I got it wrong… again. Forget registering more users, it’s time to delight the ones I have

It’s July, and we’ve passed 3,000 registered users and 10,000 event follows on Teen Events in less than 2 months – in many ways things are going well. But they’re not great. In fact, despite deploying new functionality weekly based on user feedback and analytics, we’ve not hit the ‘sweet spot’ where the site takes on a life of its own. Website visits are relatively stable, numbering about 300-700 a day, and the lack of user appreciation for the product is deafening.

Today, thanks to a burrito-fuelled chat with Alex Pounds, I think I’ve realised why.

I’ve spent all my energy using every tool in my kit to drive more registrations and follows – a life-time of marketing ideas deployed one by one to drive up some top-level numbers, that are in many ways meaningless. In short, I forgot to delight the users I have.

People do what they know, and then they do it more. Lawyers write and sign too many contracts and neglect their products, developers deploy and embellish features endlessly and wonder why users don’t come, marketers get people through the door but can’t make them love what’s inside. Founders, good ones – well, they create the magic. I’ve spent too much time marketing and not enough time creating magic.

The last few months’ development on Teen Events has been ‘connecting the dots’; iterating functionality from content discovery to event following, alerts and content updates. And the complete product vision is executed, if vaguely, exactly as I mentioned it needs to be in my 7 lessons I learnt from building my MVP post. But nothing is done incredibly well. Nothing creates that euraka how-did-I-live-without-this moment. Nothing has turned my users into tireless evangelists for what I’m doing or forced them to form a habit more addictive than crack cocaine.

And that needs to change.

I need stop marketing and focus on getting it *really* right for 1,000 people. They’ll do the rest.

How?

  • Rework copy across site to add tension and excitement as well as signpost functionality and drive exploration and full usage of the product.
  • Improve and tweak every user flow, email and landing page to enhance the experience.
  • Use the existing functionality we have – more events added daily, content added to every event.
  • Focus limited development resource on just one element of functionality until users love it.

Project Delight starts now.