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10 Powerful Customer Acquisition Tools To Grow Your Sales Fast

top 10 customer acquisition tools referralcandy cac strategy

What is a business without its customers?

Nothing. It’s just an idea.

As you can imagine, acquiring potential customers is the main goal for many businesses. Because what are they without their customers?

It’s the main reason why you continue to create marketing materials, use onsite retargeting, engage in out-of-home advertising and utilize straight-through processing.

Basically, getting potential customers to your shop is the main reason why you do anything at all. Right?

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that getting new customers onto the sales cycle is a long and arduous task…

…in fact, there’s a sort of science to the customer acquisition process.

One thing is for sure: you don’t attract new customers randomly.

Instead, you create a strategy for acquiring new customers, pulling from different places all over the internet (and maybe in real life, too).

And if you haven’t created a customer acquisition plan yet, then it’s time to do so.

That’s exactly what this blog post is for.

In this blog post, I’ll break down how to create a customer acquisition strategy or improve your current acquisition plans. After finishing this article, you can effectively market your business, bring in new customers to your online store, and increase your conversion rate from curious shoppers to bonafide buyers.

So where do we begin?

Let’s discuss the difference between customer acquisition and customer retention.

Table of Contents

  1. Customer Acquisition Versus Customer Retention
  2. How to Create a Customer Acquisition Strategy
  3. Calculate Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  4. Identify Your Target Audience
  5. Create a Sustainable and Flexible Acquisition Strategy
  6. Content Marketing
  7. Live Chat
  8. Email Marketing
  9. Referral Programs
  10. Test and Analyze Your Efforts
  11. 10 Top Customer Acquisition Tools You Can Use Right Now

Customer Acquisition Versus Customer Retention

Customer acquisition, as the name implies, simply refers to the process of acquiring customers.

Though it goes hand-in-hand with customer retention, they don’t mean the same thing.

An important figure that many marketers talk about is your retention rate, which is the rate at which existing customers return to your online store.

The ultimate goal of every business owner is to acquire new customers and to keep the existing customers.

Why?

If you have a low customer churn rate, meaning that they don’t ditch your store after the first purchase, and high customer lifetime, then you don’t need to spend so much time and effort marketing your products to new customers.

Not only that but having a higher customer lifetime will also increase your sales.

So as you begin to brainstorm ways to bring in new customers, always keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to make them loyal customers.

Crazy Egg found that there’s an imbalance in the focus on customer acquisition and retention among entrepreneurs and marketing teams.

crazy-egg-customer-acquisition-retention-imbalance

Customer acquisition and retention go hand in hand. They are both essential to a successful business model.

After all, if you spend all of your time and money on getting potential customers to your online shop, whether through out-of-home advertising or even word-of-mouth marketing, but then they never return, it’s basically cash out the window.

And if you have somehow built a cult-like loyal customer base that never grows, your business will remain stagnant.

You need to continuously bring in new buying customers as well as keep your existing customers coming back, month after month.

First things first, though, let’s develop a reliable customer acquisition strategy that brings in fresh potential customers through a wide variety of channels.

How to Create a Customer Acquisition Strategy in 3 Simple Steps

Creating a customer acquisition plan doesn’t need to be overly complex or fancy. You just need to figure out what the potential costs are, where your potential buyers are hanging out online, and how you can most effectively get them to your online store.

This can be done in three simple steps.

1. Calculate Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Each new customer comes at a cost. Whether it’s the price of a click from a Google ad or the upfront costs associated with influencer marketing, all customer acquisition methods come with a cost.

And finding a successful customer acquisition strategy comes down to how much it will cost your company to bring in a new customer.

After all, if the customer acquisition process costs more than what your prospective customers will even spend in your shop, then you’ll be losing money even as you increase your sales.

The first step is to determine your customer acquisition cost, or CAC. The CAC is calculated by dividing marketing expenses by the number of customers acquired.

Basically, figuring out how much it costs to acquire customers, per customer.

