Launching On Betalist – 50 Entrepreneurs Share All

Launching On Betalist – 50 Entrepreneurs Share All

We asked 50 entrepreneurs to share their experiences learned after launching their startups on BetaList, the platform that helps startups acquire beta users. Here’s what they had to say:

Stats from Beta List:

Total unique visits: 426
Total signups: 118
Total Confirmation: 77

A 18% conversion rate between visitors and waiting list confirmation. We still have to see how many of them convert to users.but we are not in that phase still.

The timing was perfect, we were featured just a week before launch the demo and were in the trending startup section for a entire week. I guess because people share our Beta List page, I’m sure any other B2C startup had more visitors than us.

Bartolome, Tractionboard

Betalist is a startups dream. In less than 24 hours we went from having a handful of subscribers to an amazing community of photographers. I firmly believe that BetaList is one of the key reasons why Adaptalux ran a successful Kickstarter campaign!

Samuel Granger, Adaptalux

Betalist has been a great tool for helping Sherbit find traction within the startup community. Our application generated over 400 signups during the week that is was featured and trending on their site.

There are few things that can help you get traction with BetaList. First, I would make sure your messaging is well articulated and concise. Both on the beta list site and your own company site, in order to quickly grab peoples attention. Second, I would make sure you have a compelling home page.

The front page of your site is the image beta list previews, so if it doesn’t stand out it will not garner attention. Lastly, make sure you pass around the BetaList link to all your friends and family. This will help your company get more followers and move you up on the trending startup list.

Alex Senemar, Sherbit

One lesson from past launches is get on BetaList early, don’t wait till just before launch. I had a tech journalist almost pull out of covering us when he saw our app on BetaList the day before launch date. The other lesson from this launch is try to send out app invites to users who signup via BetaList asap. We left it a bit too long and some of the leads went cold. In future I will automate things so as soon as someone signs up they get an iTunes invite to download and test the app.

Luke Hubbard, ScreenBox

1. If you are applying for free – send your product earlier because review process is too long
2. Do not just gather emails, try to understand your potential customers. Can they really be your early adopters?
3. Have a personal approach to each email you will get, see who this person is with rapportive and ask questions about their pains and why did they sign up
4. Do not build the product before testing your assumptions

Nikita, DaVinci Apps

Be ready. Sounds basic but make sure that you’ve tested everything. You’re in Beta phase, but everything still depends on a first impression. Major bugs are a big no. If you can’t make it, fake it. Keep the processing time in mind. BetaList does a great job on screening and tagging all start-ups. This takes time. For us it took around 8 weeks. Being featured on BetaList has a direct impact in terms of database subscriptions, response on social media and visitors on your site. Just do it!

Johan Van Hove, Pith.li

You will get a diverse group of responses. Some will be interested in the product itself, others the technology and some are just curious. Have a strategy to get feedback and value from all groups.

Jordan Perrey, tassuru

Our BetaList launch was a success. I recommend you use an email followup sequence. I’ve signed up for beta waiting lists and never heard back from the developer until after the launch. No bueno! Craft a bunch of informational emails. Send one out every 4-5 days until you are ready to open the doors. Build a relationship with your potential users and they will more likely to sign up for your launch. Also charge beta users! You’ll get serious testers instead of freebie seekers. Good luck!

Stephen Alberts, ReviewRail

1. Be very clear and concise in your description – highlight your top 1-2 value propositions, no more.
2. Use beautiful imagery. Pictures sell.
3. ABB – Always be branding. Keep your voice consistent across your channels.

Rosh, Issara

We got exactly what we wanted in terms of requests from real human beings from our of our network to join our private beta. The betalist guys have an aversion to some of the platforms that help build a great landing page, so next time I’d save the extra time and hassle of going round the review loop and save the landing page for post betalist launch.

