Bullseye Framework.
The Definitive Guide To Traction Channels. [+ Free Worksheet]

19 Marketing Channels to get traction for your SaaS Company | Startup
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What is the Bullseye Framework and why should you use it?

Getting customers is tough and many SaaS companies and Start-ups fail because of a lack of new clients. The Bullseye Framework, developed by Gabriel Weinberg, is one of the best methods to identify marketing channels that bring traction for your company. Traction describes the momentum that you will see when your marketing strategy pans out.

The framework is a 4-step process and its name is inspired by a bullseye:

1. Brainstorm ideas for each marketing channel and put them in the outer ring.
2. Move potential traction channels to the middle ring, considering your experience or knowledge.
3. Test the channels in the middle ring to find out which could move the needle.
4. Move the best performing channel to the inner ring and focus on this channel.

If you do not know which marketing channels work for your company, you will waste time and money. The Bullseye Framework will enable you to find your best marketing channels with the lowest customer acquisition cost (CAC) and the highest return.
4 steps to find your best marketing channel
outer ring: what possible channels are there to get customers?
middle ring: move the best traction channels to the middle ring
quick testing to determine which channel in the middle ring could move the needle
move the best performers to the inner ring
focus your marketing on the bullseye

What are traction channels?

A traction channel is a marketing channel that helps you to get new customers. Traction means that your strategy is working and is showing valuable results. Failing to know which marketing channel works for your company is one of the prime mistakes SaaS companies and Start-ups make.

Gabriel Weinberg has identified 19 traction channels, all of which we will discuss individually –including the necessary metrics, key questions and viable ideas for rapid testing. Each of these growth channels has already worked before, but not all of them are a good fit for different companies. However, there will be at least one channel that brings traction to your business. For this reason, it is necessary that you find the channel that will work for your company.

Every traction channel undergoes the same life-cycle:

1. Channel slowly but steadily grows.
2. Channel spikes.
3. Channel flattens once saturated.

In the beginning channels slowly but steadily grow. One prominent example being Facebook Ads, which were introduced in 2007. Back in the day, social ads were not a thing, but they grew in popularity over the years. Now that almost every company uses social ads, it is more difficult to reach your target audience. Once a traction channel is saturated, it is time to find a new one. Gabriel also recommends trying out channels that your competitors do not use. That way you will stand out from the crowd.

What is the best marketing channel for your SaaS company or Startup?

The best marketing channel for your company is the one with the lowest customer acquisition cost and the highest return. You cannot tell which channel performs best without testing first. That is where the Bullseye Framework comes into play. Brainstorm possible marketing channels and do quick tests to validate which channel could make the difference.

To get a holistic view, answer these questions for each channel:

• How much is the customer acquisition cost per channel?
• How many customers can we reach through this channel?
• Are we targeting the right customers in this channel?

The key is to choose marketing channels based on your campaign goals. So, if you are a B2B SaaS company and if your campaign goal is to increase the number of trials in a given period - look at which channel will give you the most conversion at the lowest cost. But don't stop there, run a few experiments to understand the quality of those conversions also. Then make the choice.

Rashmi Kochar
CMO I Sales leader I Digital Marketer
Let us have a closer look at the 19 channels.
Picture of Social Media Platforms
Social and display ads mean ads via social media or banner ads on websites
most ads are boring, similar and generic. pro tip:
never sell directly from your ad. instead...
create valuable content for your customers on a regular basis
social & display ads. ask yourself:
why should people care, why should they click?
social & display ads. important metrics:
CAC per channel, conversion rate, cost per click

Social and Display Ads

Social media sites have been growing particularly rapidly in recent years. With their continued success, ads on these platforms have become more and more popular. Big brands are using social media platforms to create awareness, push their name out and reach their audience. One of the biggest advantages social platforms offer is that you can target your audience very specifically. Once you know your target audience, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn will help you reach those people to whom your message is relevant. The better you understand your customers, the easier it will be to create a compelling messaging that people find valuable.

In contrast to other traction channels, social media advertising has an immediate impact and brings results fast. With only a small budget, you can quickly test which social platform could move the needle, and which messaging works well. Keep in mind to always track your campaigns. If you do not track them, you will not know if you are moving closer to your goal or further away. In order to monitor your advertising effectively, use a tracking link which is just an extension to your normal link, but can be evaluated later on in your analytics tool (Google Analytics/Adobe Analytics etc.).

Even though more and more brands are using this traction channel, most campaigns fail. The number one reason for that is that the majority of ads is boring, similar and generic. People who scroll their newsfeed on Facebook do not intend to buy. At least not in that moment. Always ask yourself: “Why should people even care, why should they click on the ad?”

To increase the success rate of your campaign, try this:
“Enter the conversation your customers are having in their mind. Preferably something they go to bed worrying about and wake up thinking about.” - Allan Dib, author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan.

In order to enter the conversation your customers are having in their mind, it is important to know your target audience. If you want to create a long-lasting relationship with your customers and have a real impact on their life, never sell directly from your ad. Instead, create valuable content regularly and build trust. With value comes trust, with trust comes relationship.
Banner ads
Banner ads are also known as display advertising. They are those prominent banners on websites you have probably blocked with your AdBlock tool. Display advertising aims to create brand awareness and reach potential customers, no matter the specific website. Display advertising is often times managed by ad networks that sell advertising space on websites, blogs and other sites. The biggest ad network is “Google Display Advertising Network”. Besides that, there are some smaller niche Ad Networks. With less reach, these networks focus on smaller sites and therefore placing an advertisement is cheaper. If your service is more of a niche topic, these niche Ad Networks could be worth a try.
Direct ads
Besides display advertisements, you can also run direct ads. Simply ask the website owner to place an ad on their site for a set price. Especially in the beginning of your SaaS company/Start-up, direct ads (even though they are not scalable) could bring you enough traction to achieve the next stage.

