How Metal Pay collected over 60,000 emails for the next version of their app!

"KickoffLabs has made it very simple for me to drag and drop and design things to our liking that fits our company's branding. I can easily add analytics tracking, that you guys have analytics tracking built in. It takes a lot of thinking off my plate."

Stephanie Chan


New Leads

The number of subscribers that came directly from the campaign


Conversion Rate

Percentage of traffic that converted into a lead


Viral Boost

Percentage of leads that came in via a share url

Key Takeaways

Have a simple message and rewards to overcome objections and find enthusiastic beta testers!

Mass adoption requires simplicity

If you are going for a mass market like the payment app space you need a dead simple message with a value proposition that's easy to explain.

Early access waitlists work

Having an early access leaderboard/waitlist worked pretty fantastically to get people sharing and referring friends.

You need to overcome objections

With a financial product people are going to be skeptical. Doubly so if it's a space like crypto. They needed to explain how a users money would be safe.

Beta testing is a reward

People who are enthusiastic influencers are also the same people who want to be a part of your team and give great feedback!

"From a marketing stand point, word of mouth is probably one of the strongest tools in our tool vault."

"KickoffLabs has been a fantastic tool, and we're really excited to utilize it in other campaigns as we move forward with the company."


Campaign Goal:

Build prelaunch waitlist for successful app launch

Key Features Used:

"You've had a really good conversion rate and also a really good sharing rate, which are both great signs. So it means people are sharing your campaign, and you're getting a ton of leads from referrals and a lot of traffic from referrals too. So you're getting a ton of percentage. You're getting a ton of benefit from the viral boost that's coming from KickoffLabs"

Contest Type(s): waitlist

Interview Bio

Stephanie Chan picture

Stephanie Chan - Metal Pay

Stephanie Chan has been working at Metal Pay for the last year. She was involved in the launch of their iOS app and wished they'd built more buzz before that initial launch. With the upcoming Android launch they weren't going to open the door without a line.

Full Transcript

Josh: Hi, everyone. Welcome to KickoffLabs On Growth. We are live, and we are talking with Stephanie Chan from Metal Pay, and they're still in the middle of a launch campaign for Metal Pay for Android. And I wanted to do this interview with somebody who's in the middle of a campaign because I think that's when you have the most context about the things that are currently working, the things that you're struggling with. And I believe those lessons, and with that context, can be really critical for people who are thinking about launching their own campaign, about getting their own idea out there and about trying to collect their own set of email addresses. So Stephanie, thanks for coming on.

Stephanie: Thanks for having me. Really excited to be here.

Josh: Tell me about the campaign so far and before that, give me a bit of a background of Metal Pay, the company and the product, because I'm sure there's probably a lot of people listening who haven't heard of this yet.

Stephanie: Yeah, definitely. So Metal Pay has been out, we've been a company since 2016. We have our first app launched last September, which is a peer to peer payment processing app, so something similar to Venmo or Square, where you're sending money to your friends and family with the added bonus of cash back. So we reward our users for sending money to your friends with our token. So our company is a cryptocurrency company. We have our own token called Metal. The ticker is MTL. It's currently publicly traded on a lot of global exchanges, so if anyone's interested, welcome to go take a look. Metal Pay Signup Page

Stephanie: But September was our first iOS app launch. So anyone with a iPhone can go into the App Store today, find the app, download it, and send money to your friends and start earning cash back. We're currently in production for Android, and with that is how we're really utilizing KickoffLabs, to kind of generate a lot of noise and excitement about the Android. As a crypto company, a lot of people in this world is not on iOS devices. A lot of them are on Android so really trying to reach a bigger audience.

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah.

Josh: So tell me a bit about you and your background. So how did you get to this point where you are managing the launch of Metal Pay for Android?

