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Which Acquisition Channels Actually Work (according to 483 founders)

One crazy guy from ZeroToUsers spent hundreds of hours listening to 483 podcast interviews to find out which acquisition channels have worked consistently for founders and marketers to get traction for their projects early on.
Which Acquisition Channels Actually Work (according to 483 founders)

One crazy guy from ZeroToUsers spent hundreds of hours listening to 483 podcast interviews to find out which acquisition channels have worked consistently for founders and marketers to get traction for their projects early on.

It's worth skimming his full report (pdf), it gave me tons of inspiration for the promotion of upcoming projects. And even if you are working for a well-established company, you'll find some nuggets on this list to launch your next feature, side project or content piece. I really recommend to at least browse through it and get some inspiration for your next years' marketing activities.

Here are his top 20:

  1. SEO (after getting results with another acquisition channel) (Worked for 84 founders)
  2. Marketplaces & Existing Platforms (Worked for 78 founders)
  3. Product Hunt (Worked for 78 founders)
  4. Reddit (Worked for 45 founders)
  5. Cold email outreach (Worked for 42 founders)
  6. "Powered by" marketing (Worked for 42 founders)
  7. Hacker News (Worked for 39 founders)
  8. Having an existing media brand (Worked for 39 founders)
  9. Using your own network (Worked for 37 founders)
  10. Google Ads (AdWords) (Worked for 31 founders)
  11. Affiliate marketing (Worked for 30 founders)
  12. Niche communities (Worked for 30 founders)
  13. SEO (where founders started immediately) (Worked for 29 founders)
  14. Twitter posting / engagement (Worked for 28 founders)
  15. Facebook groups (Worked for 28 founders)
  16. Mainstream press outreach/being mentioned (Worked for 27 founders)
  17. Niche authority websites outreach/coverage (Worked for 27 founders)
  18. Partnering with someone with a similar audience (Worked for 23 founders)
  19. Influencer outreach (Worked for 22 founders)
  20. Engineering as marketing (Worked for 21 founders)

I personally have seen that a healthy mix between long-term focused channels like SEO or partnerships and short-term results channels like Google Ads and cold email outreach works best. The former is often neglected and we only recognize it when it's already too late.

In the full report you find an explanation and further information on each of the acquisition channels.

Read full report detailing all 34 acquisition channels (PDF)