On Episode 257 of WP-Tonic, Jonathan Denwood and co-host Kim Shivler interview returning guest David Hehenberger the founder of FatCatApps (https://fatcatapps.com/) and LandingCube (https://landingcube.com/) about WordPress Freemium plugins and launching a SaaS (Software as a Service) product.
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David was on the show several years ago when he only had two plugins. His Easy Pricing Tables Pricing Tables WordPress Plugins (https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-pricing-tables/) was his original app and remains the leading pricing table plugin in the WordPress space. David explained that it is a small niche, and his app is the most popular with over 30,000 installs.
David now has five major plugins including QuizCat (https://wordpress.org/plugins/quiz-cat/) a WordPress Quiz Pluign, Landing Page Cat (https://wordpress.org/plugins/landing-page-cat/) a super easy simple landing page plugin, and Facebook Pixel – Pixel Cat (https://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook-conversion-pixel/) a Facebook pixel retargeting tool.
One of the big things that has changed for David since he was first on the show is that he has hired a full time developer to help maintain the products. In all he has 14 people working on the products.
Aside from the WordPress plugin business, David has launched LandingCube. This is an online service that provides landing pages to Amazon sellers. It allows Amazon sellers to provide coupon codes to their buyers in exchange for email addresses. Normally when a person purchases through Amazon, you have no way of connecting with the customer. When you drive traffic to your LandingCube site and they purchase your Amazon product there, you can capture the lead information and build a personal relationship with your customer.
Here’s A Full Transcript of Our Interview With David
Host: Welcome back folks to the W.P. Tonic Wednesday show. This is episode 257 and we’ve got a great guest joining us. But before that, I’m going to let my co-host introduce herself. I would like you to introduce yourself Kim.
Kim: Absolutely! I’m Kim Shivler, the latest co-host for WP Tonic also a WordPress instructor and instructional design consultant.
Host: The co-host I would say. I cannot pull Frank’s; he keeps me in place.
Kim: That’s right.
Host: Would you like to quickly introduce yourself David?
David: Sure, I guess it is easier for me to pronounce my name. My name is David Einburgher, I am Austrian, therefore, the slightly difficulty to pronounce my name. I am the founder of Fadcad Apps, that is a WordPress log in company and a software service. It is a business that helps Amazon sellers create log in pages, which that practice also proper broadcast actually. It is about perspective, so everything I do really system.
Host: That is great David! Before we go into the interview, folks I’ve got to talk about our major sponsor which is Kinsta Hosting. We moved the WP Tonic website to Kinsta about 3 months ago. Brian Jackson is part of the Kinsta family and director of marketing and we’ve just been amazingly happy with Kinsta and the migration and the quality of hosting and they, I could say has become a major sponsor of the WP Tonic show and it’s going to be a of this great interview with David. There will be links to Kinsta, they are affiliates links I suppose. If you use one of those links and also you can purchase one of the great hosting plans from Kinsta, you will be helping the show out considerably. I’ve been totally blown away with the quality of service that I have got from Kingstow. So back to the interview! You came on the show in the early days actually and we’ve had a couple discussions as well. Haven’t we David and I’ve watched your progress and you’ve done some amazing things in WordPress area. So what are the plans – I think you recently had some plug-ins in your library. Would you like to delve in what you’ve been up to in the past year?
