Launch Festival · Marketing

Marketing question upon launch

Prita Kumar

December 24th, 2013

I am launching a fitness service on January 1 that is Freemium-- free access to limited content, $9.99 for unlimited content. 

As part of our launch, we will be slipping fliers in Manhattan luxury buildings and hotels. I am wondering if any founders out there have insight on which is better: 

1. Emphasize free component of site on flier
Pro: Potentially higher hit rate to site
Con: Lose ability to track referrals to the site from flier and measure ROI


2. Provide promo code for first 30 days free on flier
Pro: Can track users who do pick paid option-- caveat being that they could still opt for free and then same issue as #1
Con: May not get as many users to sign up if they think its just another paid service advertisement 

Any thoughts? I am inclined to vote option 1, but would love to hear any thoughts from experience out there!


Eric Lai Product manager / S/W Engineer / Online Commerce

December 24th, 2013

Why not split test both flyers and see which one performs better? Both approaches sound viable but the actual results is what matters.

Prita Kumar

December 24th, 2013

You can't A/B test option 1 if you can't track it (fliers is not the only marketing tactic I will use)-- that's the main problem. Basically do I prioritize getting smart on customer acquisition within a very important market, or do I just hope and pray the tag lines resonate and drive a ton of traffic.  

Javier Gomez

December 24th, 2013

Doesn't really matter. The hit rate on flyers is abysmally low, particularly so for high end clientele at less than 1%. Sent from my iPhone

David Glauber

December 24th, 2013

Hey Prita,

Not sure I understand option 2 completely: you mean providing the promo code that gives 30 days free while people could still use the free content but will have to pay for the premium content?

If I get you correctly, I think that if we focus on the user and analyse the step one has to make by the flier 'call to action' actually taking the flier and GETTING INTO THE SITE is the big step. The next step is watching/using the content and only then comes the step of using the promo code. 
In addition, getting the promo code on the flier gives a feeling of a small perk that may motivate potential users to get into the site, knowing they an-otherwise-priced-service for free.

A different method of tracking flier-initiated users is to create a different landing page for them (for example: instead of give them Then you can track the traffic to the different page.

Paul Travis Multifaceted Online Executor: Product Marketing to Program Mgmt. to Business Development

December 24th, 2013

Precisely the avenue for implementing Eric's suggestion with Javier's caveat -- do 1000 "a" ( = free) and 1000 "b" ( = $9.99) and see what resonates.

Ramli John Growth and Inbound Marketing Professional

December 25th, 2013

Prita, if I had a say, i wouldn't use unsolicitated fliers as a marketing channel. As Javier said, it has really low conversation rate to paying or even active users, especially if you're slipping in Manhattan luxury buildings.

If I did have to use fliers to generate new leads, I'd go after people who are already thinking about fitness. Have fliers in front of gyms. Have fliers in fast food chains. Have fliers at yoga shops.

AND if I had a choice between option 1 and 2, always choose the one that you can measure. You can't learn if you don't measure. It's a critical part of the build-measure-learn cycle. You're worried that you won't get as many users on your platform. But as the legendary Paul Graham said, do things that don't scale in the beginning 

Lawrence Lerner Digitalization and Transformation Coach

December 26th, 2013

Heres my $.02. Add a QR Code to your flier. It may not capture everyone but it is something. Theres also no harm in doing A/B testing if you can afford to do a couple of different runs. Create both fliers, try them in one building large enough to give a sample (say 50 - 100 tenants). These things have a short shelf life, after 72 hours see which has the most responses. Please share your results with everyone, if you have time. I am sure everyone would love to hear about your wins! Lawrence I Lerner \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Direct: +1.630.248.0663 Blog: RevolutionaryInnovator Twitter: @RevInnovator

Huan Liu Co-founder at Vimo Labs Inc.

December 26th, 2013

What if you put a promo code for some exclusive content or do an invitation only launch? People value exclusivity, and the promo code is for exclusivity, not for paid content, so it will sidestep your concern about emphasizing paid content. 

Joel Magalnick Storyteller. Innovator. Leader.

December 28th, 2013

I'm leaning in the direction of Huan and Ramli on this. If you're seeking high-end customers, put yourself in their shoes. Are they going to respond to flyers? Are they going to respond to free? If you've got people who are willing to spend a ton of money to live in a nice building in Manhattan, they're not looking for deals. They're looking for status and fitness - on their terms. If you want to be able to measure, why not do some seriously narrow-targeted advertising through Facebook and some local sites that are going after the same audience you are?
Plus you'll save a tree in the meantime.

Brantley Beaird Success Engineer at

December 30th, 2013

Hi Prtia, I come from an online marketing background where we A/B test everything. If you're going to hit a lot of buildings, it might make sense to try both if you have the resources and see which one performs better. Even if you only get 20 sign ups from 10,000 flyers, but 15 of them are from option 1, it makes sense to shift your future marketing efforts in favor of option 1 - you'll still test option 2, but a smaller percentage of your marketing efforts will be option 2. Also, ask folks who do sign up what got them to sign up. Brantley Brantley Beaird Georgia Tech Engineer & MBA 404.863.7814 LinkedIn Profile