Growth Hacking Your Product Launch with Hot Tips — Freemius
I want to share some secrets about how I’ve been growth hacking with daily “ Hot Tips” leading up to the launch of my Landing Page Masterclass. This is a unique growth hack that can be applied to many types of businesses, including WordPress plugins, themes, and SaaS, I’ll cover what’s been working, what hasn’t been working, and how all this planning unexpectedly led to a Hot Tips eBook, so I hope it all can spark a few ideas for your next launch.
My name is Rob Hope and I’m a South African designer, developer and maker. After a decade freelancing (mainly in the WordPress space), I successfully monetized my side-project One Page Love, so I took the leap to work on it full time. I’m now working on Landing Page courses and content.
To try to set myself up for the best course launch possible, I’ve been trying to add value in different areas of the Landing Page niche. One of them is by sharing Landing Page “Hot Tips” (small pieces of advice) to apply to your Landing Pages.
Every day for 100 days, I published one Landing Page Hot Tip on Twitter and in an Email Drip, and at the time of writing this article, I just finished the 100th tip.
What is a Hot Tip and why do they perform so well?
“Hot Tips” are essentially micro lessons within a Tweet, often accompanied with an infographic.
All credit goes to Wes Bos and Steve Schoger for devising and refining the concept (I chat to Steve in detail about them in my podcast with him). Steve’s UI Hot Tips are a lot more popular than mine, and you can see why. He spends days on each of them and only releases them every couple of weeks:
🔥 Achieving an accessible contrast ratio is very difficult when using white text on a colored background.
Using dark colored text on a soft colored background is much easier to make accessible, and usually looks better to boot 👌 pic.twitter.com/LXNTS01Ay0
- Steve Schoger (@steveschoger) September 27, 2018
There are 3 reasons I think Hot Tips perform so well on Twitter:
- Digestible — we are overwhelmed with free information in our timelines, mostly of little value. Then a Hot Tip shows up in a simple, clear format: a 280 character limit (with value) including an alongside diagram. If I was to use one word to sum up a Hot Tip: digestible
- Threads — Hot Tips are often shared in multi-Tweet Threads. When you add to a thread, it resurfaces the original Hot Tip and the most recent Tweet before it — a decent amount of real estate in a timeline.
- Algorithm — we are naturally sharing Tweets we understand more than those we don’t. Hot Tips are quick to read, so quick to share (RT). The more shares the more others see it. I also think when a Hot Tip resonates with someone they bookmark it (within Twitter bookmarks) to reference for later, contributing to the Twitter Algorithm.
Ok, I think we now know what a Hot Tip is. Let’s dive deeper into what I’ve learned publishing daily Hot Tips on Twitter and then on the Email Drip:
The Hot Tips Twitter Thread
On May 26th 2020, I took the leap and dropped this Tweet:
Leading up to my Landing Page course, here are 100 Landing Page hot tips over the next 100 days.
Simply follow this thread 👇 or get em dripped to email: https://t.co/syJPSICkaH
🔥 Landing Page Hot Tip #01 — Utilize testimonials to further highlight features & answer doubts: pic.twitter.com/daajAfZe0E
- Rob Hope 🇿🇦 (@robhope) May 26, 2020
Hot Tips results:
- I was averaging around 20 new Twitter followers per month. Since the Tweet, I’ve grown to 1500+ new followers (in 100 days) — most are folks who are looking for Landing Page content. A huge win.
- With modesty, I can see I’m becoming more of an authority in the Landing Page space based on who I’m attracting and the analytics results.
- 1905+ subscribers to the Hot Tips Email Drip
- The Hot Tips effort has ultimately led to a Landing Page Hot Tip eBook. More on that further down, but it’s worth mentioning that these sales have added another layer of income to my business. All from Hot Tips.
Hot Tips takeaways
Don’t Commit To More Than You Can “Eat”
In hindsight, it was quite naive committing to 100. My advice is to aim for ~20 tip threads within your niche. Or try high level advice, well crafted, consistently each week for ~20 weeks. Make sure you have enough content for the amount you promise. I was fortunate to have about 18 months of notes in Trello boards for my Landing Page course.
Diversify Your Hot Tips
I made a mistake bunching two testimonial tips back-to-back in the beginning. Try to spread your content evenly if possible. I use a spreadsheet to plan all my tips out over 100 days.
Focus on Micro-Lessons
Filtering big concepts into micro lessons is very difficult — it’s been a real challenge — but if you can do it right, it shows the beauty of Hot Tips for people. Someone has done the work for you and saved you time, hence the value. Be prepared to feel burnt out fairly quickly.
Be mentally prepared for a few low-engagement Hot Tips (and even a handful of haters on concepts) after hours of work. Overall the positive feedback heavily outweighs the negative. A long thread starts to get buried in people’s timelines over time. I can see lots of ppl still see the new Hot Tips and watch the videos, but engagement after 40+ daily Hot Tips is low.
