Minimum Viable Feature

Yesterday I launched an email marketing feature for Purlem. I’m calling it a “Minimum Viable Feature,” in that, it’s not completely built out yet. If a Purlem users wants to send out an email campaign, it will still take a manual effort from Purlem (ie me), to actually send out the email.

Obviously this isn’t scalable, or realistic for me to send out every email campaign for every Purlem user. However, launching this as a Minimum Viable Feature allows me to test if Purlem users really want it, before building out a full-blown automated feature.

Purlem users have been requesting this feature for a long time. My gut is telling me that this will be a good feature to add. However, my gut has been wrong in the past. If I had to be honest, I probably wasted a good year building out features into Purlem, that I thought the users wanted. I’m trying to avoid that mistake moving forward with this approach.

I’m also hoping that this feature helps with the churn problem Purlem has. “Churn,” is the number of users that cancel every month. Purlem has too many of these canceling users. The reason is simple - the campaign that their running has ended. No need to have the PURLs live anymore. And that makes sense. However, the more Purlem grows, the more users are canceling. It’s a vicious cycle, and can threaten to take out a business entirely. So by adding in email marketing, my hope is that this gives users a reason to stick around and keep sending out PURL emails.

This will also be the first time that we charge for something above the monthly subscription fee. To start, the cost set to send emails is 1¢/email. I’m not sure I like this. I like to keep the pricing simple and not tack on extra charges. However, from past experience, users like to exploit email marketing platforms that are free. So this is a sort-of protection against spam as well.

This is a test. Who knows if the feature will stick around forever, or not. But by making it a Minimum Viable Feature, it will be easy to scratch if needed.


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