Dear Founderdating community,
I am building a community-based site for learning English targeting advanced learners at http://morpheem.com . The site offers a new text every day where you can look up words, accumulate vocabulary and discuss with other users. It's still rather rudimentary as it only launched two weeks ago.
My idea was to try to proceed in an agile fashion based on early user feedback, but my current problem is basically that there is very little of that. I’m primarily getting users through advertising. Users then hit a landing describing the service somewhat vaguely, have to register using social login and then wind up on the text of the day.
At this point I notice the large majority of users IMMEDIATELY leaving the site without doing a single click on anything (I have extensive click tracking on the site). This surprises me since I thought the real barrier would be to get signups, but that is not the case.
It’s also highly frustrating because a complete lack of engagement makes it impossible for me to use user behavior to drive further development. I thought it might be because of a lack of guidance / structure so I added a small tutorial with which, however, users are not engaging at all (most are not even closing it, just leaving it open).
I'm getting decent click-through on my ads and about 15% of visitors (which makes 10-20 per day at the current, extremely low, ad budget) then sign up on the site, so that far the funnel is working.
I’ve tried e-mailing 25 users displaying this behavior with a very short e-mail in simple English asking them to give feedback by simply clicking on a number of pre-defined reasons why they did like the site (confusing / too hard / not interesting…), but only two of them even opened the mail and only one clicked on a link (“confusing”).
I have two questions:
1) Does this behavior seem normal or could it be stemming from targeting English learners, meaning that maybe I’m just vastly overestimating their level of English or reaching the wrong people? (On the other hand: they read the landing page in English and sign up)
2) Any ideas on how to break out of it and get some user feedback? Should I abandon the whole idea of using anonymous user behavior to guide development and get a real-life focus group of users instead?
Thanks for any help!
Thank you so much everyone for your feedback! It has been very inspiring. While I do not always agree in detail with all your analyses, it's extremely helpful in prompting me to revisit a number of assumptions. I have a number of takeaways:
- I’ll try targeting a super-simple text at new signups and see what effect that has on their engagement.
- I’ll conversely try another version of the landing page, more clearly geared at advanced learners. I’m pretty sure that will decrease signups; but the relevant measure might be time spent on the site rather than signups, and I’ll analyze it for that.
- Same thing goes for the up-front signup (that I originally did not have, but signup rates soared when it was put in place): I’ll take it down again and this time try optimizing for session length or return visits and see if the conclusion is the same.
- I’ll go through my statistics of the number of users clicking “I don’t have Google or Facebook” again and double-check my previous calculations that the number of users I lose this way is irrelevant at this stage.
It’s very inspiring to have the support of a community behind you! Thanks again.
[If anyone from Founderdating reads this: you really have to scale back your aggressive marketing; I will now unlink my account from LinkedIn even if that means I can’t log in again. The original post found its way to my LinkedIn, though I’m pretty sure I uncheck that option every time (and it shouldn’t default to on in the first place) - admissions that my business is not going well is the last thing I want on LinkedIn; it’s hugely embarrassing]