Questions for Social and Display Ads:

• Why should people care, why should they click?
• How can we stand out from the crowd?
• What content is most valuable for our customers?
• What platform are potential customers using?

Metrics for Social and Display Ads:

• Customer acquisition cost
• Conversion rate
• Cost per click
• Shares, likes, impressions
offline ads. 2 steps to get more customers with traditional media
offline ads are ads via tv, radio, magazines, newspaper
pro tips:
1. figure out what offline channels your customers are using
2. use a clear cta, no matter the channel
offline ads. ask yourself:
what offline channels are my customers using?
offline ads: important metrics:
cac per channel, reach per channel, conversion rate

Offline Ads

In today’s marketing world, offline ads are almost forgotten and social media ads are taking over. Yet, offline ads could provide you the necessary growth for your company. If you have identified offline ads to fit your growth strategy, follow these two steps:

1. Figure out what offline channels your customers are using.
Instead of providing a service for "everyone", start focusing on specific buyer personas. That will help you save money and communicate effectively.

2. Use a clear call to action (CTA), no matter the channel.
Every ad you publish needs to have a clear CTA which leads your customers to the next step. In addition, track your CTA-button to know how well your ads perform.

Questions for Offline Ads:

• What offline channels are potential customers using?
• How can we track the effectiveness of the channel?

Metrics for Offline Ads:

• CAC per channel
• Reach
• Conversion rate
• Quality of leads

What I've found quite effective when you start a strategy on any particular channel is to find where your audience/user or customer would usually be. Rather than selecting a particular channel that you think would work, it's better to find what channel your intended customer base would usually be at. 'Find' where your customers are rather than pushing channels to meet customers.

Rahim M Rayintakath
Marketing Specialist, Helpee
sales. 3 stesp to convert leads into customers
sales is the process of generating, qualifying and converting leads into customers
never persuade your leads. instead provide value by asking great questions
use specific parameters to find out how ready a prospect is to buy
address your leads' objections and make the buying process as easy as possible
sales. ask yourself:
how can we shorten the sales cycle?
sales. important metrics:
conversion rate, how many leads became paying customers, quality of leads

Sales

Direct Sales is one of the most established methods to acquire new customers. It is about generating leads, qualifying them and converting them into paying customers. Direct Sales work well for high-cost products or enterprise software, where sales cycles are long and social ads just will not cut it. To make sales a scalable and profitable channel for your company, it is necessary to have a sound strategy and a repeatable model in place. This will allow you to optimize and reduce costs. There are 3 steps of direct sales:
1. Generating leads:
The goal is not to persuade your leads, but to provide value by asking crucial questions. It is about leading naturally to your solution. If it is not a good fit, there is no sell. A great framework for cold calling is “SPIN-Selling”, developed by Neil Rackham. SPIN-SELLING stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff and comprises 4 types of questions:

Situation questions:
These are basic questions that will help you understand your leads’ company & situation (“How is your company structured? What problem prompted your company to look for a solution?”).

Problem questions:
Problem questions identify your buyers’ challenges and pain points. The goal is to understand if and how your solution can solve the problem.

Implication questions:
Implication questions aim to make the lead aware of the long-term impact the defined problems entail (“How does this problem impact your growth?What happens if we do nothing?”).

Need-payoff questions:

The last step in the SPIN Selling framework leads to your solution and shows the benefits your product brings (“How would this solution help you address your problem? Why is this the best solution for you?”).

It is important to keep in mind to never sell something that has no value to your leads. Selling is about figuring out if there is a fit and providing value, not about convincing somebody.
2. Qualify leads:
Qualifying leads means to find out how ready a prospect is to buy. It is necessary to segment your leads. To do so, use a spreadsheet and list all your potential customers. You can then define different parameters to rank your leads. Possible parameters are:

• Probable closing time (closing in 3 month, 3-12 month, unlikely to close within 12 month)
• Business size
• Location
• Engagement on website (For example: dwell time on website)

Once you assign a value to each parameter, you can rank your leads. This will help you use your marketing budget more efficiently and tell you where to invest in lead nurturing campaigns.
3. Converting leads into customers:
The last phase of direct sales is about making the buying process easy and convenient. Find out what the last questions your leads have are before buying and address those objections as early as possible.

In enterprise sales, sales cycles can be long. Try to shorten these processes by eliminating inefficiencies, building trust with your leads and creating repeatable systems. Always test and try to improve your sales funnel.

Questions for Direct Sales:

• To whom can we provide the most value?
• How can we shorten the sales cycle?
• What are the objections leads have before buying from us?
• How can we simplify the buying process for our leads?

Metrics for Direct Sales:

• Customer acquisition cost
• Conversion rate
• How many leads became paying customers?
• Expected lifetime value of different leads
• Quality of leads
email marketing. 4 steps to create emails that your customers read
email marketing means sending emails directly to customers to drive sales
4 steps to powerful emails:
1. make it personal
2. communicate benefits not features
3. time emails on customer behavior
4. give every email a clear call to action
email marketing. ask yourself:
what email content is most valuable for our customers?
email marketing. important metrics:
bounce rate, open rate, click through rate, click to open rate

E-Mail Marketing

Sending emails directly to leads is still one of the best ways to reach potential customers and build lasting relationships with them. It is also a proven way to keep your retention rate high and to help customers find value in your service. To get people's email addresses in the first place, you have to provide something valuable in return. The most common way is via a lead magnet. The best lead magnets are free e-books, checklists, or cheatsheets. Keep in mind that people's inboxes are busy and your email is just one of many. Your chances of actually getting people to look at it and open it are naturally low. The key is value. If you do not provide enough value, people will delete your email or even worse – send you straight to spam.

