How Smart Passive Income Grew its Private Membership Community and Recovered $8k in Failed Payments With Baremetrics

Jacob Thomas on June 02, 2022

CHALLENGE: The Smart Passive Income (SPI) team uses a lot of tools to run their business. Many of these tools have their own analytics dashboard, but they aren’t connected to each other, which limits the usable data SPI has access to. Recovering failed payments from members of the SPI Pro community is a challenge, too, which the SPI team needed to solve.

SOLUTION: Baremetrics gives the SPI leadership team a complete look at their membership subscription  data. They can see, from one convenient dashboard, every piece of relevant information, which they can then use to make better decisions that affect performance. SPI also uses Baremetrics’ dunning tool, Recover, to recuperate lost revenue and ensure the memberships don’t slip through the cracks.

RESULT: With Baremetrics, the SPI team has the information they need to make business decisions with confidence and grow their membership base. They’ve also used Recover to get back $8k in lost payments due to credit card expirations and similar issues in 12 months.

In just 12 months, Recover has helped SPI earn back over $8,300 in lost revenue from its SPI Pro community members, paying for itself 8.9 times.

In just 12 months, Recover has helped SPI earn back over $8,300 in lost revenue from its SPI Pro community members, paying for itself 8.9 times.

About Smart Passive Income (SPI) and SPI Pro

SPI Pro is the natural evolution of Smart Passive Income, the popular blog that Pat Flynn started in 2008. For 12 years, Pat used SPI to build an audience, which he then monetized by selling high-end courses that dug deeper into the topics he covered on his blog, such as podcasting, email marketing, and other essential skills for the modern-day creator.

In 2020, Pat merged SPI with his long-time creative agency partner to form a new media company (SPI Media) with the aim of expanding valuable products and services to meet the growing needs of the creator economy. Chief among those needs was a safe space where early-stage creators and online entrepreneurs could gather; meet, support, and learn from one another; have more direct access to Pat, Matt Gartland (his business partner), and the rest of Team SPI, and much more. That desire for a private community fueled the creation of SPI Pro, their application-based membership community that runs on Circle.

Pat Flynn (left) and Matt Gartland. SPI team photo

Pat Flynn (left) and Matt Gartland

In other words, it’s a private group of bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, and course creators who receive top-shelf education and networking opportunities in exchange for a monthly fee.

SPI Pro offers a private community, curated masterminds, and exclusive content to motivated entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses.

SPI Pro offers a private community, curated masterminds, and exclusive content to motivated entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses.

The impact of Baremetrics on SPI Pro

SPI has always tried to analyze their metrics from whatever core tools they use to operate various parts of the business. But they had difficulty connecting the dots between the analytics from the different tools they were using.

According to Pat, the company used to “look at whatever metrics were native to the platforms we used. For instance, ConvertKit has some good metrics that give us insight into our email marketing performance.”

But analyzing individual platform metrics was time-consuming and didn’t give the SPI team the complete picture they needed, especially for SPI Pro. Plus, SPI wanted to “grow up properly as a company and have more rigorous financial insight,” says Matt, SPI’s CEO.

This led Matt to Baremetrics, which he implemented at the outset of SPI Pro’s launch in the summer of 2020, because, “Baremetrics just makes it easy. It’s more approachable, more illustrative, and, sometimes, it’s just more fun.”

Subscription metrics

Matt and his team dig into Baremetrics on a regular basis to analyze performance and conversion data and to make sure that new subscribers are billed correctly. “Baremetrics is an essential tool in our toolkit to be able to understand what’s going on with our business.”

When SPI Pro launched, they offered two payment options: members could pay on a monthly basis, or receive a discount and pay on an annual basis.

But, after reviewing the data in Baremetrics, the SPI team decided to sunset the monthly subscription option in favor of a quarterly payment option. In Matt’s own words, “Based on what we saw in Baremetrics, in terms of the split factor between monthly and annual retention rates and churn elements, we thought we could perform better.”


In addition to organizing their customer and subscription data, SPI uses Recover to recoup revenue lost to failed charges, which is a constant struggle for founders running subscription-based products and companies. It works by automating email campaigns, in-app reminders, and paywalls that help fight against things like expired credit card numbers, insufficient funds, and other common credit card issues.

“I will always sing Stripe’s praises, but we weren’t impressed with the results of its dunning software,” Matt says. “Having increased control with Baremetrics is essential. We’re able to include SPI branding and change timeframes really easily with Recover.”

Matt also appreciates how Recover makes the dunning process more personal through customizable email content. He says:

“Nobody wants to hear that their credit card has failed and they’re delinquent on something. Because Recover is so easy to use and customizable, it allows our CX team to handle the payment recovery process instead of marketing, which customers seem to appreciate.”

Altogether, SPI has been able to recoup $8k in lost revenue from SPI Pro membership subscriptions with Recover!

Learn more about SPI Pro

Are you an aspiring creator and online entrepreneur? Then you’ll almost certainly benefit from SPI Pro.

Beyond SPI Pro, visit the Smart Passive Income website for tons of free articles and resources.

And if you need a top-rated analytics and reporting tool, take a look at Baremetrics. Our solution will give you the MRR, ARR, and churn rate data you need to run your subscription business more efficiently, generate more revenue, and achieve more success.

This is especially true for professional creators, in Matt’s opinion, who take their business performance seriously and prefer to make data-driven decisions instead of being ruled by their emotions.

He says, “As more creators find traction and find themselves motivated to sell something with a subscription, that has MRR, these folks need to be thinking about a tool like Baremetrics.” 

Start your free 14-day trial of Baremetrics today!

Jacob Thomas

Jacob Thomas is a professional writer and a frequent contributor to the CloudApp blog. He currently lives in Boise, ID with his wife, two sons, and a large collection of books he promises to read some day.