Considering you already have a mechanism to get people aware of and interested in your product (or in other words a marketing funnel), then conversion rates are arguably the most important key performance indicator for your early-stage startup.
The obvious reason is that a higher conversion rate makes you more money. More importantly in the long run, however – a high conversion rate indicates that you are succeeding at convincing people that your solution would solve the problem you are targeting and add value to their lives.
In the early startup stages, product-market fit is all you should think about – it is the main predictor of the long-term success of your business. However, it might be hard to test the value of your offering with a high degree of confidence if you fail at the preliminary stages – to convince your customers to give it a try.
This is not an easy task. As an early-stage startup, you don’t have the trust that comes with a recognizable brand name (and customer reviews) or access to the resources corporate products have.
So, here are three tips to help you convince your first customers to try your product.
1. Ensure A Smooth Buying Experience
Not having the resources of a large corporation doesn’t mean you can afford to give your customers an unprofessional and inefficient buying experience.
The expectations of consumers nowadays are high. As mentioned, you don’t have the benefit of a famous brand name, so you need to build trust from the ground up. And a professional-looking buying experience is one of the first impressions you’ll make.
Thankfully, having a good-looking website and a smooth checkout process is nowadays not difficult to achieve. There are many cheap no-code page builders with well-designed templates and good checkout solutions. Make sure you use them – even if you are not a technical person, spending the extra effort here is more than worth it at that stage.
That said, you don’t need to do anything extraordinary. When it comes to the buying process, innovation is your enemy. You need something simple and familiar that looks professionally made.
2. Utilize Exclusivity
Considering you’ve earned a certain degree of trust with your good-looking and informative landing page, one of your biggest conversion rate weapons is to offer your first buyers exclusivity.
Your early adopters would love to be recognized as being ahead of the curve. They are taking an extra risk by trusting you instead of an established producer, and it only makes sense that you would offer them extra benefits for that risk.
The simplest thing you can do is to offer a big discount for your first X number of users.
There are many other approaches you can take, however.
For example, you can choose to go for an invite-only route similar to Clubhouse.
Alternatively, you can offer your first X number of customers direct support from the founder – this would also help you gather invaluable feedback about your product that would get you on the road to product-market fit.
3. Utilize Urgency
Finally, you don’t want your potential customers to postpone their purchase decision – in the validation phase of your project, you are fighting a battle against time. If you don’t get to product-market fit before you run out of money, you’ll have to close shop.
With exclusivity and urgency on your side, you should be able to get your first customers. Once this happens, make sure to use them well – understand if they derive real value from your product and if they don’t – fix this as fast as possible. This will be the key that would unlock the door leading to the next stages of your business.