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Hackernoon logoHow BotStar Generated $550K with AppSumo in Just a Month by@mai-luong

How BotStar Generated $550K with AppSumo in Just a Month

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@mai-luongMai Luong

While many small businesses are at risk of closing due to the coronavirus pandemic, our sales skyrocketed amazingly to generate the unexpected result of more than $550,000.

Founded in 2017, BotStar is a tool to design and build a chatbot for your business on Messenger and Website without coding. Our vision is to be a WordPress of the chatbot world.

After more than 2 years of product development, it was February 2020, we’ve been getting ready to launch BotStar on Appsumo. If you’ve never heard of AppSumo, they are the largest software deals marketplace with over 1.5 million subscribers. This launch was a milestone for BotStar to bring our chatbot to the world to measure the market’s reaction.

We have built BotStar with so much ambition and a very large number of features so it is hard for us to scale-up our business. By the end of 2019, the entire team felt defeated after almost two years of building a powerful product that hardly anyone wanted to buy.

Do or Die? — This was the question raising in our minds at that time.

In this article, we’ll tell you how BotStar became the best selling chatbot tool on AppSumo and the story behind the one month of the craziness of our growth hacking journey.

Let’s start with the most interesting: the results of our one-month Appsumo campaign!

The results of BotStar’s Appsumo deal

Before the launch, we only dared to set a goal of 5,000 codes ($49/ code), but surprisingly we hit a very impressive number of 11,263 codes. Wow! This result more than doubled our expectations. We’ve made:

🚀1 Best seller on AppSumo

🚀 $550,000 total sales

🚀 11,263 codes

🚀 5,000+ new users

🚀 99 reviews (4.84/ 5 Tacos 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮)

“This Deal is Sold Out” — We didn’t expect that BotStar set a record of selling out all of the available codes on AppSumo before the deadline. Our team members were so happy about this amazing achievement 🎉 But after that, we faced the requirements of generating more codes from Sumo-lings (a moniker given to all Appsumo subscribers) and BotStar was selected to become one of the hottest deals to have another campaign on AppSumo for plus members.

Yes! BotStar became the “Hottest Deal” on AppSumo and many Sumo-lings talked about BotStar’s deal in their community. We were all excited to see the number of sales soaring to thousands of codes in the last days.

Besides that the result goes beyond our expectations, incredibly, we received a large amount of insightful feedback and more awesome ideas from the AppSumo community to add more value to our product.

OK! 👌It’s enough to show off our result that we achieved within a month when launching on AppSumo. Let me share with you the secret to our success through taking you to the full BotStar X AppSumo journey.

Is BotStar a good fit to launch on AppSumo?

Before launching on AppSumo, we spent more than 2 years focusing on product development with a lot of discussions, arguments, UI/UX sketching to create the most useful features for our product. We designed an intuitive and easy to use platform to build chatbots for Messenger and Website with a visual drag and drop tool “What you are seeing is what you will get”. You can also train your chatbot and do programming to make it smarter to save customer service costs and bring more sales leads for your business.

In order to be selected by AppSumo to become one of 6 deals launched on AppSumo in February 2020, BotStar has met the rigorous requirements from AppSumo such as our product is live and has a certain number of paid users, AppSumo requires a certain level of product maturity in terms of features and UI/UX.

Also, a dedicated customer support team and tools are needed to handle support tickets and answer Sumo-ling questions as they flood in during the launch. Besides, BotStar showed a plan and a runway for our product through a transparent public roadmap. BotStar proves that we have made a serious investment for the long-term development of our product.

How BotStar launched AppSumo?

Preparation for the launch

In the preparation period, the most important thing was the connection between team members. Launching on Appsumo was a lot of work. It took our team almost three months of meetings, online demos, content building, and negotiation to secure a deal date.

Due to the different timezone, we had many meetings in the middle of the night with AppSumo supporters to prepare content for the sales deal page, developed new features as we promised with AppSumo, and improved our customer service system for the launch. With the title of “A (Bot) Star Is Born”, BotStar hoped to become the shining star in the same batch.

(See the landing page here: https://appsumo.com/botstar/)

Each team worked day and night for this launch to deliver value to our customers.

The developer team committed to complete the DialogFlow integration which was one of the most important features as we promised with AppSumo for this launch. We changed the UI/UX of our app to be intuitive and more user-friendly.

