How to grow and maintain 175,000 weekly active users

Interviewee: Jonny Plein, Pouch
Interviewee: Jonny Plein, Pouch

This week's interview is with Jonny Plein, founder of Global Savings Group acquisition, Pouch.

Pouch is a browser extension that automatically applies voucher codes at checkout, reducing basket abandonment for brands and finding the best deals for users.

Pouch works with most of the largest UK brands and has around 150-175k weekly active users (!).

In this interview we discuss:

- Getting in +150 large publications.

- Appearing on Dragon’s Den (that’s the UK's version of Shark Tank).

- Skyrocketing visitor count (40k live visitors) and user conversions (2k to 60k in days) after the show.

- Dealing with churn.

- Reaching product-market fit.

- Creating 'wowing' customer experiences.

- The acquisition of Pouch 18 months ago by GSG.

This is such an exciting interview and the second one we’ve done with Dragon’s Den founders (check out Pasta Evangelists.) They’ve always got an interesting story to tell.

Three learnings you shouldn't miss from this interview

When you go viral, you have to be prepared to measure, capture and retain users.

Pouch appeared on Dragon's Den (UK's Shark Tank) and when their episode went live they got 40,000 live visitors for 15 straight minutes.

Their browser extension gained an incredible 38,000 new users within the next few days.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of user churn over the next few days. And Pouch's internal analytics capabilities weren't properly setup to see which users were churning and why.

This was a turning point for Pouch because they spent the next 6 month building out their consumer analytics platform. This enabled an understanding of metrics like CPA and LTV— metrics fundamental to raising VC funding.

Knowledge of your customer is a powerful advantage. Understanding the reasons for churn is core to building features that retain or removing customer friction.

The Pouch team also built an uninstall survey asking for feedback. A powerful way for the team to work out what users did and didn't like.

Conversation analytics tools are often used by firms to capture insight from support chats. But, custom analytics is key to know where users were acquired from and where they're leaving from.

Features that create make users go 'wow!' are powerful, so build customer experience into the product

Anyone that's used Pouch will probably have experienced the same kind of wow feeling.

There's just one moment when you go to checkout at an online store and it automatically applies multiple discounts codes in seconds, and you watch it roll through them rapidly and feel like: 'so cool!'

This wasn't actually in the first Pouch feature. It was a conscious effort to improve customer experience and retain more customers.

Before, you had to click copy and paste on each potential voucher code. Now you could click one button and check them all.

Jonny Plein also attributes a huge reduction in customer churn to reducing the number of notifications sent to the user in the customer journey.

Pouch cleverly focused on one notification at the highest point of customer delight: when they'd saved money.

At that point, when the customer was feeling warm and fuzzy for having saved a ton of money, they would ask them to review Pouch or follow them on Facebook. Smart.

You need to hustle to get the best PR

Firstly, when approaching PR it's key to make step by step progress from small to bigger publications.

Using each PR article you create to persuade the next, ideally larger, publication to talk about you.

Jonny Plein gave us another pro tip: journalists are fundamentally lazy. Write the story for them or they won't publish it for you.

The Pouch team knew that Money Saving Expert would be an ideal publication. Being a website with huge traffic from users trying to save money, their visitors were ideal customers.

So Jonny went down to their head office with 24 Krispy Kreme donuts and gave it to his ideal journalist and their team.

This one didn't work out but ultimately these hustle tactics (a couple more examples are shared in the podcast) landed Pouch in +100 of the largest British publications. Driving huge user growth.

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