Trends - Discover New Markets and Ideas


Portrait of the maker

Dru Riley


Starter Stack
hours to build

Pricing your product

What is it:

Trends - Discover New Markets and Ideas

What did I learn:

To learn about Dru's story I would highly recommend you check out the link below.

Here is more about how Dru grew his newsletter from $0 to $20k/month in revenue. It's a great case study about trials before and then breaking through.

1. Pricing strategy: Dru initially started off sending a free newsletter, then he started charging for individual reports by pre-ordering the next report. But it did not work. No-one pre-ordered.

Pricing is hard. You have to figure out where the sweet spot is and sometimes be open to trying different things. The most important lesson I learned was that Dru was discovering where is the point of value inflection. Where is it that the user feels value, that they need to subscribe to get more and pay money for it?

What happened next was where Dru found it:

"It was the report number 11, paid newsletters, of just seeing so many examples of people doing this, I was like, “I’m going to give it a shot.” Even the strategy I used at first, it just failed. In the week leading up to when I was going to try to monetize, I was like, “Hey, you can pre-order the next report. Here goes the topic.”

"I think 102 people viewed it and no one bought it. So that following week, I can’t remember whether I charged for the next, but the topic changed. I can’t remember whether I charged for that report, but I was like, “That didn’t work out. No one bought.”"

" instead of going bi-weekly where you’re going to get a free report charge, I ended up doing something people close to me told me to do up until that point. They were like, “Just break the report down and make half of it free, make the other half paid.”

"I still don’t know anyone following this model of you can buy single reports and then there are like annual subscriptions but now there’s no monthly. I wish I knew. I don’t know why it worked."

So what is the principle that we learned? "Even though it’s not narrative based or telling a story there’s still this open loop that’s left open if you don’t purchase and close it, so I think that’s a great point."

"Creating an open loop. Help them solve for it."

Value creation: create and give value through whatever problem you are trying to solve for. Open a loop for them to show them the potential.

Value capture: Close the loop for them. How can they use it to produce some outcome?

2. No-code tool feature: Wordpress - Wordpress is both an underrated and overrated tool in the no-code space. It's really the OG of no-code but its a hassle to set up and learn the platform. It's a hassle to use the plug-ins that may not work well. Wordpress is a great solution for setting up a blog because if you aren't worried about the technical setup, its dependable and scaleable.

Wordpress is a great tool if you're proficient with it. I use it for and it's helpful in helping me setup subfolders to handle my URL structure. This matters if your strategy is SEO and you want to focus on using that as an acquisition strategy long term. Many sites like Carrd, don't support that type of URL structure.

There are other tools like Squarespace, which I tried before but their google meta tags and site description was always wrong and not working. I was really frustrated with this tool because it was not dependable.

Wordpress has a lot of front end setup, it may not have the shiny flashy web page templates, but if you are doing for simple presentation and a rock solid URL structure that can help you win SEO, its a dependable place to start.

3. No-code tool feature: Spiffy is a one-time Payments, Subscriptions, Payment Plans, etc.

I had not seen this tool before Dru Riley started using it in

From my initial research this looks like a really good tool to use if you want to customize your checkout process. For example, when I used Stripe plug-ins recommended by Wordpress it was an extremely limited experience. I could not create the checkout fields that I needed. I needed to build automations off of this to create a better custom experience.

What's more is that it appears to have some analytics and other information to help you. As a Maker of The Lean Side Project I think that this is really important and helpful to see because it can help you see if potential are getting stuck or what obstacles might be in their way preventing them from purchasing.

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