How To Set Up Your Online Business The Right Way From Day One

An interview with Thomas Jacquel, marketing manger at the

Setting up a new online business is a thrilling and challenging mission.

One of the most effective ways to ensure success is to pre-launch the product to beta users, and continue improving until you reach Product/Market Fit. Only then should you start investing your time and money in an effective service launch.

Many businesses come across the following challenge: Engaging beta users with a product that relies on a network effect, a classic chicken and egg situation.

Libbie Club addressed this challenge in a creative and inspiring way. They introduced Captain Up’s engagement and Gamification solution during the beta phase.

This approach enabled them to shorten the testing cycle, simulate the post-launch experience, and drive social behaviours. is a new community, gathering influential beauty and costmetic product fans.

As part of their marketing strategy, they have decided to use Captain Up to increase engagement and offer true community features to their users from day one.

We met with Thomas Jacquel, the site’s marketing manager to discuss the goals he wanted to achieve by integrating Captain Up from an early stage.

Here are some questions that we asked him:

Thomas, tell us about Libbie Club

The Libbie Club is a community of influential beauty fans who are rewarded for reviewing, sharing and referring beauty products.

Every month, members of The Libbie Club are sent free beauty products and are rewarded for engaging their friends and encouraging followers to buy them.

What is your launch strategy?

We soft-launched in May 2015. We are currently testing the concept and the online application among 50 beauty fans. We have already teamed up with dozens of beauty brands.

Based on the soft-launch success we plan a big official launch in the beginning of 2016 and hope to grow the Club to thousands of beauty influencers by the end of next year.

How do you utilize Captain Up to your advantage?

User engagement is an important aspect of The Libbie Club’s success. We decided to rely on gamification techniques to keep our members engaged and excited, and to ensure they stayed active in the Club, month after month.

Gamification is what keeps our members

Captain Up has enabled us to do just that, which is what we like the most about the tool. Each month, our users compete on being the most active club members in order to collect points, badges and reach new levels. Those members who top the leaderboards get rewarded with beauty treats – on the house.

What were the features you found most effective?

I find that the leaderboard widget is very effective as it drives members to be better than their peers.

I also like the fact that we were able to create complex actions using the API and we are able to add our own CSS design to the tool to make it in line with the branding and the UI of our application.

What process did you carry out to create the challenges?

Captain Up’s Engagement Guru was super helpful. Our main challenge was determining how many points to allocate to each badge and action.

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What is your advice for people who plan to get started with Captain Up?

Determine which elements of your website or application are the most engaging for your users. These elements could be translated into actions using Captain Up.

I would recommend customizing the design of Captain Up in line with your branding, so your users understand it is part of your website.

In order to brand the Captain Up widget and fully customize it to our needs, we have replaced the original badges with our own design.

It looks awesome and truly eye-catching!

What insights can you offer regarding user engagement?

We thought at first that the reward element was the key. We then discovered it’s not as important as we thought.

The members of The Libbie Club are competitive and want to be better than their peers. Reaching the top of the leaderboard makes them feel important and good about themselves.

Therefore, it’s key to explain to users very clearly what the rules are from the start (in an email, on your blog). Our members are really enjoying the UX of Captain Up and are finding it straight-forward to use.

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Has Captain Up enabled you to achieve your goals?

Our main goal was to enhance loyalty.

Adding the social and gaming elements to our platform keeps our members highly engaged: 95% of our members have completed more than 5 actions this month, time spent on the application has doubled since we installed Captain Up.

Great job guys, and good luck with the launch!

If you are an online business owner looking to boost engagement, create a community around your brand, and increase user lifetime value, Captain Up is the tool for you.

To learn more about how you can get to know your community using our Captain Up plugin check out: Get to Know Your Users With Captain Up and our features.