Stephanie: Yeah, so educationally, I had to have a marketing degree as my background. I worked in market research for the majority of my time and with some other startups under my belt, helping out event planning and things like that. With Metal specifically, I joined the company a year ago before the app was launched in the iOS store, so I was around and was able to really witness the iOS launch, some of the things that we did back then and just taking that. And when Android was getting developed, really being able to kind of put in some input and say, "Hey, maybe we should try this for the upcoming launch," and really utilizing my marketing degree to kind of help generate more users and more eyes on our company.

I think in hindsight, we definitely could have done more (With the iOS Launch). At the time, the company was well known in the crypto space. A lot of people that were watching us on those markets were excited that we had an app coming out. We felt like we didn't need to do a lot of marketing...

Josh: So tell me about the iOS launch. So you guys launched for iOS in September. What did you guys do for that launch, and how did that launch go?

Stephanie: I think in hindsight, we definitely could have done more. At the time, the company was well known in the crypto space. Again, the coin was already publicly traded. So a lot of people that were watching us on those markets were excited that we had an app coming out. So I think at the time, we felt like we didn't need to do a lot of marketing because everyone was already aware of what we were doing. So we just did simple pushes on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, teasing that the app was launching soon and doing a big announcement when it came out.

Stephanie: We were really lucky. We got picked up by Product Hunt early on. And so we had a lot of help in terms of marketing in that sense because we were able to repost that article, and we got a lot of great blog entries coming out. So all of that was really building up to an educational, kind of explaining what the app did. But we realized that the crypto people are great. They know who we are, but again, they're on Android, so they can't even really use the app. So we started to realize that hey, we need to start talking to everyday people. We need to start talking to the masses.

Stephanie: And that's really what Metal's trying to do. At the core, we're a crypto company, sure, but mass adoption is really the goal here, right? By creating a product that anyone can use, that is simple, makes sense, it gives them a benefit and value. That's what we're trying to do, right? Cryptocurrency is great. There's a lot of technology behind it, but it is very unknown for the most part. There's a lot of skepticism behind it. And as a company, we're trying to kind of demystify and trying to kind of introduce crypto in a very low risk form for everyday people.

Josh: So I'm curious, just for me and for anybody listening, what does it mean when you say Metal is a publicly traded crypto coin already?

Stephanie: Yeah. So if you go to major exchanges, kind of like Binance or Bittrex, Coinbase, those types of exchanges, you can go on and buy and trade and sell coins, tokens like Ethereum or Bitcoin, Litecoin, those types of things. Those global marketplaces, you can find Metal, and you can buy the token itself as is without the app and things like that. So you can go in and buy the coin itself and have that in your portfolio. But that's a little bit more complicated, or it can be. To everyday people, it's almost the same as buying stocks, which it's complicated. Your everyday person wouldn't really know right off the bat how to buy stocks, right?

Josh: It's not something people do everyday. People might call Lyft or an Uber ride everyday, but they might not open up and say, "Now, I'm going to go buy some currency." Or even one step back, like you said, "Now, I'm going to go online and buy some of the stock."

Stephanie: Right, exactly. So what we try to do is try to change that perspective and trying to really educate and show people that hey, crypto is not as scary as you think it is. It's actually really easy. And we do that with our app. So we give you a little bit of Metal just for doing what you already do every day. And with that Metal, you can keep it. You can send it to your friends. You can sell it. You can change it back to US dollars and use it. Whatever you want, it's really up to you.

Stephanie: The app also has a fantastic marketplace. So we have our own little marketplace where you can go in and buy and sell other coins. We have about 16 coins on the platform right now that you can kind of dip your toes into the water and kind of get a feel for what it's like to play with crypto.

Josh: So if I were to download the app and use the app today, you'd give me some small amount of the Metal coin, and then I might set up, the picture for people listening, I'm looking at their landing page today for Android. And it says, "Metal Pay for Android is launching soon. Pay friends and earn rewards." So as a general person, I look at this, and I say, "Oh, this is kind of like Square Cash or Venmo," like you said earlier as an alternative, and front and center is cash. It says $117, and I can send and request money.

Josh: So tell me what the line there for most people, is it that you expect most people to upload cash to the account and then store it in Metal or be transferring crypto coins between people? How are most people using the app on iOS today?

