There are over 80 new companies born every hour in the UK alone. This trend is being encouraged by highly effective growth hacks for startups
Older people would tell you it is through sales and marketing. Younger people would term it as innovation and the drive to become an entrepreneur.
Shane Snow would call it smart cutting, and Sean Ellis would say they growth hacked.
All of the above are correct. But growth hacking has become a popular term. Therefore, we will stick with growth hacking strategies.
Sean Ellis created the term in 2010. He used it to describe an unconventional approach to marketing. It is a technique that combines analytics, creativity, and innovation to get the highest returns within a short period.
Growth hacking is how startups like Tinder could grow from 5,000 users to nearly 15,000 users virtually overnight. It is how Product Hunt became, well, Product Hunt and how Airbnb became Airbnb.
There is an endless list of well-known startups that have utilized growth hacking.
From this post, you will learn how to leverage the best-known growth hacking concepts. It will help you to attract more users and earn more sales for your business.
Foundations for Success
Before you can start growth hacking your business, you need to put a couple of foundations in place.
Who are Your Customers?
For a start, it is essential to look after the product-market fit. In other words, you need to have an excellent product and make sure that it meets your customer’s needs.
To do that, you will need to understand your customers. That means knowing:
- Their age, gender, education, and other demographic data
- Where do they get information from other than your website
- Their pain points, challenges, values, and goals your product solves.
What is the Customer Journey?
You need to understand how your customers become customers. That is called the customer journey, which generally moves from awareness to evaluation to conversion.
And it is when they have decided you offer the best product or service and convert into customers that they become part of the growth hacking funnel.
Is Your Site Assisting Conversions?
The conversion-centered design is another vital aspect of hacking your marketing. That means making it easy for visitors to:
- Please find the information needed to take the next step in their interaction with you
- Have a chance to engage with you
- See the social proof that establishes your authority
You will also need to identify any bottlenecks stopping visitors from converting.
Set SMART Goals for Growth
Finally, you will need to set smart goals before beginning. Smart goals are:
In other words, do not set impossible goals. Know what you want to achieve. Find out how it contributes to growth. Work out how you are going to measure it, and set a time limit for achieving it.
Growth Hacking Strategies Every Startup Should Follow
To help you outgrow your potential, leverage the following business growth strategies to expand your horizons and increase profits sharply.
Create a Pre-Launch Email List
You should opt for email services like MailChimp for setting up email lists. It allows you to push emails effectively.
Since communication plays a vital role in conversions, make sure that you reach out to your potential customers at least a week before your launch
Email marketing remains king to find both leads and conversions when it comes to an effective startup growth strategy.
Put your focus on building an email list.
It will allow you to reach your audience. It will deliver your message effectively.
Additionally, email marketing greatly helps businesses. It helps them to build pre-launch hype for any product or event.
It will help you get users even before the launch. But do not just create a list of email addresses and sit idle. It would help if you took a few weeks to build up the hype and try to make your audience eager for your launch.
Make New Brand Partnerships
Any small-medium company can develop an effective collaboration. It has to find the right partner. That will bring value to its brand and vice versa.
Partnerships even work for firms that operate in different industries. It allows users of one brand to leverage the other partner’s strengths.
A good example is a partnership between Airbnb (a room-sharing app) and Flipboard (a news app).
Flipboard offers customized content to Airbnb users. They could then make informed decisions when booking residences through Airbnb.
On the flip side, these users give comments and reviews. Flipboard aggregates these for its users.
Many brands have realized that product partnership and co-marketing is an effective growth hacking strategy.
It will create a tremendous social media buzz and send relevant organic traffic to your website. It is an opportunity for news coverage. This will enhance the visibility of your services and products globally.
Some of the most successful partnerships have been those that created new products around a theme.
Build a Social Media Community Around Your Product/Brand
Social media is an essential part of the marketing mix.
Leverage social media communities to promote yourself. You can receive market feedback and interact with industry influencers.
It takes time to build an audience by developing content. You must strive to align social media activities with the overall growth direction.
Create a Facebook group around your brand. Here your audience would engage with your brand. It is one of the best growth hacking strategies for leveraging social media.
You need to ensure you are creating value for them through that group.
The chances are fair that those who are not aware of your brand may get to know about it once they get inspired by your group’s content.
Best Growth Hacking Examples
The famous dating app used several marketing hacks. And they got the outcome as expected. Better say, more than expected. That is why for our following example, we have chosen Tinder’s growth hacking strategy for customer acquisition.
