Case study: How Ripplepop evolved into a WordPress Developer as a Service.

WRITERS: DARLINGTON; VOKE

Ripplepop is a Word Press support service for website owners and agencies that need “simple, reliable, and scalable daily Word Press help.”

That means you can hire any of Ripplepop’s Word Press developers to handle all your Word Press tasks or headaches. One of Ripplepop’s unique features is their flexible payment plan, you don’t need to sign any contract upon subscribing and subscriptions can be cancelled if customers aren’t satisfied with their services.

Initial Product// Jordan Johnson co-founded Ripplepop with his friend Michael, in 2014 while working at ad agency, Ogilvy and Mather. He left the agency to start BuildThis, a startup that designed websites and software for customers.

BuildThis was later sold, but the new owners were mostly interested in the brand name, and did not want to have to service the majority of BuildThis customers.

Jordan and Michael saw an opportunity to continue serving their old customers, so they started Ripplepop. Now they could continue building websites and keep their old customers happy, but lean times eventually forced them to adapt strategy.

“So the problem that we were often facing was that it just felt like we were searching for the next big sale to keep us running for two to three months where all we were doing was fishing for the next big job that would keep the doors open.” Said Jordan in an interview.

The young entrepreneurs quickly realized that their existing business model of depending on the next big client was not a sustainable one. 

While searching for a more efficient fit, they discovered that a website called WPCurve had been purchased by GoDaddy. WPCurve offers Word Press support to small business owners that don’t have the time to manage or maintain their website.

The WPCurve model looked like a better model for Ripplepop to adopt, so Jordan and Michael devised a monthly support plan to focus on generating predictable monthly recurring revenue rather than getting paid on a per project basis.

Traction// Ripplepop got its first set of customers from their old business. BuildThis had a good amount of customers that still required Word Press help, so Ripplepop again, niched their market to attend to those needs.

Before long, Jordan and Michael began discussing plans to attract new customers and Facebook ads was their clear choice, because being a two-man business, they felt it best helped to maximize their time.

The founders began to test different ads on different audiences. This strategy helped them find their target customer base.

“Now all we do is run ads to our audiences we know work, and then continually test ads on new audiences to see what else might work.” Johnson remarked with a smile.

One of the biggest problems, subscription-based businesses face is churn-rate. However, Ripplepop have learned to retain their customers by offering them quality and customer friendly Word Press developers who work quickly and efficiently. Customer communication and experience is another way Ripplepop retains its customers, by trying to provide their customers with the best experience (onboarding, quality of service, customer support, etc) and constantly requesting feedback.

“A happy customer won’t leave your service if they can afford it or if they are able to make a profit from your service. Keeping your customers happy is the key to developing strong and long-lasting relationships.” Johnson further revealed.

Business Model// Being a subscription based Word Press support service, RipplePop hire Word Press experts to help customers work on their daily Word Press tasks using their preferred project management tools (Slack, Asana, Basecamp, etc.).

The company initially started out with a $79/month subscription plan for single website projects, then extended that to a $370/monthly plan for an unlimited number websites, before ultimately settling on more flexible plans that enabled developers work on paid daily, or weekly tasks.

What\’s in it for you ?

Word Press powers over 30% of websites on the internet. This has ensured a demand for support and maintenance, which, in turn, has given rise to Word Press support services like Ripplepop where businesses can hire Word Press developers. This model has helped Ripplepop earn impressive amounts of monthly revenue.

Most small businesses run their websites on Word Press CMS but tend to lack the technical expertise and time to effectively manage their websites.

Sounds like an opportunity?

Like Jordan and Michael, remember the following steps:

1. Offering an ordinary Word Press site build, is no longer enough. Add a recurring revenue service such as Word Press support to avoid feast and famine cycles.

2. Setup a website. Your website should explain what you are offering, in simple terms. Example: ‘RipplePop provides simple, reliable, and scalable daily Word Press help’.

3. Showcase your pricing packages. The expected delivery time and outcome should be clearly indicated on your website. Also helps to setup recurring payment pages on Stripe and PayPal. (Your pricing packages should flexible and affordable, whether daily, weekly or monthly.)

4. Establish an easy medium for customers to reach out to you when they visit your website. Integrate a live-chat software like Tawk.to and add a link to your email and/or contact number on the homepage.

5. Testimonials matter. Look for testimonials and add to your website.

6. Run Facebook ads to get traction, test different ads on different audiences. Measure what works and what doesn’t.

7. Hire or partner with quality WP developers. Train them to be customer friendly and deliver their task on time.

8. Customer experience is an important key to customer retention. Deliver seamless onboarding process, and great customer support and quality of service.

9. Your developers should be able to work with your customers on their preferred project management platforms. So, when hiring, look out for versatile developers.

10. Ask your customers for feedback. Customer feedback is important. Take it seriously.

11. Look for a mentor, someone running a website development or support service to guide you on your journey, like a business coach.

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