Jeremy Parsons, Promisely

There are two obvious tips that most companies struggle with:

– Pick a very simple and clear screenshot for your landing page, this is crucial to get relevant beta testers.
– Pick a clear UNIQUE value proposition that distinguishes you from other apps/services

This is something that we’ve tried to nail and it worked pretty well for us, we’ve got almost 300 quality beta testers 🙂

Another great tip I definitely recommend is optimizing your value proposition/landing page during betalist launch. Usually you get almost 1k visits, which is enough to test 2-3 copy variations and landing page images etc. Use optimizely or any other A/B tool to measure and pick winning variations 😉

Artur Kiulian, Capitan

BetaList was the link between our Facebook campaign and our App and increased further our media visibility. However, because our Beta is available only in selected markets, we were not able to offer an access to our app to all the BetaList subscribers. For this reason I strongly recommend to make sure you can offer an access to your Beta to all the subscribers, around the world, if you want to fully leverage your BetaList publication.

Iurie Cordunean, Cronomio

Metrics from the first three full days of being featured:

486 users/unique visitors
100 invite requests (20.6%)
5 crew memberships (1%)

From the last 3 months:

Additional 140 users/unique visitors
13 invite requests (9.29%)
0 crew memberships (0%) – we did take this option down a couple weeks back

Total: 850 users/unique visitors

Masha Krol, Travelabulous

So the main thing we learned I feel from Beta List is that timing is really important, we launched a bit too early (our beta was no where near ready when we put it up), the reason I think timing is so important is that people will loose engagement in your product, they will probably only remember about you for a week or so, the more engagement you have with them the better. Make sure you use a referral program!

David Diamond, Divvy

Betalist users are people who love to try new stuff. They are really valuable as we can test out our ideas and gather feedback (be sure to set an autoresponder, ask for suggestion and encourage them to reply you). We also learned that Betalist allows you to send a picture to use as your page preview instead of using a screenshot of your site. If we can do it differently, we would create a customized picture for Betalist users, instead of using our general ads picture.

Akaradet, Watchrr

Betalist was (and still is) the most successful referrer to our prelaunch signup site. We paid for the upgraded service, which definitely made listing faster, but probably wasn’t a requirement.

We actively engaged with BetaList via twitter and social media to support the listing – like any publicity, it helped to get things organized.

In summary, it was a good experience for Get – we’re building a new way of shopping on your mobile phone, and this was the start of getting out the word for us!

Alex Kelleher, Get

Make sure your site is ready and has more to offer than just a simple landing page with an optin form. Try to deliver value for your audience from the moment they land on your site.

In our case we started doing content marketing from the day we started building. As soon as you get the big load of visitors from BetaList coming in they will find your landing page, the info about your company, but they will stay longer because of the interesting articles we already had on our blog.

Hans van Gent, Inbound Rocket

I would recommend only submitting when your beta is already live.

We lost some subscribers that signed up because a month has passed between the time they joined our beta list and until the beta was actually out.

You should hit the iron while it’s hot 😉

Ben Novak, OfficeHealth

Due to the Betalist model, have a few things in place before (maximizing the engagement opportunity matters):

– Capture email
– An understanding of when you plan to launch, particularly if your beta is private/closed
– Workflow to provide updates if you’re going to be longer than ‘X’, in terms of launching
– Work flow to announce ‘Go-Live’ to those who provided email to ensure good signup and adoption rates
– Acknowledge early adopters

You’re fundamentally planning a campaign launch of sorts.

DS Benbow, MetaChi

BetaList proved to be the site from where we got the higher number of beta testers so our recommendation is to prepare for this. Make sure to deliver the right messages about what you app does in order to attract more beta testers and the best suited and motivated to test your app.

Use BetaList only when your app is really ready to be used by hundreds of people at the same time and have your app’s on boarding ready! Use BL as a pre-launch platform to ensure you’re ready to go on the market.

Mirella Nicola, CloudCal

We didn’t pay the fee for the featured spot thus the ‘free’ feature hit us by surprise (you can control that by paying). The feature also spawned a few secondary links which also got us more targeted traffic from travel related sites.

