Who are they?

Startups.com provide courses, startup advice and software to help small businesses grow. Their business portfolio includes a subscription that unlocks a huge variety of benefits, Fundable, Bizplan, Founders Groups, Launchrock, Clarity and Zirtual.

What was the challenge?

The CMO had limited in-house marketing personnel and was looking for a dynamic team to come on-board to help test new channels to market. They were hesitant to hire as they wanted to have the breadth of skills needed to run marketing experiments across multiple channels.

What did we do for them?

Delivered on development of an ICP and multi-channel strategy based on the bullseye framework for subscriptions, Zirtual, Founders Groups and Bizplan

Invalidated LinkedIn Ads as a channel for growth after concluding too high CPAs based on a variety of experiments within the channel


Invalidated Affiliate Marketing as a route to market after setting up and managing a partner programme through Partnerstack

Validated Facebook & Instagram ads as a way to “turn on the taps” for sign-ups to Bizplan and Zirtual, seeing a 2+ ROAS on Zirtual

Validated LinkedIn outreach as a channel to market for a new offering, seeing nearly 10% lead generation rates from the targeted outreach campaigns

Team on the account

Tom Dewhurst

Strategy + Partnerships
Tom Dewhurst

Tristan Gillen

Strategy + Outbound Management
Tristan Gillen

Jonno Price

LinkedIn Ads
Jonno Price

Luke Nevill

Facebook + Instagram Ads

Bullseye Framework Validation

We initially tested direct outbound email and LinkedIn campaigns and made good headway in learning what messaging was resonating and which target personas were working. However, the time investment in email marketing made getting an ROI on the channel a challenge.

We validated using LinkedIn as a channel to market by using automation systems. Furthermore, we brought in a Paid Social expert to test Facebook and Instagram and saw good success, validating it as a channel.

The Key Metrics

3 channels validated out of 6 tested

2+ ROAS on Paid Social channels

Growth Division have a model that’s ideal for businesses looking to identify new channels for growth. They’ve brought in growth experts to validate LinkedIn Ads, Facebook/Insta Ads, email marketing and affiliate marketing as growth channels for Startups.com. The high quality of experts and flexible engagement terms means we can run growth experiments and quickly learn what works.

Ryan Rutan, Co-Founder and CMO of Startups.com