fbpx
white square
white square

The Growth Hacking Guide for Every Marketer.

Authored by:

Alexandra Cote

Now that we got the theory out of the way, it’s time to get to hacking! 🤖

The growth hacking strategies below should give you the guidelines you need to take your marketing efforts to the next level. All products and services are different though. Feel free to tailor each strategy to your own needs and goals. 

Be creative and don’t let another company’s failure dictate your growth hacking mindset. What worked for someone might not work for you, but the reverse is also true.

Nail the research

You need to do your market research, run a couple of surveys, and review and test the ins and outs of your product or service. Think with Google, SurveyMonkey, and Ahrefs are all tools that can help you with different aspects of your research.

“If you can determine who your most valuable customers are and what sets them apart, you can maximize the ROI of your marketing efforts through targeted experiments and campaigns. To do this, leverage both quantitative and qualitative data to get a deep understanding of which customer segments are best suited to your product and why.”

 Ferdinand Goetzen, Director of Marketing & Growth @ 3D Hubs

Things can go wrong in 2 main directions here:

  1. You’re not putting yourself in the user’s shoes.
  2. You assume it’s the best possible product since you’ve created it.


Both mistakes result from a bias that’s highly likely to ruin your research. To prevent this, always 

keep 3 aspects in mind:

  • Users have different perspectives and you have to take all of them into account.
  • You need to find or create that one thing that makes what you’re selling unique and a potential market distributor. 
  • New products are always built to solve one or more problems, but your number #1 aim should be to create demand.


Many growth hackers and business owners specifically emphasize the importance of first getting to completely get to you know your ideal customers:

“In finding product market fit, it’s critical to understand who you are targeting and what you’re saying to them. During this phase, it is important to target one specific person from one industry. You will spend too much time and money experimenting if you are not keeping things exact up-front.

To arrive at the best possible messaging to use in your outreach, think about your prospect’s current state and their desired situation. Now consider what steps need to be taken to get them to reach their goals and how your business fits into this journey. The best copy and communication strategies come directly from customer interviews. This way, they know you are familiar with their pain points and can provide a relevant solution. Your communication methods should entice prospects and get them excited to speak with you and test out your solution.”

– Phillip Alexeev, Founder @ Evergrow.io

Alternatively, see how users interact with your website. Amplitude, Crazy Egg, and SessionCam are all solutions you can use to get real, bias-free insights on how people use your website, what sections they prefer, and even what sections are hard to find.

Want the ebook version?

Subscribe to our newsletter to download

We care about protecting your data. Here’s our Privacy Policy.

Turn to Reddit for your market research

To be honest, whatever your question is, there will always be someone to answer it on Reddit. Provided you get the subreddit right. 😄

Reddit is by no means the best platform to promote yourself though. You’ll need solid karma and something super insightful to share before redditors can accept your “shameless” promotion. For these reasons, it does remain the perfect environment for growth hackers to study the market and understand the REAL needs of their buyers.

I’ve also been using Reddit a lot to get in touch with people who’d be willing to share unique insights. Definitely brings in a breath of fresh air compared to other pitching solutions.
Quora used to be like this too until all answers started to be advertising attempts you can’t trust anymore. So here’s how Reddit’s real value was kept. 🙏

Don’t know where to start? r/Entrepreneur and r/startups are two safe options.

Use these subreddits to:

  • Ask for advice
  • Study the market
  • Find people who are willing to test your product and offer feedback
  • Share your results and studies
  • Keep up with trends
  • Discover new ideas
  • Help others 🤝

Referral programs

Incentives and more incentives. People are not only more motivated to share your product when you give them something in return, but they’re also willing to turn this into a profitable business. Affiliate earnings have been providing steady revenue for bloggers for decades now.

Surprising or not, referral programs are just getting more demand. This being said, any company who’s serious about their growth has a solid affiliate program in place by now.

My personal favorite?

Airbnb. They’ve taken their referrals to the next level through what is currently a 3-level program:

  • Invites for people to book a stay
  • Invites to get new hosts to use the platform
  • “Hiring” people to be in charge of bringing new stay and experience hosts

     

Airbnb nailed referrals even before they started them. By nature, their business targets a large pool of users. Frankly, everyone will need some extra cash for their next holiday so they’re more than willing to participate in a referral program like this one.

But let’s turn to other industries.

Not everyone needs web hosting. So companies are adapting. Hosting providers like Bluehost or Hostinger are turning to offering high commision rates that can go up to 500% and long cookie duration to compensate for the demand.


Money remains the #1 incentive. It can get people to put in their own consistent efforts to gain monetary benefits. Simple shares for instance are literally a thing of the past. Affiliate bloggers are now writing lengthy posts and reviews, shooting videos, turning to podcasts, and doing regular promotion of their content on top of all that.

Tools you can use along the way include Ambassador, PartnerStack, Referral SaaSquatch, ReferralCandy, and more.

