Next-Level App Marketing Tips and Strategies

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10

Alex Ross (Co-founder & CEO at Gregarious - the company behind Greg, an app dedicated to helping people grow healthier and happier plants) shares his experience at Tinder as well as the journey of Greg so far.

Source:
Next-Level App Marketing Tips and Strategies
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Podcast
Publication date:
July 13, 2021
Added to the Vault on:
July 21, 2021
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💎 #
1

When thinking about a new app/company, position yourself at a place where either you can cause change or change is already happening (emerging). For Greg it was climate change and changes happening in the plant-science world. They had also noticed that the rate of people bringing plants within their home was growing 100-150% YoY (and Covid even accelerated that).

09:15
💎 #
2

When identifying if there is a revenue opportunity, keep in mind that publicly traded companies share their statements. Greg was able to learn that Home Depot makes more money on indoor gardens than any other segment.

11:30
💎 #
3

Delightful, simple software is appreciated by everybody. Businesses and gov don’t want complicated software anymore and that’s an opportunity to expand to B2B.

25:20
💎 #
4

Think beyond the traditional channels. Greg asked retailers/nurseries to include a 4x4 QR Code flyer leading to the app when shipping new plants, with 3-6 months free. Retailers accepted because there was this offer for their customers (at the ideal moment - when they get a new plant), and because Greg helps create a positive outcome. This led to their first 15,000 users.

31:15
💎 #
5

One of the strengths of mobile apps is that you’re building an audience, and people are committed to your app and brand over time. Smaller “brick&mortar” businesses are looking for ways to get audiences, and if you manage to get scale your mobile app you might be able to refer people back to your partners.

35:24
💎 #
6

The StoreKit 2 API is going to allow users to pay to extend other users’ subscriptions, making it a referral opportunity (it’s initially for a Customer Service use case but there should be a way to leverage it).

36:45
💎 #
7

They also created UGC (User Generated Content) loops that actually create web pages when users contribute/create with new species in the Greg app. These web pages are published on the web, which are then ranked through SEO and show up when other users look for these new species.

37:50
💎 #
8

Spending at a loss on marketing might make sense if it allows to grow the user base to the point where the weight/scale you reach allows you to form new partnerships because you have more leverage.

42:25
💎 #
9

Greg specifically wanted to solve the retention piece first, so they chose the behavior in the app that is associated with retention. A person needs an external trigger to think about your app, and then to experience value in order to actually open the app. For Greg, this combination led to the water reminders.

45:33
💎 #
10

When thinking about ownership, the team you need and how to distribute equity, start with your desired outcome (end state). Then work backwards to optimize for that outcome. Example: Greg wanted an IPO and to end up with a team in 4-5 years that was still very involved in the company.

1:01:18
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  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
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Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

When thinking about a new app/company, position yourself at a place where either you can cause change or change is already happening (emerging). For Greg it was climate change and changes happening in the plant-science world. They had also noticed that the rate of people bringing plants within their home was growing 100-150% YoY (and Covid even accelerated that).

09:15
💎 #
2

When identifying if there is a revenue opportunity, keep in mind that publicly traded companies share their statements. Greg was able to learn that Home Depot makes more money on indoor gardens than any other segment.

11:30
💎 #
3

Delightful, simple software is appreciated by everybody. Businesses and gov don’t want complicated software anymore and that’s an opportunity to expand to B2B.

25:20
💎 #
4

Think beyond the traditional channels. Greg asked retailers/nurseries to include a 4x4 QR Code flyer leading to the app when shipping new plants, with 3-6 months free. Retailers accepted because there was this offer for their customers (at the ideal moment - when they get a new plant), and because Greg helps create a positive outcome. This led to their first 15,000 users.

31:15
💎 #
5

One of the strengths of mobile apps is that you’re building an audience, and people are committed to your app and brand over time. Smaller “brick&mortar” businesses are looking for ways to get audiences, and if you manage to get scale your mobile app you might be able to refer people back to your partners.

35:24
💎 #
6

The StoreKit 2 API is going to allow users to pay to extend other users’ subscriptions, making it a referral opportunity (it’s initially for a Customer Service use case but there should be a way to leverage it).

36:45
💎 #
7

They also created UGC (User Generated Content) loops that actually create web pages when users contribute/create with new species in the Greg app. These web pages are published on the web, which are then ranked through SEO and show up when other users look for these new species.

37:50
💎 #
8

Spending at a loss on marketing might make sense if it allows to grow the user base to the point where the weight/scale you reach allows you to form new partnerships because you have more leverage.

