Question

What are some under rated but effective user acquisition methods?

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merci's avatar
2 years ago

(It really matters who your customer is, so keep in mind that the below advice only applies to SaaS tools used by knowledge workers.)

Earned media is still underrated. Getting tech press attention works especially well for collaboration apps. Earned media surfaces your product to your exact target users when they’re in a frame of mind to check out something new – they’re literally looking for new tech and news about tech.

Also keep in mind that tech journalists are knowledge workers too. Get them on your side early and thoughtfully, which starts by reading their work, following them on Twitter, and understanding what they care about. If relevant, build the product with them in mind as important early adopters and invite them to your beta. A handful of real relationships are much better than emailing dozens of reporters when you’ve decided you want to do a PR launch.

In a similar vein, getting the popular kids to use your product is also underrated, though maybe not for long. Approach other founders, CEOs, visible operators, and angel investors about giving you feedback, and maybe investing in your company. Get access to their teams and get their logos on your website.

5 points
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @merci )
2 years ago

Do you have any repeatable strategies for off-cycle (meaning, nota fundraise or product launch or other obvious press hook) earned media? Curious what other types of hooks you can use to get mentions.

4 points
merci's avatar
@merci (replying to @awwstn )
2 years ago

Honestly, having a charming CEO who loves attention is its own press strategy. Rahul Vohra is a good example of an ascendant CEO who's good at staying top-of-mind by publishing content, being active on Twitter, going on podcasts, and speaking with journalists. A lot of companies don't do this because they can't – it's more of a personality type than anything else.

Honestly though... get good at Twitter and drive your own press cycle.

3 points
NickAtLoot's avatar
@NickAtLoot (replying to @merci )
2 years ago

Reddit is a great source for paid and earned user acquisition - although much trickier to master. Redditors are notorious for rejecting promotional content, so most marketers avoid it because they aren’t willing to put in the effort to learn the nuances of earning Reddit users attention.

Ironically, direct mail is increasingly effective and if your content stands out, can help acquire users for much cheaper than online channels.

3 points
NickAtLoot's avatar
@NickAtLoot (replying to @NickAtLoot )
2 years ago

I meant to include this at the bottom of my last message -
What are some of the more clever ways you’ve seen companies leverage earned media with paid spend to amplify the impact?

3 points
merci's avatar
@merci (replying to @NickAtLoot )
2 years ago

I think the reverse is more common, using paid spend to generate earned media coverage. Slack took out a full page ad in the NYT when MSFT launched their Teams product, which generated a ton of earned media. Turned out to be very cost-effective.

But it sounds like what you're asking about is using paid spend to amplify earned media coverage. What we typically see is OOH (out of home) advertising around earned media for conferences/launches/fundraising announcements. Launching a display campaign & retargeting is kind of the online version of that. But haven't seen anything that was really cool or notable.

2 points
NickAtLoot's avatar
@NickAtLoot (replying to @NickAtLoot )
2 years ago

I meant to add this to the bottom, what are the most effective ways you've seen companies use earned media as part of their paid strategy?

2 points
adamdlurie's avatar
@adamdlurie (replying to @merci )
2 years ago

Are there any new/emerging paid acquisition channels in the SaaS world that excite you?

3 points
AaronMitchy's avatar
@AaronMitchy (replying to @merci )
2 years ago

Hey Merci 👋Thoughts on underrated growth strategies for geographically constrained businesses?

2 points

This question is part of an AMA with Merci Victoria Grace.

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