Like most digital pre-launch campaigns, you create a landing page, implement an email capture form and drive some traffic with the hope of raising awareness and acquiring a set of early adopters.
This strategy works for the most part. However, as an early adopter I find myself signing up to pre-launch products and getting that standard formatted MailChimp welcome email then little to no contact thereafter.
By the time the products ready to launch I’ve forgotten why I’ve signed up and have lost all my enthusiasm.
This shouldn’t be happening!
You might be a solo founder or small team and writing content with updates and sharing early designs is the last thing on your mind when battling to get your product ready for launch. However, you are missing a HUGE opportunity!
With a few hours of work up front you can create an efficient automated drip campaign and achieve the following:
- Keep your early adopters enthusiasm up and by the time you are ready to launch they will be scrambling to register or purchase your product or service.
- Validate your assumptions with your users throughout the build of your product.
- Get valuable insight from your early adopters and ask for feedback regularly on early versions of your product or service.
How did I do this?
I created a landing page with an email capture pop up and set up an automated drip campaign using MailChimp’s free automation tool.
The idea being a user visits my landing page, looks around and decides they would like to request an invite for early access to my product.
Once the CTA has been clicked an email capture form pops up and the user is presented with another value proposition and is asked to select the user type that best describes them.
This way I can segment the user and provide them with relevant, targeted content and most importantly, present the core designs I have been working on that are specific to that user type and therefore get higher quality feedback. More on this later.
Segmenting your mailing list is key. Generic content isn’t going to drive clickthroughs and and generate the feedback you need!
Once the user type and associated email address have been provided it will then be sent to the appropriate ‘list’ via the MailChimp API. Each list I created within MailChimp consists of 3–5 automated emails tailored to each user type.
No code solution: If you are not comfortable using the MailChimp API I would personally use Airtable. Add an email and multiple choice field and ask users to select ‘what best describes them’ from the predefined list you have created. Then add this form to your landing page using Airtable’s embed feature.
As mentioned previously, I have three user types, and each user type as a corresponding list in Mailchimp. For each list I have designed a custom drip campaign.
My example below shows the three campaigns with copy, trigger timeframes and status information for each list. As you can see I’m working on adding more as I continue to build the product. I’m also considering how I can export the open/ click through data for each campaign into the G sheet!
I’ve set each email to go out 2 days after the previous as that’s often enough to keep the user engaged but not too spammy. This cadence is hard to get right so I will be monitoring it and trying different frequencies if the feedback suggests it’s not right
So let’s take the ‘maker’ segment as an example and go through each of the emails and why I have structured them in this particular sequence.
Email 1 ✉️
My first email in my maker campaign consists of a ‘Welcome email’ explaining a little more about BetaTesta and my current progress building the MVP.
Honesty and transparency really help people relate to you as a founder or team and typically people are more receptive to provide feedback and schedule calls with you.
As with any email in the campaign you should always provide a clear call to action. In this particular example I ask the subscriber to follow my progress on the BetaTesta twitter account.
Email 2 ✉️
The second email is the most important in the sequence. This is where I ask for feedback on the current core designs and try to validate some of my assumptions through a survey.
It is position number two in the email chain for a good reason.
Now the user has read my landing page, decided to sign up and received the welcome email thus, are now primed and intrigued in the product.
Now there are various tools and methods to get feedback on a prototype. However, for this experiment, I used TypeForm to create a basic survey. This survey included a preview thumbnail and link to my InVision prototype containing the tester profile design.
Link to my maker survey — feel free to fill it in! 😉
Once the user opens the survey I ask a series of questions relating to the designs in order to solicit their feedback. I tried to keep it short (around 3–4 mins) to respect the users time and to ensure they complete the form. Lastly, I asked if they would be willing to take part in a brief call to discuss their feedback further!
Email 3 ✉️
The third email consists of a recent piece of content I put together that the subscriber may be interested in reading. This particular piece of content is applicable to all three segments so it is email number three in all my campaign sequences.
This content further explains the product and the nuances of the industry why I’m attempting to build a better solution.
Email 4 ✉️
Email number 4 in my maker sequence is a work in progress, and I have yet to implement it. However, my plan is to review the open rate for the maker campaign and segment the users who have opened and clicked through each of the previous emails and provided their feedback on my survey.
I then intend to reach out to the select group of users and offer to find test participants from my list of ~500 testers that have subscribed already. This way I can help some of my early adopters and create concierge MVP in the process.
Keep nurturing your email list throughout the creation of your product and be sure to keep your subscribers updated with the feedback you have received and the changes you have made.
You want to show you earlier users you are listening to them and their feedback is valuable. Keep creating surveys, arranging calls and user testing sessions.
If your interested in the results from the strategy, including page views, conversion rate, bounce rate, open/clicksthroughs for the drip campaign sign up to the newsletter below. I will be sharing this shortly.
Did you enjoy this post? If so I only ask one favour 🙏🏻. In the time it took you to read this post you could provide me with some incredibly helpful feedback by 👉 clicking here 👈
I don’t just use this technique on my own startups it’s also actively used on those I manage at ucreate. It’s especially important for those going through the Flash programme as the automation quickens the feedback loop and that’s essential when we’re trying to validate new business ideas.