Today’s post is a guest post from Cody Barbierri, c0-founder of BetaBait, a new website connecting startups with early adopters interested in testing and being the first users of new web, mobile and social apps. The post continues Social: IRL’s new series spotlighting startups in the tech, social and mobile space. Contact us to have your startup considered for a future post.
A while back I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about how there are so many startups out there that never see the light of day because it’s so hard to get noticed with today’s clutter online. To date, the only real way to get enough exposure to reach the early adopters who can help get a startup off the ground is by hounding reporters and spending countless hours within social media trying to engage people.
We wanted to remove the gate keepers making the decisions on who gets spotlighted and give that power to the early adopters – the people interested in testing and being the first users to many of these startups. With that, BetaBait was born. The service started out as a simple email service, spotlighting the latest startups looking for early adopters. Users could click-through on any startups that were of interest and be directed to their websites to learn more.
After just a few weeks, the response was incredible and we quickly ran into an issue – the email was getting too long with startups. We needed a place to house all of them and still give users a way to browse, share and test. We then launched an app directory online, which segmented the startups into categories, such as business, social, lifestyle and more. The email then only spotlighted the startups submitted from the past 24 hours.
Shortly after launching the app directory, we decided that we needed to give our community more of a voice. These early adopters have incredible ideas and can bring tremendous value to the startups looking to deliver a better product. We then shortly rolled out individual app pages for each startup, which gave additional information, sharing features and a commenting section meant to leave feedback based on the user’s experience and general thoughts on the idea.
BetaBait has been live now for almost 2 months and has close to 1,000 startups, 5,000 early adopters using the service, which remains free for both parties. We are currently generating revenue through email sponsors, which are able to create a welcome message to our daily email with a link to their website. Sponsors enjoy being the first thing our community of early adopters sees when they open the email.
In the near future, as the community continues to grow, we will be launching a redesign of the site to make it even easier to discover new startups, share them with friends and family, including a voting mechansim to push startups to the top of the page as well as leave feedback. In addition, we will be offering more sponsorship opportunities online for startups and other advertisers.
If you’re an early adopter or early stage startup looking to use the service, please sign up at www.betabait.com.