Your Minimum Viable Product Needs an Email Content Campaign

Having a strong email list could be the key to finding a market that is a good fit for your product or service.

If you are making a minimum viable product, there is a valuable metric you should start monitoring. A lot of entrepreneurs ignore this metric. It is not customer revenue.

Even though MVP revenue is important, it is not as critical as it will be once the product finds market fit. This means that if your product is not doing well right now, don't worry too much because it can always get better. However, if you are lucky and your product launches to immediate mass acceptance, then you will have to worry about your run rate.

The best quantitative health metric for an MVP is email addresses from people who have opted in to receive emails from your company. What you do or don't do with those email addresses might end up being the difference between finding a market fit and not.

The sneaky value of the lowly email address

Email is no longer as useful as it once was. However, in 2022, a valid, opted-in email address will still be more valuable than a social media follower or even a mobile phone number. This is because social media posts are seen by few people and usually ignored, while mobile messages are often viewed but not acted on unless there is an immediate need to do so.

Email messaging can be a very personal way to communicate with someone. It feels like you are talking to them one-on-one. Usually, when someone sees the email subject, they will open it. But that means the email address is only as valuable as the content you send to it.

Here are four truths about email content:

  • If you send a poorly written subject line, no one will open the email. 
  • If you send spammy or low-value content, you'll get unsubscribed or spam-trapped. 
  • If you send infrequently, no one will remember who you are. 
  • If you send too frequently, you're looking at unsubscribes again.

An email campaign gives your product a good chance of being discovered and getting engagement. You need to take advantage of this opportunity.

Getting over the spam hump

The email content campaign is the workhorse of MVP marketing. But it has some disadvantages.

For one thing, it is hard to get people's email addresses, especially if you are asking for them for the first time. People are also not likely to give their email addresses to unknown entities or companies with unproven products.

The threshold for low-quality or spammy content is a lot lower for an MVP than a mature product from a well-known company. This is because customers expect spam from their favorite brick-and-mortar store or their trusted SaaS solution. It's just something they have to put up with to get to the really good offers that led them to sign up for the spam in the first place.

An MVP email audience is not only more difficult to grow, it's also far easier to lose. Fortunately, there are ways to counter this by providing content that you can only offer with an MVP.

Early access content

An MVP helps you build a customer base and early adopters. This gives you the chance to offer them special pricing, tiers, and features. You can start this kind of content campaign well before launch by delivering information about the problem and how your product intends to solve it.

The only downside to this campaign is that it only lasts for a short period of time. If it lasts for more than a few months, people will get tired of it and stop paying attention. So, like any other campaign, you need to plan it in advance. This way, you can use milestones in your product's development as markers for the timeline of the campaign.

However, with an MVP, it's also easy to change the message.

New features content

Once your MVP is available to the public, you will need to release new versions and features. This can be done through previews and announcements. It is important to focus on customer value rather than cool tech when creating content around these new features.

Onboarding and customer success content

Any innovative product needs some instruction for the customer to get the best experience and value from it. 

You can deliver this kind of content even after early access and new feature releases. It's never too late to remind your customers how to use your product best. You might even learn new tricks and ideal paths from some of your better customers, and you can pass that information along to your entire prospect base in the form of case studies.

Mission progress

Having an MVP and early adopters helps because they can help you innovate and find better solutions to old problems. You need to provide the vision and plan, while they bring the experience and feedback. This is a good cycle because it is always engaging.

Not every email you send should be about making big changes, but there should always be a feeling that you and your customers are working together toward the same goal: their success.

A hand in the process

Teamwork is important. Your customers are part of the team too. You need to work together to give them what they need. They will tell you what they want, but you also need to find out what they need. This can be done by using your MVP to solve real-world problems for them.

An email content campaign is a way to help customers find the solution they need. Email is two-way communication, so always keep that email channel open, highlighting ways to reply and respond.

You’ll not only increase customer engagement; you’ll increase customer success and product value as well.

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