What is a BetaList and how is it relevant for you?
A BetaList is just another name for the waitlist people join when they want to be the first to try a startup’s new product or service.
There is one rather large difference between a BetaList and an established brand’s waitlist. People on a brand’s waitlist are typically brand loyalists who expect an epic customer journey, user experience and everything else that comes along with the launch of an established brand’s new and refined product or service. Whereas people who sign up for a BetaList are native to the startup space and know that signing up for a BetaList means that they will get free or heavily discounted access to whatever your startup is offering for a fee.
What is the fee? BetaListers will participate in the BetaLaunch and will pay for early access with the currency of their time, feedback and patience. It is widely understood that in exchange for their free-ish access, the BetaListers will be your patient and supportive BetaTesters.
A BetaTester is someone who agrees to patiently give you feedback and work with your MVP until it is a refined product or service. Many BetaTesters fall off, but the few who stay with you through the BetaLaunch typically turn into your greatest & most loyal customers.
Why do some people call this a growth hack?
The hardest customers to get are your first 10. Once they’re locked in, they write the testimonials and are the subjects of your first case studies. These case studies and testimonials make it slightly easier to attract and acquire your next 10 customers. With each customer your acquire, the next one should be cheaper and easier to attract and retain. A well done BetaLaunch can secure between 1000 & 10,000 BetaTesters, thereby pushing you through the hardest initial hurdles quickly. But how do you conduct a successful BetaLaunch? Keep reading…
Phase 1 : Just a BetaList.
As soon as you are ready to start speaking to people (maybe even just friends and family) about your startup / idea, you want to create a very simple signup page like this one.
To collect the emails of people who express interest in your idea / startup.
Phase 2: THE BetaList
From here, you will want to:
- Go to BetaList.com, take screenshots of the designs, phrases and website flows that you like best. Dump them all into one file then ….
- Conduct market research (checkout my FREE guide here) to determine which of those BetaList designs, phrases and website flows will work best with the people you want to become your customers.
- Next, open up my FREE brand identity guide here to help you design your V1 brand identity.
- Now your website should look very different from your initial site & you should apply to https://betalist.com/ and a few of the most relevant alternatives listed on these two webpages:
Phase 3: What to do before your BetaLaunch
- If you have the time / team to do it before the BetaLaunch, create your V3 website following this checklist. You want to make sure that all of the content in this list is included.
- Use the Elfsight Form Builder to create a signup form for those interested in an affiliate network and add this option to the footer of your website.
- Follow the rest of the steps listed in Option B
- Create some sort of online forum (or Slack channel) for new users to search and connect. At first, it will be your founding team answering questions posted here, but over time brand advocates and passionate customers will help with answering these questions. Yes it is awesome. ProTip: Awarding these people with company swag on their birthdays & holidays will yield an obscenely high ROI.
- Hire a copywriter. During your BetaLaunch BetaTesters will go to this forum to ask questions around issues and bugs that arise. Your copywriter will use these inquiries to develop resources and guides for first time users. Your tech team will use these inquiries to identify which bugs need to be fixed before your official launch.
- Change your LinkedIn profile to ask if people want to Follow instead of Connecting.
- Black out your calendar for 3-10 days following your BetaLaunch and plan to spend this entire time changing who is managing your Slack channel / forum.
- Do NOT BetaLaunch on a Friday, you’ll loose your weekend. Always BetaLaunch on a Monday.
Phase 4: During the BetaLaunch
After your first 3-10 days of craziness, things should calm to a point where you can start focusing on prepping for the actual launch of your company. This is where growth obsessed people like me, begin to really have fun in the office.
- Look for BetaTesters who are doing well in the BetaLaunch and loving your product or service. Approach them to see if they’d be interested in providing a testimonial & being one of your case studies. A case study can be as simple as this or as complex as this. It doesn’t matter what you choose so long as they exist before your official launch.
- If you didn’t create a press kit yet, check this one out and create your own version of it.
- Use the content your copywriter created to finalize your knowledge base (aka resource portal) prior to launch. Add a link to this to the footer of your website. Whatever content can be transformed into video, do it & create a short video course for first time users / customers / clients.
- If you did not go with option A in Phase 3, it is time to do so. Update your website with the content listed in those checklists to make sure that your site is optimized for search engines & humans.
- Once your website is updated, signup to be a source on HelpAReporter or hire a PR firm to help you begin building a trust bar.
- Lastly, apply to LinkedIn Live so you’re set to air as soon as you launch.
It is that bar on a website where the brand lists “as seen on”. It immediately instills trust in the website visitor when they see that your brand has been mentioned in a long list of news outlets.
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