How I'd grow Lunch Money

February 12, 2020

Lunch Money is a personal budgeting web app.

But would you have been able to guess that just by taking a look at their homepage?

Visitors shouldn’t have to guess. If they don’t get it immediately, plenty of them will just leave.

They could easily fix this by changing the subhead, which currently doesn’t add any value.

Focus more on the benefits. Why should visitors care and keep scrolling?

“Lunch Money” is a web app that can help you save up to $6000 every year” sounds better.

As soon as I got off the site, I got retargeted on Facebook.

Good idea, but the ad needs serious improvement.

With retargeting, you need to give people who left your website a good reason to come back.

A limited time offer is a good strategy… if you can spot it!

On Facebook and Instagram people are busy scrolling down their feeds.

Your ad is competing with their friends’ photos.

To stand a chance, Lunch Money needs a powerful ad creative that stops the scrolling and grabs their attention. The current one isn’t going to do that.

Facebook Ads could work well for this product. I wouldn’t limit it to retargeting - I’d also try going after cold audiences.

I don’t think Lunch Money should go after YNAB or Mint customers.

Their real competitors? Spreadsheets! The founder admits it in the “About” section.

I would create a video that shows:

The problem: people going crazy trying to manage their budget using spreadsheets
The solution: people easily handling their budgets using Lunch Money

The beauty of using FB Ads videos is that you can retarget people who viewed a certain %.

Lunch Money users vocally recommend it on Twitter, so that’s a channel they should focus on.

The key to Twitter growth are retweets. And people retweet something they think their peers would like to know.

So I’d experiment with short and useful tips for effective budgeting.

I would give Reddit a shot.

There is a huge, dedicated subreddit: r/personalfinance.

I would just tell my story: “I hated spreadsheets, so I created my own app for budgeting.”

Reddit typically roasts self promotion, but if you stay human and avoid selling, you can do wonders.

From an SEO standpoint, Lunch Money only has 3 pages that could potentially rank on Google: the homepage and a couple of “alternative to” pages.

This is an area they should definitely focus on.

More than anything, they should do some keyword research and add more pages.

Their niche also presents a big content opportunity, although the founder doesn’t want to write about budgeting - it’s overcrowded.

I agree, but I’d do it anyway.

Even in a crowded niche, you’ll get traffic for consistent quality content that targets long-tail keywords.

If they can get to 100 visitors per day, at a 1% CVR that’s one new customer every day. 365 new customers every year.

For free.

But to have a chance, they need to increase their domain authority. Right now it’s so low they don’t even appear in a search for their brand name.

Lunch Money has a big advantage: it was mentioned on TechCrunch and MacRumors.

I would scour the web for articles published by high domain authority websites about relevant topics.

Then, I’d leverage this credibility to add Lunch Money to the articles, securing a powerful link.

It’s also worth considering that they had a really successful launch on Hacker News.

How could they further connect with this audience?

I really like the idea of the founder writing a personal engineering/solo founder blog that shows the behind-the-scenes story of Lunch Money.

I wouldn’t do it on the Lunch Money domain. I’d keep that space reserved for personal finance and budgeting tips.

There’ll be people interested only in those tips, and people interested only in the personal story. A dedicated blog gives people a choice of what to follow.

This niche could be great for side-project marketing.

A free Lunch Money product that gets word-of-mouth traction, and drives people to the main product.

Maybe a budget or savings calculator? Something to investigate further.

Learn marketing from case studies

Every two weeks I pick a website and write a short case study explaining exactly how I’d grow it