An old colleague of mine, @adamgoswell (Digital Manager at Lush Cosmetics), and I were chatting recently, exchanging a few business and marketing ideas, as we often do. He sent me a link to buy a book and suggested that, whilst he sees us implementing some of the techniques already with our businesses, it would be worth a read. I bought the book, read it cover to cover, and have since researched hundreds of related blogs, read various other books and watched numerous talks online about a rather intriguing subject.. Growth Hacking..
Whilst it sounds like another industry buzz phrase, the principles and ideas behind ’hacking the growth’ of your business are interesting. How do you grow your business without spending lots of money? How do you move away from the traditional forms of marketing and advertising, the stuff that costs lots of money? What free techniques replace it and can be considered more effective, delivering more customers in less time and for less hard cash?
Whilst this sounds like another opportunity for me to promote Elite Living as a local marketing platform, it’s not! Also, we have to assume that you have ‘product market fit’ before you attempt growth hacking. It’s hard to grow a business that hasn’t got it. Retention is a key element of growth, which is something we remind ourselves of from a product and consumer standpoint on a daily basis. If you’re just replacing old customers with new acquisitions, you’re not growing, you’re treading water.
Below are 3 classic examples of Growth Hacking techniques that have delivered massive results, without costing a penny;
In July 1996, Hotmail added the following simple line to the bottom of all their user pages: P.S. I Love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail. It meant every e-mail that Hotmail’s users sent would be an automated advertisement for the product. As a result, Hotmail reached 1 million users within six months. Five weeks after that, membership had doubled again. By December 1997, with nearly 10 million users, Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for $400 million. So simple, so obvious, but such an effective hack.
Dropbox’s offer was that users would get 500 megabytes of free space for every friend they invited and got to sign up. Almost immediately, sign-ups increased by roughly 60 percent and stayed at that level for months. To this day, 35% of Dropbox’s customers come to it via this clever giveaway/referral hack.
Renowned author of The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss was refused listing his new bookThe 4 Hour Chef at every major retail outlet. His goal of hitting the New York Times bestseller list seemed impossible. In response, Ferriss partnered with Bittorrent to give away more than 250 pages of extra material from the book to their 170 million members, with a link to buy it at 40% off at Amazon. Ultimately, this partnership resulted in over 2,000,000 bundle downloads, and 250,000 book sales, putting it on the best seller list of The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal. A classic ‘try before you buy’ hack.
So, the question is, how can you grow your business by implementing your own hack? Certainly every small business could do with being headed up by someone with a ‘Growth Hacking’ mindset.
Our team have concocted around 50 of our own hacks, which we are starting to implement with our Elite Media clients, and our own businesses too. I’m happy to share some tips and tricks with those that are interested, free of charge. *Try before you buy hack alert*
Thanks for reading.