Peter, an iOS developer, founded Habitify, a behavior-tracking software that helps users create habits and define objectives. Despite initial inactivity, Habitify has grown to 20 employees, 1 million customers, and a $21,000 monthly income. Alan, the director of growth, is responsible for improving user acquisition, conversion, and retention strategies. Habitify aims to help users cultivate and track positive behaviors, ultimately helping them become better people.
Peter didn’t enjoy working as an iOS developer; he wanted to help people and change the world. A few months later, he unveiled the behavior-tracking software Habitify. There were no sales for the first several months. Currently, Habitify has 20 workers, 1 million customers, and a $21,000 monthly income. Here’s a little peek behind the scenes!
Let’s begin our interview! What is your background and what are you now concentrating on?
Good day! I’m Alan, the director of growth at Habitify, a multi-platform program that allows users to define objectives and create habits.
When I started working for the firm, its marketing had just begun. Since then, I’ve created and put into practice strategies to improve KPIs for user acquisition, conversion, and retention.
Please take notice that I too started off as a blank piece of paper. Prior to my economics major in college, I had no prior marketing background. I’m most proud of what you’re seeing right now, even if it’s not really notable.
The first startup to result from my co-founder’s ambition to improve the world is called Habitify. The program’s goal is to help users cultivate and keep track of positive behaviors so they may gradually become better people.
What is your background, and how did you come up with this idea about behavior-tracking?
Peter, one of my co-founders, played a key role in the creation of Habitify.
Only two years after joining his first business, iOS developer Peter was promoted to project manager. The pay was at the time higher than that of the majority of his employees.
But he wasn’t satisfied.
He’s always wanted to live life to the fullest and utilize his skills to make other people’s lives better. Although the promised job may give him a decent living, it would not be able to satisfy his needs.
As a result, he gave up.
Spending the following several months at home doing nothing (literally, he was looking for ideas for his new business) was a challenging beginning for him. Peter lacked motivation now that his mother was continuously nagging him to get out and do something (as Asian moms sometimes do with their sons who are slackers).
She once said, in the height of her rage, “You don’t know how to value life.” In Africa, hundreds of children are perish as you indulge in all of these delights.
Yes, it is the solution.
Peter had an idea. He wanted to build a ground-breaking smartphone app. Initially, he thought that a percentage of the profits from this program should be given to orphans in Africa. He did market research to determine his present market niche. This is the origin of the habit tracker Habitify. Every purchase generates a $1 donation to help African children get access to water.
How was Habitify created?
One year after my leave, Habitify was launched, but I was not there. Despite this, I got the sensation that I had seen the infant’s growth from beginning to end.
Peter told me that throughout Habitify’s first six months of business, there were no sales. The program was downloaded, but it was too basic to be useful for businesses. At originally, there were just three employees: Peter (an iOS developer), Dat (marketing), and Son (a designer). They shared a fifth-floor apartment without air conditioning where they worked and lived in the 40-degree summer heat of Vietnam.
I joined the group to help with the growth of the apps after Peter was left in charge of the operation alone. We were forced to work in a coworking space every day for more than six months because we lacked an office.
At the time, we were among the first habit trackers to aim to be cross-platform.
In addition to the initial trinity of Mac, iOS, and Apple Watch, Android and the Web were introduced last year. Our major goal was to simplify habit tracking as much as feasible. No matter the kind of technology you own, you could adopt certain habits.
Using this strategy, we grew the team from two people working remotely in 2018 and 2019 to over twenty.
The subject of pricing strategy is fascinating. A monthly recurring premium subscription used to just cost $2.99. A change in business strategy was required as a result of expenditures rising as Habitify extended to additional platforms. We started collecting separate $10 fees for iOS, macOS, and Android, which interfered with premium syncing.
It was extremely tough to manage, so we changed to our current strategy, which blends subscription and lifetime plans. I have a hard time believing we chose $39.99 for the lifetime version, $29.99 for the yearly version, and $4.99 for the monthly version. People keep on buying it! Our income is really higher than it has ever been (and growing)!
What marketing techniques did you use to grow your company?
There isn’t a straightforward answer to this. I think the success of our app was a result of a variety of marketing initiatives, including both traditional and non-conventional growth hacking strategies.
The localization and expansion of the software to other areas was one of the initial remedies for the meager income stream. Then, Habitify was published on Product Hunt in an effort to gain traction. We are now making our first purchase, six months later. when an employee’s pay cycle began for the first time.
Everything changed once Apple gave our firm a spotlight. It was quite well-liked. Millions of impressions every day resulted in thousands of downloads. People started to know about our independent app and spread the word about it. The news outlets covered us. Apple has once again featured us. After achieving 500,000 downloads in just two years, we will achieve one million downloads in a few months.
Following Apple’s announcement that Habitify was a New App We Love, we used a range of marketing techniques, such as Facebook ads, Instagram story ads, seasonal giveaways, referral campaigns, and special promotions.
