64 Growth Hacks That Could Catapult Your Startup
Our complete list of Growth Hacks you should add to your growth plan.
Can I just get some growth hacks?
Yup, it’s a question that is unavoidable for growth marketing agencies and/or growth hackers like ours.
The truth is we don’t like the phrase growth hacks.
It’s misleading and makes it feel like you can be lazy and find a quick short cut for growth: “Just do some growth hacks and you’re done, right?”
Wrong. It’s about understanding how your product satisfies a market and then running a rapid growth process that finds repeatable and scalable ways to grow.
But, as we run countless experiments on clients we do uncover patterns, trends, lessons and, yes, growth hacks we can apply across multiple accounts.
Today, we’re sharing these (sigh) Growth Hacks to help inspire your next round of growth experiments.
Our (Very) Exhaustive List of Growth Hacks
1)Want to grow your #email list? Here is what your email capture incentive should be based on your industry:
📧 #B2C: Giveaway
📧 #B2B: eBook Download
📧 #SaaS: Free Trial
📧 Info Product: First Course/Chapter for Free
And use @justuno! #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 1, 2020
2)Are you even ready to grow 🤔? Most early-stage #startups try to grow before they’re ready.
Worse – they waste $ on Facebook #ads too soon.
How do you know if you’re ready? Do the 40% Test by Sean Ellis. Read about it here:https://t.co/eZeLfuk8s5 #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 2, 2020
3) Are you confident you know why customers buy? Can you prove it with data? Here’s how:
Run journey #surveys at every step of the funnel to learn their objections & concerns. It’s amazing what frustrated visitors & excited customers will tell you. #HuffmanTip #growthmarketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 9, 2020
4) Before you build a #marketing plan from scratch? Reverse engineer your competitor’s plan with these tools:
🕵️ See traffic sources: @SimilarWeb
🕵️ See email templates &flows: @mailcharts
🕵️ See ad designs w/ FB Transparency Tools
🕵️ See ad spend: @spyfu#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 6, 2020
5) Want to 3x your Conversion Rate with one experiment? #Personalize every step of your funnel with these ideas:
– @clearbit for onsite personalization
– Add first names to your subject line
– @rightmessageapp to segment your flows#HuffmanTip #growthmarketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 7, 2020
6) Hey early stage #startups, STOP ✋ trying to get every single channel to work right away? (#SEO, SEM, Social, Influencers, Cold Outreach, etc,) You only need 1 that’s repeatable & scalable when starting. Test 3 at a time and go all in on the 1 that shows ROI. #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 8, 2020
7) Want to close more #sales 💰 calls? 48 hours before your call, email the prospect a video or podcast of you talking about your industry.
This will accelerate your relationship and make the lead feel like they know you. Use @Bitly to track if they open it. #HuffmanTip #growth
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 9, 2020
8) How do you win a pre-launch campaign? Build a waitlist page. Offer an incentive in exchange for a social share that’s so good people won’t ignore.
EX: @RobinhoodApp gave you early access to no-commission trading for sharing. #HuffmanTip #launch pic.twitter.com/Iz8buGhBT2
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 10, 2020
9) Have a strong LTV w/ lots of repeat purchases? Invest in #community (online or offline) to build deeper relationships w customers.
For #B2B, make a @slack community
For #B2C, go with @Meetup or FB groups
For #SaaS, build your own like @IndieHackers#HuffmanTip #marketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 13, 2020
10) Want more results each month? STOP ✋ just looking at your results. Start tracking the # of experiments your growth team runs per month. Then use retrospective meetings to review your learnings. Those insights will drive everything you do. #HuffmanTip #growthmarketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 14, 2020
11)Trying to increase #ecommerce sales on your product pages? Do this:
💳 Put height / weight of models
💳 Make “buy now” button sticky bar on mobile
💳 Add videos of product
💳 3 UGC images
💳 “Free Shipping” under CTA
💳 Exit intent w promo
💳 Add reviews w @Yotpo #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 15, 2020
12) Launching a company today? Please Invest in tomorrow w/an organic traffic plan using #ContentMarketing, #VoiceSearch, #Google image search, #youtube, or Top of funnel & bottom of funnel searches.
Learn #SEO w @ClickMinded
Hire a SEO Content Agency like @siegemedia#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 16, 2020
13) The #1 #marketing copy hack: turn customer feedback into taglines, headlines & landing page copy. Ask about their pain point, objections, & key benefits. Here’s how to get feedback:
💬Email from founder
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 17, 2020
14) Growth for startups isn’t linear. It’s a roller coaster of scaling up & falling down. Don’t get depressed when you’re brilliant idea or tactic fails. Embrace the learnings. Iterate. And focus on your customer’s problems. This graphic from @ycombinator nails it. #HuffmanTip pic.twitter.com/t9m0HhXUzk
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 20, 2020
15) Have a leaky #marketing funnel? Here is how you find the (real) problem:
🕵️ Grade every conversion step in the funnel
🕵️ Id highest traffic pages for tests
🕵️ Id highest #conversion pages for ROI
🕵️ Start backwards from the conversion & ID drop offs#HuffmanTip #cro
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 21, 2020
16) The key to hitting hyper-growth: find your leading indicator. It’s the action top customers take before converting. Then optimize for that action or event. EX: @Facebook 7 Friends in 10 Days@Dropbox Share w friend for free storage@TOMS Watch “shoe drop” video#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 22, 2020
17) 100% of startups I start with do ZERO qualitative analysis reports. And it’s how you learn the most about customers. Here’s how to start:
📊 Watch 20 session recordings per week
📊 Poll 100 visitors
📊 Review heatmaps
📊 Read live chat transcripts#HuffmanTip #data #marketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 23, 2020
18) Your #business model drives the northstar of your #growthplan
If you do 1 transaction / year w/ a customer then you’re in acquisition mode. You care about low #CAC.
