You don’t need to be a growth hacker to be able to implement proper growth hacking techniques. Although it will be more work on your part, it’s not impossible to learn. In fact, once you do certain things once or twice, you sort of get the hang of it.
Much like learning how to ride a bike, it’s all a matter of fearless practicing. At worst, your approaches don’t work and you have to go back to the drawing board. Well, that happens to the pros too, so don’t feel like a total failure.
In this guide, we will run through a few absolute essential growth hacking tactics specifically selected for non-growth hackers, before moving into both pre and post-launch tips for startups, which is commonly asked about.
But first, let’s look at the value that this particular guide can provide.
How Will This Help Me?
Obviously growth hacking has its benefits. It’s a way for you to acquire more customers and therefore boost your profits. It puts you in a better competitive position within your industry. And while there are plenty of conventional approaches to growth hacking, the pros often use the unconventional methods as well.
This is in large part because growth hacking is all about experimentation. It’s all about seeing what works, and what needs further tweaking before it can potentially work better.
Now, logically, all of this experimentation requires a lot of time, hence why so many people hire growth hackers. But with Sumo, you can automate so much, that you really don’t need the outside help, especially if you’re still building your business up.
In this case, we’re covering some of the essential growth hacking tactics targeted for non-growth hackers, and startups alike. Through this, you'll...
Gain a better of understanding of how intricate growth hacking can be.
Understand each tactic in a step-by-step manner that is not only easy to understand, but easily memorized.
Potentially open a door into growth hacking far beyond what you learn in this guide.
Potentially boost your customer base, and therefore, your profits.
Save money by not hiring a professional growth hacker for aid.
Get Your CTAs In Front Of More People
Only 20% of your readers actually read all the way to the bottom of the page. That’s only a quarter of your audience.
That means if your call to action, or CTA, is at the bottom of the page, 80% of your audience isn’t even seeing it. Uh-oh.
The way to fix it is to find out the average readthrough rate of your article, and then getting your CTAs in front of readers before they leave.
Of course, this is something you can do manually. Depending on where your site is hosted, you maybe able to drag and drop your CTA farther up the page. Or you may need to tinker around in menus for a bit. But if you use Sumo, you’re actually looking at something even more… effective.
- Go to Sumo an click on Content Analytics. Enable Auto Record to automatically record the data on all of your pages and content.
- Run the recording for about 100 visitors to your pages. Then check the Average Read on your content.
- Under Forms > List Builder, create a Scroll Box. This will be used for your content upgrade or email ask.
- Go to Visibility, and set Trigger percent to 5% below your average read.
- Press save and reach 80% more people.
Discover How Important Mobile Is For Your Site
Mobile overtook desktop browsing for the first time in 2016. Ever since then, companies and small, solo entrepreneurs alike have been noticing a shift. The more they optimize their mobile site, the higher the conversion rates. The longer the average read times. The better content performance.
But is that the whole truth of the matter? Really?
One look around you when you’re out and about should let you know that mobile is critical to having great performing content. Today’s audience is used to getting whatever they want, when they want. Whether it’s a show, a movie, a snack, or a blog post, they are used to getting it faster than you can snap your fingers.
But… well, it also all depends on the site. If your content is entertaining, lighter, and typically runs shorter, it would fare well on mobile. Even if it’s informative, it’s still optimal. But if it’s a lengthy study or piece of informative content with step-by-step processes that aren’t related to cooking or baking, then chances are people are pulling it up on a bigger computer screen.
That would explain why laptops and desktops more than triple the conversion rates of smartphones.
To find out if mobile is super important for your site, do the following.
- Perform an A/B test, one device versus another. For the following, let’s use a List Builder pop-up as an example.
- Let’s tackle the desktop version of the pop-up. Title your campaign accordingly to avoid any confusion.
- Click Visibility, scroll to Display Rules, and set the pop-up for the page you want to display it on. Then, under Devices, click “Desktop.”
- What this does is make it so the pop-up only shows on the page that you designate. It also only shows it to people on desktops and laptops.
- Then click “Save” and create a new campaign, this time for mobile. Name it accordingly again, to avoid confusion.
- Go to Display Rules, set the page you want the pop-up to appear on, and then change the rule to “show only on mobile.”