To create powerful email campaigns, which people do not delete, complete these 4 steps:
1. Make it personal.
The best way to connect via email is to address customers personally. You can do this by asking for the customer's first name in the sign-up form. Yet, be careful to not ask for too much information upfront. Every extra form field increases drop-off rates.
2. Communicate benefits, not features.
Customers buy benefits, not features. A good example for this is: “More legroom in an airplane” = feature vs. “A more relaxed travel experience” = benefit.
3. Time emails based on customer behavior.
Behavior-based emails have dramatic impact on the retention rate because they support your customers on their journey.
4. Give every email a clear call to action.
Every email should lead customers to the next step in their journey and help them achieve their individual goals.

Email marketing is a powerful method to reach your customers. To keep your service in your customers head, weekly or daily emails may seem tempting. However, if you start to spam, that is where your emails are going to land. Thus, be relevant to your customers and help them reach their goals.

Questions for Email Marketing:

• What email content is most valuable for our customers?
• What is the best time to reach customers via email?
• How can we differentiate from all the other email campaigns?

Metrics for Email Marketing:

• Email bounce rate
• Open rate
• Click-through-rate
• Click to open rate
• Dwell time & bounce rate on website (to see if your e-mail met the expectations)
• Conversion rate
search engine marketing. 5 steps to create winning ads
search engine marketing means purchasing ads on search engines to gain traffic
5 pro tips
1. know your customers
2. use the keywords your customers search for on google
3. create ad groups
4. test your design and wording for each ad
5. focus on winners
search engine marketing. ask yourself:
why should people care, why should they click?
search engine marketing. important metrics:
click through rate, cost per click, cost per mille, conversion rate

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing means buying ads on search engines (Google, Bing etc.) to boost your reach and traffic. Contrary to SEO, which is a long-term process, paid ads can help you get traction fast. The purpose is to be among the first entries on Google when people search for a specific term. Ads are shown at the very top on the Google search engine results page (SERP), above other search results like featured snippets, listings and organic results. The position of your ad depends on the keyword relevance (keyword matching) and the budget you are willing to spend.

Creating search engine ads is a 5-step process:
1. You need to have a good understanding of your customers.
2. Find keywords that your target audience is using for their Google search.
3. Create ad groups.
4. Test your design and copy for each ad.
5. Remove underperforming ads and focus on winners.

Search engine marketing is an excellent way to get the word out and to reach many people. However, for high-traffic keywords, competition can be tough. Often it makes more sense to focus on long-tail keywords (niche keywords with less competition), instead of going for the short head (high-volume keywords with high competition). Just like social ads, if you want to increase the conversion rate of your ad, you need to “enter the conversation your customers are having in their mind” Allan Dib, author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan. Always ask yourself why people should click on your ad and what their benefit is.

When using SEM, there are 3 important metrics to bear in mind:
1. CTR (click-through-rate): Shows, how many people who saw your ad also clicked. For example, if 100 people saw your ad and 5 people clicked it, your CTR is 5%.
2. Cost per click: How much it costs to buy a click on your advertisement.
3. CPM (Cost per thousand impressions). A CPM of €5 means you pay €5 for 1000 impressions.
4. Cost per acquisition: How much it costs to acquire a customer, not just a click.

The most common pricing models in search engine marketing are CPC (Cost per click) and CPM (Cost per mille = cost per thousand impressions). When deciding which pricing model to use, think about what you are trying to achieve with your ad. If you want to get the word out and gain brand awareness, go for CPM, because you will definitely get 1000 impressions. The downside to this is that impressions only mean that people (in the best case) see your ad. This does not mean they click on it. Instead, it might be more advisable to use the CPC model to drive your conversions. That way you only pay for the ad if people click on it. No matter which pricing model you choose, always track your campaigns to see, which design and messaging works best. You can do this by using an URL builder. Test, remove the losers and focus on the winners.

Questions for SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

• What is most important to our customers?
• What conversation are our customers having in their mind?
• What is the overall goal of the campaign (brand awareness, website traffic, etc.)?
• How much are we willing to invest to get a customer?
• Why should people care, why should they click the ad?

Metrics for SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

• Click-through-rate
• Cost per click
• Cost per mille
• Cost per acquisition
• Conversion rate
seo. 3 key steps to get more traffic to your website
search engine optimization means optimizing your website to get organic traffic
1. know what your customers search for on google
2. use those keywords on your website so people find you
3. publish content your customers find valuable
best keywords combine 3 things:
1. relevant to your business 2. high search volume 3. low competition
search engine optimization. ask yourself:
what are our customers searching for on google?
search engine optimization. important metrics:
ranking position, click through rate, conversion rate

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO stands for search engine optimization and is about publishing content that your customers find valuable. The goal is to get traffic via Google's organic search, not via ads. On Google’s search engine results page (SERP) you compete against specific SERP features. Common search features are snippets, ad listings, knowledge graphs, local listings, image packs or video listings. SEO is a long-term process and needs constant effort. However, once you rank on top of Googles first page, it is worth the effort.

When you ask people where they would hide a dead body, they will tell you “on Googles page 2“. The key to rank on Googles first page is to write quality content that is relevant and provides value to your audience. Sites with short texts and little content cannot provide the value your customers need to engage. To rank on the first page, you need to know what key phrases and words your target audience is typing into Google’s search. Your goal is to align the words you are using on your website with the keywords people are searching for.

The best keywords combine 3 things:
1. High search volume: People are searching for it.
2. Low competition: If you go for the most popular keywords, websites with higher authority will outrank you.
3. Relevant to your business: Only use terms that make sense for your business.

To find promising keywords, these 5 tools come in handy:
1. Google Adwords – Find out search volume and competition for specific keywords.
2. Google Trends – Learn if the keyword is trending and compare it to different phrases.
3. Google Search –Understand what people are searching for and find new phrases and keywords.
4. Link Explorer – Discover your own page and domain authority.
5. MozBar – Figure out others page and domain authority.

