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How my dev tool made $10,041 in 4 days

gabe_ragland profile image Gabe Ragland Updated on ・6 min read

Hey Dev.to community,

I just wanted to share how a recent feature launch for my dev tool (divjoy.com) ended up making $10,041 in 4 days. That's more than its earned in the previous 4 months! What's more, this happened in entirely on Twitter. I'll be talking about some things I learned, pricing insights, as well as tactics for launching on Twitter and keeping the hype going for multiple days. Okay, let's do this β›·

βš›οΈ The product

Divjoy is tool that allows you to generate a custom Node + React codebase with everything you need for your next project like authentication, database, subscription payments, marketing pages, forms, account settings, etc. Everything works out of the box.

Unlike most templates or boilerplates, Divjoy allows you to customize your technical options and template in a low-code editor before downloading your codebase. That means you get exactly what you need, nothing you don't, and you can get right to working on your actual product (you know, the fun part!).

πŸ€” Launch planning

The feature I launched was Stripe payments integration. This was a big step for the product because it meant that customers would now be able to export a complete SaaS app. Just export your code, add some environment variables, and you've got a functioning web app with pricing page, Stripe payments flow, customer billing management, webhooks, and everything else you need.

I knew there was a good number of people waiting on this feature, but I really wanted to do everything I could to ensure the launch was a success. Frankly, being a solo-founder is tough and I knew that I needed more than a small uptick in sales from this to keep my enthusiasm and productivity going strong.

After some lively debate between me and my dog (what can I say, this whole pandemic thing is getting to me), I decided to combine the launch with an awesome lifetime deal. For $49 you'd get access to Divjoy for life. That's less then the normal yearly price! Maybe I went a bit overboard on the discount, but I decided it was better to hedge my bets on a successful launch even if it meant leaving money on the table.

In terms of where and how to launch, that honestly didn't require too much planning. My entire audience is on Twitter and I know Twitter well. My plan was to post an announcement tweet in the morning and periodically update the thread throughout the day with product details and launch stats (more on this tactic later).

The last thing I did was add an announcement to the homepage:

homepage

And update the pricing section to show the deal:
pricing section

β˜€οΈ Launch day

The launch started with a single tweet on Thursday, July 2nd. Here's a screenshot + some tips for a successful feature launch tweet:

launch tweet with tips

Likes and retweets started rolling in pretty quickly. Basically, my Twitter followers are awesome people and have made every single one of my launches successful. I really wouldn't be anywhere without their support ❀️

The major difference this time was that sales were coming in quickly as well. In past feature launches I might see a couple hundred people hit the website and 5 extra sales that day, but this time I passed 5 sales within the first 20 minutes. And I hadn't even mentioned the deal yet...

A little while later I added a new tweet to the thread, announcing the lifetime deal and some perks.

deal tweet

And sales started coming in even faster and continued at a steady pace over the next 48 hours. I continued to update the thread over the course of the launch, but ending up spending the vast majority of that time answering support questions and giving new customers advice on how to extend their code. It was exhausting and hard to keep up.. but also really validating to see so many people hacking away on product ideas right after purchasing. That's the whole point! A lower barrier to entry means more people building that idea they've always wanted to build.

By the time the deal ended Friday evening it had done $7,448, but I ended up extending through the weekend after waking up to a bunch of messages from people asking if it was too late.

πŸ“ˆThe final results

πŸ‘€ The Twitter thread was viewed 127,384 times
πŸ‘‹ Sending 2,619 people to divjoy.com
πŸ’¬ Resulting in 46 support chats and 9 screen-share sessions
πŸ’Έ Driving $10,041 in sales over 4 days

πŸ€— What worked

I really really did not expect things to go so well and was honestly kind of baffled the whole time. After finally getting some good sleep Sunday night and reflecting on what happened I came up with a few thoughts:

