In 11 months, MeetEdgar joined the prestigious ranks of startups earning $1,000,000 in annual recurring revenue.
After finding a massive unmet problem from her social media training program, Laura Roeder built MeetEdgar to solve that problem. You can read about her journey from idea to scale here.
But that was then, and this is now.
So let’s take a look at what’s good, bad, and ugly about MeetEdgar’s growth strategy.
“The money’s in the list.”
If you’ve done internet marketing for a while, you’ve heard this saying before. And it’s no surprise, given email marketing returns-to-costs ratio is somewhere between 37:1 and 44:1.
So rather than allow people to buy MeetEdgar immediately, they ask for an email:
What’s fascinating is the Edgar team is A/B testing the email sign-up flow:
A quick aside: I saw this A/B test difference without clearing my cookies. In my view, this is not a smart way to A/B test. Why? Even without a second sign-up test going, a customer may visit the website a few times before deciding. Therefore one test could result in many false positives.
Further, there is a free email course to get sign-ups:
And finally, you can always sign up for email newsletters from the blog.
Each approach is a clear and polite way to get a potential customer’s email address.
While the team is collecting emails, the words to entice me to sign up is lacking.
For example, the email course doesn’t provide any details about what I’ll learn. Nor does it describe any outcomes I’ll receive from finishing the course.
Sure, the copy hits some of the emotional issues like feeling overwhelmed and impostor syndrome. But there’s no specific pain relief given. How do I know this course will do what it promises?
Also, the newsletter call-to-action box at the bottom of the blog is weak for three reasons:
MeetEdgar is great at inviting readers to get their emails. But there’s some room for improvement. More on this later in the article.
Let’s take a look again at Edgar’s first positioning statement on the homepage.
“Your social media on auto-pilot starts here.”
Social media automation is a sizeable market. As I wrote about in Close’s growth strategy audit, you can use keyword research to get a rough measure of a market’s demand.
Currently, people search for “social media automation” 1,300 times a month. And Google advertisers are paying an average of $6.92 per click.
Here’s the problem. What separates MeetEdgar from every other social media automation tool?
Yes, MeetEdgar recycles and reuses past social updates. But people consider Buffer and Hootsuite social media automation tools because it posts updates for them.
Sure the branding assets like the logo and underwater theme are unique. But when a customer has a specific problem, the logo won’t solve their problem. Branding assets can only communicate how the product uniquely solves the issue.
Once that position is clear, MeetEdgar should be blogging around those topics. Take a look at some of their blog articles:
None of these article headlines specifically talk about social media automation. Some could become relevant. But it’s not obvious at first glance.
First, MeetEdgar team needs to interview customers to find out what sets them apart from the competition. Then they need to dominate that position in the market.
As I wrote in, “How to Find Product-Market Fit to Accelerate Word of Mouth,” I would start by doing an email outreach campaign and asking customers four questions:
Here is the purpose of each question:
Yes, MeetEdgar once had product-market fit. But as the market landscape changes, so too do customer needs and expectations.
As Steli Efti once said, “Product-market fit is not a destination, but a moment in time. Some people think they need to iterate and pivot, then you’ll arrive in the promised land of product-market fit and now it’s only about growing. That’s an illusion.”
While you can get new customers and not have product-market fit, sales will slow as word-of-mouth will decrease.
MeetEdgar launched in 2014 at $49/month. 5 years later, the price is still $49/month.
I’m no doctor. But I’d bet MeetEdgar has improved their product since it first launched.
Sure, every product does not capture all the value it creates in its price. At times it’s wise to price for market penetration over profit maximization. And in the beginning, using one price point keeps it simple for everyone.
But a lot changes in five years. What if they could get the same number of customers charging $75/month? That’s $25/month in almost pure profit! And at 5% churn, the customer would last for 20 months. If you do some simple math, $25 X 20 = $500 per customer.
If MeetEdgar wants to determine their price point, then they need to talk to customers to find their willingness to pay (WTP).
In “Customer Validation: The Art of Finding the Perfect Customer,” I wrote about four questions a startup can ask their customers to find their WTP:
After doing so, you can create a line graph in a spreadsheet. It might look like this:
Once you create your line chart, you are looking for the acceptable price range. Or as I like to call it, your money zone:
After MeetEdgar maps out the customer’s WTP, they will want to make sure their pricing strategy aligns with their business strategy.
It is possible to A/B test your pricing. But this is harder than A/B testing copy. If MeetEdgar wants to keep it simple, I’d keep customers at the current price and charge new customers a higher price.
Right before I began my career in internet marketing, I ran a drop-ship eBay business. Because I did not get a marketing degree in college, I began to read every article I could find.
After I started testing what I read in those articles, I realized that many bloggers don’t get marketing. Or purpose they found early success which cannot be repeated. As a result, those websites lost my trust.
Even though those websites bring in a lot of traffic, I rarely visit them when they pop up in Google. And when I do go to those websites, I’m more skeptical than a conspiracy theorist is of the government.
My fear is this is also true with MeetEdgar. The blog receives a solid amount of traffic. But because the content quality is lacking, conversions are lower.
I already ripped the “poor copy bandaid” off the festering wound above. And upon inspection, the gash looks worse and worse.
