6 Powerful Ways to Gain and Keep Traction With Users
If you want to get your growth to trend upward and stay that way, there are a few things you can do to practically ensure success.
Whether you are three years into your startup and experiencing problems with your co-founders, or you are six months in, worrying about marketing strategy and ready to launch, there is one thing that really decides the fate of any online or mobile startup: the T-word.
No, not the kind of traction where your hip is out of place and you need to lay in a hospital bed for days. And not the lack-of kind involving your tires on a smooth surface.
This kind of traction is when your users can’t help but open up your app or log back into your site and use your product.
Offer something original and innovative.
What you make needs to be special. It will be your calling card for years to come (hopefully). But more than that, your users shouldn’t be able to find ten other things that are just like what you made. Is your product another brand of toothpaste, whiteboard marker, or donut hole? If it isn’t, it should be unique enough that no one else can copy it easily, and if they do they will get in trouble.
Don’t fear the launch.
Stay away from perfectionism when it comes to launching your product. You want to get a solid, functioning product available to your intended audience as soon as possible so that you can start collecting data and iterating on what you learn.
Make a splash.
If you aren’t already known in the general space that your product is a part of, you need to build a network of your own fans. Make a name for yourself so that when the time comes and you launch, your own name actually helps market the product and convince users to try it out.
Everyone — and I mean everyone — is a potential partner when it comes to promoting your product. Bake in a strong referral program for your product that rewards both the referrer and the new user. Make some in-kind, cross-promotion deals with other companies that have interest from your intended users (but aren’t your direct competitors). Consider creating an API for other companies to use if you have your own platform. Get cozy with some influencers from across social media. Integrate your product with another company’s offering if there is some mutual benefit.
Get direct user feedback ASAP.
Nothing really helps you understand your users like actually talking to them, or at the very least having them answer some surveys. After looking at a few thousand responses you will begin to get a good idea of some of the psychology your real users have, not just the psychology you’ve read about in your initial market research.
Keep the party poppin’.
Your users should feel like something is happening on a regular basis with your product. This shows them that you care about the product, and them. Depending on what your product is, you can update it on a daily, weekly, or at the very least monthly basis. Update your product’s blog several times a week no matter what. Use in-app messaging, push notifications, and email to keep users informed wherever they may be. All of this messaging should add value to the user’s experience by either pointing them to something useful or interesting or offering special deals or opportunities.
The biggest takeaways from all of this are that if you show users you care, and you give THEM reasons to care, you will see traction. Don’t stealth launch something onto the App Store along with the other 5,000 apps that were also stealth launched. Let the world know that there’s a new <insert the best thing since sliced bread here>
Thank you for reading and sharing.