How should I promote an SDK / Service?


I developed a new service for iPhone developers which allows them to ask quick questions from their users and get rapid feedback.

The product is now in beta (which means it's already finished and working but needs some feedback).

The problem is I just can't find beta testers - i.e - iPhone developers who would like to take the product and try it on their real apps.

My question is - How can I know if they just don't need the product? Or I'm not marketing it properly? Maybe my website is not well suited?

How would you promote such beta testing and gain the initial user base? I guess it could be that I just don't get to the right people.

Marketing Launch Iphone

asked Nov 26 '11 at 22:41
253 points
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3 Answers


Contest. Give away an iPhone for the "best" app that is built using your API

answered Nov 27 '11 at 03:51
Tim J
8,346 points
  • good one ;) That's a really great idea for launching. But I need some way to get to the testers before launching - to just check if it works at all – Roman 12 years ago
  • You can't come up with an idea that is similar? Why not a contest to find the most or worst bug or best feedback, or all three - give away ipods or ipads for some selected beta users/testers. – Tim J 12 years ago


Here are a couple creative ideas first one you could probably get a dozen or so testers for under $500 (about the cost of a decent adwords test campaign). The other one you can do for absolutely free if you use your time. I have done both, and still do for my own projects, and they work tremendously well.

  1. Creative Outsourcing. Go where your audience is--there are a lot of ios and html5 developers who have profiles and do a surprising large amount of business on outsourcing sites.
Use outsourcing sites to pay small fees to test this for a week at a time. You should be able to get this done cheap if you use a quality headline and the right tags for your job.

--To learn about this Noah Kagan of (I have no direct association to the site) Noah made a great video on hiring interns there is some great advice in that video when it comes to writing a "stand out from the crowd" hiring add. It was on hiring interns but the same concepts apply.--

The key for you is to position the job so that the developers are inclined to help because of the quality of your project and the excitement of being part of it, rather than purely monetary compensation.

There are the obvious few:

  1. Go where the people who know the developers are. Forums are a good place to look, we are here with like minded people asking and answering questions about entrepreneurship and startups. Do the same for Iphone developers
a. go to:

b. locate niche specific forums (iphone development) with a large membership

c. get active in a few discussions-- genuine participation surrounding similar topics to what you are looking to have beta tested.

d. find posts related to your idea in some way, and look for the most active participants, send them a friendly message and ask them for help or if they would like to some how be involved.

e. If you really enjoy the forum and become active start a thread with an exciting headline, copy the style and language of other successful threads on the forum.

In my experience people in general like to help when our intentions are pure and we are trying to introduce something good in the right community.

Hope that helps

answered Dec 1 '11 at 15:45
Steve Kaplan
46 points
  • Many thanks :) going to try! – Roman 12 years ago


Finding market/product fit is the fist mission of any start-up. In your case, you need to find 50-100 iPhone developers (anywhere) and ask them what they think. If you get positive feedback, you are on to something, if not, you need to pivot.

If your product was for the mass market (and not the 118K iPhone developers) then testing by buying some Google adwords might work, but I am not sure that your target audience fits this strategy.

You can buy some ads in a relevant iPhone developer website, but I still believe that simply asking is the way to go.

I will save you the 1st customer... As an iPhone developer, I think this might be interesting, but I have no use for it at the moment. I hope that this feedback helps

Good luck!

answered Nov 27 '11 at 00:47
Ron Ga
2,181 points
  • Thanks Ron! As you've guessed the audience is iPhone developers. Good idea just to ask - it might work :) I got good feedback from several fellow programmers, but couldn't get anyone from "outside" to try. – Roman 12 years ago

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