Justin Cooke

August 3, 2015

While I’m a little behind publishing our June report, I’m happy to say that June 2015 was our best month ever.

With more than $556K in brokered sales for the month, we just passed the $4M mark in all-time websites sold – sweet!

That’s our fourth month in a row with $300K+ website sales for the month and puts us ahead on our goal to do $4M in 2015.

We’ll get into all the details in the report below, but I wanted to start with a big thank you to our team. Without them, there’s no way we would have been able to facilitate all of these transactions, answered customer service requests, etc. As we continue to grow, it’s important that we keep up the same level of dedication and commitment to our customers that got us here.

As always, our goal is to share with you our successes and failures in the hopes that they help you build and grow your own profitable business. Our hope is that this report encourages, inspires, and helps you as you build your online empire.

Executive Summary – June 2015

Brokered website sales carried the bulk of our revenue in June. We’re still committed to a beta launch of our investor program, but that was primarily pushed to July/August so that our team could remain focused on the marketplace.

Here’s a look at all of our revenue streams over time:

EF Overall Revenue June 2015

June 2015

Business Data:

  • Total Team: 25
    • Customer Heroes: 12
    • Management: 3
    • Apprentices: 2
    • Contractors: 8
  • Contact Records: 32,993 32,013 (+980 from previous month)
  • Email Subscribers: 21,369 (+466)
  • Site Visits: 40,091 (-9,293)

Earnings:

  • Brokered Site Sales: $556,631.26 (+199,378.26)
  • Brokered Site Earnings: $79,835.15 (+$26,475.48)
  • Listing Fees: $5,437.00 (+$2,376.00) 17 new, 4 returning
  • Investor Program Raised: $195,000.00 (+$0.00)
  • Our Sites Sold: $1,463.50 (+$1,463.50)
  • Additional Revenue: $804.22

TOTAL Revenue: $87,539.87 (+$29,739.03)

Revenue Breakdown

Now that we’ve looked at the overall numbers, let’s look at a breakdown of each section to see how it played out.

Brokered Site Revenue

Here’s a look at our all-time brokered site sales:

EF Marketplace All Time June 2015

And our month-by-month breakdown:

EF Marketplace Monthly June 2015

We successfully brokered 25 websites in June with the largest at $153K and the smallest at $3.3K. This brought our total brokered sales for the month to $556,631.26. We only earn a percentage from those sales, so this brought our total company revenue to $79,835.15.

In addition to selling more sites (and larger, 6-figure sites), we’ve also been adjusting the multiple used in valuation to more closely match the results of our Valuation Tool.

This has changed a few things:

1. We’re attracting larger sites. Now that sellers see we’re listing (and selling) 6-figure businesses, they’re more comfortable listing and selling their business with us.

2. We’re attracting better sites. With multiples now ranging up to 35X (monthly net profit), we’re seeing sellers that weren’t enticed at 20X considering the sale of their business.

3. Buyers have more time to find the right sites. While this isn’t true in the Sub-$10K range, the five and six figure buyers have more time to perform due diligence to make sure they’re picking up the right site for their portfolio.

We’ll continue to grow and gain market share if we continue to do larger, higher-quality deals for both buyers and sellers.

Website Listing Fees

We saw another bump in listing fees for June, bringing in $5,437.00 for the month.

  • 17 First-time listings @ $5,049.00
  • 4 Repeat listings @ $388.00

This is an important number for us as it ensures our marketplace will remain stocked with new, fresh listings.

Our Valuation Tool is a big driver here, but we’ve also been experimenting with a process where we reach out to potential sellers to encourage them to sell their websites with us. We’re calling it the “Seller Acquisition Program”.

The SAP is a long-shot from our perspective, but the potential upside is so great it’s worth testing it out. We have our team working on a cold email campaign that targets and selects potential sellers based on some very specific criteria.

We won’t know how this is working out for a few months, but we’re hopeful we’ll get some great new listings out of this campaign.

Investor Program

If you’d like more of an explanation on this section, I’d suggest checking out April’s Report.

We brought on another $195K for the investor program in June, with a plan to wrap up the first round in July/August.

We’ve held off on acquiring new properties with this investment with a plan to pool the cash from several investors into a larger pot. The idea is we can target larger (more interesting?) acquisitions while maintaining a balanced, diversified portfolio.

We’re looking to have around $500K – $700K in total funds available and have commitments from investors to match.

We’ll spend July and the first couple of weeks in August rounding out the package with a plan to start making purchases in Aug/Sep for the pooled investor portfolio.

Additional Revenue

We ended up selling the smallest of the recovered sites from the Russian Scammers in June for $1,463.50. The other two are still under our control and we’re making changes and improvements to the sites that will (hopefully) allow us to sell them in the next 3-6 months.

I’ve lumped all of our additional earnings for the month into this section, bringing in a total of $804.22.

This includes residuals from our outsourcing company, affiliate payments, eBook sales, etc.

We get asked to be affiliates for or promotes lots of new offers on a weekly basis. While I can appreciate the time, effort, and energy these people have put into creating the programs/software and reaching out to potential affiliates, I view this as a real distraction from our core business and almost always decline.

Traffic And Audience

Here’s a look at our site’s traffic, podcast downloads, and email list for June, 2015.

Blog Traffic & Analytics

After a huge may, we saw things settle down a bit in June with an 18% decrease, down to 40,091 sessions for the month.

Here’s a look at our overall traffic in June:

GA Overall June 2015

And a look at our traffic sources and deposits for the month:

GA Channel Deposits June 2015

Our deposits were at 195 in June – up 18% over the previous month. Most were from our usual sources (Organic, Direct, etc.) but I made some changes in Google Analytics that are now showing deposits that came from our email list. The deposits coming from our weekly new listing emails account for nearly a third of our total deposits.

