Being Obsessively Hands-on with Early Adopters to Accelerate Growth

Team GoNoodle, circa 2015, on what will forever be remembered as “Overall Friday”

We Had a North Star Metric

We Combined Product Management + User Support

We Made User Support Proactive, Not Just Reactive

  • Hey, looks like you haven’t used GoNoodle in a while. How can I help?
  • I see you created an account but never got started. Anything I can clear up for you?
  • I noticed you really liked this piece of content. We just released another new video I think you’ll really like….
  • You’re a real tastemaker in GoNoodle — one of our most active users! Have you seen our newest video? I’d love to know what you think.
  • You’re one of the 10 most active users <geographic area>! Question: how can we make GoNoodle better?
  • Hi! We’re testing a new feature and you were one of a small number of users who saw it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

We Built Advocates with a Targeted Lo-Fi Referral System

We Used Data to Drive Hands-On Research Interactions

  • Date of signup
  • First content played
  • Geography
  • Profile data
  • Penetration of other teachers in the building also active

Hindsight

  • Staff up User Support as early as you know there’s enough work to keep sometime part-time employed. I almost burned out after a few months, because the support queue never stops — not for your weekends, your sick days, or your vacations. But once you hand it off, make sure you still schedule time to be an agent so you understand what’s happening.
  • Find a way to share out the anecdotes you’re gathering from your user interactions. We did a great job of collecting those anecdotes as at team, but we did a poor job of sharing those learnings outside the product team to executives, marketing, sales, etc. It’s just as important to build alignment internally, and product teams have a responsibility to share what they’re learning.
  • Remember your early adopter is part-unicorn. If you want to grow beyond this cohort, you have to make the effort to talk to the people who don’t love you. It’s easiest to talk to the super-fans, but your input can get skewed. We had to work extra hard to reach the users who didn’t get it, but when we did, we learned the most about how to make sure GoNoodle had growth beyond early adopters.
  • Invest deeply in analytics, and keep a clean house. While we were using data non-stop in that first year, we were also doing a poor job of upkeep on our implementation. A few months later, we realized a lot of our data was flawed. As a result, we had to stop and re-instrument our analytics in the middle of our biggest growth phase at great expense and a temporary loss of trust in data.

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