Paul Graham from Y Combinator wrote an article yesterday about how you should spend your time on things that don't scale.
One of the things that's really hard to scale is Business development, I focus about 50% of my time on trying to acquire new customers. Due to the virality & word of mouth nature of our product 1 customer could bring us 10 more.
Here's some of my tips:
YesWare is a GMail plugin that allows you to keep track of who opens & clicks the emails that you send. It also has built in templates that I use to send probably close to 30 emails per day.
I keep track of which approaches work best & use the data to refine my pitch.
Find People to Email
There so many ways to do this but some of my favourites are to: Monitor # tags on Twitter, Search for people disliking competitor products, reach out to industry groups (especially if your product could help their members), look at people who follow or like competitors on Facebook.
Offer an Incentive
Emailing is the easy part, for me the hardest part is converting that initial conversation into something meaningful. If it's an influencer I'll offer them a free lifetime account if they promote our product, if they are unsure I'll let them run their first few campaigns completely free so that they see the value.
Treat new Customers Like Royalty
I like to make every new signup feel welcomed, so they recommend us but also so they stick around! I send out a personalised signup email after 24 hours (which has an 80% response rate), I then use that conversation to help them get the most out of their campaigns. This approach has already got us some mentions at large blogger meetups & in some social meetups.
Use Feedback to Improve
Since we run a giveaway platform, we make beta testers include a feedback element asking how their users think we compare to our competitors. We not only have to keep our users happy, but we need to make it super easy for our users users to enter their giveaways. This type of feedback has helped us make over 100 changes in the last 2 weeks that gives us an edge on competitors.
We wrote a cheeky article on Noah recently about how he does a great job of marketing himself (http://blog.gleam.io/noah-kagan/), there's plenty of takeaways in there that should be useful!
Gleam is a social incentive platform, we allow you to run giveaways that drive real user actions across your own site, but social networks too. Come play with us! https://gleam.io
Your first 3 customers is hard, but remember the laws of compound growth. As you get more & more customers it'll be easy to get new customers, so you just need to put in the hard yards early to drive awareness.
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