What this does is create two separate campaigns that you can easily measure by platform. This way, you can tell which of the two platforms performs better. You want the higher conversion rate, and if mobile just isn’t cutting it, then it’s not as important for you than you probably thought.
The site should be user friendly on mobile regardless, but don’t stress over spending X amount of time optimizing it if the numbers just aren’t there.
Learn How People Interact With Your Site
Think about how many calls to action you really have… Maybe nine… Maybe fifteen. It seems like a lot, but it’s not if all of your calls to action are super strong.
And how do you know if they are? You find out where they’re clicking. After all, if you magically got to sit down next to everyone browsing your website, you’d be able to physically see their clicks in action.
“Did they click on the about page? No. Contact? No. Oh, but that’s what I wanted them to click into.”
The good news is that there is a way to do this that doesn’t involve climbing into a fantasy novel full of magic. You can literally set up a Heat Map on Sumo that shows you firsthand what people are doing.
Seeing how your audience is interacting with your website can lead to an increase in conversions, because you’ll suddenly know what to tweak, what to eliminate, and what to leave alone.
- Go to Sumo and enable Heat Maps in your dashboard. Start by recording a campaign on your homepage.
- Enable Auto Record to record those Heat Maps on all of the pages on your website. Because remember, it’s not just about your homepage. It’s about your entire website, especially if you have CTAs scattered throughout. You will want to go one by one, editing each page according to your findings.
- Run your campaign on your homepage for a minimum of 1000 clicks. This helps you gather enough data to discern what to remove from your homepage (what isn’t being clicked on), and what to keep (what’s converting).
- Remove everything your visitors aren’t clicking on. That includes buttons, menu options, and social media buttons. Yes, even social media.
How can you tell when something isn’t being clicked on? It either won’t be lit up at all, or it will be a much paler orange than the rest.
Removing Low Social Share Counts
Human nature is fickle. In fact, we’re kind of like a fickle herd. Even those of us who take pride in standing out from the pack still retain an element of herd-mentality.
For instance, have you ever been to a restaurant that was so empty, you wanted to turn right around and leave? It screams “this place doesn’t have very good food,” doesn’t it? If it does have good food, chances are there would be more people there, seated, laughing amongst themselves, eating tasty food.
This is why they fill the seats by the windows first, to make it look more packed. To draw in more customers.
Well, it’s much the same way with social media. In a day and age when most people have at least 2-3 forms of social media that they actively use, they don’t want to interact with you if you display weak social proof, better known as low numbers, empty comment forms, little engagement, etc.
All of that means your website isn’t popular, and that therefore, your content has little value.
So, what to do?
- Remove share from your homepage unless your have 500+ social shares. Disable those sharing buttons on your homepage all together. Open your Sumo dash, go into Share app, and select “don’t show on the homepage,” then press save.
- Set a share count minimum for your products and content. What this does is that when you get shared X number of times, the share count is finally shown. If you have anything less on a product or post, the share count remains hidden.
- Because content and products outside of the homepage are forgiving, set the count to 50 or 100 minimum.
- To do it, go to Sumo and open Share. Then go to the Settings tab, scroll to “ Share Counts,” and set the “Show Counts Minimum.” Press save when you’re done.
More Opportunities to Subscribe
It’s no surprise, menus get a ton of action on a homepage. It’s how people navigate to the rest of your content. And they’re always there, right in the front, on the top, easily accessible.
But they are most effective when everything comes together to achieve your website’s main goal. After all each one of your CTAs is a subgoal, a piece of the much larger main goal, which depends on your niche, your job title, and whatever point you’re at in your business.
For the sake of argument, let’s say you want to build an email list. Everyone needs one eventually. Well, there’s a way to do that using your very own menu, so that when a visitor clicks on the link, they receive a pop-up, better known as the “foot in the door” technique.
You might be wondering what the logic behind this is: when you get people to complete a small task, like clicking on a menu option, you have an easier time of getting them to complete a larger request (entering an email address).
- Create a Click Trigger Form in List Builder for your menu by following the on-screen prompts and options. Your goal: create a pop-up that appears when your menu link (“Join”) is clicked.
- Go to Visibility and copy the New Inline Click Trigger Code.
- Go to WordPress. Under Appearance > Menus, find your main navigation menu. Add a Custom Link. Paste the Click Trigger Code into the URL and the Link Text Fields.
- Then press “Add to Menu.”
- When the Click Trigger is in the Menu Structure section, you’re going to want to remove the URL field so the only populated field is Navigation Label.
- Hit save, as always.
- Finally, test the Click Trigger. You should see a lot of conversions rolling in.
The Best Email Hack
If you want to reach the right person every time, this is the best email hack. It’s free, it’s a small volume but high conversion rate hack, and it’s easy. You can expect to increase email amount and reach for email marketing.
Write a list of companies that could be potential customers, along with their domain names.
Signup to hunter.io, because it’s a useful growth hacking tool, and without it, growth becomes extra difficult and tedious.
Check LinkedIn to ensure you’re reaching the right person.
Check the company page and click on employees, then check job titles.
Find a personal detail you can mention to establish common ground and show you’ve done your research.
Commenting As A Growth Hack
This a a free, low volume but high conversion hack that increases traffic and trustworthiness. However, it is hard to scale, so keep in mind it’s rated a medium on the difficulty scale.
- Find relevant blog posts by Googling “blog posts headline” inurl:blog.
Focus on high quality posts: the ones with more than 5-10 comments.
Add value by commenting on the most popular and relevant posts by showcasing what you know and offering advice. You can also do this in Slideshare presentation comments, or Amazon book reviews.
Tell Your Story On Podcasts
Here is another free approach. It’s medium to high volume, and increases awareness and understanding of your product or service, all while helping to build your brand image. On the difficulty scale, it ranks a medium.
Search for your industry on Google and see which podcasts rank the highest.
Pitch your brand to podcasts managers and start scheduling the podcasts.
Make sure they mention the company name, and your name in the title as well as during the podcast itself.
Note: For any questions, check out this guide on podcast growth hacking.
Brag When Your Customers Love You
This free, low volume tactic increases your trustworthiness and keeps things super easy. In fact, it may be the easiest tactic in this guide.
Put your page on one of the review pages:
Local businesses: Yelp or Google my business
Products: Amazon reviews, Facebook reviews, and Trustpilot
Get the review listing in front of your users by posting about it, or mentioning it in a nice highlight on your landing page (testimonials).
Create A Research of Why Your Product Works
This is a medium-rated, free approach that focuses on low volume and high conversion. It thrives by showing the need for your product.
Take your product and actually prove that it can do the things you’re promising. Get the social proof from previous customers and put it into numbers. How many out of how many sales? How many good reviews vs. bad ones? Show what improved, by how much, and how your product helped.
Put those findings into an easy to understand format. Share it, print it, email it, distribute it. Do whatever you can to get it in front of your target audience.
Create a whitepaper as a way to generate more sales by showcasing what your product/service is capable of.
Use PR to Build Your Brand
This is a free, potentially high volume hack that works by increasing your traffic and building your brand image. It’s rated medium on the difficulty scale. However, this is a good approach, largely because it is all about getting smaller publications to write for you, so you can aim for bigger publications.
- Pitch your service or product to publicists in your field with 3-5k followers. Each time you get a publication, double the follower count.
If you’re on a budget, use content promotion and Google Plus.
Prepare a great answer to the question “Why?” Offer a freebie if they write about you, maybe tell them about your great track record, or how you beat the odds, or how many people love your products/services.
Get Others to Write About You
This potentially high volume tactic is free or paid, depending on your individual circumstance, medium on the difficulty scale, and effective. It increases traffic and brand awareness.
Identify what you can wow a reader with. This is the reason for someone to write about you. Figure out what that 1 thing is.
Focus on obtaining bigger outreach by…
Note: You could also use Source Bottle, Muck Rack, Journo Requests, and Pitching Notes.
Integrate With Tools That Can Extend Your Service
This difficult, but free tactic focuses on high volume and medium CR. It increases traffic, customer satisfaction, and social proof.
From your customer’s point of view, imagine what service could add to your company.
The idea is to pair it with something that elevates what you have to offer. Something that connects with it.
Follow the sales basics: reach out to decision makers, schedule meetings, and negotiate out deals. It may take a few months, however.
Start Your Own Meetup to Get Emails
It’s free, you can keep it simple, and it’s been known to increase traffic and help people create personal connections. The tactic is low volume but high in CR.
