Jen, the founder, explains that her post was flagged due to suspicious upvoting activity in the beginning, and that it was given a second chance by a HN moderator (Source).
According to Jen,”in the beginning, they (the users) came mostly from Hacker News and Twitter” (Source)
What’s interesting to note here is that Jen was actively looking for users dissatisfied with Mint, a strategy that ended up paying off, as 40% of her users are ex-Mint users (Source) !
As for Lunch Money’s Twitter presence, there’s an “official” Lunch Money’s twitter account : @lunchmoney_app (1,241 followers at the time of writing), but Jen also posts updates about the app on her personal account, @lunchbag (4,259 followers at the time of writing, 1,281 in August 2019)
This is another illustration of the whole “people trust people, not brands” concept.
In her Indie Hackers AMA, Jen said that SEO was one of Lunch Money’s main traffic sources, so I was interested in looking into Lunch Money’s best performing pages & backlinks.
The website’s SEO conversion rate is 7% (Source)
SEO clicks estimates are most likely inaccurate, especially taking into account the fact that the site gets around 93.4k visits each month (according to Similar Web), but in my opinion the takeaway here is the use of competitor competition pages. This is a very efficient SEO tactic for SaaS companies, and if you want to learn more about it, Marketing Examples has a great article that details how the online platform Podia uses it.
The website has a very diverse backlink profile :
Finally, let’s zoom in on one specific backlink : one from TechCrunch. Here’s how Lunch Money probably ended up here :
1)Journalist asks for best Mint alternatives on Twitter
My regular tweet about what alternatives to Mint anyone is using because, well, Mint.— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) January 13, 2020
2) Happy users mention Lunch Money
Check out Lunch Money by @LunchbagLabs— Bryan Irace (@irace) January 13, 2020
3) Jen chimes in
@panzer Feel free to reach out if you'd like to get set up with an account on Lunch Money!— Lunch Money - Get 40% off your first year! (@lunchmoney_app) January 14, 2020
4) Journalist includes Lunch Money in the article !
This shows that you don’t need to go around spamming blog owners for backlinks. Instead, building relationships in your field, and making users fans of your product will get you better backlinks, with less effort.
Lunch Money has a referral program with a reward for the user that signs up (one free month), and for the user that shared the referral link (10% off one invoice).
Jen regularly posts updates about Lunch Money on her personal blog, lunchbag.ca.
If you’re interested in solopreneurship, I’d definitely go check it out !
Here are my favorite ones :
Paid acquisition can be tricky for solo founders who don’t have VC money to burn.
My recommendations would be :
In a blog post, Jen reveals that she has tried Facebook ads, but it didn’t work : “I ended up sinking close to a thousand dollars for an abysmal number of conversions”
I’m not surprised, as the CPA for finance apps and products tends to be very high.
Jen hasn’t talked about this, but I assume that Google Ads didn’t work either, because I can see on SpyFu that she ran Google Ads from December 2019 to March 2020.
It clearly works : “[in a user survey], 20% of responses cited me as an indie developer as a reason why they love Lunch Money” (Source)
Absolutely love @lunchmoney_app. I can't believe it's made by one person!— dkdkang (@dkdkang) May 4, 2020
I love the design of the website, especially the free trial CTA !