Fat-head vs long-tail strategy:

When you are using SEO as your marketing channel, decide whether to focus on a fat-head or long-tail strategy. Fat-head keywords refer to words that are super popular and therefore have a high search volume. These keywords bring lots of traffic but also entail the downside that the competition is strong, which makes it difficult to rank. Examples for fat-head keywords are “Marketing” or “SaaS”. Besides the competition, another disadvantage of fat-head keywords is that your conversion rate may suffer, since one keyword alone will only tell you very little about the customers search intent.

Long tail keywords are more descriptive and more specific, for example“Marketing for SaaS companies”. Since they are more specific, it is easier to rank and people who click on the link are more likely to engage with your content.

SEO is a marketing channel that will help you increase visibility, organic traffic, boost your Google rankings and create lasting customer relationships. The goal is to provide valuable content for your customers regularly. To rank on Google, find keywords with low competition, high search volume and compete with domains and pages on the same or a lower authority level.

Questions for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

• What are our customers searching for on Google? What keywords and phrases do they use?
• What keyword can we rank for that is relevant to potential customers?
• How many customers can we reach with this specific keyword?
• What is our customers’ search intent on Google?

Metrics for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

• Ranking position
• Click-through-rate
• Dwell time on website
• Bounce rate
• Conversion rate

If you want a long healthy life, invest in SEO. If you want a short joyful life, invest in SEM. If you want a long healthy and joyful life, then invest in both!

Nihal Ahamed
Crew Chief at Storytellers Tribe | CaddyCode Solutions
targeting blogs. how to get traction and reach your first customers
target blogs your customers read to get reach and traffic
3 steps to find the right blog to target
1. ask yourself what kind of blogs your customers read
2. research the expected traffic for each potential blog
3. connect to the blogger and start a conversation
create a win-win situation for you the blogger and the audience
targeting blogs. ask yourself:
what blogs are our customers reading?
targeting blogs. important metrics:
blog traffic, click through rate, conversion rate

Targeting Blogs

Targeting blogs is a solid strategy to get first customers. Especially guest posting can be a great tool for early-stage growth and get your company going. To choose the right blog for your service, first ask yourself what blogs your target audience is reading and what content they find valuable. Start your research with a simple Google search on “Best blogs for <<your topic>>”. Also use Facebook or YouTube to search for popular channels that fit your target audience. Next, start researching the expected traffic for each blog. Tools like SEMrush or Moz open site explorer can be of use here. Whether a blog has potential depends on the volume of traffic and your chance of getting featured. There is no point in approaching the biggest blogs, where your chance of getting featured is close to zero. Instead, reach out to the more niche-blogs in your area where it is way more likely that you will get a feature.

Once you got your high potential blogs, it is time to contact the blogger. Before asking to guest post, try to make a connection and start a conversation by reading their blog, commenting or connecting via email. Your goal is to find out, if a cooperation is fruitful for you, the blogger and the community. Try to create a win-win situation.

Besides guest blogging, consider other options to utilize a blog as well - for example through sponsoring. A sponsored blog would put your advertisement on their site for a fixed price. This would lead people who read the blog to your product/service. Do not forget to track the traffic that comes through the blog to find out which blogs are most effective.

Targeting blogs is a great way to get customers early on. However, keep in mind that there is only a limited number of high-traffic blogs for your market. Therefore, later on it is more difficult to scale.

Questions for Targeting Blogs

• What blogs are our audience reading?
• What content would be most valuable to our audience?
• How many customers can we reach with this marketing channel?

Metrics for Targeting Blogs

• Blog traffic
• Click-through-rate
• Conversion rate
• Traffic driven to the website
• Dwell time on website
viral marketing. how to get more customers for free
viral marketing means existing customers recommend your service to others
2 components of viral marketing:
1. viral coefficient
2. viral cycle time
viral marketing. ask yourself:
what do customers like most about our service?
viral marketing. important metrics:
referred customers, net promoter score, viral coefficient & viral cycle time

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing is a style of promotion that relies on users liking your service so much that they recommend it to others. Going viral is the holy grail, every user you acquire will then bring in at least one additional customer. There are two different types of virality. First, the well-known word-of-mouth method. Second, the built-in virality. Built-in virality describes features that act like a natural mechanism for existing users to get more users. When speaking of viral marketing, people most of the time refer to built-in features. These built-in-features can lead to viral loops.

Viral loops comprise 3 steps:
1. A customer discovers and uses your service.
2. The customer tells his friend about the service.
3. The friend becomes a customer.

Not all companies can use the same technique for viral marketing. Communication and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Skype already have built-in viral loops, as it makes little sense if you are the only one to use them.

Before using viral marketing, make sure your service has market fit and people think it is a must-have. If your service is not providing value, no viral strategy is going to help you get traction.

The number one mistake companies make when using viral marketing is to build viral features that feel unnatural to the core product. Instead, the process of inviting more people should be a natural result of using the product. Before adding a generic Facebook share button, understand how your customers use the product and at which point of their journey they would most probably invite friends. Be sure to avoid any useless badges or rewards with no actual value. Keep in mind that incentives should be meaningful to your product.

To measure the effectiveness of your referral phase, use the viral coefficient. The viral coefficient represents the number of additional customers you get for each customer. This is how you calculate the viral coefficient:

Viral coefficient = number of invites sent per customer * conversion percentage

For example, if your customers send out 5 invites and 3 people convert, the math is done like this: Viral coefficient = 5 * (3/5) = 3

A viral coefficient above 1 indicates exponential growth. Best practices for immense growth are social media share buttons or the famous Dropbox incentive, which rewards you for every friend you invite. Besides the viral coefficient, viral loops also have a second important component, the viral cycle time. The viral cycle time tells you how long it takes a customer to invite another customer. The shorter your viral cycle time, the better.