Spend a lot of time on that first Tweet. The Hot Tip #01 image took about 6hrs to create in Figma, which formed the base for future Hot Tip designs. Note how I use a pointing down emoji too, I’ve seen these common in popular threads 👇 and of course don’t forget the 🔥 emoji at the start of each Hot Tip 🙂
Also in the initial Tweet, I mentioned subscribing via email if you are not big on Twitter or don’t want to miss out on tips. This was a very smart move in hindsight, I honestly thought ~100 would subscribe.
Every day, I publish around 9am US time (4pm South Africa time) which has always performed best for me based on past Tweets.
Try to tag a few relevant people, businesses, or partners in your space when referencing them, I get the odd Re-Tweet (share on Twitter) by the people tagged and this helps spread the original Tweet.
Space out your Tweet paragraphs, then include as many visual examples as possible to back the lesson. These seem to perform the best. Example:
🔥 Landing Page Hot Tip #03 is fewer images, better images.
Good imagery builds trust and trust is the foundation for conversions.
Spend the money.
Get a photoshoot of your team, your product, your food. The ROI of a professional photoshoot is pretty much guaranteed. pic.twitter.com/2wnZQ4hbOL
- Rob Hope 🇿🇦 (@robhope) May 28, 2020
The Hot Tips Email Drip
The free Hot Tips email drip offers slightly more content than the Tweets (due to 280 character restrictions) and, in my opinion, has been a massive success.
There have been 1,905 total subscribers with 285 unsubscribers, leaving a whopping 1,620 still subscribed on a daily newsletter!
An email drip means you cannot get all the emails in one go, they get dripped over time. If you subscribe you will get Hot Tip #01 today and Hot Tip #02 tomorrow.
The most common positive feedback on the email format is that it involves zero sales, it has a clean layout, minimal content and is actionable. Each tip has a task you can quickly perform:
This article is not heavily focused on the details of Email Drip, but I’d highly recommend the combination of posting to Twitter and the email drip. I’ve got the email addresses of 1,900 people interested in Landing Page content, all originating from the Hot Tips Twitter thread.
I want to add that via email I’ve had dozens of positive interactions with people in regards to their own Landing Pages. Some simply reply to tips not asking for anything, just saying thank you. It’s been an incredible experience for me.
The Hot Tips eBook
After about 20 tips in the daily Email Drip, a few people queried if they could pay to access all the Hot Tips immediately. The truth is I was still extracting them out of my Trello course notes as I went, binning a few Hot Tips here and there trying to keep quality high, so I didn’t have 100 ready at the time.
As people continued to ask, I kept questioning: Should I delay the Landing Page course and publish a 100 Landing Page Hot Tips eBook?
On Hot Tip #50, I announced the eBook on Twitter for a $19 pre-sale (discounted from $49), so it was $30 off the price for 30hrs only — and the sales flooded in. It’s worth noting here the “30 in 30” had a good ring to it, and I think it worked:
🎉The Landing Page Hot Tip Ebook is now on pre-sale!
⏳GET $30 OFF, for the next 30hrs only⏳
That’s $19 for:
🌮 100 snackable lessons
🔗 Additional resources per tip
🎨 Category filter eg. design tips
✅ Bonus interactive checklists
- Rob Hope 🇿🇦 (@robhope) July 14, 2020
To double down on this, at Tip #50, I added a bonus tip about setting a time limit on pricing specials using the deal as the reference. Super meta I know 🙂
🔥 Intermission Landing Page Hot Tip is to create haste.
Consider offering a discount within a diminishing timeframe to encourage a quicker purchase.
On the Hot Tip Ebook pre-sale, note the countdown timer under the CTA with a % saving reminder:
- Rob Hope 🇿🇦 (@robhope) July 15, 2020
Due to the solid pre-sale interest, I decided to invest more time and bundle in an Audiobook and Interactive Checklists for Landing Page launches. This no doubt resulted in a stronger launch. Fast forward to today and the Landing Page Hot Tips eBook has sold over 500 copies… all starting with one Tweet on May 26th.
How you can apply the Hot Tips framework
I strongly believe that if you are passionate about your niche, you can generate at least 20 actionable tidbits of advice, and then utilize Hot Tips to improve your launches.
Example: If you are releasing a WordPress security-related plugin, “🔥 20 WordPress Security Hot Tips to ensure your site is hack-proof” could be a good idea.
Start by writing 30–40 headlines, curate the best 20, then spread them out in a good order. Now, flesh out the content. Once happy, edit them down, stripping out the fluff. Are they actionable? Lastly, spend some time on the imagery — give them some whitespace too. Then, create your email template and drip.
You are now ready — take the leap and Tweet your first Hot Tip!
Hope there was something in here to help your next launch. If you have any questions on the Hot Tips, hit me up in the comment below!
Originally published at Freemius blog on September 16, 2020.