Figure out how your brand, company or tool can benefit a meetup group.
Remember that knowledge sharing, informal promotion campaign, and case studies have to be held quickly, because you’ll likely be in a lively environment.
Keep it simple or informal not only to save money, but to put everyone at ease.
Later in the evening after interacting for a while, get attendee emails to further engage with them.
Create Fun Surveys
This is a free, easy to medium tactic that increases traffic, customer engagement, and allows you to learn more about your customers. It focuses on low to medium volume and medium CR.
Get a WordPress plugin that allows creating surveys, such as this one.
Involve something your target audience can relate to. If you’re in gaming, use Twitch streamers, popular character references, etc.
Design for mobile first, since 71% of participants have been shown to come from mobile phones. Pick a few acquisition marketing growth strategies and hack the quiz.
Diving Into Pre-Launch Tips for Startups
Now that we've covered essential tips for non-growth hackers, let's specifically focus on techniques you can do pre-launch, as in before you launch new products or services.
Pre-launch growth hacking is more like properly conducting research, gathering your data, and planning accordingly—all before acting. It’s in the name, pre-launch. Without these steps, any growth hacking you do post-launch will be muddled. It could work, but it would be far more difficult.
Think of it as running a marathon. You’d want to eat right, drink more water, and train in the months leading up to the marathon. Otherwise, you would start running and find yourself capable of trudging along, but you wouldn’t be optimal, and it would show. Why lag behind, when you can plan ahead?
Gain Concept Feedback
To gain concept feedback means to essentially go up to someone, show them your proof of concept for your next business venture, and ask “What do you think?”
For obvious reasons, loved ones are not an ideal audience for this, as they typically will always have your back. Their job is to be supportive, so even if the concept isn’t up to snuff, they’ll break it to you lightly. And usually, breaking it to someone lightly leaves a small glimmer of hope.
You’d be much more likely to tweak the concept and come back with a “new and improved” version that still isn’t up to par, because at its core… the concept was terrible in the first place.
This is why so many entrepreneurs opt to get concept feedback from online communities. It helps to unbiasedly improve your product, and toss it out when it’s needed. It can lead to new features that potential users want to see, and even to new relationships with advocates.
To implement this tactic, let’s turn to Reddit as an example.
Find A Relevant Subreddit
Reddit has several subreddits, all catering to niche topics. Everything from gardening to gaming. There is also /r/startups, which comes in handy for concept feedback. If you feel you can further niche it and find a highly specific subreddit, feel free to look into that as well.
Ask For Feedback
Next, ask for feedback on your idea, and make sure to be detailed about it. Talk about particular features you think would appeal to your target audience. Explain a little about how the concept came to fruition, and what the overall objective is.
Engage With the Community
Once the comments begin rolling in, it’s time to engage. Reply back, answer questions, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own. Compile all the feedback, positive and negative, into a format you can clearly look over. Google Forms may be a useful tool for this.
Direct Interested Parties
If anyone showed interest in your concept, it could be an opportunity. Ask them to leave contact details with you to get any future updates and news on the product/service. Something as simple as Reddit messages can be useful for this.
By the time you’re ready to launch, you’ve hopefully made suggested changes, if mproved on your concept, and made it into a reality. That makes this the perfect time to reach out to the people who showed interest in getting further updates.
It’s extra nice if you give them early access, for giving you such helpful feedback, and being so interested in the success of what you have to offer. Then ask if they’d be willing to share it with their peers.
Just remember, you want to give them access for free, otherwise, they’re putting in all the effort to help you, and you offer nothing in return except a way for them to support you financially too.
Give Away A Tool or Course
This is a common business practice. In fact, most entrepreneurs have done this at one point or another. How could something seemingly simple help with pre-launch growth hacking?
Well, for starters, growth hacking is all about gathering information first, so you can act accordingly later. Essentially, you’re opting to not go in blind, which is very smart.
And giving away a tool, or a course, is a helpful way to gather relevant data that you can upsell later. Whatever is free for now can serve as a basis for something more in-depth, helpful, and valuable later. Something you can sell.
Here’s how to do it:
Find A Problem
It all starts with a problem, one that your target audience suffers from. You want to solve whatever that problem is, so long as it’s relevant for your business model.