Questions for Viral Marketing

• What do customers like most about our service?
• What incentives do customers need to invite friends?
• At which point of their journey would customers most probably invite friends?

Metrics for Viral Marketing

• Referred customers
• Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) of referred customers
• Sent invitations & successful invitations
• Viral coefficient & viral cycle time
Net Promoter Score
engineering as marketing. how to win customers with selfmade tools
engineering as marketing means building tools to draw customers to your brand
2 pro tips:
1. build tools that naturally leap to your solution
2. build a landing page for every tool you create
engineering as marketing. ask yourself:
what tool or widget would our customers find valuable?
engineering as marketing. important metrics
traffic driven to website, conversion rate, quality of leads

Engineering as Marketing

Engineering as marketing is about building useful tools, widgets or browser extensions that your customers find valuable. The goal is to create a positive touch point with your target audience and get people interested in your brand. Always remember to develop widgets or tools that naturally lead to your solution. This will make it easier for your customers to take the leap to your brand's offering. This method can be helpful when your other marketing channels are already saturated or when you want to stand out from the crowd. An outstanding example for engineering as marketing is HubSpot's Website Grader. In exchange for your email address, HubSpot offers you to rate your website for free. This helps them generate more leads and expand their customer base.

Engineering as marketing takes time. If you are looking for an instant impact, this is not the channel to choose. Rather, see it as an asset you build once that will benefit you forever – via consistent traffic to your website or via new touch points with potential leads.

To maximize the impact of your tools, use a landing page for every widget/tool you create. It will be much easier for people to find it via Google and it will be simpler to share.

Questions for Engineering as Marketing

• What tool/widget would our customers most value?
• How many customers can we reach with this marketing channel?
• What steps would an ideal customer take?

Metrics for Engineering as Marketing

• Traffic driven to the website
• Click-through-rate
• Conversion rate
• Dwell time on website
• Quality of leads
trade shows. 5 steps to get customers via events
Trade shows as a traction channel means to show your product in person.
5 pro tips:
1. have a clear goal for the event
2. plan meetings with people you want to meet upfront
3. create an inviting booth to stand out from the crowd
4. use a clear call to action for your marketing material
5. measure which marketing material works best
trade shows. ask yourself:
who do we want to meet at the event?
trade shows. important metrics:
quality of leads, conversion rate

Trade Shows

Trade shows are a great channel to show your product or software in person. They are promising when customers cannot be reached online. Likewise, they are well suited for high-ticket items where trust must first be established. Trade shows are also an excellent opportunity to connect to customers and get early feedback for your product. The number one mistake companies make when attending events is to go there without a strategy in place. To get quality connections and potential customers, you need a plan and a goal. Use these 4 steps to validate which events are valuable to your business:

1. Set your goals – Are you trying to get media coverage, investors or customers?
2. Research all the events in your industry.
3. Validate each trade show in relation to your goals. For example, if you want to get visibility, book a well-trafficked place.
4. Calculate the ROI – Calculate the Return on Investment by considering how many people attend the event and how many closings you expect. For example, if 5000 people attend the event and 10% of the attendees fit your customer profile, you have 500 potential customers. If the event costs €500 to enter and your product costs €500, you only need one customer to break even.

Once you found a promising event, make a list of people you want to meet. This way it is easier to concentrate on the event and not feel the need to look for valuable connections. Schedule meetings upfront and take the time to get to know your potential business partners. A few valuable contacts are better than having a bag of business cards.

Trade shows are busy and the booths are huddled together closely. Design an appealing stand and make your product’s value evident right away to get people to your booth. Following these guidelines will help you attract customers that are actually interested in your service. Your booth and marketing material (business cards, giveaways) should have a strong call to action – for example, signing up for the newsletter. Track every individual call to action to find out which approach drives conversions best.

Questions for Trade Shows

• Who do we want to meet at the event?
• Where would potential customers expect us?
• How can we stand out from the crowd?
• How many customers can we reach at the event?

Metrics for Trade Shows

• Quality of leads
• Customer acquisition cost
• ROI of the event
• Click-through-rate (Marketing material)
• Conversion rate
• How many visitors became customers?
offline events. 6 tips for hosting a successful event
Offline events as a traction channel means running events to engage with customers.
1. chose a topic that your audience finds valuable
2. have a clear marketing strategy for your event
3. make event registration as easy as possible
4. engage with your audience during the event
5. track your marketing channels
6. keep track of the attendees and follow up
offline events. ask yourself:
who do we want to meet at the event?
offline events. important metrics:
no show rate, quality of leads, conversion rate

Offline Events

Offline events as a traction channel mean running meetups, hackathons or large conferences to engage with prospective customers. Like trade shows, these events are promising if clients do not respond well to online ads and need to build more trust to buy from you. There are two ways to connect to potential customers via offline events. First, attend conferences and meetups yourself or – if there is no valuable event to attend – create your own. By hosting smaller meetups or one-day conferences, you can test how well your target audience responds to it. Once you see traction, consider scaling to larger congresses.

Hosting offline events is challenging at first since unproven events usually do not sell many tickets. Think about what incentives and guarantees you can bring to show your event’s value. Skilled speakers, an expert panel, or a Q&A session are excellent ways to address your customers' problems. People attend events to extend their network. Therefore, keep your attendee quality as high as possible by sending free tickets to valuable participants. To get the most of offline events, use these 6 steps:
1. Chose a topic for your event that your audience finds valuable.
If you do not know what your customers are interested in, your event is unlikely to attract the right target audience. Before jumping into a potential topic, do customer research first and find out what topics resonate with your audience.
2. Have a clear marketing strategy for your event.
Promote the event on social media or send free tickets to influencers and their community.
3. Make event registrations as easy as possible.
4. Engage with the audience during the event.
5. Track your marketing channels.
When using different marketing material, it is necessary to track each call to action. This will help you get insights which channels drive registrations best and what you should focus on.
6. Keep track of the attendees.
If you are selling B2B, monitor the companies that are attending your events. These could be a chance to grow your network and to find potential partners.

