Updated September 20th: I asked Adam Pennacchio (@ajpennacchio), Head Of Customer Success at Groove to add some of his thoughts to my initial list of 10 tips, after their extremely impressive Beta test and famous customer service. Groove is an awesome support desk product specifically designed for SaaS companies. Check them out (they’re also cheaper than Zendesk and Desk.com)
Your prototype probably stinks. It’s probably full of bugs. Lacks features. Probably uses twitter bootstrap. Writing more code is expensive. And in a Beta test, writing more code has diminishing returns.
But talking with customers. Building a brand. Getting feedback. Creating evangelists. This is the stuff that makes a successful Beta test. It’s on this initial group of people that you will declare your Beta period a success or failure.
How this group of users respond to your product could mean the difference between securing an investment of $250k, or going back to your old employer with your tail between your legs.
Never again in your startup will you experience the rapid prototyping, the excitement, the energy, the passion from customers, as you will during this time.
In case you didn’t get my point yet, your initial Beta testers are fucking important. Here’s some of the ways we’re looking after ours at trak.io: Continue reading 10 Tips To Improve Customer Experience During A Beta Test
A strong Beta waiting list can make or break a startup. That sounds a bit dramatic, but too many startups have closed because they blew their entire angel budget of £15k on Google Adwords to try and bring in Beta testers.
While it’s true that PPC can get you Beta testers, there’s a big difference in the dynamic of a startup paying £3 to acquire a waiting list user, and paying nothing. And why pay, when there’s a ton of early adopters out there who are literally begging to use new products!
Here are 10 resources that we used to get Beta users for free. Some will work better than others depending on the type of startup, but we’ve used these for Trakio’s early waiting list with amazing results!
Continue reading 10 Places We Found Beta Testers For Free
Retaining a user is a lot cheaper than acquiring an active user. Retaining a user doesn’t cost advertising dollars, and doesn’t require expensive sales reps. These are people who have already decided to invest into your signup form, have already partially bought into your product vision, and have already invested a degree of effort into learning your product and how it could work for them.
Once you have a good activation rate, focussing on retention is critical to make your app sustainable.
If you’re retention numbers suck (which is a relative term depending on your app type) there are a few quick hacks you can setup that will dramatically increase retention. Here’s 6 hacks that every scrappy startup should be doing to keep users coming back.
Continue reading 6 Easy Retention Hacks For Startups
Every startup uses a pre-launch page to gather early interest in your product. The ultimate end-goal of this page, or microsite, is to build an email list of engaged early adopters. Early adopters, by their nature, will checkout a ton of startups every week. Your landing page only has a few seconds to convince them that you’re worthy of their email address.
With a few quick hacks, you can dramatically increase the performance of this page. As always, ensure you’re running something awesome like trak.io and a heatmapping tool like CrazyEgg so you can monitor the effect these changes have to your product.
Here’s 5 quick hacks to get an instant boost to your signup rate.
Continue reading 5 Easy Hacks For Your Pre-Launch Startup Landing Page