A revolution is taking place in the world of entrepreneurship, and we curate resources to make startups understand this phenomenon. This article is for entrepreneurs, startup founders and growth leads, to help them achieve better marketing returns. Whether you are angel funded, VC backed or bootstrapped, growth hacking is the key tool to skyrocket your startup growth.
If you want growth, possibly there is a certain goal (signups, conversions). Growth hacking is the combination of techniques used in parallel to achieve exponential marketing growth for your company. The problem is that people are full of free-will. Customers are unpredictable.
The very first thing you need is to understand the customer behavior. You need to pull your visitors/customers in. You have to give them a reason to view your product or check your website.
I have compiled 8 growth hacking techniques, used by most of the growth hackers to pull people into their world.
Use a Two-Sided Referral Program
Referrals are gold coins for your business. People are 4 times more likely to buy a product when referred by someone. Early adopters can be an easy target for you to bring referral customers.
Two sided customer referral programs reward new customers and referring customers for participating. Rewards may vary from discounts to cashback. Creating an ecosystem of referrals help your customers feel that you care for the.
“Make your customers feel special”says Neil Patel.
This growth hacking technique is widely used by a lot of growth hackers and startups. Give it a thought, a system to reward your new customer with $20 credits as well as your referring customer $20 too.
You can see below that SnapDeal uses the same growth hacking techniques to increase their app downloads. They provide their users as well as referrers a way to receive Rs 100 Freecharge credits. They reached 500,00,000 downloads on Google Play store.
Referral Candy is one of the most famous growth hacking tool. ReferralCandy is an eCommerce store plugin that helps you get more word of mouth sales. They have affordable plans and lets your e-commerce automate the referral process. You can read some case studies which clearly depicts that this tool & growth hacking technique helped marketers growth hack their startups.
Use Retargeting Ad Tools
Retargeting is an awesome invention which revolutionized the ad industry. To make you understand it better, let me explain it in a bit detail. Retargeting converts window-shoppers into buyers.
Generally, 2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98% and works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online.
It generates greater online sales by keeping your brand front and center and bringing “window shoppers” back when they’re ready to buy. Every time your customer sees your retargeting ads, your brand gains traction and more recognition.
Average retarget ads can increase 1000% increase in brand searches and a 720% lift in site visits after 4 weeks. Bring visitors back to your website after they leave with ads that follow them to other popular sites and social feeds.
AdRoll is the best retargeting system you can use. Conveniently place ads, monitor performance and fine-tune your campaigns with an easy-to-use platform. You can also seamlessly integrate AdRoll with the top marketing apps. dRoll is a fast-growing, well-funded startup based in San Francisco with offices in New York, Dublin, London, and Sydney.
Leverage Third-Party Platforms
Find websites, blogs, directories, apps etc that already have an audience you want like Airbnb did by creating an auto posting option for Craig’s List. It may even be as simple as signing up for the right communities in your niche.
Deals are the key to hacking your startup’s growth. A lot of examples are present in the current market which you can use an example to learn this technique.
One of the best examples you can see is PayTM offering cashback. They provide cashback for Uber & Ola, Snapdeal, Amazon, Swiggy and a lot more (10,000+ merchants) when you pay via their wallet.
This increased their valuation to $1.5 billion within 6 years of time. You can read the growth story of Airbnb to find out how they managed to leverage third party platforms.
Leverage Other People’s Audience
When you guest blog, get quality backlinks, connect with influencers and get press coverage, you tap into well-established audiences that you can quickly use to grow your own audience and customer base.
Following Guide Will Help You:
The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging by Kissmetrics
Link Building for SEO (The Definitive Guide) by Backlinko
The Definitive Guide to Influencer Targeting by Kissmetrics
How to Get Press Coverage Guide by Quicksprout
The Noob Friendly Guide To Link Building by Ahrefs
Getting press coverage can establish you as an authority in your industry and get reach to a proper audience that can eventually convert to your customers.
Influencers can help you gain trust among possible customers. Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself. You cannot trust someone at a party who comes and brags about himself but if someone you know would tell you about the same person you will build trust.
Combining all the lessons from the guides mentioned, you can definitely create a growth hacking strategy for your startup.
Amazon roped in two of India’s bestselling authors, Ashwin Sanghi and Amish Tripathi to endorse the e-reader. Two films captured the authors’ reading habits on the e-reader, taking the viewer through their journey of reading books to now reading on their Kindle, while the two share the helpful features of the device.
BlogMint is an influencer marketing platform, which is not limited to bloggers. Initially, it started with the goal of connecting Influencers with brands, but later on, this platform allows people with good social media following (Currently Twitter & Youtube) to earn money via sponsored content.
Roll Out and Giveaway Contests
One of the most common growth hacking techniques. AppSumo was able to get 140,000+ subscribers in 10 months by promoting targeted contests and giveaways. Don’t forget to nurture all your contest entries into potential leads.
