• Matthew Lerner

6 Scalable Alternatives to Paid Traffic

As I write this, we're heading towards Cyber-Monday, and Facebook CPAs are rising

10% - 20% per week. What can you do to rein those CPAs in?


In the short term, get really good with targeting, creative, and conversion optimisation.


But for 2021, start thinking about cheaper channels now. (Just 1-2 scalable channels with good unit economics get it done.) Here are 6 scalable alternatives to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Repeats - Sorry if this is obv’s, but it’s just so much easier (and cheaper) to sell to existing happy customers. So email them some offers!

  2. Referrals - Want your happy customers to recommend you to friends? Try offering something besides cash…. Something that makes the offering more valuable for both referrer and referee. (here are 80 examples for inspiration)

  3. Dark Social - (Pairs well with referrals.) These days, a lot of information gets shared in group chats (e.g. Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Telegram). I’ve seen groups for everything you can imagine… (Here’s one just for InfoSec compliance people.) So ask your happy customers if they are members of any active chat groups or email lists, and if they’d be comfortable promoting your offer.

  4. Partners - Is your offering naturally downstream of or complementary to another service? (e.g. PayPal gets lots of ecommerce customers from Shopify) Talk to your customers and see where you fit in their “ecosystem” to get ideas for partners to approach. (What did they do before they found you? What products or services do they use concurrently with you?) Pick a few and reach out! (Try smaller ones at first — more nimble).

  5. SEO - Definitely not a quick win, but… If you can get enough quality backlinks to rank and your business lends itself to “long tail” searches… (e.g. Grammarly has pages for common grammar questions, ClickMechanic has prices of common car parts and repairs). Here’s a great case study from Canva.

  6. Influencers - This is not just for fashion & fitness. You’ll find micro-influencers (Podcasts, newsletters, bloggers, Twitter, Insta, Tiktok, Facebook) in every category, including many in B2B. (Here’s one just for IT Managers.) Start by talking to your customers (of course) and ask who they listen to, trust, and follow? Then find a few that seem like a good fit and reach out! Try a few smaller ones at first to see how it goes.

Okay, good luck with the rest of Q4! Don't overspend (on presents or leads).

67 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

How to write a startup marketing strategy.

People often ask me to look over their "marketing strategies”, and nine times out of ten, it’s not a strategy at all. Just a list. A very long list. And lists are great! But the problem with most star

Should startups invest in brand building?

Should a startup invest in “brand-building?” And how much? (Brand should not just be the budget line item for “things you want to do but cannot measure” - Building a brand is hard and expensive, this

How to write the perfect headline for your landing page?

Is there a formula for the perfect landing page headline? It turns out there is: The “Now You Can” Formula… Here’s a simple technique to improve your landing page conversion. Go look at your headline