How to win customers for free so you can stop paying for leads

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This guide is based on Mixergy’s interview with Max Teitelbaum.

Max Teitelbaum didn’t have money to buy leads for his new business, so he won customers without spending a dime. It was all done by finding customers without funding, so we invited him to teach you how to do it.

Max is the cofounder of WhatRunsWhere, which helps companies spy on their competitors’ ads so they can buy more profitable display media.

Here are the actionable highlights from the interview.

1. Call customers who canceled so you can convince them to buy from you again

Max called people who had canceled after a free trial of WhatRunsWhere and invited them to sign up at a reduced rate, and it was easier to get them to sign up again than to close prospects who had never heard of his company.

Take Action:
Call customers who have canceled their subscriptions or stopped buying from you, tell them how you’ve improved your product since they stopped using it, and ask them to give it another try at a discounted price.

2. Email former customers so you can tell more of them about new features

When WhatRunsWhere had so many former customers that Max didn’t have enough time to call them all individually, he sent them emails about product updates and special offers.

Take Action:
Open an account with MailChimp, create a mailing list of customers who have canceled, and send them emails when you add new features to your product or offer discounts.

3. Guest-teach webinars to reach new audiences

Max appeared as a guest on webinars teaching people how to buy media, and he was able to convert webinar participants into new customers without paying anything upfront.

Take Action:
Contact the leaders of webinars that attract people in your target demographic and ask if they’ll let you talk to their audience for a couple hours in exchange for a referral fee if any audience members buy from you.

4. Write articles for other websites so you can advertise for free

Max wrote a guide to getting started in media buying and published it on the Blue Hat SEO blog, and it brought prospects to WhatRunsWhere’s website.

Take Action:
Write articles with tips that your target customers could use, mention your company and its website at the end of the articles, and distribute them to bloggers and online forums.

5. Take a laptop to trade shows so you can sign up new customers

If Max had brought a laptop to the first trade show he attended, he would have been able to close several customers, but he used a tablet that slowed down the signup process by more than 10 minutes, so he only got one person to sign up.

Take Action:
Bring a laptop to trade shows and use it to collect contact and payment information from customers, and don’t rely on smaller devices.

6. Respond to customers’ complaints yourself so they’ll stay loyal

A customer emailed WhatRunsWhere that he was leaving because of an issue with the operating system, but Max fixed the problem within 20 minutes and responded personally, and the customer stayed.

Take Action:
Answer some support phone calls and emails and interact with your customers, even if you have a customer support staff.

7. Use sales management software to keep track of prospects

Max uses sales management software to store notes about where prospects are in the sales pipeline, and this lets him see exactly what he needs to do next to follow up with each prospect.

Take Action:
Sign up with Pipedrive, enter contact information for your prospective customers, and update the entries whenever you make a sales call or close a sale.

Want to make sure you get results?

Watch the full interview now
Written by Sarah Brodsky, based on production notes by Jeremy Weisz

  • Amin

    Great timing Andrew. I was just searching around for something like this when I saw your tweet. Looking forward to watching the full interview. 

  • Andrew Warner


  • Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Excellent tips here!  I definitely think numbers 1, 4, and 5 are the best!  Normally, business owners just tend to forget about old customers, when really they are MUCH easier to convert than cold calling people who have never heard of you before!


  • Andrew Warner


  • Chris Milas

    Great tips. Love the Max interviews. I’m at the SMX conference in Seattle and didn’t see anyone like Max’s company here and that would of been a nice variance when only seeing standard SEM companies that all pretty much do the same thing.

    I also recommend the following that have all worked for my business:

    Cold email – but it has to be worded correct. If its done manually and not massed-list emailed, its not spam! Be careful on this though. If someone tells you to stop emailing them, you better listen!

    Connect with the people you want to do business with on Twitter and write a personalized DM. I landed a bunch of high profile clients this way without paying any money.Linked in inmail. Signup, pay the $75 a month and cold email the top 25 people you dreamed of doing business with with a personalized inMail. It works wonders ~ you’ll really be amazed :)

    Listen to potential customers:
    Use twitter search,, etc for people talking about what you have to offer

    If your product is cheap enough and you have a re-orderable product, a SAAS business, or any product with a good Life Time Value return, give a deep initial discount or give it away free for a month to people. I’ve stolen many customers away from competitors this way because my product is better than theirs, frankly.

    Cold calling! A lot of people/companies don’t do this anymore, but that creates an opportunity. Make a daily list of people you want to do business with. Just call 5-10 a day until you land 1 customer per day. Thats 20 new customers per month for 1 hour per day!

  • Kyle Patrick

    I say using the time to cold call previous customers is rare of worth unless it’s to use #1’s tactic to offer the product at a cheaper cost. This will filter the people who were interested, but not eager, to become renewed customers,  – Gamefly’s sales department offers this sort of deal. 
    To #2, I think the focus should be on the current customers by already promoting special offers and showing periodic product updates off the bat. Why take the risk losing a customer?
    And I wanna bring the day closer to where #5 becomes a tablet that can seemlessly show off my website’s registration page :)

  • Corine Justin

     what Mike implied I’m amazed that you can profit $6543 in one month on the internet. have you read this webpage makecash16com