Applozic Featured Image-min

Learning From Our Product Hunt Launch

Product Hunt has a legacy attached to itself. It began on November 6, 2013 as an email list and now has become a gateway for startups to maximize their reach in a day. Startups who have managed to reach to top of upvotes have reported a surge in their engagement rate and sales.

On 15th November 2016, Applozic got featured on Product Hunt. Thanks to Kevin William David (@kwdinc). We tried to identify hunters for us and found Kevin as the best choice. We are glad that he hunted us!

The steps we took as a part of our preparation strategy are:-

  • Modified our Home Page to make our product and value proposition clear in first glance.
    Screenshot - Present
  • We got active on Product Hunt and relevant groups on Facebook, Google+ and Slack.
    The groups dedicated to product hunt  which we got active on are:
    Spreadsheet
  • Prepared a separate landing page for users of product hunt, offering them an exclusive discount. 
  • Screenshot - PH
  • We put significant effort on finding for us the right Hunter, and after considerable research on Hunters who have earlier posted products from our particular niche, we zeroed in on Kevin William David (@kwdinc)

The Experience:

We got hunted at 3:26 PM IST, and the moment Kevin dropped us a mail, we knew it was showtime. The next 24 hours was to be the most critical part of our journey this far.

In order to start engaging with the PH community, which mainly consists of early adopters and tech enthusiasts, the first thing we did was to introduce ourselves and thank our hunter. Our idea was to introduce the capabilities of our product so that users clearly understand what we are and what users can achieve with us?.

We soon started to see a surge in engagement and by 6 PM IST! BOOM we had 40+ upvotes and we were on the home page in Top 5 bracket. We started using our social media handles to reach out to our supporters. Portals we used were Twitter, Facebook, Slack and Google+. Our primary objective was to tell people that we are live on product hunt and simultaneously enlighten the community about our product, and the problems it can address. We also reached out to our email base of existing users and newsletter subscribers. The idea was to introduce them to product hunt and offerer our platform at a discount if they subscribed from product hunt.

The results were encouraging initially, we were in Top 5 for first 4 hours but slowly we started slipping down: Top 7 for next 4 hours, then to Top 10 and later in Top 20 by end of day. Even then, we saw a sudden spike in our Sign-up counter as we saw 1.5X increase in the number of signups per hour. Overall we saw 2X rise in our leads!

What We Learnt:
It was our first launch on Product Hunt and although we failed to meet the targets that we had set for ourselves, we had a fair bit of learning.

The most important thing that we realized is: The Heart and Soul of Product Hunt is it’s Community, and although we tried our best to engage with the community prior to our launch, the time we spent or the method we adopted was not enough to gain the desired level of attention.Therefore the lack of support from the Product Hunt community hurt us big time. Although we managed to get a lot of initial attraction in the form of upvotes, most of these upvotes not being from members from the core Product Hunt Community didn’t bring us the credibility, we sought.

Moreover our extensive reach out via different channels, which initially brought us results, kind of backfired for us later.
While our extensive outreach brought a lot of traffic to our PH page, most of them were first time users and while these people loved our product and decided to upvote us, Product Hunt’s complex algorithm might have either marked them as spam or assigned lower weightage. As a result despite having a commendable no. of upvotes our position on the homepage dipped with time.

Panic struck in, when we saw this happening and we resorted to desperate measures. We started reaching out to Product Hunt influencers as a last roll of dice. While few of them acknowledged, by means of upvotes and re-tweets, one of them even warned us against taking such steps coz it looked spammy. While we acknowledged his concern, it brought us into bad light, and this was the last nail in the coffin.

The Final Result, we ended the day with 174 upvotes, a commendable number in itself, but our position on Product Hunt was relatively lower than many listings which garnered far less no of votes than us.

Solutions

  1. Involve every member of your team to get active on social media channels. Every group one chooses is as per his interests.
  2. Create your followers and get active on product hunt at least 3 months in advance.
  3. Get engaged with users and drive them to comment.

Though our experience are not set of guideline so, we feel plan should be customized per product being offered.

