Startup Traction: Our Day 1 Betalist Experience
trac·tion ˈtrakSH(ə)n/ – noun – the extent to which a product, idea, etc., gains popularity or acceptance.
“analysts predicted that the technology would rapidly gain traction in the corporate market.” – Google
So you’ve started the Lean canvas and you’re using Eric Ries’ Lean Startup as your bible. You’ve talked to customers, validated, proven your assumptions and hypothesis and you’ve built. Now you have a system and now you need users. What next?
As a startup founder, the hats are many. You are the marketing expert, the face of the company, the networking king or queen, the salesman, the therapist for the other founders, maybe you’re also the developer. You have to somehow figure out how to be everything or find people who like you and your idea enough to be part of the everything. One more hat: Customer acquisition.
We launched Beta on 11.30.2015 this year. Leantime is still growing as a system and we believe fully in user centered design, UX and building for the customer. Our CTO supports this and when your customers like and have need for your product, they use it. Product validation.
As part of our Beta launch, we decided to take a chance on Betalist. We’re B2B, mostly, and were not sure what kind of experience Betalist would give us. We’ve also pushed through our process and development that our time frame for running our Beta may have exceeded the waitlist for Betalist (they say several months) and so we opted to pay to bypass the waitlist. It took nearly a week to get pre-screened and by Friday (12.4.15), we had submitted a payment. Leantime launched yesterday on their website — the very next Monday.
Being B2B, our CTO and I were guessing some conservative numbers. The results you see on blogs, Quora, Reddit, are all over the board. There are startups that received 10 signups, 200 page views over the course of the week. There are other startups reporting high conversion rates with 400+ signups. I’m not sure the overall timeframe for those. We decided we would be happy if, in our first week on Betalist, we managed 300 page views and we were keeping our fingers crossed on a conversation rate.
Our results from Day 1:
225 sessions from Betalist. 324 total sessions.
50 Betalist signups. 11 other signups.
We also got “crowdsourced” from Startup Tracker and received hits from other news feeds such as Feedly and Panda. We are also currently listed on Betalist main page as a Trending Startup.
My favorite part of Betalist Day 1? Betalist started requesting jokes as part of their application process. Founder Marc Kohlbrugge tweeted this from our application:
That joke makes us giggle every time.
Our day 1 conversion rates were not as high as we were hoping for but, again, being B2B – I’m not sure how much that has played into it. It may not be a complete indication of what our overall results end up being either. As of this morning, we are still getting beta requests and re-shares. Staying organized during this phase is vital — we’re fortunate enough to be able to use our own product to stay on task.
Traction, at any level, is much about marketing and being in front of your target market. Even after Day 1, we can definitely support the value in Betalist for early adopters and launching Beta. It will still take time to collect feedback, get users registered and begin maintaining relationships. Signups are the first part but our customer relationships are just beginning and our hope is that the value continues to go up for everyone.