Why we lost 50% of our customers during Private Beta.

After launching Talu, we discovered a flaw in our beta signup process that was killing our funnel.

Originally, our Private Beta process required potential users to request access and then confirm via an invite email, which we had to send manually. This worked for our first 50 users who were friends, family, and colleagues. However, after ramping up our marketing efforts to the public, we discovered exclusivity was a pain point.

THE PROBLEM

In the first 30 days, we saw 300 beta requests from new visitor conversions from our marketing site. Excitement started to build, people were interested in Talu and our funnel was growing.

One month later, we found that only 90 users had access to Talu. By the time our prospects received the invite email many lost interest and didn't sign up as a user.

We were so “exclusive” that 50% of beta requesters dropped out of our sales funnel and never signed up.
 

Our potential users were receiving not one, but two emails: an automated verification and a manual invitation up to 3 days later. People were interested and wanted to use Talu immediately, not after 48-72 hours.

These critical early adopters were delayed gratification, and as a result, we killed our initial marketing efforts and broke our own funnel.

THE SOLUTION

We automated our signup process and removed the double opt-in process to convert 100% of beta requests into Talu.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • Measure ALL conversions from day one, so you can quickly diagnose and fix any problems. Use paid tools like Mixpanel and KISSmetrics or free tools like Google Analytics to track specific events, such as beta requests, signups, and app usage.
  • Exclusivity is good for controlling your user base and gaining valuable feedback from trusted users. Plan this as an early phase in your product roadmap. But plan to scale as soon as possible.
  • When marketing to the public, optimize your funnel and remove any barriers to conversion. Enable people to take the fewest steps possible to get in. Sign up should take seconds, not minutes, hours, or days.