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We tried the 3 in the last couple of weeks and we are now sharing the results with you.
So first thoughts here:
Small Sample Size Problem: Obviously, we're working with a sample of one to each platform and because of that there are an infinite number of things that could skew these numbers (slow news day on TC or HN vs busy scandal filled day etc).
Targeting: A "Show HN" post will very clearly generate a different response than a TechCrunch article (glorified press release really) and have different readerships. He kind of buried it, but I'm not shocked at all to see job applications from HN.
The answer as always is "go where your potential conversions are" and message accordingly across the platforms.
Hi Chris, totally agree with you about the sample size. This is only our experience and it might go down differently for other startups. Your last advice is on the spot, it's always the best way to do it!
Product hunt worked fine for www.cloudlytics.com , we got more then our average weekly traffic in 4 hours of getting posted, but the sign ups have been on the lower side. Techrepublic worked better as with lesser traffic we have better sit ups. http://www.techrepublic.com/article/process-amazon-logs-with-scalable-cloudlytics-saas/
That's a pretty interesting analysis although I'd beg everyone not to consider HN/TC/PH a complete launch strategy *especially* if your audience isn't developers/startups.
I like Amy Hoy's concept of slow and continual launches (http://unicornfree.com/2013/3-critical-non-obvious-ingredients-for-any-launch).
Thanks for the article Jamie, it's super interesting! It wasn't our only launch strategy but it got us to a good start :)
Had some fun with the math. Turned them into rates for easier comparison.
These numbers are based on the assumption that "Signup --> Qualified Lead = Successful Onboarding"
Hacker News 68.42%
Product Hunt 68.75%
Hacker News 1.55%
Product Hunt 3.10%
so pr wins.
Thanks for doing the maths Bradley! You're right, TechCrunch was way up there with its conversion rate. Probably because it was more targeted towards our audience.
Thanks for sharing the results. It's better to talk with figures. Yours tell me that you have to try to be everywhere qualified traffic can come.
Thanks for your comment Bastien! We also think that it's mostly about the product. If it's good, qualified traffic will always come. Trying to be everywhere just makes it come sooner :)
Are you targeting startups? If so... then the numbers Bradley provided are a great resource. Techcrunch probably wins also because of the shear volume in comparison.
However, I'm going to suggest that for the rest of you, that aren't targeting startups... you are wasting your time on any of these sites.
Yes - you'll get a bunch of curious looky lous signed up... but most of them are never going to get engaged, pay, or otherwise convert into the sort of valuable customers you are looking for.
A successful launch requires specific targeting of your customers in a way that none of those resources will ever be able to offer because they aren't mainstream enough to allow for that targeting. Unless, as stated, you are building something for companies that are startups themselves... in which case... you'll soon have a bunch of other problems.
What do I mean by targeting? Building a real profile of who your customers are and where THEY actually hang out online. And it needs to be more specific than saying "Facebook". It should be "These are the two largest Linked-in groups with active discussions about the topic... these are the two people in charge of the group... this is how we are planning to reach out to them..."
Otherwise you are just going with a spray and pray approach that will mostly miss the mark. You'll be happy with some initial signups... but not successful in the long term.
How do I know this? Our company started out marketing towards startups as a launch platform. We've seen thousands of launches and have metrics enough to separate the successful from the unsuccessful ones.
Founder - KickoffLabs
thanks for your comment ! We are actually targeting smaller businesses but I totally agree with you that these websites are not a launch strategy in themselves and that they need to be backed up by more targeted strategies.
Also, we're working on an article about great SaaS landing pages and I would love to get a quote or advice from you. Would you be interested? And if so, what's the best way to get in contact with you?
If you don't want to share your email here, you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to hear from you
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