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From idea to inbox: How I launched Ungate in 5 days

I delved into the genesis of 🦄 Ungate before. The brand concept arguably took the longest to form and wasn't fully plannable. Ungate, in essence, is a love child. 💝

However, once the brand name struck me at 2 a.m. mid-REM — as good ideas often do — everything else had to unfold swiftly. I have a tendency to grow bored easily, and if a project can't be delivered quickly, it's likely I'll lose interest. Recognizing this trait, I had a candid conversation with myself about how to keep the momentum going.

Here’s the gist of what I and myself agreed on:

Sounds good, huh? Well, I didn't adhere strictly to all of the above, and there are things I wish I'd done differently — more on that in a sec — but Ungate did launch at the end, and that’s what matters.


Invest in setup

I was all in on Ungate and decided to throw some cash at it for a domain and tech essentials. Snagged a .co domain through Square to keep things wallet-friendly, got myself set up with Google Workspace, and then, without missing a beat, dived into picking and setting up the rest of the tech stack.


Tech stack

Choosing the tech stack was, by far, the easiest part of the process. I have my preferences and, in this case, I had the luxury of choosing whatever tools I like — and can afford — without having the consult a buying committee or go through any sort of evaluation. 

👉 So first, I made a list of tools and providers that I knew I would need:

  • Business domain, email, and cloud storage were immediately sorted with G-Suite.
  • Project management tool for my to-do’s
  • Monetization tool
  • Design software
  • Marketing automation and CRM software
  • Website and blog CMS

So off I went and started setting up the tools that I have already used and liked for these purposes. Here are the software solutions I chose, why, and how much I pay for them. 



Asana steals the show as my go-to project management wizard. Sure, I've used Monday, Teamwork, and Notion, but Asana’s my ride-or-die. It's not just about getting things done; it's the vibe, you know? 

The sleek look, the user-friendly setup, that cozy dark mode, and the freedom to tweak things (even if I’m keeping it simple for now). Plus, there’s a unicorn flying across the screen every time I complete a task — cue the magic!

Asana task completion

Setting up Asana was a smooth sail — a mere 20 minutes to transform it into my digital accountability buddy. Perfected the project view, locked in tags, customized the layout to reflect my workflows, and got the mobile app for on-the-go ideas.

Shoutout to Asana's free option — keeping the budget in check and the gratitude flowing. 



Ungate is a free B2B resource but I thought there’s no harm in accepting contributions from my audience if they find my content helpful. 

Enter Ko-fi, a donation platform for digital creators — my unexpected ally in this adventure. As I ventured into setting up Ungate, Ko-fi wasn't on my original software lineup. Around that time, however, I crossed paths with Ko-fi’s founder, delved into the platform’s potential, and decided it had to be part of my tech arsenal.

Navigating Ko-fi's setup, a process that took about an hour (or potentially 30 minutes with a prepped Stripe or PayPal), was a breeze. The team's stellar work on UX and guided journeys made the process seamless. Personalizing my donation page, adjusting contribution details, and infusing it with a bit of my brand — it all happened in a flash.

Ko-fi is currently my trusted companion, coasting on the free tier with the optional contributor mode switched on. This means, as I embark on the journey of earning through the platform, a modest 5% commission is part of the collaboration. 

Ko-fi’s pricing model resonates with me, aligning payment with success. You can use it for free or toggle on the contributor mode and allow for a modest 5% commission to be taken off your earnings. 

Now, talking contributions, should you enjoy this blog post or Ungate in general, consider buying me half a coffee or contributing an amount that feels right. Your support adds fuel to the Ungate journey! ☕



Canva has become my go-to for design, elevating its game with AI features that outshine the rest. The visuals on my website are mostly crafted with Canva's AI text-to-image tool, and let me tell you, it was so much fun to use — maybe even too much fun…

Here are some of the prompts I typed in and the images I got:

  • Happy, young, diverse group of people wearing funky glasses —> and I got the blog cover image
  • Cute, fluffy dog joggling fruit and veg —> this will be featured on an upcoming blog post about marketing automation

Examples of AI-generated images 1

  • Drawing of a broken rainbow arch —> and the graphic for the 404 page was done
  • Drawing of a chubby unicorn walking away from me, looking back at me —> I added some text, and the email unsubscribe page became funkier 

Examples of AI-generated images 2

And there are dozens more that you will see on the website and in email updates if you stick around. 

Beyond its thought-through UX, what I love most about Canva is its marketer-friendly brand asset management. After deciding on the brand guidelines and designing some elements like splashes, rainbow arches, and sparkles you see in the pics, I saved them as brand assets. Now, no need to remember color codes or font types — everything's right at my fingertips.

Setup? Smooth sailing, taking anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours, depending on your definition of done. The basic account setup is really no more than a few minutes if you have your branding sorted already. 

After test-driving Canva's AI features during a trial, I've settled into the free plan. Should Ungate start making strides, Canva's £12.99/month Pro Plan is a no-brainer investment — it's worth every penny.

Occasionally, I complement my free Canva account with Adobe Express for some advanced tools. However, Adobe's complicated UX doesn't win me over. Canva's simplicity triumphs over the unnecessary complexity of Adobe products. UX matters, and Canva nails it.



Shocker, I know. But once you used HubSpot as your joint CRM and marketing automation tool, plus your website and blog, there’s no going back. It’s a powerhouse and and absolute game-changer. 

I get it, HubSpot can be a hefty investment, and it might not be for every business. If I penned a guide on when to go for HubSpot and when to seek alternatives, would you read it?