David: Yea, sure. I think last year I two major plug-ins and if not number 5. Yea, being that, that’s a good way to scale the business right and just scale the number of product. The most recent ones, if added a plug-in called and by the way, you got very good additional free versions – given away for free. The business model is that a small number of free users, it might want to add some extra features which is going to be offered in the .That is how the business model works. The new ones we have edit over the last year, year and a half is adding page cut. It is very, very simple and not a lot of fancy templates or anything, really simple choose to have the headline; a certain headline and background image and even provide integration. I also added a product called Pixocat, that is a Facebook pixel plug-in to explain the basics if you’re on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, we are targeting. We use the Facebook commercials to re target audiences and maybe a few product maybe don’t buy. Then you can show them an add on Facebook and based on the add try and get them back to your site and maybe they will complete the purchase. So Pixocat allows you to do that we’ve got a plug-in called Quizat where you can build viral quizzes similar to what you might have seen in similar sites, digital characters I use and those kind of things. Those things are great because they get a lot of traffic, easy to share on Facebook and they are also very catchy email addresses. Those are like the three main nagging issues over the last – as you can see, I think one of the biggest interests for the business really was hiring a developer that is really, really good from the US and it’s just been amazing work. Thinking about this stuff.
Host: So one of the things that come to mind as you were describing this activity though is that you have have already got to quite large established blogging. How did you make the decision that you were not going add any functionality and really focus on what you’ve already got – or maybe you’re doing both. Is that linked to hiring the developer full-time in the US? Has this given you the scope to keep developing your existing blogging plus these new ones?
David: Yea. That’s a great question, so we are definitely continuing to not only maintain but really add new stuff to the existing products. It has been around for a while, I think, I released free plug-ins more than 4 years ago. a massive overhaul, rewrite from scratch kind of thing coming its way. A lot more features and a lot more stuff. Yea, it is always kind of a – I think it is always a hard decision to make. I think if I lift the price, they will plug-in quicker. It is doing very well. It is the market-leading price that people plug in these days. It is more niche – it’s a niche. So from there it just seem that there’s probably more up sight by adding extra stuff, if that makes sense. But the only good point which I think they get is now the scale of development just to make sure because we have a large number of product and we just to make sure that all our product continue to be well maintained and you can get new features. Getting them to a point where you’re running on the scene with new development and I think that’s going to be a big initiative for us in the next couple of months.
Host: And what led you in these three new areas, you know, the landing page, the quiz builder and the Facebook pixel builder? What led you into those specific areas?
David: So the quiz plug in was actually an idea of Ryan, my lead developer from the US. He was building a website for a client of his and I think he had a need for something like that and he had a difficult time finding it. Now it’s easy to use plugging it, full membership’s idea. He wanted to do a test, you know, if people basically learned what they were supposed to learn. So that is how we got that idea. I don’t even remember, so we release a couple of free plug-ins over the last year and I didn’t mention that it didn’t get a lot of attraction so…
Host: So is that part of your business development that if you get an idea you push it out? A first biter that’s free and then you actually test the market in reality. Is that part of business development plan basically?
David: Yea pretty so I think. We are not doing this right now because as I said, we are still busy maintaining big system stuff. Last year – when was 2016? It is a bit more than a year ago. We decided to eliminate the new push to release more plug-ins, which is a brainstorm bunch of ideas based on stuff he would to see, stuff he would like to use, mostly just doing a web of market researching looking at areas there. There are plug-ins there, a lot of attractions may be there but very difficult to use but (inaudible 09:58) Facebook plug-in there. The reason honestly, the tools are there but they are very complicated and if you are not an expert, it is just very hard to use. So those are the areas we like to look at and I think we launched maybe like 5 or 6 free plug-ins over the last year and a half. I think half of those now made it in to and there continuously being maintained and the and the other three are probably not going anywhere.
Host: Right, because that’s fascinating because you know you have been in this market segment of premier plug-in, free plug-in sector there for almost five years. What I think you are saying to me David, is even when you are experienced or your team’s experienced, it’s still really had to judge what is going to really fail and what isn’t really. That is what you are saying, isn’t it really?
David: Absolutely and I think there is something there in retrospect that was my first plug-in and it just rubbed it really well and I think it has just turned out that it is hard. It has turned out that there is just quite a bit of uncertainty every time we launch something new and it’s a matter of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks instead of trying to force something that very much might be very much an uphill battle.
Host: With your quiz, you are up against a very determined competitor from They have got a quiz-building thing. Was that encouragement? Was that a factor that you had to think about before you entered that particular sector?
