Nothing worked for weeks. Until it did.

This is an 'almost' complete coverage of everything I did in the last week of June. I have picked up many many ideas from posts like this. Hope this one will be useful to some of you.

Goal: 10-15 signups

I wanted to get about 500 visitors, and 10-15 signups in the week.
Prior to this, I had 4-5 signups every week, despite trying.

The goals were:

  • to optimize the website for conversion,
  • improve the flow of the product, and
  • validate some of the premises I started with.

Results

What I ended up with (in 7 days - June 24th to June 30th):

  1. Blog: 238 new visitors
  2. Website: 338 new visitors
  3. User Signups: 42
  4. Website to Signup conversion rate - 12.5%

Here is a list of growth experiments I did:

Successful Experiments

Our trending post on Product Hunt

Note: Many of these were NOT 'marketing' efforts at all. Instead, these were efforts at engaging with communities. As an introvert, my natural tendency is to stay away from talking to people. I wanted to overcome that limitation.

  1. A Discussion on Product Hunt (that trended): It was what kickstarted everything. This was the first experiment and I got lucky that it started to trend on the home page. This told me that I was on to something. Notice that some of the people who have commented are Product Heads and Product Managers. So I was talking to my primary audience, and getting support from them.
  2. Another Discussion on Product Hunt: I had written a blog about how "hypergrowth" might kill innovation in the long run, by killing off small businesses. Drove a decent amount of traffic. I know this because it did not overlap with any other experiment.
  3. Discussion on IndieHackers : Ethics of "Stealing" Customer Ideas. This post got me a lot of support from the community here (I love this place). It also drove traffic and resulting signups.

Failed Experiments

  1. Blog: What is a Product Roadmap? Posted on IndieHackers and HackerNews. This is truly in-depth coverage on how to create the right kind of roadmap, depending upon your team's stage. Hasn't worked yet.
  2. Post on IH - Hypergrowth is Killing Innovation Softly - This blog was written very honestly (and after a lot of soul searching). But did not pique anyone's interest.
  3. Posting on Reddit: I have posted things in multiple subreddits. I haven't got great results from those yet.

Unclear Experiments

  1. 6 Hacker News posts - Many of them are discussions and do not "link" back. So I do not know how much traffic they drove. All the traffic they drive falls under the "Direct" category in GA.
  2. Responding on threads like this - Where are you with your project? and this - Share your product here to get support. These are good examples of low cost, good return experiments. Do note that pretty much everyone here is working on their own thing. So they are unlikely to become paying customers.

We still have to improve the attribution of results to overlapping experiments.

Common Elements of Successful Experiments

  1. These were not "marketing" efforts. These were me trying to connect with the potential customer base.
  2. Not forcing users to navigate to my site. Most of my posts do not link back. Instead, I write a small bio at the end of the post containing the product name which is the URL itself (Lightcat.io). This leaves the choice in the hands of the reader on whether they want to visit my website.
  3. "Great Design" - this is the feedback I have got from multiple visitors - see the responses to the posts. This applies both to the website and the product. This ensures that anyone reading that response is generally curious to check it out.
  4. Crazy hard work: Well, this is not a lesson that anyone here needs. But in the interest of recording everything - I must have conducted 20-25 experiments (counting each post as a separate experiment). Behind many posts would be one of the 3 new blogs I wrote, totaling about 4000 words.
If you liked this ..
.. and would like to stay in the loop, subscribe here