I May Be Late has been live now for about one month and has gained 50 users at the time of writing. That’s just over one signup a day and I’m actually quite pleased by that. I’d probably have 500 users by the end of year if the rate of signups stayed the same. However, I’m coming to realise that just having people signup isn’t really enough. I want people to sign up and use the service. I want them to use the service, love it and sign up for a pro account because they find it really useful.
When I launched the two smart phone apps for I May Be Late, I think I lost sight of that fact. I was just expecting people to shell out money because I think the service is useful. This will work for a while as my friends are doing all the downloading, but I’m never going to get any major traction from that alone.
I’ve decided to try something different.
I’m going to make a few changes to the apps and website and give users the power to add one half of their commute for free. This will include doing it from the mobile app. They’ll get all main benefits of this i.e. advance warning emails and delay notification emails. SMS will still be reserved for Pro users since this actually costs me money to provide. I hope that users will see how beneficial this service is for the trip to work each morning and realise that it would be useful for their trip home too.
I’ve not had many paid downloads of my apps to date, so I don’t risk pissing many people off. However, these people have paid for the app already, so I don’t want to risk annoying my early adopters. To thank them for at least taking the plunge initially, I’ll over them a months Pro account, which is worth more than twice what they paid for the app initially. I expect that most early adopters are like myself and should be reasonably forgiving of change.
That’s the plan anyway!
I’ve started making the code changes and hope to have new versions submitted to Microsoft and Apple by this time next week. Once they are approved, I would hope to see more people downloading the app since it’s totally free.
The only downside to this plan of mine is that Apple won’t let me advertise the way a user can get a Pro account. I can mention the Pro account, but not how to get it! I can only hope that interested users will make the effort to find out themselves. It’s a gamble, but much better to bet on that then people not downloading the app at all!
Wish me luck!