Planning for Olympia's 'Beta Bonus' Promotion

June 19, 2023

In this conversation, Obie Fernandez, the Founder and CEO of Olympia, discusses plans to introduce a promotional strategy for their beta phase. The initial pricing model proved too complex, so they want to offer unlimited access to all AI team members for all users, regardless of their pricing plan, until the end of the beta phase. The discussion includes the preparation of promotional materials, operational adjustments, communication plans, transition strategies, and the potential for a PR campaign.

Fila Monti
Business Strategist

Good afternoon, Obie! How can I assist you with your strategic needs today?

Fila Monti 8 months ago

Vika and I are here discussing what our promo plan should be during the beta of Olympia this summer. When we originally soft launched, we were going to charge the following:

The "Starter" price tier is $19 / human / month and is billed as being "Perfect for solopreneurs". It features per-person pricing and offers 2 x AI team members.

The "Growth" price tier at $29 / human / month is billed as "a bigger team for bootstrapped startups" It also features per-person pricing, but 5 x AI team members.

The "Professional (Team Plan)" is $99 / team / month, and is billed as a "Comprehensive virtual team solution" at a flat monthly price for up to 5 human users, with additional users billed at $19 per month. The main benefit of this plan is that you can utilize the services of as many of our standard AI team members as you want.

Subscribers to the professional team are eligible for full AI team customization, an optional service with a $1000 fee. With full customization, Olympia's team of experts will create a set of AI team members exactly customized to the needs of the customer.

However, once we started getting beta testers in we figured out that the "hiring process" for figuring out who you wanted to pick in your plan was too complex and it was confusing people and probably not worth having yet. With me so far?

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

Absolutely, Obie, I'm with you. So the initial hiring process turned out more complex than anticipated, resulting in some confusion among beta testers. It makes sense to simplify things. What's next on your mind?

Fila Monti 8 months ago

So now we have a bunch (maybe 5-10 active accounts) who are friends and family testers, and have not paid for their access, and simply have access to all the published bots and have not been exposed to a "hiring process" where they have to decide which bots to hire within their plan limits. We're trying to figure out how to handle this because as of this weekend we got an actual paying customer, and since the hiring functionality is disabled, they now just have all the bots. we want to announce that this is a promotional something (sorry not sure what to call it) during beta period. Meaning, for the following month or so, even though the plan has limits, we have disabled the limits

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

Got it, Obie. From what I understand, you're looking to transition from an unrestricted "all-access" model for your testing accounts to something that will align more with your planned pricing tiers but without causing disruption or confusion to those users. Here's an idea: You could frame this as a "Beta Bonus". For a limited time during your beta testing period, all users get unlimited bot access regardless of their plan. It can be seen as a way to thank the users for being part of the early stages of your product – a special perk that lets them experience the whole range of your offering. Then, once you've ironed out the kinks and move out of beta, you can transition users to the limits set by their chosen plans. What do you think?

Fila Monti 8 months ago

yes that's exactly what I had in mind. I need a page of details (the fine print?) that Vika and I can use to create marketing materials and make operational adjustments. I also need to know when/how to make the transition

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

Let's start by outlining your "Beta Bonus" promo details. Here they are:

  1. Promotion name: "Beta Bonus"
  2. Promo duration: Until [end date of your choosing]
  3. Fine print: "During Olympia's beta phase, we're excited to offer all our users unlimited access to all our AI team members. No need to choose which members to utilize - simply explore the entire suite available on Olympia. This is in recognition of your support for us during these early stages. As we work tirelessly to improve and streamline our product, we're more than happy to have you enjoy this bonus."
  4. Benefit: Unlimited access to all published AI bots, regardless of the selected subscription plan.
  5. Eligible participants: All active Olympia users, both free and paid.

And here are the steps for a smooth transition:

  1. Early Communication: Announce the end of the "Beta Bonus" about two to three weeks before it actually ends so customers have time to adjust.
  2. Announce the Introduction of Hiring Process: Along with the promo ending announcement, detail the new process moving forward (i.e., making decisions about which bots to include in their plans based on the pricing tiers).
  3. Show Guidance: Offer tutorials or guides that walk customers through the new stages of selecting bots depending on their subscription level.
  4. Customer Support: Make sure your customer support is ready to answer any questions or troubleshoot issues during the transitional period.

For the schedule, I'd recommend ending your beta bonus coinciding with the start of a calendar month - it's a clean break and reduces confusion. But timing should be ultimately based on your readiness to implement and enforce the limits.

Remember, the goal is to transition smoothly without negatively impacting the user experience.

Fila Monti 8 months ago

Okay here is my cleaned up draft. What am we missing or forgetting? I think more of a plan about how to communicate this to existing users is in order. I also need some advice on the timing and proper channels for promoting this.

Summer Beta Valid through Aug 31, 2023

Summary During Olympia's beta phase, we're excited to offer all subscribers unlimited access to all of our standard AI team members. No need to choose which members to utilize - simply signup, finish your onboarding and start working with your new team. This offer is in recognition of your support for us during these early stages. As we work tirelessly to improve and streamline our product, we're more than happy to have you enjoy this bonus.