The marketing lead visited several sorority houses in the USA. She convinced the girls to join Tinder. Then she went to their male fraternities. They joined after seeing all the familiar girls already on the app.
Tinder also threw parties in many colleges. Installing the app was the only attendance requirement. Result? Tinder’s user base jumped from 5,000 to 15,000 overnight.
Who knew that giving away money will help your organization grow? Well, it certainly worked wonders for Paypal.
They used a referral program as a growth hacking strategy. They began to incentivize users who brought in more users. This was done using PayPal’s referral program.
As a result, PayPal’s business began to grow by 7% to 10% daily. The total cost of incentives was close to $60 million.
Additionally, what is more, interesting about their growth hacking strategy is that social media was not as expected or powerful as it is today. Paypal mainly grew via word of mouth, SMS, blogs, and emails.
Dollar Shave Club
Video content is in more demand than ever. This growth hacking example proves how effective video marketing is. It shows how conveniently you can get all the conversions you need with the right video content.
The Dollar Shave Club made nearly $20 million in revenue by using the following video growth hack. This is according to the Business Insider.
The Dollar Shave Club created a video to promote their services, particularly sending their prospects to brand new razor blades every month for a mere $1 only.
The video went viral like wildfire. It got 19 million views within a short passage of time.
This is one of the best examples of using a growth hacking strategy. In 2016, the academy increased its certifications per student ratio to 1.3 certifications. This was with the help of growth marketer Eric Peters.
An exciting finding from HubSpot’s experimentation was that the status bar helped users discover new certification courses.
Eric and his team also use a color code; grey represents the certifications that are not complete or have expired, while orange is for the complete ones.
The team also added a status bar to registered students’ emails so each individual would see their progress on various certifications.
This ingenious growth hacking strategy helped to overshoot their initial goal of 1.5 certifications per user to 1.3 certifications per user. Overall, this increased the number of certifications by 18%.
Cloudways Ecommerce Tools
A remarkable growth hacking example is the Cloudways Ecommerce Tools. They wanted to pull targeted audiences towards this page and engage with them.
The user would need to provide their email address to see the tools’ results, thus making them leads.
Through these tools, lead generation improved significantly. They brought in about 30% more subscribers in a matter of three months.
The qualities of a growth hacker
A growth hacker is anyone who can successfully execute a growth hacking experiment.
Additionally, a growth hacker possesses specific qualities. It distinguishes them from other marketers.
They are laser-focused on growth.
Sean Ellis describes growth hackers as people whose “true north is growth.” When they run an experiment, they do not care about its effect on your startup’s brand or reputation. The only thing that matters are strategies to grow startups.
They think outside the box.
A growth hacker is comfortable experimenting with an idea, no matter how crazy or absurd it might sound. That is because often, it is these crazy ideas that end up giving them the highest conversions.
Take the story of PayPal, for example. The firm wanted to increase its customer acquisition rate. So, they decided to pay people for signing up and referring their friends.
Other startup founders may have thought of this as suicide, especially if you consider that most startups are strapped for cash.
It was crazy and ridiculously expensive. But PayPal’s founders still went with it. This growth hack caused PayPal’s customer base to grow between 7% and 10% per day and reached 5 million users in just a few short months.
They are resilient.
They understand that not all experiments will turn out great. Some will be a complete flop. These failures do not stop them.
Instead, it propels them to keep on experimenting. They try other strategies until they find the one that will exponentially grow the startup.
They are risk-takers.
Executing a growth hacking experiment involves many risks for the simple reason that not a lot of planning was done to check whether or not it is worth pursuing.
Traditional marketers may find that situation quite stressful and nerve-wracking. But that is not so for a growth marketer. Growth marketers thrive on taking risks.
While not all of the risks they take are successful, those bringing in excellent results make it worth their while.
Growth hacking may be a relatively new technique. Startups are using it to drive growth in their customer acquisition. However, as we have seen, it has proven itself to be highly effective.
Using growth hacks for startups does not mean that you will have to say goodbye to inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing remains a cost-effective way for startups to promote brand awareness, generate leads, and most importantly, generate revenue.
Growth hacking serves as the catalyst. It gets everything going for your startup. Inbound marketing helps sustain it.
Businesses must focus on deploying tried-and-tested growth strategies. But there is no single hack that resolves all pain points.
So, do not hesitate to practice new growth hacking growth hacks for startups strategies.
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