Aiming for elegance, one thought at a time

Startup challenge: build an email list of 500 prospects from nothing in 60 days

Posted: July 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I’m coming pretty green to this whole startup game. I’d already quit my job before I even picked up The Lean Startup! The learning curve is pretty steep.

“I’ll build a great product, and then customers will appear! It’ll be so great, it’ll grow by word of mouth!” – me, embarrassingly recently.

Shockingly naive, right? (The product is great though. Trace Email Studio will help you send personalised lifecycle emails and move the needle on your startup. In a nutshell: Trace Email Studio will help you send the right email to the right person at the right time, and it’ll help you do this faster. Because you can do it faster, you’ll be able to do it more. Because you can do it more, you’ll make more money. QED.)

I recently had a revelation: I need to market this thing. Common knowledge for some, and I’ve probably been told about a million times. It took a while to sink in. What finally made it click was reading recently (can’t find the link, but I think it was Rob Walling) startups should have at least 500 names on your pre-launch email list.

So I’m setting myself the goal of building an email list of 500 prospects from absolutely nothing in 60 days.

What does “nothing” mean, in this case?

  • I’ve only just put the pre-launch page up.
  • I’ve got 12 twitter followers. (High school friends.)
  • I’ve got this blog with… erm, no real focus, sporadic posts, and consequently no readers.
  • And, shockingly, I don’t have any VC buddies.

And some rules:

  • I’ll only count people in the target market and at least theoretically able to benefit from lifecycle emails (so they need to have enough customers).
  • I’ll only count people who can (at least) influence a purchasing decision.
  • I’ve got to have at least 100 people on the list who could actually authorise a purchase

So I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’m going to post this on Hacker News in the hope that someone will take mercy on me and give me some great advice.

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One Comment on “Startup challenge: build an email list of 500 prospects from nothing in 60 days”

  1. 1 Daniel Studds » Blog Archive » Can I build an audience through direct sales? said at 5:53 am on July 31st, 2013:

    [...] I’m going to build an pre-launch list of 500 potential customers in just 60 days for Trace Email Studio, I’m going to have to get [...]

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