Being a solo-founder with a CS background and little to no marketing experience and no audience, getting my first few subscribers was definitely much harder than building the product itself.
I didn't know where to start, who to contact or even how to contact people that I thought could be interested in Messenger Marketing.
A recurring theme when I read early-stage startup stories is submitting your startup to startup directories and beta aggregators and there are many lists with dozens of those websites.
I went through many different lists and submitted Feedbeaver to 50+ websites, some of them didn't work at all while others helped me get my first 100 beta subscribers.
Designing your landing page ✍️
The first step is to have a decent looking landing page. You don't have to be a designer to do this and you don't even have to know how to code. You can use a service like Unbounce or Carrd to build a very good looking landing page.
I built mine from scratch using Vue.js and Tailwind CSS and that gave me some extra flexibility, but it definitely took a lot longer than just grabbing something off the self.
You should include a very clear call to action and make that consistent across the whole page.
Here's how Feedbeaver's landing page looks at the time of this writing. Definitely not the best-looking thing you've ever seen and definitely not the most optimized, but it's a start 🤷♀️
Preparing your submissions 🤔
You're going to spend some time submitting the same data to a bunch of different sites, so you might as well do some preparation work and get all your ducks in a row so you make your life easier in the next step.
Here's a list of things that most startup directories will ask you:
- Startup Name
- Link to your landing page
- Elevator pitch - 1 to 2 sentences long
- Longer pitch - 2 to 3 paragraphs long
- Startup logo
- Screenshot of your landing page
- Social Media Links - Facebook and Twitter being the most asked
- Tags/Categories your startup fits in
A video or a pitch deck is optional, but it should help make your submission stand out. We didn't have one and we did OK.
Let's get some traffic 📊
Now you're ready to go ahead and submit your startup. If you want to submit your startup to as many places as you humanly can, here are a few lists I used with hundreds of sites you can use:
- Compiled list of links from "Ask HN: Where can I post my startup to get beta users?"
- Startup Directories by Startup Lister
- 100 Startup Directory To Submit Your Startup by Ninja Outreach
- List of places to submit your Startup by Promote Hour
Note: Some of these websites will allow you to pay a small amount and they'll do a mass submission for you. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but if that's your style then just go ahead and save you some hours of painful work.
7 places that actually worked for us 🎉
If you want a hand-picked selection of the best places that actually worked for us this is the section of this article you are looking for.
Here's a list of the 7 best startup directories that worked for us, along with the pageviews they sent our way, follow/no-follow and MOZ Domain Authority for you SEO junkies.
|Name||Pageviews||MOZ Domain Authority||Do-Follow|
|Product Hunt Ship ²||45||82||Yes|
1: Subreddits: /r/Entrepreneur/, /r/EntrepreneurRideAlong and /r/designcritiques/
2: Product Hunt's Ship is the tool we used to collect subscribers, so some people just subscribed directly in the Ship page and didn't visit our landing page.
Disclaimer: We paid $63.20 for a Pro subscription for Product Hunt Ship which gets our page promoted across their network and $129.00 for an expedited submission on BetaList. Both of these are optional.
We got a total of 115 beta subscribers thus far, a dozen or so people beta testing our Messenger Marketing application, Feedbeaver and most importantly, some motivation to keep on grinding and building the startup even if it's just easier to go home and watch Netflix.
Try Feedbeaver 📩
If you're interested in building an audience using Facebook Messenger, with 80%+ open rates and high CTR by sending highly engaging and interactive messages to your subscribers, you've come to the right place. Just go to our website and sign up for the beta.
Founder @ Feedbeaver