Show Notes

Today’s talk is based on Dave McClure’s “500 Startups.” We will take you through the ins and outs of what they call “marketing for pirates.” AARRR!

Show Description

The Business Design Podcast helps entrepreneurs design and build businesses that succeed on their own even if you take a 6 month vacation. Hosted by Ian Labardee, John Hwang and Scott Andersen, they share their successes and pitfalls and equip you to make daily progress in your business.


Marketing for Pirates – “AARRR”

Dave McClure – 500 Startups

Link to slideshare –

Link to youtube presentation – Ignite Seattle –

Conversation Outline


How do you get people to know about you and to your site?

  • SEO
  • SEM
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Advertising
  • PR
  • Social Media
  • High volume channels
  • Low cost channels
  • Best conversion channels


  • Happy first experience
  • 10-20 seconds on the site
  • # of pages
  • Low bounce rates
  • A/B Testing


  • How to get people to come back?
  • Figure out what are retention measurements
  • Life Cycle Emails +3, +7, +20 days
  • Email open rates
  • RSS click throughs


  • How you get people to pay for your product?
  • Minimum revenue
  • Break-even revenue


  • How to get people to share about your company/product?
  • Viral co-efficient (x > 1)
  • Only encourage people to refer if your product is worth referring or good

Conversion Metrics

Multiple Marketing channel

  • High volume channel
  • Low cost channel
  • High conversion channels

Types of Metrics and measurements

  • Measure for conversion
  • Less, not more – Choose 5 metrics
  • Measure bottom of funnel not the top of the funnel
  • A/B testing
  • Hypothesis Testing

Why is this important to us and how are we using this?

  • Product Management Tool – Focus & Define theme for the iteration/week.  Helps keeps tabs on what’s working and not working… (Foundational to build on – Customer Journey Map)
  • If we didn’t have this, I wouldn’t know what to work on and fall back to my engineering tendencies and just work on more features that nobody wants.
  • Prioritization – Visually it helps us focus on what we need to solve first
  • Keeps your eye on the forest and not just the tree
  • Makes metrics and measurements front and center

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