Growth hacking has a singular focus: achieve business sales and growth. Different from traditional marketing, it is the Web 2.0 method of reaching a market and disseminating an idea. It involves an understanding of user behavior to pull prospects towards a product and persuade them to buy. Growth hackers stay at the intersection of product, data and marketing. They go beyond SEO, Adwords and Facebook marketing to explore fresh, impactful data distribution and promotional methods. Effective growth hacking calls for originality, ingenuity and versatility. Take the path less traveled or not yet discovered with our top-notch variety of growth hacking tools.
30+ Fantastic Tools
Sociallocker.org is a tool that quickly and systematically adds traffic to company websites and sales pages. It creates a means to lock out content on a web page until a visitor shares your page or “likes” it. It is a very simple app for businesses to use, but it is not free. This app has your customers do the advertising for you by creating almost an air of suspense over the content on the page, so they want to unlock the content to find out what it is. In doing this, they end up passing information on about your company at the same time. http://sociallocker.org/
Rafflecopter.com is a platform that aids companies trying to attract a larger customer base by using promotions and give away products to attract them. This platform can set up raffles and giveaways quickly and easily for any brand on any website. These promotional giveaways can help add attention to your product, because every customer loves the chance to get something free. They offer flexible billing options to pay for using rafflecopter. The product is not free. https://www.rafflecopter.com/
Pay With A Tweet
Pay With A Tweet is a brand new way to pay using a social media payment system. People pay for products with the value of their social media networks using a tweet, or a post on their Facebook page. This new payment form is said to help create free advertising to a large amount of people. Every time someone pays with a tweet about a company, every “friend” they have on their page sees the information about the company, and the company’s name is noticed and gets distributed quickly. http://www.paywithatweet.com/
Click To Tweet
Click To Tweet is a free plug-in that promotes advertising to blogs and pages with each tweet that a person has about a company. The tweets can have an embedded link inserted in to them that customers can click on. Consistent tweets about a product or company website through this method increases the attention they receive and builds customer awareness regarding what your company has to offer. https://clicktotweet.com/
Colibri.io users can try this product out for free initially, then fees begin. This business building platform is considered worth the expense though, due to its ability to increase a brand’s position in search engines. This means that if someone is searching for a kind of product on the internet they will see your product at the top of the list. This unique software also is an information gatherer. It searches the internet for what people are saying about your company’s brand, and your competitor’s brand as well, and tells you all about it. This can also aid in product improvement, by letting the company know changes that customers might potentially want regarding their product. https://colibri.io/
Nimble is a very intelligent interactive platform that pulls all of your information from your emails, social networking interactions, contacts and calendars to make your company more productive. Contacts can be viewed in 3-D, and synced among employees. Schedules for employees can also be combined for an overall view which increases efficiency. It is a great platform for keeping business owners organized. It is not free. http://www.nimble.com/
Mix Rank is the world’s first discovery platform. It has the ability to scan millions of online companies, gather their information, and give you a list of potential customers. The list of potential customer leads you receive, is based on the pertinent information you request, and what it finds. The platform can be tailored to your specifications so you get the information you want for a solid customer base. This leads to less time that must be spent searching through long lists of information. Companies must pay to use it. https://mixrank.com/
Twilighter is a free program that allows your customers to highlight text about a company, and then tweet it. In doing so, it increases traffic to your website by telling others more information about your company and gets your name out there for others to see. It is a simple program that can help companies with limited startup capital for their advertising budget. http://www.appsumo.com/twilighter/
Hello Bar is a wordpress plug-in not used very frequently. It is an app that lets you transfer your Hello Bar code straight to your wordpress admin interface, therefore saving time. WordPress shows this app is not free, and has not been updated in over two years. https://www.hellobar.com/
Bounce Exchange is a neat high tech behavioral automation platform that can do some really innovative things. It can actually track your page’s visitors mouse movements, and react to their digital body language. All things about their mouse movements are monitored. This includes the speed they move their mouse, the location of their mouse, and all of their mouse gestures. By monitoring mouse details, the software can determine whether or not the customer visiting the web page is likely to leave the company’s web site. If the Bounce Exchange predicts that the customer is going to leave the site, it will send an immediate eye catching pop-up to keep them there a little longer, and grab their attention. It is not a free product. http://www.bounceexchange.com/
