In a red bloody ocean of competitiveness, it’s quite challenging for any startups to acquire new customers. Traditional marketing being expensive and having a tight marketing budget, startups in their early stages are forced to look for alternative ways to grow. Growth Hacking allows startups to skyrocket their sales in an innovative way. Recently Reza Chowdhury, a renowned Growth Hacking strategist conducted a session and shared his tested and applied insights with the startups of GPAccelerator Batch 5. At the end of the workshop, the teams presented their own Growth Hacking strategies.
Reza Chowdhury is an entrepreneur, advisor, technologist and startup evangelist. He is the Founder and CEO of AlleyWatch. He is also the Founder of New York Startup Lab. With his 15 years of experience, he distinguished himself as one of the global thought leaders in the startup ecosystem. He regularly appears as a keynote speaker, moderator, and judge at multiple international events on technology and global entrepreneurship. Reza was also recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in NYC Tech by TechWeek.
A startup needs to be creative and curious to try out different things.
During his 3-day-long workshop with the startups, Reza revealed his own Growth Hacking strategies. According to Reza, a startup needs to be curious and creative to try out different things. It should have an experimentative and adaptive mindset. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a growth hacking strategy has to be very tricky and complex. In most of the cases, it’s ridiculously a very simple one.
For example, Dropbox grew 3900% within a span of just 15 months, making the number of its active users jumping from 100,000 to 4 million. It introduced a referral program which would incentivize its users with 500MB free space for inviting each of their friends. Today, it’s a 4 billion dollar company with 200 million active users.
However, Dropbox’s success was inspired by PayPal as its CEO Elon Musk undertook a bold strategy of literally paying people for referring their friends. Although the reward was reduced gradually from 20 dollars to 5 dollars, it bought an exponential growth of 7-10% daily for PayPal. Before the year ended, PayPal’s users magically increased from 1 million to 5 million. 15 years later, PayPal now has 237 million users worldwide and is worth 61.6 billion dollars.
Growth Hacking in practice:
Growth Hacking Process:
Growth Hacking strategies are designed to drive as much growth as possible while spending as little as possible. Growth Hacking Process starts with setting the right KPI (Key Performance Indicator) in terms of revenue, profit, and engagement etc. The second step is to Track and Measure which helps the businesses to be on the right track as per the KPI. The third step of Growth Hacking is Analyzing which involves looking for patterns and insights that represent opportunities. The final step is Reiteration in which the effectiveness of the strategies is evaluated. If the strategy works out, it should be continued. If it fails, the startups need to iterate and move on.
The Acquisition Funnel:
In business, it’s very crucial to categorize the customers. Acquiring customers from each segment requires adopting different marketing strategies. Acquisition Funnel has three components; Visitors, Customers and Retained Customers.
Visitors: Visitors are the people who land on your website in both organic and inorganic way. Everyone visiting your website isn’t your target group. You have to know your customers and choose a niche to serve. It’s always a good idea to go for the early adopters first. SEO, SEM, email marketing, affiliate program and content marketing are some of the most useful tools to allure more potential leads into your business.
Customers: Let’s face it! Converting a potential visitor into a customer is not an easy task. When it comes to conversion, you have to assure customers throughout their entire journey that they are making a right decision. Starting from designing a conversion-driven landing page to a compelling copywriting to a convincing call-to-action, everything should be lined up to lead the customers to push the buy button.
Retained customers: Retaining the customers and getting them to refer their friends is the single most challenging task in the Customer Acquisition Funnel. Sometimes serving a great product is not enough. You have to speed to the aha moment as soon as possible. On the other hand, sending emails, regular updates and notifications are very effective in retaining the existing customers. Increasing value influences the red carpet clients to vouch for your product to their peers. If you can run some extra miles and build a community, it will definitely help grow your business at a sustainable rate.
In conclusion, there is no universal growth hack that would work for every company. Instead, startups may have their own way of hacking their growth.