Top 15 Traffic Acquisition Channels that Work for Founders

top traffic channels founders entrepreneurs acquisition

Ever felt like there’s too much talk about scaling and not enough about starting? That’s where this list comes in of the top 15 traffic acquisition channels that work for founders and top entrepreneurs.

The analysis has been done by digging through 479 founder interviews, each mentioning what channels worked for them.

The Top 15 Traffic Acquisition Channels

SEO (only after getting results with another acquisition channel)

Mentions: 83

SEO is a classic. It’s stable and free once it gets going.

But it requires a ton of work upfront.

Many get into SEO after doing something else first.

Platform-specific marketplaces

Mentions: 77

This can include things like forums and message boards or niche-specific social channels – e.g., StockTwits for finance.

Product Hunt

Mentions: 77 (email marketing)

(sub)Reddit posting

Mentions: 44

Cold email outreach

Mentions: 42


Mentions: 39 (content marketing)

Building a media brand before a product/service

Mentions: 38

This could be a blog, for example, that ends up getting a lot of repeat traffic.

You can then use this platform to promote your own products and services.

Using your own network/connections

Mentions: 36

Google Ads (AdWords)

Mentions: 31

They aren’t cheap but Google ads (fka AdWords) can get you on top of the pile before normal search results.

Affiliates / having an affiliate program

Mentions: 30

Many brands use an affiliate program to get a boost.

These can be great if incentives are aligned.

Niche communities/forums

Mentions: 29

SEO (starting right away)

Mentions: 29

Some work with SEO right away.

This is a reasonable option if you have no money to buy paid ads, but have time to crank out content and get featured in the SERPs.

Twitter posting/engagement

Mentions: 28

Twitter can be great once an account finds its niche.


Facebook groups (posting/engaging/creating a FB group)

Mentions: 28

Finding like-minded communities can be a great way to find your audience.

Mainstream press outreach/being mentioned

Mentions: 27

PR and mainstream media attention is an oldie, but still a goodie when applicable.

Top 5 Acquisition Channels for E-Commerce Founders

here are the top 5 acquisition channels according to 181 e-com entrepreneurs:

1) Facebook Ads (worked for 32 companies)

Despite ATT, the bad reputation FB is building for themselves, and the slow user growth, Facebook is still the queen of customer acquisition for DTC companies.

2) Press (worked for 29 companies)

Surprised? Well, press endorsements still drive people to buy from you.

The best part?

According to the founders interviewed, you don’t always need to shell out money to get press coverage.

3) Amazon

Facebook is the queen of DTC, but Amazon is the king.

Woodies, an online store selling wooden sunglasses that rakes in $250k/month, gets 100 brand new customers every day for a very little acquisition cost.

4) Email (worked for 26 companies)

“Email has been huge for us too, which we know most stores don’t tackle.” Said the founder of Hush Blanket ($2M/month).

How do you bring people onto your list?

FlyBy, a brand making $200k/month, converts 12% of their website visitors into leads using a Spin-a-Sale popup, which can be added on Shopify.

5) Influencers (worked for 25 companies)

If you can find the right creator, influencer marketing can be a hell of a channel.

And according to one of the e-commerce owners surveyed, you don’t need Kylie Jenner to be successful: 

“I found that more niche Instagrammers with smaller audiences provided greater feedback and engagement for us.”

Final Word

Anything you haven’t thought of that’s on the list?

You know what to do next. Take advantage 🙂

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