Onboarding focused on educating

When you’re faced with a new product, it can be easy to assume it works in a certain way or has a specific purpose. That’s why all customers use software in slightly different ways. Just because the tool seems easy to use to you as its creator, doesn’t mean it’s actually like this.  So instead of presuming that people will immediately be accustomed to your interface and functionalities, create a comprehensive video [or series of shorter tutorials] to first introduce the new user to the tool and then educate them on mastering it.

Here’s one example from StoryChief:

storychief (1)
And another from BambooHR:

bamboohr

Onboard your users for your product in a way that the “wow” moment is experienced as soon as possible. See how Twitter asks their new users to follow some people during the onboarding process, so that users can feel connected [their main value proposition] from the first moment of their user journey. Think of the initial user interaction as the most important step to make your users experience your product. Turn your product onboarding into an exciting experience. People don’t want to use products, they want to live experiences!”

Eugenio Roman, Head of Digital Marketing @ EatClub

Trial extensions

Applicable for SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS or other subscription-based services where a trial is involved. Potential buyers are highly likely to ask for a trial extension anyway. So why not offer that willingly? 

The most common trial extension I’ve seen is for around 15 days. This time is justified when the entire team needs to try out the product or they’re frankly just testing your competitor’s solutions along with yours. 

One hack to use is to ask users to share their product in order to get the extra free days. Sharing can also offer people access to exclusive content or to a Slack community.

 

“Trial extensions can be a wonderful way to collect qualitative user feedback from prospects who are almost ready to buy, but need a bit more time to make a decision. They also create open lines of communication and help you turn more trials into purchases. I strongly recommend implementing trial extensions if you’d like to improve your feedback loop with prospects who are on the fence.”

– Luke Thomas, Founder @ Friday

You’ll need to be careful with these trial extensions though. If your tool or service is something they can use once and reap the benefits of forever, it might not be a good option to go for a trial in the first place. 

Ahrefs, for example, has a 7-day trial that costs $7. 1$ for each day. This is because anyone can go and use an otherwise free trial to conduct their entire SEO research in a week and have no huge need for the tool for a while. Their cheapest plan is $82. Imagine if people just bought a trial every single month? 🤦‍♀️

  • A single goal
  • A description complete with the timeline of the experiment
  • A deadline so you don’t run the experiment indefinitely

Use FOMO tactics to create exclusivity

Relying on generating a fear of missing out can make your product or service seem more desirable. Creating exclusivity using this tactic can easily be done by gating the access to your products, limiting sign-ups [popular with gaming companies who offer the Beta version to games], or turning to existing buyers to help you select your next customers. 

Dribbble is an invite-only community where you need another user to send you an invitation. This hack uses existing members to sort out applications and decide who deserves to be a part of the network. This is how Dribbble has managed to stay relatively clutter-free compared to other open platforms like Instagram or DeviantArt.

To use services such as Superhuman you’ll need to be approved beforehand. If you want faster access, you can instead complete a survey:

superhuman

This helps the Superhuman team decide which people are best suited to become early users of the tool. Currently they’re still building the Android app so if you only want to use the service via your Android phone, you won’t be granted access because there’s really no opportunity for you to use the tool. Smart of what?

Services like Zipcar have turned to this technique due to safety concerns, verifying everyone who wants to rent one of their cars beforehand.

Then you’ve also got your typical scarcity-based tactics we’ve all fallen for at some point.

Only 3 left.

Low stock.

Last chance! 

Most online stores are using this quick fix:

crutchfield
Or you can opt for the countdown method that’s super effective when a deadline for ticket sales is getting closer. Similar to what Social Media Marketing World does here:

register now
Corner pop-ups telling you someone recently purchased a product can also prompt visitors to make a decision faster:

fancy watch

But don’t gate everything if it’s not relevant to use FOMO.

Some of the most successful apps and services are those you don’t even have to pay for. For they’re still earning well. The best example though remains TikTok. They made it extra easy for anyone to join and create content. You literally need $0 to become a star. Plus, you don’t even need an account to view the videos.

Instead, they earn money through the ads and coins they sell. You can buy these and send them to your favorite creators to show support. Reddit too has a similar monetization tactic.

Product Hunt

Product Hunt has exploded in the last years. In case you’re not familiar with the website, it allows people to share and find new tools and services on a daily basis. For any industry really.

If you have a digital product or service and you’re not on Product Hunt, it’s like you don’t exist. Yes, the upvotes there can be considered vanity metrics, but ultimately, the platform is a solid contributor to your brand awareness. Particularly if you’ve just launched a product.

Any founder or maker can submit a product, but the best practice is to reach out to someone with a higher influence in the Product Hunt community – the so-called “hunters”. You’ll be able to identify these PH experts by regularly checking the daily top launches and who the “hunter” for them is.

Getting in touch with the right person is just one step. You’ll also need to let your network know about the launch and be the first to start the discussion.

Website messaging - here’s where copywriting comes in

Copy makes users want to click or skip. And most of the time you’ve only got one chance and roughly 5-6 seconds to make a statement and keep users on the page.

