Traction Thinking: A Marketing Manifesto

Here goes nothing…

You cannot measure everything at once.

You need to measure things in the right order.

And to do that, you need to know which stage you’re in.

The framework I’m about to share with you suggests an order to the metrics you should track.

But truth be told, the specific order won’t apply perfectly to everyone.

In fact, I may even get yelled at for being so prescriptive, but that’s okay; I have thick skin. 

I simply ask that you use your judgment and rely on your experience as you peruse this plan.

Lesson 3

Your Stage Determines Which Metric You Should Track

Over the years, I’ve seen several growth frameworks emerge.

Each offers a different perspective and suggests a set of metrics to focus on.

After comparing and contrasting a number of these frameworks, I’ve chosen the one that focuses on lead generation and conversion most; Dave McClure’s Pirate Metrics. 

Its a funnel that gets its name from the acronym AAARRR, which refers to the first letter of each phase: (A)wareness, (A)cquisition, (A)ctivation, (R)etention, (R)evenue, and (R)eferral.

Let’s take a look at this funnel in action.

I’ll use a Pest Control customer lifecycle for this example… 

A prospect is scrolling through their Facebook feed when suddenly an educational video about Mosquito breeding grounds catches their eye. 

After watching the video, they click on the “Learn More” link and are redirected to a landing page that explains how they can prevent mosquitoes from breeding on their property. 

On that same page, there’s an option for people with existing mosquito problems.

Get a quote online.

Without hesitation, they complete the form and are redirected to a thank you page with their quote plus the option to schedule their first service at a discounted rate. 

They claim the special offer, and a few days later, the company sprays their yard for mosquitoes.

While they are there, they wipe down all spider webs around the perimeter of the home.

By chance, they notice signs of ants and roaches indoors, so they recommend that the client purchase a one-time interior spray and ongoing perimeter treatment.

The customer agrees and chooses the bi-monthly pest protection plan.

After a few treatments, the customer receives an email that asks them to rate their experience.

Since they’ve received such excellent service, they choose 5 stars, which redirects them to a landing page that reads, “Get $25 off your next service when you refer a friend!”

They grab their unique referral link, share it on Facebook, and the process begins again.

As you can see, these phases follow a natural, logical order… 

  • Awareness: how many people do you reach?
  • Acquisition: how many people visit your website?
  • Activation: how many people take the first important step?
  • Revenue: how many people start paying (and how much)?
  • Retention: how many people come back or buy again?
  • Referral: how many people refer friends to your business?

And more importantly, these phases show you where you need to focus your attention.

It’s the place where the drop off from one stage to the next is most significant.

So if you’re just getting started with marketing, I recommend that you start near the top.

And here’s why…

It’s hard to measure how many people refer your business if you don’t have many customers AND it’s hard to measure your closing rate if you don’t have a steady stream of leads.

But you’re free to choose whichever stage you like.

For example, you may need leads right away, so you skip the awareness stage and focus on marketing channels with higher-customer intent.

Or perhaps, you want to get more bang for your buck, so you develop a viral marketing campaign before experimenting with paid marketing channels.

The choice is all yours. 

What’s most important is you (1) pick a stage from the Pirate Metrics funnel, (2) select one metric to track above all else, and (3) start running marketing experiments today.

Download Pirate Metrics for Local Service Businesses

We know how confusing, frustrating, and oftentimes intimidating marketing can be for small business owners, so we’ve created the holy grail of growth just for you... and it's 100% FREE.

Inside you’ll find the best metrics and marketing channels for each phase of the Pirate Metrics framework. Just enter your email address and the stage you want to begin with, and we’ll handle the rest.

12 Promotional Emails To Grow Your Local Service Business

Get a leg up - on your competition and your future efforts.



Do your local service business a favor & download all the templates.