In this article, we’re going to take a look at growth hacking for startups. Before we dive into strategies, let’s first define growth hacking.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups, but it can be employed by startups of all kinds. Creativity, analytical thinking and social metrics are all combined to sell products and gain additional exposure.
The term was coined in 2010 by Sean Ellis who said, “A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.”
Why is Growth Hacking Important for Startups?
Many startups begin with slim marketing budgets. Startups who employ growth hacks focus more on lower cost marketing avenues. They steer away from traditional marketing and tend to spend their marketing dollars on social media and other online avenues.
Some avenues growth hackers use include search engine optimization, web analytics, A/B testing and content marketing.
Companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn use growth hacking techniques.
Growth Hacking Strategies
One great growth hacking strategy is the referral program. This is a great way to build your startup without making a huge dent in your bottom line. Let’s say your startup is an online survey business. You could offer users 50 complimentary surveys per billing cycle for each referral they bring to you. This costs you very little and has the potential of increasing your user base multiple times.
Another growth hacking strategy is to offer something for free. After all, who doesn’t love free? The same survey company could offer a free account to the first 500 subscribers. Right off the bat, you’ll end up with users who will spread the word about your great product. Your goal is to convert the free trial participants to paying customers at the conclusion of the trial.
Offering exclusive invitations is another no cost growth hacking strategy. Since people always want what they can’t have, exclusivity drives up demand. This technique also helps generate online buzz about your startup. You can even start a waiting list so customers feel more special once you “let them in.”
Building your email list is another growth hacking strategy. A good email list is invaluable to your company. It’s basically free advertising with a ready and willing audience.
Email is one of the best digital tools in the growth hackers tool box. Why?
- You have instant access to your customers.
- They want to hear from you because they opted in.
- You can let customers know about events and new products or services.
- You can conduct surveys.
- You can send them special offers.
It’s important to start building your email list immediately. Encourage web visitors and social media followers to sign up by reminding them of the value they will gain from staying in communication with you.
If you desire to aggressively grow your startup, consider employing low cost creative marketing techniques.
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