David: So I think that actually launched after we did…
Host: Oh, terrible people!
David: No problem. You know, I think that there is a market for marketing solutions and it is big enough. I think I don’t think it is an issue.
Host: You know you always to get competition, didn’t you?
Host: Without competition, that was just saying there wasn’t a market for…. Oh, let me take an to start off with. I don’t know how you think this is going to affect your business, your plug-in business at all. I don’t know if you have been following the discussions, the endless discussions in the WordPress community about – what is your feeling about how it is going to affect your business or great opportunity for your own business?
David: So I haven’t thought for the last few weeks. I think generally, it is something good. Not just for the .I think it needs to happen, I think there are other solutions less clear space or those kind of competitors, they are just are very easy to use gets them a bit of a leg up. This WordPress, I think it is really good – wordpresses. You know trying to make some head way and get some experience from them building just an editor so I think that is really great.
Host: Well it is more than aiding isn’t it though? It’s become quite clear of the presentation that Mac did at WordPress US. This is going to be a total restart of WordPress in a way that it is going to be much bigger than the restart of this project, isn’t it David?
David: Yea, yea, yea! I think that is great to think that just using the WP admin, it is ok, alright but it is definitely, not a very 2018 – it is a 2007 kind of thing. So I think that is good and – I think at the end of the day, being a company in the WordPress space, anything that is good for WordPress, in retrospect would have been good for us. But, yea, I think it is mostly like that you know, opportunity, making sure our plug-ins integrate really nicely with as opposed to you know, maybe some competitors will kind of execute on this properly as an opportunity…
Host: So obviously, it is changing quite rapidly. I think a lot of people at Work Camp US was surprised by the progress of the development and that makes it quite difficult for people like you because you don’t – it is really difficult to test something that is rapidly changing. So have you discuss it internally, how are you going to cope with this? Have you worked out any – when it finally looks like it is going to be released public and you have got that first public product. How – have you got like any plans or how are you going to cope with it?
David: Yes, we have been talking about it but nothing concrete yet but you know, we are just following development and that one of the things that we – we start to look into it quite a bit back in September of last year and it just seem that, at that point, it was still very far from. I think it actually changed. They got rid of and I don’t know if the other – I don’t know.
Host: It is coming either there .
David: So if there is anything impounded on this organization they can just wait until actually we are a bit closer to actually releasing because you know like possibly spending weeks or whatever, like integrating it in and changing it again so I will make sure of that. I will make sure that I use the time wisely.
Host: Well either way, do you kind of- because obviously, you have got your WordPress competitors in all the areas in that you compete in. But do you see as your competitors that some of your older – some of the bigger competitors are really outside the WordPress ecosystem anyway.
David: Yea, yea, sure! I’m pretty sure in some instances I bet they are fondly workers, business specialists quiz product Quizcat. You have got a number of people that are audience, they are excellent. They were using Shopify or something, they have got to rebound. I think it is kind of an interesting thing about there as well. It is like how could there possibly be a solution that is a little bit less independent of workers? I don’t have any plans moving in that direction but definitely is a possibility.
Host: Well you heard a little bit. They have got this product that is really fascinating – product Landing Cube. Can you before we go for a break and let my co-host take over; can you tell us a bit about Landing Cube and what led to that?
David: It is a separate brand from FatCatApps because, like honestly, it is a separate type of audience really. So it is a landing page builder for Amazon sellers. So if you sell on Amazon, it’s a lot of money to do that and it is also hyper competitive. The only traffic that most sellers get is from inside of Amazon search engine. So if you’re launching a new product, the way you are really going to get an edge is to drive some external traffic so might be Facebook ads, Google adverts, maybe you get some sponsors posts and stuff like that. Instead of sending the traffic straight to Amazon, you can send them to the landing page where – in exchange for coupon codes or something like you can capture email address with the coupons and send them off to Amazon. Now you can let customers do something that you cannot do as an Amazon seller otherwise because they must not give you data. To me Amazon takes over the reward system, what sales you make now that you are in. So now that you are driving this traffic, getting coupon codes and you’re going to end up higher. I guess you want to know how I came up with that idea and how it worked.
