Our Launch on Beta List

Twist was featured on Beta List last week and is seeing great results. Today I want to share the strategy we used for our Beta List launch, as well some of the metrics we’ve seen.

For those unfamiliar with Twist, we’re building a personal CRM that enables you to manage your professional life without ever leaving your inbox. We’ve been busy working on our MVP and needed to start to gather beta users for its upcoming launch. Our research brought us to a number of different pre-launch platforms that we submitted to – Beta List has significantly outperformed the rest so I thought I’d speak on our experience with them. Here’s what we suggest you do:

Create A Landing Page for Beta List

You need a page with the sole purpose of asking visitors to sign up for your beta. Don’t go into extreme detail on your product, this site needs to focus on one thing above all – sign ups. The point is to cut right to the chase by quickly pitching your product and guiding the user to register immediately. In most cases, Beta List visitors come to the site with the intention of registering for new startups, so we tried to make the process as easy as possible for them.

To do this, we made sure our landing page used the entire first fold to zero in on the sign-up form. We only asked for a user’s email to simplify the process. If you’re tempted to ask for more info to get insights into your audience – don’t do it – lengthening your signup process decreases the chance a user converts. The lone content we included is our tagline and a small descriptor letting users know the benefit of signing up. This setup has converted on 36.19% of our visitors, and 42% if only accounting for only new visitors.

“Coming Soon” templates are a quick and cost-effective way to put together a page, but if you have the time and resources, I’d suggest shying away from popular templates. You run the risk of looking similar to the dozens of other startups featured next to you, so standing out from the crowd can give you a nice advantage.

Make it Personal

If you look at most startup listings on the site, it’s their product, pitch, and a couple comments if the page has done well. Show visitors that there’s a team behind your startup and welcome them to your page! We introduced our product, thanked them for giving us a bit of their time, and encouraged them to provide feedback so we can continue to tweak our product.

We also used Drip to send new subscribers a personalized thank you, and let them know what they can expect to receive from us in the near future. Features like split testing enabled us to see what messaging performed best and provide great info on differing open and click through rates.

Know your Audience

When you set up your page you can select 5 different tags to identify your startup. If you’ve chosen 3 or 4 tags and struggling to find your last, try to consider the subjects your buyer personas would also be interested in, as users can search by tag if they have their mind set on one space.

A way we benefited from the tag feature was by identifying competitors. At the bottom of your Beta List page, there are a list startups similar to yours. Check these guys out and see what the competition is up to, we knew some of the names on ours but learned about a few new players in the space.

Pay for Flexibility

Beta List can have a lengthy waiting queue upon submission due to its popularity amongst startups. Fortunately, they offer a $129 package to get you to the front of the line. This comes in handy if you’ve identified a priority day to launch or are in a rush to hit deadlines. We opted to pay the $129 to select the exact day we were featured, which along with some traffic research gave us an edge in visibility.

Invite Friends

There’s no better way to grab the attention of Beta List visitors than validating your product with a nice base of upvotes or “hearts”. While I don’t think this will make or break your feature, it’s an easy way to give your page the push it needs to build momentum. I’m not suggesting you beg every one of your contacts to go give your startup’s page a like – just posting on your personal social medias to let friends/family know they should check it out will bring in more valuable, honest feedback.

If I Could do it Again

The mistake I’m still kicking myself over is not initially including our social information on our landing and thank you page. We didn’t have our Twitter or Facebook linked for the first two days, our most active period for traffic and sign ups. As a result, we didn’t capitalize on some potential fans, which can be difficult to establish when starting off.