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Email is the single most effective online marketing channel today.

It took a while, but not a lot of people still question email for being the marketing channel with the highest ROI out there.

The reason is, that with email, you as a marketer or a business owner get to engage with your audience, in their personal inbox while they are receptive to your message. This type of connection is extremely hard to create artificially in any other medium.

Source: Adobe, McKinsey & Company

When you send an email to your audience, you use a simple formula of human behavior:

Familiarity + Consistency =  Trust

Your audience knows you and knows what you stand for. They opted into your list so they expect to hear from you in this specific medium. When you communicate with them in the way they opted into, they trust you. It doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily listen, but you are a familiar and trusted voice. And in marketing, trust is everything.

Now, this refers to email marketing to your already acquired audience, clients or prospects.

However, it is still possible to leverage the effectiveness of email marketing even if you don’t have any audience yet.

Imagine having the benefit of email marketing without having to spend a fortune on acquiring email addresses,  email servers, ESP services, email marketing experts and so on.

Advertising in Newsletters is the answer.

Newsletters are making a huge comeback in recent years. There are more and more newsletters out there – from the biggest publishers in the world to small up and coming targeted publishers. Savvy marketers are taking advantage of this, as newsletters offer the highest engagement and targeting capabilities.

Brands from across the board use Newsletter Marketing to generate demand and acquire more and more paying customers.

Casper, Hired, J.Crew, Invision, HBO and Thousands of other brands are using this method every day and you probably should too.

So why are they investing heavily in newsletters? Why not keep focusing on Facebook ads, Display or any other familiar paid online marketing channel out there?

The 4 main reasons for advertising in newsletters Our inbox is where we spend the most time

Source: Adobe, LiveIntent

The audience of email newsletters is more engaged

Most newsletter publishers have a very intimate understanding of their audience behavior, likes, dislikes and what will work for which brand. It’s a medium where direct response and connection with your audience is everything, which is why it’s the most engaging medium.

Advertising in newsletters is (still) a lot cheaper

There isn’t a lot of underpriced inventory in our industry. The combination of a paid message, but delivered by someone your audience actually wants to listen to, is rare and can be compared only to influencer marketing, which is overpriced nowadays.

Fraud is almost impossible (200 times less likely)

It’s way easier to measure deliverability, ROI and performance when advertising in email. There is only one place to read your ad – the inbox. There are no ad hijackings, fake clicks, bounced visits or anything of that sort. You know exactly how many people are going to get your message, you know the open rate (exposure) and you know the CTR (performance). That’s it. Simple. No BS.

Why aren’t everyone already advertising in newsletters?

The short answer is lack of supply from the publisher side and lack of knowledge from the advertiser side.

The long version is that as in everything in the advertising world, the early days are just for those who know what to look for.

There aren’t too many newsletters that will take your ad and some of the highest quality ones will screen for advertisers they want to work with. Why? Because they can and they are THAT impactful.

On top of that, most advertisers are not fully aware of the benefits of advertising in newsletters and think email marketing is something of the past. They are swamped with the marketing channels they know instead of keeping their eyes open for the next opportunity. After all, this type of inventory is not featured in comScore, you can’t find it in DSPs and your average agency media planner won’t do the research you need to do in order to find these opportunities.

So how should I start advertising in newsletters?

Good news! I can help.

Whether you’re new to Newsletter Marketing or an experienced sherpa, leave your email below, and get a free 2 weeks trial of InTheNewsletter – the tool that helps discover newsletter marketing opportunities.

What are you waiting for?

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Business Development means different things to different people in different industries. Even though the title itself is used in almost every industry –  more than 3.5 Million people listed in Linkedin alone(!) – the job description, goals and responsibilities of a Business Development person are dramatically different from company to company.

I used to dislike this title because it feels too generic, sort of a cookie-cutter business position. With time, I came to realize that this title is more of a form of communication between professionals than an actual job description. It means that the person carrying this title is responsible for engaging other companies and creating a lasting and meaningful mutual value.

People with this title are doing everything from sourcing partners, closing distribution deals, hunting advertisers, M&A, classic sales gigs of all kinds, portfolio management, affiliates management, merchandising, promotions… It’s endless.

Putting aside the actual day-to-day responsibilities of the specific position, every business development person can relate to this sentence:

“Business Development is always about connecting with the right people who will engage with you in a meaningful and mutually beneficial business relationship”.

In my current position, I’m the VP Business Development for a growing tech startup called SimilarWeb. My main goal is to find new business partners who can help us stay ahead and provide the best market intelligence product in the world. I joined SimilarWeb after they acquired my company, Tapdog.

