Just three months ago, we launched our pro designer and editing app DesignBold on curated deals site AppSumo. And to say we did ‘well’ is an understatement. We CRUSHED it! In the first 72 hours of our test run we had over 3,500 visitors to our landing page and generated $9,000+ in orders.
… within two weeks of launching we had become the #1 startup deal on AppSumo for 2016.
How Did We Start?
After realising a gap in the market for do-it-yourself graphic design – DesignBold was born. Our small, tight-knit team of eight programmers and developers started building a SaaS product to meet the design needs of non-designers.
On 25th October 2016, all systems go – the platform launched.
But, there was one difference … where many developers pour tens of thousands of dollars across marketing channels – we focused on one. The daily deals website: AppSumo. (For those who don’t know, AppSumo offers curated deals for digitally delivered services. i.e. learning based products.)
For us, AppSumo was perfect. Their platform featured everything we could ever need to launch DesignBold:
Email list with +1 million active subscribers. Tick.
Large social media following for cross-promotion. Tick.
Your own business and sales development team. Tick.
Now what this meant for us and you is, it’s perfect to get your app in the hands of early adopters, get real-time feedback, and generate huge exposure!
How We Got To #1
We had to submit DesignBold for approval. Once approved, it’s all about relationship building. Calls, virtual meetings, emails – all direct. All with a real person on the other end of the line.
This is the most important chapter of the entire process. Because when you get this part right – everything else is easier to handle during launch. Here, we worked alongside the AppSumo business development team to craft a sales pitch, which was then translated into a long form sales page.
(See the page here: http://www.appsumo.com/designbold/)
This is where most developers go wrong. They slap up their product – wait for the sales to stream in and … BAM!
Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not a single bite.
Why – because the sales pitch failed.
Secret to our success:
We made every effort to tell our story. In my experience the pitch you give to AppSumo’s community is the most important part.
Next, we architected the right launch deal with AppSumo’s sales team. A one-time only offer to build our foundation user base and get the product out to as many early adopters as possible.
After this, the pitch and deal had a dry run with a small segment of users. (A fraction of AppSumo’s subscriber list.) We interpreted the pitch and offer feedback, then adjusted accordingly.
Now this is the beauty of growth hacking the AppSumo way. Over one million emails, blasted to the active subscriber base.
The email newsletter featured the link to the sales page – teeming with all the benefits of our app at a foundation price which couldn’t be beat. A perfect mix.
After Launch: What Do the Results Say?
14 days after launch – over USD$130,000 in sales
142 comments praising the app
365,883 landing page views
26 4+ tacos* or higher customer reviews
(*AppSumo give tacos instead of stars).
Not too shabby for our fledgling start-up, right?
What You Must Be Doing Right NOW
If you want to explode your results like we have, here are some tips to get you started. Follow them to a T:
- Submit your start-up two months prior to launch. This will give you time to build your relationship with the AppSumo team. Sign-up here: http://www.appsumo.com/business/
(I also recommend you add team members on LinkedIn or Skype. This will allow you to build your relationship further.)
- Start developing your sales pitch
- Test, test, and test some more. Here, AppSumo will send out a newsletter to a small segment of their subscriber list to test out your offer. After this testing phase and depending on the response, you can make final adjustments to your pitch and deal.
- Prepare for traffic. Lots of traffic. Make sure your servers can handle an influx of AppSumo’s users.
(Note: On some days sales will fluctuate. This is because AppSumo is sending out the offer to different segments of the list which vary in size: On the 8th day there was a spike in our orders – 560 in 24 hours. On the final day of the promotion – another 850 DesignBold orders were placed.)
Pay attention here – this is where so many start-ups go wrong!
- Focus on the comments section of your offer. Because referrals drive sales on AppSumo’s platform. So man your station for 24-hours into the launch. You want to be there, ready, for when the comments, questions and queries start flooding in.
- Always be friendly. Yes, good manners makes a BIG difference in the comments section.
- Prepare for user comparisons. It’s nothing personal. Users haven’t heard of you before. Which means they’ll compare your app to whichever platform they think is similar. So don’t pull your competitor down. Answer wisely. And don’t get too caught up in these comparisons. Again, good manners count.
If you, and you might, get bad reviews, It’s OK. It’s not the end of the world. You see bad reviews means you still have areas to improve in.
PRO Tips You Can Start Using Today
1) AppSumo will send out emails to their list – but don’t be too dependent on it. Prepare your own landing page content which users will buy from. And create some Facebook, YouTube or Google PPC/display ads to drive extra traffic, too.
2) Whenever you buy something and the salesman goes above and beyond – you always feel better. Well, same goes for online. For Sumo-lings, add a personal message when they land on your sales page. Show them you care. Show them you’re interested in them.
Software like SumoMe Welcome Mat will definitely help you convert hundreds of thousands of visits from AppSumo into juicy juicy leads.
3) Prepare for the last day of sales. Your email will explode with comments, questions and queries as people cash-in on the final day. You have been warned.
There you have it.
Thanks to Olman Quesada, Hung Dinh and the rest of the DesignBold team who made launch possible. Good luck with your product launch!