Stephanie: Yeah, so it's very similar to Venmo. So you do link your bank account so just draw up money from your bank account and send it back and forth, very similar to the current apps out. Major difference, a cash card in our app is actually a bank account itself. So the money that you put into it is FDIC-insured, which is very different than any of the payment apps that are currently out. They don't really have that type of protections for your money. That type of protection is specific to the cash and not the crypto.

Stephanie: So that's a separate type of wallet. We give you the Metal, you can do whatever you want with it. You don't necessarily have to keep it in Metal. You can change it back to cash, but the cash stays your cash. You can withdraw back to your bank account. You can send that to your friends or family. Yeah. You don't necessarily have to keep it in the app, but we of course would encourage you to do so because that's really how you play with crypto, right?

Josh: Yup. And it's really interesting twist. It sort of looks like a footnote on your page, the cash balance is held in FDIC-insured bank account. I never really thought about it as a, maybe I'm paranoid by default. I tend to on the apps, as soon as somebody pays me in Venmo, I hit the transfer to bank account. I'm just not going to leave it there. I'm just going to send it back to my bank account even if I'm going to be paying back a different group of friends the next day.

Stephanie: Right, right. And that's definitely, you hear so many stories about people losing money and things going haywire. But yeah, that's something that we're very proud of. We do work with banking partners to be able to provide this type of insurance for the cash card. So that really, we really like to highlight that as a differentiator between us and other payment apps. So not only do we reward you for doing what you already do, but we're helping to protect you as well.

Josh: Mm-hmm (affirmative). is there any advantage security wise to the fact that the app is backed by.. It's the wrong way to put it, we're backed by cryptocurrency. But compared to a centralized service like Venmo or Square Cash or something, is there an advantage to me for using your app compared to those services because is it truly peer to peer? This isn't logged. There's not going to be a public list of, Josh paid somebody for pizza out there.

Stephanie: Yeah, fantastic that you bring that. We take privacy very seriously. We don't actually have any of transactions posted. It's really peer to peer between you and your friends, and you're the only person that can see the history and what's transpired between your payments.

Josh: Cool. So let's talk about the launch up to this point. And so for the launch of the Android app, you have a little bit of an audience to start with. Can you say how the launch is going so far for you in terms of the email collection and the conversion rate?

Stephanie: Yeah. So far, I think up to today, we have about 61,000 leads in the Android wait-list. So far, it's been going very well and steady. We kind of just letting it grow organically, definitely utilizing the leaderboard option and having people share their leaderboard status and kind of help them kick up higher spaces on the list so that they can get earlier access. That's been working pretty fantastic for us without too much marketing on our end.

From a marketing stand point, word of mouth is probably one of the strongest tools in our tool vault.

Metal Pay Referral Page

Stephanie: From a marketing stand point, word of mouth is probably one of the strongest tools in our tool vault. So really just kind of letting people know that this is coming, having them sign up for something because they know that it's on the way and kind of looping them into the process.

Josh: So how have you been promoting it? So when you first launched this campaign, how did you see the initial set of traffic?

Stephanie: It kicked up really quickly. The first 20 leads were within the first week, week and a half, to right after we launched the campaign. So the growth of that was actually really quickly. I do attribute that to our crypto community because again, a lot of these people are on Android, and they've been waiting so patiently, and we're working so hard to get this to them that having the wait-list out was really the first sign of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Stephanie: And so now that we've gotten 60,000, it's starting to wind down a little bit more just because I feel like maybe we've reached the cap. And so now, marketing needs to run back up again and really start to widen our net of users and trying to get more Android people and not just the ones that have been waiting but the ones that don't even know who we are yet.

Josh: So looking at some of the numbers in your campaign, overall in the last, recently you've had a really good conversion rate and also a really good sharing rate, which are both great signs. So it means people are sharing your campaign, and you're getting a ton of leads from referrals and a lot of traffic from referrals too. So you're getting a ton of percentage. You're getting a ton of benefit from the viral boost that's coming from KickoffLabs it looks like. What types of things have you tried to do to promote the campaign that haven't worked for you?

