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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Coming soon page for SaaS product... thoughts?

I'm working on a new product (my first attempt at a B2B product), and am probably a couple months out from something beta-able (I have a day job, so I'm definitely not working as fast as I could be). 

So, I recently put up a coming soon page here:  http://trainingsleuth.com 

Right now it's pretty simple (and hopefully neat).  But I'm wondering if I should include more information about the app (might help with SEO, anyway).  I've seen lots of these sort of 'teaser' pages.. many are minimalist like mine, while some are more like product brochures.

Also, speaking of pre-release marketing, is it worthwhile to use Adwords/bing etc., to drive some traffic to a coming soon page?  My gut says... probably not, but I don't have a whole lot of experience with this sort of thing.  On my previous project, I kept the app secret until it was ready to go (oops).  I'm trying to do a bit better this time around :)
James A. Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014
It's actually against the TOS of Adwords to direct visitors to an unfinished website, so there's that?

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014

Thank you.  I was looking for any excuse not to shovel money into Adwords, and you've provided one :)
James A. Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014
Methinks AC is being too literal minded. It's all part of marketing to have teaser content. I suspect Google doesn't want Adwords pointing to broken crap and sites filled with dead links.

The big issue here is, the visitor has no idea what you're offering beyond a management tool. It's too little.

Give me a shout privately if you'd like to take this offline. May be able to help.
Profit and Loss Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014
I'm training in 100-yard dash. Will your program help me?

Ok, based on the page I'm pretty sure it won't, but...

1.I have no idea what kind of training it "helps to manage" and for whom. So yeah, the page needs work to explain what the program does and who is supposed to be using it.

Is it for me, to manage my own training or for someone to manage training of other people?

Driving any traffic to it at this point would be a waste of leads.

2. The name: "Training Detective"? What are you getting at with that sleuth/detective angle?

3. Make the screenshot bigger.

4. Possibly uncomfortable question: does pretty interface provides enough additional value to effectively compete with on-line spreadsheet. Judging from the screenshot, it's about keeping a simple database and doing graphs. If someone actually needs to be doing that, how bad would it be to do it using a spreadsheet?
Krzysztof Kowalczyk Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014
Ok, so I definitely need to add some detail.  I pretty much threw this page up quickly to get rid of the domain parking page :/

Since it's not immediately obvious from the one-sentence description and the single screenshot, it's a tool for managing a company's training program (policy training, safety training, machine operator training, etc).
James A. Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014
I second everything that Krzysztof wrote.  I'm not sure I could add any insights beyond this.

I don't know what the marketing data on this is, but for me it seems goofy to put up a "coming soon" page for a fairly straightforward data tracking web app.  It's not like it's like it's The Avengers II or something. Once it's actually able to be used, wouldn't that be the very best selling point for it?  Otherwise, for me at least, it feels like, "Hey, you, please waste a few more minutes today looking at a site you can't even use."
Racky Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014
I don't have any feedback for you on the coming soon part but in response to Krzystof's comment that interface aside, "wouldn't a spreadsheet with graph's suffice?" 

Even if that is true here, I work with the business community and MS Office on a daily basis and most end users don't think like programmers.  They may have an adequate tool (Excel) but they have no idea how to use it.  Unless they're an accountant, engineer, or scientist, 95% of the time simply filtering a data list in Excel blows their minds.  Setting up their own equations and charts would be very intimidating to them and they might see a tool that does it for them as very beneficial.
Emily Jones Send private email
Friday, February 07, 2014
I love the minimalist design. 

Adwords is expensive.  I don't see a good reason to spend any money just to collect some e-mails.  I also don't think getting the word out of an unknown product from an unknown developer before launch will help.  Unless your a celebrity in your field and failed to mention this. 

I think the most valuable thing you can buy advertising for while developing a product is information on what people want.  I would try advertise a survey or just a simple poll.  If you could get 100 of your potential customers to fill out a pole about which features they would pay for.  There is a lot of value in that.

Everytime I ever ran a poll, I found that my assumptions about my customers were entirely wrong.  What I wanted to build, is not what the users wanted to pay for.  What they wanted was something that I simply never thought about.  This information is very valuable.

I would say, instead of paying for some e-mails.  Buy some ads for a survey.  Try to get feedback that people really would pay for what you are building in the way your are building it.  And if not find out what they want to pay for?  Quick survey one question 5 or 6 options.  You can still put an e-mail field on the thank you for completing the survey page.
C. Stark Send private email
Friday, February 07, 2014
Thanks for the feedback everyone!  I've made a few changes to the page, including a short bulleted feature list, and I changed the typography (thought it was a bit hard to read the smaller text with that narrow font).

This isn't a total personnel management system (there are gigantic, expensive, enterprise-scale solutions for that), I'm trying to take care of  just one piece of the puzzle (training).

I rather doubt I'll advertise this yet.  I'm no 'celebrity developer', whatever that is... is it like a celebrity chef? 

I may pass the URL around amongst folks I know, and drop the occasional link here and there :)
James A. Send private email
Saturday, February 08, 2014
1. Based on your explanation, this is tool for person A to manage training of other people.

Yet, in your copy you say "your training".

It's confusing.

It implies it's a tool for *me* to manage *my own* training.

According to your description, it's actually a tool for *me* to manage training of *other people*.

2. "Spot training issues before they become a problem." - no idea what that means. What kind of issues and what kind of a problem?

3. Pick a more specific term than "training". I can't help but to think about sports.

At least make it clear it's about educational training.

4. "Web based" instead of "Cloud based". Not everyone is versed in tech slang.

Not that I think you need to mention it at all. It feels like a filler - you have nothing of substance to say so you say things that are obvious (I'm looking at a web page; unless you give me reason to think otherwise, I'll assume that the tool is web-based; it's not 1999, you don't have to educate people about doing things in the browser).

5. Saturated red is a questionable choice for a background. Of all the colors in the world you picked the one that "evokes emotions of anger and hostility", to quote psychological research.
Krzysztof Kowalczyk Send private email
Saturday, February 08, 2014
Try some of the beta sites - they can prove useful in driving early traffic. A good one is http://betali.st. Make sure your landing page has everything people need to know to sign up...if it is not compelling enough you'll blow your chance.

Then, once you're properly in beta, look to use Adwords, as well as matching sites (eg erlibird). This can help drive early adopter traffic - but it will cost.
Dominic Messenger Send private email
Sunday, February 09, 2014

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