$704K MRR - Solo Founder SaaS

Story of Systeme - The all in one marketing tool for digital marketers

$704K MRR - Solo Founder SaaS
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Systeme is an all in one marketing tool doing $704K MRR.
  • Non technical solo founder
  • Built by 3 developers
  • Serving hundreds of thousands of users
Breaks all conventional wisdom -
  • Freemium pricing
  • Hyper competitive market
  • "All in one" product instead of a "niche"
This is there revenue chart -
notion image
It competes with -
  • Funnel builders like ClickFunnels, Groovefunnels, Thrive cart etc.
  • Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Mailerlite etc.
  • Course hosting platforms like Podia, Kajabi, Gumroad etc.
  • Website builders like Wix, Divi, Elemento etc.
It really is “All in one” 🤯
Systeme’s alternatives page is a work of beauty. Do take a look.
Conventional wisdom tells us that -
  • Your product should NOT be a swiss army knife (doing everything) instead it should be a Catana sword (doing one thing very well)
  • You should not compete on price in a crowded market.
  • If you can’t make something work in a year, you should give up and move on to the next project.
Well Systeme’s founder Aurélien Amacker has turned every piece of conventional wisdom on it’s head.

Starting up

He had a background in digital marketing - selling info products - courses, ebooks etc.
In 2015 - he decided to build a platform for other digital marketers like himself. He hired a dev agency to build it.
Realized the agency was very bad what it did. He says - “They had no idea, that they had no idea”
That’s dangerous. He ended up losing $34K and 6 months on that agency.
notion image
After much trial and error, he found a good developer via Upwork, and got him to build the product. Over time, he also hired a couple of more developers to build out more features.
Aurelian used his existing email list to get the first 400 customers for the product. And then kept growing afterwards.

Standing Out

At the time the leading player in the space was ClickFunnels (From Russel Brunson)
ClickFunnels was also the fastest growing non VC funded SaaS company of all time.
But ClickFunnels had no free plan, it was crazy expensive ($97/month), had an average product, and primarily served the US market.
2 Factors that contributed to Systeme’s initial success -
  • Focusing on the French market.
  • Offering a cheaper alternative to ClickFunnels.
This is how Aurelian describes his pricing strategy -
notion image
Even today - ClickFunnels doesn’t have a free plan, and starts at $127/ month
While Systeme has a generous free plan, it’s paid plans start at $27/month and its most expensive plan is at $97/month.

Top Growth Channel

Affiliates!
Aurelian comes from the affiliate marketing world. So he understands the power of affiliates better than most SaaS founders.
notion image
Today, Systeme offers a generous 60% commission to it’s affiliates. And according to the affiliates page on it’s website, it has payed our over $5M in affiliate commissions so far.
notion image

Lessons

Top lessons from Systeme’s success -
  • Partner up or hire folks with complementary skills - you don’t have to do it alone.
  • Geographical niches can have the riches - Systeme found PMF in the French, Dutch, Portugese markets before entering the English speaking world. If you know a geography well, you can find success by replicating a successful product from another geography.
And just keep trying…
20% of your efforts will yield 80% of your results.
This is Aurelian’s advice for folks starting out -
notion image
Hope you found this useful.
Cheers 🙌
Read Aurelean’s full interview on Indie Hackers back in 2019 -

Look Beyond Twitter

If you’re an introverted founder, trying to build a Twitter audience can feel like a daunting task.
But the reality is, you don’t have to do it.
There are other ways to get traction for your projects.
I think, for introverts -
  • Reddit/HN is the best short term marketing strategy.
  • SEO is the best long term marketing strategy.
I tweeted this out yesterday and got some interesting responses. Check it out.

Useful links you don't want to miss -

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Written by

Ayush
Ayush

Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for creators, solopreneurs and indie hackers | Simple tips and frameworks to help you build a sustainable solo business

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