Today I woke up at 10:30AM, watched like 6 episodes of Naruto, ate Oreo’s and haven’t done anything else. Yeah, working from home is grrrreeeeaaaatttt.
I’m doing three things every week:
Talking to users/potential users.
Coming up with new experiments that improve the #’s I care about. The only #’s I currently care about are: the # of subscribers on my email list and MRR. I also do some mini, low-time experiments just to see what happens sometimes.
Iterating on the product.
So lets do a little review :).
What have you learned from users?
Parent’s are obviously worried about their children’s education and are now being forced to become more active in their kid’s education. While school is “online”, all that really means for the majority of America is that the parent gets emailed a fat packet of work every week for their kid and have a phone call with the teacher here and there.
That’s it. This has led parents to really lose faith in schools and wonder, “is this really the best thing to be doing?”. Parent’s are literally telling me things like: “I feel like I can do better myself without the school breathing down my neck, can Zip help?”.
Let me tell you. That’s insane. Like, 3 months ago it was extremely hard for me to find these kind of parents. Now? It’s feels like they’re everywhere I look.
What do they want? Well, it feels like what they want is something that gives them a simple way to give their child interesting activities to do from home and keep track of it all. Almost like a middle ground between full-time homeschooling and not homeschooling. Parent’s don’t want to down their kids in packets and random online assignments.
What experiments did you run this week?
A few! But, I’ll highlight one.
I wanted to see how much it’d cost me to get an email from a parent interested in teaching their child from home on Facebook. On Google Ads, it was costing me around $3-6 for an email. Emails are important. It lets me stay in close contact w/ parents who interested. Not everyone converts immediately. Some take a while (months). So, finding a way to get more emails from parent’s interested in homeschooling cheaper would be good.
I estimated on Facebook it’d be around $2.50 an email.
The experiment was simple: make an FB Ad that takes people to a page where they can sign-up to get free worksheets emailed to them. Parents love free and love worksheets.
First, I made the web page in 5 min on Webflow.
Then, I made a graphic on Figma for my Facebook Ad. I took random worksheets I found online and put them behind a colorful background to make it really pop on the ad.
Last, I made the Facebook Ad. I always keep them under three lines, focus on emojis, and don’t B.S the user. I also made 6 versions of the ad with different emojis, words, and even different background colors on the actual ad image. Facebook picks the one that performs best using their ad magic.
Results a week later?
I’m getting emails for $0.20 each. 1635 clicked on the ad, 756 gave their email. That’s a 46% conversion rate. Pretty good.
Again, this was just a tiny experiment to see if I could get emails for cheap but I can already see a whole campaign I run where I give parent worksheets for free and tell them to subscribe to Zip for more tools to teach their child from home.
Around mid week I hired a teacher for $200 to make me some custom worksheets. They’re looking good and will be 100% owned by Zip :).
What did you you work on related to the product this week?
A new iteration! On Sunday I wrote down a list of features I wanted this new iteration to have and why. I wanted to focus a lot more on “learning from home” vs “legally register a homeschool”.
I handed these features I wrote off to two separate designers on UpWork and paid each $350 to make 4-5 mockups. Here’s the job posting if you’re curious. Sometimes, seeing what someone else comes up with can help you better understand your own thing.
In the meantime, I got to coding the “ugly” version myself where the backend and frontend has all the pieces it needs. You can now register and get lessons emailed you every week for your PK-5 child :). Still need to finish up importing lessons but I should be able to ship this and charge for it by like Sunday/Monday.
Also, I added analytics. Mixpanel started getting way to expensive so I switch it out for Amplitude instead. Don’t use Mixpanel. Ridiculous pricing scheme.
Also, never use Firebase for Go. Firebase focused on maps. Go doesn’t let you easily play w/ maps. Firebase for Python or JS is way better.
While I was dealing with Firebase bullshit, the designers started getting back to me:
Looking good! Pretty cool to see the stuff they each come up with. I have like 6 other screens they may to and all the assets they used which will def speed up development for me.
Talking To Users
I wrote a little tip on how I like using FB Ads to talk to customers. Check it out here: