We had a set date to launch the BETA and we made sure we had everything in place prior to this, so that our launch day would be as productive as possible.
We had a small audience of a few hundred people on each network which we could use. I deleted all posts from the earlier version of Remote Circle and we set the bios to “Remote Circle 2.0 coming soon”. On the day of launch, we added our pre-written bios and updated the logos to a version with “BETA” on it. We also had 10 posts scheduled in Buffer to go out throughout the day. We had graphics created for each of these posts including a big BETA graphic for the initial launch tweets, screenshots of the main views of the website and a graphic drawing attention to the main selling point of Remote Circle, the “Timezone” field which allows users to filter jobs by their own timezone. A lot of the posts throughout the day drew attention to this feature as it’s something that sets us apart at this early stage.
After the first day, we simplified the social posting to 2 posts per day on Linkedin and Facebook which basically just kept users updated on the progress of the BETA. We used Twitter as our main platform for engaging with users. We followed new subscribers to the site and we also posted polls to get user feedback on various features. We use Hotjar as our feedback solution where users can submit their feelings towards the site. If we saw any recurring pain points in the feedback, we would fire out a poll to our Twitter users to confirm if they would like us to make the change. This allowed us to decipher user needs really quickly and rapidly change features when required.
I also manually reached out to some users on Twitter to ask them if they would like to join the BETA early. I did this by running searches of users who had previously tweeted about remote work and then reached out with personalised messages for each user.
I was already a member of multiple Facebook groups for remote work, as well as various other groups also. I published a post on these groups to let them know about the new site and it’s features. I tried to stop that from being spammy by tailoring each post to each group so that it was genuinely useful. I did the same with Linkedin groups.
I wrote an article about the launch of the BETA and why we were doing it. I posted this to Medium, Linkedin and Facebook notes on our Facebook page. I then shared it from there to Hacker News and promoted on our social pages also.
We had an existing mailing list of around 400 subscribers from the first version of Remote Circle, so we created a Mailchimp campaign to give them early access to the BETA of Remote Circle 2.0 and sent this out in the morning. Mailchimp then recommended that we send it the following day too, so we did this also.
When users signed up, they were then taken to a welcome screen to thank them for joining the BETA and were told that we would contact them soon with a link to the BETA. There was then an option to skip the queue by sharing on Facebook, Linkedin AND Twitter. It seems like a lot to ask but we were just wanting to test if this approach would work. In theory, if every person was to bring more than 1 other person to the site then we would achieve virality. This is called the virality co-efficient if you would like to read up on it. Amazingly some people did actually do this(around 30) but the effects of being shared didn’t seem to bring results. We simplified the CTA by just asking for a Twitter share instead of all 3, this increased the number of shares, but again didn’t move the needle much in terms of traffic or new sign ups. We then got some feedback from 1 user that they felt we had too many steps in the sign up process and they weren’t really happy about having to share on social media when they hadn’t even got access to the BETA yet. So we decided to just remove the popup step completely so that when a user signed up, they got immediate access to the BETA. Much simpler.