The dumbest thing Customer.io has done

Last Thursday we opened Customer.io’s doors for anyone to sign up. For the unfamiliar, we’re a niche email product targeted at SaaS companies.

Believe it or not, when John and I started Customer.io, we were scared to send emails. When people signed up, we didn’t say anything other than “thanks for signing up”.

We put up a splash page in January and were quietly collecting email addresses until June. Our thinking was: “Saying anything is bad. We’ve got one shot at emailing people to check out our product. Let’s make it perfect”.

That’s the dumbest thing we’ve done and here’s why:

A month after signing up, most people don’t remember they signed up. After 6 months, forget it. The entire list of people is cold. Dead. Gone.

After 6 months, you have to reconvert the person to your product. Whatever goodwill you have earned has evaporated.

So what did we do about it?

One day, with encouragement from Ramit Sethi, I started emailing everyone who had signed up. And over 4 emails I improved our open-rates so we had over 50% of people on our list reading the emails.

Open Rates

What do you write weekly emails about?

When we spoke with people who had signed up for our product’s launch list, we heard something interesting. In addition to wanting a great tool to email their customers, they wanted advice on what to say in the emails.

So, I started researching copywriting, bought some books and videos online, and started putting into practice the things I was learning. I would learn something new (or get an expert to talk about it) and share that knowledge with people on my list.

I never (or barely ever) talk about our product

A good rule of thumb is to give more than you ask for. And in weekly emails, give a lot more than you ask for.

The one time I did do an email about our product, it was to say we launched.

More companies should email their leads

Very few companies do this, and it’s a huge opportunity. It starts with overcoming your fear of emailing people. The next step is to just get into a regular schedule of writing interesting, meaningful content for your audience.

Want to see what I mean? Sign up for my list for a week to check it out. You can always unsubscribe.