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Evernote Business Model and Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking for a note taking app to use, there’s a good chance that the top recommendation is going to be Evernote. With over 100 million users already in place, the Evernote business model is one that is based on a subscription service plan. Users can have a free account with limited note taking abilities if they wish or they can subscribe to a premium plan for $5 per month or $45 per year.

What makes this business model different that the average software or app startup, however, is the end game of Evernote. They see themselves not just as a fast burning candle. They are prepared to be here for multiple generations. To create a foundation that can be measured in centuries instead of years, some different decisions were made.

Evernote Learns From Its Users

When Evernote was first launched in 2007, they didn’t really do any market segmentation to see who their primary users would be. What they discovered, however, was that the careers which required working on multiple platforms were the workers who were the early adopters of this platform. The two top careers that adopted Evernote were clergy and journalists. This helped the Evernote business model because the people who were most excited about it were the ones who would be the most likely to talk about it.

Feedback was also critical to the success of Evernote. A survey of people who were asked to name their favorite note taking application listed the app in second place. What was first? Traditional note taking on a legal pad or notebook. The analog experience is still very important today, even with highly adaptable technology available, and that recognition helped to enhance the Evernote experience over time.

The Goal Is To Make People Smile

When looking at the subscription charts of Evernote users, a distinct pattern begins to emerge. Many like to call it a “smile” pattern. In basic terms, it means that the longer someone uses Evernote, then the more likely they are to pay for a premium upgrade. The smile in the business profile comes from a descending amount of premium subscriptions that finally bottoms out and then begins to rise again.

The Evernote business model also takes one very important concept seriously: they are true to themselves. The app launched just a year after Facebook was introduced to the general public and social media was the much loved only child of the day. Evernote realized that to become as valuable as possible, it wouldn’t be because people were being social with their app.

It would be because they were being anti-social. Evernote is built for those parts of one’s life that aren’t frequently bragged about to family and friends. It makes like more efficient. When users experience that efficiency, then they can get more done every day and remember more things. The goal is actually pretty simple: Evernote wants to help everyone remember everything. Why jot notes down on a paper calendar with multiple coffee spills when a quick note can be entered into a mobile device or a preferred O/S?

A Global Focus Has Helped Evernote Achieve Success

Many companies focus on just one market and build up from there. Evernote, which wants to be around for several generations, took a different approach. The invested into a global presence early on in the process. This investment paid off because the US for Evernote is actually its third strongest user market. There are 8 million more users in the Asia Pacific region then in the US and Canada.

The Evernote business model also proves that when something good is created, people are eventually going to find it. Only 13% of the first 100 million users of Evernote were referred to the service through a partner. This means people are using the program, liking it, and recommending it to others. This has allowed Evernote to limit their spending on marketing so they can be innovative and expansive with their revenues.

The subscription business model is paying of well for Evernote. People are loving the program and upgrading it over time. Although the initial download is free and Evernote is quite useful, the premium upgrade unlocks extra features that busy professionals can use regularly to make sure nothing is forgotten.

Note taking has made it to the 21st century because of Evernote. By the time the 22nd century comes along, who knows where this business model will take Evernote.

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