16 Best Growth Hacking Tips From Rising Tech Startups Which You Can Apply To Your Business Today

Marketers are always scraping for new strategies and growth hacks they can apply to their business. But do they actually bring results? This is why we spoke with the actual “source” to get the insights we all seek when it comes to growth marketing success.

Before we jump into the use cases, why is growth marketing so important?

Here’s how Growth Tribe explains it:

  • Traditional marketing channels are expensive and saturated
  • Most projects focus heavily on the product, but the real challenge is with distribution
  • New channels are popping up very rapidly
  • Acquiring is not enough!! Activation and Retention are key!
  • It’s all about ROI
  • It’s not about the tips and tricks. You need a PROCESS.
Growth Marketing framework — Growth Tribe
Growth Marketing framework — Growth Tribe
Growth Tribe

Here we are talking about the actual growth marketing strategies and tactics which are not applied by traditional marketing, and might not be so obvious. To give a few examples, we often hear that including case studies on the website, making it secure and mobile friendly are some of the growth marketing tactics. They are not! They are a given! Everyone in 2020 should already be doing these. We are talking here about the actual hacks.

So are you ready to hack your way to growth? Let’s dive right in…

To validate your idea & determine a product-market fit

If you have an idea or you’re just getting started with your tech startup, you need to get user feedback, lots and lots of user feedback! Speak to users, identify their problems, and work on the solution to address them. Let’s hear from the founders of successful startups and how they did it.

  1. Philippe Vanderstigel, Founder of RocketChart, talks about how they got 150+ first customers from community posts:
Philippe Vanderstigel from RocketChart
Philippe Vanderstigel from RocketChart

“Back in July 2019, I needed to validate a new SaaS business idea. Instead of investing time building a product no one will use, I designed a beautiful screenshot to measure the potential. It was faked obviously. The same day, I posted it on 2 Facebook groups. It was a blast! 384 folks wanted to test the product.

Some may argue starting a company with a lie (a fake screenshot) is deceptive and sleazy. But this was a great way to engage a conversation with +300 founders and understand their desired outcomes regarding the pain point. In the end, we didn’t build the product. Those founders created it: we got the basis, and then our potential customers created the tool they would love to use based on this idea.

Even today we can still feel the impact of this first “hack”. Our first lovely customers are part of those people who reacted to the Facebook posts.”

Here is one of the screenshots 😁

Philippe actually also wrote a whole article about their journey, so in case you’re interested to learn more about their grand launch, here it is.

2. Zekeriya Mulbay, Co-founder of NorthStar Analytics, shares a simple step-by-step approach to launching your MVP:

Zekeriya Mulbay from NorthStar Analytics
Zekeriya Mulbay from NorthStar Analytics

“Start by determining your niche. Find a few potential customers and learn their top 3 problems. Without saying, solve one of them manually, and then sell your solution to the first company on 80% discount. If they don’t give you money, it doesn’t seem to be a good fit. Write a case study and use it to expand your customer base.”

3. Guillaume Moubeche, Co-founder of Lemlist, talks about how they became their product’s first customer:

Guillaume Moubeche from Lemlist
Guillaume Moubeche from Lemlist

“I didn’t do any proper market research, I didn’t spend ages talking to potential customers nor run in-depth customer interviews…

We just built a project and launched it because that was something WE wanted.

Eventually, we realized that other people had the same need or didn’t have the exact need but were seeing the value in what we built.

After 2 months and a half in Beta, we decided to start charging for that side project.

10 months after billing people that project was making close to $19,000 MRR with very few resources invested.

When I started my entrepreneurship journey, I realized that even though people were continuously telling you to think outside of the box, everyone was in the same box. One team, One project.”

Source to original article.

4. Mukul Kaushik, Product Marketing Manager at Trackier, uses ongoing customer feedback for product development:

Mukul Kaushik from Trackier
Mukul Kaushik from Trackier

“Build a solution to solve your customers’ problems, as long as they align with your vision. This would not only help your customers, but also help you improve your product as well as earn $$$”.

