Cold emails didn’t work: How we got our first 10 customers in two weeks

Cold emails didn’t work: How we got our first 10 customers in two weeks
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About three weeks ago, Patrick McKenzie of Stripe published an article on how to get your first ten customers. My co-founder and I had just launched our video editing website, Kapwing , and were looking to attract our first paying customers around the same time. We took McKenzie’s practical advice on sending cold emails, identifying early adopters, and pitching to potential clients to heart. We reached out to hundreds of creators/digital marketers…and got almost no response.

Now, three weeks after launching the paid offering on Kapwing, we have sold 15 monthly subscriptions. Our clients include digital marketers from Chubbies , Fuse Lead Marketing , and Sea Life Aquarium . In this post, I’ll share how we got to that first SaaS dollar.

Our approach

We went after our first customers brute force style, throwing things at the wall to see what stuck. We tried cold outreach, paid advertising, social media, getting press, leveraging our networks, and offering discounts. As expected, most things didn’t work. I wanted to share my learnings for other first-time entrepreneurs trying to make their first buck on the internet. The two-minute summary Tl;dr is that all 15 of our first customers found Kapwing through Google. We learned that, for our product, SEO is king.


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