How to Find Your User Acquisition Channels

How to Find Your User Acquisition Channels

That results in 1,500 new trials, and assuming he managed a 40% conversion rate to paid subscriptions (which is pretty generous, and assumes he’s figured out his activation and onboarding processes), that’d leave him with just 600 customers. These people could have all been working on something more productive – and that goes double if you’re the founder and doing all of this. Cold messaging is pretty cheap to execute, but you need to put some time into ensuring you’re reaching out to the right people. If possible, warm your leads up by connecting via social engagements in advance of your message. You can get new customers very quickly with paid ads, but if you aren’t tracking ROI, you can blow your budget. Influencer marketing. Step #2 – Identify your competitive advantages Consider what you do well and what your competitors do poorly. For reference, at Mailshake, every 10 customers we acquire results in one new referral customer. They go beyond adapting, and truly embrace change building their team and process around it.” If you’re early in your business, finding growth channels is about traction – not scale. Now isn’t the time to think about long-term growth – it’s about figuring out what’ll get your first customers in the door.

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When your startup is first launching, the pressure to “be everywhere” online is significant. “You’ll fail without investing in Facebook Ads,” one article claims. “The most engaged buyers are on Instagram,” argues another.

Given this onslaught of conflicting advice, it’s no surprise that the average B2B marketer creates eight types of content and is active on six different social networks, according to data from the Content Marketing Institute:

Aquisition channels

Especially when you’re new, expanding your reach in this way might sound appealing. After all, you’ll reach more people if you’re available on more platforms, right?

Well, maybe not.

Attempting to drive growth on multiple user acquisition channels divides your resources and dilutes your focus.

It’s better to do one channel well than to do several poorly – especially when you’re first starting out. To do that, begin by mapping your existing user acquisition channels (if any) so that you can proceed with an approach that’s right for your audience, your resources and your business’s current stage.

Why You Need to Map Your User Acquisition Channels

A lot of young businesses wing it when it comes to choosing user acquisition channels. They go by gut feel, or by what worked well for a buddy of theirs or another startup in their space.

And I’m not throwing shade here – I’ve been there, and done that.

But let me give you an example that demonstrates why it’s so important to run the numbers before executing on anything.

A while back, a friend of mine had a startup, and he swore up and down that doing integrations and partnerships was going to be his growth channel. His goal was to get his company’s first 1,000 customers, but I ran the numbers and figured out that even the best-case scenario would only drive a few hundred.

His first partner was going to promote his company and their integration to their email list of 1 million people.

Sounds great, right?

The email goes out to 1 million people, and let’s estimate that 50% open the email and 10% click on the link. That’d put 50,000 visitors on his website. Now, let’s assume that 3% of those visitors took him up on his SaaS product’s 30-day free trial. That results in 1,500 new trials, and assuming he managed a 40% conversion rate to paid subscriptions (which is pretty generous, and assumes he’s figured out his activation and onboarding processes), that’d leave him with just 600 customers.

Let’s do another example… Suppose you have a product or service that’s a bit more expensive and that requires human contact from your sales team to close the deal. Since you don’t have dozens of salespeople on hand, you decide to drive people to a webinar that’ll be able to handle a big audience in a short period of time.

You reach 50,000 with your webinar advertisement, and 10% of these people sign up to participate. On the day of your event, only 50% of your sign-ups actually show, so you wind up with 2,500 attendees. At the end of the webinar, you do an amazing job selling your offering and get 10% of attendees to do a sales demo or trial your service. This gives you 250 leads. Now let’s say your salespeople are awesome and actually convert 50% of them. Your total? 125 new customers.

In neither one of these scenarios did we hit that “1,000 new customers” target, but we’ve got bigger problems:

  • None of these numbers are realistic. Most partners don’t have a 1 million-person email list, and the hypothetical open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates I used aren’t going to be that high in the real world (at least, they won’t all be that high).
  • In the first example, you’ve burned your dev resources to work on…