Last week I launched the teaser website for my new software app OwlDeck. It’s a great milestone for any young project and I thought I’d take some time to document my thoughts and goals behind it.
The Importance of Marketing
If, like me, the goals of your side project include being profitable you need to split your time between the business needs and the technical needs. One of worst things you could do is keep your head down in the code and only work on the product. When you do finish you’ll release to an empty room and greatly sabotage the potential of your launch.
The general consensus from most product entrepreneurs these days is to sell early and often. Get product validation and buy-in asap, and let this relationship with the consumer drive development. I have not done this as well as I would have liked. I consider most of the previous work on this project a technical proof of concept more than anything. From this moment on, the real game begins.
The Release Calendar
With the launch of the teaser starts a marketing and launch calendar. I’ve based mine on Amy Hoy’s Year of the Hustle. It will have me launch the teaser and start the release of a series of related educational content pieces. The goal of the content is to help me find and gain the trust of people who might benefit from OwlDeck. To then get people signed up to the mailing list where I might have a better opportunity to introduce OwlDeck and it’s benefits.
Anatomy of a Teaser Site
I think there are three big goals of the teaser. It’s a sales page like any other:
- Explain the pain.
- What does the user hate?
- How does this effect their life?
- How does this effect their bottom line?
- Offer a solution.
- How will you solve the user’s pain?
- Get their commitment.
- Mailing List signup
- Offer some kind of “goodie”.
- Maybe something with scarcity or time component.
- Mailing List signup
When explaining the pain be sure to use the phrases and lingo the users knows and uses themselves.
When offering the solution, consider using phrasing “you” and “your” to help paint the picture of the solution in the user’s life.
When considering the commitment you are seeking, remember that getting an email address from a website visitor is much easier than a preorder. I’m not saying I would never ask for a preorder but I think asking for one, requires a previous relationship with the user or a super high solution to pain ratio. My own plan is to get their email and work on the relationship and sale from there.
It’s also helpful when asking for the the commitment, to attach some sort of goodie or benefit to it. For me, today, it’s the promise of a discount code and (potential) early access down the road. After launch it might be a time limited offer or ebook.
- Keep the page clean and focused.
- Design and build for scanning. No one reads anything.
- Edit copy with extreme prejudice.
- Screenshots and videos can help a lot.
- I did not have them for my launch but I hope to add them soon.
- Do not sabotage your commitment goal with outgoing links or other distractions.
- If you want to tell more, put it after the main call to action.
- Lots of guidance says to avoid the word “Submit” as the newsletter signup button text. Instead people recommend something relevant to the goodie you are offering.
- Don’t let perfection be the enemy of action.
- You could work this site forever, but there is tremendous value in shipping. There is always room for improvements down the road.
By the time you read this, the OwlDeck teaser page might be long gone. I’m already planning some new content for next week. For reference I’ll include a timeline of my teaser designs as it came to be. The final one is what launched on May 4, 2017.
Have any thing to add? Did you every launch a teaser before? Let me know: email@example.com.