Just a few weeks ago, I launched Non-app Calendar, a tiny analog product aimed at helping us turn our big goals into manageable actions. Those of you who've been following me on this blog, knows that besides one or two small past experiments, I'm more used to the b2b kind of business.
In this post, I'm going to list seven of them.
1) I underestimated the time.
Developers, entrepreneurs and professionals in general: you know how common, yet inevitable, this problem is. And it seems like there's nothing we can do to prevent it from happening. We always tend to underestimate the time that will be required to accomplish the secondary tasks of a project.
In my case, it was the time it would take to code the landing page, ask people to write reviews, answer support emails or just buffer tweets in order to promote the product.
This resulted into frustration, because I had to execute some of these tasks without all the attention that I would have liked to give them. It also forced me to adjust my schedule and postpone other important things that were planned for the week following the launch.
2) I didn't make a plan for promotion.
When I launched Non-app Calendar, I wasn't sure how big of a success it would be. So I never really took the time to make a schedule for my promotion initiative.
I just submitted the link of the product to some websites and tweeted about it whenever I had some spare time from my regular job.
I'm sure my launch could have had even more impact if I had strategically planned my promotion.
3) I didn't ask people who bought it to share
Only after a few weeks I sent them an email to ask them to help me spread the word (see #4), while I think I should have encouraged them to do it right after their purchase.
The best option would probably have been to put a twitter button right on the last page of the purchasing process.
4) When I asked customers to talk about it, I didn't do it right.
When I sent an email to the customers asking them to help me share Non-app Calendar on twitter, I didn't include a model of the tweet they could use.
Several people replied to the email to point out this mistake.
And why the reason I didn't include a one-click-to-tweet button may sound like a reasonable one (I didn't want people to act like robots), but retrospectively, this was a big mistake.
5) I didn't set up proper analytics
I've never felt the need to set up advanced analytics for any project I've been involved with. So before launching the landing page for Non-app Calendar, I did what I usually do: I declared a new domain in Google Analytics, included the tracking snippet in the page and that's it.
This meant that until my friend Jacob Wyke convinced me and helped me set up proper analytics, I wasn't able to know exactly which source sent me the best traffic (conversion-wise).
Setting up these kind of analytics also made me decide to remove a button on the website linking directly to the price. People weren't reading the benefits of the product and were just jumping right to the price.
6) The biggest mistake: Nothing to catch the leads who weren't ready to buy.
As I stated in my long essay about the whole experiment of launching Non-app Calendar, the first weeks drove approximately 8000 visits to the website. Within this big number, only a fraction was ready to buy during the first visit.
By promoting quite massively on twitter, maybe I managed to have them click and land a second time on the page. But I believe I could have made it easier for myself by having an email-catcher somewhere on the landing page.
Maybe I could have sent a filled in version of Non-app Calendar in exchange for their email address? That way, they would have received something to get a better idea of the benefits of the product and I would have had a way to contact them again later.
Building this email-catcher would probably have required less than two hours, with a pretty quick return on the investment.
7) I priced it too low.
Non-app Calendar brings a lot of value to anyone serious about achieving their big goals. I decided to set the price really low so it would be a no-brainer, impulsive kind of purchase.
After talking to customers, I'm more and more convinced that the price could be higher than what it is today.
So if you didn't already buy it, get it today! I might increase the price in the near future.