After a few people asked me recently what I do to build successful and lasting business relationships and find new opportunities, I decided to try and portray what I do today that is still working for me as a Business Development executive and was working as well in my previous position as CEO.

Hope I can add you value. Please comment below if you have anything to say or want to add your own ideas. 

Here we go!

Healthy Pipeline

It all starts here. This is the most important part and if you can improve or focus on only one thing, this will be it. Make sure your pipeline is healthy – balanced, transparent, reflecting your business goals, realistic and updated. If you’ll keep these 5 principles and rigorously manage your pipeline, your chances of success will dramatically increase. Let’s dive into  each of the 5 principals:

Balanced

Don’t put your all your eggs in one basket and don’t count on one deal to help you hit your goals. You never know which contract is going to fall through at the last minute and which of the complications you never imagined can happen are going to bite you in the ass. We’re human, which means we’re generally emotional, opinionated and biased creatures who tend to focus on what we find most compelling. Being self-conscious about this is key to keep your dealflow alive for the long run. You need to make sure you diversify. Get your leads from different sources and never focus on the same type of leads. Hedge everything. Start with your own biases.

Consistency and Transparency

Be open internally about the way you do business, how you prioritize, what are your business assumptions, how do you define success, how do you choose who to engage and what you are trying to achieve at the end of the day. By being transparent about your system, you are actually forcing yourself to be persistent and avoid cutting corners which as well, may bite you in the ass. By doing that, you’re also helping your colleagues to help you stay on track and not lose sight of the bigger picture. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the details of a specific opportunity and if other people, employees, managers or colleagues know what you’re up to and what considered to be a success in your book – they’ll be able to help when they can.

Reflecting management goals

You’re hired to do a job. Even if you’re the CEO. You hired yourself to do a job. You need to execute the company’s short and long-term strategy by getting deals done and moving negotiations forward. Remember what I wrote earlier on biases? Surprisingly we tend to focus on what’s easy and convenient. Shocking, I know. But sometimes, and more often than not, the easy stuff is not what we need to actually be doing right now. It’s important to always perform a reality check and make sure the pipeline i.e. the deals you’re working on actually reflect the goals of the company and the management strategy.

Realistic

One bias that many BD people share is being too optimistic. They just add companies to their pipeline, guestimate a closing probability and hope for the best. This is always fun when you’re building your pipeline and always frustrating in the end of the quarter. Most deals won’t close, no matter what you do or who you are. It’s just the way business works. So while building and maintaining your pipeline, I suggest you’ll have very clear guidelines for what can fit in your pipeline, what to move to the next stage and what is getting pushed away. Screen your opportunities and make sure to invest your time realistically.

Groomed and Updated 

Use a CRM and keep it updated. I prefer the combination of Salesforce as a database and ONDiGO for making sure the leads and communication logs are always up to date and fresh. Understanding where you stand at all times, what’s working for you and what’s not such as specific patterns of communication, can make a real a difference in your bottom line. Trust me. Also, make sure you can always easily access the recent details of the deal and visualize your funnel to the rest of your team.

Network and your brand 

People don’t think of themselves as a business that needs to be developed. People don’t come to conferences to become leads. Your network is made out of people like you. They think of themselves exactly as you think of yourself – Someone who has a job to do and wants to have fun while doing it. Treat them like you would like them to treat you.

Be Nice To People

You are as good as your network. It’s not what you know it’s who you know. Cliché, indeed. But nonetheless true. Try sending 100 people a cold email or a cold Linkedin InMail. Now get 100 introductions, even from a distant connection. You can guess what will happen, right? But that’s easy. Everyone knows that intros are better. But how do you get an intro? Fanatically increasing your Linkedin network and collecting as many business cards as possible in every conference will not help you in the long run. The way you build a relationship is by trying to take your interests out of the equation and genuinely being interested in what the person you meet has to say or trying to achieve. It’s not a Dale Carnegie play, it’s just about being a nice person. Keep the people in your network in mind even when you don’t need them. Think how you can be helpful regardless of an immediate gain. Be a connector who connects connectors. Be the person people turn to when they need something. Be genuinely generous with your time and network. It will be worthwhile. The people in your network are your brand.

Want to stay on top of your network? Here is a tool I built and personally use to keep in touch with people in my network  

Your Online Presence

Learn how to make a killer first impression when you’re not in the room. Let’s think about that moment you’re getting an email from someone you don’t know. What’s the first thing you do? Google them or look them up on Linkedin, right? Whatever comes up in this 5 seconds research in addition to what triggered your interest will define your impression and it’s a very hard thing to change. Take this into account and make sure your first online impression is a killer one.