Trackier has been the backbone of more than 175+ companies for their affiliate program and ROI tracking. Trackier uses lean model of feedback loop from every customer they onboard, and for businesses with special requirements, they also tend to make some custom changes to the system.

For brand awareness and user acquisition

Once you’ve got your Product right, now is the time to get some marketing going. Advertising and promotion usually will have significant cost on startups, as they often have limited budget to play with. Here is how you can keep your costs to a minimum, and at the same time — get the best value for the quantity and quality of leads generated.

5. Volkan Kaya, Co-founder at Versoly, suggests building a free tool to grow your audience:

Volkan Kaya from Versoly
Volkan Kaya from Versoly

“I recommend building a free tool that your audience benefits from. They will share it a lot more and you build trust with your audience.

It is also much easier to promote free tools.”

You most probably heard of SaaS Pages, which was ranked #1 on Product Hunt, that’s one of theirs! Volkan and his team got a ton of leads from just this site for their own (paid) product!

6. Harry Dry from Marketing Examples, tells how to use Giphy for a branding campaign:

“Create GIFs which match what your audience might search for. Add your logo, product, or URL, then upload to Giphy and tag with relevant keywords. Make 5 GIFs. Then you can apply for a free brand channel.”

Source to original article.

7. Gerard Compte, CEO at Find That Lead, tells how to get prospects’ information with LinkedIn:

Gerard Compte from Find That Lead
Gerard Compte from Find That Lead

“Use a Chrome Extension of Find That Lead to find people’s emails from Linkedin and websites. Prospector is a 1-minute database for B2B to verify emails. You can also send emails for free directly through the tool.

Another tool is scrab.in, with its Chrome extension you can send messages to 1st and 2nd degree contacts, as well as automate up to 500 profile visits a day.”

8. Maryna Burushkina, Founder & CEO at GrowthChannel, tells about target audience layering in Facebook:

Maryna Burushkina from Growth Channel
Maryna Burushkina from Growth Channel

“You can save hours with FacebookAds interest targeting research by using tools such as AdSlayer, which helps expand on keyword groups and find niche keyword categories. There you can also easily add extra layers of niche interest targeting (recommended 3–10 layers depending on the industry) and eventually lower the CPL of your ads.”

9. We spoke to Mike Korba, Chief Commercial Officer at user.com, about how they hack re-marketing tags:

Mike Korba from user.com
Mike Korba from user.com

“There is a possibility to send data from User.com to GTM so that GTM tags can use it to target other tags via Data Layering. All you have to do is create an automation that starts with page visit (targeted at all pages) and leads to a Send code action module.You can include any User.com user attribute and pass it along to data layer. This way you can exclude referrals, other users who submitted additional information in your CRM from your re-marketing campaign to save $$$”

Mike also shared a link to a more technical description of this setup.

For better copy writing

If you want a better copy, and you are not a copy writer and do not have opportunity to spend much on additional resources, here is a great piece of advice for you:

10. Another one from Harry Dry on creating attractive copy:

“Write down 10 titles. Show them to your friends. Ignore their advice. Wait 24 hours. Ask which one they remember. That’s your title.

Being memorable is more important than being likeable. People jump from site to site and come back to what they remember”

Source to original article.

To improve lead quality

Now that you’ve got leads coming in your way, how do you actually make sure that their quality is good? How do you improve your conversion results?

11. Most of us collect additional user information via an online form. Same did user.com, but then tested verifying that data:

“We were getting lots of leads, but the conversion rate was poor. So we started calling them and verify the information they submitted on the values such as company size, they role, marketing budget, etc. Turns out, they were submitting it all wrong… Having a person call you and give a short introduction of our platform also increased the results tremendously. It might take more time and less leads, but the quality is what really matters here.

The take-away: Good qualification process and concierge on-boarding.”

To drive sales from email campaigns

When you’ve got nothing except your product, you can get your sales simply through personalised email outreach!

12. Josh Kohlbach from Jigglar tells us how they nailed email marketing by including previews of their paid content:

“End of March last year we were up against the wall to the point where we had about 1 month of runway left and were considering shutting the company down and refunding as many people as we could.

One asset we did have was about 3000 free users all of which we had on an email list.

The product is very visual (think Canva for real estate with tons of industry-specific templates and training), so we decided to go hell for leather on one last attempt and started emailing them every single damn day with templates and marketing ideas (our customers are real estate agents looking for listings).

All the templates we emailed were premium ones (we actually don’t have any free templates anymore) and really high value, it’s just that the agents didn’t know about them and couldn’t be bothered going searching. Each email had a CTA to upgrade to access.

Within a couple of weeks, we’d on-boarded a dozen new Pro accounts, all at full price, many paying the annual fee up front and it saved us from having to shut down.

Was it painful? Yes, but this was like a last-ditch effort. Did it feel like we were spamming our users? Yes, a little.

We continued the daily emails until about August… every, single, day (harder than it sounds!). But now we’re over 6 figures ARR, have scaled back the daily emails to a few times a week and we’re investing in better on-boarding and better ways to show off our core product so that people know what’s there and can see the value we’re bringing to the table.

TAKEAWAY: Growth hacks don’t have to be complicated, sometimes you just have to be consistent with something you know works.”

For user retention

Going down the line, you’ve got your users, now you want to keep them. Studies (and practice!) say that keeping an existing user is much cheaper than getting a new one.

13. A few great suggestions from Wes Bush at Product Led Institute on how to keep users engaged via email:

Wes Bush from Product Led Institute
Wes Bush from Product Led Institute

“Send users monthly, weekly, or daily updates of their progress and value they’re getting out of your solution.”

14. … and decrease churn by sending a simple email:

“If you ask for a credit card upfront, sending a reminder email of when you’ll be charged next will save you hundreds of angry customers who simply forgot to cancel their account.”

Originally shared on Product Led Growth Slack group.

15. Dan Holly from SproutSocial also gives his advice on featuring your Year in Review:

Dan Holly from SproutSocial
Dan Holly from SproutSocial

“Year in Review — This is powerful, product-led way to bubble up the value your product is bringing users in a fun and digestible format. Product usage generates a lot of data. Ask, “What data points would be most compelling to surface to your users?” The now infamous example of Spotify Wrapped generated more than 180,000 social conversations and over 2.4 Billion social impressions between Dec. 17 — Jan 1st — #growth. Another company doing this really well? Everyone’s favorite Slack App Donut! Check out this fun visualization that wraps up the value they brought their users over the course of a year. So here’s the idea — Product-Led QBRs! Instead of hiring a CSM to go over the value and opportunity for each customer each quarter, try to create a scalable way to recap the value you generated the user. Hint: Think Facebook Friendship Anniversary Videos”

To streamline analytics

Growth marketing is nothing but an idea without looking back at analytics.

16. Here we are back to Mike Korba on how to better track conversions:

“Use HitBuilder with Google Analytics to better track conversions with GTM”.

— — — — —

To sum this all up:

  1. Design a beautiful screenshot to measure the potential of your business idea.
  2. Speak to customers about their problems, and address them in your solution. Get them pay for it upfront.
  3. Be your first customer.
  4. Speak to your users to improve your product.
  5. Build a free tool to get new leads.
  6. Use Giphy for a free branding campaign.
  7. Use LinkedIn automation tools for B2B prospecting.
  8. Apply target audience layering in Facebook Ads.
  9. Create attractive copy by asking people about the titles they remember (not the ones they like!)
  10. Hack re-marketing tags with data Layering in GTM.
  11. On-board new users by talking to them.
  12. Include your paid content previews in email newsletters.
  13. Send users updates of their progress and value they’re getting out of your solution.
  14. Send a reminder to customers before their credit card expires.
  15. Feature your Year in Review.
  16. Use HitBuilder to track conversions with GTM.

Before we close this off, we want to THANK everyone who contributed to putting this post together! We hope that you also enjoyed reading it 😉 Please Clap & Share with your audience to help us spread these use cases across the marketing community!

To learn more about AI Marketing Trends and Tools of 2020, head to our previous publication.

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