Host: Well yea, sure David.
David: Well yea, I mean, I have got a lot of friends who are in the Amazon space; my brother is an Amazon seller I actually – I don’t know if I talked to you about this but I was built and sort an Amazon seller on the Analytic app, that’s two years, year and a half – somewhere last year. So I just stayed pretty well and that’s when it seemed like an opportunity. Being also WordPress was one of the factors because was just so difficult in general and…
Host: Tell me, tell me!
David: It is not about using WordPress either but it is stuff that you can use to manage plans and you can use building. A bunch right there, just expedite them in the development process.
Host: That is great. I think we are going to go for a break folks and come back. My co-host can ask some more questions of David from FatCatApps and we will be back in a few moments folks.
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Host: We are coming back. We have had a fantastic conversation, gold but fast paced. I think you would agree with that David? Kim would like to take over and ask David some more questions.
Kim: Absolutely! Thank you! First, it was really funny. I have to admit, I did not know who you were initially when Jonathon sent me the link and I looked it this morning and that is so cool. I just installed Acting Cat on a client’s site this weekend. Anything with the cats in it, it is all for me funnily. Now I did have more questions on Landing Cube, that was why when I first took a look at it, I was like, ‘ok, that is another competitor to Lead Pages or something like that’. But obviously, with the link to an Amazon seller, it is much deeper than that. This is just to clarify my understanding. It is just for people who are Amazon sellers, in that, they have their own that they are selling like a FBA, filled by Amazon, something like that, correct?
Kim: And would they have to be using to be fulfilled by Amazon or it could it be a sale that could be doing their own fulfillment.
David: They can also do that. FBA fulfillment and get their packages. First thing they brought up lead pages because I think especially, when I don’t talk to Amazon sellers about Landing pages, they think that everybody is landing pages, landing pages and it is a completely different approach. It has lot less features than the new landing page, it is simpler, you can go on any page template and very much the purpose it was built for. You know, this one is cause where you are going to copy and paste a product URL from Amazon and it automatically generates a landing page and it has this tight integration. With Amazon, you can deliver these specific coupon codes, which is something you cannot do with pages or any kind of general purpose landing page builder. So it is very much a – it’s a very small niche and very specific use case using something like which can be a lot more complicated. It would not really make sense.
Kim: As I said, when you started talking, I began digging into it. I realize it was something completely different and very unique. I have never done Amazon selling I listen to a lot of business podcasts, small business podcasts, side hustle podcasts and a lot of them cover selling on Amazon. So I think there is a good market there. Are you the only one in that space doing that for Amazon?
David: I think there are probably Cris plug-ins and two major competitors.
Kim: How are then are – if there is competition, how are you actually getting, other than the people you already know, what are your strategies for reaching new customers on this service product?
David: So, again, I think we talked earlier, having competition is a good thing because if there is nobody interested – maybe the first market is great but not much demand and I see that is a good thing. In terms of differentiating, we just really focus on user experience and decide. Then the others tools in space – great tools. It definitely shows that they are built by Amazon sellers which, in some case, gives them an advantage but also those guys don’t necessarily know how to make software that easy and simple to use. That gives us an edge, in terms of marketing; we just really try to create a lot of really good content. So mostly for marketing right now. Doing like weekly posts and biweekly posts or whatever, we provide good content that put customers in and actually help our supporters and users use the product more successfully.
Kim: And since, the reason I am asking about that – the marketing so much is, as you mentioned, a completely different market than your WordPress plug-in market. So all of a sudden, you are very established in this one area and now you are going into something completely new which has opportunity options and also risks, right? You are trying to get that – somebody you have not been in front of before. So along those lines, as you have gone into that, is it the same teams or you have built different teams so that they can focus just on what they need to do?