The performance on our site was great though expected with a conversion rate of a bit over 30% overall. One thing you should keep in mind is that the betalist demographic is not necessarily the same as your target demographic – consider that during your analysis.

Knowhere

BetaList has been the best place for collecting our Picker beta testers so far. The day we’ve got featured on Beta List over 150 people immediately joined our list. A few well known INFLUENCERS included.

Expect awesome open rates to emailing (about 70%) and rich feedback even if you don’t ask for it so take advantage. TALK TO THEM AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.

Submitting your startup is so easy and free only if you have a few weeks to wait for being published. SCHEDULE your beta in advance to save money.

Albert Raich, Picker

Coinciding the BetaList feature with an ad campaign (PPC, etc) will allow you to get the maximum exposure possible from being featured. We received and still continue to receive a decent amount of traffic to our landing page from BetaList so the best advice I can give is to be ready for that traffic and to take advantage of it be incorporating other marketing initiatives to work alongside that feature.

Zachary Walker, illumie

We had one major takeaway: make it easy for anyone interested in your product to talk to you. BetaList has an audience comprised entirely of early adopters, and they’re just as passionate about new products as you are to be making one. So we prominently displayed our Twitter handle and email on our landing page, and responded to everyone who contacted us. They wanted to know more, and were eager to help make this new product amazing — our biggest success was being ready to listen.

Matt Baer, Write.as

Create a great landing page to tell what problem you’re solving and what are the main benefits of your solution. Don’t forget to segment your audience. BetaList will send you a lot of users with different profiles. Make clear who’s your target audience. Your goal is to get the best quality leads, not thousands of unuseful emails.

Carlos Hernandez, Quaderno

BetaList is great for getting your name out there and for finding beta customers. We definitely saw a traffic spike, and had a few people sign up to try our service. The biggest value for us was that BetaList has a self-selecting group of people; we were able to launch a pilot weeks faster than if we scratched and clawed for interested parties.

If we could do anything differently, we would have liked to receive a BetaList best practices packet before we launched, not after.

Jack Wheeler, Rally Reel

We found Betalist to be exactly what we wanted it to be. A large group of unknown (to us) tech-savvy readers where we could test the response of our company’s basic messaging and value statements. We were not expecting to actually convert betalist members into users, we wanted to see if the words we used to present Salesbridge, resonated and created a click to the website. For the cost, it was a no brainer and we would use it again.

Joe Lowry, Sales Bridge

The clearest takeaway for me is to spend serious time cultivating relationships with them. The type of people who sign up for new services on BetaList are the type of people who see and use new products all the time. They can speak more cogently (and frankly) about product–your product–than the friends and family you’ve relied on to this point.

Dustin Coates, Pico

We had launched on Betalist for free. We waited longer than a month. It was a small surprise for it to launch when it did.

Make sure you are very close (within a week) to having your product ready – lest they lose interest. It’s like a sales funnel – these are leads and you can’t let them get cold. Beta testing is a leaky bucket – so it’s best to try and ensure that you capture as many users as possible. It’s easy to believe that emails collected = signups, but that’s just not true. There will be a drop-off.

We have a way for users to provide feedback within the app and that has been very helpful for collecting insights. Make it as easy as possible for people to contact you with their thoughts.

Finally, I wish we had a better referral system set up before we launched. Set all these ducks up in a row (a nearly finished product, great feedback mechanisms, & referral system) before you launch your beta.

Jane Lee, Uplifter

BL is a great place to get early adopters to learn and try your product before you officially go on a private/public beta.

You may also receive journalists requests to talk with you about it, which is highly helpful in the process of starting your product’s engines and introduce it to the world, step by step.

I’d definitely recommend publishing your soon-to-launch product on BL, specifically before you officially announce it but do have something running to show, in order to maximize BL’s power.

Lior Degani, Swayy

I think best used for launching products aimed at startups and founders. You will not get your first large enterprise lead here.

