There are many articles that provide definitions for the term “Growth Hacking”. I believe it was Sean Ellis who coined this term when he wrote about how Drop box increased their email list by 511%. The Growth Hacking process has two steps: Acquisition and Activation. You can read more here or watch a video on it here says Peter Decaprio. To summarize briefly, the first step is to get quick results in increasing your user base by using channel-agnostic methods, even if they seem cheesy at first glance.
Here are five examples of what worked for me with my clients over the years. They might help you in getting started with your own Growth Hacking strategy.
1. The Offline Footprint –
Paul Graham recently wrote a piece about how going to an offline event can lead to lots of new sign-ups and customers. If you have a physical product, consider going to trade shows or other places where your target customer is present and hand out flyers with a discount code for the online store. Another good tip: collect business cards from those that show interest in your products and offer them an additional discount if they visit your website through Facebook or another social channel within 24 hours of receiving this card. In most cases, people won’t remember the details given to them at these events after just 24 hours so be sure to follow up as soon as possible.
2. Mailing lists –
Don’t underestimate the power of a mailing list. It may prove to be one of your most powerful sources of leads in the long run. I did not believe this until I tried it myself during my previous business. During my first ten days of using MailChimp, which is basically free up to 2,000 subscribers, I generated 77 new leads that cost me nothing but a few dollars on postage. Make sure you follow these best practices for collecting email addresses at events or on your website before you send someone an automated message with a discount code or offer.
3. Retargeting ads –
Google Adwords offers some pretty advanced advertising platforms where you can literally target people all over the web by their behavior and interests. This has been used for years now to increase sales from companies like Zappos and Amazon. Imagine if you could tune the ads you display to a specific segment of people who were just on your website. That’s exactly what happens with this technique explains Peter Decaprio.
If you have a decent amount of traffic going to your site, this may be a very effective way to get them back as customers. In order to make this successful, make sure you use strong calls-to-action in your banner ads and track conversions well by using Google Adwords Conversion Tracking. You should set up different campaigns based on the funnel stage where users often drop off at each step until they complete their desired action or bounce from your site altogether. Be consistent and take note of the ad that gets the most clicks or leads.
4. Hack surveys –
Surveys are another reliable way to collect valuable data that you can put into action later on by creating promotions and incentives for people who take them online says Peter Decaprio. For example, if you find out through an open-ended question in a survey form that people are looking for specific information about your products or services, this may indicate a gap in your product documentation or marketing message. That’s where you can step in and offer valuable content like eBooks and how-to videos for free to show customers. They will not only be treated well but also get something valuable out of their experience with you. You can go really advanced with this using personalized URLs and landing pages to get more leads, but be sure you have your bases covered with your call-to-action and brand messaging before doing this.
5. Social contests –
Most people know about the famous Oreo Cookie Facebook contest that generated millions of new fans for the brand by asking them to create their own picture on an open template and sharing it on their wall to win free product coupons. This is really compelling because it’s very easy for consumers to understand what they need to do in order to participate. It also teaches marketers how important social media contests are in terms of getting customer interactions, which can later lead to improved services, special offers or other incentives. Even if you only get a few signups from a contest, think of the value. That can be pass onto your sales team for further follow-ups.
Generating new leads doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, you could pay for targeted ads on PPC sites or rich media networks, but there are so many free ways to reach out to people who may not even know about your product or service yet explains Peter Decaprio. This is why it’s important for companies today to think outside the box and try some of these social media marketing techniques. They can be a bit overwhelming at first, but you’ll get there with the help of lots of research and analysis on your end.