EVENT UPDATE: GrowthHit & XRC Labs Host Office Hours at WeWork (Giving Away $100,000)

Featured image - EVENT UPDATE: GrowthHit & XRC Labs Host Office Hours at WeWork (Giving Away $100,000)

Pitch Your Startup for $100,000 in Funding from XRC’s Accelerator and get Marketing Advice from GrowthHit’s Head of Growth.

 

Retail Tech accelerator XRC Labs will be hosting Office Hours in collaboration with the growth agency GrowthHit (that’s us) on November 15th at WeWork South Lake Union Seattle.

If you are a startup interested in meeting with XRC Labs and GrowthHit then click the link below to get on the list for office hours.  We have limited spots available so please apply soon.  You will receive a follow up email with more information and available times.  

Register Here

 

We would love to hear more about your startup and help your company grow!

If you are an early stage startup disrupting the retail and consumer goods space and would like to find out more about the XRC Program please contact XRC Labs at [email protected] to learn more.

If you are looking to growth your online sales or traffic, the Head of Growth from GrowthHit will be at the office hours to offer advice on how to grow your business.  Download GrowthHit’s Growth Plan Outline to get a head start on how to grow your online business.  Contact [email protected] to learn more about working with their Growth Marketing Team.

What: XRC Labs & GrowthHit Office Hours

Where: WeWork South Lake Union, 500 Yale Ave North Seattle WA 98109

When: November 15th, 2017

 

About XRC Labs:

XRC Labs is an innovation accelerator for the next generation of disruptors in the retail and consumer goods sectors.

A venture sponsored by world-class retailers and brands as well as founding sponsor organizations Kurt Salmon and Parsons School of Design at the New School, XRC Labs’ mission is to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, and partners who are able to rapidly design, launch, and iterate cutting-edge retail and consumer technologies, products, and services.

XRC distinguishes itself by providing a unique wealth of influential sponsors, partners, investors, and advisors deeply rooted in the retail and consumer goods industries to its cohorts.

XRC Labs sponsors include Intel, TJX, Best Buy, GAP, Lowes, NACDS, NRF, RiLA, and Shoptalk, each of which plays active roles in the XRC Labs ecosystem.

XRC Program Startup Benefits:

  • Funding: $100K Net
  • Work Space on the Parsons Campus
  • Access to a Network of top-tier Brands and Retailers
  • Access to a Great Network of Industry Mentors
  • Access to Investors

XRC Cohort 5 applications close on November 20th, 2017. HERE is the link to apply.

XRC Cohort 5 kicks off on January, 16th 2018.

 

About GrowthHit:

GrowthHit helps companies grow their business the right way. They’re a customer-centric growth marketing agency that specializes in technical marketing. They specialize in running and scaling a growth process, Facebook advertising, Adwords, technical SEO, CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), analytics and growth hacking.

GrowthHit has worked with Fortune 500 companies and founders that have been funded by Techstars, featured by the Wall Street Journal and worked at Google.
Get a free consultation from GrowthHit HERE.

23 Things I Learned by Spending $100,000 on Facebook Ads

Featured image - 23 Things I Learned by Spending $100,000 on Facebook Ads

We’re sharing the lessons we learned from spending over $100,000 on Facebook ads in 2017.

So, you want to scale your Facebook ads?

You want to go from spending, say $5 per day to something like $30,000 every month?

Great! But, hold onto your big bills.  Let’s cover some basics.

This past year, we took on two tasks: mastering the always evolving Facebook ad platform, and scaling a budget for Facebook ads from $20 a day to $40,000 a month.

Here’s what we learned along the way.

1. Set Up Your Infrastructure for Facebook Ads ASAP

It doesn’t start with Facebook. It starts with your website.

For the sake of this example, we’ll assume you’re an ecommerce site on Shopify or WordPress and you’re selling products that are between $30-$300.

Do you know your conversion rate?

Specifically, your conversion rate from organic traffic and social traffic. Do you have those numbers handy? Go get them, I’ll wait.

If you have a conversion rate for social and organic search that is at 2 percent or above, then you’re in a good place. (Disclaimer: This conversion rate will be different depending on whether you’re selling diapers or diamond rings.)

However, if your conversion rate is well below 2 percent, then I highly recommend focusing on conversion rate optimization (CRO) to get your conversion up. If you’re spending money for traffic, make sure you get the most out of it. The importance of this can’t be understated. It would be like driving a bus load of people to a restaurant that had awful food and no service. It really wouldn’t end well. So make sure your site is ready for the traffic.

What if you aren’t selling products? Let’s say you’re goal is not a transaction. Maybe it’s an email sign up. If you’re existing sign up rate is over 4 percent, then you’re ready to start driving traffic to it. If not, think about using a lead magnet like a downloadable guide or checklist for capturing emails.

The Facebook Pixel is Your Friend

Set up the Facebook Pixel on your website. It’s a small snippet of code that you copy from the Facebook Business Manager and drop on your site. By setting up this Pixel, you can retarget any user that visited your website and then visits Facebook. This way you can re-engage a user that has shown interest in your website but didn’t convert.

Facebook Ads Pixel

To double-check that it’s working correctly, use the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension. If it lights up blue when it’s on your site, then you’re good to go.

Build Our Your Target Audiences

Knowing who you’re targeting is probably the most important aspect of your campaign for Facebook ads. It can make your beautiful campaign groundbreaking or a complete flop. Here are the four audiences I would test from the start. Yes, they’re in order of my personal preference.

  • Your email list: Facebook allows you to upload your email list to Facebook and retarget them on Facebook. Gamechanger! This will be your highest converting segment if you have a product with lots of repeat purchases. Start here.
  • Your website traffic: As mentioned above, the Facebook Pixel allows you to retarget people that visited your website. This is a great one for converting users that have already shown interest in your website.
  • A Lookalike Audience of your email list or website traffic: This is where the power of Facebook comes into play. Just like you know a lot about your customers, Facebook knows a lot about its users: articles they like, brands they follow, content they upvote, ex-girlfriends they message, everything. They’re able to make a Lookalike Audience based off of your email list or your website traffic. They claim that this audience will be 90 percent similar to your audience and has a reach of 2,000,000. It’s been great for scaling the reach of our clients.
  • Target fans of competitors: Facebook has an Audience Insights tool that allows you to slice and dice segments based on your competitors, influencers, and other personalized data. We recommend start by building a segment of over five competitors that reaches over 500,000 people.

2. What Are Your Marketing Campaigns?

Videos versus images

Always test at least three images or videos against each other. Some options for images include product shots, editorial shots, or social shots (the latter of which are basically photos not taken by a pro).