List Builder is the perfect platform for companies that need to contact a large customer base all at once. It can instantly send mass advertising information about your company to thousands of customers at a time. It also helps to create prospective customer leads and sales prospects by scanning potential customer contact information, and giving it to you to contact them with. This lead tool is not free. https://sumome.com/app/list-builder
Infusionsoft is a marketing automation suite that detects potential customer sales leads, and sends automatic follow-ups to them. This efficiency can save you a significant amount of time. Infusion soft can be used for email marketing. It can also manage your inventory and billing, and help you sell more by offering your customers payment plans. http://www.infusionsoft.com/
Hub Spot is a unique inbound marketing software with features for marketing through mass emails and social media. This software has features aiding in attracting customers to your website, and get them to keep coming back. It can also process web analytics, and help you with content management as well. It is not free. http://www.hubspot.com/
Marketo improves marketing by increasing your customer sales leads, and helping you manage them more effectively. It is an automation software that can tell you your past online marketing results towards specific target markets, and let you know how well they did. This aids companies in constant marketing improvement. It also helps you manage your email and social networks. http://www.marketo.com/
Tabolla is a platform that directs customers to you by recommending content about your company to them. It works with highly trafficked web sites to bring up information to customers about your company. Taboola says that it partners with top well known publishers. The problem with this platform is that is considered a browser hijacker and adware. If a company uses Tabolla, they can lose customer confidence because no one wants to have to remove adware. http://www.taboola.com/
Outbrain is similar to Tabolla, in that it promises to promote your web content on premium web sites like CNN and ESPN that get a lot of visibility. It is unfortunately a browser hijacker as well, and is also considered adware. The negative effects of using it would deter anyone trying to download it. This platform is not recommended because of this. http://www.outbrain.com/
Zemanta is for bloggers, publishers, and content creators. It suggests links to articles, images, and keywords on the internet that are considered relevant to what a viewer is looking for at that time. It also allows bloggers to insert pictures and links in to their blog posts. This product can be used with email and social networks. It is not free. http://www.zemanta.com/
Inpwrd encourages customer engagement with promoted content. It turns stories on the internet, or web posts, into ads for people that are likely to click on them for more information. Companies using this platform are alerted immediately when content is written about them, helping them track all of their track potential customers for sales leads. Many major companies use this legitimate and effective platform. It must be purchased for use. http://www.inpwrd.com/
Viralsweep is a sweepstakes platform. It helps companies generate customer product giveaways and sweepstakes. It aids in increasing of customer databases for potential sales leads because customers want to participate in the sweepstakes. Once a customer enters the sweepstakes, their contact information is collected for future marketing purposes. Email addresses received can then receive emails from the company about their product and upcoming sales events. Viralsweep has integrative properties and can work with other platforms mentioned above including Infusionsoft and Hubspot. Another benefit to this product is the ease of use. It takes literally less than ten minutes to set up each sweepstakes or promotion. http://www.viralsweep.com/
Marketing AI takes traditional content marketing and elevates it onto the next level. Going beyond mere content creation and publication, it uses a three-tier software system to track initial marketing strategies into their design and creation phases, past implementation and all the way through analytics. This step-by-step system truly integrates every piece of a marketing campaign onto one screen and comes with a risk-free, 30-day free trial to see if it works for your business needs. http://marketing.ai/
The days of communicating with customers across a confusing tangle of CRMS, emails, automated messages and live chat functions are long over thanks to Intercom. As its name suggests, Intercom is a multi-dimensioned communication platform that synchronizes and manages all your business’ outbound interactions in one clean system. It works across web, iOS and Androids, supporting your brand’s messages, updating memos, generating tailored emails based on customer personalities and so much more. Intercom is the voice of your business so you have one less thing to worry about. https://www.intercom.io/
Kiss Metrics gets people. It gets where they shop, why they shop there and what patterns or incentives may get them to take their wallet elsewhere. With a customer optimization metric quantifier that focuses solely on conversion and retention, it’s a sound system if you’re looking to improve your website’s traffic and transactions. Not to mention basic starting packages are as low as $200 and include a host of funnel, revenue and A/B testing reports and email support. https://www.kissmetrics.com/
