For the past few months, I’ve been working with Sydney-based INDX.guru, the “most beautiful stock market monitor on the planet”, on their launch strategy.
INDX.guru is one of those interesting knowledge-based startups that changed the delivery of valuable information, which was traditionally only accessible to prominent or successful investors. While alternatives to INDX.guru can cost you up to $36,000 per year (making it well out of reach for the majority of the population), INDX.guru is completely free.
The fintech startup is in a relatively new space, as one the key success factors in stock market investments. When investing in markets as volatile as a stocks, a critical component to timely decision-making is information. The more information you have delivered to you that you can process quickly, the faster your reaction times to the market, and thus your potential for profit.
The result is a product which delivers over six million points of data, in one beautiful dashboard, blisteringly fast. I was excited to get on board.
While the product team made their refinements, I took the opportunity to optimise the onboarding process, and leverage the time to launch to build up their waiting list, so that we could launch with excited users rather than simply a slow start.
I’ve been involved in a decent amount of pre-launches over the years. What makes every pre-launch more difficult, is you’re targeting a very specific kind of user. Yes, you’re targeting those potential users you’ve defined in your personas (the type of thing you’re hopefully doing before you write one line of code), but you’re also targeting a very specific subset of those users, the early adopters.
Early adopters are a special kind of human. They revel in being first to use something, they’re the first to share something, they’re the catalyst when something goes viral, they’re comfortable with risk, and they’re generally much more forgiving when something goes wrong.
With this knowledge in mind, I tried several avenues to build the list, and found the more niche the resource I was posting to, the better the results (no surprises there).
What was extremely interesting to me, was the fact I was able to increase the quality of the list by tackling both sides of the equation. If the goal was to increase expressions of interest in the product, and the solution was to go out and find the people who would ultimately express their interest, how could I refine the audience I targeted, and supply them with an interest-worthy delivery to convey value?
The Test: Hyper-niche acquisition meets geographically-targeted landing pages
It’s niche targeting-upon-niche targeting, essentially. I had to go out, talk the language of our users in channels they already exist, and deliver them localised personalisation to convince them to join the waitlist.
Step 1: Content Outreach Negotiations
One of the most important steps in this whole approach, and certainly one that was the most trickiest, is negotiating digital airspace on web-based publications with a large audience that were predominantly in our target audience, being investors.
If you’re not already writing your own content on your own blog, or your product’s blog, start. Right now. One of the key factors in negotiating contributions to established publications was my existing content on my blog (the one you’re reading right now), content on INDX.guru’s blog, and my engagements on other publications I write for (like TheStreet and LifeHack).
This is most certainly a numbers game, so it’s important to not despair when you’re not getting any bites back. Craft your email in such a way that conveys your capacity to increase the readership and versatility of your target publication, and make it less about the promotion of your product. Publication editors don’t care about your product, they’re constantly bombarded with requests. They care about adding value to their readers, so pitch something worthwhile.
Step 2: Useful Content Production and Subtle-Yet-Transparent Links
If you’ve received the green light to begin supplying content to a publication, avoid making it a ‘salesy’ piece. It’s important to serve their readership with relevant content they actually find useful. Also avoid, where possible, to link to yourself (or have full disclosure when doing so)… generally just save it for the bio.
Step 3: IP-Targeted Landing Pages with Localised CTA’s
Give your hard-earned traffic something they can relate to. In INDX.guru’s case, this is the localisation of vernacular to reflect something that matters to them. For example our US visitors saw a control CTA of ‘The most beautiful NYSE monitor on the planet’, while Australians saw ‘The most beautiful ASX monitor on the planet.
Step 4: A/B Tested CTA’s
Finally, and because it was important to test the effectiveness of the words surrounding the localisation, I delivered variants of the CTA to test the best combination of keywords to drive the most conversions.
What’s your best conversion technique?