The formula for CAC is:

CAC = MC / CA, where:

  • CAC = Customer Acquisition Cost
  • MC = Marketing Costs
  • CA = Customers Acquired

To begin the process of calculating the cost of customer acquisition, list all of your marketing expenses. This includes manpower salary, campaign spend and the price of all resources used to make the campaign.

Here’s how you can calculate CAC with the complete marketing expenses:

customer acquisition

Source: Hubspot.com

CAC = (MC + W + S + OS + OH) / CA, where:

  • CAC is Customer Acquisition Cost
  • MC is Marketing Costs
  • W is Wages For Marketing And Sales
  • S is Marketing And Sales Software
  • OS is Outsourced Services
  • OH is Overhead For Marketing And Sales
  • CA is Customers Acquired

So why do you need to do this?

We aren’t trying to target a magical number to create the perfect acquisition strategy (though wouldn’t that be nice?).

Instead, it is a solid metric from which you can gauge the effectiveness of your current strategy and any upcoming marketing campaigns. It is the easiest way to monitor your Return On Investment (ROI) and to keep tabs on your marketing expenses.

As you begin to roll out your new strategies, be sure to check in with your CAC regularly. If the costs become too high, then adjust your plan either by reducing your marketing expenses or increasing the value per customer purchase.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Ideally, all of your customer acquisition strategies will be aimed at a very specific target market. Or, in your case, your target audience. Your target audience is the group of prospective customers who you want to buy your products and services.

You can define them by creating a buyer persona that represents demographic factors (i.e. age, income, location, gender) or psychographic factors (i.e. personality, interests).

As you are creating your customer acquisition plan, consider these things:

  • How does this person arrive to your online shop?
  • What are his or her hobbies or online interests?
  • What is this person searching for in your online store?
  • What other websites are they visiting as they search for your product?

These questions let you get in the head of potential buyers and more easily find them online.

Once you have established a buyer persona, you can identify the ideal marketing channels, such as social media or content marketing, for acquiring your desired customers.

Knowing where and how to capture your target customers lets you spend your resources wisely.

Not only that, but it also helps you when you’re creating onsite retargeting campaigns so that you can accurately target the profile of your paying customers.

Needless to say, identifying your target audience is an extremely important step in creating your acquisition strategy.

3. Create a Sustainable and Flexible Acquisition Strategy

Now that you know about how much money it currently costs and potential costs to acquire customers as well as where your customers are hanging out online, it’s time to put together a strategy.

And, to be honest, that doesn’t take all that much time at all.

Luckily for you, there are already several proven effective strategies that you can implement in your ecommerce business.

Acquisition Channel #1: Content Marketing

Content marketing is an effective customer acquisition strategy that works for all types of businesses. Consumers and professionals constantly search for ebooks, social media posts, videos and blog posts that are relevant to them.

Sharing your expertise and industry knowledge can help your brand build authority and boost lead generation.

Not only that, but it also builds authority on search engines, making them much more likely to recommend your ecommerce business when users are searching for your products.

Content creation is an excellent inbound marketing strategy because it casually invites potential buyers to your online store through search engines and through valuable content pieces, such as how-to guides and instructional videos.

Acquisition Channel #2: Live Chat

Interacting with customers through live chat is an effective way to find out what they want and then hand-deliver it to them.

Even better, it is all automated, giving your potential customers immediate satisfaction and opening the door to your shop right when they’re most likely to make a purchase.

In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of consumer interactions will take place without any human interaction at all.

Aerie and American Eagle have begun to use live chat to interact with their consumers and narrow down their product search.

customer interaction

You can see that the customer responses are already built into the live chat, making it easier than ever for customers to engage with their brand.

Why is this important?

The fewer barriers to entry that your potential customers have, the more likely they’ll end up on your website. And the easier that you make it for them to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they’ll convert into paying customers.

As you can imagine, an automated live chat software program is an excellent and cost-efficient customer acquisition tool that can easily be added to your overall user acquisition plan.

