Danielle Shares Growth Strategy for Acquiring 400 Customers for ‘Leave Me Alone’

Danielle is the founder of Leave Me Alone - a tool to easily unsubscribe from emails
 

Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?

Leave Me Alone is a service that makes it easy to unsubscribe from unwanted emails and get your inbox back under control. 
 
Once you're done unsubscribing, you can combine your remaining newsletters into one of our Rollups. These digests let you receive your favorite mailing lists daily or weekly on your schedule.
 
Finally, Inbox Shield allows you control over who can continue to email you. We screen each new email you receive and you can decide if you want to allow them to keep emailing you, or block them permanently!
 
Leave Me Alone was born from a real problem that both James and I wanted to solve for ourselves. We were both plagued by unwanted emails so we searched for a product that would help us get our inboxes back under control.
 
We found a few free solutions but that meant that our data would get sold for marketing. This was not something we wanted, so we set out to create our own service!
 

How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?

It took a little over 2 years to reach 50 customers subscribed to a monthly plan, and 1 year on we just reached 400 customers!
 
Leave Me Alone isn't the first product we've built, but it is the first that's seen any success! We've had several failures along the way and learned some important lessons; build something that solves your own problem, get feedback early and often, and keep the feature-set lean and launch quickly.
 
What's worked really well for us is building Leave Me Alone in the open. We documented everything about building Leave Me Alone on Twitter and in Indie Maker communities such as Makerlog and Women Make. We built up a community of people interested in our journey of building a product from scratch with no outside help or funding, and that in turn gained us more followers and a bigger audience to reach.
 
We couldn't afford to do any paid marketing, but the best marketing is happy customers recommending your product and talking about it on social media. We talked to our customers and asked for feedback on new features and design choices. We couldn't have built Leave Me Alone without them so it was important that they were involved.
 
 

Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?

Leave Me Alone is built using JavaScript. We use React for the front-end, Node for the back-end, and MongoDB for our database. Everything is custom built which means it takes us a little longer to make changes and add new features but we're proud of our unique design and think it's worth it!
 

What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?

The most essential tools would be our MacBooks! But, if you meant software then we couldn't live without Telegram, we use it for our support chat and events channel.
 
 

What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?

Always look at the bigger picture! You shouldn't agonise over the day-to-day fluctuations in revenue or customers - it will just drive you mad.
 
When we recently reached 400 customers it felt like it had taken months and we were worried that our growth had plateaued. However, when I created a chart showing the last 90 days to analyse the data it showed a slow and steady growth with only a few flat weeks. Notifications for every payment or cancellation are useful in the beginning, but after the first $1k MRR they become a distraction.
 
 
Some of my favourite newsletters that I have in my Rollups are;
Maker Mind from Anne-Laure Le Cunff
Marketing Examples from Harry Dry
The Privacy Newsletter from Simple Analytics
Digital Wellness from This Too Shall Grow