How to find Customer Acquisition Channels that work
Different customer acquisition channels require different skillsets to succeed, which means in any startup with limited resources, you have to focus in and get really good at just a few channels.
What a good channel looks like:
What you're looking for is one (or several) acquisition channels where a repeatable set of steps produces a repeatable outcome. If doubling your efforts (or budget) on any channel doubles (or better) your results, you have a repeatable channel.
STEP 1 - Review and Prioritize Channels
Bearing in mind your team's skills and experience, review all channels available, and make a prioritized list of which channels you think are most likely to move the needle.
Bear in mind that some channels get results faster than others. A lot of startups use sales to get early growth, whereas Inbound Marketing takes time to build (generally 6+ months) before it has any significant impact on your business. Other channels may be suited to product stage, like PR. (Maybe you don't want to be on Techcrunch while you still suck?)
Also, some channels work well together, or leverage common skill sets, so what you learn can be reused. For example, SEO and Inbound Marketing are both based on keywords, link building, and social shares. So your SEO skills will help your inbound marketing.
STEP 2 - Pick two or three channels to test
Make your best guess and choose 2 or 3 channels to test. You don't have to be right, its more important to make a start - and then test.
STEP 3 -Test channels
Set up some small scales tests to measure which channels work. Allow at least one month on any channel before you decide to drop it. To move faster, test several channels in parallel.
Example: In month 1, you could test in parallel: sales, targeting blogs and Attending Offline Events (i.e. events where your customers might be).
Ideally, you'll find one channel that works well, so double down on it. Possibly you'll have mix of 2 or 3 channels.
If a channel isn't working, remove it and add another channel to your testing. If you are super tight on resources, put all your effort into the channel that performs best in testing.
If you have any questions, just email me [email protected] and I'll be happy to talk with you.
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