What's your top acquisition channel right now?

What's your top acquisition channel right now and why?

For me, it's posting in various FB groups (fortunately admins aren't unforgiving in the niche I'm in, unlike with other niches).

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    So far I've analyzed over 700 founder interviews for my Zero to Users research, so I think I'm pretty qualified to answer this question.

    First of all, you need to define "right now". Are you just starting out? Then (according to my research), what worked best are "bursty" channels that bring you a spike in traffic and then slow down. Here are some of them:

    1. Product Hunt / BetaList (if you have a B2B product, though there is a small % of B2C products on those platforms as well).

    2. Reddit (since you've mentioned the mods on a FB group aren't unforgiving, my guess is you're in a niche which isn't spammed to death, so sub-reddits might work for you)

    3. Hacker News / any other niche "voting" platforms like Indie Hackers, where you have pieces of content that stay on the front page for X amount of time, then disappear.

    Posting on such "spike-y" platforms is a good idea because it's easier to get initial visibility there (unlike with Google search, where your page can stay on a front page of a keyword for months). Which leads me to another point....

    For founders who got a product-market fit and some traction, their top acquisition channel(s) were more stable channels, like Google Search traffic, or affiliate marketing partnerships, or content integrations.

    You can guess that getting initial visibility on these platforms is harder, but the staying power is longer as well. Once you get a partnership with an affiliate who ranks on 5 major keywords in your niche, you don't have to do much in order to stay there (unlike with Product Hunt).

    The nice thing is that "burst-y" and more stable channels complement each other. The feedback you'll get from users on the burst-y channels can inform your decisions for the more stable channels (users will tell you what they search online, what sites they visit, etc.)

    Hope this helped!

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      This is a pretty useful framework, thanks!

    2. 1

      Thanks @zerotousers! Just signed up. 👍

      However, I’m slightly confused by this:

      Product Hunt / BetaList (if you have a B2B product)

      I’ve seen many B2C products reach the top on ProductHunt, should it really be meant for a B2B product?

      1. 1

        Good point, will change it to "mostly" B2B products.

    3. 1

      Which content is working best for getting attention?

    4. 1

      I can't subscribe to zerotousers:
      It is showing that
      This site can’t be reached
      value.zerotousers.com took too long to respond.

      1. 1

        That’s weird. Checked now, seems everything is fine?

        1. 1

          It may be my laptop's issue, I still can't subscribe

          1. 1

            I've tried changing 2-3 VPNs and it seems to be working well. If this happens for anyone else, let me know here.

  2. 4


    I’ve operated in the LinkedIn Group space since it was cool, and still do even though it’s NOT cool anymore. However, I’ve bought and sold groups, launched newsletters from them, supported already existing newsletters with them, etc.

    Despite the “uncool” factor, LinkedIn IS the most professional and trusted social network.

    I still run a group (372K members) and a newsletter in the same name.

    I receive 300 new members a day, which allows for the opportunity to grow the newsletter through several different tools/channels.

    The specificity of LI targeting / algorithm does all the top of funnel lead gen which allows for me to focus on the content / engagement of the audience - which is where I like to play - I'm not a dev, have limited tech skills, and even see myself more of a relationship manager than a market.

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      I've joined a bunch of Facebook groups and most of them are link dumps. Wondering if people find any value from them? Btw if you want, feel free to post your group here.

      1. 0

        I agree. What I'm talking about is owning and operating LinkedIn groups.
        Leadership Think Tank: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/39683/

        1. 1

          Nice. Curious if you've been measuring the % of people who sign up that also enter their email on the website you provide in the welcome box.

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            Conversion from group members to subscribers? Yes. I test different lead magnets/landing pages. It ranges between 25-40% on the first message but that's just the beginning of the relationship. The group is a validated, "warm" lead. This of course is after years of working at developing the process, managing ghe changes of functionality put down from LinkedIn.

            I've honed the process recently between different tools and workflow and it's added a ton of value.

        2. 1

          Awesome group. Nice job building such an impressive community. Just requested to join :)

  3. 3

    Twitter! :) I made a nice thread and asked some people with a big follower count to retweet it. It got me lots of waiting list sign ups (~800), and I'm rolling it out in batches

    1. 1

      Nice! Have you got any paying users from this?

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        no, but I also can't because iOS apps on private test can't take payments. I did get some money on ko-fi from the people in my newsletter/waiting-list but very little ($18), ( I also just created the ko-fi page this monday though).

    2. 1

      That is an amazing strategy! Can tell me more about the process and content you gave them?

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        The thread was a simple introduction of myself and the product (https://twitter.com/etiene_d/status/1319571878797807619). I reached to some friends, and for strangers I only reached people I followed already and admired. For strangers I focused on introducing myself and explaining my circumstances and asking to share. Like real begging. Hence not choosing random people or assholes. Some people ignored, but the majority did share. I didnt reach a lot of people because each DM was custom and I didn't spend a lot of time on this. It quickly reached a number of signups that was beyond what I was expecting, so I didn't invest more time.

        Concerning the content of the DM, as I said, it varied. Sometimes I'd mention where I met the person, like if I watched one of their talks in a conference, for example.

