.

    Keep up the great work! You guys really are an inspiring example for not having to fear transparency!

  • Agnes Dadura

    The Experiments Dashboard looks cool!

    I can only share my own reason for not converting to Awesome. Since I’ve started using Buffer, I fell in love with it almost immediately, and that includes both your blogs (thank you for daily reads, especially to Kevan). I wanted to upgrade just because I like you. However, I’m using buffer for individual use (social media & content strategy is not yet a goal of my company), and after reading through Awesome plan details, I’ve realized I don’t really need it. As much as I like Buffer, it would be silly to pay just to pay (sorry guys). Saying all that, if I will succeed with some of my personal goals, launch some of my side projects, I might need the Awesome/Business plans, and I will not hesitate then.

  • Nicole Graves

    Nicely done! Love to read about how you are using the stats to identify and derive actionable next steps, and then continue to validate them ongoing. It looks like the “where do upgrades come from” metric may continue to hold some fascinating insights as things progress.
    Keep it going! :)

  • Jess

    I personally feel that sometimes we get too focused on the numbers and where we are lacking, as opposed to where we are striving. Overall, Buffer is heading in the right direction and gaining more recognition for your amazing efforts in the social media world. The content you share on your blog is filled with valuable information and is making a huge difference across the web.
    Of course, there is always room for growth , which you already know since it is a part of your values at Buffer. I love everything Buffer and follow your blog faithfully for new, exciting and noteworthy information.
    I have been paying very close attention to your company and what you stand for and I absolutely love it. Every last one of your values is something I strongly follow in my daily life, which is why I ended up applying! I was so excited when I got an e-mail response 2 weeks ago, even though it read about the glitch in the system. I resubmitted my application and I use daily positive affirmations while I wait for your e-mail. I know I got a little off topic but everything about Buffer excites me! :) Keep doing what you are doing.

  • Hello Leo,

    First of all, thank you for sharing this. It’s really useful and does nothing but highlight what an amazing company Buffer is.

    My question is, what are you defining as Net Actives? Is it Active Paying Users in x Days – Churned?

    Can’t quite get my head around it!

    Thanks,

    Andy

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