Most growth hackers are not copywriters so this is a collective process.

Here are some key questions to ask yourself when putting together the copy strategy:

  • Do you want to focus on benefits first?
  • What products and features do you want to highlight?
  • Are you using action-oriented words?


Next are a couple of examples of great copy from Unscreen.

First, their homepage:


Straight to the point, pairing direct and clear copy with images so you know what the product is all about.

Then, there’s their Leadzen product landing page:

leadzen

Clear benefit that won’t keep you guessing.

Partnerships and integrations

Burger King’s partnered with McDonald’s. UNICEF with Target. GoPro and Red Bull.

Either for a good cause or just because the temporary deal could bring in profit for both sides. Not just odd partnerships though. 

Brands commonly get together with a complementary brand, such as this partnership between Spotify and Starbucks:

Digital tools also turn to integrations to make for the features they’re lacking and have even turned integrations into a need. Zapier has even made this into a complete successful business.

zapier

People are now choosing one tool over another just because one of them integrates with a platform they’re already using.

In turn, these integrations bring in visitors and users from one app to another, boosting your conversion rates and that brand awareness we all strive to expand. A few prerequisite conditions though to make sure the integration doesn’t get buried on the web:

  • Create a partner page to show people how they can use the integration 
  • Build social media campaigns to target the users of the other app
  • Get your partners to promote the integration too

 

“Growing and maintaining our network at OG Marketing has been vital to the success and growth of our agency. We actually call our partnerships with other SaaS sites our “homies” (so professional, I know). We’ve established different tiers in how we work with them. Some partners we casually email back and forth about guest posting. And for other homies, we have dedicated spreadsheets that track digital PR placements they’ve made for us and vice versa.

My recommendation would be to look at your current partnerships and develop a system around them. Create a flowchart that is really a decision tree of how you work with everyone in your network.

I noticed the second I created a process around my professional contacts, we got 10 times more value out of each relationship — whether it was new backlinks, guest post placements, podcast interviews for our clients, or even leads for our agency.”

– Kelsey Reaves, Director of Growth @ OG Marketing

 Drew Donaldson, Growth Strategist and Founder @ Grohaus, recommends partnerships when it comes to content creation as a starting point for a long-lasting association:

“Strategic partnerships are one of the single most significant ways for both new or established companies to enter a new market by positioning themselves with an established organization already serving that segment. Forming strategic partnerships can boost credibility for both brands and double the overall reach of any collaborative marketing effort. 

To get started, identify a group of companies who already engage with your target demographic and whose product or service could benefit by being paired with yours.

The easier it is to make the connection between each company’s services, the more natural your content will come across. While having this obvious connection between services is not mandatory, product compatibility will ease the development process as both parties can see how they can position their message to dovetail with the other.

Once you identify potential partners, reach out to their marketing contacts, and pitch your idea. It’s critical to have a clear and concise idea of the content you would like to develop. Promotional strategies, development process, and other fine details can be worked out in subsequent communications. Don’t overwhelm them with this initial outreach.

Offering to partner on content with a potential strategic partner shows them you are serious about forming a true partnership and not trying to take advantage of their reach to grow your brand without providing anything of value in return.”

Drew Donaldson, Growth Strategist and Founder @ GroHaus

Gamification

Distinctly when faced with tasks they don’t want to take care of, people need a fun experience. Whether that’s collecting stamps to get a free cup of coffee or just getting online points when they complete a task, gamification is used in all kinds of industries where you need to increase customer engagement and retention.

In particular, the eLearning world has seen a huge growth when implementing gamification. Duolingo uses points, collectibles, leader boards, and game-like learning paths to turn boring courses into a fun experience:

gamification

And lots of rewards after you finish a series of exercises:gamification gift

 

All of these small add-ons keep learners motivated, improve productivity, and create a fun overall learning environment.

Twitch has also added gamification for all new creators to follow a fun path of achievements:

twitch

 Even Google does gamification at top levels:

google gamification

Comparison pages

When people are looking to switch to another product, service, or tool, they commonly search for something like “PRODUCT alternative”. The results are varied and include lists, reviews, and comparison pages. The latter are either landing pages or blog posts where you can compare your own solution to one or two of your competitors.

Here’s a representative growth hacking example from Drip:

 

drip comparision

 

Marketers are using this hack for 3 main reasons:

  • There’s often a high search volume for these terms.
  • It gives them the opportunity to present their advantages, correlating them with top competitors.
  • You can use these as landing pages when you bid for a competitor’s brand name keyword with Google Ads.

While many SaaS companies turn to this tactic:

 

zendesk vs groove

 

Comparison pages are also used for other tech products:

pc comparison

 

And several online stores allow you to compare products of your choice among each other:

keurig

Make it easier for people to share your content

Any reputable blog has those tiny social sharing buttons that allow readers to share content on any social platform in literally 3 seconds.

Yes, it’s still okay to use Click to Tweet whenever Twitter is the primary source of your leads and traffic.