Make sure your Linkedin profile looks good and updated. Use your best headshot. If you don’t have any public references such as an article you wrote, an interview you gave, a blog or something you can credit to your name – try and make one. Put an effort on your online looks at least as much as you put on your actual appearance. It will be worth it. BTW – Can I ask a quick favor? What do you think of mine?

Negotiate in good faith

Don’t lie, misrepresent or try to “win” at all cause. A good deal is a deal where everybody wins in the long run. Getting a deal to close is not everything. Ignore the Bro talk about closing no matter what. Making sure the win is mutual and lasting, is way more important than closing something for the sake of closing.

Everything Else Be a Super Human

There are things you can learn over time like accounting, legal terms and negotiation techniques that can make you better at what you do. There are things you need to work on your entire life like your energy levels, character and eloquence. 

And then there are things you can optimize without working too hard. Use technology to make sure you’re optimizing yourself to the max. Use tools like Grammarly to avoid grammar mistakes, Rapportive and Zirra to make your research faster,  Boomerang for remembering to follow up or YesWare for the heavy lifting, use HelloSign to get your documents sign as quickly as possible and avoid wasting time. Automate. Be the best you can do and don’t let small daily mistakes and chores slow you down.  

Get Internal Support

Legal, finance, R&D, management – whatever you need. Have the right team to support your deals. Make sure to involve everyone who needs to sign off as early as possible. There is nothing more frustrating that having all terms agreed between the sides and then watching other people tearing it apart because you forgot to ask for their opinion earlier. Before you invest yourself in a deal make sure you have the support of your team. Without it, you can negotiate and talk for years, but nothing will actually happen at the end. Make sure the general direction of the deal and the basic terms fit your company’s culture and way of doing things. This one is easy to do and by not doing it, you are increasing your chances of failing.

Communication

The less formal the better and platform counts. People associate the app they use to communicate with a person to the degree of familiarity with the person they are communicating with. You probably won’t email your best friend, you’ll text him. You won’t text your professor, you’ll send an email. Same in business – Try to move day-to-day communication away from emails and scheduled meetings. Make communication less formal and more spontaneous. Think of your business partner as a person and connect with her on a personal level. Thinking of your potential business partner like that and not as a “counterparty”, will make everything easier.

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Hacking Revenue by Noam Schwartz - 1y ago

Need a simple ROI calculation model but don’t have time to build one? No problem.  This useful tool was hiding in one of our articles and I felt it deserved some more space, so I decided to dedicate an entire (short) post to it.

I built this model a few weeks ago to help a friend who’s running a successful eCommerce business. It’s meant to be straight forward and support making quick decisions either on the fly or during preparation for deeper discussions.

Get The ROI Calculator guide
You'll also start getting our weekly email newsletter with insights about online marketing, entrepreneurship and stuff that make 1% of the population lol

How To Use The Model: 1

Traffic Source – Add the name of the traffic source you want to use

2

How many online visitors you expect to get from this traffic source

3

How much you’re going to pay for the traffic

4

CPC is automatically calculated for you (The amount you’re going to pay / How many people you assume will come to your website)

5

How much money you expect to earn from this type of traffic

6

How much money you actually made

7

The ROI – green for successful campaign, red for not so much

8

What’s YOUR conversion rate?

9

How much money on average does an item on your site cost

10

What’s the maximum amount you can afford paying for CPC if you want to stay cash flow positive

11

What’s your margin?

Good luck!

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One of the most important things you do as an entrepreneur is to build and maintain your network. I love meeting new people but also find it challenging to “upgrade” the first meeting into a meaningful relationship. I meet many smart and interesting people that I want to keep in touch with, but I don’t have time or headspace for offline networking.

When I was raising a seed round for my first startup, I met about 15-20 new people every week. So I maintained a personal CRM. Nothing fancy, just a simple Google spreadsheet. It wasn’t only for investors, but the funding round definitely triggered it.

I was logging every new person I met in a professional context. The only qualification was that I communicated with that person more than once, which weeded out about 90% of the people and helped me keep the list relevant.

After a few years, I had hundreds of people on that list. I was in regular (more than twice a year) contact with only 50-60 of them because they became my friends, partners or investors. I wanted to keep in touch with everyone.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to keep in touch with more people. So with some inspiration from Tim and Noah I did something about it. I built an upgrade to my spreadsheet that sends me a reminder every time I should reach out to one of my contacts.

I added a column stating when I should contact this person:

and wrote a simple script on Excel that sends me a reminder to contact this person on the chosen date. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do this part.

That’s it.

After using this tool for a few months, I actually became much better at staying in touch with people and was able to let the stay-in-touch bot do the memory heavy lifting.

