1,000 Pre-Registered Users and a Website for $500

Introduction

Late in 2016, the DealzTap team pivoted from our location-based deal application into Tayble. With Tayble, you can view the menu, specials, order your favourite meal, split the bill, and leave at your convenience, all from your phone. With 7 weeks till the launch of the MVP, we commenced a pre-launch campaign, which I have documented below.

  1. Build a Beautiful Yet Basic Website
  2. Add a Viral Sign Up Form (MaitreApp)
  3. 1st Test: Post to Facebook
  4. 2nd Test: Post to Facebook Groups
  5. 3rd Test: Paid Facebook Ads (Age)
  6. 4th Test: Paid Facebook Ads (Gender)
  7. 5th Test: Paid Facebook Ads (Image)
  8. Increasing The Spend
  9. Results Summary
  10. What Could be Improved?
  11. What’s Next?

Build A Beautiful Yet Basic Website

So at this point, all we have is our new logo, colour palette and vision for what the app will become (the MVP is currently under development).

The goal as we build our website that we achieve 3 key points.

  • Explain What Tayble does (but not in too much detail, things can quickly and easily change in the early stages and I don’t want to be updating the website daily)
  • Designed well, looks and functions professionally
  • Built with conversions in mind, no page should be “just coz”. Every page should have a purpose.

With these key points I start with WordPress, which is already familiar to me and set up hosting with WPEngine, because, well, they’re the shit!

Next step is to choose a theme that looks good, loads fast, has excellent support and provides regular updates (I also prefer a theme that has visual composer as standard). In this case, we settled on the Salient theme by Theme Nectar, it looks pretty good and seems to run pretty quickly.

Go to ThemeForest

Installing the theme works pretty much the same as any theme does and installing one of the demo sites to customise is simple too. After fiddling around for a couple of hours and loading in some content we end up with a pretty decent looking home page, a dedicated page for restaurants and users, a company page, an investor page and a FAQ’s page.

Importantly to note on the FAQ’s page this is treated as a working page and it has a form at the bottom of the page which can be used by visitors to ask any questions which don’t appear here. However, the main purpose of this for is for internal use, anyone in our team who encounters a common question or objection can add it here. I then address the concern/question and add it to the FAQ’s page, ultimately this will form the foundation for our knowledge base.

Running Total

  • Days = 1.5
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • Total Spend = $69

Viral Sign Up Form (MaitreApp)

With the foundation laid, it was time to start seeing what the public thinks and more importantly, would they tell their friends about Tayble? To do this, I had already researched and identified the exact tool I would use, MaitreApp.

Go to MaitreApp

MaitreApp is a light-weight, yet powerful viral signup form that creates a wait-list of your subscribers and encourages them to share the signup page with their friends in return for moving up the list.

We also needed to consider what we would use as an incentive for users to pre-register for something that doesn’t yet exist. Putting our heads together, it made sense for us to use our initial testing, where we would have invited close friends to test the each version of the app before launching it, as small launch events. We will pay for the meals, real-life users would test our product and provide us feedback.

So with MaitreApp installed, the incentive finalised and website up and running, it was time for a soft pre-launch.

Running Total

  • Days = 1.5
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • MaitreApp = $79
  • Total Spend = $148

1st Test: Post to Facebook

As our first test in the soft pre-launch, I asked our team of 5 to each post the below to their Facebook page.

We would track the results to measure the following key metrics:

Key Metrics

  • Unique Visitors
  • Signups
  • Signup Conversion Rate
  • Referral Rate

To our surprise, it went really well!

And we achieved the below results in around 3 hours.

Running Total

  • Days = 2
  • Unique Visitors = 257
  • Signups = 44
  • Signup Conversion Rate = 17.12%
  • Referral Rate = 14%
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • MaitreApp = $79
  • Total Spend = $148

Needless, to say we were pretty happy with the results, but with just 5 posts going out to our personal networks of family and friends, I remained hesitant that it may just be because the people signing up know us and wanted to help us out.

