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The Growth Hacking Guide for Every Marketer.

Authored by:

Alexandra Cote

AppInstitute - by Izaak Crook, Head of Marketing

Growth hacks used

We produced a piece of interactive, embeddable content that resonates with our target customers. We noticed that many of our customers who want to make food ordering apps have used food aggregator sites like Uber Eats, Just Eat, and Grubhub. These sites are known to have high commission rates that can be off-putting for restaurants.

We carried out the keyword research to see what kind of questions people were asking about commission rates. We found out that there were good search volume numbers for these and set out brainstorming on what to do.

We knew that we would need high-quality backlinks to get this type of content ranking in SERPs – so we opted for something highly embeddable and shareable. 

We came up with the idea of a commission calculator. Restaurants could easily work out how much they would lose in commission when using these sites.

 

dont burn

Just Eat Commission Calculator

We wanted to use something visually appealing so that it’d be highly shareable and unique compared to other similar calculators. We landed on the concept of a chef who gets increasingly angry as his commission goes up, and spoke to a designer and developer who could help us make our concept a reality.

Growth hacking strategy

Once the content was created, we ran outreach campaigns to people who had previously covered the topic of Just Eat and their commission rates. We used Ahrefs’ Content Explorer to find that information and then Pitchbox to send out outreach campaigns to the right contacts. We knew that there were two angles – the commission angle, and the neat design we produced. With that in mind, we ran two campaigns, one to encourage people to link to this as an example of great design, and one to people looking to explain the commission rates. 

We included an ‘embed’ option to make it easy for the calculator to continue to gain mentions without us manually building links.

Results

We saw links from valuable publications including Smashing Magazine and Barclaycard. We also secured good rankings for some of the top search queries around Just Eat Commission:just eat organic keywords

With this success in mind, we decided to go forth and recreate the calculator for other aggregators.

just eats results

Using the same outreach process as the Just Eat calculator, we managed to achieve high rankings and even some featured snippets in Google for queries around costs for different food aggregators. 

These pages bring in a combined 8000 new users per month. After adding a call to action and enquiry form on the page, they are now starting to generate high-quality leads.

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Fin vs Fin - by Alex Goldberg, Co-Founder

Strategy

Fin vs Fin is a product review site focused on D2C wellness. My partner and I started it as a side project in early 2019 by buying a cheap domain and launching a WordPress site. A year later, Fin vs Fin generates ~$40k MRR from ~70k unique visitors per month. How did we do it? Simple, diligent growth hacking, that’s how. Here are some key tactics we deployed:

  • Keyword-focused SEO: We drive the vast majority of our traffic via organic search. We started by targeting low competition, high intent queries until Google liked our domain and we earned the right to go after more competitive keywords. If you’re already doing this, great! Keep pushing. Here are a few more specific SEO hacks: 
  • Google image search is becoming increasingly popular with the rise of visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. Since image file names are a strong ranking signal, be sure to include descriptive keywords when uploading / naming images on your site. 
  • Tables on mobile: Given the rise of image search on Google, we even use CSS to hide html tables on mobile and show images instead. This gives Google even more unique pictures for google to index and surface in image search results.
  • Site speed is also incredibly important, especially on mobile where users have less patience. Given the importance of optimizing images as described above, make sure you compress yours as much as possible. If you use WordPress, I recommend adding an inexpensive plugin like WP Rocket to drastically reduce your page load speeds with things like lazy load and caching.
  • Repurposing content: At Fin vs Fin, our core product is content, so naturally finding ways to repurpose has yielded efficient wins. We publish reviews of D2C wellness products that help shoppers choose between multiple brands. Using Google Analytics and Hotjar, we discovered that visitors spend most of their time viewing our head-to-head competitor comparison charts and infographics. Armed with this insight, we decided to share these visual assets more broadly. Social media was an obvious place to start. The biggest traffic boost, however, came from answering questions on popular Quora and Reddit threads as well as embedding our comparison charts.

Results

  • Keyword-focused SEO: Improving site speed and optimizing pictures for Google image search yielded a 48% boost in organic traffic with no dip in time on site, pages per session, or any other key engagement metrics. Since the vast majority (>80%) of our traffic comes from mobile, we always look to optimize this experience first, and it’s really paid off.

fin pageviews

Overall traffic growth for the last year on Fin vs Fin

 

  • Repurposing content: Our KPI for repurposing content is social and referral traffic. After all, if we are effectively repurposing our content, we are using it to attract new users from external sites. Since starting to repost our charts and infographics on Quora, we’ve increased monthly referral traffic ~160% with no change in on-page engagement nor conversion. 🙌

quora fin

Example of repurposed content on Quora

 

Grow + Scale - by Dejan Gajsek, CEO and Co-Founder

Marketers who transition from SaaS to B2B business or switch their go-to-marketing strategy from hundreds of customers to a few dozen VIP accounts are often confused about how to get them. 

Initially, the growth hacking principles are the same: analyze the market and the needs, thoroughly research your own customers and extract and crystallize the detailed customer persona and figure out where more of these customers are and how to approach them. 

The last part is usually the biggest difference between B2C or SaaS marketing models. Big giant enterprises with thousands of employees have completely different and more “inflexible” entry points. 

Directors and C-level decision makers mainly get the news from sister companies, internal teams, offline conferences/events, and their business network. And what is the B2B business social network? You guessed it: It’s LinkedIn. 

Now, I don’t believe in growth “hacks” – to me they sound like the equivalent of crash diets: they work for a while until they stop working and you have to find a new “quick fix”. In some cases, you could be worse off than when you started (i.e. more weight on your body, or in marketing, your email has been blacklisted from overusing cold email tactics). Aim for experiments you can replicate and leverage over the long run instead of short-term gratifications.

Saying that, my “hack” is the effective usage of LinkedIn Ads campaigns.

Strategy

LinkedIn is insanely expensive but it allows narrow targeting. To manage the expensiveness and take advantage of the powerful precision, I’ve created five different campaigns under a campaign group with one simple single-image ad. In my case, I was preparing an experiment for an AR/VR training company.

These campaigns were running at the same time. The targeting campaigns had a number of same parameters as geographic location and company size, so I’ve added these differentiation factors:

  • Job title and company size
  • Job function and seniority
  • LinkedIn group membership and seniority
  • Exact company name, skills, and seniority


campaign

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Thoroughly analyze your customers and customer’s firmographic.
  • Create 5 different LinkedIn campaigns with different targeting rules.
  • Run a “middle-of-the-funnel” single-image ad (i.e. live webinar) and duplicate it across all five campaigns.
  • Optimize and allocate budgets according to your campaign performance.
  • Run an experiment analysis of generated leads with your sales and celebrate with a victory dance.

vr training

Results

The percentage of qualified leads from Linkedin was above 95% with the average cost per lead under $90 counting all 5 campaign sets. In parallel I’ve run Facebook Lead Ads and Google Search where the cost per lead was significantly lower, however the lead quality was terrible and thus not an appropriate channel. 

For a detailed explanation of how to conduct your own LinkedIn Campaigns as a true growth marketer, read my detailed LinkedIn Ads Playbook.

Automizy - by Mór Mester, Head of Marketing

Growth hacks used

I’m not sure if running a lifetime deal is considered a “hack” or not, but it was a huge success for Automizy. At the beginning of working for Automizy in 2017 one of my first projects was to discover Facebook communities relevant to us.

Strategy

In one of the groups, I started exchanging ideas with a guy called Sampath. We kept in touch and in the beginning of 2020 we started talking about running a deal with SaaS Mantra.

The deal launched on April 15 and things kicked off right from the beginning. The whole team switched gears. Everyone in the growth team was answering support tickets, Facebook messages and website comments, and writing new help center articles. Meanwhile, the dev team was working hard on developing the new requested features and integrations while keeping the system running smoothly.

graph

Trial user increase during the deal

Results

And it was worth it, we ran out of coupon codes on May 13. So in less than a month:

  • We sold over 4200 coupons to 1182 unique customers
  • Users requested over 200 features and integrations with around 400 comments and 5000 upvotes on them
  • We developed 4 new features and over 10 new companies integrate with us

Running deals is a double-edged sword. It has the potential to devalue your solution if you don’t do them the right way or if you run them often.