Stephanie: That's a great question. There hasn't really been anything that's clearly not worked. We've just been being very diligent about posting on social media like, "Hey, this is out. Don't forget to share it with your friends." We're starting to do push notifications, but it's a little hard because again, everyone's on iOS, so that's something that we were thinking about doing and realized really quickly that that's not going to work.

Stephanie: But something that I think we're struggling with is just the duplicates on leads. And just because maybe we're not clear about the rules, a lot of people are starting to put in fake email addresses or things like that. So I think, yeah, something in our messaging needs to change. I feel like a lot of people want to jump the wait-list, and so they're just flooding a lot of incorrect email addresses or other people emails without their knowledge.

Josh: Let's talk about the wait-list. So you guys are going with a really simple sort of a message. So when I signed up, it says, "Yay, you're on the wait-list. Skip ahead in line by referring friends using the links below," and it gives me my position in line, which is now currently dead last. So the benefit there of somebody, so what does somebody get, or what are you going to do for somebody if they refer five valid friends in this campaign?

Stephanie: The way that we have it set up right now is the more that you refer, the higher in the wait-list that you go. And what we're thinking of doing is kind of releasing the Android app to kind of alpha testers. So more than just being the first in the know about when Android is coming out, we're really also looking for people to help us develop the Android app. So we will be utilizing this wait-list and those who are placing higher in the wait-list and kind of asking them to help us do some testing as we develop the Android app.

Stephanie: So that's kind of the biggest pull because a lot of people who know about our projects have been waiting for Android for a very long time. So those are the ones that definitely would want to be the very first people into even just the nonworking alpha version of the app. And that's really the big prize here, to be part of the design and the process and help us QA and help us make the app just perfect for everybody.

Josh: That's cool. A lot of people stress out about what kind of rewards they're going to give people, and they tell us, "I'm not sure. I'm just an app. I'm not sure what I'm going to charge or how we're going to make money necessarily yet, so I don't know if there's much to give away." And I guess what your campaign says to people is that you can run a successful campaign without having what some people would define as a really tangible reward. I mean you're basically saying, "If you prove to us that you're really into the app by inviting some friends, we'll let you beta test the app," which is also doing you have favor because presumably you want to talk to these people who are influential and doing them a favor giving them the first look at it and a chance to give feedback. And that's just a really simple thing. And it's just a message, a traditional message of customer engagement, which existed 10, 20, 30 years ago, didn't have to be because there were these viral tools, right?

But what we found is people who come for the money are just here for the money. Personally, I shy away from monetary rewards right off the bat just because I want to make sure that you're here for the right reasons

Stephanie: It's hard because yeah, we would love to give tangible rewards and monetary awards to people for supporting us, but it's kind of like a catch-22 because we give out all these rewards then we won't have any money to operate. So it's trying to find value in nonmonetary things. We're grateful that we have a community of people who are genuinely interested in the project and care more about the longevity of it than just the quick $20 for joining or anything like that. So I can't stress that enough, how much we love our community and how much we love the support that we're getting from everyone because it's easy for us to buy people, right?

Stephanie: It's very easy for us to put on a contest that gives out a couple thousand dollars and have people sign up that way. But what we found is people who come for the money are just here for the money. Personally, I shy away from monetary rewards right off the bat just because I want to make sure that you're here for the right reasons and that the money that we're spending is being spent wisely because we want real users. We want real people to come in to actually use the app, and it's not just, well, I made 20 bucks just for checking this out.

Josh: Yeah. It's great advice and a good point that you guys are taking, which is I tell people all the time, I see people set up a campaign, and they're giving away an iPad, or they're giving away an Amazon gift card. And I say, "But your product is related to food or something. The people who you're getting with that honeypot of the iPad are not the people who are interested in getting your monthly subscription box for food. Maybe give away a box or a discount on a box but not necessarily something that you're going to get a whole lot of entries from different contests, sweepstakes sites."