Nimble aims to make big data as easy and accessible as possible. No matter what your business size, Nimble operates as a CRM simplification. Its system updates itself with prospective and current cliental information automatically so you no longer have to crunch data entry. It then goes beyond this customer upkeep with engagement packages and a Smart Contacts App (iOS and Android-friendly) to keep interaction between you and the public at its peak. It also comes in a Chrome Webstore, Safari Extension and Firefox Ad-On browser widget. http://www.nimble.com/
Featured across some pretty authoritative marketing sites and publications (Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Forbs, Inc.), OptinMonster is one of the foremost customer acquisition and lead generating platforms on the market. It has a user-friendly drag and drop builder for you to customize distinct optin forms, floater bars and even well-timed pop-ups for the utmost conversation rates, along with extension packages for A/B testing and other data-driven decision making. Basic plans start as low as $49/year, with Plus and Pro packages $99-$199. http://optinmonster.com/
Scroll trigger boxes are still a relatively new and interesting growth hacking tool. Lucky for you, Dreamgrow concentrates on them. Think calls-to-action like Facebook likes, social bookmarking and special newsletter sign-ups that appear after a user has scrolled down a certain portion your site or reached the end of an article. The tactic is non-invasive and strategic – you have someone who’s clearly engaged and curious, now drive them one step further. Dreamgrow lets you fully customize your scroll triggers using HTML and CSS and is free from of an uploaded zip-file or automatic installation option. https://wordpress.org/plugins/dreamgrow-scroll-triggered-box/
OptiMonk battles the bane of many websites: abandoned visitors. With a mantra to recover up to 15% of abandoned visitors through their systematic onsite retargeting, OptiMonk sets a message to pop up the millisecond someone is about to click off your site. You can customize dozens of messages to target different traffic segments, each with a special offer, customer incentive or even just a witty plea to please stay. OptiMonk works across many familiar platforms like WordPress, Shopify and Magento and carries a 14-day free trial period. https://www.optimonk.com/
With attention-grabbing contact forms implemented at the top of your website, ManyContacts is able to entice customers into bankable leads. Their contact form strategies revolve around collecting and quantifying new and continued clients, with extra attention paid to SSL technology to accurately and safely relay data. ManyContacts works especially well for freelancers and small businesses looking to built a strong lead base and bloggers whose increased subscriber numbers mean more sponsorship and revenue. https://www.manycontacts.com
Prospect, qualify, contact. Such is the formula of services MixRanks has to offer, a threefold approach that ultimately fuels automated inside sales. Beginning with “Prospect,” businesses can use software to build customized filters and target new accounts. “Qualify” aids with real-time sales intelligence to show you tech tools to help you beat competitors. Finally, “Contact” makes business networking simple by compiling all relevant names, contacts and emails into one system. Price packages are somewhat flexible, starting at $500 and running up to $2,000. https://mixrank.com/
Funnelfeed gets social media. It realizes the full potential of growth hacking isn’t reached unless all channels are covered – including platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. They work to cowrite social media content stuffed with keywords, short phrases and hashtags, funneling these ideas into launched campaigns. Extension services also include in-depth analytics for you to track social media interaction, engage with content lists and follow your growth arc. FunnelFeed is also one of the most affordable tools out there: as low as $10/month for active social media campaign creation and $29.99-$49.99 for added analytics. https://www.funnelfeed.io/
The idea of an inspirational muse motivating creation doesn’t just belong in the realm of fine arts. MarketMuse takes a logistics approach to effective content creation, identifying topical gaps in your existing websites platforms and crafting new content plans and suggestions. Everything from niche keyword services to blog analytics and competitor audits are included and work across nearly any current website platform or domain type. They really just might become your beloved business muse. https://www.marketmuse.com/
With “conversion automation” as its to-the-point company slogan, Payboard doesn’t mess around with increasing website traffic and sales. It advertises an average of 33% less bounce rates for paying customers (featured packages begin around $10/month, but Payboard also enlists tailored self or full-feature prices) through traffic path analysis, landing page optimizations and internal page reports. Certainly a comprehensive approach if you’re looking for behind-the-scenes diagnostics. http://www.payboard.com/