Our most effective marketing tactics now place a strong emphasis on affiliate marketing and content marketing. One-time events, like Product Hunt launches and advertisements, were expensive and time-consuming.
Despite the fact that our marketing efforts have not significantly improved our sales, we are on the right route. Positively, compared to other kinds of advertising, our content initiatives greatly increase visitors’ LTV.
In 2020, content marketing will be one of our key areas of attention in order to promote the app sustainably. We are dedicated to offering the best software currently on the market and the most comprehensive blog on habit tracking and goal-setting.
What are your long-term goals?
Making Habitify the most successful habit tracker across all platforms is our goal. To be more precise, people must think of us first when they want a basic and uncomplicated habit tracker. We believe that profit is only a consequence. Although we don’t have a set income target in mind, we do want to raise it to a point where we can afford to fund the creation of additional apps.
The expansion and upkeep of Habitify in 2020 will necessitate the hiring of extra staff, which we will accomplish. The creation of a trustworthy, collaborative team is the main outcome of the stated aim. We are working to improve the Habitify brand’s appearance in order to make the app and all websites more user-friendly. A UX/UI specialist and more designers have been engaged. We are also looking for internal assessors to make sure the application is as thorough as it can be before significant changes.
800,000 installations were finished as of October 2019.
We are thinking about making a significant change to Habitify this summer. In order to identify the enhancements that will actually help customers remain on track and accomplish their goals, we are now running an ideation session. Habitify will go through a substantial change in 2020.
What were your biggest challenges, and how did you get over them?
The hardest job I had as a growth leader was figuring out how to advertise the company’s products profitably. Since each product has distinct qualities, it might be difficult to immediately put all of the standard procedures taught in the courses into practice. My product targets a tiny audience and competes in a market niche with little or no case studies.
You might argue that choosing the best channel involves striking a balance between your costs and return on investment. Finding the best channel takes significant testing and data analysis. I had to hunt for money even if the ROI was occasionally hazy because the findings of my consumer survey were clear-cut. On the rare times when the ROI was relatively obvious, I had to control my frustration as I watched my money disappear with basically no return.
I think my best course of action at this moment was to put everything on hold and reexamine the long-term goals for my product. This guided my decision-making around the tests I should run first and the expected outcomes. I’m depending on pricey, short-term techniques, but I’m also investing for the long term just in case.
My mother is a typical Asian woman who values spending time with her family and working at “traditional” state-owned companies. She kept whining about how I was usually late for supper and she was worried because I was so excited about this project. As soon as I started working on Saturdays (uncommon in Vietnam), the pressure from my family grew everyday, and I started to worry more about failed campaigns.
I chose to speak with her in order to explain what I am doing and the importance of my role inside the company, and I started by outlining every facet of my job in my mother’s language. She appears to be inside still nervous, despite the fact that the situation has calmed down. But no longer does she pressurize me at every late dinner.
What exactly are your biggest weaknesses? What were your biggest mistakes?
The team’s ignorance of the market is, in my opinion, Habitify’s worst shortcoming. The two nations with the greatest economies, the most varied cultures, and the most different social standards in the world are Japan and the United States, which are the focus of this article. A chunk of us continued to wheeze as we began to run commercials since we weren’t sure whether we were offering the “right” things to our customers. I further accept that because of this problem, we were unable to improve the product and put in place thorough marketing plans.
One of our biggest errors was investing in short-term growth hacking tactics, which I mostly blame on our ignorance of the market. Instead of building strong foundations, we spent far too much time hoping for quick fixes and bemoaning missed chances. I must admit that I failed to improve the company’s reputation since I was so concerned with making quick money. Although this resulted in a considerable cash loss for me, the harm to my reputation and the time I wasted were far larger.
What acts would you do in a different way if you had the chance?
I would put money into the company’s long-term projects, particularly its content and analytics projects.
We have a limited grasp of our loyal fans since we are hesitant to spend money on a complete analytics tool to track user attributes and all of their activities.
In substance, I wish my journey had started sooner. In my opinion, content is more useful than any other method of generating leads. The LTV of traffic from content is at least twice as high, if not three times as high, as that of traffic from direct shop searches. Massive volumes of traffic may be generated by permanent, evergreen content with little work.
What educational tools would you suggest to prospective businesspeople?
I found that the best way to learn was via networking with other business owners and freelance programmers through local and internet networks. By looking at my own activities through their eyes, I learn a lot of things that I never would have learned on my own.
I’d suggest Hacker News and Indie Hackers as great places to start. Likewise, the entrepreneur, enterprise, and venture subreddits are valuable.
I like exploring other people’s websites and products. I can constantly pick up fresh information about composition or their marketing approach. I feel this gives me a thorough awareness of the world and a multitude of concepts for new goods.
We gather unique stories where people could build a community or something amazing from their passion. We collect stories from all over the internet, to awake your muse and use your creative power. This case study was supervised by our team and it definitely caught our interest. You can find other creative stories here.