This week I just launched my first product and it's been a pretty successful launch :)
A couple of weeks ago (just before my launch), I acquired a direct competitor for a great price. I acquired them for several reasons, one of major benefits was their large email list and user base.
So now I have major overlap between the two.
I've decided to move forward with my new product and merge the recent acquisition into it. I'll need about two months of development time to merge the missing features into my new product (these are critical to the users I've talked to). Merging critical features the other way would take longer.
Reasons I went with my newly launched product:
The recently acquired product's brand is closely tied to the old owners. Meaning, many of the mentions/writeups on the internet talk about the previous owners by name.
Recently acquired product has lots of users, but a small amount of paid users.
My newly launched product has received many times the amount of paid users in just one week.
Most people seem to like my newly launched product's brand better.
I can 301 redirect to keep the PR 4 on the new sales site.
Anyways, I feel good about my decision, my problem now is coming up with a strategy to merge the two and convert as many users of the old product in the process.
I'm currently thinking of doing the following:
Announce my decision to users of my newly acquired product. Assure them their account information will be retained, and that I'm taking the best features of both products as a new version 2. (this would be done early, probably in the next couple of days) Also, I would let them know that because they're current users of the old product, I'll give them special pricing for a short period right after launch of version 2.
Obviously this is high level and I'm still working some of the details out, but it's what I'm leaning toward at the moment. I'm going to attempt to build some anticipation for version 2 here.
I'm more concerned with the marketing sales side of the merger than the technical side. So I'd be happy to hear thoughts on how I could improve this. Remember, my main goal is to retain and convert as many existing users (and email subscribers) as possible.
Also, I'm probably going to redirect the sales site in the next day or two to start collecting that traffic and prevent new signups. Just have to figure out a way to let users of the old product continue to sign up there until I merge the critical feature sets.