What is it - the advertising budget of a startup?

In early February of this year, we seriously thought of advertising budget and channels to promote Omnideska . Beta version looming on the horizon, and we strongly scratched hands start page to subscribe to receive an invite.

The plan was simple as two pennies. Spend thousands of dollars on advertising, collect half or two thousand subscribers, send them through a time of invitation and get feedback. Of course, we think in advance and the next stage of advancement, but have decided not to dwell on it, as the current affairs and had plenty.

End of February marked the beginning of the operation. Act strictly according to the scenario, but it soon became clear that advertising came nakladochka. However, not like you think. Sit back, awaits an entertaining read.

Bet blitzkrieg h4>

The last thing we wanted to pull a set of subscribers, so the task was hit on all fronts and to achieve the cherished numbers as quickly as possible. Prepared a list of channels for the promotion briefly looked as follows:

- Contextual advertising (Google Adwords and Yandex);
- Banner advertising;
- Advertising in social networks;
- Advertising in email newsletters;
- Publication of information on Omnideske thematic resources and forums;
- Notice of friends and acquaintances to share their;
- Unobtrusive communication with interesting people and potential customers;
- Active useful post commenting on various blogs.

As you can see, we are mixed bunch of all - the classic ways to promote monetary and extremely partisan, which do not require a dime. That is, in our opinion, could achieve the desired results. Something of the above shot, but something has failed miserably. But first things first.

«Flawless" contextual advertising h5>

As planned by the lion's share of all subscribers should have brought it contextual advertising. On it, we had high hopes and very seriously approached the preparation. Made a list of low-frequency and midrange keywords for the Yandex.Direct and Google Adwords, created advertising campaigns asked adequate rates, make sure that the map plenty of money, and run.

Never before Moscow did not have to make such a large number of continuous "refresh". In anticipation of a flurry of visitors and fulfill the objectives we have checked the statistics every 5 seconds. A day later, the picture began to pick out. The results were disappointing - two dozen transitions and only 1 subscriber.

The next few days were spent on vsevozozhnye wagering game and keywords. It was necessary to make this "fucking machine" to bring us the subscribers. Efforts were in vain not - Subscribers began to appear, but in fact it was a Pyrrhic victory. Initial expectations were very far from what we got in reality.

Google Adwords has proved little better directives but even after the increase in rates, the number of subscribers in a day not more than a few pieces, and , each treated in 4.5 USD Money is money, and that's frightening speed - at a pace we would need a year to get the right amount.

You will not believe, but in a state of near despair, we tried even runners. It was naive to believe that he could do something to help, so here without comment :)

Perseverance we do not do it, but sooner or later there comes a time when the costs to admit to ourselves that the wall is too thick and it did not break. We decided not to waste time and energy on contextual advertising. Staying active campaign, but hopes were diverted to other channels.

What's interesting is that behind us was not one successful experience of using contextual advertising on other projects. Of course, this time we can make mistakes, but it seems that the problem is bigger.

Maybe the reason was, that i> is we promote. This is not another "master pickup" or "How to find a husband?" And serious B2B-service. In my humble opinion, the CA of our project rarely kliekaet on contextual advertising. For example, I do not do it ever. Apparently, the majority of users we need does the same.

Encouraging mailing lists h5>

Simultaneously with contextual advertising, we try his luck with banners and social networks. They were even less effective, and after weeks of weak "crop" a waste of money has been discontinued.

It is the turn of advertising in ezines. With this type of promotion I have often encountered on past projects, and I know firsthand that in some cases it is possible to achieve excellent results.

However, the experience of the content was not in vain. Now we were without rose-colored glasses and clearly aware that promote the service through this channel will also be difficult. After all, to find mailing us with the appropriate audience and subject matter - it is far not a trivial task. Often mailing love those who want to change their lives for the better, to make a million, sitting at home on the couch, to become financially literate in the week to be cool as a programmer for a month, etc. What we need are not regular users and those who are directly related to a support, or at least make important decisions in companies.

Realizing all this, we started compiling a list of authors with potentially successful newsletters. Finally got the 24 authors, the total audience that exceeded half a million. Each of them sent a personal letter with our offer. The content of the letters was different, but the essence is the same - an attempt to persuade the option "pay per subscriber" (of which we get).