I want you to get better at this important skill too. Get a copy of the tool and upgrade your professional life.

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How To Use The Tool:
  • Open the tool.
  • Click File –> Make a Copy

  • Click on Tools –> Script Editor

  • Click on the little clock icon

  • And click on “add one now”

  • Then all you need to do is to change the events to “Day Timer” and hit “Save”.

  • A window will appear, asking you to let the tool send you email notifications. Approve everything and you’re ready to go!
What’s Next?

The next step is to integrate the spreadsheet with Linkedin and Facebook to get a reminder when a contact is changing jobs, having a kid, his company is being acquired etc.

Send Us Feedback!

Please add any idea you may have and want me to add in the comments.

Enjoy!

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Hey there Revenue Hackers!

Our good friends at Growth Marketing Conference are giving one of our lucky subscribers a FREE ticket to their next in NYC.

This event is incredibly helpful and a great opportunity to meet and network with the city’s growth hackers and online hustlers.

How Can You Win?

Simple!

  1. Subscribe to the newsletter below
  2. Share this page and add the hashtag #HackingRevenueGMC

That’s it. One lucky person who subscribed and shared will get the ticket. Just like that!

The winner will be announced in next week’s newsletter!

Rock on and signup now!

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Far too many founders fall into the trap of thinking their products are too good to not be noticed.

Here’s a fair warning for you: Your product will not be noticed.

This optimistic misconception is likely a large contributing factor to the 14% startup failure rate, due to poor marketing.

That myth isn’t alone. There are plenty of other misconceptions founders make and end up regretting.

Here are our favorites. Read. Avoid. Beware.

1. Once they hear about you, they’ll write about you.

Spoiler alert: It’s not true. The reason journalists and other influencers aren’t writing about your product isn’t necessarily because they haven’t heard of it – it’s because they just don’t care about it.

It’s up to you to give them a reason to care. Simply placing your product in front of their noses isn’t going to do the trick.

When pitching your product or startup to a journalist, you need to be the one to put in the majority of the legwork. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to write about you. Meaning, you should present them with a story and an angle already established.

Your angle should be adapted to both the writer and their audience. After all, if you’re pitching your new pet-sitting service to journalists who write only about social media networks, you probably shouldn’t expect a stellar response.

2. Your target audience is whoever wants to buy your product.

I’m sorry to say, but your target audience doesn’t consist of seven billion people. If you truly want to see success from your promotional efforts, you’re going to need to narrow your focus a little bit.

You want to go right where your audience already is, in order to be truly effective and see the best results.

So, do some research to find out where your target audience is online – that’s where you’ll want to focus your efforts.

A good place to start is Submit.co where you’ll find all the necessary information about pretty much every media outlet there is.

3. Blanketing the world is the best way to spread your message.

I get it – firing off a quick press release or a generic email to your entire press list might seem like an efficient way to get things done. But, let’s not confuse efficiency for effectiveness.

Now that you’ve found a few of your platforms, it’s time to identify authors that are already working in those spaces. You’ll have a much easier time getting a journalist to cover your company if it fits the types of content they cover.

Search for authors that have already mentioned a problem your startup solves, covered your competitors or similar apps and startups, and those who are well-known in your industry. It’s best if you start a folder or even a spreadsheet to save all of those relevant articles that catch your fancy – so that you can reference back to those bylines at a later date.

Think of this as your golden rule: Relevancy is crucial. Pitching relevant topics to journalists who are already interested in those subjects will yield much better results.

4. Crossing your fingers is a solid strategy.

If you think closing your eyes and clicking your heels together is a solid way to spread the word about your product or business, you need to think again.


There are a lot of elements involved in an effective PR strategy. But, sitting idly by and simply hoping for the best isn’t one of them.

This post is part of my free guide to PR for startups, I hope you found it useful, you can download it at prforstartups.co.

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There is a tectonic change in the retail and services industry. The Direct-To-Consumer movement. While it already began a few years back, these brands and entrepreneurs are now in every industry, changing the habits, preferences and share of wallet of the most desirable consumers.

Direct-To-Consumer brands are products or services that are financed, designed, produced, marketed, distributed and sold by the same company. They bypass the middleman and connect directly to consumers.

These brands operate differently from the brands you usually see in Nordstrom, Walmart, Bestbuy, Amazon or from unbranded services you find on classifieds sites.

The difference is in the way power is distributed along the value chain and how profits are shared.

In the old days, brands were responsible mainly for the design, production and some of the marketing activities. Everything beyond, such as sales, operations and distribution, was based entirely on wholesale partners and distributors, leaving them with the larger piece of the revenues.  