Josh: And your campaign struck me, is I liked it because it was different from, there have been a lot of other crypto style campaigns that I've seen, and they're just purely giving away fractions of the coins. And I'm not convinced that the people who are signing up are really into it for their specific app or their specific mission, whereas it seems like you guys have a more clear, this is the product we're building. We're building this money transfer app, and you've got to be interested in it if you want to be on the wait-list, and your reward is to actually be really even more deeply interested and involved in the app.

Stephanie: Basically. That's really the way that we're really utilizing the Android wait-list because a lot of these people again aren't really in it for the money. They want to see this app made. They really want to just use it. Because if you think about our product and in the long run it's like, hey, if it's on Android, that means more of your friends can be on it, which means the more money that you send to them, the more money you'll earn in the long run. So I think that a lot of the users see that. They're not in it just for the quick cash, but the possibilities are endless, right, in the long run of this app. And the only way that apps like ours will thrive and succeed is if we have the user base. And so if you don't have any friends to send money to then we're kind of stuck.

Josh: It becomes a lonely island.

Stephanie: Definitely does. Yeah. So really, I love that we haven't yet offered any rewards in that sense. Right now, it's really just the, hey, be part of us. Help us develop this. Be a beta tester. Be an alpha tester. Be a part of our revolution. We can't really promise a lot of golds and riches right now, but we working really hard to try to make the best product for our users.

Josh: So what's been the best part about using KickoffLabs to date for you?

KickoffLabs has makes it very simple for me to drag and drop and to just design things to our liking that fits our company's branding. I can easily add analytics tracking, that you guys have analytics tracking built in. It takes a lot of thinking off my plate.

Stephanie: How easy it is. Everything is very straightforward, and just the layout is very clean. I'm not a designer by trade, so the tools that KickoffLabs has makes it very simple for me to drag and drop and to just design things to our liking that fits our company's branding. I can easily add analytics tracking, that you guys have analytics tracking built in. There's just so many tools that make it so simple, that really takes a lot of thinking off my plate. And I love that, right? Even sending out an automatic email at the end to verify that their emails are real, right? That was something that early on we didn't have employed. We didn't turn that on, but we did now. So early on, we were getting a lot of just random emails, but now that we're forcing people to verify their emails, it's really helping us get better leads.

Josh: Thank you. So what are your plans? So a lot of people ask this when they're nearing the end of a campaign. So as the campaign winds down, you're starting to add beta testers. How are you letting the beta testers know that they're invited, and what are your plans as people that are just on the wait-list, that maybe don't even have referrals, to notify them about the launch? What kind of plans do you have to kind of build up to the launch?

Stephanie: Yeah, so we're still deciding internally what the best way to do it is. With a alpha and beta testers, we will have to reach out to them individually just because getting them onto the platform to test requires more steps on our end. But KickoffLabs has great email tooling built in so planning to definitely utilize those to reach out to the wait-list in masses. There are pick a winner types of things in KickoffLabs that I haven't really explored yet. So definitely going to, as we start to wind down the campaign, I will need to do a little bit more digging in the tools that KickoffLabs has to help us with that. I know email's a thing. I know pick a winner's a thing. I'm sure there's a lot more that I have yet to discover.

Josh: I think the two tracks, if I were going to give you guys some advice, the two tracks for winding down the campaign that people pick is one, you can sort in KickoffLabs and look who the most influential are, so you can get that list of people that should be alpha testers and decide how many you want to do the work for, whether that's 20 or 50 or whatever the number is that you want to invite to do the alpha testing. And you just start inviting them from that top influencer list within KickoffLabs.

Josh: Then for the general launch, what works really well that we've heard from other customers is just doing a series of broadcast emails leading up to it. So if you have a date, and you say it's going to launch on August 20th, you should have some lead in build up emails that go into that to the entire list saying, "Hey, if you're still not sure about the wait-list, this is your last chance to get on the wait-list." And then just to remind people so that what you don't do is wait to contact these people on August 20th and then send out a mail and say, "The app is live."

