Customer Development comes along and tells us, “Go get your customers before you have a product.” OK, I get the strategy - I bought into Customer Development a long time ago. But when it comes down to the tactics, and you’re staring down your mailchimp list, you know it’s harder than it looks. You know it is. Read more...
Why is it Hard?
Mostly because I made a deal with my co-founder that I’d have a few thousand (ahem, five thousand) signups by the time we released our beta this fall. As of right now we have one-hundred and twenty-six.
If you’re in a really early stage, like we are with Chill.ly, we’re still trying to validate the problem we want to solve, our value proposition, and the channels we want to use, to reach a certain segment of customers. That’s a lot of validating to do my friends, a lot of validating.
What I’ve Tried So Far
We have a goal set that says if this project will be successful, we should have five thousand signups by the time the leaves are red. We put up a landing page that describes our problem and urges our visitors to sign up and save some money. Then my task shifted into, “drive some traffic to the site.”
Here’s how I’ve been trying to do it so far:
- Friends and family, social networks: Got us to about 50.
- Forums: Forums are skeevy and I’d prefer not to troll them.
- Betali.st - Easy approval, we received about 25 signups that day.
- Hackernews - Asked the community to take a look at our landing page and leave feedback. Resulted in about 10 signups. Come on HN that’s weak.
- Google/FB Ads - They work, but not a home run. We’re looking at a CAC of about $1.50, and that’s only for a beta signup.
A note on blogs: Blogs are tough. Any blog with a decent readership is reluctant to write about a product that hasn’t launched yet. Mostly because they have a fear of publishing fluff/pr pieces. I understand that. As a result, getting written about on good blogs is a long sales cycle.
What I Want to Accomplish
I have a few coals in the fire, and I’m going to crack this blog fiasco. We’re also going to wrap up our first advertising test and get a benchmark for our CAC. That will give some data to measure against when we make the changes to the landing page we’ve been planning out.