What Putting My Startup On Beta List Taught Me About Life, Love And Launching

I’m founder of a B2B SaaS marketing startup (Yes I know, Lot’s of Tiresome Acronyms, or LoTA for short) called Minutemailer.

It’s going to be awesome.

Right this minute we’re working on the first public beta that will launch early this year and as part of the launch plan I decided to put Minutemailer on Beta List. This is my learnings.

Filling In The Forms

It’s really easy to submit your startup to Beta List. I just took a screenshot of the home page of the website, typed away and clicked submit.

Just make sure you follow the rules:

It says on the web page it could take about four weeks to review and publish the Startup and they do have a feature where you can skip the line by paying $99, but if you plan ahead that shouldn’t be necessary.

So after that was done I just waited, and waited, and waited, and then completly forgot I had filled in that form.

Until one day about 3 weeks later I recieved an email from Marc at Beta List…

BOOM SHAKALAKA! We just published your startup on Beta List:

Make sure you describe your product in a clear, uncluttered way and have a big and bold call to action (button).
Wow! That’s some presentation.

So, what happened?

A good thing about Beta List is that there are numerous ways startups are promoted.

The primary channel is of course the Email list (as in Beta List) but they also publish startups on their Facebook page (+4600 likes) and Twitter (+25k followers). There are also about +13k followers through a IFTTT recipe that emails you invites from new startups on the list.

To maximize the impact of being featured on Beta List we added a thank you screen after people signed up for the Beta to encourage people to spread the word.

The thank you screen being shown after you sign up for beta access. Share the link through Email, Facebook and Twitter.

I think it helped us get better reach and if we had put more time to it we could have done even more. Like putting people in a numbered queue and encourage people to share the link to skip ahead. But sometimes good enough is enough.

We got a lot of tweets, follows and retweets. For what it’s worth.

But I’m quite happy with the result. We got a lot of love through Twitter and Facebook. Likes, follows, mentions, tweets. You name it.

The channel that worked best was Twitter.
After about 24 hours we could count to more than 500 new beta access signups.

For us that is awesome, even if I don’t think the early adopters on Beta List are exactly our target group they can be important ambassadors if they love the service.

And then what?

We are working hard to finish the beta of Minutemailer and open up access to those that signed up. I think it’s important to not wait too long. At the same time it’s important that the product is good enough so we deliver on our promise.

After that comes the really hard work.

If you haven’t already done so, submit your startup to Beta List.

Some alternatives to Beta List

Beta List is the best thing I’ve tried so far but some other options are:

Product Hunt — This is for launched products of any kind.
Launching Next — A simpler version of Beta List.
Angel List — More for investors but can be good to get early signups as well.
Betabound — Beta test new products.
Startup List — This is a simpler version of Beta List.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions to include in the list above.