How Flashbackr got 500+ Early Adopters With a Few Reddit Posts

Reddit is scary! Redditors, can be aggressive, rude, obnoxious, funny, helpful – It is a world of contradictions.

Today you’re going to hear how Jeremiah got more than 500 early BETA testers for his newly built app.

(And he got some valuable advice for his landing page in the process).

But that’s not the impressive part.

He did it all with a few simple posts on a platform he had no experience with — Reddit.

With a few ultra-targeted posts, Jeremiah managed to get his app 1566 unique visitors… in just 18 days.

(And, he’d like to note, since about 30% of their target audience uses Ad Blockers to block their analytics tool, it was probably closer to 2035 unique visitors).

The traffic resulted in more than 500 early BETA users. More than any other strategy they’ve tried to date:

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By actively engaging and taking the advice of Redditors, Flashbackr saw another awesome benefit:

A better landing page which converted higher.

Before implementing changes, the site had a conversion rate of 7.2%. After the Reddit campaign, it lept to 38.7%!

This is artificially high, because Flashbackr drew interest from Redditors who helped them with the project but nevertheless, even today the conversion rate is sat at 12%, so the advice paid off.

500 BETA testers from Reddit

So who is Jeremiah?

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Jeremiah Smith is one of the founders of Flashbackr, an app developed by a team of friends with backgrounds in Computer Science, Graphic Design and Product Development.

Flashbackr is an awesome tool that helps you collect and save documents, photos, and online content (such as articles, videos, bookmarks) all in one place. Imagine Pocket on steroids.

reddit beta testers

You can save content right on the Flashbackr platform, or install it as a browser plugin.

 

reddit beta testers

You can then tag and organize your content to make it easier to share with your friends and colleagues.

Flashbackr was (and is) pre-revenue, and Jeremiah was placed in charge with finding early users of their app. The holy grail of MVP’s.

Driving sales wasn’t important at this stage, so Jeremiah had to get creative.

He knew the Reddit community had 100,000’s of niche orientated users interacting every minute of the day.

He decided to develop a strategy to build a base of BETA users and early adopters. Let’s talk through the key steps he followed…

Step 0: Get Karma, Post nerdy memes.

To be influential on Reddit you need karma. Without karma you can’t post links and join discussions with any influence.

Jeremiah had a  great idea. Boost your karma by posting a nerdy meme, everyone loves a meme.

Reddit is the self-described “front page of the internet.” It’s the most important source on the web for viral content, so if you want to get noticed, you need to post something that resonates.

Jeremiah knew this, so he started out by:

  • Posting a couple of funny pictures to the /r/funny subreddit

The posts were clever and slightly nerdy — perfect for the Reddit audience:

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Step 0 was easier than it looked.  A couple of simple posts got Jeremiah 1000+ Karma.

Now we have the required Karma to post on other Subreddits.

Step 1: Ask Redditors for advice

People turn to Facebook to connect with their friends and family. People turn to Reddit for breaking news, but that’s not the only use.

CEO of Pixel Road Designs Brent Csutoras explained: “Reddit has captivated that research-driven, educated audience that wants to discuss issues on a deep level.”

Jeremiah wanted to tap into this to generate discussion, so here’s what he did:

He posted to /r/startups asking Reddit users for advice about the app’s landing page. He also included a note in the title that he would put their advice into action:

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Jeremiah was flooded with advice to improve his landing page. The post managed to spur discussion, and attract people to his website at the same time.

Step 2: Actually put their advice to use.

Next, Jeremiah gathered the feedback and responded to everyone:

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He made tons of suggested changes to his landing page, including redesigning the button:

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The Flashbackr team also created and added an explanatory video to the landing page based on Redditor advice:

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Step 3: Give away your product for free.

Jeremiah promised the Redditors in /r/startups that he’d follow up with results from the landing page. So now he needed more traffic.

After improving their landing page and encouraging discussion in the process, Jeremiah posted their software to /r/FREE as a free giveaway:

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This spiked traffic to the landing page so they could build on conversion/usage data.

