The Best Alternative to Google Ads (My #1 Growth Hack)

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0:10 Hey everyone, I'm Neil Patel, and today I'm going to share with you the best alternative to Google Ads. What most people don't realize is, you don't have to spend money on Google Ads to create a multibillion-dollar company. Have you heard of Dropbox? Of course, you have; the chances are it's on your computer. Did you know that when Dropbox first came out they tried to grow by doing Google advertising? And what they found is, even though they had a product that costs around $5 a month, which is around $60 a year per customer, they were spending roughly $200 to $300 to acquire a customer from Google Ads.

1:30 Can you see how those numbers don't work out? Not only are they spending more to acquire a customer than what they're paying in the first year, just because someone's paying you $5 a month, but it also doesn't mean that $5 is pure profit either. So, what did Dropbox do? They leveraged growth hacking. They figured out a way to get users to come to their site and generate more customers. They did this by creating a free product or a service, and that's a better alternative to Google Ads.

2:30 If you look at Dropbox, you look at Slack, heck even look at Amazon; Amazon's not really doing free but with a Prime membership, you get free two-day air shipping. By creating something that's free or such an amazing offer, think of it as like your carrot that you're dangling, you're going to get so many people over to your website that then when you upsell them into your paid products or services, it's so much easier because they're already using your product or service, you've already built that brand loyalty, that connection, that rapport with them. It's much easier to get that upsell.

3:00 You do not have to spend money on Google Ads to create a big business; again, look at Dropbox. Leverage growth hacking, and then as you have these free tools, these free products, these free services, and it may not be the best ones out there but something that people are used to paying for, what you can do is do things like creating invite flows. Dropbox has it: you want more free space, invite more users. I can do the same thing with Ubersuggest; I don't, but I can say "Want more free usage? Invite more members." You can get creative with your marketing, leverage growth hacking.

3:30 Just don't put all your money into Google Ads, and the reason I say that, it's not because I don't like Google Ads. Ideally, you should be doing both. But the reason I say this is, the moment you stop Google Ads you don't have any more traffic. By creating something that's free, and it doesn't have to continually cost a ton of money, like HubSpot, they have this free email signature generator. It doesn't cost them much money; they only spent a few thousand dollars creating it.

4:00 They don't even spend any money maintaining it each and every single month. But they found that it can drive over seven figures worth of revenue to their business per year; not too bad from one free tool. So if you have questions on what you should be releasing for free, leave a comment below; I'll answer it. I'll give you some ideas and hopefully, that'll get you off to the races. Thank you for watching; feel free to like, subscribe, comment, and share. Thank you very much.

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    33 Responses to The Best Alternative to Google Ads (My #1 Growth Hack)

    1. loveforthe90s October 2, 2018 at 4:00 pm #

      So where does the traffic come from that gets directed to the free offer?

      • lubfishin October 3, 2018 at 6:28 am #

        this was my exact thought! still have to advertise to get the traffic to the site. Right?

      • Tejas parmar October 3, 2018 at 7:08 am #

        Advertise of 1st page ranking.
        For the initial output we will have to spend money

      • Neil Patel October 3, 2018 at 10:28 am #

        There are many sources of traffic out there. Organic, paid, referral, social, email marketing, etc.

      • Rastko Mekic October 11, 2018 at 7:53 pm #

        Well, referral, email marketing are paid marketing and social isn’t so much free as they want you to pay to have fans on page and reach. This is one of the most unsatisfied answers I have ever read. And, the title of the video is bombastic but its just waisting time…

      • Piano Lesson with Warren March 7, 2019 at 1:53 am #

        loveforthe90s social medias via content marketing. I don’t do ads because my YouTube channel gets over 200k views a month and brings in 4,000 subscribers. This is how I sell my products and grow my email list.

    2. Ankit Dubey October 2, 2018 at 4:05 pm #

      A Video On Using Keywords on Particular Page .

      • Neil Patel October 3, 2018 at 10:29 am #

        Thanks for the suggestion

    3. Scott Frostholm October 2, 2018 at 4:29 pm #

      I don’t have $150,000 a month to spend

      • Neil Patel October 3, 2018 at 3:20 pm #

        I was talking about my personal experience. You can apply my idea to any kind of budget.

    4. Pawan Rajput October 2, 2018 at 5:03 pm #

      Big Thanks sir and Love from India to you

      • Neil Patel October 3, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

        You’re welcome!

    5. Paper bag Production house October 3, 2018 at 5:22 pm #

      Thank you Neil, i use ubersuggest for finding new buying keyword

    6. randallu October 3, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

      Absolutely love ubersuggest. What do you think I should give away for free for a graphic design service?

    7. Ingrid Van den Abeele October 3, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

      As always this was Very helpfull Thanks

    8. Supriya Mohandas October 4, 2018 at 11:38 am #

      Hi Neil. Great content and its definitely gonna help many. would you pls let me know what do I give as free to my clients. I’m into freelancing in Graphic Designing and web designing. Thanks much Neil.

    9. Moazzam Ali October 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi, Neil Patel
      How you can describe SEO in one line?

    10. Creative Keedas Private Limited October 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

      Could you help us with ideas of what to offer for free?

    11. Анжелика Чиж October 5, 2018 at 7:45 pm #

      we doing pizza delivery, do you have any ideas on free services? thanks

    12. Annie Buck October 6, 2018 at 5:00 am #

      Got any ideas for a cloud backup company?

    13. Pako Thiam October 6, 2018 at 5:19 am #

      Hi Neil.
      I run Shopify general store and
      I sell lot of products.
      I give free shipping, % discount.
      Do you have any recommendations?

    14. Eric Nivo Beats March 5, 2019 at 11:11 pm #

      Hi, thanks. Great info

      • Neil Patel March 6, 2019 at 12:09 am #


    15. Alek - Bike March 6, 2019 at 6:53 am #

      (brought to you by google ads)

      • Nathan Drake March 8, 2019 at 9:26 pm #

        I swear I was just about to say the same thing. Lol

    16. Brady Beko March 7, 2019 at 6:12 am #

      “Don’t use google ads”

      *uses google ads*

      • Brady Beko March 10, 2019 at 11:48 pm #

        Kerrington herndon yes, he’s trying to stop people that are possibly going to use google ads but it doesn’t matter. It’s ironic because it’s exactly the opposite of what he’s telling you

      • Pr!nt Workz March 10, 2019 at 11:49 pm #

        Sub to me if you want him to learn how to make sense

      • Wolfpack Dusk March 11, 2019 at 12:10 am #

        @Kerrington herndon you heard yourself…right?

      • Nahinh cruizer March 11, 2019 at 3:20 pm #


      • Bernardo Puppin June 7, 2019 at 12:52 pm #

        it’s called click bait

    17. Dennisrepetiton Miskowski March 10, 2019 at 7:22 am #

      This was great information I’m looking to grow my following any suggestions you have a new follower

      • Neil Patel March 11, 2019 at 3:46 pm #


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