Direct-To-Consumer brands do things differently. They master everything- from the design to the final sale, take over every part of the sale cycle, own the customer and keep all the revenue. Starting can be as simple as opening a Shopify store. 

The Value Chain

The Old Way

The New Way

Legacy and up and coming brands alike, are taking control over the customer journey from beginning to end. They release themselves from huge retailers, absurd promotions and the control of distributors. They are taking control over the buying experience. They are taking control over the communication with the customer. They are taking control over the data that will help them create better products and the margins that will help them be more profitable.

WarbyParker, OneDollarShaveClub, Casper – All these $1B+ brands, and many more, are paving the way in recent years. They’re writing the guide book of taking on a huge market and winning over consumers who are blind to most advertising messages. They do that by owning the entire relationship with the consumers, even from before they knew they are a consumer.

These brands are taking over by using new digital platforms and tools, that help them create new communication channels, broaden their reach and maximize revenue with data-oriented marketing and sales methods.

What can be a “Direct-To-Consumer” brand?

It can be a product like a dress or a car.

It can be a person who sells information products.

It can be the place you live in or work at.

It can also be a service provider, like a lawyer.

The Honest Company, Everlane, Reformation, Away, Casper, Hello Noémie, MeUndies, WarbyParker, 1DollarShaveClub and so many others are changing the way we choose what to spend money about from the ground up.

These are the cord cutters of retail and service. By breaking the traditional distribution equation and being treated as a commodity, they are heading towards distributional freedom and being uniqוe by disconnecting themselves and not depending on huge chains.

Even legacy and well-known brands are taking this new route and investing heavily in Direct-To-Consumer sales and marketing channels. NIKE predicts they’ll grow in DTC sales from $6.6 billion in 2015 to $16 billion in 2020, and this is after they beat their $5B target for 2015 by over $1.5 billion.

Including Nike branded brick and mortar stores sales

Just online sales on Nike.com

Why is this a thing?

Backing up a bit, let’s talk about what caused this change and why it was inevitable.

Direct-To-Consumer brands are taking back control over 4 main channels that change everything for them.

1. Experience

Consumers are expecting everything to be perfect, from the product quality to a seamless payment. It should just work and look amazing. In many cases, the differentiator between first and return buy for consumers is the purchase experience.

But when a manufacturer sells through a distributor, it has no control over HOW the product is sold. There is rarely a personal touch, the experience is the same for many products, the payment and service are the same and the manufacturer doesn’t have a say. Whether it’s brick-and-mortar or a website, the customer experience is not part of the product and definitely not owned by the brand. By selling directly to the consumer, the entire journey from discovery to loyalty is part of the brand vision, aesthetics and execution.

2. Relationship

“Your audience is your asset” is a mantra that is voiced in every marketers conference on the planet. It is true. When you form a direct connection with your consumer and create a relationship of trust and familiarity, your ability to sell them your product increases tremendously.

When a brand is in control of its narrative and messaging, the relationship with the consumer can be way more personalized and effective. Even if the consumer didn’t buy your product, but spent time on your own asset, store or website, the relationship setting has already started. You don’t get that when working with external distributors.

3. Data

Customer data is changing the way products are designed and marketed. Selling directly to the consumer in mainly digital channels creates opportunities to measure everything in the user journey and the ability to iterate on the funnel and on the products themselves.

All the best companies are “data oriented”, which means they rely on facts and numbers when making decisions and predictions, not on assumptions, “experts”, common-industry-knowledge and hunches.  

4. Margins

When you deal with companies that enjoy their economy of scale, you can’t negotiate the terms from an equal position. Brands take a hit everywhere in the value chain – distribution, shipping, promotions, and payments. Everywhere.

By removing most if not all brick and mortar stores from the equation, focusing on online channels and owning the customer, margins get bigger and the numbers make much more sense to the brand.  

However, there is a catch

The bigger the gain, the greater the risk. Let’s say you’re in fashion and starting a new Direct-To-Consumer brand. It will require significant capital to start, unless you have some tricks up your sleeve.

If you want to sell, you need inventory. It is hard for new companies to finance large volume of high quality products without having early orders from a large distributor, that can cover the costs of the factory in advance.

Now let’s say you made it through the financing of the product. What now? Unlike traditional channels, shoppers will not mysteriously appear on your website. You need to have a good marketing team to generate PR, buy online ads, reach targeted traffic and so on.

On top of that, there are the 45% “weirdos” who still don’t usually shop for clothing online.

This is a huge challenge for DTC brands. While it is obvious that owning the experience, relationship, data and margins is a good thing, having no one visit your shop can feel pretty shitty.

Bringing online traffic to jumpstart and maintain sales without a distribution partner, is part of the startups and tech companies world. It’s not the world of physical brands and services.

So thank god we’re here to help. Think of it as a joint venture between Crisp and Pied Piper.

Up and coming brands – how can they generate online traffic?

For new or unknown direct-To-Consumer brands who must get their name and products out there, traffic is the only currency.

It goes without saying, that the most important thing is to create beautiful and useful products that people love and talk about. However, unless you’re ridiculously lucky or extremely connected, getting people’s attention takes time and keeping your product alive costs money. So you need to make sure the time between releasing your product to the world and the world noticing, is minimized.

Jokes aside, I’m assuming you already know how to build good products and you’re still reading this because you want to know how to get even more traffic to your brand.

E-commerce websites, online services and publishers who monetize their content are all fighting for traffic.

If you’re new or small, there are many tactics you can use to get “free traffic” or “hack” your “growth”. The problem with that is that everybody else is trying to do the same thing. “Growth Hacking” is basically the new online marketing.

In the end of the day, on a budget and before you have a known brand, you can hack your way to get a lot of low quality traffic or a small amount of high quality traffic. Not both. You may eventually (hopefully) get a lot of good traffic but it will take a lot of time or a lot of money.

So what can be done?

Getting a steady volume of high quality traffic (which means people who  are actually interested in your brand) to a  new brand is possible in 2 ways:

  1. Organic search – this will take a long time. Years, in most cases. This is usually the best kind of non-paid (I don’t write “free” on purpose) traffic
  2. Paid

Anybody who tells you differently is a consultant that is trying to take your money and will charge by the hour. Do not listen to them.

I don’t want your money and moreover, I don’t want to waste your time. Organic traffic is the best traffic you can get. If you can get organic search traffic by yourself right now – You don’t need to read any further. Just keep on doing what you’re doing and walk away with all that cash stacked in your back pocket. Baller.

But, assuming you don’t have the luxury of organic traffic yet, you are probably still testing. From your products, pricing, marketing and sales channels, the branding and everything else that you need to be testing in the beginning.

In that case, you probably need to spend money on paid marketing channels that will work and minimize risk of losing money.

What are the best ways to get paid traffic that will convert?

Facebook / Google – high volume, accurate targeting, highly expensive

These 2 companies will be more than willing to take all your precious marketing coins and show your potential customers the way to your virtual lemonade stand. Google and Facebook are worth so much money because they can send an unlimited number of people to your website. After all, they are advertising companies. Ignore the drones, VR and self-driving cars. Google and FB are advertising companies. 89% of Google’s revenues are the result of direct advertising. With Facebook the number is 96%.

They will also charge the most for their traffic. In terms of actual pricing, in the US alone, Facebook CPC (Cost Per Click) average price in 2016 was 27.35 cents while Facebook CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions) was $5.95 according to Adspreso. The more specific your ad targeting will be, the higher will be the price. So for example, if you’re targeting young moms in urban areas, expect to pay up to $5 per click and about $20 CPM.

Assuming that only 2 people out of 100 visitors in your website will become paying customers, and your product costs $50, if you’re paying more than $1 per click, you’re losing money.

I know it’s a bit complicated to calculate, but no worries – I made you a calculator to find out what is your sweet spot for your CPC and your ROI (Return On Investment) from your marketing campaigns. Read on!

Google search ads are generally more expensive due to high competition from other advertisers on the same keywords, but display ads (banners) are cheaper. The average cost per click in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 for search and $0.58 for display according to Wordstream.

Besides Google and Facebook, it will be wise to try giving a shot to Pinterest, Linkedin and even Snapchat. These advertising solutions can also offer great opportunities for reaching large volumes of targeted traffic, but are limited to specific demographics. On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States. Pinterest is the go-to social network of the small businesses and on Linkedin, you can target 450 Million professionals around the world. Be warned though, it is extremely expensive

RTB and Ad Networks – Don’t go there, at least not yet

Ignore the world of RTB (Real Time Bidding) and ad networks that are not Google or Facebook. It will not work for your new Direct-To-Consumer brand unless you have huge budgets, years of experience and a lot of patience.  

In today’s RTB world, you can definitely get your message in front of millions of people very quickly. Most leading platforms have the ability to target people based on their online behavior across their different devices and based on their demographics.

Thing is, while in theory they can, in practice there is so much noise and bad data out there,  that succeeding in this world means losing most of your budget to ad-fraud and a lot of trial and error with different audiences and publishers.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’re experienced, you can profit by spending large amounts of money on the right networks that will eventually lead to successful conversions. This is great for brand awareness as well. But unless you can afford spending a lot, and by a lot I mean high 5 to low 6 figures a month, stay away.  

