It’s far from easy to grow a business, and it can get quite expensive. But luckily we’ve got a cool list of 22 growth hacks that will give your company the boost it needs. While there is no magic recipe, the best you can do is learn from others’ successful experiences.
Use these ideas to learn the science and creativity behind growth hacking, get inspiration, and generate ideas of your own.
1. Use FOMO to create a sense of exclusivity
FOMO (the “fear of missing out”) is a real phenomenon and can make or break the desirability of a product, event or even a person. If everyone is talking about and using a new product, soon enough you become attracted to it from the simple fear of missing out on all the fun. Case in point: Crocs. When this part-shoe, part-flip-flop first came out, we, like many others, were aesthetically appalled. Before we knew it, half the people we knew were wearing them every day and obsessing over how comfortable they were. Soon enough, we had to see what all the fuss was about and got a pair of our own.
Use this psychological principle to your advantage by limiting access to your product. This creates a sense of exclusivity.
Case study: Ello, an ad free social network, used this psychological hack to jump-start their user base. Ello showed all your friends and everyone who was already using the network. The trick was, you could only join Ello if you got an invite from someone. This generated curiosity and major FOMO. The result? More users.
Many bars and clubs also started with this concept by either only letting in people who have received an SMS from one of the promoters.
2. Down-selling vs. up-selling (80% more revenue)
One sales tactic is starting by showing customers products on the lower end of the line and afterwards encouraging them to consider purchasing more expensive models – the traditional trading-up approach. The price-anchoring technique, on the other hand, emphasizes the most expensive price first and any price after it suddenly looks much more compelling.
Case study: Amazon was selling different models of billiard tables with a price range of $329-$3,000. During the first week, customers were shown the low end of the line and were slowly introduced to the more expensive models. Result: The average table sale that week was $550. During the second week, customers were led instantly to a $3,000 table regardless of what they wanted to see and were then allowed to shop the rest of the line in declining order of price and quality. Result of selling down: average sale of over $1,000.
3. Limited-time deals for targeted users
Similar to the FOMO hack, create a sense of urgency for a product by offering a deal on the product with a countdown timer to compel user action. The trick is to offer these special deals only to specific users – preferably ones who have viewed a particular product page three or more times, but have abandoned their shopping cart due to the price, cost of shipping, availability, etc. Doing this allows you to pressure the user to complete the purchase. Imagine an Amazon “Lightning Deal” that is available only to select users to achieve the best bang for your buck.
4. Shopping cart one-time discounts
Often, users fill their shopping carts on your website, but abandon before purchasing. This can happen for a number of reasons: maybe he/she didn’t have time to complete the transaction, had second thoughts and wanted time to think before buying, or maybe the price just wasn’t right. If a user left a full cart and didn’t re-visit the page to complete the transaction, email him/her on the following day notifying that he/she “forgot” something in their shopping cart. If the purchase still hasn’t been completed after two weeks, email him/her a 35% discount on the purchase along with a promo code that is valid for three days only. This gives a second-guessing user the sense of a one-time offer on a desired item – an opportunity that it would be foolish to miss.
Case study: The Honest Company was losing a lot of money through abandoned carts. Implementing this email sequence allowed them to increase their conversion rate by 6 times!
5. One small change – 82% increase in sales
- A cupcake and 2 cookies for $10
- A cupcake for $10 + 2 cookies for free
A study by the Santa Clara University showed that people pay 82% more for option 2.
6. A simple trick to boost your Google ranking
Wikipedia has the highest rankings on the internet. All you need to do to get a piece of the action is to place your link on Wikipedia.
- Visit a page on Wikipedia that covers your topic.
- Hit “edit” at the top of the page.
- Add a notable fact and link to your article. Don’t even try to promote yourself. All you need is a link.
Two minutes of your time, as simple as can be and highly worth it.
7. SEO hack to increase traffic by 66%
Google loves fresh content (new or updated). Two guys, Ross Hudgens and Anthony Nelson, ran a test. The only thing they did was to update their old blog posts so the date of last update refreshed. Ross’ traffic increased by 79% and Anthony’s by 66%. Google did get called out for this though it’s quite hard for them to keep track of all the “fake-updates” of post timestamps, and as people continue to click more recent posts, more recent posts in turn benefit from higher ranking and exposure. One more simple trick to increase traffic, this time for the long-run!
8. Use images for written content
Humans are visual creatures and not surprisingly, images have a more visceral appeal to most people than the written word. Social media makes this clear – just look at memes, trivia, statistics, etc. Harness this primal power of the pictorial by strategically typeset your written content on images and share them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other relevant networks.
For example, use beautiful landscapes for quotes – different types of weather for different quotes. I also like to find humorous pics for fun facts or just random tweets. Statistics show that the most shareable content produced “wow” moments. Following that was “laughter”. Find what suits you best and experiment with original ideas of your own.
Case study: ÜberFacts began coupling their factual posts with increasingly creative images and accordingly achieving an increase in shares. Moreover, Uber further brands themselves by including their logo at the bottom of their posts.
9. Email drip sequence to drive revenue
A drip campaign is a series of automated mails sent to target users. The theory is: increase communication, increase results. According to Vero, the average open rate on an email series is 80% higher than a single email campaign. By sending a series of emails you can give users the feel that you are there for them, dedicated as ever and readily available. It’s a great idea to use the sequence to send users targeted educational content. It’s important not to overdo it though. In other words, not every day! Constant emails are an annoyance to us all and overdoing it will lead to “unsubscribe”. Highlighting benefits of your product or service and just giving various tips will help retain your users.
