What outreach channels have not worked for your first 100 users? (+Book recommendation of what does)

Rishi Gaurav Bhatnagar
16 replies
I have done a lot of mistakes while trying to grow a product. [You will see my list down below] From knowing nothing about product growth, to too many expensive experiments, I have come a long way and I continue to learn. I am curious about what are some of the methods/channels, that you know through your experiences, that just don't work at all. (This of course totally depends on the kind of products as well) P.S: You should pick up Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. It's a good starting point to identify right channels.


Forbes 30 under 30 | Technologist
I can start with my list. Trying to grow a file transfer product for creatives: 1. Offline events - talking to people in person, validating ideas with them. Great to validate ideas, not so much for users. 2. FB & Instagram ads - great for visibility, doesn't translate to users 3. Paid ads on blogs - limited visibility, very tiny conversion (if at all), decent for domain authority. 4. Product Hunt - good visibility, limited to no conversion rate 5. Personal Emails - limited to no responses, sometimes got marked as spam, no conversions
Cybersecurity Professional ideating
@rishigb What are your thoughts on the efficacy of cold calling? I feel like it depends on your product, but it never seemed to draw very much traction for me.
@rishigb @henry_zhang3 what are you doing for cold calling? i am in the same situation, difficult to make somebody listen to you if they don't know you. need to be persistent, follow up, don't stop until you get an yes or a no. do you do the cold calling yourself or have somebody do them for you?
Forbes 30 under 30 | Technologist
@henry_zhang3 This is always difficult Henry. Especially because the person on the other side in most cases is not interested and doesn't care about what we have to offer at all. What has worked is to keep people in loop about what you are doing, keep them warm with updates, thought leadership etc. and then politely nudge to see if they will be ok to speak. We save up a lot of time that way. In my personal experience, warm intros almost always respond.
Forbes 30 under 30 | Technologist
@henry_zhang3 @managequick I have done it personally and also gotten a lead generation firm to do it for another project. Both have less than 1% conversion rates and cost a huge sum of money. In fact some business I have spoken to have paid as much as $25K USD for 3 months for this and gotten no results out of it at all. It is almost always better to find warm intros and invest in building relationships through mutual networks.
@henry_zhang3 @rishigb obviously it depends on the value proposition and the quality of list of leads. we get about 1% conversion rate as well. we find it easier to get some response when we ask people to "help us" and to "share their expertise". (as in we are doing a survey for a product we are working on and could use your expertize etc), And the second call to same people who answered the questions , to offer a demo, is a warm call already which indeed tends to be more successful.
Creator uploader.win. Programming geek.
My number #1 traffic source would be Google (SEO) followed by Youtube (Video marketing). It takes a lot of time (3 months+) but once the traffic starts pouring you can easily get up 50 to 100 leads a day easy. Of course what works and doesn't in SEO is a discussion in itself (for me Brian dean's ideas have had tremendous results). Bottom line is if you're looking for long term steady supply of leads and traffic, nothing beats Google and Youtube nowadays.