Then it’s time to develop a solution for that problem. Whether it’s a small tool, a plugin, a product or a service, develop something that isn’t too advanced in features. If that’s not your style, create a short online course that could be delivered via email or behind a data capture gate, such as “sign up for the newsletter to get a free course on X.”
Create A Landing Page
To promote it and let people know that the item is even in existence, you’ll need to create a landing page for your freebie. It doesn’t have to be overly elaborate, or even long, it just needs to be informative enough.
Inform People When It Goes Live
Finally, use the data gathered to inform people of when your product goes live. Make sure you don’t wait too long to reach out to them. The best thing to do is keep them engaged during the pre-launched period with sporadic emails. Nothing overwhelming, just a few nudges here and there to remind them of what you’re working on.
Crowdsource funding doesn’t have to be all about finances. Is it helpful? Sure, but it’s not the only goal.
The form of crowdsource funding that is helpful for pre-launch is all about community building. It’s about finding the people who will help fund your venture, not just for the sake of financial aid, but also for the attachment to your brand that these people will develop.
It’s that attachment that will help get the word out about your product/service, once it’s unveiled to the world.
For instance, if you were to fund a Kickstarter project for a board game, chances are you helped fund it because you were interested in the product. You want to play the game eventually. The more you help out with funding, the more expansions and characters the team makes for everyone to enjoy. The better quality the board game pieces become too.
As time goes on, they develop the product, email you with updates, post images of the progress, and then finally launch it. You get your game, you get your bonuses, and you’re more likely to tell people about it because 1) you helped fund it and 2) you think it’s a great product.
Being able to see how everything came together from start to finish was critical here. Suddenly, it was more than a board game, it was something you would keep tabs on weekly, maybe over coffee every Saturday morning. It became routine. You enjoyed the emails, and you liked being able to click on the links and see further information on the website, or YouTube, Twitter, etc.
That’s an attachment. That’s what sells your goods and services. You want those fans, because that’s what builds a loyal business following.
So, how do you do it?
Reward Package Decisions
Before stepping up to the plate with a concept and nothing more to offer, remember that you need to reward people along the way. For every $20, $50, or $100 donated from someone, they should get something small, or extra, as a thank you.
For instance, let’s go back to the board game example. Someone donates $20, they get a sticker pack, which is cost-effective, since they didn’t donate much money. But then someone else donates $150, so they get an extra two playable characters for their board, coveted ones, ones that will be normally sold as extras at $15-25 each.
The Compelling Pitch
Next, it’s time to develop a compelling pitch that will not only capture people’s attention, but that will present your good/service in a flattering light. Pro tip: being too “sales pitch” doesn’t tend to work. Instead, if your product name is attention-grabbing enough, let it stand alone.
Finally, incentivise adopters to spread the word via social media to help stimulate donations and press coverage. So when they donate and give you their emails, email them with a thank you, a few concept images, and then ask them to share the news with their communities.
Influencer Beta Testing
Sure, influencers can provide massive exposure. Thousands of people looking at your product or service thanks to one or two very well-connected people isn’t something that goes unnoticed.
But influencers can do even more than that. They can also prove valuable in terms of providing feedback. After all, you’re sending them something to try out and potentially share with their audience.
The trick here is to be very selective about who you work with, do your research, and then take the right steps to building a relationship.
To do this, you’ll need to take four basic steps:
Use the Right Tools
Tools like BuzzSumo, Followerwonk, or Social Crawlytics can help identify individuals in your industry that have a large following. Likewise, sift through your social media. Make note of the popular accounts within your industry.
Then make a spreadsheet of these accounts. Feel free to use BuzzSumo to gather extra information you feel is pertinent. Remember, it is a paid tool, so if you’re working with a tight budget, you’ll have to do this manually.
Craft A Pitch
Once you have the data you need, it’s time to create a pitch that tells these influencers why they would like your product. How is it useful to them and their audience? Then let them know how they can become a beta tester for that product.
If you think it’s even worth it, consider offering payment in return for their feedback. It’s definitely a nice gesture, as their hard work shouldn’t be for free anyway, but also, they’re much more open to giving you detailed feedback when you’re not asking for free labor.
Don’t forget to incentivise beta testers further when you’re close to launching. Ask if they’d be willing to write a review for your product, or share it with their community.
