I have 25,000 “Twitter followers” I don’t know about

Paul Doerwald • February 16, 2023

After 4 months of hustle, my Twitter following grew from 293 to 445. Clockk sign-ups due to social stayed flat.

Pretty lame 😩.

Then I discovered 25,000 “Twitter followers” I didn’t know about 😲.

Until now, I was too afraid to see them.

How many Twitter followers is a newsletter subscriber worth?

A friend of mine asked that question a few weeks ago:

Peoples’ answers ranged from 6 to over 100. I suggested 25-30.

You probably know where this is going…

Since I launched Clockk 4.5 years ago to solve the time tracking problem, I’ve been adding sign-ups to a Mailchimp mailing list.

Email marketing stresses me out. Marketing stresses me out because I am uncomfortable doing any “broadcast” activities. Email marketing is the worst. Not only am I doing a “broadcast” activity, but it lands me in peoples’ inboxes!

What if I upset them?

What if they get mad at me?

What if they don’t like me 😧?

Unless the contents are valuable, I can’t bring myself to click “send”.

At this point it had been almost 2 years since my last bulk email in March 2021 where I sent a blast to 210 recipients.

By Feb 2023, my mailing list had grown to 1022 subscribers (have I mentioned Clockk’s anemic growth?).


WAIT! WHAT?! I had 1022 people interested enough by Clockk’s promise — no start/stop timers, accurate billing, freedom to multitask as you work, so you get better data to plan your business growth — that they’d signed up for an account!


WAIT! I also have 50 weekly active users, and not everyone uses Clockk every week. I probably already have around 100 super fans!


If a newsletter subscriber is worth 25 Twitter followers, then I have over 25,000 “Twitter followers”.

The experiment

This week’s experiment was to turn last week’s post about Clockk Insight’s disappointing soft launch into an email blast to my 1022-person list. I will tell everyone that the mailing list will be about building Clockk in public. They will get BIP posts and occasional product updates.

The hypothesis

An email blast can have multiple outcomes: unsubscribes, replies, clicks, and conversions.

This is a long-dormant list. Some people signed up 4 years ago and have no idea what Clockk is and who this Paul emailing them is. I expect a 20% unsubscribe rate.

The Call To Action will be for people to reply to the email. I am hoping for a 5% reply rate (~50 replies).

This won’t be a re-engagement email. I won’t ask people to come back to Clockk (yet). I’m just reintroducing myself. Therefore I expect the clicks and conversions will be negligible. A 1% (10 customer) reactivation rate would please me.

The results

I sent the email on Monday afternoon. These are the stats 48 hours later:

Mailchimp report showing the results of the first email blast, 48 hours after send
Mailchimp report showing the results of the first email blast, 48 hours after send

How did the email perform against my hypotheses?

Hypothesis: 20% unsubscribe rate ✅

I hadn’t even considered bounces but it stands to reason that a dormant mailing list would have a LOT of bounces. I’ll count bounces as unsubscribes.

The email had 1022 recipients. There were 61 bounce and 49 unsubscribes for a total of 110. That works out to a 10.7% overall unsubscribe rate.

If I compare unsubscribes (49) to opens (349), I get a slightly worse rate, at 14% unsubscribe rate.

Both of these numbers are still below my 20% estimate.

I expect another chunk of unsubscribes with my next email blast.

Hypothesis: 5% reply rate ❌

At the very bottom of the email, I asked:

Your turn

I’m “opening the kimono” to Clockk. AMA.

Were you surprised by any of my results? Did you think that I would get more signups? Less

What do you think we should do next, instead of Product Hunt and search & display ads?

Reply to me here. Your ideas are welcome. I will read your reply, and I promise to respond too.

I got 1 (one) reply, and it just came in this morning, 3 days after sending. That’s 0.1% of sends and 0.3% of opens. A far cry from the 5% I estimated.

Were the questions buried too far down the email? Were the questions too hard to answer? In the future, I’ll move engagement questions to the top of the email.

Hypothesis: 1% reactivation rate ✅

9 users who we haven’t seen for a long time came back. 1 of 1022 = 1%! If you compare reactivations to opens, it’s 10/349 = 2.9%. Either way, I’m pleased with this outcome.


I consider my first send to my 25,000-member “Twitter audience” a success. The experiment met 2 of 3 hypotheses.

I believe the lack of engagement was because I made the email about me, not about my audience. (Kind of like this post, amirite 😄?) My next email blast will be a much more deliberate attempt to engage my audience in the building of Clockk.

Stay tuned! I’m only just getting started with this build-in-public thing!

Ready to save time and find unbilled hours? Get Started