Nobody Wanted My eBook
This time, I tried to sell my pretotyping approach with a pretotype!
Published August 3, 2022
It’s been quite a while! I switched jobs and moved and in between all of the furniture shopping and drinking coffee with all the new colleagues, there was little time to follow-up on my little challenge here. Yes, I’m delayed and yes, I let you down. But fret not, I’ve continued my experiments and will start sharing them more regularly again. Anyways, welcome to part 6 of my 12 Businesses In 12 Months, where I’ll try to sell my pretotyping approach with a pretotype!
This post will be a quick one again, but I will, as always, cover
- what the idea was,
- the decisions we made
- and what I learned.
Why an eBook?
My (now) ex-colleague Frederik and I both have similar backgrounds of more or less failing at reaching product-market-fit with our own startups. We are still tied into the local startup ecosystem at the Digitalhub Bonn and regularly try to pass on these experiences in talks, workshops and coaching. We wanted to test whether or not an eBook containing much of the same insights could make us some money on the side. That’s why we, as (almost) always, set up a landing page for it. The difference? This time, it’s been on-brand!
Again, we went for the usual:
- 40€ for ads
- down to one day duration again
- An ad creative showing a mockup of the book, the main value proposition and the pricing (49€)
- Targeting people aged 18 to 40 interested in startup companies
- The ad linked to a landing page with the value proposition, a content overview and a testimonial section
- Having been bitten a bit by the success of the restaurant pretotype, I was more upfront with users and asked for the commitment (with a discount offer) after coming clean that this is an experiment
For the content overview section on the landing page we more or less used Miro screenshots and the structure from our coachings. Again, with such an experiment, we always prioritize for speed and hope that the value proposition in itself is perceived as valuable enough to drive conversions even if we get some details wrong. For now, you can check out the page here.
Maybe I should stop doing what I do, tho’
Before I start interpreting the results let’s look at some metrics:
- 52 clicks on the landing page
- 0 clicks on the Buy Now button
- 0 conversions
- 0.77€ CPC
- 10,334 impressions
This right there is a prime example of the situations where I find quantitative methods to be hard to interpret. The okayish CPC points to the content being the problem rather than pricing or overall value proposition. But since I did not have session recordings in place (yes, I already said that that’s dumb) there really is no way of telling.
How to move forward with this?
This eBook was a quick and simple test which more or less confirmed our skepticism. Startups or people interested in startups are presumably not very likely to buy an expensive eBook on entrepreneurship. That’s a bummer, but it makes sense and therefore we decided to not do a second iteration.
Is this idea invalidated forever, then? Definitely no. Small variations of this experiment could have let to different results. With a bit more faith in the eBook we’d likely have been motivated to test those variations and be sure to get some qualitative insights in the next few iterations. Since I’m suspecting content to be lacking I’d probably try to replace the images and bullets with a table of contents.
TL;DR: Never test without session recordings
‘Nuff said! Luckily, I already have the next experiment done and the post is in the pipeline. As always, I will keep you updated!
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