Based on our experience, the product images ended up being the best for sales, social images are great for click thru rate, and videos are great for engagement. If you do a video with audio, make sure you type out the subtitles. It has a decent impact on conversion. If you don’t have the capability to create your own unique video content, then use Facebook’s slideshow feature to make a video. These would outperform the video ads for us half the time.

That being said, always test three against each other because you’ll be surprised at what actual converts. If you use text on the images, then make sure the copy takes up less than 20 percent of the real estate on the images. If not, Facebook won’t approve it.

Test a lead magnet

The top performing ads from a click through rate (CTR) perspective usually give the user something in exchange for a click. For an ecommerce company, that could be giving people 20 percent off or give them something with purchase. For a B2B company, you could offer a guide or a checklist in exchange for a click or email. Just make sure those users aren’t one hit wonders.

facebook ads lead magnet

 

Turn your press into ads

Social proof is a powerful thing. It allows you to use the words of a credible source to promote your brand. You can do this in the form of quotes from press, notable partners, or customer testimonials. If you hit a roadblock with ad copy, start by using quotes and blurbs from your press or from your customers.

Want more emails? Try a lead ad.

If you have a strong email onboarding series, then go aggressive with lead ads. A lead ad serves an ad on Facebook that captures the email with the Facebook ad. You can use a tool like Leadsbridge to pass that email into your email service provider. We were able to get emails for under $1 for a good stretch.

3. Determine the KPIs for Your Facebook Ads

Congrats, your ads are live. Now what? How do you know if your ads are performing well on Facebook? Track these four metrics:

  • CTR: Get your click through rate (CTR) over 1 percent
  • CPC: Get your cost per click under $1.00
  • Frequency: You want a frequency score under 3
  • Relevance: You want a relevance score over 6

What is your url structure?

When it comes to tracking the performance of your ad, it’s all about your link structure. Assuming you have Google Analytics setup, use Google’s URL builder on any link you use for an ad. This allows you to track your campaigns once the user goes from Facebook to your website. Then you can see which campaigns result in sales and which campaigns result in a high bounce rate.

What should you do when things don’t work?

As the great philosopher Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Sadly, most of the startups that we work with start by doing Facebook ads on their own. They put ads live and then they don’t see any results.

This is when you want to roll up your sleeves and really understand what isn’t working and start using that information to drive your next test. Here are some quick optimization tips for getting your ads on the right track:

  • Desktop only: This means no mobile. Your conversion rate is probably better when people aren’t on the go.
  • Newsfeed only: Put the ad where their eyes are going. It’s more expensive but it’s a better overall return.
  • No audience networks: Facebook really pushes this one, but these platforms are not as engaging as Facebook. No need to do this when you’re under $1,000 a day.
  • Duration two to four weeks: Do not set the campaign as “Ongoing.” You want to give Facebook’s algorithm a set time period where you want results.
  • Manual bid: This allows you to control how much you pay per click. It can guarantee you won’t go over a certain price. Just know that it will take longer to deploy your spend.
  • Wi-Fi and new devices: Okay, you still want to do mobile ads. Make the setting for mobile devices that are “connected to Wi-Fi.”
  • New iPhones: If you really want to do mobile then only serve ads to users that have an iPhone 6 or newer. If they’re buying the latest iPhone they might buy your product.

Facebook ads connected to wifi

4. The Right Way to Increase Your Facebook Ad Spend

Well done! Your ads are crushing it. Now it’s time to put gasoline on the fire. You’re going from $50 a day to $1000. That’s easy—you just change the daily spend from $50 to $1,000, right? Wrong. Here are some tips on what to do.

Facebook’s auto-increase feature

If you want to go from spending $50 a day on an ad to $150 a day, then just tell Facebook. They have an auto-increase feature that allows them to scale your ad spend by percentage or price while still optimizing how the ads are served. This way you alert Facebook of your increase so they can prepare.

Create detailed segments for your top performing ads

Say you’re spending $20 a day on your top performing ad. Great—let’s break it up even further. Make that same ad for just desktop, just right column, mobile, and a tablet. Put $20 to each of those ad sets and you just quadrupled your ad spend on the same ad.

Leverage dynamic ads

For ecommerce websites, Facebook allows you to upload your entire product catalog to Facebook (via an Excel document or a plugin). This way you can do product-specific retargeting automatically. Let the computer manage the 1,000 SKUs for you.

facebook ads dynamic ads

Switch to the Power Editor

Managing three to five ads is fine with the Ads Manager. But, once you start doubling or tripling the test, that tool isn’t as fine. Upgrade to the Power Editor (it’s free) so you can do split tests and perform mass updates.

Conclusion

After spending $100,000 on Facebook ads, we were able to learn a lot about the Facebook Ads Manager, best practices for creating engaging ads, and how to scale a paid marketing campaign. Hopefully, you now have a better idea on how to make the most of your own Facebook ad campaigns to help execute your marketing plan.

The Real Reason Why Startups Fail (And it’s Not What You Think)

Featured image - The Real Reason Why Startups Fail (And it’s Not What You Think)

Why do startups fail?  Here’s a look at the real reason why startups fail and it’s not what most founders think.

“Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. Poor distribution—not product—is the number one cause of failure.” – Peter Thiel

Congrats! You launched a product.

You’re expecting a growth rate that mirrors Snapchat. Just publish to ProductHunt and watch the users roll in.

But, launch day comes and goes and your user numbers and you’re not seeing instant user growth.  People aren’t falling in love with your product.  The trough of sorrow has arrived.

Based on the CB insights study of the top 20 reasons startups fail, 42% of startups went belly up because there was no market need for their product or service.

why-startups-fail

Founders either created something people didn’t want or they were targeting the wrong people.

“So what,” you say, “if I build a great product, it will sell itself.”

Wrong.

The best product doesn’t always win. It’s the product that satisfies the right market. Are you putting the same amount of care and attention into your marketing strategy as you are into building your actual product?

Maybe your product is amazing. Maybe you did everything right and your product just needs to be discovered. Maybe your initial idea isn’t the right idea but it’s two iterations away from something great.

The problem could be that you’re not connecting your product to potential users the right way. Your distribution plan isn’t thought out and it’s taking you down the wrong path. The path that everyone else is trying because they read about it on TechCrunch. Maybe you’re not getting to the right users and getting the right feedback. Maybe there is too much friction between your product and your potential customers. Maybe you didn’t put enough thought into your user acquisition strategy.

WARNING: Over 60% of your growth experiments will fail.

Luckily, you only need one to work.

You could have a ground-breaking iPhone app but you aren’t optimized for the Apple app store. You haven’t connected with an App Sales rep and you have no idea how to do any paid marketing to get app downloads. Heck, maybe you don’t even know how to calculate your customer acquisition cost (CAC) against the lifetime value (LTV) of your customer.

