We all have been involved or had startups in the past ten years, none of them successful. Building a product requires many different areas of expertise.
Engineering and support were not the hard part for us. When it comes to starting a business, we have struggled with Sales and marketing the most.
So we decided to research how to grow a business, but what business? We had nothing. We are a couple of engineers with loads of ideas, but none of them is a business.
We came up with votes.hulacorn.com as a way of validating our ideas. It allowed folks to give us feedback on what to build by allowing them to vote.
How do we get people to go to the site? If we had thousands of subscribers, we could mail them and get them to vote. Sadly we do not have thousands of subscribers.
Time to do our first bit of marketing
We decided to take two different approaches. One is a long term one where we build up an audience. We have read Arvid Kahl’s book and are a big fan of their approach to audience building. This blog post is part of that long term approach. You can subscribe to our newsletter and follow the trials and tribulations of us starting a business.
The other approach was direct marketing. We decided to set a budget of 100 euros and carry out some experiments on Twitter. We went with Twitter. Why Twitter? It was convenient and available. We are all on it, and some of us are actively trying to engage with customers more on the platform.
Our first experiment
On Mar 8th, we started a campaign. We sent a tweet out asking people to vote on their favourite problem.
This tweet got us 208 clicks to the website at .20 cents per click(about 40 euro).
The second campaign we sent out four days later, saying we got our first votes and asking folks if they wanted their say they could vote.
This tweet got us 147 clicks to the website at .21 cents per click(about 30 euros)
These 355 clicks got us 64 votes. Roughly 18% of traffic sent to our website got us a vote.
This was our first experiment with marketing. Not sure if it was successful. Is 21 cents a high cost for a click? Is 18% of people voting high. It is a start. It has created a baseline on which we can make future decisions.