The folks at freeCodeCamp have humanized this process by adding a button for readers to thank the writer: 

tweet a thanks

 

 

They also make it extremely easy for people to decide which network to share the content on by giving them one single option: Twitter. Faced with too many platforms to choose from, people would be hesitant to go for one and end up not sharing it at all. See where your target audience spends the most time and pick one or two platforms. I can confirm this works extremely well for freeCodeCamp.

Here’s another example from an email sent by Remote Tools:

forwarding

“It still amazes me that some people don’t have any ‘read more’ or ‘share’ buttons at the end of their blog posts. Imagine someone just read your 15-minute blog post. They must have liked it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t read it until the end, right? In order to make use of this excitement you created, give them the next logical step.”

Niels Zee, Growth Marketing Freelancer

Harry from Marketing Examples also adds a little note to kindly ask for a share at the end of his newsletters:

Embeddable content

For most companies, once you share something on a social network, it remains there. For platforms such as Twitter or Instagram that wouldn’t be such an issue as you’re probably tailoring the content for each one of them.

When you’re holding a live event on YouTube or Facebook though, you’ll want more people to tune in. Embed it on your website or blog for the time being and track the number of separate views you’re getting through this hack.

For all other social media posts, just embed them into your articles to make it easier for people to interact with your content without having to search for the post or click on a link to get to it.

To get a better idea of how this looks like, here’s a section from one of my posts on the Content Marketing Institute blog:

set stage

Make sure your content is easy to embed and you give out a good reason for people to want to showcase your content on their websites. Not everything is embeddable, but sharing educational content or just-for-fun videos is a good enough motivation.

“Growth is not just about getting more traffic and users. It’s also about educating, helping and nudging them to experience the aha moment easier and faster so that they can understand the value of your platform then proceed to the next step in the user journey and to the next stage down the funnel.”

– Albert Mai, Head of Growth @ Vero

Grow and maintain a solid network

I’ve always been a firm believer that creating and keeping strong business relationships can take you a long way. For one, you’re staying in touch with people to learn from them and maybe get their feedback when you need a helping hand.

In turn, these people can help you with round-up posts, testimonials, quotes, and even promotion, bring you extra sales and brand awareness along with the immense knowledge you can exchange. A win-win relationship in other words.

Twitter, LinkedIn, and public Slack or Discord groups are just a few of the main ways to connect with influencers or other professionals in your field.

Be open. You’ll be surprised by how likely people are to give out a helping hand in exchange for attribution or a shout out. 

Creating a network of influencers also falls here:

“One of the BEST growth hacks is utilizing Influencers. There is no better way to grow and sell, than to get endorsed by someone who has a huge loyal following, full of your ideal customers.

Even more so, I HIGHLY recommend that brands find a group of influencers who have overlapping audiences, and have them all post around the same time period. This adds more social proof, as well as multiple exposures really fast, leading to higher and faster conversions and an overall higher ROI for campaigns.

One of the biggest missed opportunities in influencer marketing is multiple exposures. We all know that it takes on average 8 exposures before someone buys, so why are people only doing 1-off campaigns with influencers? Always find multiple influencers with overlapping audiences and have them posting multiple times to their audience.”

Erica Daily, Founder and Influencer Marketing Expert @ The Daily Influencers Inc.

Take advantage of channels and opportunities others are ignoring

This growth hacking tip is self explanatory. Remember what Airbnb did with Craiglist to grow their listings? Or Spotify with their Facebook and Waze integrations?

Here’s an example of what Bonsai did in partnership with HackerNews to target freelancers and bring them to their platform:

 

hacker news

“While specific growth hacking tactics are often ephemeral, we can impart one of Deviate Labs’ methods for developing growth hacks: mining frontier technologies. Whether it’s using bots to juice vanity metrics on an emerging social platform, being a launch partner in a new app ecosystem, or early-adopting features in an ad platform, there are many ways operating at the “frontier” of technology can manifest growth hacking opportunities.  

One simple way to push yourself to the outer edge of this border is to engage in a dialogue with the ad platforms and tools for growth hacking you currently use and offer to beta test new functionalities. Many companies have formal beta groups you can join that enable you to get access to features months before your competitors.”

– Chad Riddersen, Partner @Deviate Labs

These hidden opportunities will be extra different and creative from one company to another. Tomek Duda, Director of Growth @Ladder, has found that something as simple as meetings were the key to success:

“This is how my growth marketing agency was born. Together with my cofounder we started organizing local meetups focused on sharing the growth marketing knowledge for free. It was the first meetup of this kind in Poland. After several meetups companies started asking us to do this for them and pay us. 

This is how we moved out of our day jobs and into building our own business. The key takeaway is to provide value for free. If you’re good enough, money will eventually come. We built an awesome community, met extraordinary people, and got to work with and for companies we met through the meetups.”

– Tomek Duda, Director of Growth @Ladder

Think crazy!

Back in 1970, Puma asked Pelé to tie his shoes before the start of the World Cup quarter-final. The cameras instantly zoomed on him, making people realize curious about the brand of shoes he was wearing.

Of course, Pelé did get a hefty wage, but the amount of publicity they got can’t even compare. We all know the brand today.

Nowadays, advertising is everywhere so it’s hard to come up with something unique to differentiate yourself. So many companies are turning to extreme advertising where they literally start to be everywhere. 

Remember Wix ads on YouTube where most videos you’d want to watch would start with their promo? Well those vids now have millions of views and they sure have done an amazing job at spreading brand awareness; but we can only imagine the insane costs put into this.

Add social proof on your top pages

Your homepage or product page is likely to bring in the most eyeballs for your content. Yet, do you have relevant social proof like testimonials or awards to highlight on them? Any landing page, thank you page, and even sign-up page can be a good opportunity for you to boast these.

Snacknation, for instance, displays the logos of the companies that are their clients:

 

snacknation

 

Birchbox, a B2C company, opted to feature real people instead:

These testimonials or companies should be relevant to your target buyer persona because their purpose is to let other buyers see that people and companies with a similar profile to theirs are also using the product.

For an ecommerce store, you can choose to display the number of sales similar to what Etsy is doing here:

Showing reviews can increase the number of sales by 270%. But do remember that raising your store’s trust doesn’t stop at simple numbers. Adding a live chat and security badges will help you lower your abandoned carts rate and bring in recurring visitors.

Care for people’s needs

Yes, we’ve all heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

 

 

Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs 1

Most of the brands that have taken over supermarkets cater to the physiological need that’s at the very bottom of the hierarchy. So smaller brands, specifically the ones in the tech market, have gradually learned to appeal to other necessities: self-actualization, esteem, and belonging.

Take people’s need for attention and recognition for example. Everyone has different approaches to this so you just need to make it work for your own product.

Typeform highlights all of the users who are certified to help others with the tool, agencies and individuals alike:

typeform

 

Unsplash has micro influencers in the photography world create customized collections of stock images, giving both the curator and contributing photographers more exposure:

 

unsplash

Establish brand evangelists

Brand evangelists are more than your simple promoters or affiliates. Commonly, these people are hired by the company to connect others to your brand, bring in new leads, and just spend their days promoting your products and services.

“Make your early adopters your biggest advocates. The first few growth wins are milestone achievements and need to be recognized. Those user stories also become your most powerful case studies as your growth process begins to scale. Also value and leverage connections with others within your organization that share your elevated growth mindset; most will embrace an opportunity to get involved and represent growth internally.”

– Jason Barbato, VP of Growth @ Orange Pegs

A brand evangelist can be:

  • An existing employee who’s been with your team for quite some time now and is a huge fan and active promoter of your products
  • A current client who’s already promoting your product and whom you can hire
  • Any person with a higher influence who’s actively talking about your product – you don’t necessarily have to hire this person, but you can offer exclusive perk

Canva is pretty strong at evangelism with Guy Kawasaki being their Chief Evangelist. But they didn’t stop here. Their Design Circle Facebook group is exclusive to Canva’s regular users who get to share their creation and exchange feedback. Did I mention their top promoters receive goodies? Much like a regular Slack community but with a stronger accent on the individual.

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing implies using the power and efforts of your customers and users to produce content and keep your marketing efforts running. This is by far my favorite growth hacking method because it allows you to showcase your clients’ business and work while also promoting your own product.

You might have seen this in use a lot with SaaS. Two top-of-the-mind examples are Trello and Airtable. Both tools provide crowdsourced templates others can reuse and, above all, these can be shared publicly. 

So when an existing user shares their template, somebody who’s not yet using the tool will notice its features. This also shows the value of going out of the way to make certain parts of your tool public and bring in exposure

The purpose of your product helps a lot with this though. When people share an online survey or form, the original tool used to create it is probably going to showcase their brand so others can always see it and use it for their own projects.

Crowdsourcing has no end if you’re imaginative enough.

You can do round-ups with people’s statements or tweets, compilation videos with shots customers have sent in, social media features for one client/week, and so many more.

Don’t know what feature or product to build next? Ask your buyers. Many SaaS companies today have a public roadmap you can make suggestions on by recommending a feature you want. Other users can then vote for the features they’re likely to need, helping the product team decide which feature to focus on developing next. Here’s an example from the Ahrefs team:

ahrefs

 

If you think about it, crowdfunding websites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter work in a similar way. Every dollar raised is one more vote towards a future product and possibly a new trend.

 

indiegogo

 

The process is by far more simpler than it looks. Take any YouTuber for example. Many of them ask viewers questions like “What video do you want to see next?”, essentially getting suggestions for videos that can go viral in the future. All with the help of their audience.

Other websites such as Lookbook.nu have been crafted from scratch by the community who’s posting outfits and linking to brands who are looking to get mentioned by top users:

lookbook

Landing pages tailored to the traffic sources and audience

Everyone has some kind of landing page on their website. But they’re often too general.

Instead, you can slightly tweak each page according to the source of the traffic or your target audience. This works similarly to how it’s a common best practice not to send people who click on your Google Ad to your homepage but to a specific page that’s closely tied to their search query.

“The more relevant copy and imagery is to a customer, the higher chance for success. If you know the ‘state of mind’ of every different source you have, it’s highly advisable to tailor your message to it. Especially if you acquire users via paid acquisition, making tailored landing pages will cut down your cost per conversion. Conversion rates go up, so you need less clicks for the same amount of conversions.”

Niels Zee, Growth Marketing Freelancer

Let’s take a basic example: You’ve created a series of Twitter ads for your new product. A good landing page would be one that focuses on that specific product and not your general homepage or category page.

Take this one step further and reference the source on your landing page. For instance, don’t just optimize the content on the landing page to match the user’s expectations. Offer special discounts just for the people who come from a certain page. Similar to this offer from SuperOkay for Product Hunt users: 

product hunt

 

UX is of top importance for landing pages. Beyond page design, keep these 3 points in check:

  • Write a compelling and relevant message
  • Provide informative and clear copy
  • Use images to replace words and really show people what you’re selling

A thank-you page is also a form of landing page many of us are probably neglecting and just creating them for the sake of having one:

“Someone just opened up their wallet for you and went through your whole payment process. What’s the least you can do? A great thank-you page confirming they made the right decision. 

People always remember the end of their experience the most (something called the peak-end rule). This is your perfect chance to get them hyped up about your product. Can you already give some tips about the product? Offer access to your content? Or can you add a touch of humor?”

Niels Zee, Growth Marketing Freelancer

Experimenting with forms

Compare this form:

adobe form

 

To this one:

visme form

 

 

Do you really think people have enough time to go through 9 fields? 🧐

Nope.

“Getting users to submit a form on your website may seem like a simple thing. However, in the thousands of A/B tests we’ve run to optimize different forms for whitepaper downloads or $100k+ product lead generation efforts, we found out that each nuance counts.

Removing any friction for completing the form submission is an excellent place to start. For example, does the phone number field on mobile devices default to the numeric keyboard? If not, that is actual friction in the user experience, often causing drop-off. Or perhaps users stop completing the 5-field form midway through.Break the form into multiple steps to make it less intimidating to new users.

Overall, experimenting with forms is an iterative process. By running data-backed, hypothesis-driven experiments, you’ll be able to increase conversion rates and drive growth to your KPIs.”

– Grant Tilus, Director of Product Management @ Cro Metrics

Email outreach experiments

There’s no shame in sending out a cold email from time to time. Like with anything, you’ll want to test out different messages and patterns. Or rather, you’ll NEED to. This is the kind of experiment every growth hacker is prompted to do whether you’re sending out emails and getting no answer or the replies are the opposite of what you’d expect.

So… what to test?

Everything really:

  • Subject line
  • Greeting and intro
  • The role of the person you send the email too
  • CTA or just question you use at the end to get the receiver to reply
  • Media you can include or not
  • The day and time your send it

“It’s called intent-driven outreach. You see, most businesses have a great product, but really terrible timing when it comes to talking with prospective customers. In many categories, specifically within tech, there’s an opportunity to outreach specifically when the prospect is actually looking for a solution similar to yours. 

What you do is monitor a large subset of target customer websites, wait for a tech change, such as adding a competitor or complementary tool to the site, and only after, make the outreach. This also works well around outreaching for round raises or new hires.”

– Derric Haynie, Host of “The Future of Ecommerce” podcast and Chief Ecommerce Technologist at Ecommercetech.io

Side projects 🥳

Free tools. Fun games. Calculators. Quizzes. Courses. Books. Directories and lists of resources. A weekly newsletter.

Even a Slack community you dedicate your time to growing or use to hold events can be considered a side project.

Some genius examples include:


Brand these side-projects either in an obvious way or through a “Powered by” badge to bring in users to your main website. The biggest advantage is that you can use these add-ons to your product so you can keep promoting your brand with something new.

Staying top of mind

All of the biggest brands have this thing in common we often forget: they are most often the first solution or product that someone will recommend to you. Ask anyone to name 3 brands of soft drinks and Coca-Cola is highly likely to be there. Mobile phone brands? Apple is probably always first.

So smaller companies have been focusing a huge part of their marketing efforts to always stay in the mind of their leads and buyers. I recently started using Avocode and let me tell you: it’s annoying. I’ve gotten an email reminder for literally everything that happened in the account. Until I turned off the notifications that is. But the point is, they were always on my mind since half of my emails were from them. No way I’ll forget the name anytime soon. 

YouTube, Quora, and LinkedIn are other examples of platforms who have managed to reap the success of this hack. Intrusive or not, the point is they’ve been growing their name for every user until he/she decided to unsubscribe. But the name will stick as you’re much more likely to remember a brand who’s bombarded you with messaging than a tool you’re using but never getting “a text” from.

“To stay top of mind, you need to be remembered and to be remembered you need to develop an outlier mindset. Your ultimate goal is to be an outlier — but not to be mistaken, this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes trial and error.”

Andreea Serb, Co-Founder @ GrowthTalk

You can turn to fun tricks of making your email easily recognizable as opposed to being spammy and annoying. The Morning Brew team’s daily morning newsletters come with this coffee cup emoji ☕️ so you can easily distinguish them from the rest of the clutter you might have in your inbox.

Hunter sends this email to free users on a monthly basis to remind them they can start using the tool again:

hunter

 

Talk about staying top of mind without being annoying.

Send subtle reminders of your product

I’m not going to mention the importance of sending out newsletters in this list. That’s what your email marketer will take care of. The growth hacker’s role does, however, expand into email. So one genius thing I’ve been seeing top companies do is send subscribers regular updates and reminders.

Here’s an example from Grammarly with their weekly report for users:

grammarly (1)

This is not only helpful for the individual user, but can also keep your company in their minds. Tailor this technique to your own product but always look to provide value instead of just another promotion.

Personalization

Customizing your website and offers used to be a very controversial topic since many people were worried about companies knowing too much about them. The issue is still around so here’s how you can use the data you collected [with approval] to help people instead of selling their information and shoving propaganda up their faces.

“We live in a world of information overload. Our attention is constantly being snatched up by promotions, sales pitches, and newsletters. Inboxes have begun to filter mass emails into folders called “promotions” and phone call recognition software is making it harder for sales calls to get through. The control is now in the hands of the consumer and we must get personal to build trust and stay relevant. 

Personal video emails are one solution that is effective at bridging the brand-to-consumer gap because they stand out from the rest of the inbox. People are used to getting generic mass mail but when they open an email and see you call their name, the dynamic shifts. Personal video emails won’t get caught in promotion or filter traps.”

– Casey Hill, Growth Manager @ Bonjoro

“When you get your prospects or customers to your website, make sure you personalise it based on the information you have about them: Who are they? Where do they come from? What is their intent? You can get started personalizing your site using free tools, such as a combination of Google Tag Manager and Google Optimize. 

With this setup you can personalise content based on your visitor’s location, the campaign they came through, referral, or even previous behaviour like purchases or content they’ve read. Applying these techniques, we saw conversion rate improvements between 20-40%. This is powerful stuff and a good way to test what personalisation can do for you without investing in expensive tools upfront.”

– Johannes Radig, Freelance Consultant @ Growth-Consultant.com

More and more companies and growth hackers seem to opt for customized videos as a solution to get people’s attention and have turned this into their own specialization:



“We pride ourselves in our ability to connect with users with crafted, personal email. Nine times out of ten, a reader will dismiss your email unless you’ve done your homework and clearly conveyed to them the purpose for reaching out to them and what about their brand connects and resonates with yours. 

Gone are the days of cold email. Familiarize yourself with influencer discovery tools as a means to reliably collect context on your emails. This will allow you to craft custom messages and find a markedly higher engagement ratio, as well as more fruitful long-term partnerships.”

– Irina Papuc, Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Galactic Fed

Paid marketing

I know what you’re probably thinking:

All ads are the same nowadays.

That’s what I used to say until I saw this from Marketing Examples:

Surely makes other ads boring.

After nailing your messaging, all you have to do is test out a couple of “non-conventional” ad channels. Personally, I never saw the value of Reddit ads so if you have a positive experience with this, feel free to let us know so we can feature your results.

Product Hunt ads on the other hand seem to be the bomb:

I have yet to see an advertised product with less than 2000 upvotes. Now this IS a vanity metric, but the amount of exposure you get on PH during weekdays surely will have some more value than a regular Google Ad.

No to mention some ads make it super simple for people to sign up by automatically completing their email:

product hunt promotion

The primary focal point for growth hackers has been on remarketing due to its lower costs and effective results as Stacy Caprio explains it:

“When starting with remarketing, make sure you set up an audience who has purchased in addition to an all visitors audience. This way you can exclude the audience who has purchased when running your remarketing ads, so you don’t waste ad spend showing ads to people who already bought your product.

Running remarketing ads is one of the best things you can do for your company’s growth, because it’s a way to get people back in the funnel to complete their purchase after they dropped off without doing so. Out of all paid marketing methods, remarketing tends to have the lowest cost per conversion and highest ROI of all ad and paid marketing methods. This is because remarketing targets people who already know about your website and product, and if your original targeting was correct, your remarketing audience was also seriously considering making a purchase on your website.”

– Stacy Caprio, Founder @ Accelerated Growth Marketing

Andrea Bosoni, Founder @ Zero to Marketing, shares his own best tips for doing ads on Facebook using the no targeting hack:

“If you run Facebook Ads and have a high enough budget, try the no targeting approach and let the algorithm do the work. Once your ad set has accumulated enough data, it may start finding really cheap converters that you would have otherwise missed.

Despite what many people believe, targeting someone on Facebook does not mean you’re giving hints to the system about who could be interested in your products. You’re actually telling Facebook who not to serve ads to. In other words, you’re excluding audiences.

For example, if you sell gardening tools and you target competitor gardening brands fans then you are preventing Facebook from reaching those who haven’t explicitly expressed an interest in those brands. This approach assumes people who have expressed an interest in gardening brands on Facebook are probably more interested in buying gardening tools than others who haven’t.

This is often true. But keep in mind that this method categorically prevents exposure of your product to individuals outside your target. 

Are there people who could be interested in buying gardening tools but haven’t liked gardening pages or posts on Facebook? For sure! But by targeting only gardening brands fans you can’t reach them.

The caveat of no targeting is that it may take a while for it to work since in the first days/weeks you’re essentially buying data for the algorithm to learn.”

– Andrea Bosoni, Founder @ Zero to Marketing

Strive to loyalize

Gaining customers’ loyalty is usually a matter of all the small things you do during every one of your company’s interaction with them. From reward programs to answering customer inquiries on time, offering free shipping and easy refunds, and an overall good customer experience.

This is one of the most classic hacks you can think of with most companies already having implemented a loyalty program to some extent. Mainly because it’s a huge supporting piece for your customer retention efforts as existing customers are 50% more likely to buy your new products. Basic point cards like Tesco’s Clubcard or complex reward programs like American Express has in place.

amex

Others have also taken a more creative stance on loyalty programs. That’s growth hacking’s purpose after all. The Body Shop, as an example, allows buyers to donate their reward points to one of the charities the company supports as an alternative to simply using them as store coupons.

Hacking PR

Who doesn’t want their company on TV, all across the web, in press, and even on the radio? For new brands, the temptation to focus most of your time on PR is huge because you’ll feel validated and present where you think everyone will see you. 

Nailing public relations is tricky because you can’t just go out there and start publishing guest posts on giving interviews for all outlets. You need to RESEARCH where your prospects are first. Brand awareness is often difficult to track and see if any lead you got from one of your PR campaigns actually converted. And startups need to see faster results than a campaign focused on bringing brand awareness can provide.

So here’s how you can measure the impact of your PR campaigns as explained by Gloria Chou, Founder and PR Guru @ Gloria Chou PR LLC:

“1. Get more ROI from marketing by integrating PR efforts. Use customer testimonials in your pitch to the press, instead of just putting it onto your website. This shows how you have actually made an impact and gives the editor a real-life example of your product’s application. Also, contribute on higher domain authority websites instead of spending so much time writing on your company’s own blog. Ask for a follow link and increase visibility and SEO. 

2. Use press releases strategically. Wait until you can combine 2 announcements (like funding + partnership) into one powerful announcement to get the best ROI on that release. This will also help you secure an exclusive coverage from a top-tier outlet. 

3. Don’t forget about think tanks and academia. PR isn’t only about getting vetted by the press. Think tanks with direct connections to policymakers are constantly publishing papers and annual reports and they need experts to comment or give data insights. Pitch your insights to name-brand institutions to level up your credibility in other circles.”

– Gloria Chou, Founder and PR Guru @ Gloria Chou PR LLC:

Get your whole team involved

No growth hacker does everything alone. That’s all you need to know. Teams brainstorm, share their feedback, and create hypotheses together. 

Your UX designer will always know a lot more than you on the best practices of design and how people interact with your website, online store, or app. Similarly, the people on your customer support team get to directly talk to customers on a day-to-day basis so there’s probably no one better than them at understanding their needs and pain points.

These are the kind of people you need to work with. Like it or not, your job is to take their insights and feedback and see how you can mix the different aspects of your business to come up with new inventive solutions that will help you reach your goals.

“At Zengrowth we get our entire team involved in writing for the blog. We’re an agency consisting of growth marketers with a focus on various channels, so each one of us has interesting things to say on their area of expertise. This helps our employees build their personal brand but we’re also generating leads in all specific areas of services. 

When it comes to promotion, our content is then shared and promoted in channels where our people are experts, increasing our reach and depth in promoting services. We’ve learnt that people enjoy reading other people’s work within the company which leads to internal discussions to improve the general learning curve within the company.”

Marco van Bree, CEO @ Zengrowth

One mistake teams make when trying to innovate is assuming all good ideas will come to them during that 1-hour brainstorming session. No. The best growth hacking ideas pop into our minds when we’re about to go to sleep, at 3AM, when we’re on a holiday, or just watching TV and relaxing.

Here’s where the second biggest mistake creeps in. Managers let the ideas pass by and ignore them indefinitely.

To prevent this, here’s everything you’ll need:

  • A way to help people share these ideas and keep them at hand at all times: a spreadsheet, your note taking or task management app, even a Slack channel will do.
  • Someone in charge of analyzing all these ideas, talking to the initiator of the idea, and researching the possibilities of implementing it. Guess what? That can be the growth hacker!

Enjoyed the guide?

Subscribe to our newsletter

We care about protecting your data. Here’s our Privacy Policy.

Want to get early access and product updates?

We care about protecting your data. Here’s our Privacy Policy.