Building A Brand: John Rampton and the Success of Due.com

John Rampton is a self confessed serial entrepreneur, connector, writer and angel investor.

So when he purchased the premium domain name Due.com [on the Flippa marketplace for $130,000 last March], we were excited when he told us about his plans to build “the best place to pay bills, when bills are due.”

We recently sat down with John to chat about his successful launch, and how the business is performing so far.

Building Due.com – the #1 invoicing software for small business

John told us that he can “only write enough code to be dangerous,” so rather than building the software (and site) from the ground up, he acquired an invoicing company with the objective of using it as the foundation for Due.com.

He explained, “I had become friends with this particular invoicing business over the years and noticed they had a really cool product, but they didn’t know how to market the business. I’m not a great product person, but I’m really good at marketing things.”

The opportunity John saw was simple: continue building and supporting a great product offering, but grow it exponentially with the help of his marketing chops. From that point forward it was simply a matter of moving the existing business across to the Due.com domain and rebranding it with the new Due logo and color palette.

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Because the invoicing business already had an existing database of over 40,000 clients, Due.com launched and became – virtually overnight – a revenue-generating business.

And John was only just getting started.

 

Marketing and growth

The marketing strategy for Due.com is, at its core, content-based.

The business publishes daily content on its blog and outside sources, featuring business-savvy tips [Four Ways to Build A Business That Supports Your Life] and even inspirational quotes.

John also pens work for his personal blog and large publications such as Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur and Time. He speaks his mind on entrepreneurship and marketing, and shares more personal reflections of particular successes and failures.

“I bring into my writing my experiences and what I do, and those who come across these posts naturally end up at Due,” John explains.

In addition to their robust content arm, John and his team are constantly developing strategic partnerships to grow their user base. One partnership in particular wielded a co-branded survey and infographic which brought in over 2,000 new users in a single day.

 

User acquisition strategy

A sizable quotient of Due’s user acquisition strategy is its focus on acquiring businesses of a similar scope and merging these companies’ existing customer bases and technology.

John explained how the Flippa marketplace has provided a myriad of digital assets that fit this mold.

“After having success purchasing the first invoicing company, we went out and started acquiring other invoicing and time tracking businesses. Flippa has been a great source for these type of deals. I’ve spent a total of $5,000 on 4 different acquisitions which have brought in over 40,000 new customers.”

John also uses his actual product as a customer acquisition channel. Since Due.com is an invoicing tool, he uses those invoices as a way to acquire new business — over thirty new users per day. “Once we bring the user in and they start sending invoices out, typically for every three invoices that are sent out, that brings in one more user. Almost every new user over the course of five to six weeks adds one additional user.”

 

The Premium Domain

The big question about Due.com is: what impact has having such an ultra premium domain name had on the business?

“Having a premium domain has helped tremendously, I would say by a factor of at least 10x. When you have a premium domain name, people recognize that and it gives you instant credibility,” John explained.

He added, “When I get introduced as the founder and CEO of Due.com, people think we’ve been in business for 10-15 years just because of the domain.”

In addition to building trust and credibility, John says that owning and operating the premium domain name — particularly a .com — has increased his response rate by at least 50% when pitching stories to journalists and reporters. The SEO benefits are immeasurable, as well.

What about the cost? Six figures isn’t an easy amount of money to part with. John’s advice: “Spend the extra money and work whatever deal you can to get a good .com domain name because in the long run, it’ll be worth every cent.”

 

By the numbers

Due continues to scale — it has amassed 78,000 users in its first nine months, and will be profitable in its next two. John and his team have even bigger plans to expand the business beyond just invoicing and time tracking, hoping to venture full-on into the payments space.

The Flippa Team wishes the crew much success, and will be following up in due time…get it?…to see how they’re tracking.

Drop a comment or question for John below, or follow him on JohnRampton.com and the Due.com blog. Also keep tabs via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

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  • A huge inspiration on branding with a great domain name. Everything begins with tying the best knot right from the start.

    • Kevin Fink

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • Kerryn Bennett

    Well done John, I’m hearing you about the coding. So easy to work inside a business instead of on the business. My partner and I coded for a couple of years in Dreamweaver, created apps in FB before it was app friendly. For some reason we liked to challenge ourselves. Now CMSs like Joomla, WordPress with add-ons does everything needed and with a bit of customisation instead of a lot, keeps life simple. Focusing on customer needs, not the, ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy is correct strategy and starting with the right domain is spot on. I like your style, keep up the great work.

  • Mounir

    Wow, just genius, if what he says is true, it’s becoming viral.
    Also, if indeed, they proceed with their plans of venturing into payments, I can only predict an enormou$ big win !

    Way to go, good luck.