Be clear about the landing page and offer. Think about what you want to achieve, just a list of subscribers or a someone to check out your product. Think about adding a survey to your landing page to gather immediate feed-back.

Tom, y mastery

We didn’t treat BetaList as a launch pad but rather used it as an efficient way of quickly generating a material number of people that were disconnected from our network and had no prior exposure to our product. As a cohort of early adopters, the users that came to us via BetaList were tech-savvy and more willing than typical users to provide feedback. From our experience, the biggest value of using BetaList was not the sign ups but the “follow ups.

Rob Kawalsky, Zeetings

We had a great response from listing Wires on BetaList, and honestly, we hadn’t expected it to go as well as it did. The most unexpected part was the international attention we picked up from the listing. We had not even thought about how we were going to handle international testers because we hadn’t expected to get any.

BetaList is a great resource for startups to get both newsletter sign ups and beta tester sign ups. The best advice that I have for other startups using BetaList is to decide whether you’re seeking quantity or quality beta testers. Quantity is no problem; we had more testers than we knew what to do with in about a week. Quality testers require a little more effort.

A lot of testers sign up with an email address they don’t mind giving out and don’t sign up with their Apple ID. You have to follow up with them to verify Apple ID. Asking a qualifying question helps find the best testers, too. Prepare for more sign ups than you expect and have a plan to manage them.

Emily Hart, Wires

Our aboutPLACE app was featured on BetaList pre-launch to drive Beta registrations. We were immediately able to see a boost in site traffic, registrations and brand awareness via social media. My overall experience with BetaList was positive. In fact, the one thing I might do differently would be to reserve our presence on BetaList for the actual launch day – when users could test drive and use aboutPLACE rather than sign-up for the anticipated launch.

Hillit Meidar-Alfi, aboutPLACE

When launching on BetaList, it is important to be prepared. When we did it, we made sure every single action on our website had analytics. This way, we could understand where people where coming from, what they were doing and why. It is a great way to improve your flow and find any bottleneck that could exist.

One other important thing we did is creating a viral exit to our sign up form. When a user sign up to your website, you have their attention. It’s the right time to ask them to help you. When someone signs in for Drafter, he gets the offer to tweet us in exchange for free months of our biggest plan. It’s a win-win. They’re helping you get the word out and you give them something in exchange. It is very important if you want your launch to expand beyond BetaList users.

To sum it up, there is really no reason not to launch on BetaList. It gives you coverage, traffic, confidence and gives you that kick to keep pushing yourself over the limits.

Frank Marceau, Drafter

We waited seven weeks in the free line to get featured on Beta List. Unfortunately, we got featured on a Sunday. We would have had greater visibility if we had got featured during the week. A paid option is available for $99 if you want to skip the waiting queue. In one month we got 322 direct visits, which generated 57 signups. An important part of the success is to have a great screenshot to share and a straightforward pitch.

Cédric Vergé, Clever Studio

1. Get your landing page done right.
2. Focus on a few key messages and value proposition.
3. Show some product previews.
4. MIx in some concept diagrams/videos.
5. Make something people really want.

Trigger, Mobiusbobs

I learned that while getting beta sign ups are great, the lasting connections you get from the Betalist exposure is more valuable. I advise others to have a super simple landing page and only ask for an email. Finally, reach out to people immediately who show interest in your beta.

Abe Storey, KeyFeed

Entrepreneurship is a global market. Many BetaList users come from outside the US – which may be a problem for US startups based on financial transactions, user experience, etc. Otherwise BetaList is a good litmus test for your startup’s value proposition.

Ashok Kamal, LaunchLeader

We are happy with our feature on BetaList. it quickly generated the registrations we were locking for. I believe it was around 200 sign ups. We went for the $99 accelerated option, so that’s 50 cent per registered user. I can recommend it to any founder looking for quick beta traction. Support was quick. All good.

