On October 17th I launched an experimental crowd funding campaign and I promised to share the results. This is what I’ll do in this blog post.

First of all, I didn’t reach my (unofficial) goal, but I also didn’t expect to do so since MailMate has a small user base and I only used the blog, Twitter, and the mailing list to spread the word. I didn’t push all the buttons possible. Publicity has been fairly limited, but it has been sufficient to both increase download numbers and sales considerably during the two crowd funding weeks.

The results

At the time of writing I have received emails with pledges to contribute a total of $13,430. This is from 131 individual contributors which corresponds to a very nice average of a little more than $100. The most popular amount contributed is $50 as seen in the following table:

Amount ($) Contributors
3000 1
500 2
200 8
150 2
100 40
50 64
30 4
25 3
20 6
15 1

The 78 contributions of $50 or less amount to 26.5% of the total amount. This is less than what is contributed by the top 3 contributors (30%), but this is only because of the single major contribution of $3000 (22.5%). The 40 contributions of $100 also amount to 30% of the total amount.

Another interesting fact is which email client the contributors used:

Email client Contributors
MailMate 64
Apple Mail 30
MailMate Trial 19
iOS Mail 5
Other 5
Unknown 8

Almost half are existing MailMate users (48.8%) and another 14.5% are trial users. In addition to that several known (to me) MailMate users are in the Unknown/iOS groups. All contributions of $150 and above are from current MailMate users.

The most wanted features

In the contribution email I also asked for the 3 most wanted “features” among a list of known popular requests. There were quite a few requests for features not on the list as well, but none of them were requested by multiple contributors.

Share of users Features
45.0% Rules (move, tag, etc. incoming messages)
32.1% Conversation view (display all messages of a thread in the message view)
26.7% Scripts/Commands (perform actions based on selected messages)
26.7% Optimize (improve speed and memory usage)
25.2% Improve search interface (make it faster using the keyboard)
23.7% Beautification (mailbox graphics, message themes (css), toolbar icons, …)
16.8% Integration with more applications (like for OmniFocus)
15.3% Integrate tagging with Mavericks tagging
14.5% Flat threading mode (group related messages without creating a hierarchy)
11.5% Just focus on fixing bugs
9.9% Optional CSS styling of Markdown messages
9.2% Message redirection
8.4% More settings on a mailbox level (e.g., reply-behavior, treading style, send later, …)
7.6% Message coloring (as part of the Tags support)
5.3% Optional HTML editor for the composer

Almost 1 out of 2 users would like to have rules. Fortunately, items number 1 and 3 are already experimental features for version 2.0 of MailMate. Item number 2 is already one of my high priorities. The only surprise on the list is that the least popular item is an HTML editor, but this probably reflects the fact that these are the features wanted by existing users and not what others need to start using MailMate.

Many of the emails also contained some wonderful comments about MailMate and statements of support. Some contributors stated that they wanted to contribute even though they could hardly afford it. I am deeply thankful for that kind of generosity.

Now what?

The crowd funding page is still online and newcomers are welcome to use it. I am currently preparing a “real” crowd funding page (including a stated goal) which I plan to launch next week and I’ll notify anyone who has sent me a crowd funding email. When this happens then I’m going to push all the buttons I can to direct attention to the crowd funding site and I’ll appreciate all the help I can get to spread the word.

Thanks for all the emails. I am deeply impressed!