Josh: We want to be in people's minds leading up to that moment and saying, "Hey, here's some feedback from our beta testers. By the way in two weeks, the app's going to be live." And then the next week saying, "Hey, we're really excited." One week away, "Here's a highlight of a key feature that we think you're going to love in the app that seems to work really well for the people testing the app." And then on the launch, you do the launch and then some follow up emails, so the point is to have a series rather than just one.

Josh: And that's the biggest mistake that we see people making with the launch is they wait until the end, and then they send out one email, and they say, "Well, the response rate for just that one email wasn't very good." And as somebody who's signed up for probably hundreds of lists at this point, I can tell you I'll frequently get a mail and saying, "Wait, what was this app I signed up for?" And you want to avoid that because you're thinking about your company every day. But me as somebody who signed up for your list, I might not be thinking about it every day. I need many reminders to go download it before I do.

Stephanie: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I'm looking at it now, and yeah, the sorting is really nice. That was really quick. Yeah, I just pulled up the entire top 10, 20 people that are killing it on our wait-list right now. Someone has a score of 4,000. That's crazy.

Josh: All right, so let me get into the fast five questions here. So how do you personally get in the work zone?

Stephanie: This is going to sound a little weird, but I have a playlist right now that I'm really vibing on Spotify. One of my colleagues actually turned me on to this. It's called Goa, G-O-A. It's like psychedelic trance music. Something about it really just puts me in the zone. It kind of, the music just makes everything around me fade out, and I'm just so focused, and I love it. That's my jam right now.

Josh: Cool. That's definitely a popular answer is picking a specific playlist or something. So favorite vacation destination?

Stephanie: That's hard. I think Japan. I mean, I just came back from Italy, and it was great, but something about Japan as a country and a culture, I just really enjoy it. I could probably live there if I really wanted to.

Josh: Nice. So how about your favorite podcast?

Stephanie: Freakonomics.

Josh: The Freakonomics podcast. That's a good one.

Stephanie: I love Freakonomics. So interesting, just makes it so fun to listen to.

Josh: Yeah, absolutely. And just learning, what I love about Freakonomics is just the challenging of people's assertions and things you've thought like oh, this is the way the world is. And then when they dig into the numbers, you realize it's just not that way.

Stephanie: Yes, exactly. And they really kind of illustrate things that happen in your everyday life that you're already aware about but presenting it in a way that's like oh, I've never thought of it like this before, or oh, I didn't know that it was like this. It's very educational. I love it. Yeah.

Josh: Absolutely. So something that you learned in the last year.

Stephanie: Italian, some Italian, I learned some Italian over this last trip.

Josh: Do you use a Duolingo or some other app for learning it, or do you just start picking it up as you were going?

Stephanie: Picking it up as I was going. It was definitely fun just talking to Italian people, and they're very friendly, so everyone was trying to teach me languages, which is great.

Josh: And does it get better as you're wine tasting?

Stephanie: Exactly. Exactly.

Josh: And someone you look up to either personal or business wise?

Stephanie: Probably my sister. She is somebody that I've always looked up to. She's very strong willed and intelligent and humble and has taught me a lot, a great deal about life, and just how to be a good person.

Josh: All right. Thank you for doing this interview. It's been great to learn more about Metal Pay, their role, the app, and your company's role in the crypto space and the work that you've been doing to drive the launch of the Android app. I know that we've picked up some interesting tidbits, and there's going to be some good lessons extracted from this that our customers would love and people listening to this podcast would love and get something out of.

KickoffLabs has been a fantastic tool, and we're really excited to utilize it in other campaigns as we move forward with the company.

Josh: So thanks again for being on, and I look forward to seeing how your launch goes and following up with you and seeing what kind of numbers you're getting in terms of downloads afterwards.

Stephanie: Great. Yeah, we're really excited. KickoffLabs has been a fantastic tool, and we're really excited to utilize it in other campaigns as we move forward with the company.

Josh: Absolutely. We'd be happy to help.

Stephanie: Yeah.

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