What paid advertising method — on or offline — has resulted in the greatest ROI for your startup so far?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. Retargeting

lawrence watkinsRetargeting on websites and social media sites such as Facebook has produced the largest ROI for Great Black Speakers. Before, it was hard to create enough touchpoints with a potential customer to get them over the hump to subscribe to our product. Now, we funnel targeted individuals to our website through LinkedIn and Google ads and then repeatedly expose them to our brand through AdRoll.
Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

2. LinkedIn

Derek CapoWe have been able to generate a lot of leads and sales and expand our networks because of the people who we have met on LinkedIn. Our business requires potential partners to really trust us, and LinkedIn provides a filter for both parties to determine if the opportunity to work together makes sense or not. Although it is still a small portion of our sales, the ROI has been outstanding.
Derek Capo, Next Step China

3. Yahoo! Directory

Brett FarmiloeWe paid $299 to get a link on the Yahoo! Search Directory, and because of that link, our organic search traffic has increased dramatically.
Brett Farmiloe, Digital Marketing Agency

4. Facebook

Gary NealonWe have had a lot of success with Facebook remarketing and custom audiences (technically two different methods). Combined, they have significantly reduced our CPA and allowed us to really focus our advertising campaigns on Facebook.
Gary Nealon, The Rox Group

5. Keyword Campaigns

Corey BlakeAt RTC, we actually have an anti-Adwords campaign. This means that our solution when someone types in keywords is the antithesis of what they expected to find. That has proven highly effective against our competitors, and the monthly return averages about 30 to 1.
Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

6. Organic SEO

Phil LaboonOrganic SEO has had the biggest impact on the growth of our company. There is a long-term ROI that happens with organic Internet marketing that the other mediums just can’t touch. This is because the equity is built into our site and doesn’t stop after the budget dries up. It’s rare and lucky to have the major search engines rank you at the top of the results over decades.
Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing

7. Direct Mailing

Anthony SaladinoThe key to a successful direct mailing campaign is ensuring you are advertising to individuals in your target market. For our online home improvement store, we purchased new home buyer lists because our research showed a large percentage of new home buyers make upgrades to their home within three to six months. Make sure to include unique coupon codes on your mailers to properly monitor ROI.
Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

8. ShareASale

Aaron SchwartzWe have worked with ShareASale, an affiliate sales network. We paid a small commission, and affiliates from around the world put in the work to advertise our brand. They help us uncover fans we never could have found by ourselves. Because they only get paid upon conversion, it’s an affordable and scaleable method to advertise.
Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches