Companies Pay Her $10-100k to Text Customers Funny Messages

Jessica Lee

In Episode #744, Nathan interviews Jessica Lee. Nathan met Jessica a few months ago and Jessica toured Nathan in 500 Startups’ office in San Francisco. She’s the founder of Bitesize. She helps companies drive revenue with text message conversations.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – #GIRLBOSS
  • What CEO do you follow? – Sophia Amoruso
  • Favorite online tool? — Trello
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6-8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Everybody has the same kind of challenges and overcoming them is the REAL WORK

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:37 – HandStack and Bitesize are the same company
  • 01:49 – Bitesize helps brands drive revenue through interactive text messaging
  • 02:00 – A new movie studio has a new movie and wants to reach a million movie goers
    • 02:10 – Bitesize will reach people by text message
    • 02:20 – The messages will be from a movie character and the approach is interactive
    • 02:42 – Bitesize will drive the person to a download link at the end of the conversation
  • 03:01 – Building a list for text is the challenge for Bitesize
  • 03:25 – Bitesize uses manual texting tool
    • 03:40 – There’s a law that’s protecting consumers where you can’t randomly message people with algorithms or without human intervention
    • 03:56 – Bitesize helps client send text with manual human intervention
  • 04:27 – Jessica shares how an actual message happens
    • 04:30 – The company will create a group chat, add people, and click send manually
    • 04:39 – People’s reply will go to your app and you can continue to interact with them
  • 05:08 – The difference with the usual group text and from Bitesize is, you don’t get to see other people’s messages
  • 05:34 – Bitesize charges per text and data
    • 05:42 – Per text charge is .25₵
  • 06:11 – Most of Bitesize’s costs is from data
    • 06:16 – Twilio is at .02₵
    • 06:45 – Data charges can go up to .16₵
  • 06:58 – BiteSize’s clients pay them for their marketing skills too
  • 07:15 – For a thousand new messages, an average of 6% will reply which a lot higher than social media ads
  • 07:45 – A lot of Bitesize’s customers will send millions of texts
  • 08:13 – Revenue is measured by campaigns: 140 for the last 6 months
  • 08:41 – Bitesize has raised $125K from 500 Startups
  • 08:56 – Team size is 6
    • 09:03 – 3 in the bay area and 3 elsewhere
  • 09:26 – Average MRR
  • 09:58 – 50% of the campaigns are paying quarterly and some campaigns are daily
    • 10:20 – Each campaign pays an average of $10K to $100K for the .25₵ per text messages
  • 10:43 – 10% of Bitesize’s customers are from referrals
    • 10:50 – Initially, Bitesize was focused on outbound sales
    • 11:08 – “Because our product was so unique, people like to know what it is”
  • 11:38 – Bitesize originally started with political campaigns
    • 11:49 – Because of Jessica’s background, most campaigns are for the democrats
  • 12:29 – Jessica believes that Bitesize is a tool that is meant to connect people in a more meaningful way than ads
  • 13:05 – 2013 revenue is around $250
  • 13:17 – 2016 revenue is $300K for 6 months
    • 13:30 – They pivoted to a more commercial use case in the final 6 months
  • 13:40 – 2017 target
  • 13:59 – “My hope is to grow organically”
  • 16:05 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Texts can be very spammy but if done right, the return is better than with online ads.
  2. Messages should connect people in a more meaningful way.
  3. Growing organically is cheaper, and it creates more resonance, but it’s harder to do.

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Simplero – The easiest way to start and sell your course
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives