If you thought growth hacking is just another Silicon Valley buzzword that will be forgotten soon, you are totally mistaken. A growth hacker is nothing but a marketer with a different set of skills and challenges to face. Now that products have evolved from physical things like cars, notebooks and toys to bits and bytes together called software and services that you can’t touch or weigh, marketing had to get a huge change over. Growth hacking is a term that came into the picture soon after this. Growth hacking is not a new concept, it’s just a newly coined term. So what does it really mean to hack growth? The ideal definition would be to boost the growth of the company with ‘out of the box’ ideas and existing resources.
Start-ups, unlike the enterprises don’t have access to the same level of brand equity and resources. This is what makes growth hacking a favourite term among start-ups as it can help them make the most out of what they already have in the basket. An ideal growth hacking tactic should be easy to implement and incur less cost to the company. Keeping these in mind, we came up with some actionable growth hacking strategies that you can immediately put to use without burning too much cash.
This is where it all starts. Your potential customers are out there, ignorant about your company or even your product. You need to help them find you with what they want to know, assuming they don’t need your product yet. Targeting top-of-the-funnel using inbound marketing must be your first focus when you are trying to hack growth. Content tailored especially for the top-of-the-funnel can help attract them to your website and then it’s all about converting them. The top of the funnel might be a very diverse group, but your valuable customers are among them.
When someone signs up for your email newsletter, take them to a ‘Thank You’ page where you have your product images with its important features highlighted. This will also help in connecting with the users on an emotional level which makes you stand out. Having a thank you page alone won’t help much, the hack actually lies in utilizing it to make the user do more than just sign up for the newsletter. It is likely that a user who completed one action (signing up for newsletter) would be interested in doing more than just that when persuaded. You could try different call to actions on the thank you page and keep the one that works for your company.
Gamification is an excellent growth hacking tactic which can do wonders if it hits the right notes. Games are addictive and people love them. The rewarding experience a game gives to the player when he unlocks stages, badges and achievements is what makes it interesting. Gamification is all about taking this addictive part of games and applying it to non-game processes and applications. Gamification can make your services more likeable and addictive, thus earning you more revenue with the increased user interaction.
People love discounts and when they can get it while being helpful to their friends, the motivation is doubled. In double loop referral program, the company gives discounts to both the user and the people referred by him/her. This is one hack that works on autopilot once you set it up. Dropbox was one of the first companies to make double loop referral program a success by rewarding their users and the referred users with more storage space. This hack helped Dropbox scale up quickly with their users doing all the marketing for them. Unlike Dropbox, most double loop referral programs offer discounts to the users and their referrals instead of the extended service benefits. Double loop referral program is an excellent growth hack if you are ready to take an initial hit on your revenue by giving discounts.
It is very likely that a visitor who just landed on your site wanted clarification on something about your products before deciding to buy. If your FAQ pages don’t have the answer to his particular question, he might look for another site where things are much more clear and precise. This is a scenario where you might lose a valuable customer to your competitors. Live chat solves this problem as people can get their queries clarified in real time. With live chat implemented on your site, you are also doing a favour to your customers by assisting them in choosing the right product from your offerings.
By using the tools like skype and google hangouts that people are familiar with for support, you can make the relationship between the company and customers stronger. When channels that people use every day are used, it is indirectly making them trust your company more. This could also make the process of on boarding new users more streamlined. Getting live feedback from customers is another benefit that could prove to be really useful in the long run.
A slow website repels customers and the speed of your website has a direct effect on your conversions. Even a delay of 1 second in the site response time could bring your conversions down by 7%. You could dramatically increase your conversions by making your website faster and doing nothing more than that. Target for a load speed of under 2 seconds since this is an achievable speed for most sites out there at a reasonable cost. Considering that most websites load at least 2-3 seconds slower than they could, you have some untapped growth potential in the website loading time.
What do you do when a user who was on your site for some time wants to leave, maybe forever? You don’t just sit and watch; not if you want to grow your business. This is why you need to add an exit intent to your website. It doesn’t really have to be a persuasion to purchase your product, even a giveaway or survey designed to grab their email address is good enough. You can further use an autoresponder to try and turn them into a customer later.
No matter how independent you believe you are, we humans tend to follow the crowd. When everyone looks up at the sky, you do too. When no one is buying a certain brand of product, you feel sceptical about it. This force that impacts your decision making in smaller things like what to have for breakfast to bigger ones like where to live is called social proof.
By displaying everything that your company has to show off as social proof on the homepage, you can actually sell more. Simple as that. These could be testimonials, social media subscribers count, client logos, badges, certifications or ratings and reviews. People feel reassured when they know that they are not the only one who use your services. Anything that could appeal to this feeling of reassurance can help as social proof. This growth hack always works and it works like clockwork.
Customers love it when they get targeted products that address their specific use cases. If you have only 3 products, you could easily redesign and customize each of them to target a different set of customers. The more targeted your offerings are, the more conversions you make. The new product could be almost identical to the original one, but it still attracts a new set of customers. This is one of the easiest and proven ways to get more leads and conversions.
Growth hacking is all about looking for shortcuts and trying them out until you reach the level of growth sought after. You could apply all or some of these depending on your business model to hack growth and level up. Since we are coming up with the next part of this series soon, you might want to subscribe to our blog to not miss it out.
Looking for more growth hacks? Read the second part of this blog series here.