a) it applies to every user (= highest ROI on copy written)
b) first impressions matter!
and c) its minimal work / thought for our customers. maximum value.
so we decided screw it! lets ship something this week! this month! and here we are. lets do one thing really well.
so userfox today allows you to send a drip sequence of emails to your new users. you can choose the days, the subjects, the content, we support your custom email theme, we even show you clicks and conversions, and so on.
it's awesome because its so light and easy. we're going to roll out some awesome custom data features very shortly. dead simple things, like simply "send this welcome email unless a user is on a paid plan."
et voila. when i look at products, i look at what they require me to do, and what they give me in return. i think that userfox can move the needle on your business, and to do that we ask for literally 15 or 30 minutes of your time. i'd bet you'll see more impact from userfox than your sophisticated SEO strategy in fact.
i have been on hacker news for a long time: it maybe even helped me get into ycombinator! but these are all stories for another day: right now, i wanted to show hacker news our product, because i think if you're a bootstrapping business: userfox is a no brainer. "it just works."
What's missing in the longer term are more detailed ways of bucketing your customers based on where they are with the product, ie: did they deploy/install/upload a picture/whatever other functionality you offer. But as you've said, shipping it is important.
Another pain point you guys addressed was that making custom table based html templates for email is a pain. If you'd offer more templates in the future, that would be a nice thing to add.
We actually had custom themes. My co-founder will mock me for now removing them. ("simple is best!! these are UGLY!! People will want a clean simple theme or custom HTML. REMOVE THEM.")
shoot me an email though and i'll get my designer to build you (or anyone else) a custom html theme. (surprise bjoern!) email@example.com
How are your emails 10x better? Is it the schedule (Day 1 ... day 4 ...day 7) of emails? The content ("Become a power
user like Zach...")?
Unless you say why it is better, it is hard to see if that it is a no-brainer.
(I would not have been so confident with my copywriting if i didn't know it.)
I see the potential, if done well, this can really help in better communication between a product and its customers/users.
1) No pricing structure means that I question whether you'll be in business in a year, or if you are in business, that you're service will be wayyyyy different then (will you insert ads into my emails? will you sell my info to a 3rd party? etc). These are questions you cannot answer today - you just can't. You can say, "Oh no, Scott - we would never do those things!" But no one will believe you b/c you haven't been around long enough.
2) My even bigger "beef" with this is that, because you have no track record, you cannot estimate your delivery rate. A big reason to go with the big email companies is b/c they can offer a high rate of guaranteed delivery. Your delivery rate will, in large part, be out of your hands - it's in the hands of your customers' content/emails. How will you protect yourself (and thus your customers) from bad customers who buy lists and use you to spam the lists? How will you vett your signups? What's your policies on when you would terminate a customer for spam?
All in all, email is too critical to trust to a fresh startup IMO. I wish you luck and, if you guys are still around in a few years and have answered the above questions, I may become a customer!
Right now, if you sign up, it's free to use, and we'd never be like, "hey man, you now owe us money for stuff that you thought was free."
Just saying its free / there is no pricing plans yet etc would have let me sign up, or an actual pricing list.
I won't try a service without knowing whether I can actually use it going forward (I'm time poor) so the lack of pricing information anywhere makes me leave the page.
Given the heat in this space now, it would also be nice to know how your service differs from e.g. Vero or customer.io.
I have learnt a lot from patio11 so we'll always be generous and honest about this stuff. Pricing simply didn't feel like a reason to delay launch!
If you're already using MailChimp: send me a note and I'll show you our beta "variables" feature that allows you to say things like "send this welcome email unless this_custom_data equals that." launching soon.
Some kind of 'how it works' page ... how does information get from my app into yours, can I embed per-user links (for example for email confirmation), how do opt-out notifications get back from your app to mine, etc.
Minor UI issue ... the mouse pointer & hover action suggests that the day icons on the front page do something ... but they don't for me (Chrome 22, Windows)
Q: how does information get from my app into yours
Q: can I embed per-user links
A: yep. our docs are a lot more elaborate than our user interface at this point, but you can do almost anything you desire. best to shoot me an email and i'll explain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: how do opt-out notifications get back from your app to mine
A: we have a simple unsub API to communicate who has unsub'd, we handle the entire unsub from userfox emails obviously. you're going to eventually (soon) send all emails via userfox though.
Thanks for the note on the ui issue. we'll get it fixed.
It would be nice to hear just out of curiosity what kind of market (low number of important customers or high number of users or both) you are targeting, and what is your strategy on a higher level to increase conversions?
Two huge benefits over what you do today (almost certainly a singular welcome email)
* helps users understand your product
* reminds users of your product. What was the last product you signed up for? Unless it was userfox, you've forgotten!
Introduce features, tell the story of why you're building what you're building, and so on. I love emails that profile power users. Real explicit actionable advice.
I totally agree you should write specific emails about specific features. We'll support that, but right now you'll make more money by sending a few welcome emails rather than just one.
Love the landing page too!
userfox will be freemium business. (what you see now will be free, though.)
sorry it isn't more exciting. I'll make it cool tomorrow.
Baisically, there isn't a reliable freemium service with an autoresponder. It also strucks me as "hassle free" light service i would use for medium to small size projects. Will use it soon