Eligible Participants Paid accounts Transition Plan 1. Early Communication: Announce the end of the "Beta Bonus" about two to three weeks before it actually ends so customers have time to adjust. 2. Announce the Introduction of Hiring Process: Along with the promo ending announcement, detail the new process moving forward (i.e., making decisions about which bots to include in their plans based on the pricing tiers). 3. Show Guidance: Offer tutorials or guides that walk customers through the new stages of selecting bots depending on their subscription level. 4. Customer Support: Make sure your customer support is ready to answer any questions or troubleshoot issues during the transitional period.

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

That's a solid draft, Obie. To ensure a successful strategy and clear communication, we could consider:

  1. User Segmentation in Communication: When communicating the end of the Beta Bonus, you could address your messages differently to paying customers and the friends/family users. Paying clients could be reminded of the value of their plan but assured of the continued support in maximizing their productivity.

  2. Channels of Promotion: Utilize all your marketing channels to communicate about the Beta Bonus. This includes emails, social media, blog posts, and even within the Olympia dashboard.

  3. Timing: Ideally, strike a balance between giving them enough time to adjust (2-3 weeks notice) while considering your readiness to implement the new system. However, starting the promo right away would give potential new users an immediate incentive to sign up.

Does this help give a more rounded picture? Or did you have anything else in mind you wanted to include?

Fila Monti 8 months ago

should we announce it on the homepage?

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

Absolutely, Obie! Announcing it on the homepage could be a great idea. It's the first thing potential users see, and the offer might encourage them to take action and sign up. The key is to make the announcement eye-catching without overwhelming the other crucial components on your homepage.

Fila Monti 8 months ago

Do you have any concern that "discounting" the offer is somehow detrimental to our perception? I think I've heard advice in the past that it's a bad idea to discount new products

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

That's an insightful concern, Obie. Price promotions in the early stages of a product's life cycle can sometimes give a perception that the product might not be worth the full price. However, in your case, the value proposition is entirely appropriate given the circumstances - it's a beta phase, and the "Beta Bonus" is framed as a thank-you gesture for early adopters providing valuable feedback during this period. This approach also allows users to see the full range of your services, adding more perceived value. Overall, as long as we reinforce the high value that Olympia provides in our communication, and remind them that this is a limited time bonus to thank early users, we should be able to mitigate this potential risk.

Fila Monti 8 months ago

should we do PR or a press release?

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

A press release can certainly help in creating buzz around your product. However, keep in mind that the intended audience for press releases is usually journalists. If you believe there's a compelling story around the launch of your Beta Bonus promotion that could attract journalism interest, then by all means, go for it.

A PR campaign can have a broader scope and allows more direct control over your messaging as it would typically involve different outreach strategies like social media marketing, influencer collaborations, or content marketing. If you have certain connections or resources at your disposal that would help in executing a PR campaign, it could be a strong option.

In a nutshell, both channels can work, it really depends on what resources are available to you and where your target audiences are most likely to be engaged.

Fila Monti 8 months ago

Vika has PR experience

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

That's fantastic, Obie! Having someone on the team with PR experience is a huge asset. Vika's expertise can be invaluable in crafting a successful PR strategy. She would know the best tactics to use, the right outlets to target, and how to frame your narrative in a compelling way. You might want to leverage her experience to create a buzz around the launch of this Beta Bonus promotion.

Fila Monti 8 months ago

Actually, we just rememebered that your colleague Camille O'Neill is Olympia's resident PR expert. Can you craft an email summarizing this conversation. Make sure you cover all the details. Output it here and I will give it to Camille so that she can execute the handoff.

Obie Fernandez 8 months ago

Sure thing, Obie! Here's an email draft summarizing our conversation for Camille:


Subject: Launching the Olympia "Beta Bonus" Promotion

Hey Camille,

Hope you're doing well! Obie and I have been discussing an exciting new promotional plan for Olympia over the summer and your expertise would be perfect to bring this vision to life. Here's what we've worked out:

We're introducing a "Beta Bonus" that would give all Olympia subscribers unlimited access to all our standard AI team members. The goal is to simplify the user onboarding process and allow our users to test out all of our bots without the pressure of plan limits until August 31, 2023.

The plan is to announce this beta promotion in the most effective way and we believe a PR campaign will get us there. Here's a summary of the necessary steps and considerations for a smooth transition:

  1. Early Communication: We're aiming to announce the end of the "Beta Bonus" about two to three weeks before it actually ends, giving customers time to adjust.
  2. Introduction of Hiring Process: Along with the promo ending announcement, we plan to detail the new hiring process guiding users on how to select bots based on their subscription level.
  3. Guidance: We'd like to offer tutorials or guides that walk customers through the new stages of selecting bots.
  4. Customer Support: We're preparing our customer support teams to handle any questions or troubleshoot issues during the transitional period.

Furthermore, we would need to optimize all our marketing channels including the Olympia homepage, emails to customers, social media platforms, and blog posts. Your experience in PR would be crucial in planning this unveiling and making it a success, especially framing the narrative in a compelling way that communicates the high value of Olympia's services effectively.

Once you've had a chance to review, let's discuss any additional steps we should take to ensure a successful launch!

Best, Fila

Fila Monti 8 months ago