Posted 2013-05-17 by & filed under Team Updates.

Hi everyone,

I am Ching, the co founder of Piktochart. Piktochart has recorded a total database of 300,000 users since we launched in March 2012 (in a span of 14 months when we are writing today).

Whenever we went to events or shared what was it that Piktochart did to gain traction, it’s not easy trying to convince people that we spent zero on advertising and had a 1 person team of marketing for about 1 year +. I thought that I would share this story in hope that many more would also share their story :)

The Alpha and The Beginning

At the alpha stage of Piktochart, we were based in Chinaccelerator, where we focused on non-stop coding and validation in terms of what product features people would have wanted. At that point, these were the main features of Piktochart:

  • Marketplace of themes of infographics using Piktochart as the platform
  • Drag and drop and the simplicity of use for non-designers
  • Connecting Piktochart’s icon library to open source database
  • Basically, anyone can create or design infographics!

The first alpha version of Piktochart when we launched it at Demo Day in Oct 31, 2011 was really sub-standard. It felt like a software out of the 1990s back in the MS DOS days. We kept working hard on it until March 2012 where we launched the Pro version. In the mean time, I started:

  • Networking online and offline extensively,
  • Checking out where infographic fans would read at, commented on the posts (as thoughtfully as possible)
  • Cold-emailing owners of blogs and forums that are relevant to our users
  • Thinking about a SEO strategy and blogging infrequently
  • Pitching at startup events around the region

Fast forwarding everything to one year later

Out of which, back in March 2012, these were the results:

  • Networking online and offline extensively, (traffic was not trackable)
  • Checking out where infographic fans would read at, commented on the posts (as thoughtfully as possible) – (very little traffic)
  • Cold-emailing owners of blogs and forums that are relevant to our users – (each time they posted about us, we got a nice bump of traffic)
  • Thinking about a SEO strategy and blogging infrequently (organic search was less than 10%)
  • Pitching at startup events around the region (each time they posted about us, we got a nice bump of traffic)

Compared to now, Piktochart’s web traffic comes from (discounting direct traffic):

  • 50% Organic search traffic
  • 30% Referral traffic (from blogs, forums, other websites that wrote about us)
  • 10% Social media referrals
  • 10% Paid traffic

The most interesting question would be the conversion rate of the users (both free and paying) that came in through each channel. The highest at the moment is referral traffic. So did our strategy work at the very beginning? I am under the opinion that for a startup that tried “organic” inbound methods, it was a rather slow process to grow our database of users. We would have been able to get even better SEO rankings or referral traffic had we gone all out on PR and marketing. By the way, for the sake of curiosity, our hockey stick chart started when we had a promotion on AppSumo :)

What was yours? Were the early days of your startup or online marketing similar as ours? I would love to hear how you did it! Tell us all about it.

About Author

Ai Ching

Ching is the Chief Email Officer and dedicates her time to find growth hacking ninja ways. Former P&G and Experimental Psychologist, Ching’s addiction includes supporting new projects on Kickstarter and travelling.

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