PushCrew’s ‘Accidental’ First Traction Story
Date — 19/August
Final testing inside app. It’s working.✓
Proof-reading copy on staging website.✓
Contact-us form working? Yes.✓
Date — 20/August
Website made live.✓
Testing Contact-us form on live website.✓
Test email 1.✓
Test email 2.✓
Test email n.✓
Booking made for drinks and dinner.✓
First real email inquiry lands. Mistook as test enquiry. Ignored.
Collective shout — someone sent us a REAL enquiry
Real inquiry no.2
Real inquiry no.3
… Real inquiry no. 15
‘Dafuq! Did we just launch?’
‘HELPpppppppppppp! Who’s answering these emails?’
Yes, that’s the exact flow of event that occurred on August 20,2015. I am avoiding adding the hysterical bouts of emotional shouts, crazy moving around the desks, and going ‘WHATTTTTT!!’ and ‘WOWWWW’ in between.
Bit of history first — we started out as an experimental project under the roof of @Wingify. All of us were part of the flagship product @VWO’s team. Being a tech-centric company, we adore and respect good products. And it’s constantly our endeavour to keep innovating in our products and work approach.
This time we decided to take a step further. We decided to bet on building new products. One of them happens to be PushCrew.
Coming back to the crazy launch(?) story. On the evening of 20th August, three of us working on PushCrew had been promised dinner and drinks by Paras, Wingify’s CEO. After making sure all of it was working as expected, we were just waiting to call the cabs and drink and relax a bit. Testing the Contact-us form was happening simultaneously — hitting any keyboard keys and waiting for the test email to land in our inbox. Things were working as expected. We were happy. But then, out of the blue, our first real enquiry landed. The first time, it really got missed. Took our brains a few seconds to register that we actually had a real enquiry. And why not? We had done ZERO marketing. There was absolutely no way we could have possibly started appearing in Google search. We hadn’t even posted about PushCrew on our personal Facebook or Twitter pages yet! PushCrew, after all, as we thought, was known only between 5 people in Wingify.
While we were getting excited and trying to answer questions in our head. Boom! There came another email from our Contact-us page. And then another. And a few more.
Finally, we decided to stop being clueless, ecstatic and excited. The first thing we did was check who was actually referring us this traffic. Apart from the few sessions from our staging website, we saw that someone had put us out on ProductHunt. All of us exchanged looks to check who out of us had put PushCrew there. None of us had. (I am letting you know this because frankly, we would have done that a few days later. If not us, we would have asked one of our long lost relatives in the tech world to add us on Product Hunt and later acted cool about it.)
So in another tab producthunt.com was opened and we were appearing on the first page in the fifth position and we had a few up-votes already. Someone, who was not our relative or friend, had put us on Product Hunt.
@SpencerChen if you’re reading this, I am super curious still — How did you actually come to know about us? And @SpencerChen if you’re reading this, we’re super duper thankful.
Here’s something for you:
And the emails continued. All of us getting restless and uneasy, still decided to go ahead with our celebratory dinner. After all, we now had double the reasons. The one thing none of us stopped doing on our phones and tabs was constantly refreshing our inbox and Product Hunt. If one stopped, the other would say — ‘fuckkkkkk 71 emails’ and ‘yay! 89th up-vote’.
Here’s a picture from our dinner that night:
In a couple of hours we reached our 100th up-vote, and then 200th and then 481st! (missed 500 by just a bit) And we went on to be on the second spot for most part of that day.
Emails came in the same speed. We got more than 500 enquiries in less than 48 hours. Phew! First time in our lives, we were thrilled to see our inbox being flooded.
Someone even offered us a trip to Cape Town to quickly enable their account (see image below :P). We got emails from the biggies (such as Uber and the News24 network), SMBs and startups in same proportion. Needless to say, we were super thrilled!
<so yeah, we didn’t take the offer! :D>
<and yeah, good grammar and adrenaline don’t go together>
And here’s a screenshot of our Google Analytics’ session recording for that day:
The first few days after getting Product Hunt-ed were super exciting for all of us. We hadn’t thought that we would be required to do so much work so quickly. Bug fixes, website changes, load testing, adding servers, adding features in the product, answering customers, manually creating their accounts, emailing them codes and taking their feedback — all of it was happening simultaneously.
All this while, we never had sales people. (we still don’t)
It’s been a little more than 3 months that PushCrew accidentally launched and here are some facts about us:
- We recently expanded our team. There are dedicated marketing people who’ve taken it upon themselves to educate people about this trending new technology of push notifications for website. We also have a UI/UX designer (who can’t stop complaining about the colors we’ve chosen in our app); he aims to make PushCrew look and feel as beautiful as it works.
- We have a blog on which we educate people about this technology. Here’s an absolutely fantastic read about website push notifications from the blog.
- We already have 3 success stories from our users. Here’s the first one, the second and the third case study (these guys made a 3-digit revenue from a single push notification they sent)
- Google has started recognizing us. We’re on page 1 of Google for queries like ‘Chrome push notifications’ and some others
- Scheduling and segmentation have been added in the product interface and we’ve also made our APIs live. Some cool folks also built some cool projects using the PushCrew APIs.
- PushCrew is actively installed on 700+ websites
- We are serving a million notifications each day
- And yes, we’ve already made our first (and second and third and more) revenue!
And we’re growing! Growing really fast!
Thanks to ProductHunt, we’ve been riding a roller-coaster so far! This is for you guys:
@ProductHunt, yes, we love you :-*