I’ll use the article “5 Time-Saving Social Media Content Creation Tips” as an example.
First, nothing in the article makes me sit up and pay attention.
If you read the headline, the expected benefit will be it will save me time.
But here is what comes to my mind which stop me from reading the article:
If you notice, these questions become answered with one simple trick: adding specifics to the headline.
Take a look at the articles on my blog. If you notice, each article gives a specific benefit to why someone should read my article. Or it answers a specific question they have.
I’ll admit some article headlines do a much better job than others to attract attention. But it gets the job done.
Second, the article has no clear keyword it should rank for in Google.
One of the major advantages of content marketing is it scales SEO acquisition without adding more costs.
Not every article needs to have a keyword target, but most should. Because without a clear keyword phrase, it’s less likely it will rank for that phrase. Think of it like dodgeball. It’s harder to get someone out by throwing into the crowd than to target one person.
If I am trying to rank for a certain keyword phrase, I would expect to find the phrase in these locations:
1. In the URL.
In other words, “www.meetedgar.com/blog/best-keyword-phrase/”. It’s usually better if it is shorter.
2. In the H1 and meta title.
For 90% of bloggers, these two are the same titles. In this article, the H1 is, “5 Time-Saving Social Media Content Creation Tips.”
If I had to guess, the author was writing about “time-saving social media tips” or “social media creation tips.” But none of those phrases has any keyword volume. And none of the other indicators give me any more hints.
3. A related phrase in the header 2s (H2s).
Looking at this article, the only H2 is the lede into the comment section.
Even though there are subheaders in the article, these are H3s, not H2s.
This makes it harder for Google to understand what keywords are relevant to this article.
4. In the opening paragraph.
Truthfully, I’m not certain how important having your keyword phrase in the opening paragraph is for Google. But it will help the reader know the context of the article.
And if something helps the reader to keep reading, it’s likely Google likes it too.
If I were to re-write this article, here’s how I would find relevant keywords it could rank better for:
Here is a list of keywords MeetEdgar can choose from:
“Social media management” looks like a lovely keyword. It is relevant, has high volume, and is easy to rank for (a KD score under 40 should be easy for MeetEdgar).
For more on this process, read “No Keywords Easy to Rank For? I Call ‘Bullcrap.’”
Also, gifs are a fun way to grab someone’s attention. Unfortunately, they also slow down the page’s load time. And a slow load time decreases conversions.
According to a study by Akamai, 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. And with 3.1 million people using dial-up internet (Pew Research) and visitors coming from around the world, what seems fast to you is painfully slow to them. Then when you add up everyone on slower public WiFi at coffee shops, airports, and fast food joints, you may realize fast web speed is critical to a user's experience.
Earlier I mentioned how focused the MeetEdgar team is collecting emails.
After I critiqued their email course and content, I want to give more details of what the MeetEdgar team should do instead.
Social media automation is a cornerstone part of MeetEdgar’s brand. So doing some keyword research, I came up with a list of topics to write content about.
Here is a list of social media automation topics:
As I explained above and in my article “No Keywords Easy to Rank For? I Call ‘Bullcrap,’” you can look up your main keyword to find a bunch of relevant keywords.
Writing on a series of topics like this is known as a content hub. Content hubs help you grow in three ways:
As you can see, content hubs become a win-win for everyone. Once complete, the content team can repurpose this into an email marketing course and a self-published book on Amazon.
How valuable is this content hub for MeetEdgar? I’d estimate it will bring in an estimated $51,940/year.
Here’s my math:
MeetEdgar already wrote an article on Facebook automation. But the other topics have a massive amount of organic traffic potential. I got this number by looking at similar articles in Google, using Ahrefs to find all keyword traffic estimates, and then comparing it to the average click-through rates for the SERP position.
2% is a common benchmark of traffic to email opt-ins (11,168 clicks/month X .02 X 12 months = 2,680).
There are several assumptions at this stage. But I would assume MeetEdgar will also convert 2% of those email subscribers into customers.
SaaS startups have a churn rate of 3-5%. This means a customer lasts on average between 20 to 33 months. At 20 months, this would mean $51,940 a year in new revenue (53 customers/year X 20 months X $49/month = $51,940/year).
It’s reasonable to expect a so-so content writer to create eight long-form articles and repurpose into an email course in two months. That’s a mere one article a week, plus a little extra time for repurposing. For perspective, when I was at a content agency, our writers did 4-10 articles a week.
But let’s say MeetEdgar only does one content hub a quarter at the same estimated value. Four content hubs in a year + an email course would become $207,760/year.
From my observation, I wonder if MeetEdgar has at least one dedicated content marketer.
If they only have freelancers writing articles, I’d recommend getting someone to help solidify their content strategy. This could be from an in-house marketer, agency, or freelancer.
If MeetEdgar has a content writer, marketer, or strategist, I’d invest in their training. This would include learning more about SEO, copywriting, and content promotion.
As the marketer continues to grow, they can put the training into practice by creating content hubs, and repurposing them into email courses, books, and the like.
This growth audit is a sample of our full Growth Ramp Gap Analysis™. Click here to learn about our Gap Analysis Procedure™.