There’s this misconception that you can only growth hack if you’ve hit product-market fit and you’re ready to scale. But you can use growth hacking methodologies no matter what stage you’re in. Even if you’re at a pre-revenue “product validation” stage.
Growth hacking is all about using an agile process that’s grounded in rapid experimentation and constant learning. It’s the business version of holding a growth mindset, and it’s for that very reason that it works so well.
Use these as inspiration, not as gospel truth of what works and what does not work.
Acquisition Growth Hacks
- Hire a VA to scrape contact details of your competitors’ customers from review websites and cold email them
- List your startup on every single startup directory and startup competition site (think Producthunt & Betalist)
- Build or join a private link network for backlink exchanges
- Use SEMrush or Ahrefs to find Quora questions that rank high for your target keywords and answer them all
- Hack your email list with exit intent popups employing some sort of scarcity or urgency driven offer or content upgrade
Activation Growth Hacks
- Created a guided onboarding process in your app and use conversion boosting techniques like checklists
- Retargeting inactive users
- Free shipping
- Use gamification to increase stickiness
- Offer free trials or some sort of money back guarantee
Revenue Growth Hacks
- Build cross-selling into your product
- Create partnerships as a product extension
- A/B test your pricing plans (black hat)
- Email marketing promotions
- Retargeting growth loops for upsells
Referral Growth Hacks
- Get customers or users to refer their friends in exchange for some sort of a bonus
- Create viral content
- Run contests and sweepstakes
- Pay influencers
- Build an affiliate program
Retention Growth Hacks
- Send swag to your customers
- Offer customers free consulting leveraging your team’s idle time
- Give high spending customers discounts and bonuses
- Be vocal about your product development, upgrades, and involve your users in your journey.
- Create “VIP Only” Slack and Facebook groups for start clients
- Onboard customers 1:1 in early stages
- Do things that don’t scale
If you’re currently brainstorming growth hacking experiments to run with your team, speaking to a growth mentor might help.
You’ll be able to share your idea backlog with your mentor and get a second perspective. This can help you head off potential mistakes down the road (and also give you some pretty awesome new ideas you might not have thought of!).