Florian, Skoove

We increased our signup by 400% – with some early paying customers – and got useful feedback from subscribers. Our advice for founders considering doing the same:

– Describe clearly what your product does with a good tagline.
– Make your landing page simple, attractive and original. That will help increase conversions and your chance of getting featured.
– Be prepared to answer users’ questions and to fix the eventual bugs caused by the number of people using your product.
– Automate your onboarding process (account creation, emails, etc.)

One thing we missed was not defining our next step in advance. We we’re a little surprised and if we could get featured again, we would plan our retention strategy earlier.

Aurelle Noutahi, Pikiz

BetaList has a large audience of people who want to kick the tires on new products. We got a lot of signups but no one turned into a legitimate beta customer. This probably has to do with the fact that we’re an enterprise software company that requires users to run our software on their own host.

David Cook, Jut

This is an opportunity to get 500 – 2k visitors, so don’t treat it like it’s the end of the world if it doesn’t work out, but do take the visitors you get seriously. This may be one of your first influxes of visitors, so make sure you get their email address via a simple sign-up form (likely your only actionable on the site) and make sure to follow up with visitors as soon as possible.

Give them a short survey to ask what they’re interested in, what industry they work in, what type of blog content they read. You probably don’t have a model user profile yet, so this is an opportunity to see what types of people are most interested in the problem you’re trying to solve with your service/product.

If I had the opportunity to do it again I would have found a way to integrate unique referral links for sign-ups. That way, you can keep track of who shares, give them a discount in the future or push them up the list. Some products find these services to boost sign-ups by an order of magnitude.

Galen Vinter, ProjectPulse

Being in “semi-stealth” beta with our services and our app, we reached many potential users through BetaList.

Aleksandar Stojanovic, BLOCKpeek

BetaList really helped WAVE Personal Calendar. With our publication on BetaList we gained a lot of publicity. We are looking for beta testers and personal assistants who want to help us. After our publication we gained numerous applications on both fronts.

Once our startup was featured on BetaList we also got contacted by other companies who wanted to help us or had useful tips. This was a real benefit for us. We highly recommend using BetaList.

Sjoerd van Oosten, WAVE Personal Calendar

We are satisfied about publishing WebVisto on BetaList. It gave our startup a lot of interest – from kind wishes of luck to serious proposals of cooperation from VC investors.

However, as BetaList is constantly pushing new startups onto their homepage, the traffic that you got from them quickly drops. In other words, if your startup lands on 3rd or 4th page, it actually disappears.

We submitted our startup using the free submission option. If you don’t pay, you have to wait. And the queue of startups is really long… for us it took about 4 months until WebVisto profile was released.

Pros:
+ if your startup is interesting, you get a lot of subscriptions (hundreds to thousands) from people really interested in your product
+ you may get a lot of cooperation and/or funding proposals

Cons:
– it takes months to review your submission if you choose the free option
– when your startup is being pushed out of homepage by newer submissions (few per day), the interest is quickly gone

Mateusz Metelski, WebVisto

We had a great experience with Beta List with getting new beta registrations. The key to all this is timing. You do not want to advertise with BetaList too soon, as most of the users will be hard to reach by the time you’re ready to go. The closer you can get to launch the better the return will be.

Dara Smith, Worksfire

We submitted our application well in advance the desired publishing timeframe. After ~4 weeks we decided to pay for the $129 service anyway. It was worth it. Stats:

– got 488 visits (80% being new visitors)
– 94 signups (~20% conversion & ~$1.4 / signup)

Couple takeaways:

– They confirmed our order on 5/27 and featured us on 5/29. That was faster than we expected, so timing wasn’t the best (happened while on a weekend vacation).

– We included a betalist “”private”” link to let folks bypass the waiting line. While this likely resulted in more signups, be careful: the URL was then submitted to PH that same day (we weren’t ready for that and got stuck in “”upcoming”” section).

– We got some useful feedback which helped us improve our messaging, and uncover and fix a couple small bugs.

– Most of the users referred by the service were curious about our product and didn’t necessarily need it at the time, or weren’t necessarily a great match for the personas we are targeting.

Sebastian Brocher, ChimiChurri

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