A strategy to attract more users to 'Mate Mate Mate' and what I did to improve the workflow #3

In the last article I gave more insights into how the semi-automated workflow is designed from signup to matching three mates with similar interests (which is actually done by myself manually.)

One problem is still the match to meet ratio. This is the rate from matching a circle of three to eventually having them meeting IRL. Recently, that rate was around 34% which is considerably low yet also tricky to raise during that time of the year. Due to Summer season a considerable amount of people is on holidays and generally slow in responding their emails.

Quick thought: What if a matched circle doesn't have to meet IRL but could do a WhatsApp video call to get to know each other?

But first let's have a closer look at how I can attract more people to Mate Mate Mate in the first place. I mean, the workflow can only be improved if there is something that can be improved, right?

Let's make it work in Berlin first

The reason why I chose Berlin as the first and currently only city to be active in is simple, it's focus. I only have limited resources and trying to get traction in many different places at the same time could potentially end the project before it even lifted off.

On top of that, Berlin is a great place for many reasons. The city is on its way of becoming a major startup hotspot in Europe with countless smart people from pretty much all over the world moving there. That by itself creates a space for ideas like Mate Mate Mate to exist. Another important fact is that I'm here myself which makes it easier to meet people in person and understand how the product needs to be improved first hand.

The primary 'Mate Mate Mate' persona

Defining a persona or target audience is a great way to remain focused and customer centric when executing product strategies. Naturally, the attributes I defined could be wrong, but to avoid that I will simply test my assumptions by learning from customer interviews.

When I came up with the following attributes, I was thinking of the primary persona for Mate Mate Mate, but of course a secondary and tertiary persona could be relevant as well. But for the sake of simplicity, let's stick with one persona for now.

Demographics
  • 25–35 yrs
  • lives in Berlin
  • has already gained experience in tech (on the development or business side)
Needs & Goals
  • wants to meet new people to extent their network
  • is driven by mission rather than money
  • values experiences over physical goods
Behavior
  • regularly goes to Meetups or afterwork drinks
  • wants to stay up to date with tech and startups
  • uses social media and messaging services to connect with friends & family
  • reads tech-related online news (e.g. reddit, Hackernews)

Alright! Over time I will find out if this persona makes sense or not. Let's get started ✨

Mate Mate Mate

Promotion through a local newsletter

I first learned about Woloho when I first stayed in Berlin for a few months in 2014. It's a hyperlocal newsletter with Berlin-related content about either work, home or love.

Yeah, I know love sounds weird but in this context it's more about helping each other, meeting people and local events. Sounds like a good match for Mate Mate Mate I thought. I went ahead and submitted a post for the upcoming 'Loveletter'

Woloho submission

Just a day later I received the following response via email

Woloho rejection

Alright then. Thanks for nothing Woloho.

Feedback from reddit

I know from being a long time lurker on reddit that reddit's community is huge and somehow unpredictable. Marketing bullshit is usually dismissed pretty quickly what makes the community so authentic. That means for me I need to be very precise with my language and especially choice of subreddit when tapping into reddit's vast pool of opinions.

Mate Mate Mate on reddit

Since Mate Mate Mate solves a core problem for redditors of /r/berlinsocialclub, I gave it a try and posted there. When doing so, I wanted to provide more context on why I started working on the idea and specifically what happens ater users sign up for Mate Mate Mate.

The reddit post sparked an interesting conversation with more than 350 post views around many topics. I made a few essential learnings already:

  • Be careful with the term 'startup enthusiasts' as there is a distinction between them, entrepreneurs and people in tech
  • Diversity among mates is crucial
  • 'Mat3' woud have been an awesome name! 🤔

I had a few thoughts around the slogan (which mattered more than I initially thought) and eventually rephrased it to Get matched in circles of three with people in tech in Berlin. What do you think?

Promotion through an offline event

After spinning some ideas I realized that the single biggest impact I can have right now is by organizing an offline event in Berlin to match people in circles of three right on the spot.

That would create a great opportunity to meet people in person to better understand their motivation to meet new people plus I would get feedback from my target audience right away.

Alright, so this is the idea: I could either host an event at an affordable venue such as 'The Factory' or 'Betahaus' – or I could just do it myself near the canal with some frinks (free drinks) for the first few attendees.

The decision is made. S/o to Susann who already said she would help me running the event! Get your iCalendars out and mark Monday evening, 6th August 13th August somewhere at Paul-Lincke-Ufer! More infos soon

Improving the workflow from 'match' to 'meet'

I just matched six new circles and changed the emails this time to provide more context about the other two mates:

You are matched!

Additionally, I added a Doodle link to make it way easier to find a common time that fits everyone's schedule. That way I can reduce the risk of conversations getting abandoned due to back and forth mailing which nobody likes (I mean seriously...)

With that in mind, let's get ready for the first offline event in Berlin 🍻

Don't miss out:

Up next:

  • Organizing the first offline event to promote Mate Mate Mate
  • Testing more channels to attract new mates