I led growth and marketing for Jetpack for four years turning it from a free product into a profitable business line.

Jetpack team. Park City, 2015.

Brand and Messaging

The main challenge with Jetpack when I began working on it was its perception (based in reality!) that it was a bloated collection of disparate modules. What you see below is the general aesthetic and messaging Jetpack presented to the world in 2014: essentially a laundry list.

Today Jetpack has a strong site and brand that is based on clear(er) benefits. I led this work over a period of 18 months that included directing the design and writing most of the copy and messaging — all based on empirical user research and dozens of conversion tests.

Product Design

The version of Jetpack a user sees today has a seamless flow from installation (no longer requiring download or manual setup), to first-time setup (activating recommended features), through to the way the core product works with a sensible IA and searchable features.

The leakiest part of the Jetpack funnel had been the signup and installation process. One of my first and most successful projects was to introduce a guided, on-boarding flow for new users which we called Jump Start. Below you can see mockups followed by an early version.

This was followed by simple improvements to the product dashboard which made it both clearer what the product offered as well as making it one-click simple to enable most features.


Today Jetpack boasts a much improved user interface and information architecture which I had a direct hand in defining, designing, and building.

Checkout the results of this work in the screenshots below:

Traffic Growth and Acquisition

Despite Jetpack having a big audience by virtue of its inclusion in many hosting plans and its placement on the plugins directory, improving visibility and acquisition is always of primary importance.

One way I tackled that “cheaply” was via growing site traffic in two ways.

First, I created and wrote a proper full feature listing with deep pages (like this one) for every individual feature optimised for WordPress-related search traffic.

The second was publishing two full, and indexable content libraries based on our internal knowledge of WordPress sites: a security library and a theme library. The purpose of these libraries was to capture the long tail of traffic searching for specific plugin information like this one.

Traffic results are shown below.

Conversion Growth

Finally, and in parallel to all of the above, I led Jetpack’s transformation from a free plugin that just advertised third-party paid products into a fully-fledged freemium product with proper pricing plans.

Jetpack is now one of Automattic’s strongest business lines with, at the time of leaving, 40% year on year growth.

This was the result of introducing the right features, hundreds of landing page and email marketing tests, finding the right price points, tackling churn, and introducing well-time upsells and nudges.


Video Commercials

When we had a good and well-converting story to tell about Jetpack I produced, with Studio Bolland, a series of video ads.

My contribution here was scripting, story-boarding, mockups, and direction. Final design, animation, and sound was done by the studio.

Other Advertising

As part of introducing an affiliate and partnership program (which I also led) I designed a set of display ads for use on affiliate sites (still currently in use). I also wrote copy and designed various printed media for conferences and events.

Published by Richard