Lessons From a Failed Startup

I don’t usually follow startup stories, but I was intrigued by this one. With so much going for them – an interesting idea, interest from partners, interest from users, some PR, even some funding – they still had to fold.

And then I read Flowtab’s own account of how it went down. I am hardly qualified to criticize (but of course, I’m going to do so anyway), but some things leaped out at me. And these aren’t particular to this company (I don’t mean to pile on), but attitudes and activities I have seen in other startups as well.

Careless erosion of goodwill

Goodwill isn’t a trendy buzzword, but let’s talk about it anyway. Here are some of the tactics this company tried out.

Flowtab was an app that let you order drinks at bars. The founders spent months building the app, launched it on iTunes, and it was the #1 featured app for one week. But there was no service to back up the app. There’s no mention of how many people downloaded the app, but it must have been a good number. Many startups would be thrilled at having their app featured by Apple. But this one squandered their opportunity by letting users download an app they couldn’t use. That’s like having a big store launch, inviting customers, and then not showing up to open the store. If a thousand customers came to your door, that’s not a success. The fact that you couldn’t serve them is a failure.

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Monday Marketing Mash-up: Get More Conversions

Likes and retweets are all very well, but what you really want is conversions: someone signing up to your newsletter, filling up your lead form, or buying your product. This week, let’s work on improving conversions.

First, are you tracking conversions on your website? You can do this easily by setting up goals in Google Analytics.

Neil Patel offers copywriting tips that will increase your conversions. The first few are great copywriting tips for any piece of writing: focus on benefits (i.e., the reader, not you), format your text, use images, and so on. But there are some less obvious tips in there too.

The Leaky Bathtub offers an easy way to get your prospects to take action: treat them like dogs. What does this mean? Tell your prospects what you want them to do, not what you want them to not do.

Search Engine Land explains how to optimize all your pages, not just your “landing pages.”

The Visual Website Optimizer blog explains five conversion best practices.

Now let’s get to work! Use some of these tips to improve your website’s conversions and get more money pouring in.

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