Setting up HubSpot is a time-intensive affair, especially with all the domain tasks, website themes, branding, form and page creation — it's an ongoing saga, and I won't even try to tally the hours. For the launch prep, I'd ballpark it at around 16 hours of essential work.

I'm accustomed to the HubSpot Enterprise suite, so dabbling in the Starter option brought a few surprises, if I'm honest. As a marketing automation enthusiast, the absence of Workflows on this tier was a bit of a letdown.

Yet, I'm happily splurging £26.93 on the Starter Marketing Hub. It packs in 1,000 marketing contacts and features from Sales, Service, CMS, and Operations Hub. It's the only paid software on my list, and it’s a must-have.


💡 Pro Tip: For every single paid tool on this list, I checked out G2 Deals to seee if I can score a discount. I hadn’t realized that G2 had this functionality, so if its news to you too, you’re welcome.


The bill 💳

For transparency, here’s how much I pay to bring Ungate to badass B2B marketers.







Google Workspace Business Starter



Remaining tech stack (basically HubSpot)






How much revenue does Ungate drive? None. But I’m fine with that. It’s a hobby for me and I would probably spend this much on yarn for my knitting or on something else. 



MVP and launch timeline

I used to be a bit of a perfectionist who couldn't fathom releasing anything less than near flawless. That was until I joined a software development startup, delving into the world of lean business practices, agile, Kanban, Scrum, sprints, MVPs, you name it.

Over these recent years, I've picked up a knack for delivering marketing initiatives swiftly, getting feedback early, and embracing the power of iteration. I understood why this approach is crucial: you could spend eons crafting a product, service, or a free B2B marketing resource — only to realize it's not what anyone wants.

I owe a debt of internal gratitude to Richard Hills for imparting this knowledge and steering me toward a leaner approach to marketing.


Ungate’s MVP

With only a quick 5-day sprint, Ungate went from idea to reality. Seizing a brief break between jobs, I plunged into an action-packed 5-day reset period dedicated to Ungate.

Admittedly, I didn't jot down my Minimum Viable Product — a rookie mistake. I had it in my head, but not on paper. Go figure. This meant I wavered a bit, got distracted, and, in some instances, expanded the scope. Not the smoothest move.

Midway, I smartened up and, if I had a full MVP list, it would've been something like this. 👇

  • Technical admin: Snag a domain, set up Google Workspace (mainly Gmail).
  • Branding: Whip up a logo, brand color palette, design guidelines, and some tone of voice documentation. 
  • Core website setup: Tackle DNS settings and other CMS necessities, pick a (free) website theme, and pop in the branding.
  • Create core pages: Cook up a homepage, a newsletter subscription page, and a blog.
  • Content: Ambitiously, I planned for content 3 months ahead (blog articles, LinkedIn posts, templates, newsletters). 
    • Spoiler alert: a tad unrealistic. Trimmed it down to a ready-to-go newsletter, two blog articles for the email, and a handful of LinkedIn posts for the promo.
  • Other minor tech setup: Sort out Ko-fi for potential monetization, spruce up my LinkedIn to widen the reach, and toggle on Creator Mode.

Looking back, sure, there were areas where I could've been savvier. But you know what? Ungate was ready to roll in 5 days — and yeah, I even managed to hit the reset button between jobs.



Start spreading the word

If you hit the gym but didn't post about it on Instagram, did the workout even happen? Peer pressure, it's a thing.

The moment I had the logo for Ungate, I started talking about it, sharing my vision for this free B2B marketing resource, why I believed it would be epic, and the exciting things I had in the pipeline.

Talking about it wasn't just a PR move; it was my way of committing to the cause and making sure there was no turning back. Plus, I was itching to gauge interest.

And let me tell you, the response was fantastic. When I spilled the beans about Ungate and vented my frustrations about the state of B2B marketing, people resonated. They loved the name, the concept clicked, and some were so stoked they wanted to jump in and collaborate right away.

Now, you might raise an eyebrow and say, "Well, obviously, people won't tell you it's a bad idea. People are nice." And you'd be right. That's precisely why I had to take the next step.

After just one LinkedIn post introducing Ungate to my network, I had 10 new subscribers — some of whom I didn't even know. The anxiety of sending out the first newsletter was real, but I crushed it: 75% open rate, 33% click-through rate, and 67% read rate (not counting me).

October Ungate update email results

Sure, it's a modest database compared to my usual 100k+ contacts, but I'm thrilled with the results. Proud that I created something that some find genuinely useful.

So, I'm keeping the momentum going, hopeful that more B2B marketers will embrace the Ungate mindset.



It’s a wrap — Lessons learned

Like I said, there are things I’d do differently now. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. So here are some of the things that I’ve learned — either because I did them right or failed at them. Maybe, if you’re just embarking on your entrepreneurial journey, you’ll find it useful. 👇

If it’s written down, it’s committed: Jot down your MVP or launch list. It's more than just “ink on paper”; it's your commitment, a way to hold yourself accountable. Plus, there's something deeply satisfying about ticking off items from your to-do list.

Get early feedback & ask for help: Flying solo without a team to bounce ideas off or review content was unexpectedly challenging. The shift from teamwork to solo work was a curveball. Huge shoutout to those who took the time to review and provide valuable feedback on my early work.

Rely on technology: Embrace the power of AI. From crafting images on the site to designing the logo and even composing this article, AI played a crucial role. There's no shame in leveraging smart technologies when they make sense.

Don’t be so hard on yourself: I've been told that I have high expectations, and I don't always realize it. Thinking I could whip up 3 months' worth of content in 5 days while handling general setup seemed realistic at the time. Also, aiming for a 100% open rate on the first newsletter? Maybe a tad ambitious. Lesson learned: manage your expectations and cut yourself some slack.

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