David: They are all the same teams so that is part of the reason we use WordPress because they have been there. I think honestly that, that is a little bit of an edge that I have got two great team members to their own support for Quad apps; awesome guys. Now they have also being giving support in Landing Cube instead of me having to hire new person separately. It’s going to rank up expenses. So I think it’s a lot of cost efficiency by using the same team.
Kim: Excellent. Adding just one more because I know I have got to wrap up here. Our bonus content- is adding the now having a new API to have to play with and keep up with the terms of service on Amazon, etc? I was looking on your page and you are very specific with the compliance of the terms and rules, etc. What does that add to overhead that is completely new and different?
David: Alright, alright. That is a great question. So technically, if you do not use an API from Amazon right now, we might add some features in the future in terms of API. Right now, we don’t so that is at least one thing that simplifies it. I think like right now, it is not much of an issue because it is nothing else. I’m just surrounded by Amazon sellers, a lot of friends, a lot of people on my Facebook feeds and of course I get customer at work. I am constantly in touch with customers. I have got a marketing guy, who is, at least for the time being is in care of Landing Cube who used to work in the business for the last year as well. So Yea, I think, one thing I am trying to build up in general is more systems and processes and having all these people lets me – like I don’t have to stay on top of everything myself because there is enough people involved. Does that make sense?
Kim: Yes. That is exciting. I think it is exciting to see this and this new market and I will be following along to – maybe I’ll become an Amazon seller.
David: Yea you know in some place where they’re much easier to just another podcast plug-in and possible more earning space for Landing Cube. It is kind of hard to say but I kind of like the idea of building a software to service apps versus plug-ins, adding something outside of the working space, you know. It is good to like not be completely out of the market. It is just interesting to do some something new and you know like you said, you have to figure out your luck and different channels.
Kim:Excellent thank you so much. Jonathan
Host/Jonathon:Yes really interesting because I thought it was an interesting area to put forward to our listeners and viewers is that you are using WordPress technology but in a totally separate sector, which you know, the changes in WordPress myself and David a lot more to bring out and will be doing, which is great, isn’t it? I think that is great news for everybody in the WordPress community. I think we are going to wrap it up for the podcast part of the show folks, hopefully David will agree to continue the discussion, will you be able to? You will be able to see on the website on our Youtube channel. There will also be notes and transcription available for you. So David, how can people find our more about what you are up to, some of your thoughts and some of the topics that we have discussed in this discussion.
David: Sure. So obviously, the website, FatCatApps, Landingcube.com and if you have any questions or any comments, you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Host/Jonathon: That is great David and David thanks for your approach. You are obviously a very busy guy and I don’t expect a reply straight away but you will do your best to return…
David: I will reply but I can’t guarantee you. If you want a fast response time, go to customer support.
Host: Kim, how can people find out more about what you are doing, what your activities are Kim?
Kim: thank you. You can find all my programs at kimchevlar.com or reach me on Twitter at Kim Chevlar.
Host: And folks the Friday show – we do a Friday show which is about WordPress and we have a great panel and we are looking for special guests. Do you have a product, a plug-in, doing a presentation at a Word Camp and if you want to join us on the Friday show, in the second half or you could be on the show the whole episode, there will be a special section where we ask you questions and that. On the WP Tonic website, all the present and upcoming shows which is in the (inaudible 31:14) area. There’s a special page that lists all the Friday shows this month and a form which you can fill it and you can come on the WP Tonic, on the Friday show so go with it. And if you really feel really supportive of the show, please go iTunes and leave us a review, it really does help the show and I do periodically read some of the comments and I’ll be trying to do more of that so if you feel generous, please do that folks, So I’m going to wrap it up for this episode. That’s it, join us after the Friday show, see you soon. Thanks, bye.
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