Web 2.0 Expo recently interviewed our very own Jeremy Britton about the upcoming workshop he is teaching at the expo on creating a new app from a core feature of an existing app instead of adding features to an the existing product.
A few days ago we wrote a blog post discussing why you should not add features to make customers happy. In this post we'll look at reasons behind creating a new app instead of adding features to an existing product. The new app which we created from a core feature of another product took us about a month to make. It had 15,000+ links covering it within 7 days of launch while the existing mother app which has been out for about a year had close to 12,000 links covering it. Let's take a closer look at why we decided to do this and the results this yielded.
The Problem: Giving a Taste of Your Tool
Every business which has a product faces this problem: You have to give a taste of your product to the prospective consumer. In the online world these are the common ways folks do this:
- Video demo is one way to give a taste of your tool. Visual Website Optimizer recently published a study which mentioned that 46% increase in conversion due to video demos.
- Improving Tour Pages by showing example use cases of the tool gets folks invested into your value proposition. Speaking to specific pain points people have helps a lot here
- Gradual Engagement is the process of moving a user through an application or service, actually engaging with it and seeing it's benefits. LukeW published a study stating that Twitter boosted ita''s signups by 29% by implementing gradual engagement.
- Freemium - free plans with limited features or 30 day free trials is almost a must these days. Phil Libin the CEO of Evernote shared some great tips on how freemium model generated growth for his company.
We tried something completely different and new from all these techniques. We created a brand new product from a core feature of an existing app.
Creating a New Product From One Feature
Our flagship product Notable has been out for a year. It was tough to get much new exposure with this existing tool. Adding new features to Notable would not get us exposure to new online publications/bloggers/writers. Notable also had existing customers to support and pre-existing code to maintain. We needed something fresh, something smaller, something which gave our designers a lot of freedom to explore better solutions to similar problems.
We took the annotate feature from Notable and created a brand new app called Bounce to give folks a fresh taste of capabilities of Notable. Bounce had no singup, no tour pages, no videos, it just had a field where you input your URL and a button to capture the page and add notes to it. This new tool served as an upgrade path to Notable. People would engage with this dead simple version of the tool since it was so easy to understand and then would upgrade to Notable if they wanted more features.The Results
- 15,000 sites across 150 countries linked to Bounce
- Bounce has been #2 referral of traffic to Notable ever since the launch
- To this date Bounce has a bounce rate in single digits, it's visitors are very engaged
- Bounce is a separate product that you can pitch.
- The Bounce story is simple.
- Bounce takes all barriers out of the way. All a visitor has to do is click a button and they can see the value of the tool.
- We had a clear upgrade trigger from Bounce to Notable: Want privacy, want more features? Try Notable.
- Bounce gave us something new and fresh to work on. As a result we improved the core annotation feature for Notable.
Does this mean you should drop everything to make a new product from a core feature of your own existing product? No. Notable has a video demo, it also has a nice tour of the tool and of course a free trial.
Does this mean creating a dead simple product from a core feature of an existing product will help you get more traction and exposure? Yes. Judging from our experience it should. We had such success with Bounce and Notable that we created Clue as a upgrade path app for it's mother app Verify.
So what's your take on this? How do you give a taste of your product to your customers?