A CloudSponge widget combines some of the most prevalent and well-liked webmail systems out there, such as Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail, and desktop address books like Outlook and Mac OS X Address Book, heightening your business connections and customer referrals. Built on the idea that a single access point can drive dozens of new connections, CloudSponge lets users feed email addresses and contacts into your “refer a friend” incentive without actually having to type anything. This click-less, time-saving trick is extremely beneficial for mobile customers and those on the go, keeping your site as up-to-date and modern as possible with a growing cliental to boot. http://www.cloudsponge.com/
The affordances of ReferralCandy’s referral programs are practically as sweet as the name suggests. You’re in the driver’s seat using their design and refer-a-friend process, setting up your own reward structures and customer incentives while they take care of the coding implementation and admin monitoring. And without any visitor or account limits, ReferralCandy is a rare bargain with seemingly limitless possibilities for any eCommerce site. http://www.referralcandy.com/
As a Google Chrome extension, RiteTag is a useful social media elevation tool that is worth using the specific browser for. Their system is constantly surveying thousands of hashtags, both trending and those applicably up-and-coming, finding ones that will boost your content and skyrocket hashtag returns. And with name-brand customers like Nestle, TedTalks, Spotify and Purina, it’s a safe bet RiteTag knows what they’re doing. Further packages include hashtag grading for Twitter, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and SproutSocial and premium API with even more hashtag possibilities. https://ritetag.com/
Crowdfire has a clean and capable approach to managing your Twitter and Instagram accounts. Founded on a unique platform that initially let you track who had unfollowed you and for what analytic-backed reasons, the tool has now expanded to a “Copy Followers” feature. Copy Followers lets you friend relevant users and in turn seek out their significant friends, creating a chain of strong and strategic social media networks. It checks in on these relationships, tracks stagnation and relays what social media updates of yours are attracting or losing followers. http://www.crowdfireapp.com/
In examining what content works best for your competition – and, of course, the ever-important why – Buzzsumo highlights online social media patterns and shares to garner what people are drawn to. When you know what competition is writing, you yourself are much better equipped to modify your own content. Buzzsumo makes it effortless to see what topics related to your business are hot, what platforms they’re shared on and for how long. And with four different service packages, you’ll certainly find a fit. http://buzzsumo.com/
Discover.ly shows you how business connections are forged and maintained from literally anywhere. Through their free Google Chrome browser extension (yes, we said free), the world of online profiles is laid at your feet. You’ll be able to view important information from client’s public pages across one seamless full-width bar, everything from their Linkedin page to Gmail, Facebook and Twitter. The versatile nature of such rich information will no doubt contribute to better content marketing. http://discover.ly/
Attracting and sustaining customer feedback is part of the lifeblood of your business. With SatisMeter, customer feedback is easy and direct. Their features are extensive, ranging from customer surveys, loyalty incentives, attractive pop-up questionnaires and even contact queriers for unsatisfied customers to see where things went wrong. It does this all in only two questions or less, ensuring clients don’t grow annoyed. Overall, SatisMeter is a must for businesses looking to make authentic, organic customer experience changes. https://satismeter.com/en/
Why waste time and money installing another chat system when you already maintain so many client-communication techniques? This was the exact question Chatlio asked, resulting in their tool to integrates live chat with Slack and HipChat services. If you already use one of these two, Chatlio can implement real-time chat in less than five minutes. Surveys show customers prefer live chat, as it offers immediate answers and support with in-the-moment convenience. Additionally, Chatlio can configure to display information on the chatting customer for simple packages around $49/month. https://chatlio.com/
Canva works like a creative sidekick to help design your business’ online presence. It’s free and almost comically user-friendly, so you don’t have to hire expensive graphic designers just to make your site look pretty. From it you can design blog graphics, web banners, flyers, posters, print or e-invites, social media cover photos, presentations and so much more by simply searching for desired graphics and photos, incorporating a color scheme, adding text and then rearranging with drags and drops. And with a collaboration feature that allows you to share work and make simultaneous edits, Canva is an growth hacking aesthetics wizard. https://www.canva.com/
Must-Read Growth Hacking Blogs & Articles
Petithacks works on a micro scale, offering targeted advice, daily tips and marketing tool reviews for “small hacks, faster growth.” The blog is sectioned into five pages – Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue and Referral – each with dozens of suggestions for a sort of short-sprint growth hacking mentality. Other interesting blog features include a recommended marketing feature tool that changes regularly, along with constant reviews of growth hacking tools and products. Comments and likes are encouraged, making Petithacks a dynamic, communal effort at short-term growth insight.
