5 Growth Hacking Techniques for Your Startup
This blog has listed the top 5 growth hacking techniques that will help you for your startup in no time.
August 2, 2016
Growth hacking is the way startups are using little to no budgets to grow their companies. Airbnb, Dropbox, Hotmail, and Uber used almost very little marketing budgets to grow into huge companies.
In this article, I will be talking about some growth hacking techniques you can use for your startup. Most of these techniques work in combination with each other and you will need to iterate on them to see which techniques work for you.
Growth Hacker marketing is all about creative ways to continuously uplift your product growth. I will explain the techniques that companies are using to grow their user base or increase their user retention.
- A/B testing
- Landing pages
- Viral factor
- Email deliverability
- Open Graph
This technique is now used extensively by companies like Facebook where they even display different versions of Facebook screens to a small percentage of their users and then roll it out the most successful version of the screen with the highest engagement to all its users.
There are companies that are even using this technique on plants to see what light or nutrients best work on the plant.
This technique can be used to improve your signups, and sign-ins initially so that the screens with the highest conversion rates are used, and then it’s something that is going to be used during the lifetime of your project.
The viral factor is a very important part of growth hacking. Virality is not magic, it’s a strategy, a recipe for engaging your customer. You need to make it easy for your audience to share your product.
Let's look at how some companies used this factor to grow or retrain their user base.
Your product is your Advertisement – Hotmail
“Get your free email at Hotmail.com” this line strikes the marketing fit to Hotmail history. Every Hotmail user who used Hotmail to send emails was also advertising the product to the receiver.
PayPal adopted the 'referrals' strategy, they spent US$60 million on its referral incentives.
They offer their customers to pay off 20$ by creating an account and 20$ off if they refer it to anyone. As their network expanded, PayPal reduced the ‘Refer-A-Friend’ bonus for regular users to 10$ and then 5$, and till 2015 PayPal had a marketing ROI of $46.6 billion.
The growth hack for Groupon was ‘refer a friend and get 10$ for your friend’s first purchase’. It worked for Groupon and now, Groupon has 48.9 million active users.
The growth hack for LivingSocial was ‘Get it for free’ which means if you want to buy a deal and recommend it to 3 friends then it will be free for you and you get it via a special link. This worked for them and now LivingSocial has 70 million active users worldwide.
Apple uses the ‘Sent from iPhone’ line after an SMS has been sent. That line actually worked for them. Another growth hack of Apple is they made their headphones white instead of black. Now, people bought their accessories from Apple, and advertise them everywhere on social media.
The role of the landing page starts even before you launch your product. They describe what your product is all about. You can use google ads, landing pages, and A/B testing to see your ROI on advertisement dollars spent. How many users are coming via ads to landing pages and what versions of the landing page are working is going to be extremely important?
Making landing pages, viral is another strategy to boost growth. Landing pages are actually the pathway pages where a person finds detailed information about what they want to explore.
In this technique, we focus on email to our target users. If our target market is hard to approach then we can adopt this approach by getting a list of emails via subscription.
Make sure that you are targeting your intended market and not all the people on the internet. You can use google ads, landing pages, subscriptions, and useful articles to grow your subscriber list.
Quora used the ‘subscribe’ strategy to occupy the market. They use to send Top Stories of the week in the email of their subscribers. Now Quora has an estimated 18k daily active users.
Airbnb initially occupied the massive scale of the Craigslist market. The way they adopted the market was very friendly. They researched that a lot of people are putting their houses for rent on Craigslist. They scrapped all of the data from craigslist and contacted the homeowners via email to put their listing up on Airbnb. This gave them explosive growth in the beginning.
Open Graph is a protocol that enables any web page to become a rich object in a social media graph.
If the users share your product and it looks awesome in their timelines, chances are the post will get much more clicks. Open Graph tags are the standard to achieve this.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook all recognize these tags. The main advantage of these tags is to increase the click-through rate and grab the web traffic to your website from social media.
CMS like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, OSCommerce, and Drupal have their own OG plugins/extensions/add-on.
If you are still thinking about using billboards, tv ads, and spending millions on Facebook ads on the first day of your launch. You need to learn about growth hacking techniques and how growth hacking can help you. A good book in this regard to read is Growth Hacker Marketing.
Do let us know in the comments how you are planning to use growth hacking and if some specific technique has helped you in your startup.