Dear reader,

We had a dorky, data-filled week, so this is going to be a dorky, data-filled email. Rules are rules; if this email wasn’t about data, I’d feel like I wasn’t being honest about what Jeff and I have been up to.

We've been laser focused on the experience that new readers are having when they join the community. Our goal is to get new folks up and running as quickly as possible. "Up and running” is more than just reading and posting. The true "touchdown" is getting people to share posts externally, for example as tweets.

Let's jump in. This is real data, because we always keep it real:

So, during the calendar week that started on Sunday, April 5th, 321 new humans checked out Readup. (Again, that doesn’t include the hundreds of existing readers who also visited Readup.) That number is depressingly low, but also kind of a gift. We haven’t spent a penny on marketing, so it’s 100% thanks to people in our community (you!) telling other people they know (your friends!) about Readup. (Please keep doing that! It’s keeping us alive!)

Moving across that row: Of the 321 people who visited Readup, only 34 people created an account. That's a big drop-off. And of those 34 people who created an account, only 24 people even viewed an article. And of those 24 people who viewed an article, only 9 of them finished an article. And of those 9 people who finished an article, not a single person posted a Readup comment to Twitter.

The ratio (or “conversion”) of Visits to Signups is actually pretty healthy. Apps like Readup can’t expect more than ~10-20% percent conversion there. So we’re done fretting about the homepage design.

We expect to see people viewing articles but not finishing them. (Think of how many people get gym memberships but never actually go to the gym!) But that number is still nowhere near healthy. And the fact that only ~70% of new readers even glance at an article, immediately after creating an account is downright astounding. We have a million ideas, and a lot of work to do.

Here’s what’s so exciting: If we can get that last column up from zero, it will feed more Visits. These aren’t huge hurdles by any means (nothing compared to what we’ve built so far!) and once the flywheel is in motion, the growth machinery clicks into gear and - boom! - we’re viral. (Oh wait, I forgot, we are never again using that word!)

One more thing. I need to scream this because the data makes it super obvious: It’s downright absurd how intensely we rely on our most active users to keep Readup alive! If you are reading and making comments on a weekly basis, Jeff and I owe you so many beers we can’t keep track. The ship is floating because you’re bailing out the water, which gives us time to patch the holes.

This wouldn’t be fun if it wasn’t a challenge.

Stay real,