42:25
💎 #
9

Greg specifically wanted to solve the retention piece first, so they chose the behavior in the app that is associated with retention. A person needs an external trigger to think about your app, and then to experience value in order to actually open the app. For Greg, this combination led to the water reminders.

45:33
💎 #
10

When thinking about ownership, the team you need and how to distribute equity, start with your desired outcome (end state). Then work backwards to optimize for that outcome. Example: Greg wanted an IPO and to end up with a team in 4-5 years that was still very involved in the company.

1:01:18
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  • Receive the hottest gems 🔥 (most valuable insights) each month
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💎 #
1

When thinking about a new app/company, position yourself at a place where either you can cause change or change is already happening (emerging). For Greg it was climate change and changes happening in the plant-science world. They had also noticed that the rate of people bringing plants within their home was growing 100-150% YoY (and Covid even accelerated that).

09:15
💎 #
2

When identifying if there is a revenue opportunity, keep in mind that publicly traded companies share their statements. Greg was able to learn that Home Depot makes more money on indoor gardens than any other segment.

11:30
💎 #
3

Delightful, simple software is appreciated by everybody. Businesses and gov don’t want complicated software anymore and that’s an opportunity to expand to B2B.

25:20
💎 #
4

Think beyond the traditional channels. Greg asked retailers/nurseries to include a 4x4 QR Code flyer leading to the app when shipping new plants, with 3-6 months free. Retailers accepted because there was this offer for their customers (at the ideal moment - when they get a new plant), and because Greg helps create a positive outcome. This led to their first 15,000 users.

31:15
💎 #
5

One of the strengths of mobile apps is that you’re building an audience, and people are committed to your app and brand over time. Smaller “brick&mortar” businesses are looking for ways to get audiences, and if you manage to get scale your mobile app you might be able to refer people back to your partners.

35:24
💎 #
6

The StoreKit 2 API is going to allow users to pay to extend other users’ subscriptions, making it a referral opportunity (it’s initially for a Customer Service use case but there should be a way to leverage it).

36:45
💎 #
7

They also created UGC (User Generated Content) loops that actually create web pages when users contribute/create with new species in the Greg app. These web pages are published on the web, which are then ranked through SEO and show up when other users look for these new species.

37:50
💎 #
8

Spending at a loss on marketing might make sense if it allows to grow the user base to the point where the weight/scale you reach allows you to form new partnerships because you have more leverage.

42:25
💎 #
9

Greg specifically wanted to solve the retention piece first, so they chose the behavior in the app that is associated with retention. A person needs an external trigger to think about your app, and then to experience value in order to actually open the app. For Greg, this combination led to the water reminders.

45:33
💎 #
10

When thinking about ownership, the team you need and how to distribute equity, start with your desired outcome (end state). Then work backwards to optimize for that outcome. Example: Greg wanted an IPO and to end up with a team in 4-5 years that was still very involved in the company.

1:01:18
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Tinder experience

Alex had not used Tinder before interviewing. 

He joined when Tinder was about 70 people and ended up creating the Growth Team and focused on growing the international userbase. 

They decoupled Tinder from Facebook login and using phone numbers, adding photos, etc. FB login initially helped adoption by users because it simplified signing up and helped them feel less “desperate”.

They also created an anti-spam team.

Starting Greg

It wasn’t Alex’s first time creating a company, so he thought a lot about the field in which the company would be: startups often don’t go the way you expect, so you want to make sure you’ll like what you’ll learn along the way.
Greg applies computer science and software engineering to the specific domain of how plants work. They were looking for an opportunity.

[💎@09:15] When thinking about a new app/company, position yourself at a place where either you can cause change or change is already happening (emerging). For Greg it was climate change and changes happening in the plant-science world. They had also noticed that the rate of people bringing plants within their home was growing 100-150% YoY (and Covid even accelerated that).

[💎@11:30]When identifying if there is a revenue opportunity, keep in mind that publicly traded companies share their statements. Greg was able to learn that Home Depot makes more money on indoor gardens than any other segment.

Greg predicts when a given plant needs to be watered. Alex shared more about the science behind Greg, and how he had 150 plants at one point to gather data then went on craigslist to find users so they could get more data points (through people weighing their plants).

Where to take Greg

Some companies are very revenue-focused. But what do you do once you get there? You then have a responsibility.

Plants are a life-support system for the earth. Greg is looking to go beyond just scaling and revenue.

Expanding to B2B

Municipalities have to manage plants and both small and large farmers do too. There is an opportunity to build software for these people.

[💎@25:20] Delightful, simple software is appreciated by everybody. Businesses and gov don’t want complicated software anymore and that’s an opportunity to expand to B2B.

