For next year, I’ve planned to acquire 250 paying customers for my SaaS application. Let’s see if this target is realistic, and while we’re at it, let’s understand what a marketing funnel is.
The marketing funnel concept suggests that only some people visiting your website will immediately become paying customers.
Let’s calculate how many visitors we need to make the project viable:
- Only 1% of all website visitors (1st stage of the funnel) will sign up for a free account in the app (2nd stage of the funnel).
- Only 1% of free account users (2nd stage of the funnel) will upgrade to a paid plan (3rd stage).
It means that to get 250 paying customers, I need:
- 25,000 active freemium users,
- 2,500,000 unique landing page visitors.
For a side project done solo, these figures seem abstract. But note that if you manage to increase the conversion rate from 1% to 3% (the median for the SaaS sector), these numbers become much more feasible and are:
- Approx. 8,250 freemium users,
- Approx. 275,000 unique visitors.
Let’s check if there are even that many potential users globally. In my previous posts, I mentioned that my target audience is makers.
first stage of the funnel
According to Raspberry Foundation data, they have sold around 45 million Raspberry Pi models. An estimate from one of the microcomputer distributors suggests that ⅓ of the sold devices were for private use, with the rest going to industry and education.
The 45 million devices cover all RPi models produced since 2012. Let’s safely assume that an average maker owns 5 different models (I have 2 × Pico, 2 × RPi v. 4, and version 5 is on its way), which gives us about 3 million individual users.
A Raspberry Pi user is an electronics and programming enthusiast, perfectly fitting the profile of my target audience. Hence, it’s sizable enough.
second stage of the funnel
The official Raspberry forum has around 370,000 users. Forum users actively use their purchased microcomputers or microcontrollers, so there’s a high likelihood they’ll be interested in trying out a new tool that improves their daily use.
Of course, many of them are inactive now, but this figure is still much higher than the previously calculated number of needed freemium users.
third stage of the funnel
And finally – the potential number of premium users. In a community collection for the development of MicroPython (the primary language my application will support), around 2,000 people participated, raising nearly £100,000.
I know that Kickstarter campaigns have their dynamics, but this example shows that makers are open to innovations and willing to pay for them.
The collected data shows that my goal of acquiring 250 paying customers is achievable. However, the paper will bear anything written on it, so it’s time to test the hypothesis in action – first, with a landing page and sign-ups for a waitlist, followed by an MVP.