  • There was pent up demand for Stripe integration. A lot of people waiting to buy Divjoy wanted to build a SaaS product and now they finally could. I think it's also safe to assume that people building paid products are generally more willing to shell out some cash to speed things up.
  • The lifetime deal made it an easy decision. Use Divjoy once at any point in the future and you've gotten your money's worth. Hell, even if you simply wanted to use it as a reference or see how I handle some specific edge case around auth or payments it's worth the $49.
  • The members-only community was appealing, even though I only briefly hinted at it in one of my tweets. A good number of customers brought this up and it was clearly a factor in their purchasing decision. People need community now more than ever and I've got big plans for this.
  • I kept the Twitter hype going. By spacing out tweets in my Twitter thread over 4 days I ensured that it would keep getting bumped to the top of people's newsfeeds. Periodic updates about how the launch was going created a fun story people could follow. Lastly, if someone tweeted about how they grabbed the deal or shared a testimonial I made sure to immediately retweet them. This is free publicity, shows people you appreciate their support, and the more you do it the more it encourages other people to buy and share.

😬 What could have been better

  • I could have done a better job at showing videos of the product and Stripe integration. After someone asked, I quickly recording a video, but this could have been much better.
  • I could have launched in more places (like Dev.to, Indie Hackers, and HN). I planned on doing this but never found the time with the sheer number of support requests coming in.
  • If I had known it would blow up like this I'd have prioritized getting a really good FAQ in before the launch rather than later. Less time answering common questions would have freed me up for more important things.

🌈 What's next?

All in all I'm ecstatic about how the launch went. I was hoping to break $1,000 in sales and ended up doing 10x that. What more can I ask for?

Since the launch I've spent most of my time talking to new customers and learning about what they're building. Over the next month I'm going to be focused on expanding the selection of templates/components, working on an improved onboarding flow, and finally getting my SEO game together.

I hope you found this writeup interesting and that it helps inform your next launch. Feel free to drop any questions you have in the comments below.

Useful links

πŸ”— divjoy.com?promo=devto (40% off deal for you)
πŸ”— twitter.com/gabe_ragland

Posted on by:

gabe_ragland profile

Gabe Ragland

@gabe_ragland

Building divjoy.com. Made usehooks.com. YC alum. βš›οΈ 🐢 β˜•οΈ

Discussion

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Congrats! You've got what you deserve :)
If you're smart enough and dedicated to building such great integrated all-together things then why not to have some $$ for that. And that's not so big amount of money, is just the minimum of what a good product deserves.

 

Congrats! Thanks for sharing, simple but worked.

 

Congrats Gabe and thanks for sharing your story. It seems simple but I'm sure it took a lot of dedication and hard work. You earned those $$ big-time!

 
 

Thanks for sharing. Also congrats on the success.

 
 

Congrats, and thanks for sharing. Doesn't know that Twitter is a marketing machine for devs.. Thought it is kinda dead and things go via reddit or discord..

 

Yeah it really depends on your following! There is a strong React community on Twitter and I find that Twitter is generally more receptive to sharing of your own work. From my experience Reddit and Discord servers tend to be fairly anti-self-promotion (makes sense given that people haven't opted-in into seeing your stuff).

 
 

Hi Gabe, I see that you were in a YC batch with a previous startup of yours called imgfave.
What happened to that startup?

 

Hey Liviu, it did pretty well for a few years after YC, but there were lots of competitors in the image sharing space (Pinterest, Imgur, etc) and traffic + ad revenue eventually started declining. I actually kept it alive until somewhat recently.. but was finally time to pull the plug. Was a great experience though and learned a ton :)

 

Hi Gabe, must have been quite the ride.

I think it's fantastic that you did not give up on your dream of being an entrepreneur.

Personally, I did hear about Divjoy a few months ago. Loved the idea.

A few years ago, I thought that all startups that get accepted into YC end up being successful.

But from what I'm reading about the batches from the last few years, a lot of them don't even get extra funding after Demo Day.

Yeah there are so many ways a startup can fail. YC gives you money and advice from smart people, which increases your odds of success by ~5-20%.. but founders need to actually build something people want and will pay for (which is super hard!)

 

Well done Gabe! Bright future ahead for Divjoy, I am sure of it!

 

Thanks for the support Daniel!