If you’re in the mood for a Buzzfeed-worthy list of growth hacking activities, then look no further. Jon Yongfook’s “21 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics” reads like the sacred commandments of online marketing advice. Yongfook’s young age does nothing to discredit his ideas, indeed he’s one of the foremost credible authorities on growth hacking tricks (with a best-selling book to back everything up). His slideshare presentation gives a formidable glimpse into what exactly drives proper growth hacking techniques, the questions you should be asking and what steps to take to really get things going. A must-read for the serious online entrepreneur.
Tech news website The Next Web covers every feasible aspect of entrepreneurship in the 21st century. Aaron Ginn’s 2012 article on the origins of growth hacking is no exception, weaving together a background narrative on its popularity explosion and what issues it does – and doesn’t – address. The good news hear is familiarizing yourself with growth hacking’s potential shortfalls only buffers the chance you can successfully navigate any hurdles. Bottom line, products no longer sell themselves online. There’s a lot of leg work to be done, but resourceful growth hacking can ease the starting stress.
Lincoln Murphy is an all-around (and self-described) Software as a Service (SaaS) ninja. His marketing expertise ranges from customer acquisition and content marketing, SaaS strategy and application, churn reduction and general marketing consultant. And since SaaS is a staple of growth hacking tools, his amply named blog SaaS Growth Strategies runs the gamut of all the topics addressed above. Most importantly, articles give secret, insider-like trends to look out for, the kinds of things you would have to dish out hundreds to hear from other consultants. If you’re particularly interested in bolstering your SaaS relationships and models, this is the blog for you.
It seems almost too obvious to say, but if growth hacking is your utmost company concern, what better way to address it then amongst growth hackers themselves? Growthhackers.com serves as a community and open-forum for all things growth-hacker worthy. Professional growth hackers flock here to discuss the latest in the industry, and you can sign up for an email subscription to dip your toes in with the rest of them. It’s also multimedia, with videos, growth studies and testimonials straight from the heart of industry leaders.
Inbound marketing brings visitors to a company through compelling content, easy public accessibility and a strong sense of brand identity and conveyance. These are the sorts of things you should be ticking off your list with growth hacking, as proper growth hacking techniques aim to draw in customers in similarly appealing ways. Inbound.org is the online community of inbound marketers, the pixelated place where they swap stories, trends and advice. Its professional air, clean design and wealth of inbound marketing info will compliment any other growth hacking interest.
Starts up face a precarious set of challenges to place a foothold in the market. In many cases their daily decisions are do or die, and Sean Ellis’ marketing blog Startup talks about such an environment with acute awareness. Ellis also happens to be none other than the godfather of growth hacking, so much he’s amongst the term’s founding fathers and key strategists. For this reason alone his insight should be at the tip top of your radar. Yet lucky enough, the blog packs a marketing insider’s punch, covering everything from budget awareness and viral marketing to customer acquisition and product/market fit.