Or, you could be a stunning clothing line for the plus-size category but you have no idea how to optimize your Shopify site for organic traffic. You could be ignoring some of the best Keywords like “plus-size dresses” that get a high volume of monthly traffic.  (By the way, it’s 50,000 per month according to Google Keyword Planner.) Maybe you don’t understand the true power of affiliate marketing and influencer marketing in fashion.

What if you’re an incredible service for Ruby developers and you never even tried to connect with your potential customers through online forums or offline events via Meetup.com.

What does this mean?  It means the doubters, the haters and the “I Told You So-ers” are feeling really good about your “great idea.”  You’re losing hope in your product because you aren’t growing.

But the truth is it might not be the idea or the product. It could be that you aren’t using the right framework to uncover your opportunities for growth. The opportunities to put your product in front of the right people at the right time.

If you build it they will . . . not care

Unless you’ve invented free money. Users usually don’t just magically appear. You need to make sure you understand that. Know that you will launch a product and nothing will change. Yes, you’ll get some initial traffic from press but that new startup freshness goes away. This comes as a surprise to people. Why is this?

It’s because the overnight success of a startup has been romanticized to a point where it’s corrupted how people view growth.  It’s influenced how people view marketing and it’s setting people up to fail. It’s part of why startups fail.  If your leadership team is not seriously thinking about how you’re acquiring users then you’re going to have some tough days ahead. You need to understand your market and be relentless about connecting with them.

Imagine if Buzzfeed launched as a paid-only subscription website instead of a social-first online publication on Facebook. What if Groupon hadn’t worked so hard to craft an email strategy for their retention marketing plan? What if Mint hadn’t used content marketing to build trust for their personal finance app? What if Dropbox hadn’t used “free storage” as a referral marketing program and they kept trying to fine tune the paid advertisements? What if Paypal hadn’t stopped trying to do partnerships with banks to focus on a viral growth strategy to giveaway money to new users?

For every growth success story there are 10 more stories about the things that failed before they found their ideal distribution channel. So what does this mean? What is the silver bullet for growth marketing?

The silver bullet is that there is NO silver bullet.

It’s not about tactics and tricks.  It’s about an approach and process that help you figure out the best way to align your product with the ideal users.  It’s about how you can ensure success before you even launch a product. A growth marketing process that allows you to experiment, learn and iterate with lots of ideas until you find the one that’s scalable.

It’s about the strategy that gets sustainable growth. Are you putting the same amount of care and attention into your marketing as you are into building your product? Another way to say it . . .

“Make your marketing so useful people would pay you for it.” – Jay Baer

The best growth marketing plans are made up of lots of lead bullets. These one-off growth hacks are not going to make or break the success of a company.

Relentless focus on execution is the x- factor in your growth plan to see results. Not just getting lucky, but consistently making your own luck, over and over again by testing and iterating. But it’s impossible to do this, if you don’t have a strategy for running growth marketing.

A set of rules for deciding how and when to make changes as you learn more about your business and the market within which it operates. A series of checks to make sure you’re on track to achieve your goals.

The right distribution strategy can save your startup.

The right distribution strategy connects your solution to the people that have the problem in a frictionless way.  It forces you to connect the two by finding the right path or paths to uncover the people that will love your product.  By focusing on distribution, you’re starting with the end in mind. You’re setting yourself up for success. Here is a look at the growth marketing strategy we use at Growthhit. Let us know what process you use.

This about why Startups Fail was originally posted on The Next Web by Jim Huffman.

How to Become an Experienced Digital Marketer When No One Will Hire You?

Featured image - How to Become an Experienced Digital Marketer When No One Will Hire You?

A look at how to get a digital marketing job or become an experienced marketer when no one will hire you.

Students in my digital marketing class constantly ask me one question about getting a digital marketing job.

For a while, I didn’t know how to answer it.  It’s the main reason most of them don’t break into a career in digital marketing or growth hacking.  The question:

How to get experience as a digital marketer when no one will hire you?

Not having experience is the main reason they think they are unable to start a career in growth marketing.  These are smart people asking this question. The digital marketing class at General Assembly is usually filled with young professionals looking to get a digital marketing gig, experienced professionals looking to make a career change or veteran marketers from the print world wanting relevant skills to become more marketable.

It’s possible to get experience without having a job title of growth marketer or digital marketer because that’s how I started.

I have broken down my answer into two parts below.  The answer involves rolling up your sleeves and relentlessly pursuing this career path by targeting early stage companies or getting experience on your own.  Here are the steps I would take if I were starting today.

STEP 1: READ
Read. Read every book or blog you can find about growth hacking, technical marketing or digital marketing.

So what to read . . .

STEP 2: TEST
Get any experience you can growing companies by applying what you’ve been reading. If you don’t have a growth/marketing job – offer to work for free. If they won’t hire you then launch a side project on the cheap with WordPress, Shopify or even just a social account. The key is testing the different growth ideas you’re reading about. Test driving traffic and then converting that traffic.

Then once you have learned a few interesting things find companies that could benefit from this new found knowledge. Reach out to these companies and demonstrate the experience you have and pitch how they could apply it to their business.  Seriously, this strategy works – Neil Patel has made his best hires from cold pitches like this.

Okay, so how to get experience applying what you learned from reading . . .

  • Look for growth jobs on Angellist, Growthhackers.com/jobs and Linkedin.
  • Launch a side project and try to grow it. Embrace your failures. Some half-baked ideas:
    • Witty Shirts on TeeSpring
    • A travel blog on WordPress
    • An affiliate site that sells Nerd Mugs
    • An Instagram account for foodies
  • What to test:
    • Running email capture tools like Sumo
    • Setting up Google Analytics
    • Setting up Facebook lookalike audiences
    • A/B testing landings pages with Unbounce
    • Optimizing for search with 3rd party tools like Yoast and SEMrush
    • Building digital tools to generate users or leads
    • Creating a content strategy based on Buzzsumo’s results

Thanks to Youtube videos, Google and Podcasts you can learn as much as you want for free. Then you can actually test these ideas for as little as it cost to buy a web domain.  You can do it. I credit this self-taught approach to everything I know in digital marketing.

Want to learn more? Check out our Digital Marketing Conversion Funnel Course.  It’s the same training we use for our new hires.  We made it with the former head of SEO at Airbnb. Use the discount code MIJ for 50% OFF.

How To Go From 0 To 100,000 Users [PODCAST]

Featured image - How To Go From 0 To 100,000 Users [PODCAST]

The team from Intandemly called us up to talk on their podcast, Secrets Behind Great Sales & Marketing.  We spoke with their CEO, Sampath Mallidi, about our experience with taking early stage companies from zero users to 100,000.

We hit on the following questions and topics:

1. Do you want to tell us a little more about your background?
2. How have you grown multiple startups from 0 users to 100,000?
3. You mentioned getting press – what’s the best way to guarantee you get covered?
4. How should someone go about running their Facebook ad campaigns when starting out?
5. Where should someone start when they have 0 users?
6. What skills does someone need to be a growth marketer?
7. How to get experience as a growth marketer?
8. What are some of your favorite tools for marketing?
9. What trends are you seeing in the marketing space?

Go ahead and take a listen here:

What is Growth Hacking (and Why Should You Care?)

Featured image - What is Growth Hacking (and Why Should You Care?)

What is Growth Hacking?

Yup, it’s a buzzword that people like to toss out there.

Right along with ‘virality’, ‘big data’ and ‘social commerce’.

We are just as sick of the overuse of marketing jargon as you.

But . . .

If you take a step back, the core principles that go into growth hacking are pretty spot on for today’s digital marketing world. The skill set of a true “Growth Hacker” could be the game changer your company needs to start growing the right way.  That’s why you might care.  Now, lets start from the beginning.

What is Growth Hacking?

In 2010, the Head of Growth at Dropbox, Sean Ellis, was looking for his replacement and all the marketing candidates just weren’t cutting it. That’s when he decided that he needed a “Growth Hacker”.

Backstory: Sean led the Dropbox growth team that came up with the referral marketing engine pictured below. Simply put, you could pay for dropbox OR invite friends and continue to use their cloud storage software for free. This one referral mechanism was their number one driver of user acquisition.

Dropbox

 

As Sean was looking for his replacement, he decided he didn’t need a VP of Marketing.  Instead, he needed a “Growth Hacker”. He tried to define this term with the following:

“After product-market fit and an efficient conversion process, they find scalable, repeatable and sustainable ways to grow the business.” – Sean Ellis

The skill sets that make up this savvy marketer are the following:

  1. Digital Marketing Fundamentals
  2. Data-Driven Leader
  3. Product-First Mindset

 

What is Growth Hacking?

 

This phrase started to make sense to us but what really made it resonated with us was the idea of distribution.  Growth hacking is when you build distribution into the product experience.  Essentially, it’s a person or team that seamlessly weaves their growth mechanism into the product.  To put more color on that idea, here are four examples:

Hotmail

Hotmail was one of the first webmail solutions.  They had a great product but had trouble getting traction.  They tested banners ads and even contemplated billboards.  Traditional marketing wasn’t working. Then their VC firm came up with the idea of customizing their email signature to say “PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail.”  This wouldn’t hit a huge number of people with any one email. (Most emails are one to one.) However, the frequency was so strong that it was guaranteed to get people’s attention. After they launched this email signature they grew to 12 million users in 18 months and got acquired for $500 million.

hotmail growth hacking

Linkedin

Linkedin is a social network for professionals.  (Just in case you don’t know.)  They determined that the most valuable thing to a user is their network.  The more connections you have the more networking and business opportunities come up.  They saw that people would sign up and immediately get 5-7 connections but the executive team knew there were more.  Their team came up with the idea to allow users to upload their address book.  This took first-time users from around 5 connections to an average of 75 connections on day one.  This move helped first-time users quickly get the value out of platform and become users for life.

Linkedin Growth Hacking

Evernote

When Evernote launched their mobile app they did it right as the Apple App store was starting to take off.  Their app got featured on the front page of the app store. The result was thousands of downloads within one day.  After that, they decided to always time their new product launches with any new iphone or Apple product release.  They saw the Apple app store as this new distribution channel.  Their CEO said: “We really killed ourselves in the first couple of years to always be in all of the app store launches on day one.” Their hard work paid off and they averaged 19,000 new sign-ups per day

Evernote growth hacking

 

Wandertab

Hitlist is a travel site that offers you the cheapest airfare if you’re up for going anywhere in the world. Great idea but a very competitive market.  (I wouldn’t want to go against the marketing budgets of an Expedia, TripAdvisor or Priceline.) They knew that traditional marketing channels like PPC and SEO wouldn’t work. Their head of product came up with the idea to create a chrome extension. (Pictured below.) The extension, Wandertab, shows you the photo and airfare for an exotic location you could visit based on your current location.  The tab was featured in the Chrome store and then it was voted to #1 on ProductHunt.  This new product became the number one driver of new users.

Wandertab Growth hacking

 

So, What is Growth Hacking – and Should I Care?

Growth hacking is a when you use the skills of data, product and digital marketing to drive one thing: growth.  That could be sales or that could be acquiring new users.  Regardless of what you think of the term growth hacking, the principles of it are pretty strong. It could be worth doing some more research on “Growth Hacking.”

Want more info on growth marketing? Here are our favorite resources for growing your startup.

Our Growth Marketing Presentation at Techstars NYC [SLIDES]

Featured image - Our Growth Marketing Presentation at Techstars NYC [SLIDES]

Access to our Techstars growth marketing presentation from their NYC office in October 2016.

This past month we did a presentation at Techstars NYC on growth marketing for their 2016 Internet of Things batch.  As a growth mentor, we were asked to tailor our talk to B2B businesses to match most of the startups in their IOT startups.  It was a blast and we got to talk about marketing drone developers, 3D printers and electric car chargers.  Instead of letting our deck collect dust, we thought we would share it with you.  Here is what to expect:

In our talk, we went through everything from how to run your growth process and the fundamentals of growth hacking to best practices for SEO (search engine optimization) and Facebook retargeting ads. Also, we laid out how to setup your marketing infrastructure.

We love catching companies at this early stage of their lifecycle as they’re setting up their marketing infrastructure.  If you ever want learn more about how we can help please email us at [email protected] or set up a growth strategy session.

How to Make a Marketing Plan [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Featured image - How to Make a Marketing Plan [FREE DOWNLOAD]

An inside look at the 10 step process we use to make a Marketing Plan for our startups. Join to get our guide in your inbox.

One of the most common questions we get: ” How do I make a marketing plan?”

It’s quickly followed by, “Wait, do I even need a marketing plan?”

That’s when I pause and try and factor in how much time that person has.  I don’t have a very good short answer for this one.  But I will try.

Yes, you need plan.  If doesn’t have to be formal.  It doesn’t have to a detailed bible on virality, SEO and customer acquisition cost that you print at Kinkos. At the least, you need a goal and the steps you plan to take to hit that goal. Maybe even a bottoms up growth model like what Noah Kagan does.  (Please have something more than just “running lots of Facebook ads” – unless your last name is Zuckerberg.)

To help you build your own marketing plan, we put together a guide of how we approach creating a marketing plan (or growth plan) for our companies.  This guide is very focused on the digital world and doesn’t include details of some very powerful offline marketing strategies.  Aka, this might not be applicable to everyone.

Enter your email address below and we’ll send you our growth guide, How to Make a Marketing Plan in 10 Steps, straight to your inbox.

 

marketing-plan-GrowthHit

Get Our Guide: How to Make a Marketing Plan in 10 Steps


Like what you see?  Please share it with a friend via email or twitter.  Also you might like our growth guide that breaks out the top 101 Marketing Tools available to grow you startup.  It includes tools for SEO, Analytics, Email Automation and more.

101 Marketing Tools to Help Grow Your Business

Featured image - 101 Marketing Tools to Help Grow Your Business

The ultimate list of 101 marketing tools every growth hacker needs to know about to grow their business.

Let’s talk marketing tools.

Free social sharing tools. $10,000 Analytics platforms. Resources for analyzing your competitors’ ads.

Our growth team has compiled the ultimate list of the 101 Marketing Tools we have used or researched to help our clients grow.  Below is an inside look at the resources we leverage to give our clients a competitive advantage.

The resources are broken down into the following sections (click to jump to that section):

1. Analytics
2. Email Marketing Tools
3. Landing Pages
4. Automation & Optimization
5. SEO Tools
6. Social Media Tools
7. Social Analytics
8. Hashtags
9. Outreach Tools
10. Marketing Research Tools

 

Analytics

 

1. Kissmetrics

 

kissmetrics

 

Price: $20 / Month
Details: A customer-based analytics platform that has event based tracking and cross platform integrations.  Used by companies like Unbounce, SendGrid, Has custom dashboards for eCommerce and SaaS companies.

 

2. Hubspot

 

Hubspot Dashboard

 

Price: $800 / Month (And Up)
Details: CRM. Analytics Tracking. A/B Testing. One of the more robust marketing tools that allows you to control your content, channels and marketing performance while getting a 360 degree view of the people who matter most to your company from your dashboard. Lots of tools but has a long integration cycle.

 

3. Marketo

 

marketo

 

Price: $895 / Month
Details: According to Marketo, The #1 marketing automation solution for organizations of any size.  Strong suite of tools including email segmentation, SEO tools and custom dashboards.  Still waiting on them to update their UI to be one of our favorite marketing tools.

 

4. Amplitude

 

Amplitude

 

Price: $200 / Month
Details: Amplitude is a web and mobile analytics platform that allows you to understand what your users are doing with your product across all platforms on web and mobile.  Very strong for mobile-first companies.

 

5. Compass

 

compass

 

Price: $16 / Month
Details: The all in one analytics dashboard to grow your eCommerce business.  Very simple and very focused on eCommerce.  Simply integration with Shopify, Stripe and Facebook.

 

6. ClickTale

 

clicktale

 

Price: TBD
Details: Clicktale reveals consumer behavior, needs and intent at every touchpoint of the digital conversation, delivering insights to delight customers and create more value. Simply put, understand where users are clicking.

 

7. Heap

 

heap analytics

 

Price: $199 / Month
Details: Event based tracking with extensive integration. Very powerful but you need a developer or technical marketer to set it up the right way. Bonus, it has retroactive tracking

 

8. Mixpanel

 

mixedpanel

 

Price: $99 / Month
Details: Similar to Heap with event based tracking and extensive integrations. Very powerful but you need a developer or technical marketer to set it up the right way. Great for mobile apps.

 

9. Ometria

 

ometria

 

Price: $1,000 / Month
Details: Powerful eCommerce focused analytics and email marketing tool.  Very focused on the individual customer and retargeting them with personalized content.  Has nice dashboard with ecommerce KPIs like Avg order size, Lifetime value and metrics for your VIP customers.

 

10. RJ Metrics

 

kissmetrics ecommerce

 

Price: From $220 / Month
Details: An eCommerce first analytics tool that helps you optimize every aspect of your business.  Tracks CAC (customer acquisition cost), ARR, churn and lifetime value. Extensive Integration and you’ll need the help of a developer technical marketer.

 

11. Monkey Data

 

monkey data

 

Price: $80 / Month
Details: Basic analytics tool designed for eCommerce companies. Integrates with most eCommerce based websites. Not as robust as the others but also not as expensive.

 

12. Quantcast

 

Quantcast

 

Price: TBD
Details: Powerful cross-platform audience measurement trusted by leading publishers like Buzzfeed.  Strong audience segmentation tool that’s also used by eCommerce companies.

 

13. Interstate Analytics

 

Interstate Analytics

 

Price: From $400 / Month
Details: Powerful analytics tool to track attribution and ROI across all marketing channels. Used by Everlane and Betabrand.  Great tool for marketers with robust paid campaigns over $25,000 per month.

 

14. Hotjar

 

hotjar

 

Price: $89 / Month
Details: All-in-one analytics and feedback. Hotjar is a way to understand your web and mobile site visitors. Identify opportunities for  site improvement using.  Understand what users want, care about and do on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps and scrolling behavior.

 

15. Lucky Orange

 

lucky orange

Price: $9 / Month
Details: Real Time Web Analytics to see how your visitors actually use your website. See every person that is on your site at this very moment.  Think Google Analytics “Real Time” view but on steroids.

 

16. Segment

 

segment

 

Price: From $100 / Month
Details: Collect customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing.  Used by companies like Bonobos, Hotels Tonight and Instacart.

 

17. ClickMeter

 

clickmeter

 

Price: $29 / Month
Details: Monitor, compare and optimize all your marketing links in one place to increase the conversion rate.

 

18. Impactana

 

impactana

 

Price: $99 / Month
Details: Find the most shared content and the most powerful influencers on the internet by category and by keyword.  Strong analytics tool for content marketers.

 

19. Bit.ly

 

bitly

 

Price: Free
Details: Simply put, track your links and see who clicks on them.  Bitly’s free version has a cap on how many you can track.

 

20. Google Analytics Dashboard Templates

Google Analytics Dashboard Templates

Price: Free
Details: Obviously, we have to mention Google Analytics.  It’s free and it allows you to track basic metrics around acquisition and behavior.  As a bonus, here are 10 custom Google Analytics dashboards to use.  Your free account has an allowance of 20 dashboards.

 

Email Marketing Tools

 

21. Mailchimp

 

mailchimp

Price: From $10 / Month
Details: Very simply and easy to use email service provider that integrates with everyone under the sun. Has transactional and workflow email options.  Great option for first time email marketers.

 

22. Get Drip

 

drip

Price: From $49 / Month
Details: Lightweight Marketing Automation email tool with powerful email drip campaigns. Hence the name Get Drip.

 

23. Customer.io

 

customer.io

Price: From $100 / Month
Details: Behavioral messaging automation that puts customers first. Harness web & mobile app data to trigger, personalize, and scale messages that convert.  Great tool for B2B email marketers or any email campaigns that require multiple emails based on actions.

 

24. GetResponse

 

getresponse

Price: From $15 / Month
Details: Marketing automation tool. Marketers can make newsletters and setup user flows.

 

25. Campaign Monitor

 

campaign monitor

 

Price: From $9 / Month
Details: Very user friendly email service provider that’s used by Buzzfeed.  They have transactional emails and action based email workflows. (It’s used by GrowthHit!)

 

26. SumoMe

 

sumome

 

Price: $100 / Month
Details: Suite of email capture tools that allow users to grow traffic with email welcome mat, popup email capture and more.  Also, nice integration with Google Analytics to track your conversion rate.  (Bonus: they have a great blog.)

 

27. ThriveLeads

 

thrive leads

 

Price: $97 / Month
Details: Email capture products that include an email welcome mat, popup email capture and more. Comparable to SumoMe.

 

28. OptinMonster

 

optinmonster

 

Price: $49 / Month
Details: Create and A/B test beautiful lead capture forms without a developer. Good for opt in sign ups like “Join to get our Summer Style Guide PDF” or some other type of guide.

 

29. Klaviyo

 

Klaviyo Email Service Provider

 

Price: $250 / month (and up)
Details: If you have an eCommerce website and want to to powerful email campaigns by user behavior or profile then this is your solution. Very simple integration with Shopify.

 

Landing Pages

 

30. Optimizely

 

optimizely

 

Price: $49 / Month
Details: Enterprise-level A/B testing and personalization for the web and mobile apps. Custom landing pages. Nice user experience.

 

31. Unbounce

 

unbounce

 

Price: $99 / Month
Details: Unbounce lets marketers build, publish and test landing pages without IT or software. A/B testing and lead generation make it a powerful marketing tool.

 

32. LeadPages

 

leadpages

 

Price: $49 / Month
Details: Create custom landing pages without messing with any code. Nice user experience. Hard to go wrong with this one or any of the two above.

 

33. Kickoff labs

 

kickofflabs marketing tools

 

Price: $39 / Month
Details: Increase email collection for your newsletters, contests, launches and events with their suite of tools like the viral boost pages and the opt-in forms.

 

Marketing Automation & Optimization

 

34. Zapier

 

zapier

 

Price: $20 / Month
Details: Zapier makes it easy to automate tasks between web apps. They have an extensive library of apps to pick from.  It’s used by GrowthHit!

 

35. IFTTT

 

ifttt

 

Price: FREE
Details: Connect various platforms to do automated commands like social posts or notifications.  Very user friendly.

 

36. Anygrowth

 

anygrowth

 

Price: $31 / Month
Details: Anygrowth is a growth hacking platform allowing users to automate marketing tasks. Automate Twitter tasks, enrich email databases, extract Facebook ids from Facebook groups…

 

37. Auto Pilot

 

autopilot marketing tools

 

Price: $20 / Month
Details: Automate customer journeys as simply as drawing on a whiteboard. Engage at just the right time with personalized email, in-app messages, SMS, and postcards.

 

38. Ad Espresso

 

adespresso marketing tools

 

Price: $49 / Month
Details: Optimize your Facebook Ads Easily, Like Morning Coffee. Their smart robot is ready to optimize your Facebook ads. Also, they have a great blog on Facebook ads.

 

39. Growth Hackers Projects

 

growthhackers projects

 

Price: $15 / Month
Details: Growth collaboration software for teams by Sean Ellis (CEO of Growth Hackers). Sean invented the term “Growth Hacker” so he knows a thing or to about the growth process.

 

40. Ladder.io

 

ladder.io playbook

 

Price: $100 / Month
Details: A growth agency created a drag and drop growth planning tool with 1,000+ proven growth tactics.

 

41. Close.io

 

close.io marketing tools

 

Price: $65 / Month
Details: Make & receive calls with one click emails sent & received are automatically tracked.  It’s one sales workflow with no manual data entry.

 

 

SEO Tools

 

42. SEMrush

 

semrush

 

Price: Free
Details: Insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic, seo and paid search, and link building.

 

43. Mozbar

 

mozbar

 

Price: Free
Details: They have lots of free and paid tools.  This chrome extension allows you to easily audit a website from an SEO perspective: H1 tags, meta description, backlinks, etc.

 

44. ScreamingFrog – SEO Spider

 

seo spider

 

Price: Free
Details: A tool that analyzes websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps from a SEO perspective. Good for analyzing your company or your competitors.

 

45. Ahrefs

 

ahrefs

 

Price: $99 / Month
Details: Track your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions and know what your competitors are doing.  Very powerful but a little pricey.

 

46. Majestic

 

majestic seo marketing tools

 

Price: From $49.99 / Month
Details: Link intelligence tools for SEO and internet PR and marketing. Site explorer shows inbound link and site summary data.

 

47. SpyFu

 

spyfu

 

Price: $79 / Month
Details: Download your competitors’ most profitable keywords and ads for paid and organic search traffic.  Yes, it’s a spy tool.

 

48. SearchMan

 

searchman

 

Price: Free
Details: Self-serve big data tool makes it easier for mobile apps to compete for visibility inside the Apple & Android Play app stores. Great for any app companies.

 

49. iSpionage

 

ispionage

Price: $59 / Month
Details: A tool that allows you to steal a competitor’s traffic and uncover their conversion strategy.

 

50. KeywordSpy

 

keywordspy

 

Price: $89 / Month
Details: A paid SEO tool that allows you to see what Keywords competitors are using to get their top performing traffic.

51. Free SEO Tool

Free SEO Tool

Price: Free
Details: Need a free SEO web crawler? Enter your URL (or your competitors URL) and see how optimized it is for one keyword search term.

52. UberSuggest

 

uber suggest

 

Price: Free
Details: A resources that helps you predict long tail keywords based on keywords in your industry.

 

Social Media Tools

 

53. HootSuite

 

hootsuite

 

Price: Free / $9 per Month
Details: A social media management tool that allows you to manage multiple networks and profiles and measure performance.

 

54. Buffer

 

buffer

 

Price: Free / $9 per Month
Details: A social media management tools that allows you to share any page you’re reading across multiple platforms. As a bonus, Buffer has a great blog on content marketing and startups.

 

55. Edgar

 

edgar

Price: $50 / Month
Details: A social media scheduling tool that will fill and auto populate content on it’s own.  You can program it by keywords or industry and let it run.

 

56. Social Quant

 

socialquant

 

Price: $50 / Month
Details: Social Quant is a website traffic and engagement tool on Twitter that will help you increase your social following.

 

57. FollowerWonk

 

followerwonk

 

Price: From $29 / Month
Details: A resource that allows you to search twitter users by content and biography.  Allows you to connect with the right twitter users and understand your audience even better.

 

58. Socedo

 

socedo

 

Price: $300 / Month
Details: A B2B demand generation system for the social world. Socedo can help you discover, engage and qualify prospects through social media to increase revenue at scale.

 

59. TweetFavy

 

tweetfavy

 

Price: $9 / Month
Details: TweetFavy is a self proclaimed “Growth Hacking Tool” that allows you to automate your Twitter marketing campaign and grow your social following.

 

60. Instagress

 

instagress

 

Price: From $0.66 / Day
Details: An online Instagram bot on the web that allows you to automate your activity and get more followers, likes and comments on Instagram.

 

61. Narrow

 

narrow.io

 

Price: $19 / Month
Details: Narrow is a Twitter marketing automation tool that helps you build a targeted following.

 

62. Crowdfire

 

crowdfire

 

Price: FREE
Details: Crowdfire is one of the only free marketing tools where you can monitor you followers, unfollowers and target potential followers.

 

63. Mention

 

mention

 

Price: $29 / Month
Details: Think of Mention as Google Alerts on steroids. With Mention you can monitor in real-time about anything on the web and social media. React quickly, collaborate & analyze your online presence.

 

64. Sniply

 

sniply

 

Price: $29 / Month
Details: Sniply is the one of the most powerful social marketing tools because it allows you to overlay your own custom message onto any piece of content, creating an opportunity for you to include a call-to-action with every link you share.

 

65. TweetDeck

 

tweetdeck

 

Price: FREE
Details: TweetDeck is a social browser that allows you to stay in the know with everything happening on your social platforms.

 

66. FanHarvest

 

fanharvest

 

Price: $15 / Month
Details: Automate your Instagram marketing by auto likes and unlikes, auto follow and unfollow, auto comments, auto DM and even 100% auto post scheduling. This rolls all the Instagram growth tools in one.

 

67. Colibri

 

colibri

 

Price: $45 / Month
Details: Colibri IO is a set of growth hacking tools that monitors SEO, inbound marketing, social signals and content marketing.

 

68. Brand24

 

brand24

 

Price: $49 / Month
Details: Brand24 gives you instant access to mentions about your brand across the web. Used by H&M, Ikea and Uber.

 

69. Easy Social Grow

 

easysocialgrow

 

Price: $99 / Month
Details: Social media organic growth made simple, bringing you real twitter likes and followers, increased engagement and hot leads on social medias everyday.

 

70. Get Crate

 

Get Crate

 

Price: Free
Details: Discover, curate and schedule relevant content within seconds via Twitter and Buffer. One of the marketing tools that allow you to navigate and filter through all the social content on the web.

 

71. Growth Geeks

 

growth greeks

 

Price: $99 / Month
Details: An outsourcing serve that will run your social campaigns and help you grow your social followers and increase engagement.

72. TribeBoost

 

tribeboost

 

Price: $129 / Month
Details: Using proprietary software and methodology, TribeBoost fosters the growth of Twitter audience with targeted and influential new leads.

73. Pinterest Bot

 

followliker pinterest bot

 

Price: $58 / Month
Details: A powerful multipurpose software that makes it easy to follow, unfollow, like and automate all your Pinterest tasks.

Social Analytics

 

74. Union Metrics

 

union metrics

 

Price: From $525 / Month
Details: Get answers, not just analytics from Union Metrics. A social analytics platform that provides answers to your biggest questions, on the channels you use most.

 

75. Agora Pulse

 

agora pulse

 

Price: $29 / Month
Details: Manage all social media messages in one place. Schedule and publish content. Get pretty reports on their performance and reach.

 

76. StatusBrew

 

statusbrew

 

Price: From $99 / Year
Details: A complete social media management tool for audience growth and scheduling content with a powerful “measure” analytics feature to show it’s impact.

 

77. IconoSquare

 

iconosquare

 

Price: $29 / Month
Details: An analytics tool built just for Instagram. Get total likes received, most liked photos ever, average number of likes and comments per photo, follower growth charts and more advanced analytics.

 

78. Tweriod

 

tweriod

 

Price: FREE
Details: Tweriod gives you the best times to tweet and it analyzes both your tweets and your followers’ tweets. So you can start tweeting when it makes most sense to reach others.

 

79. BuzzBundle

 

buzzbundle

 

Price: From $199
Details: Find online conversations about your company, brand or products and engage with your audience.

 

80. Social Sprout

 

sprout social

 

Price: $59 / Month
Details: A management & engagement platform for social businesses. Build and maintain your community by easily starting, monitoring and joining social conversations.

 

81. Social Rank

 

social rank

 

Price: From $49 / Month
Details: SocialRank helps you find your best followers, most valuable followers, and most engaged followers on Twitter.

 

82. SquareLovin

 

squarelovin

 

Price: TBD
Details: Get a closer look on how user generated content platforms enable brands to tell their unique story, acknowledge ambassadors and stimulate action, at every point of contact.

 

Hashtags

 

83. TagBoard

 

tagboard

 

Price: Free
Details: Think of this as Google search for social media hashtags. Tagboard pulls in relevant content within seconds of posts so you can engage in real time.

 

84. HashtagifyMe

 

hashtagify

 

Price: TBD
Details: Find the best Twitter hashtags to reach your audience. Search their relations and influencers with this Twitter hashtags search engine.

 

Outreach Tools

 

85. GroupHigh

 

grouphigh

 

Price: TBD
Details: Find the best bloggers and influencers, manage your relationships, and measure the value of your content. a powerful outreach tool used by Lowe’s and Kohler.

 

86. Buzzstream

 

buzzstream

 

Price: $24 / Month
Details: Research influencers, manage your relationships, and conduct outreach that’s personalized and efficient. Used by Razorfish and Rackspace.

 

87. GMASS

 

gmass

 

Price: From $6.95 / Month
Details: A powerful mail merge tool that uses Gmail and Google Sheets to send personalized emails to potential partners. Requires some set up but very inexpensive.

 

88. Outreachr

 

outreachr

 

Price: $145 / Month
Details: A powerful influencer outreach tool that allows companies to target influencers by verticals on various social channels.

 

89. InkyBee

 

inkybee

 

Price: $79 / Month
Details: A suite of research and discovery tools built for marketing agencies to help audit and understand a client’s sector in more detail.

 

90. PitchBox

 

pitchbox

 

Price: $95 / Month
Details: Pitchbox automates the manual work of outreach by doing prospecting by industry and offering a scalable outreach solution.

 

91. Ninja Outreach

 

ninjaoutreach

 

Price: $29 / Month
Details: An outreach tool that allows you to filter for influencers by how big their reach is on various social channels.

 

Marketing Research Tools

 

92. BuzzSumo

 

buzzsumo marketing tools

 

Price: From $99 / Month
Details: Search by keyword to analyze what articles are being shared the most on various social media platforms. Great tool for testing content ideas and user demand.

 

93. Import.io

 

import.io

 

Price: $249 / Month
Details: A tool that helps you create your own data sets in minutes with zero coding required. Simply put, you can pull large amounts of data from a webpage or directory to use for your benefit.

 

94. Norbert

 

norbert

 

Price: From $0.10 / Lead
Details: Norbert can help you find anyone corporate contact information for your lead research, talent acquisition, PR or HR.

 

95. Audience Insights

 

facebook insights

 

Price: Free
Details: The Audience Insights tool by Facebook allows marketers to upload an email list to get detailed information on their most valuable users.

96. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner Marketing tools

Price: Free
Details: If you go into your Google Adwords account you’ll notice a tool called Keyword Planner.  This resources allows you to type in various keywords so you can see the monthly search demand for that word along with the suggested bid for your paid search campaigns.

 

97. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb

Price: Free
Details: How much traffic is a competitor getting? Where is it getting it’s traffic? What are the best social channels? SimilarWeb shows you a competitor’s traffic and where the traffic is coming from.

 

98. Mechanical Turk

amazon mechanical turk

Price: Variable
Details: An inexpensive marketplace for human intelligence tasks such as email or information sourcing.

 

99. Make My Persona

The Awesome Buyer Persona Word Doc Generator.

Price: Free
Details: Quick and easy buyer persona development for your inbound marketing strategy with MakeMyPersona from HubSpot.

100. Moat

Moat Ad Search

Price: Free
Details: Ever wonder what ads your competitors are running? Moat allows you to see every display ad your competitors are pushing.  One of the top ad marketing tools that offers inspiration on what to do or what not to do based on your competition.

 

101. Site Alerts

 

sitealerts

 

Price: From $10 / Month
Details: A marketing tool for tracking your competitors to understand their best keywords, press, top traffic drivers and social media conversations.

 

Did you like our post on the 101 Marketing Tools we use to help our clients?  Share it with a friend.

19 Must-Read Resources for Growing Your Startup

Featured image - 19 Must-Read Resources for Growing Your Startup

19 indispensable resources that I would recommend to anyone that wants to learn about growing your startup.

 

If I were starting to learn about growth right now I would do one thing: read.

I would read articles, books or interviews from the top growth hackers, digital marketers and venture capitalist in the game.

To help. Here are 19 books, videos, blogs or podcast about growing a company or startup that will teach you everything you need to know about growth. In no particular order . . .

 

(1) How to Start a Startup: Alex Schultz, Growth at Facebook (Video)

What I liked: The entire ‘How to Start a Startup’ series was awesome and this talk was my favorite. Hearing how ‘Zuck’ was relentless about his focus on growth was inspiring. And his overall analysis of how they leveraged a user’s ‘magic moment‘ to retain them for the long term.

Lean Startup Marketing Book

(2) Lean Startup Marketing by Sean Ellis (Book)

What I liked: Sean Ellis lead growth at Dropbox and this book is essentially a marketer’s guide to growing a startup. It’s so rich with knowledge and tips you’ll find yourself taking note after note.

the-viral-startup-andrew-chen

(3) The Viral Startup by Andrew Chen (Book)

What I liked: Andrew is now the head of growth at Uber and if you are a stats or numbers person then you’ll love his approach to growth. This is his blog in book form but it’s absolutely worth the read.

traction-book

(4) Traction by Gabriel Weinberg (Book)

What I liked: They breakdown the 19 traction channels for finding users/customers and have strong case studies. I took those 19 channels and built them into our growth model. It’s great for getting inspiration for growth ideas.

viral-loop-book

(5) Viral Loop by Adam Penenberg (Book)

What I liked: It dissects the history of viral growth across the most revolutionary startups. Consider it your growth history lesson.

growth-engines-book

(6) Growth Engines by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown (Book)

What I liked: Growth case studies on top of growth case studies. Great for coming up with growth ideas for your own projects.

hooked-book

(7) Hooked by Nir Eyal & Ryan Hoover (Book)

What I liked: It’s a playbook for how Product Hunt built their retention engine. If you’re building a community then it’s a must read.

ultimate-sales-machine

(8) The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes (Book)

What I liked: Horrible title. Awesome book. Honestly, this might be my favorite. I have never dog-eared so many pages in a book. Just read it.

what great brands do

(9) What Great Brands Do by Denise Lee Yohn (Book)

What I liked: If you’re at all focused on branding then read this. Denise has you analyze your brand from 7 verticals. It’s somewhat straight forward but a necessary read when it comes to branding.

 

(10) First Round Capital Review (Blog)

What I liked: This might be the best VC blog out there. Every post is long form and it’s insights from their existing portfolio companies. They cover everything from growth and sales to product design and hiring. It’s like getting your startup MBA in blog form.

 

(11) GrowthHackers.com (Forum)

What I liked: The AMA’s and case studies are second to none in the growth industry. Plus it’s run by the guy who invented growth hacking.

 

(12) Growth Everywhere (Podcast)

What I liked: Great storytelling from entrepreneurs and growth marketers about how they grew their startups.  Eric (the host) loves getting into the details on the exact tactics or strategies that did or did not work.

 

(13) The Growth Show (Podcast)

What I liked: Short quick hits with industry leaders about specific examples of growth. Do it.

 

(14) Paul Graham’s Essays (Blog)

What I liked: The Y Combinator founder wrote a series of essays that are a must read for anyone getting into startups. He tackles everything from how to come up with an idea to why growth is the #1 thing that matters.

 

(15) Neil Patel (Blog)

What I liked: Warning: you’re about to get lots of emails. But the guy knows his stuff and offers lots of thoughtful tips and, dare I say, hacks.

 

(16) The Pmarca Blog eBook by Marc Andreessen (eBook)

What I liked: When Marc Andressen speaks you listen. I think he might be the smartest person on this list – need to get everyone’s SAT scores to confirm that. He is extremely good at explaining hard concepts in the startup world.

hard-thing-about-hard-things

(17) The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (Book)

What I liked: The entire damn book, the rap references and the brutally honest truths about growing a company. I have read this one twice.

 

(18) Feld Thoughts (Blog)

What I liked: Brad Feld is an entrepreneur turned VC that’s also written some awesome books about startups. His blog is a nice snapshot of what’s happening in the current startup space from his founder-friendly perspective.

lean-analytics-book

(19) Lean Analytics (Book)

What I liked: It’s the best book about analytics. End of story.  They highlight what metrics or KPIs matter based on your industry (eCommerce, SaaS, etc.) and what stage you’re at (Idea, Growth, Maturity, etc.)

Want to learn more about how to run the growing startup that is your new business? Download our Growth Plan Outline.

This post was originally published on jimwhuffman.com.