Finding a traction channel that works is currently top of mind for Sendle co-founder James Chin Moody.
The parcel delivery startup raised $1.8 million in seed funding earlier this year to help grow its business throughout Australia. It offers a door-to-door service at flat rate fees aimed at small and medium businesses.
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Moody, who also founded TuShare, says he uses what he calls an “engineers’ guide to marketing”, outlined by DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg and former director of revenue at Exceptional Justin Mares, in the book Traction.
“It’s actually not just product-market fit. It’s product, traction channel, market,” Chin-Moody says.
“The moment you identify that as a (traction channel) to optimise, you start getting a very different picture.”
Traction channels include things like virality, SEO, community, content marketing, social, trade shows and partnerships.
Pick a channel and master it
The challenge for founders is working out which traction channel suits their startup, according to Chin Moody.
“You start realising the challenges when you understand you might have more than one product,” he says.
“It might be three products, aimed at five markets, and you might be experimenting with six traction channels. Suddenly you’ve got 90 different combinations of product, traction channel, and market.”
“Then if something starts working, it is unclear which one it is.
“You’ve got to have a go at one product, one market, choose a few traction channels and see if they work, because if you only choose a few, you can start measuring them.”
Sendle is still looking for the perfect traction channel, although top of the list at the moment is partnerships. It launched a new dashboard this week that integrates with cloud accounting platform Xero.
“Partnerships are the most interesting one for us at the moment, one we’re experimenting with, because we believe we have something to offer partners like Xero. Where their customers need better solutions,” he says,
“NRMA, one of our investors, we’re also working with them on a membership offering.”