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Spellbook: How I Built an 83K Waitlist of Leads in a Year

Kurt Dunphy
October 23, 2023


We tried just about every channel in the marketing toolbox (except direct mail (yet…)). Strategies dubbed unconventional were extra high on the list to try. 

The experimentation process was ruthless. We quantified each channel by way of leads/costs. If it didn’t bring in results, we dropped it, period. We didn’t run awareness campaigns, period. 


When we figured out what channels worked best, we put all our chips on it. Shifting to instead experimenting with different targeting, creative, budgets, etc. 

We reached a point where 90% of our marketing budget and effort was in a couple of channels. We ignored ‘diversifying’ our energy. In my experience, this leads to winning a little in each place. We wanted to win a lot. 

We also laid off experimenting with new channels when we found what worked. 

Although we strayed a few times, we were generally pretty good with it. There’s so much pressure to try the “XYZ” thing a superstar company is doing and raving about. In my experience, trying to chase these waterfalls often feels like a distraction when you have a strategy working for you.

Ruthless prioritization

We dropped anything that wasn’t a top performer. This meant ignoring (if not wholly abandoning) campaigns that were working but not to a high enough level. 

For example, we ran campaigns in a few channels but focused heavily on the one or two that worked the best. The others would get minimal support, if any. 

Stayed nimble

We also didn’t hire a massive team to do it. We have a very lean team. So, we used what we had, pulling ideas and talent from the founders, sales, product, and partnering with freelancers. 

This helped us move fast because we never had ties to a specific strategy or channel. There was no ‘gravity’ to hold us in any one direction.

It was slow initially, but once we found our stride, it took off.

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