• Brainstorm Traction Channels
• Prioritize channels: Inner circle (most promising),
Potential (Promising techniques), Long Shot (more of a
• Test ideas in the real world to see which are worth
focusing on. Are you reaching the right customers? How
many customers are available through this channel?
• Focus on your most promising channels, one traction
channel will be superior in terms of customer acquisition.
• If no channels are working repeat the process.
Every company has a product, but do they have enough
customers? In order to keep balance make traction and
product development equally important. Use the 50% rule
to make sure this happens.
• Spend 50% or your time on product development and
50% on traction.
• Focus on moving the needle for your company, focus on
effective marketing that will help you gain traction
• Define your critical path, make a traction goal you are
always working towards.
• “Traction trumps everything”
• Critical path is the fewest number of steps that are
absolutely necessary to reach your traction goal.
• Make a critical path for each department (engineering,
marketing, product development).
• Make sure you overcome traction channel biases, stick to
• Main goal is the get existing customers to refer your
product to other.
• Main tactic behind the success of startups like Facebook,
• Viral loop is the most basic form: User is exposed to your
product, User tells potential users about your product,
potential users become users themselves.
• Process then repeats itself.
PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR)
• 2 types of public relations, conventional (using traditional
media sources i.e. newspapers and magazines) and
unconventional (Stunts and contests).
• Your PR can help drive traffic to sites and magazines so
you are doing them a favor.
• Reach out to blogs that are closely associated with your
• Amplify your story by sharing it on social networks and
emailing it to influencers in your industry.
• Only reach out when you have worthwhile milestones to
• 2 types of Unconventional PR: Publicity Stunt, and
• Publicity stunts can bring a startup from anonymity to
• Viral videos are another great technique, the dollar shave
club used this technique to jump start their business.
• Some examples of customer appreciation are: gifts,
contests and giveaways, and customer appreciation.
• Often times these techniques can be low cost and very
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM)
• SEM is generally placing ads on Google and other search
engines, also know as pay per click (PPC)
• Used to sell directly to the companies target customers.
• SEM uses high – potential keywords and groups them
into ad groups.
• Google AdWords is the main platform for SEM due to
Google’s high traffic.
• Longer keywords can be more effective since they are
cheaper and can become more profitable.
SOCIAL AND DISPLAY ADS
• Examples of social and display ads are banner ads on
websites and social ads are promoted on your Facebook
timeline or promoted tweets in your Twitter feed.
• Most display ads are run by ad networks that sell the
space to advertisers.
• There are three approaches to display ads: Large Ad
Networks, Niche Ad Networks, and Direct ads.
• The main goal of social ads is to build an audience and
engage with that audience.
• Offline ads include: TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers,
Billboards, and Direct Mail.
• Offline ads are easy to test, and often times relatively
• A few things to consider when using offline ads:
Demographics, Cost, and Tracking.
• Infomercials are another example of offline ads.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
• SEO is the process of improving your ranking in search
• It allows you to amplify all of the other things you’re
doing in your other traction channels.
• There are two SEO strategies: Fat head and Long tail.
• Fat head is trying to rank for search words that directly
relate to your company.
• Long tail is aiming to rank for more specific terms with
lower search volumes.
• Do not buy links, it can get your company penalized
• Companies with blogs that are updated often have posts
that lead to major PR.
• It can lead to large email lists that help companies stay in
constant contact with their customers.
• Blogs may not receive much traffic at first but a constant
flow of good content will lead to consistent blog growth.
• Having a content calendar is a good way to make sure
you are posting frequently and consistently.
• Email marketing can be used to help promote your
company by offering: coupons, referrals, sales pitches
• It is often used as the primary traction channels for online
• Email marketing can be used to find new customers and
to engage and retain current customers.
• A very important aspect is to have a good email copy, in
other words send attractive and easy to understand
ENGINEERING AS MARKETING
• It is one of the more under-utilized traction channels, it
involves building tools and resources related to your
product to help it reach more people.
• Examples of engineering as marketing are annual
promotions, micros-sites, and widgets.
• The goal should be to create low-friction ways to engage
potential customers and lead them to your main product.
• Keeping things as simple as possible is very important
for this method in order to get people to your website.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (BD)
• Primary focus is to exchange value through partnerships
that benefit both parties.
• Different types of partnerships: Standard, Joint Ventures,
Licensing, Distribution Deals, Supply.
• It is vital to pick the right partner in order to create a
mutually beneficial partnership.
• Most deals fail, so it is important to create a constant
pipeline of deals.
• The process of generating leads, qualifying them, and
converting them into paying customers.
• Cold calling and emailing potential customers if often
how the sales process starts.
• Design a sales funnel: Generate leads, Qualify leads,
• Always keep the customers perspective when designing
your sales funnel.
• Websites, apps, or networks with a large number of
• The app store is a great example of using an existing
platform to grow your products sales, also add ons for
browsers like Firefox and Chrome.
• High ranking and featured apps are much more likely to
succeed than those that aren't featured.
• More important than anything else is to have a good
product that will get featured and move its way up the
• Trade shows are often exclusive to industry insiders and
meant for companies to show off their products in
• The best way to pick a trade show is to visit it as a guest
and see if it would be a good fit for your company and
• It is paramount to be completely prepared for your trade
show, many people from your industry will be there and
you will want to be at your best.
• Make sure to secure a booth in a high traffic area to
maximize you time at the show, visibility is key.
• Offline events can be small gatherings or large
conferences, and are great ways to get traction.
• Gives you an opportunity to engage directly with
• Depending on your product, a small personal conference
may be more effective than a large conference you
• It’s important to make sure there is interest in your
conference before you hold it.
• Throwing a party can also be a very effective offline
event, it can become an annual social event that keeps
you in contact with your target customers.
• The best way to et started in this channel is to offer free
talks to small groups of potential customers.
• Starting small is good in order to refine your speaking
skills so you get better as your company grows.
• As long as you have a good idea speaking event
coordinators will want you to speak at their events.
• Make sure your speech is practiced and you feel
comfortable, you don’t want the audience to question
• Tell a story on stage to engage your audience, if you lose
their interest you will lose traction immediately.
• This traction technique involves you making connections
with your users so they help bring more users to your
• You want people to talk about your product with others,
the more people talking about it the more people will hear
• The first step is to build an initial audience, this will start
the process of building your community.
• Its important to establish your mission in order to build a
community that believes in you.
• If done correctly community building can contribute to
product development and help give you a hiring pool.