Launch Festival · Prototyping

Prototyping and Launch Sites

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

January 2nd, 2014

What do you all use for this kind of stuff? Launch Rock (http://launchrock.co)? Or are there other tools?

I'm curious because I actually have a really nice custom solution I've built myself (and could convert it to a service). I don't know if it's worth my time to do that though. Also don't know if anyone would pay for it...

I kinda just build my own thing since I can build whatever I need, but what do non-tech entrepreneurs do? What kind of features do you look for? Do you want something that grow with you (more than a prototype) or does the simple landing page with e-mail form satisfy your needs for metrics?

Antoine HEBER-SUFFRIN Entrepreneur

January 2nd, 2014

I tried a lot of tools for prototype and launch sites (as a non-technical founder), the one I currently use and associate beautiful design, great UI and UX, and strong features is Webflow (www.webflow.com). The service is live and they're pushing updates regularly. Great tool.

Karthik Hariharan Engineering Manager at Desk.com

January 2nd, 2014

I have a couple former colleagues who started a business called KickOff Labs (http://www.kickofflabs.com/) which does exactly what you describe. They bootstrapped it after initially building it to validate their own ideas.

They have a pretty good blog as well and they spend a lot of time on Growth Hacking to get more business. Check them out if you're interested.

I personally build my own solutions (since I can), but I think for a non-tech founder it makes a lot of sense to try out one of these services.

Jerrod Bailey Cofounder at ClickIPO Holdings, democratizing the IPO industry

January 2nd, 2014

If a launch tool doesn't have multivariate testing ability it's a nonstarter for me.  lt is all about experimenting with copy and visual elements to ratchet up conversions (with multivariate, I have gone from 20% to 60% conversion in under 4 weeks). 

Unbounce is my favorite but its ability to create squeeze campaigns is sorely limited. Also, mobile optimized is a prereq.

The space is crowded, but the winner will automatically append user data and demographic info and will provide more built-in tools for actually acquiring users through social, email , retargeting, SEO, PPC, etc.



Manny Acevedo Business Systems Analyst & Entrepreneur

January 2nd, 2014

I'm technical and I've used tools like launchrock, unbounce, optimize press (http://www.optimizepress.com/) and leadpages ( http://www.leadpages.net/  almost exclusively now)  because I don't have time to waste coding and designing. I need that time to spend on validating my product, marketing  and getting the business running  .If it's a dead simple product to use, I'll always give it a go, especially if there is a free/trial version.

Personally I find that multi-variate testing is a distraction until I  have my traffic and base conversion numbers down, but for those customer that do, then it helps seal the deal. I also make sure its easy to integrate Google Analytics or  Kissmetrics & that the  templates have a responsive design, those are must haves

I think if you find a niche audience, like online online marketers, and tailor the product to that market's needs you have a better chance in a crowded market. You don't need many customers to be successful :)

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

January 2nd, 2014

Really good thoughts and thank you everyone for turning me on to some alternative tools.

Here's another one... Do any of these tools help you gain customers/visitors? How do you drive traffic to your launch pages?

Manny Acevedo Business Systems Analyst & Entrepreneur

January 2nd, 2014

I don't think any of these tools help in gaining any new customers per se. I think that a targeted traffic, a great offer and a great product are the key to gaining customers. A landing page is just a tool and they can help in understanding customer behavior and validate your assumptions

As for traffic, I have experience in the dark arts of SEO and know how to get traffic via those methods. Full disclosure: I was once a blackhat marketer and made a very nice living as an affiliate marketer , so I may have a different take on SEO than most. But I firmly believe that if you can't buy traffic, you don't have a business, so I drive traffic via facebook and PPC

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

January 2nd, 2014

@Manny... did you really mean to say that "if you can't buy traffic, you don't have a business"? I think the most successful sites sell traffic, not buy it.

Manny Acevedo Business Systems Analyst & Entrepreneur

January 2nd, 2014

@Michael - No,  I mean buy traffic. When you pay for PPC,  etc... you are buying traffic. He asked about driving traffic to launch pages. The easy answer is to pay for it.