What was your plan on acquiring the customers?
I'm going to be launching my SaaS soon and would love to hear your experiences ;)
After that, we did several more eBay runs to test different copy / pricing, and then with that information, launched our own web store (normal fixed-price checkout, non-eBay) about 8 weeks after that first auction.
Now with 2nd product, we've already got an established reputation and traffic in our niche, and developed the 2nd product specifically around the feedback we were getting from customers.
This is for a consumer product, hybrid of physical parts + content. Not sure that you can apply the eBay concept to a SaaS, but depending on what you're doing, it may actually be possible (i.e. if people would be naturally searching on eBay for software to fill that need, then put up a 12-month subscription as an auction!).
The elements are really aligned in a logical fashion. It's pretty aggressive on the eyes when you see huge yellow boxes with the prices on the right.
The stuff that's supposed to grab my attention, doesn't. "Invest in yourself: learn by doing. Read on to learn how the NerdKits philosophy is implemented in our kits, and why other electronics kits will leave you intellectually unsatisfied." is DISTRACTED by the "Updated Thursday, December 17th, 2009:" div.
I would highly recommend outsourcing your design to some place (even some place that could do it on the cheap).
The product looks amazing though!
To be more specific, while developing a big product I spent time each week contacting people in my network until I found customers that were ready to pay as soon as I went live. It worked well.
In one case, I found a company that allowed me to offer 4, 2-hour classes with 15 people per class for 1 day after launch just to introduce them to the app, answer questions, and get everyone signed up.
I got about 40 paying customers that day, and it was the best launch ever for my small business as all those people told more people and we were growing from day 1.
My main plan when starting the business was acquiring customers through SEO, with the possibility of eventually "cracking the AdWords code" and figuring out how to acquire them profitably through there. That is pretty much still the plan.
The product was quite niche and quite expensive so we didn't really need many customers. So the plan was to grow largely by word of mouth and by using our network of contacts to get future leads.
Consumer product if anyone wants to know.
From idea to demo: ~4 months
We build custom geospatial apps. for our clients.
2) mailing list that I'd built up over years
I'm still struggling with the freemium business model and how to weight things to get people to upgrade to the pricier versions.
I built a dummy signup site before I started developing the real app. Launched with a few hundred users.
That said, my app is consumer-facing, and I sign up customers with ads (it's a dating site).