Growth Hacking is not an attribute or an outcome of marketing alone. Growth hacking also involves product strategy and customer success for SaaS companies, and quality of content for Bloggers.
Growth Hacker Definition
A Growth Hacker is an individual with equally balanced skills in Product Management, Customer Success, and Marketing. A growth hacker uses all of these 3 skill sets to acquire a huge volume of customer base within a very short time and within very fewer budgets.
3 Principals of Growth Hacking for SaaS Product Managers
For SaaS products, the first and foremost principal is that you “cannot be an island”. From this concept steps the second principal of “Don’t try to build every feature that your customer wants”. From this concept stems the third principal of “Integrate with as many other 3rd party SaaS software possible”.SaaS Product Companies cannot be an Island. Click To Tweet
A product manager essentially hacks the existing customer base of a popular 3rd party application. As a product manager, you need to consider how your product can meaningfully exchange data with other applications that will add significant value to your customers.
Rather than building those applications yourself, you need to play well along with those applications. Do not consider them your competitors, rather consider them to be your allies.
Example: You have a proposal management software. Why bother building digital signature when you can integrate with already existing popular digital signature products? Now you must be thinking that this will end up giving more business to the 3rd party digital signature product than to yours, but you are not correct.
On the contrary, no one knows about your product – they will come to know about your solution from that integrated 3rd party app which has a huge captive customer base.
The quickest way to achieve meaningful integrations with tons of 3rd party applications is via services from likes of Zapier, OneSaas, automate.io and others.
Growth Hacking for Customer Success People.
When I hired Roman of Onboarding.pro for SchoolTime, he told me a very interesting story. When Roman was a boy, his Pilot uncle once took him inside a real airplane cockpit.
Roman was mesmerized with that first experience, he didn’t know what to do! So many buttons and so many lights! He told me that SchoolTime users should not get the same experience when they first land into the application.
A perfect On-Boarding experience is a propellant to Growth Hacking. Check Onboarding teardowns of popular sites/servicesNo better customer acquisition than “Word of Mouth”. Click To Tweet
Onboarding for Growth Hacking can be done by the following ways:
- Guided Tours
- Inline Help
- Drip Email
During the on -boarding process, don’t forget to ask your user for a small social share. Even better, use a trackable referral link to reward your users and encourage them to share.
Get the best Growth Hacking Books here.
Growth Hacking for Marketing People
Off course a significant contribution towards growth hacking comes from strategic marketing. The onus still lies with the marketing team to grow their user base significantly.
- Search Engine Optimisation with a focus on long tail keywords. Read some unique and different approach to SEO.
- Email List building: List building is a subject in itself, appears complex in the beginning, but once the basics are clear, it proves itself as the most powerful weapon of a mass hack. Try Retainly Optin Forms WordPress Plugin to Built your List.
- Start promoting products even before launch: There are many sites that showcase upcoming products and products in Beta. List your product or service in these sites.
- Hack the Press: Here are some tips to hack the press from HP and 10 Tools and services to get Free PR.
- Community Management: For those who might create a portal for your potential customers to discuss on topics around your product, would you construct it? Moz and Qualaroo did. Moz created a Q&A and advice forum for on-line marketers that makes it convenient for individuals to signup to a pro account. Qualaroo created Growthhackers.Com for growth hackers to do the equal. Now anytime you discuss with the Moz neighborhood their app is top of mind. Growthhackers.Com contributors are exhibit banners for Qualaroo webinars. It’s a win for everybody.
- Influencer Marketing: Check this list of tools for Influencer Outreach.
- Affiliate or Referral Marketing
- Discovery Platforms
- Powered by: The first adoption was by Hotmail and later very successfully and effectively used by Mixpanel where customers were offered a larger MAU if they embed a link to Mixpanel. I myself came to know about Mixpanel from one of the sites which displayed the link in their footer. Same was done by Positionly as well.
- Crowdfunding Hack: There are several case studies of startups that have hacked an early customer base using Crowdfunding sites. Startups have been able to offer their services even before launch and get paid in advance.
Craigslist Hack : Funnelfeed used Craigslist to advertise their service and they looped in startups with a huge promo code they located without cost place of job area. Airbnb does this with a terrific Craigslist integration. They have picked a platform with 10s of thousands of users the place reasonably few computerized tools exist and have created a great experience to share your Airbnb list. It’s built-in effortlessly and deeply into the product and, is without doubt one of the most spectacular ad-hoc integrations. Undoubtedly an average marketer shouldn’t have come up with this or known it was even viable, instead, it would take an advertising-minded engineer to dissect the product and construct an integration this delicate. For detailed engineering insights on how to hack craigslist.
- Blogger outreach: check this list of tools for easy blogger outreach.
- Repurpose Content for Community Sites, here is a list of 140 sites that accept guest bloggers.
- Hack Twitter for Growth: Pay with a Tweet, Tagboard, Jooicer, Tweetfavy , SocialRank, Klear, and more.
- Offer a related but completely free tool: Google has been a classic example for this kind of Growth Hacking technique. It continues to offer Gmail has a completely free tool. HubSpot offers Website Grader. Retainly offers a completely free Email Words Spam Checker, one of kind and the first online tool in the world.
- Freemium Model: This is the most common strategy of SaaS companies to acquire and nurture potential customers by offering a limited edition of their product for free. This also helps in creating an early user and practical tester community for free which helps in a significant improvement of a product as well as growth hacking.
- PodCasting: Still doing research on this 🙂
The Biggest Growth Hack
The most successful growth hacking technique is to reward your customer to Signup with your service and to reward your customers to stay loyal to your platform. Many companies have found a significant jump in their Signup counts when they offer a reward.
Usually, companies offer a discount voucher as a reward that entices a prospect to signup with their service. However, in many circumstances, the customer is not able to avail the discount voucher if she does not find anything suitable for purchase. So the entire reward scheme goes to waste and also creates a lack of confidence in minds of the consumer.
Giving cash as a reward is most fruitful, and Merchants can give cash rewards using RETN Cryptocurrency which can significantly reduce the complexity and overhead of the transactions as well.