Ep05: Rick Perreault, Unbounce CEO, Tells You How To Build A Business With No Sales Team & Minimal Paid Marketing With Rick Unbounce


rick-unbounceRick Perreault is the CEO and co-founder of Unbounce, a landing page building tool that makes it easy to build and test landing pages quickly. His company does not have a sales team nor do they spend a lot on paid acquisition. Instead, they invest heavily into inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is something that I interviewed Rand Fishkin about and it’s good to see other people embracing it. Quite a few takeaways in this one. Enjoy!


Key Takeaways

  • On getting the first 100 users
    • Much like Moz, Unbounce started with the blog first
    • Oli Gardner, his co-founder, wrote 100 posts to get it going.
    • Took 4-6 months to really take off. They had a piece of content that did really well called the Noob Guide to Online Marketing.
    • Rick is 100% sure without the blog, they wouldn’t be successful right now.
  • One big struggle they faced while growing Unbounce
    • Tracking. Understanding what they should be tracking.
    • Not just on the technical side, but on the conceptional side as well.
    • It wasn’t until they started doing cohort analysis that they realized they were screwing up on key areas such as paying $150 to acquire a $100 user.
    • He talked to Rand Fishkin and David Skok to help out with KPIs/data. Talking to other entrepreneurs who have done it before.
  • How much should be spent on conversion rate optimization?
  • On managing a popular blog
    • Oli Gardner is the managing editor
    • They have a network of writers who contribute content
    • Blog is still their major focus
    • They invest a lot into eBooks as well. That’s done in-house.
    • They have certain standards and guidelines everyone needs to adhere to
    • They do eBooks with partners now. HubSpot and MailChimp are examples.
    • The biggest thing they do with marketing is content. They have no sales team and do very little paid marketing.
    • How much it would cost to get a dedicated writer: $50,000 a year. Keyword: a GOOD writer.
    • They made the decision since day 1 to invest into content. Your writers need to know the business so ideally they would be in-house.
  • How to build a culture of testing
    • Read Eric Ries’ Book The Lean Startup
    • It’s so easy nowadays to test whether it’s using Unbounce or other tools. Test everything and never assume.
  • On hiring: headhunt. Go out and find people that do the stuff you’re looking for really well. Rick will go out and find writers that write the things he wants. If you’re looking for infographic designers, look for who does them well.
  • Must read book: Get a subscription to Harvard Business Review. They cover fundamental every day challenges small businesses face.
  • Productivity hack: they have a process to come up with ideas where they get everyone in a room to come up with ideas. For example, coming up with 101 landing page optimization tips. They got 10 people in a room and everyone had to come up with 10 ideas. Then the person responsible took the stickies. I wrote a blog post inspired by this.
  • On Fridays, Rick gets a beer and sits down with people to talk about new ideas.
  • One actionable thing entrepreneurs can do in the next 24 hours: Just start writing. If you can’t do it, get someone to do it. Has to be every day.

Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.