Don’t go RTB before you’re 110% sure of your online sales funnel and your user’s behaviour across time. Otherwise, you WILL lose your money.

Buying media directly from publishers

You can buy traffic directly from websites or companies that specialize in this vertical and pay them for display advertising products such as site take-overs, ads etc. This at first seems like a great way to target your audience, but at the end of the day, this traffic suffers from all the sickness of the RTB and you won’t get a lot of volume.

There are many websites that will partner with you and offer a targeted marketing solution. The quality of this traffic dramatically varies and you need to check them on a case by case basis.

Use SimilarWeb for that, that’s the most reliable and comprehensive data source out there (Disclosure: I work there).

In general, there are 3 main types of on-site advertising products you can buy directly from websites:

  1. CPM campaigns
  2. Sponsored Posts
  3. Social Media Mentions (Including FB, TW, YouTube, Snapchat, Periscope etc)

It’s hard to put a price on these promotions. Content focused companies are evaluated based on 2 main factors: 1) How much traffic (volume) the can they send 2) How targeted (quality) the traffic is. Pricing their advertising offering is a result of the two.

Quality is more important than volume as a rule. The more targeted the audience, the bigger the check you need to write to the publisher.

It’s very important to keep track of your marketing spend and make sure every dollar you invest will return at least $1.01. That thing I did here is called ROI – Return On Investment and this number is your best friend.

This is your northern star in calculating how much money you can and should spend per marketing channel.

If you’re not sure how to calculate your ROI, no worries – I made this calculator just for you.

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What is the best way to get high-quality traffic on a budget?

Your best option is finding online golden nuggets (but they are extremely hard to find).

You need to uncover hidden hubs of targeted traffic. Communities of potential clients you can tap into. These hubs tend to be underpriced and over performing. Why? Because they are harder to find, so the demand is limited. For now.

The reason is that it’s much easier for a lazy marketer to buy a generic 200X150 ad unit on Huffington Post than to contact a newsletter owner with a mailing list of 5,000 people, but both options can lead you to your..

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Hacking Revenue by Noam Schwartz - 1y ago

For what it’s worth, this is my take on why WeWork is worth so much money.

I believe WeWork is building an Operating System for buildings. The same way that you install OS or Windows on your computer and then install apps on top of it. Soon, you’ll be able to install “WeWork” on your commercial property or multifamily (WeLive).

We are now witnessing the experimenting phase. They are leasing their own properties, use their own infrastructure and build everything from scratch.

For example:

  • The interior design process
  • The financing of renovation
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Maintenance
  • Community management
  • Security
  • IT

Everything in this list is something that every real-estate company in the world does. However, it takes a huge amount of work to build software that helps make this processes efficient.

For example:

  • Better ticketing platform and material procurement software will cut maintenance expenses costs.
  • Having IT systems unified across many buildings will result in less downtime and less friction
  • Having the same design themes and furniture across assets, will reduce marginal costs as you get bigger

And so on and so forth.

I might be very wrong, but assuming valuation is not ridiculously bloated,  this is the only explanation I see.

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Hey Revenue Hackers, I have a secret Skype Productivity Hack for you today.

If you’re using more than one Skype account, you know how annoying it is to keep switching between them. Especially if one of the accounts was created during the Microsoft tenure and you actually need to switch between Skype and MSN login window.

No more!

In order to open more than one Skype account on the same time, just do the following:

  1. Open your Skype account
  2. Go to Terminal (Win, OS X)
  3. Type: open -na /Applications/Skype.app –args -DataPath /Users/$(whoami)/Library/Application\ Support/Skype2
  4. Hit Enter.

Short, sweet and effortless.

Enjoy!

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Becoming a product manager sucks.
Being one is pretty great, but the road there can be quite intriguing.

After talking to dozens of aspiring PMs in recent weeks, I decided to try and help bridge the gap between the inexperienced future PM and the position they so desperately want.

I think I know how.

TL;DR

Looking for your first job in product management?
Fill this Google Form and I’ll try to help-
goo.gl/forms/bgNv2R9MBJPBdOvk2

More context below.

I recently did an analysis of 1,000 product managers in the US, to find out what do product managers study and what’s the common career path for becoming a product manager.

You can read the full thing here, but there are 2 main takeaways regarding how to become a product manager:

  1. Less than half of product managers have a technical education.
  2. Only 11% of Product Managers started their careers in product management.

Let’s focus for a minute on #2.

