Optimizing Customer Acquisition Channels: Rocketship.fm Interview with Mattan Griffel

November 22, 2014

6:00 pm

Startup founders everywhere are most interested in customer acquisition and activation, so the Rocketship podcast reached out to Mattan Griffel of One Month, which is a company that provides 30-day online video courses in Web & iOS Development, Growth Hacking, and more. Griffel also has a background that includes running a growth hacking agency and helping several startups in the process.

Griffel started One Month after trying to learn how to code online. He felt like none of the options showed how to actually build something without having learned how to code before. One Month is a startup that is operating in New York City after having graduated Y-Combinator in 2013. The hosts at Rocketship gathered these top tips for optimizing acquisition channels. For the full interview, check out the podcast here.

Ask Questions About Your Audience

Do you have a sense of who is currently coming to your website, and how they are finding you? Not knowing how to track sources is a major mistake that a startup can make when setting out to evaluate customer acquisition. When you check out Google Analytics, are you just looking at daily traffic? When you create goals, are you simply trying to increase the number of views?

You need to figure out where your audience of valuable users are. Even if you get a jump of visitors, these hits may not equal new users and you may not be attracting the right audience. If you got 10,000 views yesterday because you ran a hot news item, this number is meaningless if it did not attract potential customers.

Ask Questions About Attribution

If you are doing the proper tracking of links and attribution, you will know whether, for instance, blogs or PR are a place you should focus on for attracting users. Don’t simply add to the top of your acquisition funnel before figuring out why your audience is not converting. Identify how to track referrals to your site so that you can shape your audience before they arrive.

If you haven’t figured out what the product is that people want, you will get a lot of traffic without converting your visitors. Landing page optimization is one of the easiest ways to fix this.

Attack Your Activation Process

Your current activation process may look like this: Sign up for something. Give me information. Do something for me.

Split this up into easier stages. Offer a free trial, or focus on optimizing headline testing. Move your call to action button to a different part of your page. Offer a mailing list, especially if you have an expensive or long-cycle product. “Startups underutilize email,” said Griffel. Get your audience into an email funnel so you can offer them more value than simply selling a product.

Add to the Funnel

If you are making money early on, you should still consider spending money on advertising. The low-hanging fruit in this space is retargeting and podcast advertising. Place an ad on Facebook that will be shown to people who have visited your website. Retargeting is almost always profitable upfront, and the upfront buys for podcast ads are pretty low.

If you don’t have money to spend, there aren’t a lot of easy and free options: you are trading off time vs money. There is a lot of work in writing articles for content marketing. In that case, your current user base is your best growth channel. Incentivize people to share your product, and remind them at the right time to share.

One Month’s Growth Hacking Course

Griffel shared that the first class on Growth Hacking just finished, and that it focused on the AARRR method on the five stages of growth for a product.


Source: Dave McClure’s Startup Metrics for Pirates Slideshare

The Acquisition – Activation – Retention – Revenue – Referral model is important in identifying ways to optimize customer acquisition. In a nutshell, Griffel listed the key takeaways from the One Month growth hacking course:

  • Drive traffic to your landing page, and test the page for optimization.
  • Get people onto an email list
  • Create email marketing and drip marketing campaigns, and test retention
  • Utilize referral and incentives for customers
  • Ask the user to pay you

Test Best Practices for Landing Page

Whether your company is B2B or B2C, Griffel says that this AARRR method does not change. In fact, he said, “The more successful B2Bs are the ones who are starting to act more like B2Cs. Get creative on how to apply the formula.” There are several products available to help with this testing and optimization, including Segment.io and Unbounce.

Use analytics to determine which factors lead to churn. At the end of the day, that’s how you win out in a competitive field.


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Previously the Managing Editor at Tech.Co, Ann Diab has a background of launching and nurturing of startups and tech companies. Empowering and educating entrepreneurs and startups to better productivity and culture is her passion. Growth Manager at WorkingOn to enable folks all over the world to enjoy work and improve communication. Follow me on Twitter.

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