How to get users for your startup


If you’re building a startup and wondering how to get users for your product, you have plenty of options. While advertising is one way to attract new customers, it can be expensive, especially for a small business or startup. Instead of spending money on ads that may not work, consider these tried-and-true strategies:

Warm up your email list

Your email list is the starting point for getting users, and it’s also the most cost-effective way to do so. Your goal is to get people on your email list, but not just any people—you want the right kind of audience members that you can convert into active users and then into paying customers.

To start off on the right foot with your new subscribers, send a welcome email introducing yourself and explaining why they should use your product or service. The welcome email should also include an offer or discount code so they have the incentive to sign up right away instead of forgetting about it in their inbox later down the road.

Once you’ve warmed up your list by sending out a few emails with valuable content (like helpful articles), then it’s time to engage them further by including more calls-to-action within each message so that everyone who gets one is reminded about how much value there is in what you’ve got going on over here at

Identify the right people to connect with

Your audience is the key to getting users. So it’s important to identify them. The first step toward doing that is understanding what type of person you’re targeting and why they would be interested in your app or website. For example, suppose you’re building an app for parents and grandparents. In that case, your target audience will probably be parents and grandparents and people who interact with them (like teachers).

However, knowing who your target audience isn’t enough like any other marketing tactic. You also need to know where they are online so that you can reach out to them. Once again: research! Find out what channels your potential users use most often (Facebook? Snapchat?) and whether or not those channels are appropriate for reaching out directly (email newsletters vs Twitter vs Quora).

Once you have a better idea about how best to reach out to potential customers based on their demographics and preferences for communication channels (and once again—it depends), then it’s time for the next step: identifying their interests so that when crafting messages aimed at specific groups within an audience segmented according to demographic information, there aren’t any gaps between what gets said/written in those messages (elevator pitch) compared with what audiences actually care about hearing/reading/seeing most often during this initial contact stage before engaging further through whatever kind of interaction method works best later down the line towards conversion point(s).

Create content that connects with your users

When creating content, don’t just talk about your product. Talk about the problems that your customers experience and how your product can solve them. The most successful content is often not promotional in nature at all, but rather focuses on the user and their needs instead of the company itself. For example:

  • If you’re an educational app for kids, write blog posts about parenting tips or parenting hacks.
  • If you make a new kind of travel app that helps people find unique experiences around the world, write blog posts about places other than those listed in your app (or even write about countries outside of where your app is available).
  • If you manufacture a device for people with arthritis or injuries who want to get back into exercise, create instructional videos and share them on YouTube with links pointing back to your website so viewers know where to buy if they’re interested (but don’t overdo it—leave room for those links!).

Get listed in startup directories

Getting listed in startup directories is a great way to get users for your startup. Startup directories are a good place to find customers who have the same problem as you, since they contain information about startups and their products and services. You can get listed in startup directories by paying a small fee. If you don’t want to pay the fee, you can get free listings by submitting an application form with your company details, which may take up to 30 days to process.

Improve your website’s search ranking

If you want people to find your website, you need to make sure that it’s easy for them to do so. And this means making sure your website is:

  • Mobile-friendly—your site needs to be easily accessible on smartphones and tablets.
  • Fast—a faster loading time will encourage more users to stick around than a slow one.
  • High quality—the design and content of your site should catch the eye, encourage visitor interaction and leave visitors with a positive impression about who you are and what you do.

Be active in relevant groups on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn

Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn make it easy to connect with people who are interested in your product. These groups are also a great way to get feedback on your product, reach out to potential partners, and share useful content with other users.

To start, type the name of your startup into the search bar at the top of either site. You should see a list of relevant groups pop up below (e.g., “Startups in San Francisco”). Search for groups related to tech startups or entrepreneurship, as these are likely to have more members than others that don’t focus on this topic area—but keep in mind there will probably still be many other options available!

Once you’ve found an appropriate group for yourself or your startup (or multiple groups), join them by clicking “join group” where it appears under each name; then introduce yourself by posting something like: “Hi! I’m starting [insert name] – can’t wait to get started! Hope everyone is doing well today :)”

Host a giveaway or contest

If you’re looking for creative ways to get users, consider hosting a giveaway or contest. This is a great way to generate interest in your business and encourage people to share the promotion with their friends.

Startup contests are popular because they’re easy to run and can be very effective in generating awareness about your brand. Some examples of startup contests include:

  • A photo contest where participants submit images that show why they love using your product or service
  • Trivia: You can ask questions related to key points in the industry or field that you serve

Engage influencers on social media

Influencer marketing is a powerful way to reach an audience you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. There are many influencers on social media who have large followings and can help you promote your product, or at the very least, give you valuable feedback on it.

Find out who these influencers are by looking at their social media pages or reading blogs in your industry. The first step is to find someone with a decent sized following (ideally above 5k) and who has experience in reviewing products similar to yours. Then go through their posts, read what they’re talking about and see if any of them mention anything related to your industry or product category within the past few weeks—this way, you can get an idea of what kind of content will resonate with them when reaching out about partnering up for promotional purposes later on down the road!

Once you’ve found someone who seems like they’d be interested in promoting your product based off their previous posts/blogs made within recent months (and maybe even weeks) then send out an email explaining why they should get behind this new venture from yours which would benefit both parties involved: You gain exposure through using someone else’s audience while also gaining feedback via sharing ideas; They get paid either directly through receiving payment upfront plus some formality such as equity stake or indirectly through brand mentions etcetera.”

Partner with others in your industry to mutually promote each other

Partner with others in your industry to mutually promote each other.

For example, if you own an online store that sells toys, consider partnering with a toy manufacturer who’s looking for more exposure on the web. You’ll promote the company’s website in exchange for them promoting yours; this is called cooperative advertising. If you’re the founder of a startup that creates software for small businesses, consider partnering with another similar business (for example, another software developer who also targets small businesses) to reach new audiences and build brand recognition together.

When searching for partners, make sure you’re targeting companies that have something in common with yours—the closer their audience matches yours, the better! Some startups partner up with local restaurants or coffee shops by offering discounts through social media posts on Facebook and Instagram; others might offer free shipping on orders over $150 (a strategy used by many larger retailers). Whatever they decide to do as part of their partnership deal upfront will depend largely on what they can realistically offer at first while still giving themselves room later if they need more help from competitors down the road once sales pick up speed again after launch day passes.

There are many ways to get users for your startup, even without shelling out a lot of money for advertising

This is where the fun starts. While getting users for your startup is not necessarily easy, it’s not impossible either. In fact, there are many ways to get users for your startup—even without spending a lot of money or being annoying and creepy.


There are many strategies for getting users for your startup, and the best one will depend on your situation. Try some of these tactics and see which ones work best for you.

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