At a time when competition is rampant, it can be difficult to market and grow a startup. The marketing landscape is so turbulent, with the constant influx of new entrants, it looks like a new startup is being born every few minutes. Finding growth hacking strategies that suit your startup is critical.
Exaggeration as it may seem is actually a worrying reality for entrepreneurs facing competition from 80 new businesses born every hour, according to a survey.
While competition is difficult to deal with, it is in and of itself troublesome to compete for customers’ attention because of the clamor of the market.
One of the main causes of failure of 9 out of 10 companies is their inability to grow quickly at the early stages.
Fortunately, as oppressive as this may be to entrepreneurial hopefuls, it is not impossible to accelerate and sustain rapid growth in the early stages of your business.
By employing startup growth hacking strategies, you can quickly implement these techniques for efficient and astronomical business growth. As such, growth hacking has become the rune of the modern day marketing playbook that every entrepreneur swears by. Here we’re going to take a selective look at some of the rune’s most exciting practices to see how startups can reach their potential quickly.
Strategy 1: Create an email waiting list
Goal: Reach niche consumer bases to attract more customers
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The age-old adage “the money is on the list” literally applies to growth hacking as a powerful strategy for attracting new leads and enabling conversions. The list here is from your email subscribers, of course, and this particular maneuver involves email marketing as an effective growth strategy.
In the early stages of your startup, you can use targeted landing pages to build an email list. By creating an email list, you can collect customer data and reach your target audience in advance.
You can benefit from pre-launching your product to the public and getting an insight into how well customers like it before you officially launch it, while attracting potential buyers before the official launch.
Simply creating an email list is not enough, however, as success depends on how intelligently you interact with your target audience. Make sure you get enough exposure for your product before reaching out to potential customers.
A really successful example of this is Author Stash, a web directory of authoring tools. Signing up visitors to his website for an email drip campaign expanded the list of email subscribers, adding 2,000 subscribers in two weeks.
2. Use the live chat for real-time support
Goal: Convert “dormant” users to “active”
For example, let’s say you had a successful launch and receipt of your product was a complete success. Then the biggest mistake you can make is to rest on your laurels.
Customers are most turned off when they don’t have enough help with your product. This is the main reason 67% of people cancel their subscriptions. They are frustrated and are turning away from your product as quickly as they found it. How do you make sure this doesn’t happen?
They provide real-time customer support through a live chat tool.
By equipping your team with live chat software, your support reps can guide customers consistently throughout their journey. With a good live chat platform, you can offer customers real-time product support and knowledge when they need it.
These are so useful that Dufresne Group, a Canadian home textiles website, has seen a 10x increase in online sales chats in just two weeks since using a live chat tool. It shows 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: Get an outside perspective of your product
While proactive customer support with a live chat tool works wonders, it’s also a good idea to get some insight into what people think about your product before you start. To that end, you may benefit from pre-launching your product on third-party platforms such as Product Hunt.
You can submit a lite version of your product on platforms where numerous users collaborate to find products that are ready to go. You can present your product to a universal audience and, from the feedback you receive, gain ideas to further refine your product and its features so that it can be successfully launched and positively received.
4. Use Q / A sites and communities for engagement
Goal: Tap websites and communities to draw attention to your product / service
One extremely simple growth hack technique startups can use is visiting niche Q&A websites and forums to provide answers on relevant topics. Users on these forums and websites generally ask questions that contain long-tail keywords. This provides far more pertinent and accurate results for search engines. This is the main reason why these platforms have gained popularity.
Answering questions on these Q&A websites and forums can help startups establish credibility as industry leaders in their field. It can also help them change their link profiles, get traffic to their website faster, and gain audience trust.
5. Invest in referral marketing
Goal: Turn customers into brand evangelists
Ask any marketer the most efficient way to drive growth and you can be sure they will respond with referral marketing. Referrals are the way to grow growth and one of the most efficient growth hacking strategies out there. It’s so popular that a Nielsen survey found visitors four times more likely to buy when a family member or friend referred something to them.
This technique works very well when you have a significant number of customers who are happy with your products. When you have this, you can also invest in incentives for your customers to make your marketing strategy more effective.
A canon example of referral marketing done right is Dropbox. For every friend an existing user invited, Dropbox rewarded that customer with an additional 500MB of bonus space. This strategy was so successful that Dropbox saw a massive increase in conversions and numerous new signups.
6. Use HARO for press opportunities
Goal: Saturate curiosity about your product / service in order to develop “good press”.
A really great growth hacking strategy is HARO or the support of a reporter as a platform to present your expertise. It helps you generate good press for your product by answering queries and questions from journalists and reporters. While it’s a time-consuming exercise, it’s also a really good exercise to build brand awareness for your product.
However, one thing to avoid is to tone down the amount of knowledge you are passing on to reporters because they really know exactly what they need. When done right, it can help you immensely.
Take the Spider Solitaire Challenge team, for example. They have achieved great success in gathering press coverage by finding queries relevant to their business expertise and responding to them within hours of sending the email. When answering each request, they first describe how their expertise can help.
Startups generally don’t have a significant budget limit to promote their business. These growth hacking strategies offer startups an efficient and proven way to market their services and products to their target audience.
If your startup is slowly taking shape but still needs more attention, use the tips above to get an early boost and differentiate yourself in the larger marketing landscape.