Stripe and Slack are examples of the consumer-mindset applied to B2B.

Working with nurseries

Building is half technical/design to make the product really right, and half about putting it in front of people.

Once they had the first 5,000 users from Facebook/Reddit, they started thinking about when is the most ideal moment to introduce Greg to users. They realized it was when you get a new plant.

[💎@31:15] Think beyond the traditional channels. Greg asked retailers/nurseries to include a 4x4 QR Code flyer leading to the app when shipping new plants, with 3-6 months free. Retailers accepted because there was this offer for their customers (at the ideal moment - when they get a new plant), and because Greg helps create a positive outcome. This led to their first 15,000 users.

For early stage startups, funder-led sales can be great. 

[💎@35:24] One of the strengths of mobile apps is that you’re building an audience, and people are committed to your app and brand over time. Smaller “brick&mortar” businesses are looking for ways to get audiences, and if you manage to get scale your mobile app then you might be able to refer people back to your partners.

Peer2Peer referral

[💎@36:45] The StoreKit 2 API is going to allow users to pay to extend other users’ subscriptions, making it a referral opportunity (it’s initially for a Customer Service use case but there should be a way to leverage it).

So far Greg is using promotional offers through RevenueCat to create referrals.

[💎@37:50] They also created UGC (User Generated Content) loops that actually create web pages when users contribute/create with new species in the Greg app. These web pages are published on the web, which are then ranked through SEO and show up when other users look for these new species. 

Paid Marketing

Used paid marketing to scale up 2x, on Instagram and Facebook. Almost at 100% ROAS.

With a 30-day trial you end up with up to a 90-day “float” because Apple pays you later. This can make it challenging to use paid marketing but they generate enough revenue to do it.

[💎@42:25] Spending at a loss on marketing might make sense if it allows to grow the user base to the point where the weight/scale you reach allows you to form new partnerships because you have more leverage.

Improving retention

They started with the basics: solving your own problem. Alex bought 30 plants at the beginning of the pandemic so he would stay motivated to solve the problem.

Then:

  • The team created a prototype app
  • Once it was working well enough, they did a Testflight beta for a month (2,000 beta users total - mostly from Facebook/Reddit)

[💎@45:33] Greg specifically wanted to solve the retention piece first, so they chose the behavior in the app that is associated with retention. A person needs an external trigger to think about your app, and then to experience value in order to actually open the app. For Greg, this combination led to the water reminders.

Fundraising

Had more challenges with recruiting than fundraising.

Initially they had not decided that they would raise VC capital, even though they knew what that would allow. They ended up going for it (and raised 5 million recently).

Employee equity

They’re experimenting with equity: they wanted to distribute as much as the financials of the company across early team members.

If you’re funding a company, ask yourself: at one point (i.e what amount) am I fortunate about the outcome? Because it’s also very important to build a great team. 

Early team members take more risks, and there is a lot of effort and work needed. So they created a curve to define what each new team member would get. This also enabled a completely transparent cap table.

The risk of doing startups is so much lower for people that have a safety net. For these people, startups are always almost a net positive because you’re going to learn and grow a lot.

You can go bootstrap to venture but once you raise funds, you can’t go back.

[💎@1:01:18] When thinking about ownership, the team you need and how to distribute equity, start with your desired outcome (end state). Then work backwards to optimize for that outcome. Example: Greg wanted an IPO and to end up with a team in 4-5 years that was still very involved in the company.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

Tinder experience

Alex had not used Tinder before interviewing. 

He joined when Tinder was about 70 people and ended up creating the Growth Team and focused on growing the international userbase. 

They decoupled Tinder from Facebook login and using phone numbers, adding photos, etc. FB login initially helped adoption by users because it simplified signing up and helped them feel less “desperate”.

They also created an anti-spam team.

Starting Greg

It wasn’t Alex’s first time creating a company, so he thought a lot about the field in which the company would be: startups often don’t go the way you expect, so you want to make sure you’ll like what you’ll learn along the way.
Greg applies computer science and software engineering to the specific domain of how plants work. They were looking for an opportunity.

[💎@09:15] When thinking about a new app/company, position yourself at a place where either you can cause change or change is already happening (emerging). For Greg it was climate change and changes happening in the plant-science world. They had also noticed that the rate of people bringing plants within their home was growing 100-150% YoY (and Covid even accelerated that).

[💎@11:30]When identifying if there is a revenue opportunity, keep in mind that publicly traded companies share their statements. Greg was able to learn that Home Depot makes more money on indoor gardens than any other segment.

Greg predicts when a given plant needs to be watered. Alex shared more about the science behind Greg, and how he had 150 plants at one point to gather data then went on craigslist to find users so they could get more data points (through people weighing their plants).