Unfortunately, few people agree to such terms. Either they did not believe in the quality of its subscription base, or did not want to bathe, but almost all wanted money up front. In the best case, when there are no acceptable results suggest do povtorunyu send to subscribers who did not open the first letter.

This alignment is not pleased, but the depressing situation with the other channels are forcing us to take risks. Thought to begin with the mailing theme of which was the closest to our own, - "Useful Internet services." The rest of the mailing were more indirectly related to Omnidesku, and we wanted to get the maximum possible performance from them and has to dance on.

Compose a letter, paid for the advertising issue and held their breath in anticipation of the results. The first pancake, despite the proverb, do not come out lumpy. Letter received 25,000 people. Openable was slightly less than 8%, which is below the average of the principle, but in spite of this, we got 100 subscribers Issue cost us 100 USD That is 4.5 times cheaper than Google Adwords, and 50 times faster. I>

Frightened away luck, we tried to resist the obvious defirambov addressed advertising mailings and rejoiced in silence. It seems we have found a channel through which to easily turn dial cherished couple thousand subscribers.

However, following the release of the publicity brought us back to earth. Given the large distance topics second mailing, we knew that the result will be worse, but hoped that not much. At this time, a letter was sent to the list of 50 000 subscribers. Openable was the same, but signed only 45 polzvoateley i>. The cost of distribution has increased and we are close to, Google Adwords, except for the speed.

The problem was that more could get worse, as the subsequent distribution had even less to do with our topic. Therefore we have decided to temporarily switch to other channels and return to later mailings.

Subject resources and you there too? H5>

Time flew inexorably, and for the soul was a little over two hundred subscribers. Quite on the other numbers we expected initially. On the other hand, instead of unfounded optimism was already an adequate assessment of the situation. Yes, the task was much more difficult than we imagined, but just needed to stick to their line.

We have prepared several options for service description and began gently to write about it wherever possible. "Bombarded" underwent thematic resources and forums, as well as sites that write about startups. Then we added and spark.ru, from which, by the way, is still occasionally come subscribers.

After a few days of active dissemination of information we took a break to analyze the statistics. With a smirk on his face found that the flow of subscribers has increased, but a serious splash our "bombing" did not bring.

It became clear that blitzkrieg failed. We got engaged in a war of attrition. It was necessary to slowly but steadily doing the work planned by tuning in a positive way. After completing all the posting on websites and forums that are "waiting" information about the service, we moved on.

A pleasant surprise in the form of a workhorse h4>

Catching thematic resources and forums, I accidentally discovered the Toaster. Asked questions and their answers came upon the idea that there should be a lot of "our". I wanted to spend some time and see if Toaster bring us favor.

All questions on the helpdesk immediately got amazingly useful answer, which modestly suggests paying attention to Omnidesk . And it was just warming up. I began to look through all the questions and sincerely trying to help, without trying to advertise the service. Grateful people do follow a link from the profile, which was added as a precaution.

I was doing this for quite some time, and sometimes I go there now, but with a view to just find the answer to your question or help others.

The result was very good. For all the time we got a toaster more subscribers than with Google Adsense. Yes, first you need to devote a lot of time, but also contextual advertising can not quite throw after the initial setup. In general, wholeheartedly recommend.

By the way, the profile becomes slightly more people than on the links, the purpose of which is obvious to all. So try not to be intrusive. Carmo nobody spoil, but inwardly you are sure to thank for the absence of the user explicitly "vparivaniya».

Habr is dead, long live the Habr! H4>

About Habre we thought long before the promotion. I really wanted to express themselves, but there was no clear idea which side to approach him. Accordingly, the operation of "The Conquest Habra" continually postponed. Impetus was given to the best experience with toaster, after which we have firmly decided that the next step must be precisely Habr. You can not miss such an audience.

However, the same Toaster slightly spoils the picture. In one or the other question I have seen answers users that nostalgia for better times and wrote that "Habr is not a cake." Not that we badly frightened, but the joy of such views is not added. They are weakly influenced our desire to shine, but was forced to be more modest in relation to the possible outcomes.

Start tortuous path h5> After reviewing the options available to the Habr hit, we had planned to write an article in the hub "I PR", as it was not an invite to request one. I have set myself the task to reflect on the first article, when Dima (co-owner) informed about the campaign for startups - the blog of the company for six months for free. It was the right thing. Application sent on the same day. Just a few days, burning with impatience, I asked Habr Twitter, if they meet all regardless of the decision on the application. Answered in the affirmative. Anxious waiting continued.

