In an era where competition is rife, marketing and growing a startup can feel difficult. The marketing landscape is so turbulent with the constant influx of new entrants that it seems like a new startup is born every few minutes. Finding growth hacking strategies which can fit your startup is crucial.
Hyperbole though it may seem, it is, in fact, a perturbing reality for entrepreneurs who have competition from 80 new companies that are born every hour, according to a survey.
While competition is tough to deal with, contending for the attention of customers over the clamor of market noise is arduous labor in and of itself.
A defining cause for the failure of as many as 9 out of 10 companies is their inability to grow rapidly while they are in their nascent stages.
As distressing as this might be for entrepreneurial hopefuls, it is, fortunately, not impossible to accelerate and sustain rapid growth in the early stages of your business.
By employing growth hacking strategies for startups, you can rapidly implement these techniques to drive efficient and astronomical business growth. As such, growth hacking has become the chosen rune of the modern marketing playbook that every entrepreneur swears by. Here, we will take a selective view of the rune’s most exciting practices to see how it can help startups realize their potential quickly.
Strategy #1: Prepare an Email Waiting List
Goal: Reach out to niche consumer bases to attract more customers
The age-old adage that goes, “The money is in the list,” literally applies to growth hacking as a powerful strategy to gain new leads and enable conversions. The list here, of course, is of your email subscribers, with this particular maneuver involving email marketing as an effective growth strategy.
In the early stages of your startup, you can create an email list with the help of targeted landing pages. Building an email list lets you gather customer data and reach out to your audience ahead of time.
You can benefit from this by pre-launching your product to the public and gain an insight into how well do customers like it before you launch it officially while acquiring prospective buyers before the official launch.
However, simply building an email list won’t be enough since its success depends upon how smartly you interact with your target audience. Ensure to generate enough attention about your product before reaching out to prospects.
A really successful example of this is Author Stash, a web directory of author tools. By having visitors to its website sign up for an email drip campaign, it grew its email subscriber list and gained 2000 subscribers in two weeks.
2. Leverage Live Chat For Real-Time Support
Goal: Convert “dormant” users into “active” ones
Say you have had a successful launch, and the reception of your product has been a roaring success. The biggest mistake you can make then is resting on your laurels.
Customers are most turned off when there isn’t enough help available to them about your product. It is the biggest reason why as many as 67% of people cancel their subscriptions. They feel frustrated, and as a result, turn away from your product as quickly as they found it. So, how do you ensure this doesn’t happen?
You provide real-time customer support through a live-chat tool.
By equipping your team with a live chat software, your support representatives can guide customers consistently throughout their entire journey. A good live-chat platform allows you to offer product support and knowledge in real-time to customers when they need it.
These are so useful that The Dufresne Group, a Canadian home furnishings website, saw a 10x increase in online sales chats in just two weeks since employing a live chat tool. It demonstrates that live chat can be one of the great growth hacking strategies for startups.
3. Pre-Launch Your Product On a Third-Party Platform
Goal: Gain an outside perspective of your product
While proactive customer support with a live chat tool works wonders, it’s also a good idea to gain an insight into what people think about your product before you launch it. To this end, pre-launching your product on third-party platforms like Product Hunt can hold you in good stead.
You can submit a lite version of your product on such platforms where numerous users collude to find products that are gearing to launch. You can display your product to a universal audience and gain ideas from the feedback you receive to refine your product and its features further so that it makes for a successful launch and favorable reception.
4. Leverage Q/A Sites and Communities For Engagement
Goal: Tap into websites and communities to garner attention around your product/service
One extremely simple growth hack technique that startups can use is visiting niche Q&A websites and forums to provide answers on relevant topics. Users on these forums and websites generally pose questions containing long-tail keywords. This provides much more pertinent and accurate results on search engines, which is the main reason why these platforms have gained popularity.
Answering questions on these Q&A sites and forums can help startups establish credibility as industry leaders in their domain. It can also help them variegate their link profiles, accelerate traffic to their website, and gain the audience’s trust.
5. Invest in Referral Marketing
Goal: Turn customers into brand evangelists
Ask any marketer about the most efficient way to drive growth, and you can rest assured that they will reply with referral marketing. Referrals are the way to drive growth and are one of the most efficient growth hacking strategies. It’s so popular that a Nielsen survey found visitors were four times more likely to buy whenever a family member or friend referred something to them.
This technique works really well when you have a considerable number of customers that are happy with your products. If you have this, you can also invest in incentives for your customers to increase the efficiency of your marketing strategy.
A canonical example of referral marketing done right is that of Dropbox. For every friend that an existing user invited, Dropbox rewarded that customer with an extra 500 MB of bonus space. This strategy was so successful that Dropbox experienced a massive increase in conversions and numerous new signups.
6. Use HARO For Press Opportunities
Goal: Sate curiosity around your product/service to develop “good press”
A really great growth hacking strategy is HARO, or helping a reporter out, as a platform to showcase your expertise. It helps you generate good press around your product by answering requests and questions posed by journalists and reporters. While it is a time-intensive practice, it is also a really good exercise to help you build brand awareness around your product.
One thing to steer clear of, however, is to tone down the amount of knowledge you dish away to reporters since they are really particular about what they need. When done correctly, though, it can help you immensely.
Take, for example, the team at Spider Solitaire Challenge. They have found great success in acquiring press mentions by searching for inquiries relevant to their business expertise and answer within a couple of hours since the email is sent out. In addressing every query, they start by describing how their expertise can help.
Startups generally don’t have a significant budget cap to promote their business. These growth hacking strategies provides an efficient and proven way for startups to market their services and products to their target audience.
If your startup is beginning to take form but still needs more exposure, use the tips mentioned above to gain an early boost and differentiate yourself in the larger marketing landscape.