Hi everyone 👋 . My name is Ray, and I created mylinks.ai, a link-in-bio product that directly embeds your content for higher click through conversion. This post is about how my original partner and I validated our idea and decided to dedicate time towards it's development.
First, we had to ask ourselves, what were we trying to validate? The problem and need for a link-in-bio product was already validated by the success of linktree. What we wanted to know was whether existing linktree users would switch, and whether new users would prefer a better product than the current competition. We considered sending a survey out ("are you satisfied with linktree?") ("would you pay for a better link-in-bio page?"), but a survey like that would give noisy and uninterpretable results. Everyone would say they want a better product. Who wouldn't? It would be too easy to delude ourselves that the idea was worth pursuing if we used a survey to validate it. The truest measure of an idea is having paying users. So we decided to build a prototype.
I spent a week building the profile page for users. It was super simple because we manually input our data for page setup. To create a page, we'd go to people's social media profiles and upload their latest content into a sample profile. To slightly speed up the process, we created a basic data input form to simplify the process of creating a profile; we sped it up to 30s per profile.
We compiled a list of 300 small-to-medium sized influencers who were using Linktree, created profiles for each of them, and asked each influencer if they wanted to use the sample profile. Here's the stats for the outreach campaign:
We weren't sure whether the conversion was 2.6% or 14.8%. We justified claiming the conversion was 14.8% by saying that opening the message was akin to "visiting the landing page." Of course we knew that this was more like direct selling so the actual conversion rate would be lower.
The next step was investigating whether people would pay for an aesthetically more pleasing bio page. We ran the exact same experiment again, but this time we asked for $5 per month. Here are the stats:
Once again, if 43 people "visited our landing page" our conversion rate was 2.3%. Freemium SaaS companies' conversion rate ranges from 1.5%-5%, averaging at 3% . A pessimistic interpretation of our results would be that even with direct selling, our conversion rate was only 2.3%, and there's no way we could justify a sales growth strategy at our price point. On the other hand, an optimistic interpretation would be that with absolutely no features, no style customization, no tracking or analytics, someone was willing to pay us $5 per month.
Was our free-version conversion 2.6% or 14.8%? Was our paid conversion 0.3% or 2.3%? The reason answers were likely somewhere in the middle, but at least we had definitive proof that at least some people would find value in our link-in-bio product. Along with the established need for a product like this via market competition, we decided this was enough for us to attempt to penetrate the market with our own product.
We've been slowly building over the past few months, and we just had our official launch. So far, 100s of users have signed up and we're looking forward to building out more.