Newsletter, 6 weeks since launch

I thought it would be good to include the newsletters I send out in this blog so here’s the latest issue:

Hello everyone!

So, we’ve been live for about 6 weeks so I thought it’s been more that long enough to fill you all in on how things are going.

As part of the marketing I was personally going to start a 100 day transformation and personally do some PR both in the UK and US. Unfortunately a couple of days before launch I slipped a disk in my back whilst training and I’ve been more or less bed-bound since. I’ve still been managing to work (just) but I haven’t been able to push the site anywhere near as much as I’d have liked. Thankfully Dave (our Health and fitness pro) has stepped up and has started his catalog of exercise demos and workout guides. Also Ralph (our senior web developer) is back from a week in Germany and he’s getting stuck in on some really neat little additions to the site so keep your eyes peeled.

In terms of marketing here’s a little insight on what we’ve done so far and the results we’ve achieved. We launched an Adword campaign targeting plan creation, as well as targeting plan sales. The initial results didn’t produce great results which wasn’t wholly unexpected and we’re anticipating that more ‘real world’ tactics will be most beneficial in getting more plans on the site.

It’s my personal belief that having a large number of plans on the site is the key to the success of ZodBod. It will mean that anyone can come onto the site and find the right mentor which is the essence of the site.

The main marketing tool that ZodBod has at its disposal is virality (basically word of mouth). We need to tweak the way the site works so that this is the driving force behind getting numbers on the site. We’re making our tracking tools free which will be great and is a step I’m really happy with and we have lots of great ideas in the pipeline that will ultimately lead to the growth we’re looking for, so we can reward all our plan creators for their hard work, and help out as many people as possible.

For some interesting reading on virality (if you’re a bit of a geek) then check out this link. It refers to the way facebook apps can go viral but the crossover to websites is pretty obvious:

http://framethink.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/the-four-viral-app-objectives-aka-social-network-application-virality-101/

One last point on virality is the example of bebo.com. When they launched they sent out 1000 e-mails and through viral growth alone have grown to over 8 million active users!! not bad for never spending a cent/penny/rand on marketing.

We’ve also got plans to hook up with some bigger brands in the fitness and diet world so we can include their videos on the site which should drive traffic and numbers for those of you with downloadable plans.

Pricing of the plans

In time (the next couple of months with any luck) I think it would make sense to give you guys control of the price of the plans. In the meantime I’ve taken the decision to drop the price of the plans right down to encourage impulse purchases and to help with the virality of the site. Check out this article if you want to know a little more about the reasons for this decision:

http://mooseyard.com/Jens/2008/03/the-beauty-of-99%C2%A2-iphone-apps/

One last thing, and on a personal note. The ZodBod project – putting the information on diet and fitness back into the hands of the people is something I’m very committed to. Realistically we’re a very small company and it may take alot of time for us to be able to compete with our much, much bigger rivals. I believe though that the team we have in place are great at what they do and I’m confident over time ZodBod will be a force for good for everyone involved.

If you have any feedback, questions or comments you can e-mail me on xxxxx (removed to avoid spambots!) and I’ll be happy to discuss anything.

Thanks for being a part of ZodBod and I’ll be in touch again soon with more news!

Luke

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