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  • Writer's pictureMonica

Promoting your app before you have the users

We all face the same problem - people are often reluctant to sign up to platforms that don’t already have a large user base. Especially when the main value is having other people on it (or enough content or products). This applies to many apps we are building - whether they are community apps that need a lot of users to interact with each other, market place apps that need users on both the buyer and seller side, or social apps that need user-generated content to function. To succeed, most new platforms need to reach a minimum number of users to make them valuable for everyone. Many are unable to reach this critical mass and fail. A new study (literally came out in June!) found that people are more likely to sign up if you tell them about your expected future growth. To increase sign-ups, tell your prospects about your expected future growth - e.g. "we expect 10,000 people to join this year." Most businesses focus on communicating their existing assets rather than projected growth and potential users. This is a missed opportunity in early growth stages, and something startups and entrepreneurs should really make use of! So, here are some ideas for wording you can use in your early marketing:

  • We expect 10,000 students/professionals/[relevant description] to sign up this year.

  • This app will soon become the leader in [category].

  • Sign up by [date] to lock in your early joiner benefits.

  • Be one of the first 10,000 on the app and receive [benefits].

Source: Kevin J Boudreau, "Promoting Platform Takeoff and Self-Fulfilling Expectations: Field Experimental Evidence" https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/10.1287/mnsc.2021.3999

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