Where to take Greg

Some companies are very revenue-focused. But what do you do once you get there? You then have a responsibility.

Plants are a life-support system for the earth. Greg is looking to go beyond just scaling and revenue.

Expanding to B2B

Municipalities have to manage plants and both small and large farmers do too. There is an opportunity to build software for these people.

[💎@25:20] Delightful, simple software is appreciated by everybody. Businesses and gov don’t want complicated software anymore and that’s an opportunity to expand to B2B.

Stripe and Slack are examples of the consumer-mindset applied to B2B.

Working with nurseries

Building is half technical/design to make the product really right, and half about putting it in front of people.

Once they had the first 5,000 users from Facebook/Reddit, they started thinking about when is the most ideal moment to introduce Greg to users. They realized it was when you get a new plant.

[💎@31:15] Think beyond the traditional channels. Greg asked retailers/nurseries to include a 4x4 QR Code flyer leading to the app when shipping new plants, with 3-6 months free. Retailers accepted because there was this offer for their customers (at the ideal moment - when they get a new plant), and because Greg helps create a positive outcome. This led to their first 15,000 users.

For early stage startups, funder-led sales can be great. 

[💎@35:24] One of the strengths of mobile apps is that you’re building an audience, and people are committed to your app and brand over time. Smaller “brick&mortar” businesses are looking for ways to get audiences, and if you manage to get scale your mobile app then you might be able to refer people back to your partners.

Peer2Peer referral

[💎@36:45] The StoreKit 2 API is going to allow users to pay to extend other users’ subscriptions, making it a referral opportunity (it’s initially for a Customer Service use case but there should be a way to leverage it).

So far Greg is using promotional offers through RevenueCat to create referrals.

[💎@37:50] They also created UGC (User Generated Content) loops that actually create web pages when users contribute/create with new species in the Greg app. These web pages are published on the web, which are then ranked through SEO and show up when other users look for these new species. 

Paid Marketing

Used paid marketing to scale up 2x, on Instagram and Facebook. Almost at 100% ROAS.

With a 30-day trial you end up with up to a 90-day “float” because Apple pays you later. This can make it challenging to use paid marketing but they generate enough revenue to do it.

[💎@42:25] Spending at a loss on marketing might make sense if it allows to grow the user base to the point where the weight/scale you reach allows you to form new partnerships because you have more leverage.

Improving retention

They started with the basics: solving your own problem. Alex bought 30 plants at the beginning of the pandemic so he would stay motivated to solve the problem.

Then:

  • The team created a prototype app
  • Once it was working well enough, they did a Testflight beta for a month (2,000 beta users total - mostly from Facebook/Reddit)

[💎@45:33] Greg specifically wanted to solve the retention piece first, so they chose the behavior in the app that is associated with retention. A person needs an external trigger to think about your app, and then to experience value in order to actually open the app. For Greg, this combination led to the water reminders.

Fundraising

Had more challenges with recruiting than fundraising.

Initially they had not decided that they would raise VC capital, even though they knew what that would allow. They ended up going for it (and raised 5 million recently).

Employee equity

They’re experimenting with equity: they wanted to distribute as much as the financials of the company across early team members.

If you’re funding a company, ask yourself: at one point (i.e what amount) am I fortunate about the outcome? Because it’s also very important to build a great team. 

Early team members take more risks, and there is a lot of effort and work needed. So they created a curve to define what each new team member would get. This also enabled a completely transparent cap table.

The risk of doing startups is so much lower for people that have a safety net. For these people, startups are always almost a net positive because you’re going to learn and grow a lot.

You can go bootstrap to venture but once you raise funds, you can’t go back.

[💎@1:01:18] When thinking about ownership, the team you need and how to distribute equity, start with your desired outcome (end state). Then work backwards to optimize for that outcome. Example: Greg wanted an IPO and to end up with a team in 4-5 years that was still very involved in the company.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.

The detailed notes taken for a resource are an easy way to see the gems in context to get a better understanding. They also include any relevant visuals from the source.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
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Tinder experience

Alex had not used Tinder before interviewing. 

He joined when Tinder was about 70 people and ended up creating the Growth Team and focused on growing the international userbase. 

They decoupled Tinder from Facebook login and using phone numbers, adding photos, etc. FB login initially helped adoption by users because it simplified signing up and helped them feel less “desperate”.

They also created an anti-spam team.

Starting Greg

It wasn’t Alex’s first time creating a company, so he thought a lot about the field in which the company would be: startups often don’t go the way you expect, so you want to make sure you’ll like what you’ll learn along the way.
Greg applies computer science and software engineering to the specific domain of how plants work. They were looking for an opportunity.

