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Web/Tech Archive

Inside the Greatest Online Product Launch Since Gmail

Looking back, it’s fair to say the launch strategy Google used back in 2004 has become legendary. When the new platform first came out offering an unheard of 1 GB of free storage space, it was only available to an extremely limited group of people. As a result, having a Gmail account became an early adopter badge of honor – and limiting new registrations to those who were invited by an existing user also created a unique buzz that drove millions to lust after Gmail accounts. Today Gmail is the dominant email platform, and the one that has inspired the largest ecosystem of new apps and plugins to optimize the email experience.

Today a new entrant into that ecosystem is creating a lot of buzz with what may be the greatest launch strategy since Gmail. The Mailbox App has been featured in media for the past several weeks and its launch teaser video has already been viewed more than 2 million times in less than two months (see below). What makes their launch strategy so good? The product looks great, but like Gmail – it is the decisions they have made about HOW to launch the product that are helping fuel so much excitement.

Here are a few of their smart choices that you might be able to learn from:

  1. Start with an easy commitment. So many new apps close registrations or have placeholder landing pages up to collect email addresses. Instead of doing that, Mailbox asks you to go RIGHT NOW and download the app. Then you’ll reserve your place in line – which they actually call a “reservation” instead of something seemingly far off like a waiting list. The end result is that you act right now to download the app – they get to continue to rise in the rankings on iTunes and now you are basically ready to go as soon as they give you access.
  2. Explain your thinking. Everyone across the site, the app and the descriptions of the app on iTunes, the team behind Mailbox devotes a lot of attention to explaining WHY you can’t just get the app right now. Reading that, anyone interested in the app is much more likely to feel better about waiting, because the method behind the decision is clearly and simply explained.
  3. Gamify the wait. The most creative and original part about downloading the app is the queue counter that you get after you have installed it. As you watch the numbers tick slowly downward for the number of people ahead of you, there is never a moment when you don’t know your place in line. Not only that, but checking in to see your progress towards getting an account becomes a game that you continually check into. And just like the best games, when you finally “win” and successfully get an account, you’ll have a feeling of earning your pass onto the platform … and value it even more as a result.

Together this creative approach to signing up new users and getting them to talk about the product before they even have access makes this one of the best and most unique launch strategies for an app I’ve seen in some time. Now all that’s left is for the app to live up to the hype all of this has created.

Meet Mailbox. The fast, fun mobile inbox that puts email in its place.

Coming in the New Year for Gmail + iPhone.
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Song credit: Littlest Birds by The Be Good Tanyas

2013 Trend – Hyper-Local Commerce


What’s the Trend? New services and technology makes it easier for anyone to invest in local businesses and buy from local merchants. The consumer desire to “shop local” will have plenty of help in the coming year from a suite of online tools, innovations and personalization technology that help anyone in any location around the world to identify local vendors…Read More >>

2013 Trend – Shoptimization


What’s the Trend? Technology helps optimize the process of buying everything from fashion to medical prescriptions. As consumers become more conscious about what they buy, where they buy it, how much they spend for it, and how much time shopping takes – retailers and app-makers are discovering that the ultimate competitive advantage may come not from what you sell, but…Read More >>

7 Useful Tips From Real B2B Brands On Using Social Media To Drive Sales


When it comes to social media, it is popular to talk about the importance of reputation. The better your reputation, the more likely people are to trust you. The more trust you have, the more easily you can sell anything to anyone. This logic makes sense. In most cases it works. But it has been used so often that it…Read More >>

The Surprisingly Simple Secret of Social Advertising

The Surprisingly Simple Secret of Social Advertising

There is a military technique described by the acronym LTD which you should know about. It stands for Laser Targeting Designators and it is basically a laser light source which is used to designate a target. In other words, by "lasing targets" – you put a marker on something so that when you shoot at it, you are more likely…Read More >>

Go Daddy Teaches Brands How To Grow Up?

Go Daddy Teaches Brands How To Grow Up?

Love them or hate them, there is no denying Go Daddy's sex-based TV commercials designed to create a splash and introduce their brand to the world have been remarkably successful. Every year they have made a tradition out of having ads prepared that are "too hot" for the SuperBowl and get partially banned from airing. Then they publish them online,…Read More >>

5 Marketing Lessons From Uber (The World's Best Travel App)

5 Marketing Lessons From Uber (The World's Best Travel App)

Several weeks ago I was standing on a street corner in New York. (This is not the sentence I thought I'd start this post with, but go with me …) After unsuccessfully trying to hail a cab, I decided to try out an app I had heard about called Uber. I had heard it was useful for those kinds of…Read More >>

How Whiskey Inspired The Making Of Likeonomics

How Whiskey Inspired The Making Of Likeonomics

The "fourth best island in the world" (according to National Geographic) isn't warm and rarely sunny. Yet the Isle of Skye is a celebrated part of Scotland and a popular tourist destination. If you ever happen to find yourself traveling there, one of the most popular places on the island is a unique distillery that produces some of the world's…Read More >>

2012 Edition: 15 Marketing and Business Trends That Matter

Let me tell you a little secret.  I look forward to putting together an annual trend report the same way that some people look forward to having Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. I realize that may sound a bit strange, but ever since I did my first trend recap last year I was hooked.  This year, the process of collecting the…Read More >>

What You Should Know About Google For NonProfits

What You Should Know About Google For NonProfits

This afternoon in front of a packed room of nearly 200 nonprofit communicators in Washington DC, Google announced their most innovative and ambitious set of tools to help nonprofit organizations to succeed yet. Promising to offer $10,000 in free keyword advertising credits, branded channels and other extended premium features, the announcement of the Google for Nonprofits program divided the ways…Read More >>