Only 11%. That’s super low. That means that only 1 out of 9 PMs started their careers as PMs. Here are the most common first jobs among product managers that I saw in my analysis:

25% Developers
11% Product managers
8% Analysts
6% Marketing managers
3% Founded their own companies
3% Researchers
2% Customer support
2% Salespeople
2% Consultants
1% Project managers

Theoretically, when looking at these numbers, it seems there’s room for optimism. It seems that the aspiring PMs can rest assure that all roads can lead to product.

But it’s not that simple.

For example, when searching for product management jobs on Linkedin, there are practically no open jobs that don’t require prior work experience.

Here are the open positions I was offered, broken by level of experience and geography:

After I published the post, I was approached by dozens of wannabe PMs, all with the same question- “Now what? How can I actually become a PM?”.

Smart people. Motivated people. All with no experience, and they’re stuck.

They’re stuck because almost all product management positions demand work experience.

Something in the system just doesn’t make sense.

If everyone’s just looking for experienced PMs, what can the inexperienced future PM do, other than bribe, blackmail or whore their way in?

It appears that not much, but here are the ways I’ve seen-

Three ways to get your first product management job:

1.Know someone who knows someone who’d be willing to give you a chance.

(BUT you need to know someone)

2. Work at a company doing something else, then convince them to give you a chance in product. It’s less of a risk for them if they at least know you personally.

(BUT it’s a big risk to only rely on your current company to be willing to make a PM out of you. It’s even a bigger risk to move to a new company, hoping that one day they’ll be willing to move you to product)

3. Start your own business or startup, be your own product person and gain experience (that’s what I did)

(BUT don’t ever start a business only to one day become a PM for hire. I don’t need to explain why, right?)

If you have more tips on getting the first product management job with no experience, do share with us in the comments below!

Another thing worth mentioning is that I know there are product management classes here and there, but I highly doubt it can replace the demand for work experience, in the current way companies look for product people.

So we’re back to square one- what can the aspiring PM do?

Before we go into that, allow to first share with you what I look for in a product manager when I interview for my team, ordered by importance-

1. A fully functioning brain
It’s the one thing you can’t compensate for. Working with super smart people, who get it fast is the single most important thing to me. I need someone who’s sharp.

2. Motivation
You need to love what you do. You need to care and to make everyone involved care. You need to be excited about the matter at hand. Excited about creating something new. It’s easy to tell right away if the person who’s speaking to you is all in, and it affects everyone around them for the best.

3. Always be learning
You need to be curious. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing this kind of work of 3 weeks or 14 years. Embrace the fact you don’t know nearly enough. Always read, always ask, always improve.

4. Independence
You need to be the master of your domain, and you need to act like one. I’ll always be there to help and point to the right direction as much as needed, but the ultimate goal is to make me feel useless. I need someone I could, with time, trust 100% to get things done.

5. Know your users
You need to get the pains and needs of our users. That’s super critical for you to later know what to prioritize and how to build things. You need to either have experience in our kind of product (either as a client or as a product person), or to convince me you’re that much of a genius that you could learn it. Fast.

6. Know how to be a PM
Understand the work processes, know what’s the best way to get something done, how to speak to stakeholders, how to get feedback from clients, how to write a PRD, how to structure a product roadmap and how to break it down into the right size pieces.

The irony is, that most companies usually demand work experience only regarding #6. Which is BY FAR THE LEAST IMPORTANT (IMHO…).

Not only that, but as a potential candidate, there’s no way for you to search for a job based on any of the other criteria.

That’s just plain stupid.

It’s time to fight stupidity.

After getting so many emails from talented people who just want a shot at becoming a product manager, I decided I want to try and help.

I decided to do the following-

1.Write this post (done).

2. Ask of you, people who want to be PMs but have no work experience as PMs, to fill the simple google form below, where I ask you about everything other than your experience as PMs – goo.gl/forms/bgNv2R9MBJPBdOvk2

3. I will contact you and ask you some questions to get to know you better.

4. Armed with candidates I personally believe in, I will approach companies looking for PMs, explain them why they’re doing it all wrong, and try to connect you guys to them. Instead of focusing on what you lack, it’s time for the conversation to be about what you do bring to the table.

Sounds simple enough.
Probably won’t be.
Worth giving it a shot.

So, just one more time-

Looking for your first job in product management?
Fill this Google Form and I’ll try to help-
goo.gl/forms/bgNv2R9MBJPBdOvk2

Looking to hire a product manager and you’re smart enough to try a new approach to filtering candidates?
Fill this Google Form and I’ll be in touch – goo.gl/forms/XycEIUwdk4r9KTG92

One final request-
Please also share this with your friends and colleagues.
The more people we have on board, the more power we have to make a change.

Thank you.

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