Ever heard of Growth Hacking? If you follow digital marketing blogs you might have come across the expression a couple of times. As the Internet keeps growing, so does digital marketing and the different roles in a marketing team. Our Front End Developer Simon decided to dig deeper into Growth Hacking.
What is growth hacking?
Growth Hacking is a series of techniques used primarily by start-up companies with low marketing budgets. The goals of Growth Hacking are either to get initial users to your product or grow your user base.
In 2012 Sean Ellis coined the term “Growth Hacker”. He explains that growth hackers are often coders or marketers that ask the question “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with the use of A/B testing, search engine optimisation (SEO), viral marketing and plenty of innovation.
Oh right, so it’s marketing then?
Yes, it is a form of marketing, but it focuses on growing the primary metrics of the business with a low budget.
In the early days of a startup you don’t necessarily need someone to create marketing plans or build a marketing team. You need to try different approaches and see what works for you. You have one goal – growth.
Personally growth hacking makes me think about why people would want to be using my product or service. With traditional marketing methods such as advertising, I could get a user to my service, but what would make them want to come back? What are the rewards for the user?
Some examples of great growth hacking success stories
Dropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Users sign up and get a small amount of storage space. They found that a good way to grow their business was by offering their users more space if they referred their friends. Dropbox is now used by over 300 million people.
Hotmail launched in 1996. Instead of investing into huge marketing budgets they added the line “Get your free Email at Hotmail” at the end of existing users emails. The recipient could then click on that link and be directed to their signup page. As a result, the user base grew over a million within 6 months.
How can I start growth hacking my business?
So Growth Hacking sounds pretty good. Who doesn’t want to grow their business to the size of Dropbox or Hotmail? To do this there are some pretty simple ways you can get started –
A/B testing is a way of running experiments on your site to show which design converts visitors better. By using tools like Google Content Experiments or Visual Website Optimiser you can choose the right image for your home page or the right wording on your sign up button – maybe ‘Register’ converts better than ‘Sign up’?
Cart abandonment recovery
According to the e-tailing group’s 2014 Annual Merchant Survey, there is a trend towards high cart abandonment. Setting up cart recovery emails that contact the user when they abandon their purchase in the checkout stage can win back some customers.
Read more about barriers stopping your site visitors placing an order.
This is fairly broad, but try to think why your customers would want to come back – Do they get a discount on their second purchase? Do they get a discount if they refer a friend?
With conferences solely designed for Growth Hackers (http://growthhackersconference.com/) it shows that it is an important part of a young businesses marketing plan.
It is important to mention that no single Growth Hack can be responsible for a company’s growth, and what has worked for Facebook might not be right for your business. The important message to take away is trial and error. Measure your key metrics and find what works for your business without spending thousands on marketing campaigns.