Acquisition Channel #3: Email Marketing

Anyone who says that email marketing is dead is sorely mistaken (and probably advertising an alternative marketing strategy).

Though email marketing seems antiquated in the age of videos and interactive content, it can be used to engage with customers, promote free trials, send discounts and link to quality content.

In fact, your email list also a potentially untapped goldmine of paying customers.

Why?

Purchases made through email offers are often 138 percent higher in value than purchases made organically. For potential customers who have ended up on your email list, they are more likely to come back to your store and make a purchase that is significantly more valuable than if they stumbled across your shop through social media or search engines.

This makes it an incredibly powerful marketing tool for both customer acquisition as well as customer retention.

Emails are also a non-intrusive way to communicate and engage with your customers. You get to send messages to their inbox, unlike social media or search engines, which rely on algorithms and user behaviour.

Acquisition Channel #4: Referral Programs

Over 90 percent of customers trust word-of-mouth recommendations. Not only that, but ReferralCandy also found that consumers are up to 50x more likely to buy a company’s products if it’s recommended by close friends, family or influencers.

Referral programs help drive many new customers to the site and to a product page, getting them one step closer to becoming a paying customer.

A simple referral program that rewards both the referrer as well as the purchaser can bring in a lot of extra traffic and buyers that may not have considered your ecommerce business beforehand.

Using referrals as a customer acquisition channel puts the work of bringing in new customers on your existing customers, allowing you to invest your time and money in other potential acquisition channels.

Test and Analyze

Just like any business endeavor, customer acquisition management is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing and monitoring.

You have to regularly test and analyze your marketing efforts to know that what you’re doing is actually working.

After all, if you’re putting in tons of time and money into different campaigns but not earning any new customers, then what’s the point?

So it’s super important that you constantly check up on your marketing efforts and any related results.

The best way to do this is to monitor user behavior and conversions. Meaning, you need to keep your finger on the customer pulse to see what they respond to and what makes them purchase your products.

Tools like Google Analytics have a heatmap that can help you understand how consumers interact with your landing pages.

 

A heatmap can show you what customers engage with on your site so you know what works and what is mostly overlooked.

Another helpful way to determine what works on your site is to simply test everything that you do, whether it’s the copy that you put or the design of your landing page.

This can most easily be tested with A/B testing, which allows you to publish two different versions of your page simultaneously to see which results in higher conversions.

AKA, which version makes you the most money.

A/B testing a shopping cart or landing page can give you the data you need to improve your click-through rate and to find the right angle for copywriting. With Google Analytics, you can run multiple A/B tests and aggregate the data you need to optimize your landing pages and shopping carts.

content experimentation

Once you’ve analyzed and tested your results, it’ll be much easier to implement the changes that you need.

Because let’s face it, it’s a lot more efficient to rely on research-backed data instead of your gut feelings.

10 Top Customer Acquisition Tools You Can Use Right Now

Luckily for you, there are already tons of tools to help you acquire customers easily. These customer acquisition tools are designed by experts in the industry who understand what converts a potential customer into a paying one.

They also understand how to appeal to a savvy and busy business owner, like you, making these tools some of the easiest to set up and manage.

Here are the top 10 customer acquisition tools on the market in 2019.

1. Drift

How much does it cost? Starts at $0 per month.

drift-customer-acquisition-tools-live-chat-conversations-conversions

Drift turns conversations into conversions.

Instead of traditional marketing forms and sign-ups, Drift’s chatbot connects your prospects with your sales reps. It then asks qualification questions based on what matters most to your business.

This can exponentially cut weeks or days from the sales cycle, since your sales rep will only be in touch with good prospects.

2. Unbounce

How much does it cost? Starts from $79/month.

unbounce-customer-acquisition-tools-landing-page-conversions

Unbounce is a landing page software that gives users the flexibility to build, launch and test high-converting landing pages, sticky bars and popups through a drag and drop builder.

No need to hire a developer or learn how to code.

