Acquisition channel of the week: (sub)Reddit(s)

I've analyzed all 485 IndieHackers interviews and identified 34 acquisition channels that work consistently for founders (see Zero to Users for more details). Today, I'll be reviewing the 4th most successful channel: posting/engaging on Reddit.

There are over 130,000 active communities on Reddit. Chances are, some of them are related to your market. Creative Tim ($118k/mo) sells UI kits/templates, and they're a great example of this:

Most of our marketing strategies have been submitting our content to different communities like Reddit.. (Some important subreddits that work well in our area include /r/web_design, /r/html5, /r/frontend, and /r/webdev.)

Alexandru (the founder) made a bunch of freebies and submitted them to various subreddits where they got traction:

Some examples:

Reddit can also be an amazing place to validate your idea. This was the case with everydayCheck ($4.8k/mo), a habit tracking tool:

To validate it, I posted my app in several subreddits where I thought the app would be relevant and in most of them it caught great attention. Specifically, this post on r/GetDisciplined exploded. Validating the idea very early on gave me the confidence to go on with it.

Some subreddits can be pretty hostile to self-promotion. Here's how Simple Steps Code ($650/mo), a set of courses for web development, solved this problem:

What marketing strategies have you used get students for your course?

I got the first traffic to my site by posting a long, detailed, and useful Reddit text post directly helping with the struggles the customers had expressed during the research phase. Deep in the post, but not at the end, I put a link to my site in a friendly and useful way. That way the trolls wouldn't see it, and the only ones who would see it were those who were genuinely interested. Also, I made sure not to be promotional about it. I said something like, "In case you'd find it helpful to know more about XYZ, here's a quick guide," and then seamlessly continued with the rest of the post.

Like this post? Get my insights on different acquisition channels every week:

  1. 6

    We had some good success with Reddit, the problem is if you post too much. This is probably the reason why it works for beginners though; it's hard/impossible to scale (unlike AdWords) and the barrier to entry is lower.

    1. 1

      Yep, plan to cover this in the next part.

      1. 1

        Have you seen a difference in success rates between these types of channels (easy-to-start-and-hard-to-scale vs. hard-to-start-but-easy-to-scale)?

        1. 1

          Yes, for AdWords it was about 50-50. For Reddit (and similar communities), ti was like 90-10. But then many people mentioned that they couldn't just submit 420430 posts per day there.

  2. 1

    Is commenting on other's relevant posts (with constructive comments and a link to site / product) worthwhile? It seems to avoid the content moderation 'blocked post' issue but curious if people are finding this to be effective.

  3. 1

    Happy to see you pointed our example. Reddit grew a lot since 2016-2017 when we used it on a monthly basis for new product releases.

  4. 1

    485 interviews .. respect.
    thanks for pointing out reddit , i think you need to active in the community and validate other people projects to get honest answers

    1. 1

      Yeah, participation definitely helps.

Trending on Indie Hackers
I will promote your startup to 50K+ people 64 comments I made Session, a productivity timer that makes $5K/month in net profit, AMA! 21 comments I built an NFT Guide site. Feedback welcome! 15 comments I've teased this project for a while. Initial thoughts on this landing page? 12 comments Only 30 days! We finished a great Etsy products research tool 10 comments #1 on Product Hunt with an open-source project 8 comments