You’ve worked day and nights on your project. You know everything about your ideal client. You’ve mapped out your competitors and created a product that is better, cheaper and more unique. In fact, you know your product is pure awesomness (and not just because your granny said so).
But as the launch date approaches, there’s this one persistent thought that keeps haunting you – what if nobody comes?
To avoid this sad, sad scenario, I’m offering the following bluntly simple, yet highly effective growth hacking tips to invite the thrilled audience on the grad day X.
1. Get Free Press Coverage with Smart Outreach
You know you need great publicity for your product, but you are not a PR person. And hiring a real pro will blow your budgets. Luckily, there’s a hack for that.
Step 1: Scout Google news for reporters who have already covered a similar product or one of your competitors. If your product is “absolutely out of this world”, than seek for people who write about such things.
Step 2: Level up your search with Press by Customer Dev Labs – a nifty tool that turns your Google News feed into a spreadsheet.
Step 3: Upload your list to Mechanical Turk to automate the process of getting names and contact details of your people.
Step 4: Now, you have the list. Start crafting a sweet, yet creative outreach letter with a classy press kit to go along. Try not to sound like any other PR rep sending out the canned emails with attached Press Releases to each and every journalist they know. Be a bit more creative then that and slightly personalize each letter.
Step 4a: Put a news embargo on your PR, however mind the fact that some publications despise this practice.
Step 5: Set up Google Alerts + social media alerts for your brand name and wait for the first results.
2. Hack Your Waiting List with a Viral Sign-Up Form
Creating “waiting lists” or “coming soon” lading pages to get some early adopters on boards isn’t news. However, the people simply sign up, wait, get the product and the bucks stops here.
Make your launch more existing by offering some juicy baits to your “waiting list” crowd e.g. invite five friends get $X credit or get XXX shares of our page and get a beta version two weeks prior to official release. Chris Babajide from WP Site Updates shares his experience:
“We’ve created a simple coming soon page with an email sign up form. Next, we offered a $10 monthly credit for each referral our user could bring. Some of the most active mates got a completely free monthly plan, and we’ve gotten around a hundred of great leads in return. Absolute win-win!”
Ready to give this hack a try?
Step 1: Encourage as many people as possible to sign up to your “waiting list” via email.
Step 2: After them validating the opt-in send out a custom trackable URL that looks pretty enough to be shared.
Step 3: Set up an autoresponder to notify the person once their link generates a new referral.
Step 4: After they have fulfilled your bait requirement, they receive an email with their “prize”.
You can either code everything yourself or use Viral Sign-Ups or KickoffLabs' Viral Signup Form Plugin if you are on WordPress.
3. Crowdsource Your Product International Translation
Interested in tapping into international markets early enough? There’s a hack for that, too. To leverage your brand to non-English natives, get on a crowdsourcing program and announce a fun and unique competition of translating an amazing new app (service/your product) in exchange for a sweet little prize – a free version, an early user account or something equally intriguing.
While this hack isn’t the easiest one to organize, when done properly it can reap you massive rewards with relatively low costs involved. Think of the strategic partnership Buzzfeed established with Duolingo at their time.