Growth August 13, 2020

Paid customers trickling in... what is the low-hanging fruit I should focus on?

Jeremy @stridatum

Short background: So back in March, I noticed lots of academic conferences were cancelling and I was very concerned about missing all the poster sessions. I threw together a quick site to allow people a place to share without thinking many people would be interested...

If you're not familiar with them, Poster sessions are when grad students and researchers share the progress they've made with others in their area of study. It's a really good way for students to find jobs in industry, researchers to find new collaborators, or be inspired to study your own topic in a new way.

Turns out, a LOT of people were interested! I received so many emails I couldn't really keep up at the time. I had a few conversations with folks and was able to really hone the concept for a self-service platform, which I built and launched at the end of July!

/end background

I'm still working on getting the concept across clearly, and really need to do a better job on the signup funnel. But each time I improve the site I get more interest and more relevant questions... I would love any sort of feedback or critiques the IH community could share:

https://virtualpostersession.org/

Thanks!

  1. 3

    I like @ugn’s suggestion. Is there a way to feature folks who’ve created sessions?

  2. 3

    Try to add some screenshots of online poster sessions. Your visitors are familiar with traditional poster sessions, but might have troubles imagining how does it work online.

  3. 2

    The landing page looks neat. I think you could move the pricing calculator on another page or in a separate window. The idea is to collect data around people who might be interested but dropping out because of price.

    You could also try a/b testing price as I am assuming the users don't have any reference point to decide how much to pay for the service.

    The page also doesn't showcase the value or if this online method will be as effective as offline.

    There is also no mention of trial or testimonials. In absence of testimonials or sample demo, i think trials would be required. From the current state, it looks like I have to pay first to try out.

    Since this looks like a new category that you are creating, I think you should add a longer trial. Let people see the value. Increase the price by subsidising product early on.

    1. 1

      I've been mulling about ideas for allowing access to most of the functions, coming short of sending invites and/or allowing access to the poster session without payment. To enable that I need to build an interactive walkthrough to explain the features (worthwhile but time consuming!)

      But long story short, I think this would be nearly as good as a "free trial" since as soon as I collect the data from presenters and generate the listing page customers could duplicate the content on their own site without paying.

  4. 2

    This is very impressive work.

    The no1 comment for me is that the copy does a good job of explaining what this is about as long as someone goes through the task of reading all of it. For people that spend less time on it, could you create a simple showcase section where you show with a slideshow what it looks like step by step?

    I am also developing a (different) service tailored for academics. Can we connect?

  5. 2

    Keep improving your core offering with real feedback from customers. There is never a perfect product but always a continuous improvement cycle.

  6. 2
    • So the red "cancelled" link goes to itself? why is it there?
    • The image seems clickable but does nothing
    • I'm not 100% sure what it is, it seems I need to think about what it would be... it's a tool for zoomish apps to put several images at once in a screen share?
    • How does it relate to all that background story? should you focus on research or on students? ... who else knows what a "poster session" is? who would use it if they knew what it is? is there a more generic unknown/understandable wording that could be used to make it accessible to people without that term?..
    • I still don't know if it's a specialised niche I rather not know. complex or simple offer, if it's complex put a video on top to show usage examples, if it's simple, you should focus on what that is and make it clear early, often and simply..
    1. 1

      1+2 - Whoops I think those are holdovers from previous designs! Will remove them.

      3+4 - Yeah it's a bit niche, people stumbling on this definitely know what a poster session is. But your comments still follow some of the questions about what it does that I've been getting.

      1. It probably would be considered complex, a video is a good idea.

      Overall, it's a tool for people organizing a special type of event to collect data from presenters and put together a listing page with PDF (1-page) presentations AND links to Zoom chats with the presenters.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      1. 1

        @stridatum Good idea to focus on obvious tiny little bugs and make the product look mature (so transitioning from an MVP to a product)