8 simple growth hacks you can copy and use in your business

Bryan Harris —  November 18th, 2016 - Bryan Harris

Been noticing a lot of super-smart growth strategies lately.

We even started a Slack group in our VF team channel to share as we come across new ones.

Today, instead of doing an in-depth breakdown post, I’m going to share 8 of my favorite ones from the last month.

Your homework: Take one of the strategies in this post and install it in your biz.

Enjoy!

Growth Hack #1: Troll Trump

What is it? Hillary Clinton’s campaign folks set up this simple little website that tracked every time Donald Trump tweeted and let you send a small donation every time.

Freaking genius!

Apparently not quite genius enough. Because ya know… Trump won. But still.

How can you use it?

Depending on what market you are in, it could take a bit of innovation to figure out how to adapt this for you. It also requires you to take a stand against something (which can be surprisingly difficult for a lot of folks).

But here are a few questions to get you thinking:

  1. Is there a competitor that you’re willing to throw down the gauntlet on?
  2. Is there a general stance or viewpoint in your industry that you can draw a line in the sand against?
  3. Is there a particular behavior or habit that you want to reform?

On #3, let’s say you are in the health and fitness space.

Could you set up something so that any time someone tweets a picture of food that doesn’t line up with their diet, they get charged?

Brainstorm and see what you come up with.

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Growth Hack #2: Early Impressions Email

What is it? Got this cool email  after signing up for a membership on this site. It’s a super-simple email.

It made me feel wanted, cared for and appreciated. Funny thing is, I didn’t even fill it out, and it made me feel better about them.

How can you use it? Duh, do the same thing.

7 days after someone signs up, send them an email like the one above.

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Growth Hack #3: Easy Referral

What is it? Dude wanted people to share his article, so he just straight-up asked them. AND he made it super-simple for people to share by giving them a pre-populated email.

#smart

How can you use it? Start your next email with a Pre-S and ask people to share it. If you’re not into the Pre-S thing, do it at the end.

But make it simple and ask. Don’t be a lame-o who’s scared to ask.

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Growth Hack #4: Smart Biz Dev

What is it? Ahrefs is a tool that marketers use. CrazyEgg is a tool that marketers use.

Both of them wanted more customers. So they teamed up and did a promo together.

The email above is one that Ahrefs sent to their email list promoting a 90-day trail of CrazyEgg. 

How can you use it? Find someone who has the customers you want. Tell them you’ll tell your peeps about them if they’ll do the same.

It works. And it’s smart.

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Growth Hack #5: Read a Sample

What is it? At the bottom of their pop-up they gave peeps a link to “read a sample” so people could see if they liked their content before opting in.

I don’t have access to this guy’s analytics, but my guess is the overall site opt-in rate has increased as a result. Just like with the car dealers that let people “try it before you buy it,” people respond well when they can get a taste of how something works before they give you their money.

This guys is playing the long game. You need to as well.

Test it. See what happens.

How can you use it? Go to the bottom of your pop-up and scroll box models and put a “read a sample” link that takes people to a sample of your best content.

Or, better yet, to a landing page with the content and an overt in-line call to action on that page.

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Growth Hack #6: Hey! Where’d you go?

What is it? After signing up for the Flow app, I didn’t really use it.

They were smart, paid attention and sent me this email that made me smile and reminded me they existed.

Remember: If people forget you exist, they won’t spend money with you. So remind them!

How can you use it? Any basic email service can do this stuff. Set up a simple campaign that monitors opens/clicks of your emails (and/or usage of your app), and when you notice a new customer or subscriber is inactive, reach out and see what’s up.

They’ll love you. And people who love you are more likely to pay you dollar bills.

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Growth Hack #7: CliffsNotes Version

What is it? My friend Stu launched a course. Like every other course person, he had a 3-part video series before the course opened. MOST people don’t watch the vids.

So Stu did something cool. The next day, if you didn’t watch the vids, he sent you a CliffsNotes type of doc, time-stamped, of what was in the video.

It got me to watch the vid. And I hate watching that stuff.

Dang.

How can you use it? Do that.

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Growth Hack #8: Why You Leaving, Bro?

What is it? Josh Pigford tweeted these screenshots the other day. It showed how they were handling people who left their app. (This could be used when people unsubscribe from your list, too.)

Instead of just saying “PEACE,” he incentivized people to jump on a phone call and chat it out with them.

With his findings he makes the product better and, in theory, reduces churn.

Yay!

How can you use it? Set up a post-unsubscribe or post-account-deletion survey that gives people a reward for chatting with you.

Ask them why they left and see what you can do about fixing that.

PS: Have you seen something lately that grabbed your attention? Let me know in the comments.

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  • Bryan,

    Great post — I’ve already implemented #3. Great stuff. Looking at how I can do the rest of them in the coming days 🙂

  • Bryan, these are GREAT hacks!

    I personally LOVE the ones by Stu and Josh Pigford…fantastically innovative! Definitely gonna implement the ones by Stu and the Javascript Weekly guy…

    To carry on from what Josh has implemented at Baremetrics, I’d do win-back emails at 60-day and 90-day markers offering another trial and a fee-waive(if MAU and depth of usage are metrics that are relevant).

    Something that would be relevant to B2B marketers is getting the right kind of sign-ups. Not sure if the VF community has had a chance to see it but this onboarding hack(https://segment.com/blog/frictionless-signup-forms-by-clearbit-segment/) by Segment is absolutely gangbusters!

  • Good post, great ideas, thank you!

  • Anthony Tourville

    Great post so far, but where is that Troll Trump site? Couldnt find it.

  • Good stuff

  • Jean Brunet

    Great post! I’m going to implement #3 “Easy Referral” and #5 “Sample Email”.

  • Damian Noud

    I love these posts of yours Bryan. As always, thanks for sharing these ninja ideas.

  • Terrific hacks Bryan, these posts you do are so very valuable by showing us stuff that actually works. Thank you!

  • This is great!

  • Great ideas Bryan! I really like the GuitarLessons.com one and will be trying that out 🙂

  • hey Bryan, regarding that Ahrefs email.

    that wasn’t a joint webinar offer, that was an offer of 90day trial of CrazyEgg

    Not sure how that offer performed for CrazyEgg, but I can say that a similar email blast that they did for Ahrefs didn’t bring us many customers.

    So this “growth hack” is by no means a “magic pill” and (as with anything) the results will heavily depend on execution 🙂

    • Thanks for the update Tim! Always good to hear how these pan out in the end.

      Also, I edited it to reflect the trail rather than webinar. Thanks!

  • TacticsBlog.com

    People will be scared to throw down the gauntlet on their competition. Specially if its a david against Goliath type fight. One way I could see it working great, if there is company that is always getting negative tweets about their service, or maybe their service being down, you could leverage that. It may not even have to be from a direct competitor.

  • I find the whole hacks interesting. But I will personally opt for #4, it looks more easier for me depending on the nature of my business. Fascinating tips. Thanks.

  • Great post so far,