Case study: A financial modeling course provider called “Breaking Into Wall Street” gives users a free trial of their course and access to some content. They later send email users tips on making the most of their trial along with other useful information. They managed to achieve a much larger percentage of email open rates and higher number of paid users than any of their other campaigns.
10. Add-event tool
Something that has been going tremendously well on Facebook is the automatic integration of events to the user’s email account, sending him reminders, updates, locations, and more. Thanks to addevent.com, you can add an “add event to calendar” button on emails you send to users about events. The button will automatically add your customized event to their calendar of choice and send them reminders according to their normal email preferences. They will later even be able to navigate to the location from their email. Another tip: add a link to the event or the company’s page in the description with a “click here for more info” note. This delivers marvelous results when inviting users to events via email.
Try one of your own using this link!
11. How to choose topics for blog posts
Content creators of every strip will be excited . If you feel like you’re running low on your idea-flow or you aren’t getting the engagement you desire:
- Go to Quora.com → https://www.quora.com and find questions related to your topic
- Schedule links to a bunch of Quora posts on Buffer → https://buffer.com with their questions as the body of your tweets
- Wait a day
- If a tweet gains 3x above average interaction rates, write the post.
12. Put your social media on auto-pilot
It’s important to keep your users engaged by interacting with them frequently and in as timely a manner as possible, but being online 24/7 is neither healthy nor possible. It’s time to schedule your posts!
Create drool-worthy visual templates in Canva → https://www.canva.com
Thank us later 😉
13. Use drawbacks & competition to your advantage
Your prospects will search for competing solutions. A funny thing is, by mentioning them you prevent that from happening. Readers feel like they’ve already done their homework, making it more likely for them to stick to your product. Describe your drawbacks but give them a positive spin. Explain that your product excludes a particular feature because you chose to focus on more important areas, and stress their importance to your target market. Kind of like Eminem dissing himself before his opponent got the chance in the rap battle on 8 Mile.
14. Hack word-of-mouth
Word-of-mouth is arguably the most effective form of marketing. According to Nielson, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of marketing. MarketShare states that word-of-mouth improves marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. There are plenty of examples of brands such as Dropbox and LinkedIn harnessing the power of word of mouth, but have you heard the story of Diamond Candles? To incite their customers to talk about their product, this company began including a free jewelry item with every candle they sold: a ring. Some lucky customers even got one with a real diamond that was worth up to $5,000!
$1 million in revenue in 12 months.
15. Recommendations = 300% increase in revenue
Some interesting facts about product recommendations:
- Personalized recommendations increase revenue by 300%.
- 100% of the top 10 websites in the internet retailer 500 use product recommendations.
- 70% of Amazon’s site is devoted to product recommendations.
Ready, set, go!
16. Thirteen times more reviews
Reviews are hard to get, but they are powerful when it comes to generating sales for your business. This, in other words, one of the most effective growth hacks.
Yotpo implemented a small trick for this.
They emailed their customers an offer: “Leave a review to get 20% off your next visit!”
Their result: thirteen times more reviews!
17. Hack offline word-of-mouth
We’ve already established the importance and effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing, but here’s some inspiration on hacking the offline game.
Shazam users hold up their phones in the middle of good songs to define the name of the song playing. This gets a lot of attention and naturally has people asking “what are you doing?” Another app that is designed to generate chatter is Urbanspoon, which requires users to shake their devices. The giant pink mustaches that are painted on every Lyft car probably haven’t escaped your detection, either.
All these are examples of brands “hacking” human curiosity to give rise to word-of-mouth.
Now it’s your turn to be creative!
18. Self-interest or altruism?
Airbnb ran an interesting A/B test in which they communicated different value propositions for the same product.
In one email, they offered users the opportunity to earn $25 by inviting a friend (self-interest). In the other email, they told users they are sharing $25 with their friend (altruistic).
Which do you think performed better?
Pessimists beware! The altruistic email performed better overall.
Perhaps it’s time to explore an unselfish type of referral scheme.
19. Accelerate viral growth
Rather than asking your members to invite a lot of friends to receive something valuable, start with a simple task: ask them to invite just one friend.
The result can be an increase of 250% or more!
For details, check Adelyn Zhou from Nextdoor.
20. Get up to 20 times greater lifetime value
Reducing prices is just about the worst thing you can do when trying to reduce churn. If customers aren’t finding value in your product, they’ll stop using it even if it only costs 50 cents per month.
Slidebean took the opposite approach: they began charging four times as much for their product.
- Churn rate dropped from 25% to 6.53%
- LTV increased from $22 to $444 (20x!)
21. Increase value without changing your product
This one relies on a combination of psychology and behavioral economics.
In an experiment, participants started by tasting a wine valued at $5 per bottle and progressed to wines priced at up to $90 per bottle (so, at least, they were told). Apparently, the more expensive the wine, the better it tasted. Moreover, CAT scans showed a corresponding rise in activity in areas of the brain associated with pleasure. In reality, though, all the wines used in the experiment were exactly the same.
On that note: cheers!
22. Ask your customers!
Probably the simplest of all growth hacks and the most overlooked.
Ask your customers what they like about your product, what they don’t like, and what has room for improvement. This will improve customer engagement and perception of your customer service and will also get you valuable information for growing your brand. It’s a win for everyone involved.