Before you bid us bye,

Check what our supporters said about us.

screenshot-www.producthunt.com-2016-11-27-19-12-08


Cust Eng

Customer Engagement – Mantra behind your Startup’s Success

This shall be the first of a series of 4 articles, aimed at analysing the Changing Landscape of App Messaging, and the advent of new technologies that is shaping the future.

“Life is tough for a tech consumer startup. Building one is 100X harder than in the past and it will only get harder each year”, says Shailesh Lakhani , Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India. The data which suggests only one percent of the apps in Apple App Store are successful and about 92% of startups fail within the first 3 years, reaffirms that for most apps the odds of a big time payday is somewhere between zero and almost zero.

While building a startup has become much easier than in the past, sustaining one is becoming difficult due to the evolving market trends. Incessant idea replication, and too much venture funding have put entrepreneurs at risk of losing their customers to newer competitors. This, plus constant platform evolution have made existing businesses vulnerable.

Customer Loyalty is on a downward slope and the famous rule of 20% of customers accounting for 80% of turnover has now become the 60/40 rule, slowly moving towards 50/50 rule. The basic reason for this is diminished interaction among the various actors of the play. Most apps today operate in isolation, where customers hardly engage with the platform, thereby making the solution offered a mere commodity. This is more evident in the Digital World, where there is a huge rift between customer’s expectations and what the average company is actually offering.

Cust loyalty

Customers empowered by the digital age are the key and the real innovators. They have unprecedented opportunity to be active participants in shaping the product, rather than being passive receivers. The key to enabling this is in listening to the customers and prior to that letting the customers converse with each other and with the company.

The three pillars to Success is Growth or User Acquisition, followed by the most important pillar i.e User Engagement and lastly it is Monetization. The User plays an important role in every step of the above Success drivers.

In order to build that viral co-efficient in your User Acquisition strategy, customers need to be your preferred marketing channel. Nothing can be better than one satisfied customer telling another about your product. Secondly the only way of retaining customers is keeping them engaged. It is essential to make customers stay within the app throughout the purchase cycle, which not only increases loyalty but also provides valuable interaction data for making custom made promotions. And lastly monetization for apps operating on a freemium model rests on how well you keep customers coming back for more, by combining messaging and push notifications.

Retention

Recent data published by Localytics, also suggests that apps that send in-app messages perform 2-3.5 times higher in terms of user retention, than apps that don’t.

Thus it becomes imperative for businesses to build an end-to-end communication channel both to and fro and within customers. This will not only solve the problem of increasing User Interaction and the time users spend within the app, therby simultaneously increasing Customer Loyalty & Retention, but will also help in tapping into Customer Expectations by analysing keywords used during conversation. Businesses will also have the option to direct in-app messages and push notifications based on User interests, thereby creating a smoother conversion funnel.

For more information into various types of messaging, businesses from different domains are using to gain more customer traction, read our blog post here.

In our next article we will delve deeper into the recent hype around Conversational Commerce and Chat bots, and how they are going to disrupt the way we converse. We will also highlight how these technologies can help apps gain more traction and engagement.

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DIY vs SaaS

Build vs Buy: What to do for your In-App Communication Needs?

Huh! To Hell with it! I Don’t Need In-App Communication! Well, we urge you to think again.

80% of mobile time is spent on apps. Mobile has become the primary medium for User Acquisition, Monetization, and Engagement/Retention for businesses. In fact, many businesses have also rolled out mobile apps for internal team collaboration and management.

Given the enormous popularity of personal messaging apps – WhatsApp, WeChat etc its clear that messaging is the preferred mode of communication. Taking the concept of messaging a bit further to mobile chat, a recent study reported that 79% of mobile app users would engage with the brand inside a chat. This presents a massive opportunity for businesses to engage with users and increase brand loyalty.

If You Need A Machine And Don’t Buy It, Then You Will Ultimately Find That You Have Paid For It And Don’t Have It: 

Engineer multi work

While we all agree that the in-app messaging has become the utmost necessity for user engagement, most businesses find themselves at the crossroads “Buy it OR Build it”. The danger in building internal tools is that it needs constant parenting and incremental cost. The makeshift homegrown solution turns into a few weeks of “getting it just right” which later turns into couple of months of distraction for your engineers as they tweak all the random edge cases no one considered.

