Today we offer the translation of “The Lean Marketing Funnel” Mattan Griffel. The author proposes a framework to prepare a Lean Marketing approach. Enjoy:

I regularly see startups face difficulties in recruiting users (Actually, it’s even the biggest problem).

They often have type arguments: “We can not ask people to register as we do not have something on our site, but we can not put anything on our site, as we have no registrant “(the paradox of the chicken and the egg) or” we need to set up the buzz around the project that we will launch in a few weeks “(the problem of how to make the buzz).

If you think this is your problem, believe me, it’s not your problem!

The real problem is how startups think customer acquisition.

Most of it consider three indicators: traffic, users and income.

Thus, they can not understand why they do not have users or even why users do not return. We frequently hear them say, “We have traffic but no fits.”

Whenever I watch startups not knowing solve this problem, it reminds me of an episode of South Park “Gnomes”.

In this episode, the brave citizens of South Park discover that tiny gnomes sneaking into their house and steal their underwear during the night. When they finally manage to confront the gnomes and ask them what they do underpants, gnomes say, “the business.”

Claiming to be experts, they explain that their business is structured as follows:

Phase 1: collect underpants

Phase 2:

Phase 3: make profit

This is an infamous parody of unplanned business models, however I think it says a lot about how startups are considering user flows. The only difference is that startups apprehend this:

Phase 1: Getting traffic

Phase 2:

Phase 3: Get users

Phase 4:

Phase 5: Make profit

The point is that most startups do not reflect enough on how to convert visitors into users, and users active users.

The indicators that startups are focused most – namely, traffic, users and income – do not really help. The magic lies in what happens in between.


The first reflex startups with growth problems users should be the user flow modeling – it’s the best way to understand the different steps to generate income with your users.

A product type that is the way to proceed:

People hear about your product
They visit your website
They fit to try
They connect several times the first weeks
They talk to some of their friends
Finally they pay you
This is a good example of what the user stream should be – where the services are free for basic use but become paying for advanced use of features and functionality. No need to be very involved to understand when each step happens.

This user flow can vary depending on the type of product. For example if you are a social network, there is a good chance that you will not mon├ętisiez your users directly – instead you’d put advertisements.

However, this is still a fairly common user flow that is applied to many products on the internet.


One important thing is to match each step of the user stream with a state of the user. When people arrive for the first time on the site, they are only visitors. After registering and having used the product, they become users. If they continue to use your product, they are active users, etc …

At one point, you will have different types of users at different stages users. When you consider the group of all users, only a small fraction of its users will be active in a given period.

As Growth Hacker, your job in a start-up is to discover how to get users from one stage to the next, and do so by limiting potential losses.

For example, how to turn a registered user active user?

The funnel Lean Marketing


I would like to present a framework that responds simply to this type of question.

The peculiarity of users and user flows stages vary widely among different types of product. This framework allows the user to divide flows into 5 distinct steps that can be applied almost universally to each product:

Acquisition – People coming to your home page or another page, through various channels, the press, a blog, a search engine, or by word of mouth

Activation – people have a positive first experience on your site, which usually results in actions such as the creation of an account or the transmission of an email address.

Retention – People become active users of your SEO Company Phoenix AZ product, they come back to use it several times and remain committed.

Recommendation – people share your product with their friend, who will enter the activation phase and retention, etc …

Income – You monetize those using the product, through advertising, sales, lead generation or the business development.

(For those familiar with the subjects of Dave McClure, you should recognize Metrics Pirate Dave – so call because of the Aarrr abbreviation)

Note that the recommendation differs from the acquisition. Although technically the recommendation is a form of acquisition, they’d better separate for two reasons:

First, you need active user before one of them would recommend to his friends, so this is a pattern of acquisition is initially not valid for most startups.

Second, the recommendation is somehow a world apart when it’s time to move to the “growth hacking”. When it comes to the recommendation, there are case studies and best practices which are completely different from other means of acquisitions. This is why it is better to separate them.

I like to think that framework, as the funnel of the Lean Marketing. It looks like this:


It is a funnel because people fall from the top and go down, but you lose some every step of the way

The funnel in action: Quora

Before going further, I want to be really sure that we understand how the funnel Lean Marketing works. To break the abstraction study a real case: Quora

Acquisition: let’s say you’ve never heard of Quora, and one day you see a tweet from a friend. You can not help but clicking on the link after reading the tweet. So you’ve arrived at the site Quora.


Activation: you read the answer on Quora and you wish to access more content like this, then you create an account. Quora facilitates the recording by placing several “calls-to-action” on each page where a new visitor can happen. You continue to fly over the site for a few minutes and then you leave, and do not think of everything.


Retention: a few days later you receive the summary of the week by email. It contains links to the site. Its content is customized for you. You click a link that interests you so and return to the site. Now that you’re back, Quora encourage you to continue by presenting topics that might interest you.


Recommendation: Whenever you read or ask a question, Quora encourage you to share the answer on Twitter or Facebook. They invite you to connect your social networks when you register, and this step is simplified.


Income: Quora does not profit. (We know this because it’s a Quora answer). They do so for many reasons, with which I more or less agree.


But there are also many ways in which they could use to monetize such as sponsorship, business development, sales data, premium accounts.

The advantages of the funnel Marketing

Well, now we understand what the funnel Lean Marketing. But what is the purpose?

There are 3 essential benefits with the funnel Lean Marketing:

First, once you have an analytical system in place to help you measure conversions for each stage (I will discuss in a future post), you can easily identify bottlenecks in your user flow. This lets you know what to focus your SEO Agency resources.

For example, many startups see a neck in the activation of the funnel, which means that site visitors seldom create an account.

On the other hand, some startups observe that a large number of people coming to their site to create an account, but a small number becomes active users. This retention is a problem.

In both cases, you will not have to solve the problem by increasing traffic. It would be a waste of time and energy. Do not make the mistake of focusing you on the acquisition, if your activation rate or retention is low. In a recent presentation, Patrick Ambron of BrandYourself described how they had obtained 60,000 users in 60 hours thanks to a story went viral on Mashable. It notes at the same time, their activation rate was 30% – meaning that 30% of people having come on their home page have registered.

When they launched the site a few months ago, their activation rate reached only 8%. This is a pretty good rate but Patrick has worked hard to raise it to 30% before focusing on the growth of its traffic. Thus, when the article on Mashable has become viral, BrandYourself got 60,000 new users in 60 hours.

If Patrick was content to an 8% activation rate, he would have acquired 16,000 new users.

Another reason to use the funnel Lean Marketing is that it offers a method to identify and categorize the other “growth hacks” that can be tested to exceed a particular bottle.

If you know you have a retention problem, it becomes easier to identify “growth hacks” than other startups have used to solve the same problem. Which includes mail notifications twitter, emails “We Miss You” deEventbrite’s, the elements’ time-based game “Zynga, or issues related to Quora and endless scrolling (scroll), and many others.

I am currently working to collect the “growth hacks” at each stage of the funnel, and this is something that I hope to share with you soon.

Finally, the funnel of the Lean Marketing prepares the steps of a Lean Marketing approach. In my next posts, I will propose a combination of funnel Lean Marketing and circle feedback (lean) to create a scalable and repeatable method to increase the number of users.

You excited? me too