Due to influencer follower counts, it would be great exposure to get a review of your product on their websites, YouTube channels, blogs, newsletters, etc.
If an influencer has 60k followers, that’s potentially 60k people looking at your product, and reading up on how great it is, and why it’s helpful.
More than that, studies have proven that followers take influencer content very seriously. Many shop based on influencer recommendations, and shy away from the products that influencers don’t favor. Some make decisions based on influencer tips and advice.
Moving Onto Post-Launch for Startups
The following tips are absolute essentials for startups who just got done launching products or services. Hopefully, you used a few of the pre-launch techniques listed in this guide.
As an entrepreneur, you’re likely trying to grow your traffic after something huge has happened. Something that really served as a solid step in the right direction for your business objectives. This is the perfect time, as there’s something big going on, something that is hopefully generating a lot of buzz.
So, how can you capitalize on that?
Set Up & Respond to Press Requests Alerts
Journalist are always searching for the latest story, the latest news to slip through the cracks. Something about an interesting product or a newly improved service is right up their alley. Through press alers, you can increase your chances of getting featured on top tier publications.
But let it be known, especially for those of you who struggle with neatness: this strategy requires complete organization, because it is easy to get mixed up. You will be receiving over 100 press request emails on a daily basis once you sign up to any press request service, so don’t make the mistake of misplacing something vital and missing an opportunity.
Next, to keep things tidy, create folders in your inbox for each of the different press request services you use. And don’t forget to create rules for any new emails from each of these services so they go into the right folders. Here’s a guide on how to do that.
Then create sub-folders underneath each one of the main folders, so you can break them down by topics. For instance, “startup, SEO, social media, small business,” etc. And create rules on any of those emails too so any incoming emails with those specific topic-oriented keywords get filtered to the right place.
If you want, say, a press alert from The Guardian, then you can set up special rules for that too. Create rules for any emails from publications that you’re highly targeting. You can also use this IFTTT recipe to send you a text alert to get your immediate attention.
Event Hashtag Hijacking
You’ve likely heard of those people who got an exhibition stand at an event. That includes convention booths, display areas at art festivals and galleries, or even designated display areas at niche festivals.
But that kind of exposure doesn’t come cheap. Not everyone can afford to do that. And if you’re freshly done launching a new product, service, or even your business (grand opening), you’re likely in no position to pay for it all. But it’s the perfect time, isn’t it?
Enter Twitter event hashtagging.
Instead of gambling your life savings in exchange for what may not turn out to be great conversion rates anyway, run some Twitter advertisements that bring people to your sign-up page. Obviously, people attending the event will be using the hashtag, so they’re highly likely to be relevant to you. Say you’re a video game designer and you don’t have the funds for the annual Game Developer’s Conference (GDC). That’s okay, because those using the hashtag are all either developers, avid gamers, or video game press. Highly targeted.
So here’s what to do:
First, log into Twitter and go to the Twitter Advertising section. Click on “Create New Campaign” and select Website Clicks and Conversions.
Set up your ad to go through to a landing page on your website. Don’t forget to add a conversion tracking code to your website. If you don’t know how, this guide is for you.
Remember to add the event hashtag in the targeting section, along with misspellings, in the “Keywords” section. If you’re unsure about it, you can find the event’s hashtag on the event’s website and Twitter bio.
Finally, set your budget and get that ad running throughout the whole time that the event is going on, plus the following week. Spend that time engaging with people who are using that hashtag so you can absorb more relevant followers.
Set Up Automated Email Workflows
Capturing data from potential customers takes a lot of effort, not to mention money. And like we established, not everyone’s budget is dream worthy. The good news is that by setting up automated email workflows, you can add value to all of your new subscribers without having to constantly create new content for them.
It’s a win-win scenario, you have to do it once, and every new subscriber immediately learns why you’re so great to follow. It sets the tone for every email going forward. Suddenly subscribers know what to expect from you in terms of style, content, and even quality.
So how do you go about it?
Let’s use a simple approach. First, map out your sales funnel, step-by-step to better understand the journey that a new user takes when purchasing your product.
Maybe you hook them with something informative, then engage with them, establish a conversation, and convert. Well, for each one of these sales funnel stages, you want to set up a specific piece of content that can help nurture leads to the next stage in the process.
Once you have a range of content for each stage in your funnel, you’ll need to create email messages to push these through to your prospective customers. A nudge in the right direction.