Neil Patel’s collaborative project with fellow marketing influence Bronson Tyler drew considerable buzz during its 2013 release. It’s a textbook outline with infographs, stats and pictures to help entrepreneurs navigate above and beyond any stiff growth hacking competition. Every detail seems covered, from basic growth hacking definitions to funnels, activation, retention and even future tactical projections. And because its success has stood the test of time, its a great resource to get an in-depth yet vital overview of growth hacking’s fundamentals.
An article spanning the details of GrowthHacker.tv, one of the internet’s most comprehensive and personal think tanks behind growth hacking, you glean plenty of material here to decide if paying the $29/month fee will be beneficial. GrowthHacker.tv is like a library, only everything’s online and the books are 45-75 minute-long interviews with some of growth marketing’s leading practitioners and pioneers.
Gagan Biyani, entrepreneur and renowned growth hacker, beautifully explains the divergences between growth hacking and traditional marketing practices. While rooted in the same goals, he illustrates the larger-picture discrepancies between the two, ultimately portraying growth hacking as an astronomical resource especially meant for startups. How so? Read up and take notes.
Nothing beats hearing growth marketing explained directly from its source. Cue another helpful slideshare, this one compiled by Ryan Holiday, director of marketing for American Apparel and an editor-at-large for the New York Observer. Industry leaders share their own thoughts and projections on every slide, with both overlapping and individualistic visions that leads to some serious marketing brain-food.
Great Growth Hacking Examples
Growth Hacking Success in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora – It’s so strange to think these four social media juggernauts were once startups. Yet every website begins somewhere, and as Forbes contributor Mark Fidelman details, Facebook was among one of the first to utilize growth hacking. In building a brand that was essentially self driven, i.e. growing exponentially without much outbound marketing, growth hacking saw one of its first success stories without even having the terminology to name the achievement. The mastermind behind it? A millennial named Any Johns, who would go on to do growth hacking work for Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora.
Buzzfeed’s Brazen, Nutty Growth Plan – Garnering nearly 300,000,000 visits a month in the U.S. alone, internet news media company Buzzfeed took a revolutionary approach to growth hacking on an international scale when it introduced story translations would be outsourced to everyday, ordinary native speakers – not paid professional translators. Partnering with the language-learning app Duolingo, people learning English can log in and translate Buzzfeed articles from their original English text – truly a unique way to get people coming to your website and interacting with your brand.
Real Examples of Growth Hacking in Action – A compilation of some of growth hacking’s finest insider tactics, tech-focused product resource DailyTekk illustrates the versatile uses for growth hacking from real-life experts. You may recognize a name or two, as these are the guys who got the entire ball rolling hardly three years ago. And in the process you’ll come to see the real secret behind growth hacking lies in a little problem solving and a lot of creativity (maybe some coffee thrown in there, too).
What do growth-hacking examples have in common? With growth hacking’s ability to leverage well-established platforms for your business’ early on, it’s refreshing to read many of its long-term happy endings. Yet what is the connective force behind all this? Would the email notifications, friend referrals and complex analytics that launched sites like PayPal, OKCupid, Spotify, Dropbox and TicketMaster work for you? The answer is yes, and it all lies with encouraging transactions between a user and a potential user.
Growth Hack Examples for Webb Apps – Growth hacking stories are great from the big dot com guys, but what about more recent endeavors? App startups have also come to life using additional ingenious growth hacking incentives. Brands with popular apps like New Relic, Uber and Foursquare all contain an arsenal of incentives that greased their gears early on. If you’re an app startup, you could definitely nab some tips here.
5 Classic Examples of Growth Hacking Beginning with social media sites LinkedIn and Youtube, rolling into peer-to-peer vacation rental connector AirBnb, past Hotmail’s heyday and ending with PayPal, these five companies still reign supreme over growth hacking done right. Wishing to emulate their success doesn’t have to be a vague aspiration. Tech articles like this one from Venturesity can truly help spark some clever content marketing while remaining versed in archetype models.
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