Customer Acquisition Cost Communication (CACC)

One way to change the CAC is to change the communication. When an organization communicates well it clearly frames the exchange which helps people ‘get it’.

It happens in politics. It happens in emergencies. It happens in sports and in investing too. When asked why he didn’t bring part of his business to a new venture, Bill Miller replied, “We are only interested in having clients that understand you’re going to get volatility. We try to monetize the volatility.“

The simplest form of this is the dating advice: be yourself.

Who is the message for and how would they like to hear it? At Duolingo the how is short.

“Any page on Duolingo has the minimum amount of text, the minimum amount of instructions and an intuitive simple interface. That’s in contrast to how language is traditionally learned, which is in a textbook, which usually begins with a conjugation table. What works better is to let the user jump into the exercise, get some hints, answer questions, and then we unlock new concepts.” – Cem Kansu, The Science of Change, October 2021

In sports the idea was unlocked with images (like heat maps). In investing the idea was unlocked with shareholder letters. It’s the same thing over and over – it’s just finding a fit. Kansu said they’ve run hundreds of experiments, on probably every part of their service. Part of those are how to find a good way to communicate well.


My own version of this is the sixty-two ideas drip. Like this post, it’s a short daily email about an idea. Communicating well is one. It’s five bucks.