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Startup lessons:
Customer Acquisition
Will Wong
Mission Street
September 2017
Hi, I’m Will
From Oakland, California (next to San Francisco)
Tech + Growth for > 10 years
Built my first website in 1998
...
Today’s talk
1. Acquisition, starting with LTV
2. The ‘Make it Work’ approach
3. Beyond the basics
New to Acquisition? Google is your friend
Source: Dave McClure: Startup Metrics for Pirates
Introductory Reading:
● Accoun...
Things startup founders say...
“I heard is doing great
with , why aren’t we?
-said every founder
Reality: Your
acquisition tactics
will vary
What will work is based on:
● Industry
● Timing
● Stage
● LTV → CAC you can af...
One thing impacts acquisition: LTV
LTV = Lifetime value = Retention X Monetization X Viral/Network-Effect
WTP = Willingnes...
LTV determines your acquisition tactics
High LTV
High LTV
vs.
same-audience advertisers
Low LTV
Low LTV
vs.
same-audience ...
If LTV is high, you have many options
High LTV
High LTV
vs.
same-audience advertisers
Low LTV
Low LTV
vs.
same-audience ad...
If low, you’ll have to focus on organic + content
High LTV
High LTV
vs.
same-audience advertisers
Low LTV
Low LTV
vs.
same...
It’s dangerous to follow competitors with different LTVs
High LTV
same-audience advertisers
Low LTV
same-audience advertis...
What do I do if my LTV is low?
What do I do if my CPA is high?
Marketing + Product = Best Acquisition
LTV CPA Efficiency
Marketing Improve retention with
● Email marketing
● CRM
● Notif...
“We tried running in the past…
It didn’t work, so we stopped”
-more founder quotes
Dropbox Growth: A series of ‘making things work’
Source: Forbes.com
Free → Biz Conversion
B2B Messaging
Digital + Demand G...
Back to basics: What does Dropbox Business Solve
What’s the customer pain? Dropbox solution
USB drives are annoying
FTP an...
Ask yourself: Does your website content address your solution to customer pain points?
Dedicated conversion flows for every use case
+25 to +50%
Boost to visitor → credit-card free trial conversion rate
Beyond landing
pages → full funnel
conversion
Get in your customer’s head: Why do they say no?
+50%
Boost to credit-card trial conversion rate
Getting to ‘making it work’
Build a test matrix to find the right path
Use Cases Audience Unique Selling Proposition Conversion Path
Send Files
Collab...
Try everything, focus on what works
Use Cases Audience Unique Selling Proposition Conversion Path
Send Files
Collaboration...
C’mon, really?
There is no silver bullet?
Channels come and go. First mover advantage is huge!
Different channels work at different stages
Wrap up 1. Base acquisition tactics by LTV,
not what you heard
2. For a channel to work,
you need to make it work
3. Effec...
Questions?
Thank you!
linkedin.com/in/WilliamWaiWong
/OnMissionStreet
@WilliamWaiWong
« Acquiring your First Customers » by Will Wong (Oscar Health, Dropbox, eBay, Twitch)
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« Acquiring your First Customers » by Will Wong (Oscar Health, Dropbox, eBay, Twitch)

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Whether you’re looking for your 1st, 10th, or 10,000th customer, finding customers for your product will always be hard.

In this presentation, we go over scalable and repeatable user acquisition tactics to get you started! Topics range from digital marketing, SEO, email, partnerships, social and many more.

Will is founder of Mission Street, a consulting group providing growth marketing services for US-based startups. Prior to starting Mission Street, Will has spent over 10-years growing startups. Will was the first digital marketer at Dropbox, recently led Growth Marketing at Oscar Health, and held various growth roles at: Twitch TV, eBay and other tech-based startups.

Published in: Marketing
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« Acquiring your First Customers » by Will Wong (Oscar Health, Dropbox, eBay, Twitch)

