How to get your first 100 users as a Saas startup founder?
You've got to start somewhere right. You've got your landing page and maybe even an MVP, but no one is visiting your website! How do you actually get those first 100 users? I've been there myself with my startup, and I would have loved to read such an article when I got started, so here it is! In honour of my past self and to help all fellow startup founders!
Here are a few basic tips you should get started with. They will pay off in the coming months.
Start with SEO
SEO will not get you users overnight, but it's an amazing long term investment. Do it. Obviously, don't try to rank for super general keywords, instead, focus on niche keywords your audience is interested in. Here are a few examples from our own startup:
- Which contacts am I losing touch with? Find out now
- What is a Gmail Metadata integration and why you should use it
- How I created an Automated Relationship Management tool using Coda & Zapier
- Top 6 Best Personal CRM apps
Like passive income, those articles are generating a steady (albeit small) traffic to our app. But what's powerful about this traffic is that its super high-quality people. Only passionate people will find your articles, and when they do, they'll check out your app as well.
Quora & Twitter: Answer to questions
Create a company account and start replying to questions related to what you're doing. Twitter has a really good advanced search feature and Quora will suggest you more than enough questions you can reply to. If you spend a few hours each week generating good content on those platforms, you'll get a steady stream of clicks to your landing page as well.
Pioneer is an online accelerator that you can join for free. Every week, you submit a progress update and other users will give you feedback. This is a free way to get a few clicks to your app from startup founders.
Get listed on 10words & Betalist
10words and BetaList are like a small Product Hunts. They are much smaller, you can expect around 50 clicks to your website for each. Still worth something!
List your startup on Indie Hacker & Makerlog
Those are two cool communities. If you're active, you'll definitely get some attention and users!
Product Hunt Ship
Product Hunt has a place for upcoming apps called Ship , I've not found it to be very useful, but it can get you a few additional users.
That's where stuff gets exciting. Use these growth hacks with moderation, there is a fine line between marketing and spamming.
Product Hunt + PhantomBuster + Twitter
If there are already a few apps on ProductHunt that are similar to what you're building, consider using this growth hack. I've used it extensively myself.
Buy targeted email lists
I've built a tool myself that lets me scrape email addresses from founders on Indie Hacker. What's powerful is that you can filter by every filter available on Indie Hacker (revenue, location, business model, ...). You can use it to buy an email list here and use a tool like Gmass or Streak to reach out. Buy a list here.
I don't recommend just sending the same email to everyone as this will impact your reputation. Instead, send personalized mass emails. It does take a bit longer, but it's worth every second considering the impact it will have on response rate and trust.
Buy a related chrome extension
There are many chrome extensions out there that have tons of users but that are not maintained anymore. You can buy one for very cheap that is related to what you do and advertise your business on there. I bought Google Contacts Opener and it's been generating significant traffic to our website ever since.
What you should not be doing
It will cost you too much. Just don't think about it. In the early days, ads are not the way to go.
Launch on Product Hunt
You've got only one shot at this, it better be big. You don't want to launch on Product Hunt before having built a mature product. Product Hunt is not for the launching phase, it's for the growth phase. BetaList is a better place to start.
My startup's traffic
Here is a breakdown of who visited our website recently. This will give you a better idea of what you should focus on.