I always blog about the things that we do well at lemlist... but, in my opinion, I learn a hundred times more when I fail.

Why?

Because I simply hate to fail...

I hate to feel stupid... So if while you're reading this article you think we should have done things differently... Well you'd be right!

The feeling I had during our launch...

For those who are thinking about releasing a new version of their product, here is what NOT to do and the results of what happened when you screw up...

The problem

Last June, we realized that our activation rate was too low. For those who don't know lemlist we're an (THE BEST 🙄) email automation platform. We consider a user "activated" once he's launched a campaign.

In order to understand why our activation rate was so low, we decided to run some research with our users and power users. We started understanding what were the problems and decided to implement some changes in the UX...

When I say implemented some changes, I actually mean redesign entirely our product 😅

So far so good though... After testing the new version of the product we were 100% sure that it was going to be a huge success!

We were so excited that we decided to release the new version without warning our users prior the launch... We were so confident about the ease of use of our product that we thought everyone was going to thank us and post about it (I told you that you were going to find some really stupid assumptions in this article)

Before I go through all the consequences of what happened when you screw up the release of a new version of your product, here is a little background about lemlist...

We grew from 0 to 4000+ users thanks to a huge product launch on Appsumo... After this launch, we decided to leverage our huge user base to create a Facebook community called The Email Outreach Family. The goal? Help each other out at becoming better at email outreach.

This community of 1000+ users is important and you'll understand why very soon...

So, let's now talk about the moment you've all been waiting for, THE screw up!

The Screw Up

The day we decided to release the new UX, we saw it a bit like a Christmas present for all our users... We were so sure that everyone would see it at THE best gift of the year!

Well... I guess we were a bit too optimistic... Or stupid...

The reason I mentioned our Facebook Community it's because it's a really cool place for our user to exchange... about anything...
As you can imagine, the day of the release, some people actually thought it was a mistake or a glitch... So the first comments were actually pretty neutral...

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Then, we saw people having mixed feelings about the launch... Some  cool stuff...

Positive
Positive2

But also some less positive comments...

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And then some public shaming...

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To be entirely honest, even though we were expecting some of the users to be unhappy with the updates, we were not expecting such comments... I even felt like we should have gone back to the older version for a bit...

But the great thing when you have 2 co-founders who are much more experienced than yourself, and who are half geniuses half robots is... You know they're gonna make something amazing happen!

While I was handling all the support, and answering hate messages on Facebook, Vianney & François were coding things to fix all the small issues people were facing...

Below is a real footage of our typing speed that day 😂😂😂

In the end, Vianney and François really rocked it that day and ultimately we turned our haters into advocates ❤️

Good

Being able to change the code and adapt the product that quickly was really a blessing and after a day, everything was back to normal...

Better

The biggest learning we had from that terrible launch was actually that warning your users prior the launch is really key...
We also learned that no matter what your users say, being transparent and showing that you care is key. To be honest, at some point it was really difficult to answer all those hate messages about our "baby" (lemlist) because we kindda take it personnaly... But it was also key to show how important this project is to us and that we really want to make the best email outreach platform ever!

Nothing is irreversible and as long as you're listening genuinely to your users, finding solutions is much easier!

Another lesson is to always believe in yourself and in your decisions...When you're building a company, you should be the one knowing in which directions you want the company to go... You will not be able to please everyone but that's also what will make you unique and eventually successful!
In the long run, even though people complained at first when they saw changes in the UX, they got used to it eventually...
In our case, we increased our free trial to paid conversion rate by 3x thanks to those changes!

Last week, we had the real launch of lemlist V2. It took us 3 weeks to announce it so all our users were prepared this time... As you can imagine it all went much more smoothly 🙄

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and...

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So if you're as excited as we are about the lemlist V2, feel free to try it for free or join our amazing Facebook community ❤️