The bottom line – you end up spending literally hundred of hours building a tool which is neither core to your own business, nor one that helped you save any money. Even worse, you utilized your engineering resources elsewhere, while they could have been used to improve your core product which would have ultimately driven revenue for your business.

Quantitative Analysis of Build vs Buy:

The overall expenditure involved in developing a homegrown Messaging Suite for your mobile app, illustrated below, proves that even monetarily DIY is a bad use of your resources:

  • The price to develop a similar app like WhatsApp on iOS platform is approximately $26,400.
  • The price to develop a similar app like WhatsApp on Android platform is approximately $26,400.
  • Enabling CMS and Web Services, would cost approximately $16,800, thereby making the total investment approximately $69,600.

Congratulations! You spent 69,600$, an amount that could have given you access to Applozic’s Growth plan for 16 years at 369$/month. 

Surprised, well it doesn’t end just there. While your engineers were busy making the Messaging Suite they were actually not concentrating on making your own core product any better, and sadly this continues for 3-4 months which is the average time required for developing an In-App messaging feature.

Now lets say you had a recurring revenue of 20,000$/month and growth at a rate of 10% month-on-month, will amount to recurring revenue of 63,000$/month at the end of a period of 12 months. However utilizing your engineering resources in building a core platform capability, that could reduce churn or expand your market size, could have bumped your growth to say 11%. That would have meant 70,000$ worth of recurring revenue in an year.

Thus building your in-house In-App Messaging solution not only resulted in saving an insignificant amount of Cash, but also stifled your growth and future cash flows.

Qualitative Analysis of Build vs Buy:

Apart from the obvious monetary and resource implications, there are many more decision points that one should look into, before zeroing in on the final decision of Build vs Buy:

  • Completeness of Messaging Features: Building In-App chat that enables companies to build highly engaging mobile apps is a non-trivial task. Limited forecast of the scope, and
    non-familiarity with available chat protocols might result in overlooking any of the requisite Use Cases like offline notifications, background app processing, addressing Customer Support, surveys etc. Each of these new capabilities can result in extended development & testing timelines, hence it is important to assess the in-house expertise before embarking on a Build Strategy.
  • Multi-platform Support: Any in-app chat capability you build must support both iOS and Android, which means familiarity with the features and quirks of APNS and GCM respectively. Most businesses tend to hire and manage two separate teams for each platform, which can get costly especially if they each now have to also learn how to build messaging capabilities. Furthermore, this process gets more onerous if you add support for web messaging to the mix.
  • Scalability:  A cloud based SaaS solution like that of Applozic can help you to scale and pay as you grow.
  • Integration with Enterprise Systems: Most backend system such as CRM or ERP require custom implementation, hence need in-house expertise. Thus it is important to to utilize your in-house development resources – on delivering seamless back-end integration rather than building a standalone messaging capability.
  • On-going development and Support: If adopted, messaging and chat capabilities can go viral very quickly and become a core component of your users’ experience and a driver of business growth. Thus development of a Messaging Suite for your mobile app is not the end, it needs to be maintained just like any other core product capability that offers you competitive advantage. This would require additional recurring resources both monetary and human, unlike in the case of a SaaS solution where every new release will automatically upgrade your platform capabilities.

The Role of Messaging in the overall User Experience:

When time to market is critical, you need to decide if it is more important to focus your developers’ time on designing the best possible user experience or on building standalone in-app chat capabilities. If in-store app reviews and net promoter scores are a KPI, then user experience wins every time!

It is very important to have a strong understanding of the Business Goals and a deep assessment of the technology needed to achieve them before making a Build vs Buy decision. Ask yourself, “Do I work for a technology company that builds systems software or is my core business something else – manufacturing, retail, healthcare,eCommerce etc., and where should I invest my resources?”

If you belong to the second category, it is advisable to outsource and be done with all the worries for ever.

At Applozic Inc. we offer highly customizable and easy to scale, White Label SDK that helps to integrate chat in Web and Mobile apps be it on iOS or AndroidSign Up with us, and enable your web and mobile apps with our end-to end Communication Platform. Visit our Feature’s Page to learn more about our offerings. Feel free to contact us at contact@applozic.com for any queries and we would be happy to help.

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