Congratulations, the hard part is over. Now you have a basic design of your email workflow, and can move onto the design aspects of your email template, better known as the fun part. It’s perfectly fine if you’re not a savvy coder, you can get a freelancer to design you one, or you can purchase a pre-made template from ThemeForest for fairly cheap, depending on what you select.
Next, choose an email marketing and automation platform to run your campaign on. Most people use the popular MailChimp, but HubSpot is also highly popular. Some also use Intercom, so it’s really up to you which one you select. Just keep your budget in mind.
Once you have a template and an automation platform, go ahead and import that theme template and set up your workflows within your email marketing software. Each platform sets them up differently, but they all feature guides to help you along the way.
When you’re done, integrate Google Analytics tracking into your email platform, if you can. Not all platforms allow you to. If you can, what this does is trigger emails to go out based on actions occurring within your website or app. Both HubSpot and Intercom allow you to do this, so it may be a helpful tool, making them well worth the price tag.
The following months will be filled with tracking the performance of your workflows and adapting them whenever you need to. In 3-4 months, you should have plenty of data to help you really improve the email journey that your users are going through. Whenever there are common drop-offs, changes need to be made. These people are either not being targeted in time, or they are, but it’s the wrong information. It could also be that they need to be retargeted, which if you don’t have a plan for already, you’re wasting a golden opportunity to potentially increase your conversion rate.
Send Physical Gifts to Users That Reach Milestones
Yes, physical gifts. And no, they don’t have to burn holes in your pockets. After all, if you waste all your profits, you won’t have a business to run anymore.
The good news is that a little goes a long way with this, because not too many businesses actually do this. Most send out coupons, or have sales, but if your business model doesn’t allow for that, this is the way to go. Even if you can do the coupon thing, this may still be a great way to show you personally care about every customer you have, especially the ones who reach milestones.
And who doesn’t like feeling special, anyway?
Plus, positive comments from people often get shared around social media, and that creates a buzz. You can also feature them on your website, or highlight these reviews on product pages, and even thank these people on social media platforms so people can see you’re loved for a reason.
But to build these brand advocates, you don’t need grand gestures. Hand-written letters are a go-to that everyone appreciates. It’s special, way more than another email on a day when you’ve already gotten a million or two of them.
So, what’s the best approach for this?
Start by designing and printing a number of postcard-sized branded cards that have space inside for you to write a personalized message within. You could also get some logo printed stickers to send out with the letters, but it depends on your industry.
If you’re an indie game developer and want to send out personalized thank you letters to the press, it may help to print out logos of the game(s) they helped drive exposure to. If you’re in a tech-focused industry, then company logos work just fine.
But before you start writing away, set some ground rules. Who gets a card?
You may want to send out letters who have been customers for 3 months, or to people who have mentioned you in their blogs and publications. Maybe people who have actively advocated for you on social media, or people who have been engaging within your Twitter chats. The list is ongoing, but it’s really up to you to select whatever criteria you want.
And don’t feel limited to just one. You could always send people cards based on 2-3, or more criteria. One letter gets mailed out because they’re a new customer and you want to say welcome, another letter goes out because the person has been advocating for you online, etc.
Whatever your selection, make sure that your branded postcards and stickers are as personalized as possible. Don’t send Jill, Emily, Patrick and Chris the same postcard copy. Obviously, it takes too much time to get detailed with each one, and you have a business to run, but a little originality never hurt anyone.
Maybe Jill has been letting you guest post, so thank her for it. And Chris, well his post about your product got you quite a few newsletter sign-ups and drove the product out of stock, so he gets a postcard that mentions that.
Once this is done, and all the postcards have been mailed out, sit and wait a while. It will be a few days for people to start receiving them, but the likelihood of them posting about it is high. And when they post a picture of the card, thanking you in return, you can express your gratitude back. In a public setting, this is great, especially since as stated before, most companies fail to do this. It makes you stand out, it shows you care, and it leads to more visibility.
Applying Learned Tips
Now that we've explored essential growth hacking tips and even pre-launch vs. post-launch tactics, it's time to do the work.
Based on where your business is, and where you ideally want it to be by the end of the year, which of these tips do you think you'll focus on the most in the next few months?
Let me know in the comments below!