Ways to get 100 potential customers for $5 a day

In my interview with Eric Ries we talked about the five dollars a day tactic where you get 100 potential customers coming to your site every day (for $5) and run experiments on them. Someone commented asking:

Could you please write a blog post how you'd use reddit, stumbleupon or other web tools to generate the 100 customers a day. I'm really struggling to understand how to get 100 people each day consistently with a low budget. Thanks.

So here goes. 100 customers for $5 is 5c clicks. That's tough, but you can still get it.

  • Adwords. As Eric points out, "The absolute essential key is to bid only on low-volume low-value keywords. We're only looking for 100 clicks a day, remember, so by bidding on a couple hundred keyword phrases (long ones are great, since they are uncommon) we can get the desired volume by finding keywords that only have a click every other day."

    patio11 pointed out in his interview that you can get sub-5c clicks via the Adwords content network if you bid on the right keywords there as well. I'd also point out that your CPC can be dependent on your perceived landing page quality. When you first start out Google may charge you more, but it will come down very quickly if your "Quality Score" is high. So basically it might require a little more up front, but then you can get into a good pattern.

  • Microsoft Ad Center. It's pretty much the same story as Adwords, but people forget about it. I've been able to get 0.05 clicks through it as well.

  • Yahoo Search Marketing. Same story here.

  • StumbleUpon. SU offers .05 clicks. As I said in my post on reddit ads, I found these clicks pretty hard to engage. However, SU has pretty intense targeting ability, so if you target really tightly and your page is very related to this demographic, then it may work well for you.

  • Long-tail SEO. As I said in my SEO tips, you should always have a long-tail strategy. Put up some pages, and put a call to action on the top of them. If you get enough traffic coming through 100 people will click on your call to action (to your home page or whatever), and it will be as if you had paid for that 100 coming through the front door.
If you have a slightly bigger budget, I'd also consider...

  • Facebook. I've been able to get 10-15c CPC on targeted ads. I've heard people have done even better, though I haven't seen it personally.

  • Reddit. See my detailed write-up here. Basically, you can get sub 5c clicks, but you have to commit to more than $5/day, actually $20/day (which of course is much higher). They are very open to feedback though, so I'm guessing they might be open to other scenarios where you commit to $5/day for a long period of time.
There are a bunch of other networks that advertise less CPC, but I either don't trust them or don't have enough experience with them to recommend them. I'm sure other people are much more experienced in some of these areas than I am and have other great suggestions. So please chime in!

Update: some good comments on HN.


If you have comments, hit me up on Twitter.
I'm the Founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track you. I'm also the co-author of Traction, the book that helps you get customer growth. More about me.