There are stories about popular and hot startups like Instagram, Facebook that were highly influential in creating a false belief that “If you have the right product, user acquisition is quite easy”. This statement successfully fooled a lot of budding entrepreneurs and finally dumped them out of the market. The stories about the above-mentioned startups are fortunate exceptions, not a rule to follow. Finding the right scalable user acquisition channel is a vital strategy and it often takes time to get it right.
Here are five common mistakes that startups make and ought to avoid in order to find the right channels for user acquisition.
Never Test Multiple Channels Simultaneously
This is the age-old strategy of throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall to see if one sticks. Unfortunately, this does not work in the modern era. Inbound marketing takes a lot of valuable time before it pays off. It is often thought that testing a lot of channels simultaneously is the best and fastest way to find the right channel. Frankly speaking, it is the exact opposite with startups. Dividing the available amount of resources to various channels rarely works. Rather, it is advised to focus all the efforts on a single channel and evaluate your results before trying something different. There is a popular saying that says “If you chase two rabbits at once, both will escape.”
You Don’t Always Need Multiple Channels
Most successful companies we’ve seen started off with just one or two channels. Diversity can be induced in the later stages when the startup has matured. In fact, going after diversity too early actually increases the risk of failure before you’re able to find a scalable channel to work with. As a startup, the goal should be to grow as fast as you can with the scarce resources. When you reach a point where the first channel is nearing its full potential, and the growth curve flattens, the time is ripe to start exploring another channel.
It’s OK To Pay For Users
Almost all the entrepreneurs feel guilty to pay for users, especially in the initial days of the company. High off the greatness of their concept and how it should automatically garner its share of the market, first-time entrepreneurs let their pride keep them from utilizing this obvious method for creating momentum. Psychologically, visitors to your site are more prone to becoming recurring users if they have the perception that it is already popular. Ever walked by a restaurant with a long line out the door? I’ll bet you assumed it was a better place to eat than the empty one next to it even though you have no idea how the food tastes at either one.
Only 3 Tools Needed To Test Channels
It has been a popular belief that an array of tools is required to find a scalable channel and the ‘measure everything’ mantra has added to this. You don’t need to waste valuable resources on a multitude of tools for testing your channels. All you need is Excel, Google Analytics and Basic SQL skills to test any acquisition channel. Don’t get caught up with different tools, rather just test with what you have.
Avoid A/B Testing
You hear it all the time. Companies using A/B testing to isolate which method works best. However, it is not as easy as it seems to carry out proper A/B testing. Often it takes at least 10-15 A/B tests to establish enough confidence to act upon the results. Consider the cost/benefit of this approach before deploying it.
Incremental improvements should be the goal in the early stages of the company. Save your efforts and put them into action when you are ready to optimize or bring in a new channel, not while testing the credibility of a channel.