What's the last acquisition channel that failed for you?

Darko Williams
30 replies
I'll start first: Facebook Ads. We've realized it's simply too early to advertise there (most SaaS companies were optimizing for 12-20 months return on investment, so they could allow to spend much more to acquire a customer). What about you?

Replies

Darko Williams
Another one: Google Ads (for the same reason as Facebook Ads). We've noticed the more "scalable" a channel is, the more it fails for early-stage projects.
Dervieux Benoรฎt
@zerotousers I just finished watching a video about acquisition channels. How can you know in advance a channel is too early or not?
Darko Williams
@dervieux_benoit There isn't a rule, but there are a few guidelines. And it really depends on the competition, I've seen some founders that succeded with AdWords on the first try because very little people were bidding for that keyword.
Dervieux Benoรฎt
@zerotousers Ok thanks for the answer. I like making videos and that's another element I have to add if I want to make Facebook (or instagram) ads. Thanks !
Darko Marko
Same thing. AdWords. Simply too competitive.
Sumit Datta [dwata] ๐Ÿ‘‹
I do not want to invest in ads, it goes against every piece of advice that I know of. What is failing for me at the moment is the outreach I do on LinkedIn. I know that the cold outreach mechanism actually works. What is failing is the volume. Many successful founders say they had to reach out (Email/LinkedIn/etc) to 1000 people to get 20 real users. So 1 out of 50. This is tough ratio from a sheer effort/time needed point of view. So right now this is still not working for me, I just need to do more of it.
Darko Williams
@sumitdatta Yeah, cold outreach will prob get more and more difficult over time because the barrier to entry is so low.
Sumit Datta [dwata] ๐Ÿ‘‹
@zerotousers If you are in B2B sales, then cold outreach is unfortunately the only way. It is not like there are better ways. Unless you get into Y Combinator or similar network and sell to businesses within the network. This is a very well known problem.
Vaibhav Namburi
@sumitdatta Been there wrt to time. Check MeetAlfred, using these guys for now to reach out for https://remoteworkly.co . They're not bad
Chan Koh
@veebuv @sumitdatta Do you think we could chat about your insights into acquiring B2B customers? I'm running into similar issues with something I'm working on. Not sure exactly where to invest my time and energy and how (trying cold calls, emails but those have low conversion).
Ben Chow
@sumitdatta I use social media ads. It can work great if you know your market, have a great product (high retention, high conversion to pay, low churn), and healthy margins. The reason is because you can target your user pretty well these days. It's the fastest way to get growth. If you don't know your target market, or your margins are bad because of competition (competitors with more capital or better margins can price you out) or market demand then its not going to work for you.
Eddie H.
LinkedIn was a nightmare. $0.30 CPC one day then $4.00 the next. They are overpriced and their algorithm does not pace your ads properly.
Sumit Datta [dwata] ๐Ÿ‘‹
@eddieaich I never use ads on social media. I think unless your brand is well known or you product problem is super acute, decision makers will not give much weight to an ad on LinkedIn. I simply make connections and have a chat. The response rate is super low but at least I know the model can work if I invest more hours. The connection is much more organic.
Eddie H.
@sumitdatta Thanks for your feedback. Sadly, I wasted money on ads across the board before I realized they were largely useless as you mentioned. An expensive lesson.
Sumit Datta [dwata] ๐Ÿ‘‹
@eddieaich Hello Eddie, I just checked Crucial Human. Nice landing page. Is the product as ready as in the video? Best of luck on that!
Eddie H.
@sumitdatta Sumit, thank you and yes it is as ready as you see in the video. However, we are splitting the platform up into separate apps and selling them independently. We found through a few months of being in the market that users only use 1 or 2 of the 8 major components in the platform. Also, asking customers to completely drop their current productivity platform as a whole in favor of ours was too big of an ask. We're launching the first of those aforementioned 8 components next month - https://crucialhuman.com/product.... Thanks again.
Sumit Datta [dwata] ๐Ÿ‘‹
@eddieaich Yeah that makes sense in a way. I am always unsure if companies want to use multiple tools, but I guess we already do that, so it works. The Stickies looks great and is one of those simple tools that people should immediately find helpful. Best of luck!
David Oh
There is no bad acquisition channel unless fraud. Just fit and timing.
Melissa Kwan
Resale partners, tried this a few times, never worked. Only caused pain when I tried to get out of contracts that locked us into giving referral commission to customers we had to close ourselves but were "friends" of resale partners
Quinn Osha
I also quickly found that Google/FB ads were much too expensive and not going to work (I ignored all the advice, yes, for about a week). My next failed channel was B2B trying to get organizers to sign on and host their car show - https://www.topmarq.com/events/ - and promote their events. I also had a success rate with cold outreach of about 1/50. Lots of time and energy there. I eventually moved on but would be interested in knowing what other people's breaking point was. Eg. how many emails/linkedin messages did you send before moving on? Now I'm on to direct to consumers with outreach at local shows. Will let you know how that goes!
Ronak Jain
Have seen this with so many startups that I've lost count, paid marketing in very early stages is disastrous. It can possibly kill the startup. You need to apply all the hacks possible to get meaningful organic growth. Of course, the competition is cut-throat but choose a growth strategy which gives result long term instead of short term.
Quinn Osha
@ronak_jain agreed. You end up spending a lot more time talking to those people as well which can be very helpful.
Lauren Place
Facebook Ads! Echoing thisโ€” we have friends there who who lent us their $250 credits which got spent in a matter of days with maybe 8 page visits... 1 new user maybe... Finding niche communities for your product online and advertising there is (B2C) is definitely way better
Anton Prakash
It's definitely Facebook Ads. Instead email and text marketing works better.