I love working on new projects, every part of the process excites me – planning the initial idea, designing the mockups, creating the products and writing the documentation ( well I actually dont enjoy this bit so much! ). I have done it many times now, launching lots of projects over the years – some of which have been amazing successes and others which failed miserably. ThemeFurnace has been great to work on as so much relies on my skills as a designer – thats what I started off as and its nice to go back to designing websites (themes) again for a living.
All of the hard work builds towards the launch which is always the most exciting day – I had been working on ThemeFurnace since september last year so it’s quite nerve-racking when launch day finally arrives and you put your new baby “out there” for the first time. I thought I would describe how the day went so you can get some insight behind a product launch.
10.30 am: Launch
I edited the .htaccess file to remove the password protection on the site, thats it – we’re now live. Give a final check over in various browsers to see if I’ve missed anything. Spot a couple of spelling mistakes and a broken link so fix those.
11 am: Send out Launch Email
I had been collecting emails on a holding page and occasionally mentioning ThemeFurnace on my other websites and twitter accounts so had 327 emails collected at Aweber who wanted to be notified. I had promised them a coupon code so I sent out an email to them with a 40% discount code. 24 hours later the results of that mailing are quite remarkable, out of 327 emails sent, I had 336 opens – thats a 102.8 % open rate! From those opens I received 223 clicks.
11.30 am: WPLift Launch Blog Post
I run the blog about WordPress, WPLift and had allready prepared a blog post for it about the new site, so I put that live next. It also contained a coupon code, details of the themes and theme options panel and an invitation to signup to the affiliate program ( as WPLift readers are also mainly blog owners ). So far, I have received 17 comments on that blog post, mainly from people wishing me well with the new site, which is really nice of them all.
12.30 pm: Affiliate Signups & Banners Spotted
Fairly soon after the WPLift post I start to see affiliates signing up and start receiving traffic from various sites. Checking them out I see my affiliate banners being used allready on :
All together in the first 24 hours I have received 22 affiliate signups.
2.30 pm : Other Blog Posts
As the americans wake up, I start to see more traffic by now and quite a few tweets and RTs coming in about the site. I had arranged blog posts with a couple of blogs about WordPress and given them early access so they could write a review of ThemeFurnace. I also created a competition for them using Rafflecopter ( a great viral way to hold competitions ).
The other arranged post and competition was held on DoitwithWP and was also very positive, the competition has received 13 entries so far.
A couple more blog posts :
First Day Results & Conclusion
So how did the first 24 hours end up?
Traffic-wise, it was pretty good for a brand new site, 853 visits and over 3000 page views is a solid start. The encouraging stats are, over 3 minutes on average being spent on the site and a bounce rate of just 22%.
Sales – I managed just one sale of our developer club membership, which was a little disapointing but the sort of people I launched to, are not really the customers Im aiming for. First I aim to get the word out to blog owners and affiliates who can start driving targetted traffic to the site. I expect my sales to come via search engines and affiliate referrals so this will take time to build up.
Affiliate signups – As I mentioned before, I saw 22 affiliate signups and they have started driving traffic allready. I have seen a few blog posts go up and am seeing more banners being used.
Job applications – I had a post asking for job applications for customer support helpers, I have received 5 applicants so far which surprised me a little – I thought it would be harder to find people for this. Some of the applicants are promising so will be trialling them out once we have more customers on board.
Over all Im really pleased with how the first 24 hours has gone – my aim for the coming months is to build up my inventory of themes as I currently only have 4 and to build our brand presence by being featured on as many relevent blogs and websites as possible. I think my next theme release will be a free one as this is always a good method for gaining recognition, everyone likes a freebie!