So it was time to spread the word a little bit further…

2nd Test: Post to Facebook Groups (Already Members)

For the second stage of our test, we decided we would share the identical post into a variety of Facebook groups our team were already members of. In total, we posted into 6 Facebook groups like Sydney Startups, Sydney Business Directory and similar.

Measuring the same metrics, the results again surprised us.

Key Metrics

  • Unique Visitors
  • Signups
  • Signup Conversion Rate
  • Referral Rate

Running Total

  • Days = 3
  • Unique Visitors = 625
  • Signups = 114
  • Signup Conversion Rate = 18.24%
  • Referral Rate = 16%
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • MaitreApp = $79
  • Total Spend = $148

But, where it got interesting, was the people who were subscribing… After seeing some familiar names and some interesting domains register, we started researching a few of the people who had registered.

It turned out 6 of were investors and at least 3 where people of influence, who we knew didn’t register for a free meal… We are wing watched…

NB: At this point, we implemented a little hack, I will outline what and the results at a later stage… Maybe…

3rd Test: Facebook Ads (Age)

Having achieved some level of success the next objective was to identify who our audience are and refine our messaging.

The key metrics we would be measuring here are the below:

Key Metrics

  • Conversions
  • Cost Per Conversion
  • Click Through Rate
  • Conversion Rate

To kick this off we ran used facebook power editor to set up a dark post and used a campaign and 2 ad sets to send traffic to the post.

Campaign: Hungry Humans
 Ad Set 1: Sydney, Men & Women, 18–34 yo
 Ad Set 2: Sydney, Men & Women, 35–45 yo

We ran these ads for 1 Day and the results confirmed what we already thought would be the case, our early adopters are at the younger end of the scale.

Results

Ad Set 1: Sydney, Men & Women, 18–34 yo = $0.62 per conversion

  • Conversions = 16
  • Cost Per Conversion = $0.62
  • Click Through Rate = 6.98%
  • Conversion Rate = 24%

Ad Set 2: Sydney, Men & Women, 35–45 yo = $1.06 per conversion

  • Conversions = 9
  • Cost Per Conversion = $1.06
  • Click Through Rate =5.74%
  • Conversion Rate = 27%

Pretty happy with the initial cost per conversion and having while the data is by no means scientifically significant, it was enough for us to narrow our focus to a younger audience.

Running Total

  • Days = 4
  • Unique Visitors = 749
  • Signups = 145
  • Signup Conversion Rate = 19.36%
  • Referral Rate = 19%
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • MaitreApp = $79
  • Facebook Ads = $20
  • Total Spend = $168

4th Test: Facebook Ads (Gender)

With the knowledge that it’s the younger audience who are interested in Tayble and being a part of the launch events, it was time to work out if gender has any influence.

Similarly to the 3rd test, we measured the below key metrics, but this time we spent $20 per ad set:

Key Metrics

  • Conversions
  • Cost Per Conversion
  • Click Through Rate
  • Conversion Rate

We then turned off the current ad sets and created some new ad sets, pointing them to the same ad.

Campaign: Hungry Humans
 Ad Set 3: Sydney, Women, 18–34 yo
 Ad Set 4: Sydney, Men, 18–34 yo

Results

Ad Set 3: Sydney, Women, 18–34 yo

  • Conversions = 34
  • Cost Per Conversion = $0.58
  • Click Through Rate = 6.83%
  • Conversion Rate = 26.11%

Ad Set 4: Sydney, Men, 18–34 yo

  • Conversions = 17
  • Cost Per Conversion = $1.12
  • Click Through Rate = 5.12%
  • Conversion Rate = 19.30%

Running Total

  • Days = 5
  • Unique Visitors = 887
  • Signups = 206
  • Signup Conversion Rate = 23.22%
  • Referral Rate = 21.39%
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • MaitreApp = $79
  • Facebook Ads = $60
  • Total Spend = $208

Now again, these results certainly weren’t scientifically significant. however, they gave us enough insight to know that we could happily increase the spend on the ad set targeting women. However, the ad set targeting men needed a little work (well actually a lot, $1.00+ for a conversion just won’t cut it).