3. OptiMonk

How much does it cost? $29/month.

optimonk-customer-acquisition-tools-exit-intent-popup

Did you know that 97% of visitors leave the website without purchasing anything?

OptiMonk aims to solve this dilemma by creating an exit-intent pop-up tool that’s designed to help merchants capture abandoning visitors.

Over the years, they’ve expanded their offerings with a complete on-site message toolkit that let sellers increase their subscribers, aggregate feedback, improve conversion rate optimization and reduce shopping cart abandonment.

4. GetResponse

How much does it cost? $15/month

getresponse-customer-acquisition-tools-marketing-automation-email

GetResponse is an all-in-one online marketing platform with features like email marketing, marketing automation and webinars. The software helps you create high-converting landing pages, plan customer journeys and improve customer experience.

5. ReferralCandy

How much does it cost? $49 per month.

referralcandy-customer-acquisition-tools-referral-program

ReferralCandy is a referral marketing and customer acquisition management tool that incentivizes customers to promote a brand or company’s products within their network. It’s basically word-of-mouth marketing on steroids.

6. HotJar

How much does it cost? $29/month. 

hotjar-customer-acquisition-tools-heatmaps

Hotjar lets you track the online behaviour of your users through analysis and feedback tools so you can improve customer journeys.

It can visually represent click-through rates through heatmaps, record visitor behaviour onsite, test landing pages and analyze forms to improve completion rates. Additionally, it lets businesses aggregate feedback by creating polls or surveys and recruiting user testers.

7. MailChimp

How much does it cost? $10 per month

mailchimp-customer-acquisition-tools-marketing-automation-platform-ads-testing

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform that lets users create, design and share ad campaigns with relevant customers and clients.

Mailchimp’s automation tool lets business owners use data for acquiring potential customers, A/B test campaigns, create reports and personalize their marketing.

8. Outgrow

How much does it cost? $14/month

outgrow-customer-acquisition-tools-interactive-content

Outgrow helps marketing teams create interactive content like calculators, forms and quizzes that can boost lead generation and go viral. The calculators are also a good addition if your content discusses cost and financial figures.

Their analytics features include hyper-targeted sales outreach, ability to track traffic from search engines and improve conversion rate optimization from across all your marketing channels.

9. Bounce Exchange

How much does it cost? $3995 per month.

bounceexchange-customer-acquisition-tools-identify-anonymous-traffic-tracking

Bounce Exchange identifies 40% of a site’s anonymous traffic and tracks the users through their devices and sessions. Afterward, marketers can use the data to personalize their customer experience, send triggered emails, create targeted ads and invest in premium ad placements.

10. LiveChat

How much does it cost? $19 per month.

livechat-customer-acquisition-tools-manage-orders-crm

LiveChat lets salespeople and marketers chat with potential leads, send customer details to CRM, manage orders and accept payments. It’s definitely a lot more convenient than scheduling phone calls and writing every email.

Final Thoughts

Creating a customer acquisition process involves having a strong inbound marketing strategy that involves content creation, targeted ads, live chat, and plenty of A/B testing.

But many of these things are already automated in helpful tools and apps that you can easily install in your online store.

If you’re not sure how you should start with your marketing efforts, identify your target audience and find out how they like to engage with brands. Once you understand how to acquire customers, then it’ll be a lot easier choosing a tool that will help move them along your sales cycle.

Marquis Matson

Marquis Matson

Marquis Matson is an SEO analyst, content marketer, and writer. She specializes in search engine optimization for ecommerce sites in the yoga and wellness niche. She lives as a digital nomad, spending time in Ecuador, California, Thailand, India, Australia, and more. You can find her on LinkedIn, Twitter, at marquismatson.com, or contact her directly at marquis@anafore.com.

Customer Acquisition Resources For Hardware Startups

customer-acquisition-resources-for-hardware-startups

Confession: Underneath our dashing good looks, we’re really tech geeks who’re obsessed with cool hardware.

