I had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Van Kooten, author of the MailChimp for WordPress plugin. With over 900,000 active installs, and almost 8 million downloads, it’s one of the most popular plugins of all time. Danny has built a very successful business selling a premium version of his free plugin, and I wanted to know what his experience has been like with the freemium model. Danny’s spoken English is not as good as he’d like it to be, so we conducted the interview by email. Before we dive in, I’d like to give some context. It’s easy to read interviews like this and think it’s easy to build a plugin and have great success. Remember that MC4WP is an outlier, one of those products that does really well without a lot of marketing effort. We love to hear stories about unicorns, but it is very difficult to replicate this today. Danny built this plugin in 2012, while WordPress plugins and MailChimp were both starting to have incredible growth. His timing was perfect, and he executed better than other products on the market. He mentions in the interview he still thinks there is room for success with WordPress plugins, and I agree. However, I think
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