Step 4: Share your results with Reddit

Once he had enough data from /r/FREE traffic and elsewhere, Jeremiah did a follow up post to /r/startups as promised.

He shared the results from their landing page advice, and thanked them for helping:

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Redditors were happy to see their advice helped and engaged with his new post.

Step 5: Rinse and repeat

Steps 0-4 helped Jeremiah break into the Reddit community and get some software signups at the same time. The last step was rinse and repeat to amplify the effect.

Jeremiah found more subreddits relevant to his brand and marketing to post to. For example, he asked for advice in /r/design_critiques:

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And even asked for suggestions on one of his list posts on /r/startups:

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The Moral of the Story

As a reader you might wonder:

Why didn’t they skip the landing page advice and go right to posting to /r/FREE to get more early BETA testers?

Here’s what Jeremiah had to say:

“You can’t trick Redditors to come to your website. You have to build something that involves the Reddit community and getting traffic is only a(n awesome) side effect of that.”

And he’s right.

Redditors as a community don’t like marketing tactics, especially a “shill” — a person engaged in covert advertising or propaganda. There are subreddits dedicated to calling out (and making fun of) people who do this on the platform (check out /r/Shills and /r/HailCorporate).

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Reddit listens to its users, and has gone so far as to ban some major publications (The Atlantic, Businessweek) in an anti-spam crusade.

Reddit might not sound like a very inviting platform to your everyday marketer out to make a buck. But if you use it the right way, Reddit is a great tool to get feedback on your product and early BETA testers.

By asking for help Jeremiah managed to pique Redditor interest, getting design advice and 500+ early adopters in the process.

And that was with no experience on the platform.

The more you use Reddit and become a true Redditor yourself, the higher the ROI can be.

Could You Apply This Strategy to Your Business?

Reddit now has an impressive 234 million unique users. That’s a lot of untapped potential for many marketers.

But like with any new platform, you need to be sure Reddit is right for your business.

Know Your Audience

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, which have users all over the world and from all walks of life, Reddit speaks to a very specific audience.

Their demographics continue to change and grow, but check out these statistics from Pixel Design Roads:

reddit-statistics-2015

Most Reddit users hail from the US and have a college education. The vast majority (87%) are under 35 and have a median household income of $68,000/year. Most come to Reddit looking for news.

So you have to ask yourself:

Would Redditors be interested in my product or service?

Know Your Reddiquette

Reddit has historically been a pretty tight-knit group. But they’re always open to new users, as long as you follow the rules.

Redditors themselves coined the term “Reddiquette,” an informal expression describing the values of their community. If you want to avoid hiccups in your marketing strategy, take the time to read the do’s and don’ts. It’s available here in 9 different languages.

Develop a Plan

If you’re going to “use Reddit” for marketing, you need to have a good idea of what you want to accomplish.

Jeremiah knew he wanted to gain some BETA users, and developed a strategy that worked with that goal.

If you want to build off of Redditor advice like Jeremiah did, then take time to research the right subreddits to target.

For example, if you’re building a productivity app, post to /r/productivity. If you just designed a new logo, ask for feedback on /r/design_critiques.

Simply go to reddit.com/reddits/ to start exploring, or use their search bar to find the perfect ones:

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Does your business have a success story marketing on Reddit? Tell us in the comments:

Kieran Goodacre

Viral Growth Geek

Kieran

Head of Growth @ Maître | Skibum @ heart | Growth-obsessed by Nature.

4 thoughts on “How Flashbackr got 500+ Early Adopters With a Few Reddit Posts

  1. Very good article! I was looking for advice and tips on how to approach the Reddit community (since I never used it) and I found it. But the Step 0: Get karma seems to be a headache.

  2. One of the most helpful articles about the benefits of Reddit I’ve read (and actually understood) Super practical. Sent it my CMO. I’m a first time founder with a multi-sided market. Navigating all of this takes such skill, savvy, intuition. And that’s if you’ve already done it. Recently our website and product was hijacked by some guys who had our .com domain name and then decided to just play copycat. I’m going to ask Reddit community what to do. And get in touch with you when we’re ready.

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