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  • Guy Shmuel

User Acquisition for Startups - 5 things you need to know

User acquisition has many purposes for startups in the different stages of their life cycle. In the first stages, it can help you validate your idea, and understand how people react to it. It can also help you understand better who is your target audience, and give you answers to questions like "What is my CAC?". Later on, many startups and brands use User Acquisition as their main growth engine, bringing traffic from different platforms such as Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Linkedin, and many more.

While the platforms are quite explanatory, and with a few clicks anyone can launch campaigns themselves, it is extremely important to know what are you doing and use a professional to manage it. User acquisition is an ever-changing subject, and being done wrong can easily cost you lose thousands of dollars by just not getting the value for your budget.

Here are 5 things about user acquisition you need to know as a startup:

1. The beginning is the hardest part

The marketing platforms' algorithms mostly work based on your historical data. In the beginning, not only do you know the least about your messaging or creative, but also the algorithm doesn't have the data to start optimizing your campaigns properly. You should consider it while starting, and not give up after a few hundred dollars because your CAC is too high for your goals.

2. It is more expensive to use small budgets

As campaign optimization works based on historical data, by not feeding the system enough data, the platform's algorithm will not have the tools to navigate your budget to a more optimized place where you will get better results for your efforts. Therefore sometimes, spending too little costs more than spending more.

3. Measurement has never been harder

Since GDPR, IOS 14, and more privacy protocols, marketing measurement became more difficult than ever. It is hard to measure the exact attribution of each campaign, and one KPI at the end of the funnel is not enough to determine success. To assess the quality of traffic, we will take into account multiple KPIs including session duration, page per session, conversion rates of the funnel, and more to help us analyze our performances better.

4. Creative is King, but only with the right messaging

Creative is the image/video you use to "convince" potential customers to trust your product and company. In the user acquisition world, creative is the most important piece to get a good performance side along with the right targeting, and best practice optimization. Important to know, that you can create a good-looking creative and still get bad results. When designing a creative you must deliver the right messaging in the right way. It should be short, to the point, and speak about the key problems your product will solve for the client. There is a lot more to creative, but as a starter make sure to be accurate with your messaging.

5. Multi-Channel Funnel, one session is just not enough

To most people, one session on your website/software is not enough to become a client and there are many reasons for that. People compare services on google, it might be a bad time for them to complete a long signup process, or maybe you just didn't convince them yet that they need your product. For that, we will consider attribution from a Multi-Channel Funnel point of view. Take into account that some users start their process from channel A (EX: Linkedin) and finish it from channel B (EX: Google search). This is why as written before, we will examine each campaign on more than one KPI because it will help us understand which traffic helps other platforms as well and in for the overall results.

Final notes

There are so many things to take into account when starting a user acquisition activity, it is expensive and very competitive but it also can help you scale or answer important questions. My final tip is not to underestimate the efforts and resources you need to make it work because when it does, it can change your company completely.

About us Picanti provides advanced User Acquisition Solutions (including PPC) based on technology, data insights, creatives, and tailored strategies for each business. If you are looking to scale your business or learn more about performance marketing, feel free to reach out :)


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