Questions for Offline Events

• What topics does our target audience value most?
• How can we make the natural leap to our product/service?
• What speakers can provide the most value to our audience?
• Who do we want to meet at the event?
• How many potential customers can we reach at the event?

Metrics for Offline Events

• No show rate
• Quality of leads
• Customer acquisition cost
• Click-through-rate (Marketing material)
• Conversion rate
• How many visitors became customers?
speaking engagement. 6 steps to get leads by giving a talk
Speaking engagement as a traction channel means giving talks or workshops.
1. chose a topic that is valuable to your audience
2. define success criteria for your talk
3. plan meetings with people you want to meet upfront
4. create some buzz during your talk via social media
5. end with a strong call to action
6. record your talk and use snippets for your marketing
speaking engagement. ask yourself:
what is most valuable to our audience?
speaking engagement. important metrics:
no show rate, quality of leads, conversion rate

Speaking Engagements

Speaking engagements are a golden opportunity to connect with your audience, establish credibility and build trust. Start by researching events in your area and apply as a guest speaker. To find out which events are having the right audience for you, first attend the event yourself. You can increase your chances of becoming a guest speaker by asking the organizer about the ideal topics they want speakers to cover at the event.

When creating the presentation, keep in mind that it is not about you. The important thing is to offer value to the audience. Ask yourself the following questions: To whom am I talking? How much information does my audience already have? What are their expectations and needs? What do I want them to learn? With this, you can define the core message and develop a clear and comprehensible story.

To measure your talk’s success, define success criteria beforehand. For example, if you are talking about ways for scaling a company, you could express your goal for the event like this: I want my audience to know three different ways to scale a company. Having a certain purpose, you do not see yourself as the most relevant part anymore. Instead, you will give more emphasis on the content and the message.

Speaking engagements also help you meet new people and grow your network. Therefore, think about the people who you would like to meet at the event upfront. Let them know when you will be speaking, and suggest meeting and connecting afterwards. During your presentation, create some buzz via social media. You can do this by implementing hashtags in your slides and incentivizing people to share.

Your last slide should never be just a thank you page. Instead, use a call to action to make people connect with you, download your lead magnet or register for your newsletter. Track those links to know which call to action works best.

To leverage your talk, record it and use snippets, quotes and pictures for your content marketing strategy afterwards.

Questions for Speaking Engagements

• What is most valuable to the audience?
• What are the success criteria for our presentation?
• What do we want people to learn?
• What action do we want people to take?

Metrics for Speaking Engagements

• No show rate
• Quality of leads
• Click-through-rate (Marketing material)
• Conversion rate
community building. how to create raving fans for your service
community building means creating a network of raving fans
3 pro tips:
1. make the community part of your overall customer experience
2. offer valuable content
3. have a shared mission
community building. ask yourself:
what is most valuable to our community?
community building. important metrics:
total community members, new members, engagement rate, conversion rate

Community Building

Community building as a traction channel is about growing your network, building long-term relationships with your customers, and helping your audience connect. Communities give you the chance to interact personally with potential customers and getting early feedback for your service. Implementing this feedback and developing your product will turn customers into evangelists, who will recommend your service and bring in more people to the community.

Apple does an outstanding job at building a community. People are willing to wait for hours in queue lines to get the newest iPhone. These evangelists spread the word, which reduces Apple's customer acquisition cost.

Besides Apple, more and more companies see the power of communities and start growing their own. Keep in mind not to misuse your community to promote your service. Consider it a chance to provide value, talk to group members and to learn about the challenges they are facing. It is about value, not advertisement. To build your own community, consider these 3 steps:
1. Make the community a part of the overall customer experience
It should not feel like an artificial add-on to your product/service. Instead, it should be a place for people to connect and get additional value.
2. Offer valuable, exclusive content
Active members and engagement drive thriving communities. Before building your community, think about what is most useful to your audience and why they should join. Exclusive content, beta-access, or connections to other group members are of great value.
3. Have a shared mission
People love to be part of something bigger. A mission will give your audience a reason to contribute and provide helpful feedback along the way.

Questions for Community Building

• What is most valuable to our community?
• What benefit should people find in our community?
• How can a community complement our overall customer experience?
• How does success look like to us?

Metrics for Community Building

• Total community members
• New members this month
• Active vs Inactive members
• Engagements on posts (Likes, shares, comments)
• Member-posts
• Conversion rate
affiliate marketing. how affiliate programs reduce your marketing costs
affiliate marketing are commission based sales
can be used to generate sales, get qualified leads, bring traffic to your website
2 pricing models:
1. flat fee
2. percentage based
affiliate marketing. ask yourself:
what kind of conversion are we trying to achieve?
affiliate marketing. important metrics:
traffic driven to website, bounce rate, conversion rate, quality of leads

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs are commission-based sales, where somebody promotes your product and gets a share of the proceeds, whenever a sale is made based on the promotion. However, generating sales is only one workable arrangement whereby affiliate programs can be useful. Other possibilities are paying somebody to get qualified leads or bring traffic to your website. These programs have gained more popularity through influencer marketing, where people with big followings advertise products on their website, Instagram, or via their YouTube channel.

There are two different ways to apply affiliate marketing. You either use an existing affiliate network or you create your own program. To do so, you need to find potential partners from your customer base or connect to influencers with access to your target audience. Many affiliate programs are based on a flat fee. In the early phases of your company – when cash is low – think about creative ways to pay affiliates - for example, via product features, beta-access or other exclusive content.