Our marketing team prepared the content for the sales deal page, made tutorial videos and created 70 chatbot templates for all business use cases: E-commerce, Health Care, Real Estate, Travel & Hospitality,…to help our customers get started easily. Also, our support team built a Ticketing system on Freshdesk for customer support to reduce the customer service response times.

We were so excited and ready for the launch! ⏰

The launch

BotStar officially launched on AppSumo at 9PM on February 20, 2020. A typical Appsumo launch follows this process: “Soft Launch” and “Main Launch”. For “Soft Launch”, our deal features on the website but only to a certain portion of traffic. After that, during “Main Launch”, Appsumo blasts the deal email to their entire subscriber base (more than 1 million subscribers).

This was a truly unforgettable time for us, which we will probably never forget. We were at our office at 9PM to wait for AppSumo to push the go live button, then we got an influx of AppSumo’s users and their questions, comments on our AppSumo deal page. This is when one month of craziness started!

Red Bull Energy Drink was our best friend during the period launch. We drew up a work schedule and divided our team into shifts and worked around the clock 24/7 because we’d have to consider the time zone differences. Sometimes we felt extremely tired and we wished that we could get a full night’s sleep. But we just rested on the sofa around 15 minutes at midnight to recharge our energy before continuing to “fight” with a large number of questions from the AppSumo community!

And then… When a Sumo-ling rated us 3 tacos with negative feedback about the missing features, we tried to contact him and gave dedicated support. With the feature requests, we listened to him carefully and put it into the public roadmap to gradually improve the product. Understanding customers is the key to our success to win-back this customer. He agreed to change his review on the AppSumo page. Winning back a customer is not easy but BotStar did it 🎉AppSumo even contacted us to ask for our tips.

Also, the product development team still launched new features, which helped BotStar to build trust in the Sumo-lings community. Additionally, we public a roadmap and let customers vote for the features they want for our product. By that way, we made our customers a part of our product. We believe that together we can go further! 💪

After the sales — what do the results say?

After a month, we received over 1,000 in-app chat conversations, responded to 341 comments on the AppSumo deal page and a huge number of messages on “BotStar Chatbot Community”, the number of users skyrocketed from about 150 paid customers to more than 5,000 users in short time 😱, requiring us to quickly expand the size of the company and rearrange the product roadmap (AppSumo community has given us lots of helpful feedback on the important features they want for our chatbot) to bring more value to our customers.

4. Secret to our success:

One month of Growth Hacking ended with the number of sales reaching over half a million dollars! Launching on AppSumo is a great opportunity for growth hacking and also a milestone for BotStar.

If your SaaS product does not get traction as you expect but you are confident in your product and your team, we highly recommend you consider launching your product on AppSumo to have enough runway for your startup and get real-time feedback from this community. It’s totally worth it ❤️

Here are some of our other key takeaways:

  • Publish a transparent roadmap — We created a public roadmap on Trello to include all the possible features that we want to add into our product and ask the sumo-lings to vote for the features they think are useful. It helps you gain a lot of insights and understand the voice of your customers in product development.
  • Build good technical documentation — We prepared a complete guide to chatbots and created 70 ready-to-use chatbot templates to get a chatbot up and running more quickly.
  • Plan a work schedule for the support team — Live chat support might be as available as possible for the AppSumo deal period. Our team was always ready when the comments, questions and queries started flooding in. We divided our team into shifts, worked 24/7 to provide fast customer support and fix the bugs as soon as possible.
  • Prepare FAQs, especially the user comparisons — If users haven’t heard of you before, they tend to compare your product to any platform they think is similar. So just prepare these kinds of comparisons wisely!
  • Attract customers through kindness — This is the key to success and our secret to win back customers. Be patient and thoughtful when explaining a feature to the customers. Sometimes you have to handle the negative feedback and criticism. Trust us! That’s okay! Just wholeheartedly support, listen to their feedback with an open mind to improve your product even better.

Launching on AppSumo is an unforgettable journey with BotStar! Thanks to the BotStar team who made the launch successfully, Sumo-lings community and for all who support and believe us, it makes us dream bigger and work harder to achieve the new milestones! 🚀

— — —

⭐️ If you want to know more about BotStar, please visit our Website: https://botstar.com/

⭐️ If you want to become an AppSumo partner, please visit: https://appsumo.com/partners/apply/

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