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Zero to Million - Acquiring customers and building a brand and on shoe-string budget
Zero -> Million Users: <br />Acquiring customers and building a brand on a shoe-string budget<br />April 2011<br />Jay Meattle<br />email@example.com<br />
My Background<br />Competitive Site Analytics (B2B site);zero to million unique visitors per month within 20 monthsfrom launch<br />Ad Network;zero to 4 billion ad impressions per month within 18 months<br />Social Sharing Platform; zero to 200 million unique visitors per month within 16 months<br />
Shareaholic by the Numbers:<br />browser extensions: 2,000,000+ downloads<br />Recommended for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera<br />publisher tools: 850,000+ downloads<br />Top-5 WordPress plugin. Reach of 200+ million unique visitors per month<br />share API:<br />1,000+ developers<br />
How Fast Are We Growing?:<br />+34% Growth in 1 Month<br />18,816,374 pageviews/day<br />13,986,821pageviews/day<br />
Four User AcquisitionLessons We Learned at Shareaholic:<br />
#1: Take Part in Competitions<br />Taking part is usually a lot of work. But if you win it can instantly alter your product’s growth trajectory:<br />Instant Credibility <br />Free Promotion / Distribution<br />In our case, Platform owner will suddenly really care about you(ex. Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, Apple)<br />Worth the effort. Even if you don’t win the final, at least you’re now on the radar.<br />Shareaholic won the Grand Prize for best Firefox and Firefox Mobile Extension’s in world-wide contests organized by the Mozilla Foundation.<br />
#2: Leverage App Directories<br />Most Large Platforms have an App Directory. They drive a lot of high quality free traffic / leads / downloads / Users. (ex. Google Apps Plugins Directory, Apple App Store)<br />Important to rank high and be on “featured” lists<br />Easier to get featured if you’re early; very tough if directory crowded with similar products<br />Shareaholic is top ranked / featured by Mozilla, Google, Opera, Microsoft, WordPress<br />
#3: Partnerships with Bigger Brands<br />Partnering with big brands brings a lot of credibility by association.<br />Getting the first one is the hardest, but not impossible. Don’t be afraid to ask!<br />Easier to partner with up and coming teams within large organizations as they tend to be more entrepreneurial.<br />Shareaholic has been a launch partner for Google Buzz, Goo.gl, Microsoft, etc<br />
#4: Make Journalists/Bloggers Care<br />You (not your PR firm) should be constantly talking to and building relationships with journalists. Authenticity is key.<br />Start building relationships before you need them.<br />Press Releases are a waste of time! They won’t get you covered by top journalists. We wrote a Press Release once, and quickly learnt our lesson.<br />Make your product easy to write about:<br />Ride a hot trend (ex. social, mobile, local)<br />Much easier if your product is one that a blogger/journalist would find useful<br />Make the journalist look good (ex. give exclusives on big company news)<br />Shareaholic has never employed a PR firm. Been covered by NY Times, BBC, TechCrunch, WIRED, PC Magazine, etc.<br />
Bonus #5: Open Your APIs(make other developers care about you)<br />
Overarching Take Away:<br />Make People Care About You(users, platforms, partners, press, developers)<br />