How We Got Our First 20,000 Emails

This is how we used our product’s “magic moment” to activate users and get our email list to 20,000 email addresses.

The conversion funnel.

Apparently, it means you need to convert people.

Well, we f*ed that part up.

When we launched our product we were focused on the top part of the conversion funnel: driving traffic. For us, this is done with SEO, content marketing & affiliates/partners. After optimizing all of our pages, links, headlines, images and whatever else, we succeed. Over 70% of our traffic was coming in from Google and we had significant month over month.


Well, that was until we noticed our sign up conversion rate was less than 0.5%. We‘re losing thousands of email address every single day.


We didn’t completely ignore this. We had a basic pop-up with the standard prompt about joining a list. Users closed it at a record speed.

We tried pop-ups with humor, stats emphasizing social proof & sensational headlines. But they didn’t move the needle. Then saw this talk by Alex Schultz and it changed our approach. We decided to focus on our “magic moment.”

Magic moment is essentially figuring out when your product adds the most value to your users and that’s when you ask for something.

And it’s about getting to this moment as fast as possible.  (1) Get people in door, (2) Get people to magic moment & (3) Deliver core value as often as possible.

Another way to thing about it is finding the moment when your users are the most exited about your product. The second they derive the most value from your website and say, “F* yeah this is awesome”, is the moment when you want to activate a user.

Here is how we did that.

  1. Understand the user’s intent. Users coming to a specific landing page through search are great because you already have an idea of their intent. EX: a person coming to the James Bond sunglasses page has a strong intent to figure out where they can get the sunglasses from the movie.
  2. Find the Magic Moment. For this one, you need to get emotional. Think of the problem the person is trying to solve and then identify the peak moment when you solve that users problem. For us, it was when they saw the sunglasses on James Bond and the words “Exact Match” and “Buy.” This is when they understand our full value proposition and we can ask them to become a member of TheTake.
  3. Say why They Should Join. Make sure the understand what they’ll get out of this product.  And be very very clear.
  4. Test. And Test Some More. Test everything from the copy, images, GIFs, timing and segments to optimize this experience.

The Result: We’re able to convert over 13% of users across desktop, mobile & app because we understand our magic moment. And we understand how our users experience our product.

Up next, figuring how the heck to get them back to our site. But that’s for another blog post.