Here’s a look at our referral traffic for June, 2015:

GA Referrals June 2015

Ignoring the top two (spam), Twitter and Reddit topped the charts, followed by a nice mention over on Matthew Woodward’s blog.

Here’s a look at our top content in June:

GA Top Content June 2015

Our Marketplace pulled in most of the visits, followed by our Homepage, Valuation Tool, and How It Works page.

Our Top 3 Listings:

Listing #40235 – $908K eCommerce apparel business.

Listing #40230 – $23K services site in the divorce niche.

Listing #40216 – $277K weightloss affiliate site.

Our Top 3 pieces of content:

Round-Up Post About Buying Websites

How To Sell Your Website

Our Monthly Business Report – May 2015

Podcast Downloads

We dropped down just a bit with podcast downloads, pulling in 13,445 for the month:

EF Podcast Downloads June 2015

We’ve been a bit erratic in recent weeks/months with our publishing schedule which mostly has to do with our travel/work schedule and how hectic everything has been. We’ve got some great interviews and topics to discuss in the next few weeks that should resonate with our audience.

We’ve got a bit of news in this area – we’ve launched a new podcast!

We’ve teamed up with our buddy Ace Chapman to create the Web Equity Show. The plan is to promote the idea that buying an online business is a better bet than starting one from scratch. We’ll look at website and online business acquisitions from both the buyer and seller’s perspective in addition to interviewing experts in their fields.

You can check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, or on the website here. If you dig the show please do leave us a review as it goes a long way to helping spread the word on iTunes!

Emails & Contacts

 

We ended June with a total of 32,993 contact records and 21,369 active email subscribers.

The contractor we hired to help us with Ontraport did help us get converted to the newer version, but disappeared as soon as we started looking at updates and improvements to our process. I was hoping he’d stick with us as he seemed quite knowledgeable, but left us with a legacy process in a new system – not what we were looking for at all.

Aside from that disappointment, our prospects and email subscribers continue to grow quite nicely. Even with all of those email subscribers, there’s probably only 3K – 5K that we interact with regularly, so the actual customer base is less.

Customer Experience

The metrics and feedback we get on the customer support side are an important ingredient in our success. By listening to our customers and improving in areas that are important to them, we feel we have a great advantage compared to our competitors and it’s one of the reasons we include this section in each monthly report.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on with our customer support.

Zendesk Support

We were able to get our response times back down, but we took a big hit to our satisfaction surveys in June.

Here’s a look at June’s numbers:

Zendesk Overall June 2015

Compared to May’s numbers:

EF Zendesk Overall May 2015

It was a really busy month for us, so I was happy to see we were able to keep the response times down, but we have some improvements we’re going to have to make based on the feedback.

Customer Feedback

Out of a total of 675 new tickets, we had 80 marked as good/satisfied and 9 marked as bad/unsatisfied.

We had to deny quite a few listing submissions in June which, I believe, is the reason for the decreased satisfaction for the month. A few other observations:

We’re not as proactive as we should be in keeping depositors updated, getting them answers to questions, etc.

While depositors come first, we should be able to answer questions about a listing from non-depositors that don’t necessarily give the niche away. (This is particularly important as we want to win over their trust and turn them from a casual window shopper into an actual depositor)

Here’s a sample of the feedback we received in June:

Zendesk Feedback And Comments June 2015

We’ve been hiring new Customer Heroes to help support our customers and we spent some time in June getting them up to speed on our processes.

What Happened In June 2015?

1. We wrapped up our training in the Philippines.

We finished our month-long “workation” with our team down in Davao City, Philippines. This was a great trip in that we had a chance to hire some new employees, got to introduce our new apprentices to the team, and worked together closely on some of our outstanding projects. While we love our remote work situation, there are some advantages that come with working side-by-side. We’re planning on continuing this with a 3-5 week meetup every 3-4 months, with the next one planned in late October.

2. We finalized some details on the investor program.

It’s a bit more straightforward when every investor has their own individual portfolio, but when you start to pool the money and interests things can get a bit more complicated. How is it handled if someone wants to pull out? What if someone wants to bring their own sites to the program? Do early investors get any advantages?

We spent some time in June hashing through these issues on our own and with our actual investors. As it stands, all are interested in pooling their money, so that will be the plan through Jul/Aug.

3. We worked on launching our new podcast.

We didn’t actually launch this until July, but the Web Equity Show has been in the works for months now. We’ve recorded quite a few episodes and have a great plan for the show in the works! There’s quite a bit of work that goes into launching a podcast, so we’re happy to have this one started and shipped.

Overall, June turned out to be an excellent month for our company – a great Q2 ending for us.

We’ll be spending July focused on bringing in new deals, locking down our initial investors for the investor program, and making some design changes to the site.

That’s it for this month’s report – thank you for checking it out! Please feel free to share if you think others might find it useful too:

“New – Monthly Business Report for June 2015 from the @empireflippers!” – Tweet This!

Now – over to you! How did your month turn out? What lessons did you learn? Let us know in the comments!


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Discussion
Leave a comment
  1. Dan says:

    Congrats on the big month, guys!

    FYI – you can set up a GA filter to get rid of that referral spam. Do:

    Admin
    Filters
    Custom
    Exclude
    Campaign source

    Then in the form field, list all the domains like this:

    trafficmonetize.org|webmonetizer.net|spammy-referral-spam-domain.com

    Hit save and voila! It will be filtered out.

  2. Lennart says:

    Congratulations on the best month ever. About the ticket feedback system; all tickets of my sold sites have not been closed (April, June) so I’ve never been able to give you feedback. Maybe something to look into…

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