In this very first post, I want to share our story how we decided to generate leads before product release date with minimum budget. Before of all I’ve made a research on this topic and most of them what I found requires a huge budget. To understand in our case what is minimum and what is huge budget, let me give the numbers. Our maximum budget was 15$ and minimum is all free.
First thing, we purchased a domain name with free privacy protection and free email. The cost was 9$ per year and email free trial was only for 2 months. I believe we could find cheaper one or get for free if we purchase hosting from the same company. But we were sure regarding hosting company and they provide specifically hosting services, no domain registration.
Second of all, we purchased VPS server for 5$ which included 1GB RAM, 1 vCPU, 25GB SSD, 1TB Transfer. That was pretty much enough for us. You might be curious and ask why not purchase shared hosting as it’s much cheaper. So, yes shared hosting is cheaper but a price comes with its limitations. Our initial plan was to host on 5$ server website and web application which is under development now.
CMS or Framework
When you have a domain name and hosting, the time comes for installing CMS or Framework into hosting. Initially, we were planning to use Django or other Python framework but we decided it’s just a time-consuming task, it’s better to choose “ready out of the box” solution. This solution was WordPress because it’s easy to install, customize and includes various responsive themes and plugins.
When we have everything set up, it was time to decide what we are going to do with the home page. We wanted to list information about services, team, and testimonials, i.e. best know approach but when you don’t have a product yet customers do not get any value from this information and you neither. So we turned our home page into “coming soon” page with a countdown, link to a blog and “Get early access” button. When a new customer opens home page, he has three options, to leave, to click the link to the blog or leave his email. Comparing with the first version where he would read about an awesome company and after just leave.
In the blog we would write about two topics, the first is what you are reading now and the second one is about a product. We will publish blog posts into Medium as well. What is missing now in our blog is “Get early access” button, we will add it soon.
So we have a domain, hosting, website with “coming soon” home page and blog. For the rest of we used free products and services and the total cost is 14$. Now we can start developing MVP while the website and blog will generate leads. Seems an awesome plan but the interesting part is we are about to test this idea whether it works or not. You will have to subscribe or come back later to know the results. Now you can check home page if it’s appealing to leave your email and read our blog. Stay tuned.