However, as you can see there’s a huge upside. You get tons of word of mouth referrals (the best kind of marketing), feedback, and help with integrations.

GlamCorner - by Albert Mai , current Head of Growth at Vero

Growth hacks used

GlamCorner was originally launched as an on-demand fashion rental startup in 2012 where customers can rent designer clothes for 4-8 days for special occasions such as weddings, cocktail parties, formal events and awards nights. In early 2019, we successfully launched a subscription offering and achieved $3m in ARR within 9 months.

We accomplished this by leveraging a microsite to launch the new service. The core CMS is built on top of Magento 1 and our in-house backend system for operation. Instead of spending engineering resources and months of development to build subscription features such as lead gen, signup, payment, catalog and account management in Magento, we decided to use a microsite and a range of other tools to act as an MVP to validate the idea and prove the concept.

We opened our beta version to our existing database of hundreds thousands of loyal customers as early adopters via an invite-only waitlist feature to create hype and exclusivity. The trick is we didn’t open the floodgate to all customers at the same time but stage by stage based on the lifetime value tier and clothes size.

Growth Hacking Strategy

Our tools of choice were Ontraport, which acted as a base for the landing page, workflow automation, CRM, lead capturing and lead nurturing. This saved us time from configuring our current enterprise marketing automation software called Emarsys. We also tapped into Shopify for our catalog pages, Braintree for subscription payment and Zapier to connect them together and with our backend.

The following diagram shows how we set up and connected different tools together.

glamcorner lowcode

From our customer list for on-demand service in Emarsys, we sent an introduction email about the new subscription offering in a batch of 100 at a time on tier of LTV, size and location. When they were interested in the new product, they would have to fill out an expression of interest form in Typeform which connected to Ontraport via Zapier.

We treated our Ontraport setup as a sales pipeline and customer funnel to monitor the progress, trigger workflows and take action. We staged out the waitlist invitation email based on their Typeform submission which will take them to a waitlist landing page to reveal more information about the new offering. Below is the snapshot of different workflows for each stage of the funnel.

Compared with the current landing page, the waitlist one added friction to sign up but it created hype and anticipation for the customers while allowing us to manage the demand and our stock inventory.

beta glamcorner

Instead of building a working subscription payment feature in the current Magento CMS, we hacked it through a simple payment page on the microsite using the Braintree feature for subscription payment. This step was faster and had less friction than the current one where users had to log in or create an account before subscribing to the service. Because they already had gone through a lot of steps before this and their anticipation was at its peak, making it easier for them to subscribe helped us to convert better at this step.

beta payment glamcorner

This improved our speed to market within 3 months with minimal cost on engineering and platforms whilst helping our customers to get to aha moment of experiencing the end-to-end subscription service.

By doing this, we ensured we had enough stocks for the demand and made sure our early customers had an amazing user experience. Our happy customers shared their experience on Facebook, Instagram and through Word of Mouth. We acquired more than 2,000 of satisfied paying customers without any advertising spend.

A letter from the team at swaymetrics: 

2020 is probably one of the weirdest years of our lifetime but has shown us the power of love and perseverance. Our goal is to help everyone become a better version of themselves and to build better relationships. Diversity, humbleness, love, and appreciation for others create amazing companies and products. We are all part of the human race moving forward together. 

We hope you found this guide insightful and will be part of your product journey.  

We would like to thank everyone who has shown love for helping us put this together. A big shout out to Alexandra Cote who is one of the most talented tech writers we have worked with and a big shout out to all the contributors. 

If there is anything I or my team can help you with please reach out to [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.

Keep calm and stay strong. 

With Love, 

Jake Pimental,

Founder and CEO of swaymetrics

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