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Hi, I'm Andrey and I'm building a Google Analytics email summary service


#1

Hi there, I’m Andrey (or shazow on the internets).

I co-founded a now-defunct YC startup in 2010 and got soured on the fundraising route, then bootstrapped a social analytics service that got acqui(hi)red by Google where I worked on Google Analytics and Google+ for a while. I’m a software engineer by training, but I enjoy learning to do everything from design to sales and marketing. I also do a bunch of open source stuff and authored/maintain one of the most distributed Python libraries.

My latest project is Briefmetrics — Really simple email summaries of your most important Google Analytics stats. Just a few clicks and you’re done!

Google Analytics is such a powerful platform and the price is really hard to beat, but it’s also super hard to use. I want to get people as much value with as little amount of work as possible. Either for people who already use GA but spend far too much time putting up with it, or those who never remember to check up on it, or simply can’t figure it out. Analytics is too valuable to hide from. :smiley:

@gavin stumbled on Briefmetrics from another thread and suggested I share it with this community. Honestly I’m excited to actually get to use Discourse in a non-contrived context! Very cool.

If anyone wants to check out some of my other side projects or open source creations, there are more links on shazow.net.

Thanks for having me,
Andrey


Google Analytics
Hey, I am Jad and I want to talk to each and every one of you! (wishful thinking)
#2

Hey Andrey - glad you joined us!


#3

Hi @shazow,
I think your landing page is really good! From the name of the app which explains the value proposition, to the “call to action” button, the sample report, well… everything just seems very well done for me.

GA users market is really huge… I think you will be fine! :smile: Good work!


#4

What I like most is all the deltas you provide telling me something changed. I’d be most interested in an more immediate email alert letting me know something major has happened. Like my bounce rate skyrocketed or I had 10% more visitors one day of the week because of a new referrer.

$8 seems steepish because I could just login to see these things so you aren’t saving me too much time. $8 would make sense for delta alerts letting me know something important has happened before I remember to login.

Just honest feedback. I know the product is new but I’m interested to see how it grows. :wink:


#5

I respectfully disagree. If you value your time, $8 is nothing compared to wasting hours banging your head on GA’s idiotic user interface.

The problem I see is, that people who hate GA have moved on to other metric services, like Clicky.

I wouldn’t use GA if someone paid me to.


#6

@fredguth Thank you for the kind words! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say “you’re doing everything well, carry on!” Ha. I appreciate that. Usually each person has a million things I should change immediately, which of course completely contradicts what each other person says. :slight_smile:


#7

@johnf You’re totally right. Daily/alert reports are on my roadmap, right after monthly reports which will highlight more long-term trends that I feel are really hard to notice in GA (is your mobile/desktop ratio increasing? are more and more of your users coming from Indonesia? stuff like that).

About the price, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Do you have a price in mind that would make more sense to you? So far you’re the 3rd person to give this feedback (for context, I have 9 paying customers and 130 trials). It’s probably good that some people find the price too expensive, but it’s hard to know how many of those 130 trials are just not speaking up (though I do typically follow up with an email offering very flexible terms).

I do think I’ll need multiple pricing tiers eventually, so your thoughts on this now would be very handy for figuring this out.


#8

@shantnu Thanks for the defence. :slight_smile: I feel very similarly about the GA interface, largely why I’m building this (it’s partly for me). There are a handful alternate solutions to GA but none of them are as powerful or free or universally recommended as the default starting point. I think a lot of people feel trapped inside of GA after choosing to start there years ago and I hope to make that experience more pleasant.

Ultimately I’d like to integrate more services with Briefmetrics, but I haven’t decided what the best starting point for that is. Possibly AdWords or Twitter analytics? Would love thoughts on this too.

P.S. I tried to replying to the 3 posts at once but Discourse disallowed me to mention more than 2 people in a single post as a new user. :’(


#9

@shantnu I do value my time but with so many great products out there to help power SAAS businesses sometimes you have to make hard choices on where you spend your money.

$8 to get vanity metrics emailed to me, even if it sames time, just takes money out of the budget for things I don’t necessarily need. Did you check out the email shantu? If you did you’d see the top is if dedicated to knowing if you’ll get more traffic than the month before. Since its the late in the the month and I already spent 15 minutes last week on GA to check if my traffic would be increasing there isn’t much value in the report for me right now.