        Here's one of the DMs I sent:
        Hello <name>, I know this is a long shot, but you're a person in tech whose ethics I really admire and I figured why not take a chance! This year due to life circumstances I was not employed but I spent a lot of effort in this project and now I am opening a call for beta tests. Would you mind retweeting it to your audience if you think it might be interesting or relevant to them? <link>

        Another one:
        Hello <name>, I'm not sure if you remember it, but a long while ago you made a compliment to a language learning thread I made about Kató Lomb, a hungarian hyperpolyglot. During this time I have gone deeper and deeper in this topic, and even finished a masters on it. This year, due to life circumstances and no longer being employed, I have invested a huge effort into a project and I'm now opening it for beta tests. By any chance would you mind sharing it with your audience?<link>

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          Thanks a lot for sharing this and breaking it down for us, @etiene! Just followed you on Twitter. Best of luck with Polygloss :)

          1. 1

            thank you! hope it's useful

        2. 1

          That is so amazing! Thanks for the help. Didn't think about this before.

          Can't wait to see more from your journey.

  4. 2

    Word of mouth on Facebook in groups, followed by organic search.

    1. 1

      Do you have an example for word of mouth in Facebook groups? Not sure what you mean but sounds great.

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        The problem is that it's hard to scale or track.

        But basically, people using your product are in facebook groups, and sometimes other people ask questions and they might recommend your product as a solution.

        1. 1

          Okay, I understand! Thanks for the help

  5. 2

    For Plausible Analytics, the top acquisition channel is Google organic search. It wasn't like this in the early days but over the last few months Google numbers alone have started beating all of our other top acquisition channels combined.

    How did we get to this point? We pretty much started publishing regular content in April last year. And we tried to make that content as good as possible so it is being talked about in social media, shared on niche aggregators and in other communities.

    We've made all of our traffic data public so you can check it out here: https://plausible.io/plausible.io

    1. 2

      In case anyone was curious about how the Google traffic ramped up, I looked up the month-by-month numbers

      Date vs thousands of Google visitors

      If I had to give a TL;DR, it's that the percentage changes were larger in the beginning, but dropped slow enough that the cumulative growth was over 10x

      1. 1

        thanks for that summary!

    2. 2

      Loce your website! Thanks for sharing. Will have a look at it as alternative for google

  6. 2

    Hopefully it will be AppSumo soon, negotiating a deal with them.

    1. 1

      What's the process like? I have a call with them soon

  7. 2

    My top channel for Divjoy lately has been offering limited-time discounts to specific communities (newsletters, fb groups, etc). I'd like to move away from deals being my main strategy.. but damn does FOMO work.

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      Thanks Game. Does it work repeatedly though? How long do you usually wait between providing the same/similar deal on the same newsletter/fb group?

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        It only really works if I come across the right community and there's an admin who give it the okay (or ideally shared the deal themself). I've done it once every couple of months and never in the same community. Can be hit or miss, but when it works, it really works. It probably helps that my product is a one-time cost so people are more inclined to jump on a deal even if they don't need it right now.

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          Curious if you had any admins ask you for money in order to post.

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            Not yet, although I did an affiliate link once that didn’t drive any sales. Seems like the admins with active groups are more concerned with quality and whether it’s a good fit for their group.

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              Depends on the niche as well I guess. If you're talking about Divjoy, I can imagine the admins wanting to focus more on the quality and less on the $$. If you were promoting an e-commerce marketing tool and the owners were e-commerce owners, I'd guess it would be a different story :))

        2. 1

          Love this idea! Would you mind sharing some of the groups you've already exhausted?

    2. 1

      What a great idea! Where do you find the right groups?

  8. 1

    Whatsapp :) ask me anything about that

  9. 1

    I'm going in on Clubhouse as a growth channel, lots of activity there right now. And opportunities to have conversations and meet new people.

    Got a few hundred new followers in the 2 weeks or so.

  10. 1

    It depends on your audience and who your users are. For example, if you have a SaaS products focused on developers, the avenues will differ.

    Here is a post I wrote talking about how to to market to where developers are (and we boosted leads by 30% doing some of this):


  11. 1

    SEO (organic search) is a big driver for us, along with paid search.

    We use a variety of other acquisition channels too, however SEO + paid search are the two main ones that we see the biggest returns on.

  12. 1

    For me working, Twitter is a pretty good channel. Everyone is professional and interested in helping each other out. Right now my main acquisition channel is discord.

  13. 1

    I've found a ton of success on Reddit! Not very forgiving, but if you can add value, it works wonders.

  14. 1


    80% of Failory users come across the website on Google.

    1. 1

      Love Failory :) Are they mostly company-related keywords (like someone searching for 'X' and you interview with company X comes up)?

      1. 1

        Thanks, Darko! Really like Zero to Users posts as well.

        Interviews represent a small percentage of the organic traffic. The blog and Cemetery pages are mainly responsible for this. 80% of the traffic comes from 20% of the content, anyway.

  15. 1

    I haven't decided yet, I am thinking LinkedIn

  16. 1

    I would be interested in learning more about your growth tactics on Facebook groups.

    I never thought about using Facebook. Maybe my product isn't fit for facebook groups (building and selling website themes and components)

  17. 1

    Google and other search engines :) probably because I've never marketed it anywhere.

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