Update on progress July - October (lots of wins and a big fat churn)

• 3 min read

Last time I've shared our monthly stats was in June. Guilty 😔

So I'll just jump right in.


GMV and revenue: increased by 23% comparing to the previous 4-months period.

GMV growth chart

64 new contracts: rose by 30% thanks to marketing experiments and cold outreach.

  • July – 19
  • August – 18
  • September – 8
  • October – 19

40 contracts churned. 😳 😳 😳

To be honest we've never tracked metrics like CAC, LTV, retention, churn, etc. This was very surprising. I need to take a closer look to this.

We've designed formulas for calculations, making sure we have all the data in one place and I'll be able to dig into this in 2 weeks.

Acquisition channels: Added a few new channels, 2 of them worked great.

  • Other – 3%
  • Unknown – 5% (do you also hate when this happens?)
  • Outbound – 8% 🌟
  • Quora – 8%
  • Google ads – 9%
  • Coding Ninjas – 11% (leads that came to CodingNinjas website and were redirected to lemon.io)
  • Product Hunt – 11% (1 lead from the paid placement, the rest came from organic campaign in June)
  • Referral – 13%
  • SEO – 16%
  • The MFM podcast – 16% 🌟

Marketing experiments.

Sponsorship of the My First Million podcast became one of the best and the cheapest channels.

Even though we didn't position ourselves well at the beginning (we are a marketplace of vetted engineers) and at some point could not provide enough supply, the returns are extremely high.

I think the strong effect gave

  • The sponsorship itself
  • I am active in 2 communities that listen to this podcasts: the MFM Facebook group and Trends Facebook group.
  • I scrapped both groups and added everyone I could find to my LinkedIn, where I'm also active.
Slack message screenshot

That's me ⇑

We advertised in one more podcast. It was a 4x price and didn't have any outcome. It's hard to tell why. I have an assumption, that it was only a week after the elections and all the attention might still have been there.

Product Hunt homepage promoted product.

This 24 hours campaign brought a bunch of qualified leads. The cost is $4k (going up in 2021).

Even though only one converted, it's still a great channel. We didn't have candidates for a couple of leads and 2 of them are still in progress.

We've already booked 1 campaign for each month of 2021.

Lemon.io Product Hunt homepage ad

Product Hunt static web display ad: Not a single conversion 😞

This ad shows on internal pages of categories and products. The CPM is $20. On a $5k campaign we had only 1 qualified lead, that never converted.

Google ads: $10,000 for only 1 lead 😞

Before, we were targeting only users who were looking for alternatives to competitors.

In July we decided to do a test and target users who are looking for developers with specific skills. The $10k campaign brought us 1 qualified lead that never converted.

My assumption is that our target audience would not use Google to find engineers. They would rather look for referrals from other entrepreneurs or investors or turn to top-of-mid providers.

2021 Strategy: Build a flywheel 𐃏

I'm cooking up a strategy for 2021 and my top priorities would be

  • Build relationships with entrepreneurs and investors to start a referral flywheel.
  • Target small groups of target audiences via a few channels to become a top-of-mind provider in those groups.
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