Keep in mind that affiliate programs only help you bring traffic to your website or promote your product. It is then up to you to convert those visitors into customers.

When you use affiliate programs, determine how much you are willing to pay affiliates to acquire a customer. Some basic strategies for affiliate programs are flat fees per conversion (5€ for a customer that makes a purchase) or a percentage of the conversion (5% of the price paid by the customer). So with affiliate programs, you only pay for concrete results. Compared to PPC advertising, where you pay regardless of whether a click converts to purchase, this is a plus.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to grow without the risk of spending a lot of money on marketing. Once set up, you can focus on other traction channels in the meantime.

Questions for Affiliate Programs

• Which influencer/affiliate fits our company?
• Which influencer/affiliate has the right audience for our service?
• How can we pay affiliates besides with money?
• What conversion are we trying to achieve? (traffic to website / potential leads / new customers)
• How much are we willing to pay affiliates to acquire a customer?

Metrics for Affiliate Programs

• Traffic driven to the website
• Bounce rate
• Conversion rate
• Customer acquisition cost
• Quality of leads
business development. 3 steps to build strategic business partnerships
business development are strategic partnerships with other businesses
3 steps:
1. have a clear strategy
2. know the critical metrics you want to hit
3. think about which partner can help you meet your objective
business development. ask yourself:
what critical milestones do we want to hit?
business development. important metrics:
number of potential partners, quality of leads, lead conversion rate

Business Development

Business development means building strategic relationships with partners to create synergies. Those synergies can consist in access to other communities or leveraging capabilities.

The most basic partnership contains two companies that work together to improve one or both their services. Other possibilities are joint ventures, where a new product gets created, licensing a product or distribution deals, where one party provides the service and in return gains access to the customer base of the second party.

No matter the exact deal, it is indispensable to have a sound strategy at hand before investing resources in business development. Think about what critical milestone and metrics you are trying to hit, which partner is meaningful to you and what kind of partnership can help you meet your aim. Start seeing alliances as a possibility to help you hit your metrics and not something you build just because the occasion arises. Business Development is about creating a win-win situation and building beneficial long-term relationships. Ask yourself what motivates your potential partner to work with you and what value you can bring to the table. Understanding your business partner’s objectives and what goals they are trying to meet is crucial for this process. Once you identify the milestones and goals, you can craft a valuable deal for you and your partner.

Questions for Business Development

• What critical milestones do we want to hit?
• What partner can help us hit our milestone?
• What kind of partnership can help us hit our milestone?

Metrics for Business Development

• Number of potential partners
• Quality of leads
• Lead Conversion rate
unconventional public relations. how to stand out from the crowd and win customers
unconventional public relations are actions that bring publicity
2 powerful methods:
1. publicity stunt
2. customer appreciation
unconventional public relations. ask yourself:
what publicity stunt would get the most media coverage?
unconventional public relations. important metrics:
how many customers can we reach with this stunt, conversion rate

Unconventional PR

Unconventional public relations is also known as Guerilla Marketing and describes unexpected publicity stunts to get media coverage and get people to spread the word. Since today’s marketing world is full of competition, these stunts can help your business stand out from the crowd. The best publicity stunts are inexpensive to create but bring a lot of media buzz. Today, getting media coverage and encouraging word of mouth is often achieved with viral videos, which can help you make your Startup or SaaS company get recognized. There are two brilliant methods to either get media coverage or increase word of mouth:
1. Publicity Stunt:
Contests or giveaways to get the media's attention.
2. Customer appreciation:
Small but scalable actions to turn customers into evangelists (Sending cookies or handwritten Thank You Notes). Customers highly appreciate such small gestures, which then lead to word of mouth and organic growth.

Questions for Unconventional PR

• What publicity stunt would get the most media coverage?
• How can we turn customers into evangelists?

Metrics for Unconventional PR

• CAC for a publicity stunt
• How many customers can we reach with this stunt?
• How many people will fit our customer profile?
• Conversion rate
content marketing. 3 reasons why you should start content marketing today
content marketing means creating content to pull your audience towards your business
content marketing helps you to:
increase visibility, traffic and rankings
build relationships & trust with your customers
get early feedback for your service
content marketing. ask yourself:
what content is most valuable to our audience?
content marketing. important metrics:
shares, likes, impressions, conversion rate

Content Marketing

Content marketing is also known as inbound marketing and aims to pull your audience toward your business. In this case, you do not strive for direct sales. Instead, focus on creating lasting relationships with potential customers by helping, teaching, and providing value. Content marketing comes in many forms like videos, e-books, infographics, how-to-guides, blog posts, etc. Even though this takes time, everything you create is a long-term asset. Contrary to short-lived ads, the content you originate today can still be seen years later by potential customers. These assets are a powerful tool to help you increase visibility, organic traffic, your overall Google rankings and position yourself as an expert and thought leader.

Your service is not for everyone, neither should your content be. Therefore, the best content gets created with a clear vision of your target audience in mind. Before creating your first piece of content, think about what is most valuable to your audience and what design and what kind of copy resonates best with them. The better you know your audience, the more compelling your content will be.

In the beginning, it is impossible to know which kind of content works best for your audience. Therefore, monitor your posts and the most important metrics like shares, likes, impressions and bounce rate on your website. Once you found a winning post, focus on the same kind of content to improve reach and traffic.

Questions for Content Marketing

• Why should people care, why should they click?
• What content is most valuable to our audience?
• How can we stand out from the crowd?
• How can we make the natural leap to our products/services?