  1. 1. Startup lessons: Customer Acquisition Will Wong Mission Street September 2017
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Will From Oakland, California (next to San Francisco) Tech + Growth for > 10 years Built my first website in 1998 Worked with some cool companies… Head of Growth @Oscar Head of Global Performance Marketing @Dropbox SEO Consultant @Twitch SEM @eBay
  3. 3. Today’s talk 1. Acquisition, starting with LTV 2. The ‘Make it Work’ approach 3. Beyond the basics
  4. 4. New to Acquisition? Google is your friend Source: Dave McClure: Startup Metrics for Pirates Introductory Reading: ● Accounting for User Growth (Social+Capital) ● AdWords Fundamentals (Google) ● Beginner’s Guide to SEO (Moz) ● Customer Acquisition: Sales Funnel (David Skok) ● Customer Acquisition & Monetization (David Skok) ● Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation (Marketo) ● Facebook Ads Best Practices (Facebook) ● Guide to AdWords Account Structure (Wordstream) ● Inbound Marketer’s Guide to SEO and PPC (Marketo) ● Original Marketing Plan for Mint (Mint) ● PPC Task Checklist (PPC Hero) ● SaaS Metrics 2.0 (David Skok) ● SEO Starter Guide (Google) ● Startup Metrics for Pirates (500 Startups) ● What is PPC? (Wordstream)
  5. 5. Things startup founders say...
  6. 6. “I heard is doing great with , why aren’t we? -said every founder
  7. 7. Reality: Your acquisition tactics will vary What will work is based on: ● Industry ● Timing ● Stage ● LTV → CAC you can afford ● Budget ● Competition ● Team expertise
  8. 8. One thing impacts acquisition: LTV LTV = Lifetime value = Retention X Monetization X Viral/Network-Effect WTP = Willingness to Pay = What % of LTV do you want to dedicate to customer acquisition CAC = Customer Acquisition Cost = Total cost to acquire a customer CPA = Cost per acquisition = Cost to get someone started in the funnel
  9. 9. LTV determines your acquisition tactics High LTV High LTV vs. same-audience advertisers Low LTV Low LTV vs. same-audience advertisers
  10. 10. If LTV is high, you have many options High LTV High LTV vs. same-audience advertisers Low LTV Low LTV vs. same-audience advertisers Expensive options (paid digital, paid out-of-home)
  11. 11. If low, you’ll have to focus on organic + content High LTV High LTV vs. same-audience advertisers Low LTV Low LTV vs. same-audience advertisers Expensive options (paid digital, paid out-of-home) Focus on organic
  12. 12. It’s dangerous to follow competitors with different LTVs High LTV same-audience advertisers Low LTV same-audience advertisers
  13. 13. What do I do if my LTV is low? What do I do if my CPA is high?
  14. 14. Marketing + Product = Best Acquisition LTV CPA Efficiency Marketing Improve retention with ● Email marketing ● CRM ● Notifications ● Messaging Find new channels Optimize creative + messaging Optimize bids / price / cost-per-click Grow organic Quality content Brand Product Build a product that customers will love Iterate on feedback and data Landing pages Funnel optimization Build products as acquisition drivers
  15. 15. “We tried running in the past… It didn’t work, so we stopped” -more founder quotes
  16. 16. Dropbox Growth: A series of ‘making things work’ Source: Forbes.com Free → Biz Conversion B2B Messaging Digital + Demand Gen Viral / Referral-based growth
  17. 17. Back to basics: What does Dropbox Business Solve What’s the customer pain? Dropbox solution USB drives are annoying FTP and File Servers are old and clunky Can’t send large files over email Multiple editors to a shared file Eliminated need for FTP, File Servers, USB Drives, Email for sharing Just use Dropbox
  18. 18. Ask yourself: Does your website content address your solution to customer pain points?
  19. 19. Dedicated conversion flows for every use case
  20. 20. +25 to +50% Boost to visitor → credit-card free trial conversion rate
  21. 21. Beyond landing pages → full funnel conversion
  22. 22. Get in your customer’s head: Why do they say no?
  23. 23. +50% Boost to credit-card trial conversion rate
  24. 24. Getting to ‘making it work’
  25. 25. Build a test matrix to find the right path Use Cases Audience Unique Selling Proposition Conversion Path Send Files Collaboration Backup Legacy Replacement Search Keywords SMB Databases ‘Free’ Users Facebook Lookalike Earned Media Sync Market Leader Free Trial Free Report Speed Test Reliability Messaging Self-Serve Purchase Talk to sales Self-Serve Trial Talk to reseller
  26. 26. Try everything, focus on what works Use Cases Audience Unique Selling Proposition Conversion Path Send Files Collaboration Backup Legacy Replacement Search Keywords SMB Databases ‘Free’ Users Facebook Lookalike Earned Media Sync Market Leader Free Trial Free Report Speed Test Reliability Messaging Self-Serve Purchase Talk to sales Self-Serve Trial Talk to reseller
  27. 27. C’mon, really? There is no silver bullet?
  28. 28. Channels come and go. First mover advantage is huge!
  29. 29. Different channels work at different stages
  30. 30. Wrap up 1. Base acquisition tactics by LTV, not what you heard 2. For a channel to work, you need to make it work 3. Effectiveness varies by scale & stage. Most effective when you’re first.
  31. 31. Questions?
  32. 32. Thank you! linkedin.com/in/WilliamWaiWong /OnMissionStreet @WilliamWaiWong

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