The rabbithole goes pretty deep, I have to admit. Our engineers actually name their internal tools after sci-fi writers: Asimov, Clarke and so on. We use a LIFX bulb in our office to tell us when things get reset. With a little imagination, it does feel like you’re on the Starship Enterprise.

So in the interest of seeing a faster proliferation of cool products in the world, I thought we ought to put together a list of resources that would help hardware startups get more customers.

Here we go:

Content about Customer Acquisition for Hardware Startups:

1: “Empirically the way you get a product visionary as CEO is for him to found the company and not get fired.”  – Paul Graham, Y-Combinator

paul-graham-y-combinator
Paul Graham is a co-founder of Y-Combinator, a popular startup incubator.

Do Things That Don’t Scale, by Paul Graham

 Start small:

“Pebble assembled the first several hundred watches themselves. If they hadn’t gone through that phase, they probably wouldn’t have sold $10 million worth of watches when they did go on Kickstarter.”

 Learn, hands-on:

“Like paying excessive attention to early customers, fabricating things yourself turns out to be valuable for hardware startups. You can tweak the design faster when you’re the factory, and you learn things you’d never have known otherwise. Eric Migicovsky of Pebble said one of things he learned was “how valuable it was to source good screws.” Who knew?”

2: “Wow, if guys are willing to pay a couple hundred dollars for a product that’s just a prototype, this thing has really got some legs.” – Chris Peters, Opena Case

opena-case-hardware-marketing
Opena Case is one of several products from Annex Products, which make functional-yet-stylish phone cases.

How Chris Peters Kickstarted A Beer Bottle Opening iPhone Case Into A Million Dollar Company, by Yaro Starak, interviewing Chris Peters

“We did some pretty smart things before we jumped onto Kickstarter.”

“As Kickstarter was fairly new, we knew we had to drive a lot of traffic to our Kickstarter project to get people backing the project. So we thought we’d build up a bit of a community before we would actually launch the project. If you’ve read the Seth Godin book on Tribes — it’s all about building a community and getting them to be writing fans about your products.”

“We set up a Facebook page.”

“Very simple. Just threw the idea up there, threw up a couple of renderings, photos and maybe a couple of videos and prototype testing. Then we got all our friends to jump on board and like it and share it around. We even set up a Facebook ad. We ended up having about 1,000 likes on the Facebook page which cost us maybe $100 or $200 worth of ads.”

“We got people’s feedback.”

“We asked them about the product ID. So, we basically did a bit of research before we even jumped on Kickstarter. We asked them what they liked in design, what colors they’re interested in, things like that. We had a bunch of people who were just waiting for this thing to get produced even before it was in Kickstarter.”

Early-bird rewards got ‘massive amount of traffic’ and increased word-of-mouth sales:

“When we launched on Kickstarter, we repaid the favor to these people for helping us spread the word. So, we had an early bird backer rewards. A standard award for an offer for Opena case was $30. We opened it up to early-bird backers for half price, almost $15. We had a very limited number of those rewards, about 150 of them.

“As soon as we launched on Kickstarter, we shared it on Facebook page saying, “Yes, it’s now on Kickstarter. You can basically jump on board and put your money where your mouth is and help make this product a reality.” Those early bird backers sold out within half an hour. They just went like hotcakes. Everyone emailed that link to all their friends saying, “Check this out. If you get in early, you’ll get a really good discount.

“It got us a massive amount of traffic in the first few hours that it was launched. It really helped boost that campaign.”

3: “If you significantly improve quality of life in a basic area of our lives, people will happily sign up.” – Zé Pinto Ferreira, Mellow

mellow-sous-vide
Mellow is an intelligent sous-vide kitchen robot that can cook for you while you’re away from home.

How Mellow Made $200,000+ In Preorder Sales In Less Than A Month by Visakan Veerasamy, interviewing co-founder Zé Pinto Ferreira

Before all else, build a better mousetrap:

“If you significantly improve quality of life in a basic area of our lives, people will happily sign up.”

