March 22, 2019

Beta lists still work?

I have been out of the building a SaaS game for a bit and now working on a new side project ( PullManager.com ).

I remember a few years ago, a beta list was hugely valuable and signups seemed to flow in quickly and easily. Does anyone still build beta lists? Find/found success? Stories around that?

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    I've been trending on BetaList and did pretty well on ProductHunt. They are easy items to check off cause you don't lose anything by submitting. I wouldn't rely on them for customer validation. Got a ton a clicks from both, but mostly from other "makers" looking to check out the UI. I would supplement those efforts with a small FB campaign to expose your product to real users who aren't just other builders giving each other pats on the back.

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    I think they're good, but are overrated to a lot of IHers. Many people think it's a shortcut around sales and marketing.

    I've only published successfully to BetaBound. I think they have a pretty small market, and I still got a good 100 clicks or so. Another 10-ish submitted a survey and/or requested beta access.

    I found it useful - I learned that there is some interest in what I'm building, and I also learned that my onboarding sucks (we talked about this a little in the daily standup haha).

    I've tried submitting to Beta List. First attempt was rejected and they didn't provide a reason. Cleaned up the home page, tried to make the USP a little more clear, and resubmitted. I think they really want to push people to pay hundreds of dollars to get listed, and I'm not willing to. Then when my beta matures, I want to submit to PH.

    The thing is, these aren't really the best for validation or doing real sales and marketing. The audience is probably very skewed towards others building products, not any sort of representation of a whole. So they can be useful if you're selling something that other builders want, but otherwise I wouldn't expect them to make you money.

    I do think they can be good to help validate an idea. There's probably some percent of those audiences that overlap with what you're providing, so you can try to gauge if there's potential/excitement.

    It is a ton of eyeballs on your offering, but those eyeballs aren't specifically interested in your market :)

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      Yep I also applied and got rejected. Also heard that 1 day after you got featured on betalist lots of "ethical hackers" start to ask for money to reveal software vulnerabilities on your SaaS. Conclusion: sometimes posting on these websites shows your project to bad audiences instead of your buyer personas. So most of it are a waste of time.

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        Wow, that's good to know! Did not think of hackers looking for bugs as a potential issue haha.

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    It does but it's just another short-term channel. It's not going to make or break your startup.

    We got 2-3 pre-orders for Encharge.io from Betalist, and 1 customer development interview from there.

    Also, the SEO juice is worth it for that price. They give you a do-follow link from a 50-ish Domain Authority site.

    All in all, it makes sense to submit to Betalist but again – don't expect wonders.

    P.s. ProductHunt Ship sucks! It doesn't work.

  4. 1

    Producthunt's Ship is good for this.