I’m pretty good at using advanced UI’s so I don’t have too much of a problem finding the data inside GA that was included in the current email report.

I’ll write more about what I’d pay more for to shazow in my next post so you can see that $8 for vanity metrics don’t mean a lot, but $20 for metrics that keep me abreast of critical changes makes a lot more sense.


#10

Your first paragraph of the roadmap makes a lot of sense to me.

I think your product is really cool but its not spend worthy for me right now. I’m almost positive with what you’re writing I’d be a customer in the future though!

I check my GA too see if things changed outside of my expectations. I sort off know traffic will increase and bounce rates will go down as we tweak pages to be better or fix bugs and such.

What I really would pay more for is alerts letting me know when something cool or horrible has happened. Like somebody reviews my startup and a new traffic spike happens, or like the time per visit goes down right after we change some pages. Thats worth more than $8.

Sorry I didn’t explain myself better, but I think $8 for the current offering is too high. However $8 once you start hitting all the alert/daily reports is way too low.


#11

$8 to get vanity metrics emailed to me, even if it sames time, just takes money out of the budget for things I don’t necessarily need. …

For what it’s worth, I feel that Briefmetrics is a fair bit past just “vanity metrics”. I find the annotations next to your top pages and referrers to be super useful and otherwise hard to find/digest in GA. Being able to instantly see that bootstrapped.fm is driving traffic with above-average time on site while news.ycombinator.com traffic is instantly bouncing is critical. Other things customers like is how new referrers are pointed out and old referrers show you their delta. Slow page loads are neat too. I’m working on adding conversions to this, as well.

Right now it takes about 29 clicks in Google Analytics to get most of that same data that comes in a Briefmetrics report. Of course you could get all this data yourself, but you’d need to stare at a giant multi-page table like this and toggle between previous period comparisons.

^ These are all things I should have on the Briefmetrics site. It helps me to write it out here and I’ll reuse it later. :slight_smile:

What I really would pay more for is alerts letting me know when something cool or horrible has happened. Like somebody reviews my startup and a new traffic spike happens, or like the time per visit goes down right after we change some pages.

Would you believe that this already exists in GA? :smiley:

I’ve been meaning to write an article about this and hopefully drive some traffic, but long-story short, Intelligence Events -> Custom Alerts -> Manage Custom Alerts -> New Alert -> ...

It’s kind of messy and often triggers on things you don’t want it to trigger, but it’s decent at alerting of new referrers or suddenly flat-lining metrics.


#12

This is a great discussion. I think we are both improving the product and I’ve learned I can get more out of GA. That’s why I come here.

Maybe I don’t have enough traffic to get the full value out of something like this. I don’t see the scenario you described on your report. Id 216 (in the url) so maybe I’m missing something?


#13

Annotations only show up if there is significant enough deviation from the site average (+15%). You’ll start seeing it more as you get more traffic. I find that sites with at least 500-1000 hits/month tend to benefit from this level of analytics most. It’s hard to derive meaningful trends from small numbers and I’m trying hard to avoid cluttering with anything that is not meaningful. :slight_smile:


#14

Signed up today - It’s pretty great idea. This is exactly what i need for quick weekly insights into analytics without having to login.

I’ve already used up my 3 reports :frowning:

A pricing suggestion would be to let me have a weekly report for free on one site and charge for having reports on additional sites.


#15

Hey Andy, thanks for the kind words! :slight_smile:

I added some extra free reports to your account so you can mess around some more! If you add a credit card, it’ll double the number of free reports remaining in your account and won’t charge you until you run out. (Actually I’d appreciate some feedback on this scheme—I thought it was clever but I’m starting to suspect that nobody actually cares. :P)

A pricing suggestion would be to let me have a weekly report for free on one site and charge for having reports on additional sites.

I’ve thought about this but I’m conflicted because about half of my happy paying customers are using the service for just one (big) site. The other half are using it for a bunch of smaller sites. I think they’re just two different types of customers and I’d like to find a structure that captures value for/from both.

Also one problem I had with my previous business was that the free tier attracted a very different kind of customer than my paid tier and their needs became more and more divergent over time. The more I focused on my paid customers, the less happy my free customers became.

Actually now that I mention it, you could say that this is what’s happening with Google Analytics as they focus more on their Premium customers. :slight_smile: