Three Lessons from @patio11’s Microconf Talks

Patrick McKenzie, better known as @patio11 on the Internets, has run a number of bootstrapped businesses and has been a serial speaker at MicroConf, with those talks being released to public last year at no cost on the MicroConf video vault YouTube channel.

Following on from my post on the lessons from Rob Walling’s talks, I’m back with another post with a bunch of value bombs from Patrick’s talks.

1. Charge More

If there’s one thing that Patrick McKenzie is well known for in the MicroConf community, it’s these two words.

For his own SaaS application, Appointment Reminder, he killed the lowest $9/m plan and introduced a $199/m plan tier above his $79/m plan.

For me, this meant getting rid of the $15/m plan in Bulk Buy Hosting and LaunchCDN that only allowed customers to host 5 domains with us, which then made the lowest plan our $29/m plan to host 10 domains.

This same advice then influenced the pricing decisions for Domain Comet, which I was developing at around the time that I was watching these conference talks, which resulted in our lowest plan being $29 per month.

I ran the same playbook after my recent acquisition of ForwardMX, increasing the single domain plan to $24 per year, and introduced monthly plans that were 1/10th of the annual pricing, creating the “2 months free on annual plans” discount.

Here’s the video it’s from, queued up to where Patrick talks about that.

2. “If Cash is King, Annual Billing is God”

For a bootstrapped SaaS, annual billing is a great way to fund development of new features and growth of the business through marketing campaigns.

And you don’t just have to rely on someone selecting an annual plan when they sign up. I run an automated campaign for customers of Bulk Buy Hosting and LaunchCDN, which invite customers on monthly plans to upgrade to annual shortly after their second invoice, which converts well.

But, this campaign doesn’t have to stop there at the 2 month reminder. You can also send an annual campaign for this every December, offering the same thing.

3. Software is Social

“Increasingly, software is social.” – this is why Slack should be one of the first things that you should integrate.

Based on that advice, I added a Slack integration for Bulk Buy Hosting and LaunchCDN that notifies you of the successful deployment of a domain in your account including the name servers. This is super helpful for API customers, which means they don’t even need to login to their account to track that.

Also, based on this section of the talk, we also try to get more email addresses for other people in the company, by adding the ability to have “Unlimited” Team Members logins associated with an account. This helps ensure that if one person leaves, we’re still likely to have a foothold in that company because more people are aware of and using our service.

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