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I really have 3 inter-related questions.

It's common knowledge that if you have a new offering, you should put up a landing page and start acquiring email addresses through xyz channels.

The questions I have are:
1) Is there a time frame after which it would be considered as being too long between the landing page going up and the offering being available (whether its available as a private beta first or publicly available)?

2) Are the ramifications of this time being too long simply people forgetting/losing interest or are are there other negative consequences that are not as obvious?

3) Also,while the people who have signed up are waiting to get access to the offering, are there any best practices for keeping them engaged/keeping your offering top of mind in this pre-release phase?

It seems that simply sending progress updates wouldn't cut it, given everything else people have going on in their lives & how low email open/click through rates are in general.

  • MC

    Max Cameron

    over 6 years ago #

    You might want to start by asking yourself "why" you're putting up a landing page in the first place. Hopefully it's because you have gaps in your understanding of your potential customers that you want to fill. Instead of looking at the email signup field of your landing page as a way to build up a mailing list in the future (when you do launch), consider how much awesome stuff you can learn from everyone who signed up.

    Progress updates are a good idea, as long as you're letting people opt-in to those updates. But I think the bigger opportunity here is to reach out to these signups, get them on the phone/hangout (or in person if your signup is local), and try learning stuff like:

    * Why did they sign up
    * What is their number one problem
    * Ask them to pre-pay before launch
    * Find out how they heard about you (if it's not obvious from your analytics)

    Considering how much useful data you can learn from these conversations, I would say the benefits far outweigh the risks of people forgetting about your product.

    There will always be more signups.

    • AA

      Anuj Adhiya

      over 6 years ago #

      Thanks for that Max.
      It certainly makes sense to be using the landing page signups up for customer development type activities.

      I have honestly never experienced this from a user perspective - given how many pre-launch offerings I must've signed up for over the last 5+ years.
      I can imagine however, that if any of those founders had reached out to me to find out more about my motivations & done some basic keeping in touch type emails, then it's highly unlikely that I would've forgotten them anytime soon.

      • MC

        Max Cameron

        over 6 years ago #

        Yean when we were working on Kera I was inspired by this post:

        http://thestartuptoolkit.com/blog/2011/10/its-the-ceos-job-to-email-the-first-1000-signups/

        The article has a lot of tactical tips about writing the emails.

        When we released our original demo someone posted it to HN and we got about 1000 signups over one weekend. I was able to have about 300 interviews over 60 days and we found it extremely valuable.

        As we progressed and launched, I stopped using boomerang and we wired up intercom to request interviews from all new signups.

        Definitely recommended.

        • AA

          Anuj Adhiya

          over 6 years ago #

          Thank you Max - this has all been super helpful!
          You've spurred a lot of new thinking.

    • SC

      Shana Carp

      over 6 years ago #

      This - for some people, it may make sense to have more than one landing page.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 6 years ago #

        Shana - could you elaborate please?
        Did you mean that there should be different landing pages based on channel or different versions with different copy or something else?

        • SC

          Shana Carp

          over 6 years ago #

          all of the above - basically an early stage startup needs to test thier branding - getting mcro versions of landing pages set up is a good way to test

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