I wanted to share the experience we had with AppSumo and the launch we had into their community. Not only to give feedback on this launch but also so others could see what can they pull from this experience and spoiler alert this was a good one, don’t get me wrong we have been through some emotions during this period!
Why DID WE LAUNCH on Appsumo?
In the period we had the first contact with the AppSumo team we were still refining our Product Market Fit and there was a lot of work to do in order for us to match a complete PMF.
Also, the users on our platform were coming from France and from all over Europe, this was a good thing of course but with a product such as Meta API platform, we wanted to confront potential users from the United States. But also from all over the world. So when G’ (thanks for her support btw) contacted us to get through the «application process» we decided immediately to go for it knowing it will require quite a bit of preparation!
The Process to be on appsumo
The first step of the process with AppSumo is to get them to know you and your company, and for that, I had to explain the history of Meta API, the roots of the idea, our development, and show technically what our platform could to impress what they call the «Sumo-rings ». This is the first point I found interesting in their process, they are really looking for a company that is here to stay and not a temporary tool that will disappear in less than 1 year.
They solicit beta users to try out a tool before giving the launch date, in our case they asked developers to test our platform, and based on the taco rating you are getting you are ready or not to get your launch date. We had recommendations from the beta testers on the things that were missing for them to live a pleasant experience, and we injected those into our team’s backlog.
So we did get 4 taco out of 5, and they gave us our launch date: April 4th !!
Once the launch date was defined, we entered a long process beginning where you get in contact with multiple resources at AppSumo team to tackle different preparations: on the billing side, we had also a technical preparation so their API and ours could be connected to facilitate the process of billing for their users (I'm glad we know some things about APIs otherwise it would have been the other story) and also the marketing side. It was impressive to see the rolling machine and the process they had in place in order to make everything smooth.
Of course, we had internally prepared a small task force to make sure we have a point of contact in the team for every topic to manage with them: launch, technical, and marketing.
During 8 weeks, it was hard work of going back and forth with their team to prepare all topics and make sure we are not missing anything, we followed everything and finalized small last questions even the night before our launch (shout out to Steven).
Everything was ready, the team did a fantastic job and our launch date was here just in front of us.
Of course, as a SaaS company specializing in APIs we have created some automation to get notifications about new users, deal activations, and even the notification on our deal page, and then it started :
We were told that the traffic on the first day was intense, but we didn’t expect that, we had dozens of questions on our deal page, people were asking a lot of questions about the usage, our story, the limits of the plans, our technology, and we had to be quick on our responses. If it was not on the deal page, we noticed that people were joining so fast the community we prepared on Discord (the link is here if you want to join the magical world of APIs).
We had every kind of Sumo joining and buying the license, tekkies, developers, tech freelancers… So everything went fast for us, we defined a quick process on our end to master how we get the feedback, issues, and requests from them.
AppSumo has this really specific community where the people who are curious always want to learn more than the marketing side of a SaaS, and this helped us a lot, but I will touch on this topic later.
Gradually we found our rhythm with the big flow of new paid users coming in, but also we got to know some of the first AppSumo users, some of them had meetings with me or other team members, so we can go with them through their use case and accelerate their learning curve. They give feedback on a daily basis more than we expected and this is crucial for the Product Market Fit I mentioned at the beginning of this article.
So what do we really learn from this experience?
Well, I will try to be brief because they are a lot of things to say :
- Do not underestimate the learning curve for new users: they are new to your tool, new to your experience, and to your world, if you mess this part they will be leaving without even testing your tool, providing documentation and tutorials, the small effort for a big reward!
- Process your support: with this kind of curious community they want to push your tool to its limits, to some points you did not anticipate, but they will always need your help and this is a key indicator for them to see If the team on the other side is quick responding, helpful and also kind enough to make them loyal users or customers.
- Feedback is key: we had so many one to one meetings with our Sumo-lings, questions or discussions with them on the Discord server, they give you real-time feedback, sometimes it will be hard to hear but all the feedback they are giving is a gold mine for your roadmap and the future developments you are bringing to your company, and by taking into consideration their feedback we have noticed that some of them are becoming kind of ambassadors of Meta API spreading the word on our tool on every social media or other community
Would I recommend the appsumo experience?
I spoiled you in the beginning but let me say it again, YES I would recommend it at 100%, AppSumo was built with a real community, and there is one thing that this kind of experience is bringing to the table is time. With that kind of launch, community, and in the end news users we did get, we saved months of user analysis and features testing.
If your motivation to be launched on AppSumo is purely financial, and you are here to only generate cash, then maybe this is not for you. For the effort, they put into the preparation of the content, marketing, and community they take a heavy cut out of what you generate in terms of revenues. This is why we decided to focus mainly on product and feedback, knowing that everything we will learn will be helpful to increase our MRR outside of AppSumo.
With the feedback we had, we are now on our way to speeding up the roadmap with features that will be game-changer for all of our users including.
Personally, I must say that we’ve been through some roller coaster in terms of preparation, launch, and post-launch, even now 1 month later we are still learning, and we are preparing a lot of surprises for the next semester so stay tuned and let the magic happen!