And now, in the midst of a working day, a letter came that the application is approved. Joy knew no bounds. Now-a-everything was in our hands. It only remained to write quality articles.

Began a long discussion about her subjects. Thought to write about myself, but people in the know say that the audience has already become boring stories about startups. I had to get acquainted with the first post of other companies. Most of the articles in our opinion, were rather weak, and we did not wonder how users perceive them. Some were really good and more than deserves its popularity. As a result, we agreed on the fact that the Mighty post in any case have any effect, and stopped on the version with the story.

Simply run a marathon h5> I often write. However, this is usually selling texts, manuals, instructions or this Knowledge Base article. Fascinating article was not on my part, but I knew perfectly well that depends on the first post very much. So the mood was the most that neither is combat.

Writing articles planned to spend the working week, with a couple of hours each day. If only it were that simple. Serious brainstorming lengthy writings, ruthless redaktrirovanie, additional editing and re-editing .... Article has not yet been fully prepared, and I hated the word "edit."

The final version was released through the 2.5 weeks And this is only the text version. It was necessary to prepare more images. They also had to tinker. Downloads green t-shirt for Sergei themselves painted on it, "%", and then photographed it. Suitable screenshots Starcraft'a not found, and so did his own.

When the result of a whole suit me, I suggested to other team members to read the article. The kids loved it - had been made only a few minor edits. The first test of criticism, let objectivity refereeing and poor, was passed. The turn of the present review.

anxious waiting and false start h5> I remember that was a Wednesday. Calendar suggests - March 26. Publication planned for the next day.

Reading the posts on Habré, I always paid attention to the caustic comments that were almost in every post, regardless of its quality. So I mentally prepared myself to that article, the creation of which took so much time and energy can be perceived not the best way. Especially when you consider how jaded theme startups.

This is a very difficult time - learn to perceive criticism of his creation, which is embedded in a huge amount of power. But it is definitely worth learning.

On Thursday, the first thing I opened the Habr. Tried to open. He was "busy» DDoS-attack. We were lucky as a drowned man. Did have to postpone the publication of the next week?

All day I could not decide what to do if tomorrow Habr work. Is there any sense to publish an article on Friday? We discussed this point with Dima, but was undecided. Dwell on the fact that tomorrow is another day.

Unheard reward h5> Friday morning for some reason, all doubts vanished. It seemed to me that you can no longer pull the article. Come what may! I went to the office included a computer and immediately published an article.

Passed an hour, but it was clear how everything is wonderful. Anyone who read, comment, write messages in a personal, social networks, and even those who spoil the karma - thank you! The results exceeded all expectations. About this we have not even dreamed of.

Habr is not a cake? Show me then the cake!

All Time article scored 40K views 255 add to favorites, 74 pros, 46 comments, many personal messages Habré and social. Networks i>. Of course, this is not the most outstanding performance when compared with other articles, but we did not write about astronautics , which punctually issues excellent performance.

Moreover, the most important for us - subscribers. We were hoping to get a couple of hundred, so save yourself 1000USD, if the count value on the subscriber with Google Adwords. Finally got the more than 1000 subscribers with one post, and in fact we B2B-service that not everyone needs.

resting on their laurels h4>

When the article thundered, we stopped contextual advertising. What's the point of spending money on something that brings not cheap subscribers with frankly a snail's pace? By the way, it is disabled until now, and subscribers will still go - mainly Habra and toaster.

Not only that actually close the issue with subscribers, so we still managed to save a lot of money, which was planned to spend on advertising. As a consequence, in high spirits had the idea to conduct a little experiment with advertising mailing list.

After the first advertising issues we have in mind was sending 300 000 subscribers. Her subjects had nothing to do with Omnideskom but coverage gives hope for good results. Plus, I had long been familiar with the author, and he went towards agreeing on very favorable terms for us:

- Trial by sending letters to the list of 100 000 subscribers;
- Right to pay only the amount of non-combustible 150USD;
- If we get more than 150 subscribers, over each of the next pay 1USD top.

Source: habrahabr.ru/company/omnidesk/blog/226079/


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