2 min read
Saksham Mendiratta
Marketing Basics: From 0 to $1M


Well, Sundays are for family time & reflection. I hope you’re getting your dose of it.

I started this newsletter last weekend and the response (and feedback) that I received was overwhelmingly positive. You are now part of a 500+ base of subscribers who receive this email, every Sunday from me.

From this email onward, we’ll start diving into some nuances of product design & marketing. Something that you could use as a base with your teams and ventures, to accelerate & scale.

So let’s dive right in:

But before that, if there’s anyone who you feel should read this newsletter, here’s a LINK that you could send out to them.

Today, we’re talking about scaling from $0M to $1M. By no means is this just for startup businesses / brands, but for anyone who’s trying to scale a new product, enter a territory or even try out a new product-marketing plan.

So when going from 0 to $1M, it’s the hardest part of the journey. Some things that work well:

Volume & Sustenance in content creation, rather than perfection & quality - let the audience decide how they’d like to react to your content & marketing.

a) I’m a huge believer of content volume (in the initial stages than perfection). You move fast and break things, evaluate how it’s going (with feedback loops or by talking to your customers) and then start to iterate on what works best

b) Avoid any strategy that’s too hard to back with momentum.

Get your WHY right - at least for starters. And then communicate it, across every single touchpoint with your customer.

a) Your Landing Page copy must resonate the same language as your launch campaign

b) Use lesser jargons, introduce lesser new keywords (where your customers don’t know what they mean) and keep messaging consistent.

c) Let people resonate with your product / services' use cases & features. Make it relatable. Let them know how it benefits them. Sell less.

Landing Page Optimisation plays a huge role - do the customers have everything that they need to know & understand about your product?

a) Pack it up with reviews, testimonials, highlight features and pictures. As for a new product, do a pre-launch sampling / testing and build these reviews if you haven’t yet started sales.

b) Try and restrict your landing page to just about 3 full scrolls on your mobile screen.

Aim for UGC- any way that you can get your users to generate content for you, go for it.

a) Best way is to rope in certain organic social media influencers as advisors. Involve them in the marketing strategy, it helps build trust. Let them do their thing after that.

b) Ask your first set of friends & family / other founders / complimentary brands to try your products and give you reviews

c) Keep your UGC formats: static / video really crisp & organic. Avoid the need for perfection. It’s essential to get them out rather than get them out perfectly.

Feedback Loops - what are some feedback loops that you are setting up. On your website, on your packaging, polls on social media and most essentially, talk to your customers first hand. Understand why they bought from you. And what they’d like in the coming months. Some insights from there could become your roadmap from $1M to $20M

a) Let your founder / marketing teams send out personalised forms (crisp ones) to prospective buyers / customers

b) Get on a call with at least one customer / day for the first 60 days after launching.

c) Build exclusivity with feedback / first few customers - it’s essential to get your community rolling. People who can bring in other customers or become a part of your feedback circle. Incentivise them in some way (discounts, community benefits, affiliate benefits).

Content Creators - try and bring in some content creators, even if it’s for a portion of your equity. Ads might open the first couple of doors for you; it’s all the above that would open the next few. Hence, you need a solid base of content creators - not only do they bring in acumen / finesse in content creation, but also execute it for you to a large extent.

Pricing Models: Last but not the least, I feel pricing models need to be nailed down at the outset.

a) Too high or too low - either could get you unpopular in your segment. A/B test with prospective customers (through feedback & surveys) right before launching. Assume less.

b) Bundles / Offers / Markups - get them right. They play a huge role in establishing your product's positioning in the marketplace

Don’t get me wrong, operations, shipping, logistics form a large part of any DTC business. All I wanted to add was a direction in marketing.

In other news:

  • As part of my ongoing YoutTube & Podcast Series, Design Grid, this week is a must listen conversation with the DTC king, Nik Sharma. Here’s the conversation on Youtube if you’d like to catch the video. Or if you’re working alongside, here’s the podcast link on Spotify.
  • At Lights Out, we recently completed work on an exciting product: Lomi: a tech product for your home to convert home waste into compost. The website would be out real soon.
  • If you are an owner or an ardent fan of the EV market or products, I’d love to talk to you. We’re working on an interesting launch and I’d love to get your feedback on it.

Well, that’s all there is to this edition. I’d love to hear from you - give me your feedback on my content and I’ll be sure to evolve it over time. The best way to do that is just DM me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Forward this to just ONE person who you feel could benefit from this and I’ll consider the effort worthwhile.

Until next time, stay safe and take care.