Social list app: customer acquisition plan

A Feasibility Study: using SEO to drive traffic to a social lists application

The client – Internet Startup Company – has contracted me to explore the feasibility of organic search optimization as a way to promote a to-do list application.

The background

To-do list application: Task lists, grocery lists, project organisation, daily planning.

Ideal User type: productivity obsessed; someone who needs a friendly nudge to get organised; someone who’s interested in others ideas on to-do lists for different occasions.

Customer acquisition strategy: gain customers through organic search (SEO).

Research problem

Whether or not creating a ‘Public list’ option will help an application drive organic traffic from search engine?

The model

Growing a mobile to-do list app through SEO of the page with public lists… It’s not a trivial model. Yet, it's a very tricky one. Because public lists created for personal use shall compete for ranking with posts created for money.


Main risks of Customer Acquisition strategy:

  1. Lacking in E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness)

  2. Poor content

  3. Content value curve

  4. Page design

Obviously, the risks were all there. Yet, the solution was also there.


The solution was obvious. Creating a long list of templates for different life occasions – not quite templates, but rather ideal lists created by professionals. And encouraging users to create spin-offs on already existent lists based on their particular experience.

The solution was rooted in the insight that people are willing to resort to other’s ‘wisdom’, i.e. utilise others' list for their own purposes. Yet, the important part was that people were willing to give back. In the form of making their takes on other lists public and available for further utilisation.

But what’s more surprising, people were interested in discussing lists created by others as well as sharing their stories behind each list. This led us to the idea that the app has had a great Social growth potential.

Model implementation

I have suggested focusing on quality model to-do lists that stand closest to the target audience - productivity obsessed mum & pups who are trying to get their lives organised, and who are interested in the experience of people like them.

Keeping the number of template lists low was important. The idea was to kickstart a spin-off process, not rocketship the overall number of lists.

Social grasp of future app users was also very important. The idea was to connect them to the app’s profiles the way they like and give them a Contest fever to break the ice. Create Contests for Public lists makers with prizes was a core element of giving users our state of mind.

Keeping up with experts who built the initial template list was a second step of building community spirit and sharing stories. Once the ice is broken, the spin off creating process is on its way and the customer acquisition strategy starts slowly working.

Another core element of the model was evangelising quality. To that end, I suggested creating ‘How-to guides & tips’ for list makers.

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