The lighthouse customer or early adopter is the guy who has shown initial interest in your product and is willing to give it a try. If you make him happy, there is a good chance that you will grow quicker.
But lately, there has been a challenge in terms of getting the right early adopters too. Studies have shown that on average 2.5 follow-ups are required for any customer to try your offering. This means that the most important thing that any startup needs is the contact detail of the customer. It allows you to try and convince him to use your offering. But obviously, he should not feel spammed, otherwise, it negatively impacts your brand. But how will they not feel spammed if you contact them multiple times? It is if they give you permission to contact you.
There are proven ways to do that.
- **Quirky pre-launch campaigns: **Many startups have gained decent traction with pre-launch campaigns and growing excitement about their product. They show a small video or attractive website giving a glimpse of what the product is about and nicely ask for email ids to be the first ones to try the product.
- **Making it exclusive: **Making the offering exclusive always arises the sense of pride for the ones who have the invite and desire to have it for those who do not. However, this limits the number of users, but if done the right way can work awesomely. We do not have to mention the example of Gmail to prove the point.
- **Free info: **This is about luring the customers with free information in lieu of their contact details. It can be as simple as providing links to good quality GOT season 6 episodes or keeping the users updated with newsletters on your industry or quirky product information. What has had good success in this is “The Top 10 or top 5 of ”.
- **Free stuff: **This is easy but might need some initial investment. But the stuff can be a keychain, pen, cool sticker, t-shirt, etc. The whole purpose is to get contact information. See what stuff can attract your target audience to give you permission to contact them.
- **Free service: **Give the users demo of your service or offering. Excite them enough to follow what you are doing next. They will happily hand over their contact details to you. This has worked great in the cosmetics industry. Have you not seen beauticians offering free service to showcase new makeup accessories?
This will just fetch your contact details. It's your responsibility to judiciously follow up with these people until they become users. At all times, remember the early adopters are the most important users. Pamper them, treat them special, make them feel awesome.
Serial Entrepreneur and Coach