Metrics for Content Marketing:

• Shares, likes, impressions
• Conversion rate
• Dwell time & bounce rate on website
existing platforms. how to get traffic through established platforms
existing platforms means utilizing the traffic on established platforms
2 ways to use existing platforms:
1. gaining traffic through browser extensions
2. gaining traffic through app stores
think about where your potential customers hang out
existing platforms. ask yourself:
what platform is our audience using?
existing platforms. important metrics:
app/browser extension downloads, engagement, conversion rate

Existing Platforms

Gaining traction through existing platforms means utilizing the traffic on already established platforms like app stores or well-known browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Traffic through browser extensions:
One of the most popular browser extensions is Adblock Plus, which blocks ads on websites. Extensions and add-ons for browsers are a powerful way to provide value and make people aware of your service. Before creating such tools, think about where your potential customers hang out and what browsers they use. Target those platforms afterwards.
Traffic through app stores:
Another proven way to get traffic is through app stores (Google Store/Apple Store). To date, there are over 2.2 million apps in the iOS store and over 2.8 million apps in the Google store. Therefore, competition is tough. The best way to get traction through app stores is getting featured because featured apps are at the top of the store and get the most views and organic traffic. When you target an app store, think about what kind of app would stand out to editors and what Apple or Google are likely to promote. Keep in mind that free apps are downloaded more often. So even if your app downloads do not generate revenue in the first place, you get the chance to bring people closer to your service.

Questions for Existing Platforms:

• What platforms is our audience using?
• What app/extension is most valuable to our audience?
• Why should people download the app/install the extension?
• How can we stand out from the crowd?
• How can we make the natural leap to our products/services?

Metrics for Existing Platforms:

• App/Browser extension downloads
• Engagement (Reviews and comments)
• Conversion rate
public relations. 3 steps to get growth via pr
public relations means getting media coverage via newspaper or magazines
3 steps:
1. have a clear strategy
2. pitch to smaller media first
3. track your call to action
public relations. ask yourself:
what content has the best chance of getting covered?
public relations. important metrics:
how many customers can we reach with this media, conversion rate

Public Relations (PR)

Public relations means getting media coverage via newspapers or magazines. If your target audience uses traditional media, this can be a powerful tool. Just like unconventional PR, the goal is to get media coverage and get people to spread the word. It increases your chance of getting coverage if you start by pitching to smaller media outlets. Approach the more influential ones once you are better known. Before pitching to newspapers or magazines, it is necessary to first have a clear goal in mind. Think about what you want to achieve and what your success metrics are. Also, ask yourself what content or story has the best chance of getting covered. Coverage-worthy news is, for example, a successful funding round, a PR stunt, a reached milestone, or the launch of a new product.

Questions for Public Relations (PR)

• What content has the best chance of getting covered?
• What kind of magazine/newspaper do potential customers use?
• What success metrics are important to us?

Metrics for Public Relations (PR)

• Customer acquisition cost
• How many customers can we reach through this media outlet?
• How many people will fit our customer profile? (Potential customers)
• Conversion rate
How to effectively run experiments
testing is necessary to grow
incremental improvements compound
4 steps:
1. identify your most important business objective
2. analyze your current situation
3. run experiment
how to build a strong hypothesis:
if...
then...
because...
action steps: define doable steps for you and your team
fail & learn fast. no long lasting experiments
4. measure outcome
pick the experiments with the best ROI and the biggest impact

How to effectively run experiments

Now that you know everything about the 19 traction channels and how to use the Bullseye Marketing Framework, let us figure out how to create powerful experiments that will help you get the most out of a chosen channel. These tests are necessary to grow and to help you determine, which marketing channel could move the needle. Before designing experiments, think about what goal you want to achieve and why this is important to you/the company. An attainable goal could be: We want to get 100 leads for our newsletter because 20% of our newsletter readers become paying customers. Also, think about the target audience you are trying to reach. Narrowing down the channels is easier this way.

The overall idea is not to have long-lasting experiments but to test at a high tempo and generate insights and learnings quickly. Effective testing comprises a hypothesis, action steps and a fixed deadline.
Hypothesis:
Plan your hypothesis with "If, Then, Because". For example: If we publish ads on Social Media, we expect 100 newsletter readers in one week, because potential customers told us they would love to get more information about our service.
Action Steps:
Your action steps need to be clear, concise and doable for you and your team.
Experiment Length:
Do not make your experiments everlasting. It is important to fail fast. Get your insights, improve and run the next experiment.

Once you have experiments for potential channels ready to run, pick the ones with the best ROI and the biggest impact. Use an impact/practicability chart or – to make it even more meaningful – rank experiments based on the following criteria:

• Cost: How much do you have to spend to run the experiment?
• Targeting: How easy is it to reach the desired target group?
• Control: How much control do you have over the experiment? (Can you adjust if it is not going well?)
• Input time: How much time will it take to launch the experiment?
• Output time: How long does it take to get your experiment's results once it is live?
• Scale: How large an audience can you reach with the experiment?

Note that it is not about knowing the different criteria-values exactly, but to use them as a reference point. For example, it is difficult to find the exact cost of a Facebook ad, since there are more factors involved than just the costs of the ad itself (time to research best practices, time to build the ad etc.). Use the values as a reference point to compare them to the other experiments instead. Once you found your top three ideas to test, define how you can measure success and what metrics are most important to you. For example, if you want people to download your newsletter via the website and you try social ads, click-through-rate, bounce rate, dwell-time and conversion rate are meaningful. Experiment-frameworks are a potent tool to help you find out, if a marketing channel can bring you the traction you hope for. Keep in mind to use a test-mindset and be open to make mistakes. Especially in the beginning you cannot tell which channel works. Test at a high tempo, fail fast and iterate.

Summary

Using too many marketing channels is one of the biggest mistakes SaaS companies and Startups make. Focus on channels that can move the needle to not waste your marketing budget. The Bullseye Framework helps you to discover the right channels to get traction for your company. Brainstorm possible channels, do quick tests and focus on the best ones.
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