🌱 Growth Hacking

Updated at 2018-08-01 09:55

Have a simple but awesome landing page. Landing page is the first thing people see so make it good, but do not waste too much time on it without testing. More about creating a landing page in landing page notes.

Appear alive. Growing company must appear being alive in addition to being alive.

  • If you are in the social media, post periodic updates. More in social marketing notes.
  • If you are going to blog, aim for 20 blog posts per month. More in content marketing notes.
  • If you have separate news on your website, update it at least monthly.

Startups should focus on word of mouth. Make early adopter experience feel magical. Then they will tell about the product to their peers.

Focus retention over acquisition. Fixing the leaky bucket has two or three times the effect as acquisition.

Focus activation over acquisition. Even if get a user to sign in, it doesn't matter if they don't get onboarded further along to find your core features so they would pay for your product.

Focus monetization over acquisition. If you don't make enough money out of your users to cover acquisition cost, you will go out of business. Segment your potential users according to expected ROI, focus on the segments that make you most money.

Start with your existing network. Reach out to all people you know and ask if they could try out your product. Don't beg, just announce that you have this new thing and would really appreciate the feedback.

Online friends. Offline friends. University friends. Business partners. Family.

Promote locally. Get your product to local events and organizations. Offer to give talks and subtly mention your product.

Design workshop. Hackathon. Academia.

Get your product reviewed. Make sure you are super friendly towards the reviewers. Even though they are professionals, they are firstly human.

Teaching software -> Teacher-focused news Game -> Game reviewer sites

Get in touch with the influencers. Influencers are e.g. celebrities, bloggers and journalists.

New programming tool -> Programming bloggers

Do at least the basic search engine optimization. Improves the amount of people that find your product. More about this in SEO notes.

You use short-term hacks to get your first customers. After those first customers, you start transforming to long-term strategy to keep growth scaleable.

0-10 customers: 90% short-term, 10% long-term 10-100 customers: 80% short-term, 20% long-term 100+ customers: 20% short-term, 80% long-term

Short-term hacks:

  • Personally handling every support call ASAP.
  • Personally following up with every new user.
  • Personally checking up on every user every now and then.
  • Visiting every new customer in person.
  • Using your personal networks to get customers.

Long-term strategies:

  • Hiring staff to do cold-calls.
  • Automating cold-emails.
  • Creating drip email campaigns.
  • Search engine optimization.
  • Building a lead generation process.

Focus on a single marketing channel that works the best. As a startup, you will have limited resources and focusing on a single channel will be your best bet. Try out all channels a bit, check which works.

Find on mechanism for free acquisition.

Dropbox/Slack = co-workers will convert you Uber = they use it daily so they will mention it DocuSign = you send paper to sign to other companies Intercom = you see the small chat icon on websites

Don't start large scale acquisition too early. If you start building audience before your product has product-market fit, the audience will just let all the world know that the product doesn't work for them.

Figure out who your users turn to for advice. Then you understand who or what are influencer in your space e.g. Twitter personas and blogs. Make sure that influencers 1) know about you 2) have used your product 3) understand the value your product provides 4) make it rewarding for them to recommend your product.

Use paid search advertisements. But keep track of them and try new things. They are hard to optimize. Stop if they generate less traffic than you pay for them.

Consider if you should start blogging. Improves the amount of people that find your product and helps convincing them. More about this in content marketing notes.

Consider how deep will you get into the social media. Improves customer engagement and the chance they will promote the product to their friends. Guest posts are especially effective at this point. You should also promote the content more than normally e.g. Reddit, Subreddits, Quora. More about this in social marketing notes.

Create a few social vanity curiosity campaigns. User A gets personalized content e.g. horoscope and shares it. User B sees the share, learns about the company and potentially shares too.

Add at least social media integration. People should be able to share your content or at least like your brand.

Most people do not really care if the sharing is enforced. Just think how you would do it.

Refer 5 friends and get free shipping for 3 months.

Try to promote every event possible. Especially press is interested in these topics.

We've Launched We've Rolled Out An Amazing New Feature We've Reached X Amount of Users We've Pivoted We've Raised Funding We've Hired Someone Awesome We've Expanded We've Discovered Something Amazing We've Been Acquired

Promote online. Promote your launch on:

  • Hacker News
  • Reddit / related subreddits
  • Local Press
  • Problem Domain Press


  • The Growth Handbook, Intercom