The Most Scalable Efforts

In a world of physical limitations, scale is key.

We only have 24 hours a day to make the most of our productivity. With that in mind, why would we waste a second of it on any activity that does not scale well enough to produce a viable return?

Speaking of returns, it only makes sense to utilize channels that don’t increase in price alongside activity. In other words, paid search would not be a scalable effort due to the linear pricing method of PPC advertising, neither would a direct mail campaign which has hard costs associated with both printing & posting.

What makes the cut, then?

Cold email

Reach: 1
Results: Direct traffic
The scalability of cold email lies in the list. With a large enough list, you can leverage mail merge software to reach out to tens of thousands of individuals per month (assuming the data is verified and targeted). Some services can even allow you to scale this into the millions, if you are ready to make the investment.

Social alerts

Reach: 1,000
Results: Direct traffic
Jumping into a relevant conversation with a well-crafted suggestion can allow many to discover your product, service or company. Whether it be in a Reddit thread or Twitter discussion, setting up alerts is a great way to obtain real-time data about potential users and what features they may be requesting or struggles they may be facing.


Reach: 10,000
Results: Direct traffic, SEO
Responding to journalists requests for an expert comment on a topic you are qualified to speak on, when done right, can produce results that are otherwise unattainable. Such outlets are likely to never be selling such promotion or coverage, making them that much more effective if/when you are able to land a spot on their platform.

Affiliate marketing

Reach: 100,000
Results: Direct traffic, SEO
Since you are only one person, you will never have the opportunity to reach out to the majority of people who are potentially your ideal customer. You will need the help of others, many others, to get your name out there. While affiliates are financially incentivized to promote you, in the meantime they are providing you FREE & highly-targeted traffic, not to mention organic search benefits (regardless if they ever produce a sale for you).

Programmatic webpages

Reach: 100,000
Results: SEO
Producing thousands of keyword-rich, pragmatic content pages may be difficult and time consuming, but can yield remarkable results for years to come. Depending on the nature of the search query, along with the quality of the page, these “doorway” pages can be a fantastic source of relevant traffic that demand very little maintenance and upkeep. They work for all industries and content types, typically only limited by creativity.

There are, of course, scalable activities that just don’t make sense for other reasons:


Giveaways are problematic not only because you still need to find a way to advertise the actual giveaway once it’s up, but after users have entered, there isn’t a real incentive for them to promote the giveaway for you. If people want to win something, they don’t want to invite more people in to compete with them for the prize. And even when they do make a post to “increase their chances”, they tend to delete it as soon as they can.

Mass DM

Direct messaging people through social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram may seem like a great idea, but these activities come with quite a bit of risk. It would only take a few “reports” before your account is flagged for quarantine or deletion altogether. On top of that, you are typically limited by the system itself to only send a few hundred messages per day, which limits your reach compared to cold email.

Ringless voicemail

A bit of a lesser known strategy, ringless voicemail is exactly what it sounds like. And while it can work with certain kinds of businesses, the FCC has recently cracked down on RVM, subjecting them to the same rules as “robocalls” and therefore making them liable to face the same scrutiny. It’s just not worth it.

Final thought

These tactics and techniques have made, saved and elevated brands in thousands of cases. Take full advantage of them while they are still around and can be exploited for everything they are worth.