eTailInsights Bootstrapped, $1.4m ARR Ecommerce Data with CEO Darren Pierce


In Episode #539, Nathan interviews Darren Pierce. He’s the founder and CEO of eTailInsights. Prior to launching the business, he has spent many years working with B2B companies specializing in leadership, strategic development, client relationships, and maximizing revenue growth. Darren was the Director of Sales for First Research which was acquired by Hoover. Darren helped Bronto Software accelerate their revenue market share to become the leading email service provider in the e-commerce industry. He’s a graduate of The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University with 2 BSBAs in Management and Marketing.



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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hockey Stick Principles
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Buffer
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Darren wished that his 20-year old self could have been more patient

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:50 – Nathan introduces Darren to the show
  • 02:35 – Darren didn’t want to leave Bronto Software, but he came up with the eTailInsights’ idea and couldn’t let it pass
  • 02:53 – Darren joined Bronto, in 2008, to help sell their email marketing and make offers to online retailers
    • 03:25 – One of the early problems in Bronto was how to find the companies/retailers
  • 03:47 – eTailInsights is a database that indexed the e commerce companies
  • 04:03 – eTailInsights is a SaaS business
  • 04:10 – Average MRR/ARR
    • 04:43 – The pay is manual upfront
  • 04:48 – eTailInsights was launched in 2011
  • 04:51 – Total 2015 revenue
  • 05:15 – 2016 goal
  • 05:50 – Average MRR
  • 06:18 – Average churn is adjusted
  • 06:50 – CAC
    • 07:29 – eTailInsights’ average pay per click
  • 07:48 – LTV
  • 08:25 – eTailInsights has been tracking hundreds of thousands of retailer globally
  • 08:36 – eTailInsights will start indexing next year
  • 08:58 – Number of current companies is 3000
  • 09:09 – The three biggest competitors of eTailInsights
  • 10:08 – Exit is not Darren’s priority at the moment
    • 10:16 – Darren’s dream number is $100M
    • 11:18 – Darren wants to know how far his business can go
  • 11:30 – eTailInsights is completely bootstrapped and they have $100K in it
  • 12:06 – Current head count
  • 12:20 – Average compensation
  • 12:36 – eTailInsights’ location
  • 12:52 – eTailInsights sourced their own data and they built their own tech
  • 14:38 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. When you become predictable, you lose SO much leverage.
  2. If the idea of a business strikes you, go with that passion and just do it.
  3. Be patient—it takes patience to be a successful entrepreneur.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal– Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives