The best way to understand the concept before you apply it, it’s through individual analysis of each word that makes the expression. Growth means growth. Hacking involves the hacker definition, or rather the redefinition. The term is usually linked to the invasion of computers, but, contrary to common sense, it also carries another meaning: a dedication beyond the ordinary in the constant search for knowledge for systems and hardware or even sales. Within this concept, Growth Hacking is a technique used to increase the number of users of a product or service, leveraging conversion metrics.
The strategy began to be implemented in 2010 by the entrepreneur Sean Ellis who became known in Silicon Valley after helping several startups to achieve record growth. After all, this is the highest goal in this kind of business.
Although quite similar to traditional marketing, growth hacking goes further. The insights are more technical and they require a thorough knowledge of tools and internet business. The goal is to ensure the rapid growth of a company through the connection between audience and products/services based on customer experience and on the thought of sharing online in viral scales, taking advantage of the appeal of social users.
In fact, the big difference is exactly the work focus where all actions are based in numbers and committed to bring growth. In a few words, it’s a methodology that turns simple tactics on smart strategies for growing fast and in a measurable way. By the way, we will show you some ways to gather this data:
Viral acquisitions: interactions through the voluntary sharing of content between existing and new users.
Paid acquisitions: it’s when you pay to promote products and/or services of your company in social networks, on partner sites or in conventional media. This is the easiest way to measure, with SEM strategies, sponsored links (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads), ads on TV, mobile, radio, affiliate marketing, etc.
Content Marketing: blog posts, infographics, viral videos, all forms of relevant and quality content based on SEO techniques (keywords). The investment increases brand visibility and site traffic, turning visitors into customers.
Email Marketing: direct and personal communication that has as one of its goals creating a link between your company and your customers to announce new products, to send a blog post teaching about a resource or any other topic related to sending email marketing campaigns. Remember emails and surveys yield more than social networks.
Inbound Marketing: you can "pull" your customers, users or potential customers and bring them to your company. The goal is to keep your brand in search results and deliver such a nice content that will bring them back. This way you can measure traffic, clicks, feedback, social interactions, comments and emails, besides creating relationships with influencers and media channels.
How a Growth Hacking professional works
A growth hacker, term designed for the professional who works in this area, analyzes consumer behavior on the web and uses this knowledge, combined with creativity, flexibility, curiosity and technological experimentation, to boost the sale of a product.
The profile of this professional tends to be more analytical, because analysis and metrics are key elements so that it can promote the growth of your business. The performance of a given action or trial will dictate the next steps of the strategy.
Creativity, another factor to be considered is an ally to investment in new ideas with the least resources possible. A series published by Tech Crunch lists the essential characteristics for a good growth hacker. It can be found in the cofounder of Tagged, Greg Tseng’s speech: “You are good with both sides of the brain? If you are just creative, you will never know how your ideas are good. If you only have an analytical mind, then you will know precisely how bad your ideas are”. Another one is highlighted through the words of cofounder of HomeRun, Matt Humphrey: “Creative intuitively know what is best for the user, while data people provide great insights. True unicorns are those that can go from end to end, from design, metrics and analysis, interacting with a combination of user intuition and deep analysis”.
Finally, in addition to data analysis and creativity comes the curiosity, which is given by the constant search for knowledge through understanding consumer behavior.
How to apply Growth Hacking to email marketing
Considered one of the best communication strategies, email marketing meets one of hacking growth prerequisites: low cost. The channel also aims to contribute to business growth by stimulating the conversions with relevant, qualified and consumer’s interest content.
Therefore, we will show some tips to unite the two forces and reach the same common denominator.
1. Set up a contact database with email addresses
Before you start sending email marketing campaigns, you need a list of contacts with valid email addresses. The collection can be made via forms on your company's website and also through social networks.
2. Make a selection before sending campaigns
With the list in hands, don’t run to trigger emails. Remember that growth hacking is a strategy and it requires some planning before being put into practice. So first promote audience segmentation.
3. Send relevant content and from recipient's interest
Besides promoting your business, email marketing is a relationship channel with your customers and potential customers. So sharing content that adds value is essential to keep this bond that connects your brand to the people.
4. Keep emails with personal treatment
As much as your list can consist of thousands of contacts, each one of them wants to feel unique and close to your business. So send nominal emails with targeted content, as a conversation between friends, and give space for feedback. Leave your contact.
5. Ask people to share your campaign
It’s a good practice to ask your contacts to share the content you send with their friends. You can say this explicitly or not. The choice is yours, but both are valid.
6. Use email receipts as opportunities for growth hacking
If you have an online business that provides receipts to customers, here you have a great potential. You can include call to action buttons, reference codes, related products and/or services, images (especially if it’s about food). We can detail this topic in a post later.
7. Use data analysis to know what consumers want
Track where your subscribers are clicking and send email marketing campaigns related to what they are looking for. Detecting visitor’s behavior on your site can be your differential competition.
8. Remove inactive contacts from your list of emails
In order to keep only people who open your emails and click on the links, you must do a cleaning of your database, removing all inactive or invalid contacts. This strategy will bring more value to your customers.
9. Turn the footer of your email into a call to action
Use the bottom (footer) to highlight the call to action of your emails. You can choose bold and even a "PS" at the end to get attention. You can also turn this call on a subscription and depending on the area of your business try a funny, interesting or appealing text.
10. Pay attention to the visual and invest on layout
The saying goes, “a picture worth a 1000 words”. So think about the look of your email campaign to provoke reader's curiosity.
Aligning Content Marketing and Growth Hacking
In addition, the campaigns base is built on the Content Marketing. The goal is to generate traffic, teaching consumers about your company before looking for conversions properly.
In other words, it’s a common path which also leads to growth. So, both should work together. Pay attention to the tips:
11. Start with the subject line
One of the most important elements of a text is, without a doubt, the subject line or title. It acts as a business card for your company to customers, since it’s the first item to be displayed and it can be the difference between an exchange of glances and a longer relationship.
Avoid generic calls. Your goal is to draw attention. Practice. Create multiple titles for the same text, whether for a blog post or an email marketing campaign. Think of action words and list calls that may be interesting to your reader. Choose your favorite and work to improve it.
12. Complement the visual with infographics
Infographics have become even more popular over the years. This happens because the resource brings together a collection of accessible and more attractive information than a single text. Remember to keep all data well simplified for easy understanding. In a few words, the process comes down to the presentation of certain content in the best possible way.
13. Share content with potential
As the focus of growth hacking is business growth, share content with the potential to become a viral among the followers of your company. Show readers that worth sharing that online content with friends, family or coworkers. Highlight the buttons of social networks in different parts of your site.
Offer promotions or discounts in exchange for sharing your content. Encourage readers, including asking them to bring the content of your brand forward. Remember for this to happen you must offer something that interests people.
14. Include a call to action to the content
Not only email marketing campaigns and sites need to be followed by call to action buttons, content can also be a strong ally. Include action calls throughout the text at the beginning or in the end. This encourages your readers to share what they are reading. You can direct them to subscribe to the newsletter of your company, to make this content known in social networks, to read other posts that may interest them. Just make sure that this CTA brings growth to your business. After all, this is the great goal of growth hacking.
15. Offer something that is unique
People love and need to feel special. Why not please those who help your business grow? Offer a special promotion, a free download, a guide with content related to your area or any specific product. Whatever the choice, the action will serve as an incentive to attract potential visitors that later can be converted into leads for your business.
Anyway, here are some tips to help you understand the concept of growth hacking and to guide you to complement your business strategy using email marketing and content marketing. And the goal is only one: growth.
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