Using Pirate Metrics to think about customer acquisition:

“Mellow still spends a lot of time thinking about customer acquisition. Zé usually uses Dave McClure‘s Pirate metrics to think about these things.”

Customer referrals work great for preorders:

“Needless to say we think referrals are a great marketing tactic to use. We’ve found ReferralCandy to be very valuable in driving preorders.”

Good ol’ elbow grease goes a long way:

Mellow also spent a substantial amount of time doing the following:

  • Studying other companies’ websites
  • Iterating scripts and copy
  • Reaching out to 100+ reporters by themselves
  • Picking great service providers to partner with (such as TryCelery for preorders)

4: “At the end of the day, brand helps customers answer THE question, “Which one should I buy?” – Marc Barros, Contour

contour-camera-1
Contour was a competitor of GoPro’s.

Creating a Brand Framework for Your Hardware Startup, by Marc Barros

(Part of a 6 part series called How To Define And Create Your Hardware Brand)

Focus on facilitating age-old human functions:

People have been doing the same things for a very long time– only the tools have changed and evolved. Great brands understand that tools exist to serve those fundamental human desires. Examples cited: Rain Shadow Meats (butcher), Chrome Industries (messenger bags).

Use Archetypes in your brand storytelling:

stability-belonging-mastery-independence
Your product and brand can’t embody everything– you have to choose.

Different products appeal to different drives- Stability, Mastery, Belonging, Independence. Getting the right mix is crucial. (read: The Hero and The Outlaw)

Your product has to be able to tell a story that you define. How is your customer supposed to relate to it? What are they supposed to feel?

“Connected to your history, archetype, and attributes, these stories can change over time as you create a deeper understanding of your brand and what it represents.”  – Marc Barros

Other good posts by Marc include The Metrics That Really Matter With Hardware Startups and Shifting From Product to Reaching More Customers. His entire blog is worth a read– he writes with honesty and clarity.

5: “Keep demand higher than distribution, remember that your customers are your best investors, take one step at a time, and keep cash flow healthy.” – Cyril Ebersweiler, HAXLR8R

haxlr8r-start
HAXLR8R is a hardware-only startup accelerator.

Why Makers Fail At Retail by Cyril Ebersweiler and Benjamin Joffe, for TechCrunch.  This post is part of a 6-part series.

Two myths in hardware:

  1. “‘The end game is selling at big box retailers like Wal-Mart or Best Buy.’ Wal-Mart is a problem because servicing retailers is not easy. And the bigger they are, the more cash and time you will need.”
  2. “‘Once your amazing gizmo is on the shelves it will sell itself. Sadly, retailers are not in the business of creating demand. You are. If your distribution exceeds the demand you created, it will result in unsold inventory.”

Crossing the retail chasm:

Let’s assume your kickstarted project succeeded (over $100k). Once it’s over, your monthly pre-sales are likely to be in the range of 1/20th of your crowdfunding total. That means if you got $200,000 on Kickstarter now your sales are at $10,000/month. Obviously not enough to support a team long term.

You are thus entering the “retail chasm” or “bridge of death” until demand and distribution pick up. Financing this gap is difficult as innovators (the Kickstarter crowd) bought your product but you are still far from the mainstream. Early adopters might be waiting for your product to be ready but will only pay later, if they hear about it.

Positioning and demand creation:

“Demand creation is a result of your positioning (which covers your target user profile, pricing and branding) as well as your media, community and marketing activities. Venture funding will not solve the problem of selling products at a loss, it will just dig a bigger grave faster. Learn how to sell profitably before you scale.”

When and how to scale distribution:

Cyril used the following quote from Charles Huang of Guitar Hero, and it sums it up well:

“Startups should know their return and defect rates before they try to scale. They can learn this through online sales or small boutique store sales. Maybe the second version is when the scaling should happen.” – Charles Huang, co-founder of Guitar Hero

6: “In my mind, “product” is the embodiment of your narrative for how people will benefit from the thing you are giving them, not an assembly of plastic or metal. ” – Cameron Robertson, Lockitron

lockitron
Lockitron is a smart-lock that you can operate from your phone.