5th Test: Paid Facebook Ads (Image)

So it was clear that something wasn’t quite resonating with the men. While discussing it with the team my better half overheard us, she walked up to my screen and picked it in 2 seconds flat… We had love hearts in the graphic (insert audible facepalm here).

So with this lightbulb moment, we quickly went about creating a second advert for the ad set targeting men. A big juicy burger… mmmm yum!

Within the first hour, we saw the cost of conversions dropping quickly and after another $20 spend they levelled out at the below

Ad Set 4: Sydney, Men, 18–34 yo

  • Conversions = 37
  • Cost Per Conversion = $0.54
  • Click Through Rate = 6.98%
  • Conversion Rate = 23.40%

Running Total

  • Days = 6
  • Unique Visitors = 1244
  • Signups = 289
  • Signup Conversion Rate = 23.23%
  • Referral Rate = 21.31%
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • MaitreApp = $79
  • Facebook Ads = $100
  • Total Spend = $248
Boom! We are ready to ramp this baby up…

Increasing The Spend

With all of our key metrics hitting where we want them to, we are now ready to increase our spend.

Our overall goal was to hit 1,000 pre-registered users for a total spend of $1,000. So with 6 days and $248 gone, we were left a balance of $252 to get another 711 pre-registered users.

So increasing the spend up to $50 a day for 5 days, we needed to be converting 142 users per day at an average of just $0.35 per conversion…. A pretty tall order, but let’s see how got on…

Results Summary

After increasing the spend, here is the summary after day 11 (the 5th day at $50 ad spend a day).

Running Total

  • Days = 11
  • Unique Visitors = 2970
  • Signups = 829
  • Signup Conversion Rate = 27.91%
  • Referral Rate = 35.47%
  • Hosting = $30
  • Wordpress Theme = $39
  • MaitreApp = $79
  • Facebook Ads = $350
  • Total Spend = $498

You’ll notice a couple of sizeable increases here from both the Signup Conversion Rate and the Referral Rate. It’s important to note that just as we increased the spend, I made a couple of tweaks to the website.

  • I Improved the user experience on Mobile (we had some reports that the scroll was a bit jerky)
  • Changed the copy of the confirmation page to include the text “Improve your position by signing up your friends, just three sign ups will get you into the top 50!”
So while we didn’t quite make the target for the allocated budget we did spent the additional $55 to get the remaining 131 conversions.

In summary, we managed to convert our first 1000 users at a fully weighted cost of $555.00 ($0.42 per User). This included our website build, hosting, MaitreApp and ad spend. Not too shabby!

What Could Be Improved?

Upon reflection, it’s pretty easy to look back at things and say, “we should have done this earlier” or “why didn’t we try this from the start”. With that said, I won’t dive into things we should have done sooner, just things I would do in the future.

  1. Custom confirmation page for MaitreApp (the default one doesn’t let you install any analytics or FB pixel so a conversion is measured by Facebook as a form submission).
  2. Test different landing pages for the signup page.
  3. Test Additional images and copy for the Facebook ads (might improve cost per conversion slightly).
  4. Make it clearer that users must confirm their email address to enter (we had around 160 users fail to do so and MaitreApp don’t share the email for unconfirmed entrants).

What’s Next?

Now that we have 1000+ users pre-registered, it is my mission to convert these users into the most loyal brand ambassadors possible.

The plan is to invite all of these users to become “VIP Hungry Humans” by referring a business to us. We will ask these users to tell us where they want to use Tayble and use these referrals as warm leads to sign up restaurants as early adopters.

I’ll be sure to let you know how this goes, what tools we use to do it and anything else I find interesting along the way.

Conclusion

Overall, we are very happy with the results from this campaign and it is one that we are able to turn on or off as we wish. While we didn’t hit the target we wanted, it was probably a little ambitious and a 10% blowout doesn’t exactly break the bank.

I’d love to know if this was at all helpful to you and if you have any questions about the process or anything else, please hit me up in the comments section.

Cheers,

Update 27th Jan 2017

Durring the following weeks, we continued to run paid advertising, until hitting 2,500 pre-registered users. We have now turned the campaign off to avoid having too many users too soon.


Originally published at Chris McCarney.