Back in 2004, on September 13, Oprah made television history with her car giveaway. Even if you don’t watch the show, you’ve definitely seen the video of her giving away a Pontiac to all 276 members of her audience that day. If you haven’t seen it, scroll down for the video.
People love to save money. Customers love freebies. That’s the reason when any company launches something, whether it be a perfume or pizza, they giveaway free samples to customers.
Target early adopters. It would be a plus if you can identify early adopting influencers and give them your product/services for review. People would love to try your product and you can skyrocket your brand visibility.
From free books on Amazon to free samples in the grocery store, giveaway marketing makes products free for a time in order to increase sales even more in the future.
Above is the very famous example of a giveaway from Burger King. A few years ago they ran a promotion titled “Whopper’s Sacrifice” under which users had to remove 10 friends from their profile to win a free flame-broiled Whopper. In less than a week,more than 45,000 friends were sacrificed.
Gleam.io make it easy to run engaging viral competitions anywhere. Run it on your own site, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even let partners embed your contest on their site. They provide you a user friendly interface to create widgets to collect leads and entries for your contest.
Send “Thanks for Trying” Emails
Email marketing is considered to be the best form of marketing till date. Emails are most effective means of communication.
Consolation prizes through email are the best way to convert giveaway participants that didn’t win into paying customers. Use discounts and freebies to say thanks and drive more sales.
Start collecting emails everywhere. You can use Twitter to effectively collect emails by setting autoresponders and asking emails of people who follows you. In return, provide them discounts and freebies on email.
Feel free to send someone else’s content to your customers to provide value via email. Your subscribers will get to know that their well-being is their priority and you don’t just want to sell your products.
Give them a reason to forward your emails. Set up a campaign asking them to share the email to win freebies or discounts. People will love to share and you will reach a tendency to create a viral buzz about your brand.
Target Competitors’ Social Fans
Grow your social fan base by 1000 or more per week by simply following and engaging your competitors’ fans. By doing this you will know new followers will be interested in your products and brands.
If we talk about Twitter & Instagram, it’s easy to find out anyone’s followers. Engage with them. Follow them. Tweet to them asking their emails and in return provide some value (discounts and freebies). Hack your competitors fan by providing better solutions to the.
Considering Facebook it’s impossible to find and invite followers of your competitors. We came with a better approach which can also be applied to other social media platforms.
Be a regular reader of the updates of your competitors. Track their activities, their product launches, their contests and their feedback campaigns. Read the comments of customers and find out their problems. Reach them and provide a better solution that your competitors.
You can even design social media ads that focus on the problems that you have seen mentioned on your competitors’ pages. One problem with McDonalds was people complaining that most of the vouchers they were given were out of date. A restaurant could make a point of advertising how they do not hand outdated vouchers.
By the power bestowed upon you by Crowdfire and so on and so forth, you can manage your Twitter and Instagram accounts far more effectively by:
- Finding inactive users and your un-followers – unfollow them if you wish to
- Finding relevant users to follow using our insightful “Copy Followers” feature
- Keeping track of how your social media updates affect your follower/un-follower stats
- Checking the relationship between any two Twitter/Instagram accounts and doing a whole lot more.
Personalize The Experience
30% of Amazon’s sales comes from recommendations. Track your user behavior and target them with recommendations and offers. Segmentation is a great way to increase your conversions.
Email marketing performs best when combined with segmentation. Be sure to find out where your leads are coming from, which landing pages. What are the interests of your users? Plan customized campaigns based on the segmentation and information you have about your customers.
When you create contextual experiences you can increase sales by giving shoppers exactly what they want to see. If your customers are avid readers (you can easily find out using various tools as readers spend more time on a page reading content and scroll down with a limited speed), contextual recommendations perform well.
If your customers are children and teenagers, image and video ads perform well. However, it depends on geolocation and country. You need an analytics service to figure it out.
e-Commerce often uses shopping cart abandonment tools. This means if you added some products to your cart but didn’t purchase them, you would probably get an email with a discount on your cart.
Behavioral targeting with popups and layovers catch customer’s attention and increase sales up to 300%. The previous one-size-fits-all shopping experience for DSMusic customers was changed to a well tailored and personalized one.
As a result, DSMusic were pleased to see a great lift in conversions and average order value. Prospects stayed longer on the site and were more engaged, clicking on recommendations that suited their preferences and needs.
They witnessed 31% increase in revenue, 4.9% increase in conversion, 92.6% increase in average visit duration and 19.7% increase in product views.
Bunting is a great service to introduce product recommendations, shopping cart abandonment, behavioral targeting, and newsletter personalization. They also provide services like A/B split testing and click fraud protection which can definitely add to your growth hacking techniques.