Running a business is like have a separate love life. You will go on thousands of dates and you will probably kiss a lot of ugly frogs – just to find a solid team. And most of you probably recognize that feeling when you need to tell that frog that your feelings isn’t mutual?
That feeling have made it’s presence a lot lately. I’ve been speaking to a few fresh on the market companies for advice and idea bouncing – and it’s been hard to find the right words to tell them what I truly feel. That I don’t agree with their ideas.
Here’s the thing: They all want to jump in bed before preparing the basics. And in this specific case the area of focus is marketing.
I think we all can agree to this: Growing a company and finding new users without spending a fortune with huge risk is extremely hard. Many entrepreneurs are triggered by solving a difficult task or problem, but I’ve seen a dangerous pattern the last few years: the lack of groundwork and preparation.
Preparation is not necessarily the difficult part but for most entrepreneurial personalities it’s incredibly boring. I think that’s the reason why marketing preparations often never get done. Or gets done poorly.
Therefore, I’ve created a very short, but hopefully useful, marketing checklist to follow when launching your product or service. My own thoughts, of course.
One person signing in or downloading your app but never starting to use your product/service is probably far from what you hope to get out of the marketing money spent. Before you have a functioning onboarding system in place that will make sure you engage as much as possible of your first point users you will be throwing a lot of great potential clients overboard. Make sure users are engaged within the first 5 days and plan a drip-campaign (a set number of emails/push/messages to go out automatically based on timelines or user actions. Simply put, drip campaigns is set to give your user the right information and reminders at the right time) to make that happen. Work with the communication tools you have to understand when and what message goes best in what channel.
Getting one user to log in only one time is a lot of money spent for nothing. We live in a busy world and users will need, and count on you reminding them of your service or product. Again, don’t be afraid of using several touch-points (whatever you have is fair game; email, push messages, in-app messages) and work on sending through valuable communication. Reward users coming back to you and help the ones having a slow start to find additional value in your service or product.
If you don’t accelerate your user-base from the paid acquisition to a viral growth mechanism you will be stuck in a payment scheme and your growth will be slow. At all times I, as your loyal user, should be able to spread your brand and value to my network. The network effect is very much personal these days so building features for social media blasting is nothing I’d recommend. Focus on building your brand through person-2-person, a simple, and well tried out growth hack is to create a give-2-get program in place. Give-2-get simple guideline: Find out what you are able to pay to get a new client, then give this amount to your loyal user and his/her friend to try your service. It’s a fantastic set-up in every way: your users will feel privileged as they are able to give their friends discounted rates on a service they like, you will grow satisfaction rates as your loyal user is rewarded when sharing the service amongst his/her network and data proves that users coming in to a service through a personal recommendation carries a higher LTV. Best part? Using the given amount to both parts as credits to your product is proven to work really well which allows you to keep your marketing money in your service and will help increase retention. A good referral program will have ongoing copy work, tailored emails and about 80 touch points throughout the service. Never miss an opportunity to remind your users about your generous give-2-get setup! Make sure you help your users that are sending invites by tailoring them as personal as possible (great tips and trix is to use their profile picture in the invites and work on personal copy).
Paid user acquisition
Guess what? You’re ready to start working on attracting more users into your platform without throwing important leads in the trash.
And please keep in mind:
Always read your data and always iterate your copy, touch points and offers. A good onboarding, retention and growth program is never complete and perfect, but rather an ongoing integral part of your work. Due to the nature of a program like this, make sure you have one person in charge of reading data and iterating copy and content to maximize impact. Measure the results from your different touch-points and find the secret ingredient for your growth salsa.
I also strongly recommend the co-founder or/and CEO to stay on top of this. Following these steps, finding a unique tone of voice and understanding what triggers users for a faster onboarding, higher retention and LTV is essential in building a successful business, not to mention the core in any successful marketing strategy.
Feel free to ping me for any follow-up questions, I know it’s a big topic in a short article.
Now - let’s onboard and beyond!