More Traffic, Less Work (1st lesson!)

This email is lesson 1 (of 7) of Growthcasts, a free email course I’ve put together for you.

Today I’ll show you the framework I use for finding the right acquisition channels for a startup business. This is one of the most important frameworks to unlock growth potential.

I’ll show you exactly how you get more traffic, by running less ads, writing less blogs posts, having less social media, etc. etc…

Enjoy!

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Guess what question people ask me more than ANY other question about growth?

“What’s your dirty little secret to drive traffic & warm leads to your businesses?”

 

Good question.

I’m 99% sure it is NOT your most important question to ask (we’ll get to that later), but I know it’s the one you want to hear the answer to, anyway.

So here we go…

First, you must know…
 

The 3 cardinal rules of traffic:

1). Respect the power law

2). There is no magic bullet

3). Lean testing => then growth engines

 

Let’s go over each one in detail…

 

Rule #1  ::  Respect the power law

You might not realise it, but there are more than 25 different acquisition channels you can use (I’ll give you a list in a sec.)...  But there’s a “power law” at play between those channels.

Peter Thiel -- billionaire founder of Paypal and early investor in Facebook -- sums it up really well:

“Most businesses get zero distribution channels to work. Poor distribution—not product—is the number one cause of failure.
If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
So it’s worth thinking really hard about finding the single best distribution channel.”

 

That’s a piece of text you should print, and re-read every morning!

Put it on your fridge, where you can see it every day.

Might be the most important lesson in growth…
 

 

A power law: few things produce almost all the results, while all the other things produce hardly any results…

 

It’s Pareto’s 80/20 principle at work, all again…  1 channel pulls (almost) all the weight. You just need to find that channel…

Which brings me to rule #2...


Rule #2  ::  There is no magic bullet

I know what you’re thinking: “Just tell me which channel I should use…”

But rule #2 suggests otherwise: each business will have a different channel that is their ‘Golden Channel’...  their growth hack.

For instance, consider these famous examples (and notice how they all just exclusively on one (1) channel alone):
 

  • Dropbox   =>   Referrals

  • Slack         =>   Virality / word-of-mouth

  • Pinterest  =>   Facebook open graph (and later: SEO)

  • Hubspot   =>   Content marketing

See how they all follow that “only one channel” approach from rule #1… but how th also all use a different dominant channel?

So that’s rule #2:  no silver bullets

To give you some ideas, there are over 25 different channels that might be your best channel:

  1. SEO

  2. AdWords

  3. Facebook ads

  4. Organic social media

  5. Referral marketing

  6. Word-of-mouth

  7. Affiliates & JVs

  8. LinkedIn ads

  9. Content marketing

  10. Influencer marketing

  11. Display & programmatic ads

  12. Engineering as marketing

  13. Retargeting

  14. Outbound sales

  15. Platform-based marketing (e.g. on Amazon, Facebook Open Graph)

  16. Snapchat

  17. Twitter

  18. Radio

  19. Street sales

  20. Business development

  21. Email marketing

  22. Communities

  23. Offline events

  24. Blogger outreach & guest posting

  25. Engineered virality

  26. …  

And that’s just the beginning… I didn’t even mention Youtube, or Whatsapp, or Instagram, or…  well, you get it.

There’s plenty to choose from!

          But you’ve got to choose one.

Which brings me to the last rule…  

 

Rule #3  ::   Lean testing => then growth engines

Lean testing is what you need to find which channel actually works, in your specific case.

That’s the ‘answer’ to rule #1 and #2. It’s also the first of 7 ‘traction systems’ that I’ll tell you about in the future. Lean testing helps you identify that One Channel™ that you need.

But just testing is not enough. You need that channel to produce reliable, repeatable, predictable & scalable growth.

You need systematic growth…

Key insight: A system which drives systematic growth out of a choosen acquisition channel is called a ‘growth engine’.

That’s a term you might want to remember...

You will learn more about growth engines in the upcoming lessons.

 

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You will read countless blogs on the internet claiming that you should do tactic X, Y or Z (or all 3!)....  

But that’s for amateurs.

Follow Peter Thiel’s advice instead…  

If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.

 

I personally made a vow to myself that I would only ever work on one channel per startup.

That’s something I would recommend you stick to, too.

One startup. One channel.


 

Pieter “play by the rules” Moorman

 

 

P.S.

I didn’t get around in this email to tell you how I broke into the growth marketing industry, and started earning money as a consultant.

Instead of trying to cram that in here, I’ll send you an email first thing tomorrow.

You’ll love how easy it is to start earning as a growth marketer…