Issue #9: Waitlist and paid ads, what a failure! 😭

Crap traffic means crap survey submissions

What a week! 🥵 

Life kicked in with many errands, so it was hard to have deep work time. It’s not easy when schools end, to have a proper routine. I was also able to start training again after 3 weeks of not doing it, and that also affected the time available for deep work.

But I feel super energetic now! Sore, but energetic! 😂 💪 

Let’s now talk about EchoWords.

Spoiler: I also published a video selfie on X. 🫣

Table of Contents

Waitlist and survey submissions

Last week I told you that I put a CTA on the landing to join the waitlist that requires first to submit a survey.

I’ll show you some screenshots from the Tally dashboard so that you can judge yourself. In total, I received 33 submissions, and these are some samples for the free-form questions.

Bad answers to “What’s your role in the company?“

Bad answers to “How many people work on content strategy in the company?”

Bad answers to “How do you currently repurpose your content?“

So, what do you think? 🤣 

Some submissions are even repeated by the same email with some variation in the answers, and you might even understand which are submitted by the same person by looking at the images. 😅 

To be honest I’m genuinely curious about what these folks are thinking when submitting the survey.

  • Are they interested in the product, but then get pissed off when they see they need to fill out a survey before joining the waitlist?

  • Are they just bored and trying to have some fun?

In the end, what matters is that in terms of value, I get almost zero. I’ll send them an email anyway once the platform is open, but I’m very pessimistic, it would probably be worth also verifying the email first to avoid eventually affecting my domain-sending reputation.

However, few submissions are probably valuable. ✨ 

Decent answers to “How do you currently repurpose your content?“

Yeah, it’s not much, but still better than nothing, right? 😅 

The interesting thing is that these are the very first 3 submissions, and they happened before I launched the different campaigns. Does this mean that the ads brought me crap traffic? 🤔 

Analyzing traffic

On the first day (15th of June) with Google ads enabled, I immediately had a lot of submissions! 22 out of the 33 in a week. But as I mentioned, all of them had no value. 😕 

I wanted to understand where that traffic was coming from, so I checked on my analytics.

This is what the traffic looks like on that day:

Traffic on June 15th

I’m sorry for my Pakistani friends, but I excluded Pakistan from Google Ads. 😅 

I was not sure of course that this was the source of those crappy submissions, but the traffic from there was 10x the rest so I gave it a try.

I was right. 😏 

The submissions in general slowed down a lot, more or less:

  • 3 submissions before any ads,

  • 3 submissions after LinkedIn ads were enabled, but before Google ads were enabled,

  • 22 submissions with both LinkedIn and Google ads enabled,

  • 5 submissions with both LinkedIn and Google ads enabled but with Pakistan excluded.

This has been an interesting insight. In the future, I’d spend more time configuring the ads. Most probably the best is to target only high-GDP countries as that’s probably the best way to maximize the ROI.

UTM parameters

At this point, I really wanted to have better visibility on where submissions are coming from.

In Tally, there’s a way to include hidden fields in the form. This is great for UTM parameters.

UTM parameters as hidden fields

Unfortunately, for unknown reasons only 2 submissions out of 6 (the total after I introduced the hidden fields), had those values populated.

Submissions with UTM values

Overall ads stats

You might have guessed already that I turned off the ads. 🤣 

Let’s have a summary of this ads initiative:

Google Ads campaign

LinkedIn Ads campaign

I’d say that overall I throw into the bin 148 EUR. 😅 💸 

The Reddit ad on the other hand has never been approved.

Maybe, and I’d like to be very cautious here, some of those submissions are indeed legit interested prospects, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I wanted to start with ads as it is a passive way to start building a list while wrapping up the MVP, but it didn’t work out as expected.

Next phase: beta users

So what’s next? 🥁 

Disregarding the outcome of using paid ads, I’d have outreached anyway. But at this point, it’s the customer acquisition channel where I need to put all my efforts.

Who and how am I going to reach out? 🤔 

  • LinkedIn: I should be able to find some Beehiiv publishers, once I find them, I’ll start sending connection invitations and personalized messages.

  • X/Twitter: just going through the reposts of Beehiiv or looking for who mentions Beehiiv should give me plenty of prospects to reach out to by DM.

  • Reddit: there’s a r/beehiiv sub so I could try sending DMs to the person part of the sub. TBH I never used Reddit’s DMs/chats so I don’t know what to expect, but let’s see.

  • Google: some simple queries like “Top Beehiiv newsletter“ should provide many others I can reach out to by email.

In all cases, I’m gonna embed a video demo hoping it would help increase the reply rate.

In the meantime conversations proceed and I’ll start building my spreadsheet-based CRM, I’ll wrap up the scheduling feature and re-check the quality of the output. The scheduling feature would probably be ready by the end of this week as I should have some time to allocate. I’ll then be able to start dogfooding the product end-to-end. 🥳 

The first video of myself published on X

This was unexpected. 😂 

A few days ago I was checking my feed on X this is what happened.

Conversation on X with Elias

We ended up having a nice conversation in DM until he dropped the question:

Why should you go solopreneur rather than taking a great job?

The goal was to try to fit within a minute. That was the toughest requirement. 🥵 

I ended up recording multiple times. I don’t have an IG account, or a TikTok profile, or a YT channel, so it was something new 😅. TBH I felt quite stupid while recording the video and I can only imagine my daughter behind me wondering what the heck I was even doing. 🤣

It’s not about talking in “public”, that’s something I don’t have any issue with. Even recording a demo on a loom feels different. Probably it’s about recording and talking to the phone that makes it feel weird. 😅 

I guess it’s just about getting used to it.

Check the final result here:

In the end, it was an interesting new thing to try. A few months ago I wouldn’t have even thought about starting a newsletter, let alone posting such type of video. At this point, I’m not even surprised if I’ll start a YT channel. 😝 

I told Elias that he might have unblocked my inner hidden influencer side. 🤣 

Chatting with him has been fun, and he’s very active on X. We’ll definitely take an e-coffee together at some point. 😄 

If you’re interested in solopreneurship, or building in public, or startups in general don’t miss the opportunity to check him out!

Conclusion

The next week is going to be fun! I’ll share the progress on outreach and on dogfooding EchoWords.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s updates! 👋 

If you’re interested in following my journey, make sure to subscribe or follow me on X/Twitter and LinkedIn!

Appendix

Personal branding

X

X Premium analytics

Beehiiv newsletter

Beehiiv Analytics

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