Claim it!Product: Platform - Mobile Apps
Role: Lead Product, Design & Marketing
Description: Claim it! is a tech startup that allowed people to win free stuff on their smart phones. We created a unique product that combined branded giveaways, location triggered prize winning with beacons and hot pink prize trucks that users had to track. Claim it! raised over $2 million in seed funding and partnered with companies like Sprint, Crumbs, Under Armour, Starbucks and more.
- Create a first of its kind giveaway app & platform
- Establish credibility because of the inherent doubt in free stuff
- Create a fun, repeatable experience for users
- Ensure that the redemption process was reliable
- Grow the audience and expand our partnerships
MessagingBefore we introduced our products to the world we had to introduce our company. I designed the various forms of branding and communications from the logo and cards to the websites.
A pre launch countdown page gave us the opportunity to collect email addresses of early adopters for the launch.
After operating for two years we found ourselves at a pivot point and again began signing up early adopters and version 1 loyalists for the next chapter.
The ProductAs a co-founder and leader of the product, I began working in earnest on our MVP (minimum viable product) at the start of 2014.
When starting from scratch it really helped to flesh out the feel of the product with designs versus wire frames and flows. We worked backwards from designs and saved a lot of time feeling things out.
Version 1 (iOS)
The MVP showed us what worked and what didn't. In the end those insights lead us to version 1.
To solve one of our major challenges we needed to ensure the availability of the prizes while having some control over the redemption process. The solution was prize trucks that users tracked via the app.
Version 1 (Android)
We launched our Android version six months after launching on iOS. Technical support issues presented the greatest challenge as we were aware and prepared for device and OS version fragmentation.
Version 2 (iOS)
Version 2 represented wholesale changes in various aspects for the app. The biggest of these were moving away from SMS user authentication and physical redemptions of prizes. We also changed the fundamental experience of claiming prizes.
Having two years of user data, research and a solid update process under our belts allowed us to better document potential user flows and experience designs.
The flows helped us work out complaints and pain points reported by users and ultimately explore better UX solutions for future versions.
Despite being a lean startup team we still used the best practices deployed at larger companies like project, feature and bug tracking with tools like Pivotal Tracker.
Users & GrowthClaim it! appealed to a wide swath of users but the predominant audience were millennials. This was invaluable in helping us grow the user base.
Our platform incentivized users by giving them the chance to win free prizes every week in exchange for watching a video ad. We consistantly exceeded the industry standard for return usage and retention.
We took a very data driven approach to user acquisition because we were in the unique position to see which prizes excited our user base. Using that data allowed me to create targeted app install ads to grow our user base.
This approach worked well and helped Claim it! rise to a top 100 spot in the Shopping category on the App store consistantly.
We also leveraged the audiences of our brand partners to introduce the company to entirely new users that might have not been exposed to the app otherwise.
One of our product driven technologies that became very successful was the unique use of bluetooth beacons. We used them to let users instantly win prizes because of their proximity to a location.
In addition to the products and code we developed, Claim it! also called for a number of internal software tools to operate the platform. These included an app to scan and redeem codes.
LearningsFew things can prepare you to operate your own tech startup and build a product from concept to launch. There are too many lessons learned to list but here are some of the most memorable.
- Consumer facing apps require constant iteration and updates
- Apps that offer valuable items to the public require fail safes and kill switches
- Utilize multiple channels of communication for customer support
- Simplify onboarding to the maximum degree
- Users loved the geolocation discovery features.
- Capitalize off behavioral trends and insights exposed by analytics