[💎@09:15] When thinking about a new app/company, position yourself at a place where either you can cause change or change is already happening (emerging). For Greg it was climate change and changes happening in the plant-science world. They had also noticed that the rate of people bringing plants within their home was growing 100-150% YoY (and Covid even accelerated that).

[💎@11:30]When identifying if there is a revenue opportunity, keep in mind that publicly traded companies share their statements. Greg was able to learn that Home Depot makes more money on indoor gardens than any other segment.

Greg predicts when a given plant needs to be watered. Alex shared more about the science behind Greg, and how he had 150 plants at one point to gather data then went on craigslist to find users so they could get more data points (through people weighing their plants).

Where to take Greg

Some companies are very revenue-focused. But what do you do once you get there? You then have a responsibility.

Plants are a life-support system for the earth. Greg is looking to go beyond just scaling and revenue.

Expanding to B2B

Municipalities have to manage plants and both small and large farmers do too. There is an opportunity to build software for these people.

[💎@25:20] Delightful, simple software is appreciated by everybody. Businesses and gov don’t want complicated software anymore and that’s an opportunity to expand to B2B.

Stripe and Slack are examples of the consumer-mindset applied to B2B.

Working with nurseries

Building is half technical/design to make the product really right, and half about putting it in front of people.

Once they had the first 5,000 users from Facebook/Reddit, they started thinking about when is the most ideal moment to introduce Greg to users. They realized it was when you get a new plant.

[💎@31:15] Think beyond the traditional channels. Greg asked retailers/nurseries to include a 4x4 QR Code flyer leading to the app when shipping new plants, with 3-6 months free. Retailers accepted because there was this offer for their customers (at the ideal moment - when they get a new plant), and because Greg helps create a positive outcome. This led to their first 15,000 users.

For early stage startups, funder-led sales can be great. 

[💎@35:24] One of the strengths of mobile apps is that you’re building an audience, and people are committed to your app and brand over time. Smaller “brick&mortar” businesses are looking for ways to get audiences, and if you manage to get scale your mobile app then you might be able to refer people back to your partners.

Peer2Peer referral

[💎@36:45] The StoreKit 2 API is going to allow users to pay to extend other users’ subscriptions, making it a referral opportunity (it’s initially for a Customer Service use case but there should be a way to leverage it).

So far Greg is using promotional offers through RevenueCat to create referrals.

[💎@37:50] They also created UGC (User Generated Content) loops that actually create web pages when users contribute/create with new species in the Greg app. These web pages are published on the web, which are then ranked through SEO and show up when other users look for these new species. 

Paid Marketing

Used paid marketing to scale up 2x, on Instagram and Facebook. Almost at 100% ROAS.

With a 30-day trial you end up with up to a 90-day “float” because Apple pays you later. This can make it challenging to use paid marketing but they generate enough revenue to do it.

[💎@42:25] Spending at a loss on marketing might make sense if it allows to grow the user base to the point where the weight/scale you reach allows you to form new partnerships because you have more leverage.

Improving retention

They started with the basics: solving your own problem. Alex bought 30 plants at the beginning of the pandemic so he would stay motivated to solve the problem.

Then:

  • The team created a prototype app
  • Once it was working well enough, they did a Testflight beta for a month (2,000 beta users total - mostly from Facebook/Reddit)

[💎@45:33] Greg specifically wanted to solve the retention piece first, so they chose the behavior in the app that is associated with retention. A person needs an external trigger to think about your app, and then to experience value in order to actually open the app. For Greg, this combination led to the water reminders.

Fundraising

Had more challenges with recruiting than fundraising.

Initially they had not decided that they would raise VC capital, even though they knew what that would allow. They ended up going for it (and raised 5 million recently).

Employee equity

They’re experimenting with equity: they wanted to distribute as much as the financials of the company across early team members.

If you’re funding a company, ask yourself: at one point (i.e what amount) am I fortunate about the outcome? Because it’s also very important to build a great team. 

Early team members take more risks, and there is a lot of effort and work needed. So they created a curve to define what each new team member would get. This also enabled a completely transparent cap table.

The risk of doing startups is so much lower for people that have a safety net. For these people, startups are always almost a net positive because you’re going to learn and grow a lot.

You can go bootstrap to venture but once you raise funds, you can’t go back.

[💎@1:01:18] When thinking about ownership, the team you need and how to distribute equity, start with your desired outcome (end state). Then work backwards to optimize for that outcome. Example: Greg wanted an IPO and to end up with a team in 4-5 years that was still very involved in the company.