How Lockitron Made Millions With Their Own Crowdfunding Platform by Eoghan Gannon, interviewing co-founder Cameron Robertson

“We looked very closely at what other crowdfunded projects with technology products had done on Kickstarter, both to understand the success stories like the Pebble watch as well as why certain projects failed or only barely met their goal.

Besides reaching out directly to the folks behind these successful projects,we began to categorize them based on the strength of their Kickstarter page – how long was their video, was it professionally made, how many photos did they include, what points about the products did they talk about.

“We quickly learned that there were several things great Kickstarter pages have in common:”

lockitron-growth
Lockitron reverse-engineered successful crowdfunding campaigns. (I can’t figure out who labelled the above picture, by the way- let me know if you do!)
  • Strong Narrative: they have a strong narrative selling the benefits of the product  (rather than the technical features);
  • Condensed: their videos are upbeat, concise and organized in a logical fashion;
  • Emotion: and the overall project presents a strong emotional appeal.
  • Okay to be rough around the edges: Conversely, we noted that their videos were not necessarily professionally made.”

On doing PR:

  • Media: :”We reached out a number of outlets, however, none of them were interested with the story except for TechCrunch. We launched with TechCrunch and our social channels and that was about it.”
  • YouTube -> Reddit, 9GAG: “After our first launch of the original Lockitron in 2011, we knew that hosting your video on YouTube was critical because of their community. Our video was picked up by sites like Reddit and 9GAG which help to propel it to over 2.7 million views in a matter of days.”

Encourage word-of-mouth with a sense of ownership:

“We also managed to foster a tremendous amount of social traffic by giving every one who reserved Lockitron a “backer number” which they could easily Tweet, giving folks a sense of ownership in the broader Lockitron launch.”

On marketing: “We understand that we need to convey just enough information about the benefits of Lockitron without boring folks with technical details to garner the interest of everyday people.”

  • Sell benefits, not features: “I could accurately describe Lockitron as a device with Bluetooth, WiFi and 4AA batteries that turns door locks, however, that tells you nothing about why you should have a Lockitron. Rather, if I explain that Lockitron will save you time because you no longer need to leave work to let someone into your home, you instantly understand what why you might buy a Lockitron.”
  • Narrative should stand on its own: “The narrative of your product needs to stand on its own two feet. Any great product serves a purpose, delights users and delivers on expectations.”

7: “Play-i raised $30k in the first hour, and finished the first day with $130k- over half their $250k goal.”

play-i
Play-i is a toy that teaches children programming.

How Play-i Orchestrated Their Big Launch, by  Joe Heitzeberg

Timing:

Play-I was launched right after Mark Zuckerberg and Code.org asked the public to push programming in schools.

Pre-launch waiting list amplified word-of-mouth:

They gave sneak previews to interested parents at roadshows, then emailed them a day before the launch. They also allowed 500 pre-orders to receive a prize (collectible launch team outfits for the robots).

Attractive, physical products are likelier to get press:

The press is used to getting loads of new mobile apps, and a polished physical product stands out.

Prepping and entertaining he press goes a long way:

They provided a comprehensive media kit (making journalists’ job easier) and gave sneak-previews.

Getting exposure from more established entities (thanks to aligned interests!):

Play-i’s product got lots of exposure on Code.org, because of their mutual interests (public awareness and adoption of programming).

Other good reads and resources:

Good Reads:

People and Communities:

Phew! That’s all I’ve got for now. Do you have any suggestions?

Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add them right in!

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Visakan Veerasamy

Visa is ReferralCandy's former Blog Editor [2013–2018]. He also co-founded Statement.sg, a fashion ecommerce label selling witty t-shirts. He's mildly Internet-famous for his elaborate Twitter threads. He hopes to enjoy a glass of scotch onboard a commercial space flight someday.

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