In Episode #300, Nathan interviews Jeff Epstein. Jeff’s the founder of Ambassador, a SaaS company that helps businesses track and optimise referrals to make their affiliates really work for them. Jeff manages a team of 43 people and made over $3.5 million in revenue in 2015. Listen in as he and Nathan break down Ambassador’s numbers and talk referrals, reaching negative churn, and not sweating the small stuff.
- Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
- What CEO do you follow? — Gary Vaynerchuk
- What is your favorite online tool? — Slack
- Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Definitely no
- If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —That it would be okay. I was really worried about things that didn’t matter.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
- 01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
- 01:45 – Welcoming Jeff to the show
- 02:05 – Raised just under $2.5 million in 2015 to grow their team
- 02:36 – Ambassador helps companies track and manage referrals
- 03:10 – Currently serving over 300 customers
- 03:21 – Per-user revenue averages $1500 per month
- 03:50 – Company started in 2009 and launched in 2010
- 04:10 – Jeff started an affiliate marketing company in college. He built his own software to support an affiliate idea he had – then realised the software was a better idea
- 04:50 – Revenue in the first year was almost nothing
- 07:00 – Funded real estate investments with the revenue from selling his first business
- 07:28 – Revenue in 2015 was $3.5 million
- 08:11 – Ambassador is a SaaS business
- 08:40 – Churn decreased as Ambassador moved up-market
- 09:16 – “We now require onboarding for every customer”
- 09:55 – Around 10% annual customer churn
- 10:40 – Measure both gross churn and net churn
- 12:15 – Net dollar churn is currently negative
- 13:00 – “Customer acquisition cost isn’t our biggest concern at the moment”
- 13:55 – “On our own referral programme we pay $525 per customers”
- 14:30 – Advertising in paid channels was around $25-50k in February 2016
- 15:33 – On average customers are paying $15-30k per year, and acquisitions cost $2-7k
- 16:15 – Most of the team are based in Detroit; some are in Colorado and some are remote
- 17:05 – Connect with Jeff on Twitter
- 19:20 – Famous Five
3 Key Points:
- Everything will be okay. Don’t get worked up over small things.
- High-value customers are often more committed. They’ve invested more in you and so churn is likely to be lower.
- Don’t worry if revenues are low when you start out. All businesses start somewhere.
- Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
- Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
- Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
- Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
- Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives