My Experience Launching on Beta List

June 28, 2020, 12:36 a.m.

I wanted to relay my experience with using Beta List to announce the beta of InstaBudget, a budgeting and expense tracker application. After working on it for a couple of months, I figured it was time to gather some feedback and explore acquisition channels before investing more development time.

After doing some light research on Indie Hackers, I decided to give betalist.com a try. I did not want to wait for a month or more to get approved, so I even decided to pay the $129.00 for quick approval.

After I submitted my listing, it only took a few hours before they approved my landing page. The landing page was featured the next day.

The following table shows the daily number of visitors and unique visitors and the number of signups.

Date Visits Unique Visitors (US) Sign-ups (US)
2020/06/17 1 1 (0) 0
2020/06/18 76 76 (20) 8 (3)
2020/06/19 43 41 (15) 5 (2)
2020/06/20 20 16 (11) 3 (3)
2020/06/21 10 9 (3) 1 (0)
2020/06/22 7 5 (3) 1 (1)
2020/06/23 7 6 (2) 1 (0)
164 154 (54) 19 (9)

Conversion Rate

The listing was reviewed on 2020/06/17, thus the one unique visitor. The listing was featured on the 18th and quickly fell off the top list which shows in the dropping number of visits.

The overall conversion rate ends up being 12.3%. I’m sure this is on the lower end and could have been improved with some improvements to the landing page, but I am quite satisfied with this first attempt. In the US alone the conversion rate is higher at 16.6%.

The cost of acquisition is then $6.79 per signup, which obviously is high when there is no revenue yet, but might seem reasonable depending on the type of business one is going after.

Active Users

Now onto the more interesting part of the experiment. The application is currently only in English and I have hardcoded the currency to USD, so I wanted to limit the beta to the US only for now. Out of the 19 signups, 9 ended up being the US.

I invited all 9 people to the beta soon after they had signed up. Only 4 people added the application to TestFlight so far and 0 people added the application on Android.

The really disappointing part of all this is that out of the 4 people, all of them started the application and did nothing within the application, which means this entire effort yielded 0 beta testers.

The overall funnel in the US ends up looking like this:

I do send a follow-up survey 3 days after people are invited to the beta and have had 0 responses so far.

I am quite puzzled, because going through the process of adding an application in TestFlight is quite involved and I would understand people dropping off at that spot. The mystery is why after going through that process and starting the application, people end up dropping. There is currently no registration process in the application itself, the first step goes straight into linking the application with your bank. This obviously can be high friction for people, but that fact is at the top of the landing page.