If you do 3+ transactions / year w/ a customer then you’re in loyalty mode. You care about #NPS.#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 24, 2020
19) Before you focus on #growth, you need 100% confidence you have something people want. To help, answer these Qs.
Are you solving a real problem?
Are you 10X better than the next best option?
Is it a vitamin or aspirin💊?
Pass the 40% test? #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 27, 2020
20) Hey #D2C brands, How are you 💸 spending your first $100k on online #ads? This is what I’m seeing:
50-75% Facebook & Instagram
10-30% #SEM / Google Shopping / YouTube
5-10% Test Budget (Podcast, Linkedin, etc.)#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 28, 2020
21) Don’t know your unique value prop? Use this formula
For (ideal customer)
Who (statement of need / opportunity),
(Product name) is a (product category)
That (statement of key benefit).
(Product name) (statement of primary differentiation)#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 29, 2020
22) Most #marketing teams don’t know how to turn data insights into tests. Here’s how:
📉 Id drop off pages in your funnel.
📉 Perform “Voice of Customer” surveys on pages to uncover “objections”
Now you know where to focus (page) and what to say (remove objections). #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 30, 2020
23) How to design a landing page that converts:
💻 Make a Benefit-focused headline (Use 2nd person “you”)
💻 Aspirational image / video
💻 Copy that explains product w/ language of customer
💻 Social Proof (testimonials, partner logos)
💻 Unique CTA “Start FREE Trial”#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) January 31, 2020
24) In a competitive market? Try “engineering as #marketing” for customer acquisition. Build a FREE tool with goal of lead gen. Examples: @hitlist made the WonderTab@Wealthfront made the High Yield Calculator@glossier made the skin match tool #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 3, 2020
25) Looking for a #startup idea? Don’t do B2C. Do #B2B. Don’t go big. Go small niches. Don’t be better. Just be different. Don’t be innovative. Iterate on a growing market.
It’s called “Easy Mode” and @rsobers nailed it in this essay: https://t.co/TzvIYAXgKw#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 4, 2020
26) Having issues with your form page? Do this:
📝 Make fields vertically aligned
📝 If over 7 fields go multiple pages (capture email first)
📝 No captcha
📝 Make multiple choice answers visual
📝 Reinforce the benefit of form w/ a customer-focused headline#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 5, 2020
27) Word of mouth #marketing not happening? Do you know the “Magic Moment” when people love your product? For #B2B, it’s when you save time, money or simplify the UX. For #B2C, it’s using / touching the product.
Your job: Get users to that magic moment ASAP.#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 6, 2020
28) Here are 4 traits that a metric needs to be your #northstar for growth:
📈 Understandable: So other teams get it (sales team)
📈 Comparative: So it’s actionable “200 New Buyers Per Day”
📈 Rate: So you can see trend lines
📈 And It must change your behavior#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 7, 2020
29) No marketing budget? Do these FREE tactics instead:
🆓 Create @Meetup group
🆓 Befriend community organizers on forums & @Facebook groups
🆓 Search top 10 keywords in your space, find blog posts, leave comment
🆓 Guest blog
🆓 Email prospects & give product 4 free#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 10, 2020
30) Want a new #growth tactic to that gets referrals. Try “customer service as #marketing” by doing this:
☎️ Email video responses to customer questions
☎️ Manually email your first 1000 customers
☎️ Mail surprise presents
☎️ Host pop up dinners for VIPs#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 11, 2020
31) Doing #influencer marketing with micro-influencers and don’t want to waste 💵? Don’t spray and pray. Do a category takeover with one industry and own it.
EX: @halotop only did fitness influences on @YouTube to talk about their “Health Ice Cream” 🍦and it got 👀#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 12, 2020
32) Hey early #startups – STOP focusing on #CAC & #LTV. It’s not about growth yet. It’s about validating your idea. Focus on WOM, referrals, and over delivering CX & “magic moments”. Prove without a doubt you have traction and then you focus on growth metrics. #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 13, 2020
33) The hard truth about #marketing for startups is that having ROI positive ads on Instagram doesn’t mean you have product market fit. If you don’t have word of mouth 🗣️working you don’t have product market fit. Understand your customer. Understand your benefits. #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 14, 2020
34) Metrics every head of growth needs to track based on industry:
📊 #Ecommerce: CAC, LTV, AOV, Purchase Rate
📊 #SaaS: Time to Close, Trial to Activation Rate, Free to Premium, Churn, MRR
📊 #LeadGen: MQL, SQL, Lead to Booking, Booking to Close #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 17, 2020
35) Have a #SaaS product? You’re #1 growth tactic is having a Freemium option. It performs better than lead magnets and pushes users down the funnel. Make sure the premium features are must-haves. Tip: activate people within first 48 hours while excited about product.#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 18, 2020
36) How much money 💸 should you spend on #ads?
For established brands, this can be between 7.5%-15% of sales.
For high-growth #startups, this can be 15-40% of your burn rate but will fluctuate if you’re in user acquisition mode or still validating a market.#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 19, 2020
37) Need a new growth channel? Here are 17 options. Pick 3 and test.
Engineering as Marketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 20, 2020
38) Doing a product launch 🚀? Test teasing your product with mystery, fomo, scarcity or exclusivity. Make people curious or excited that it’s coming. If you’re solving a real problem you’ll be drum up more excitement this way. Ex: @Superhuman and @RobinhoodApp #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 21, 2020
39) How should #ecommerce brands allocate ad spend w FB/Instagram?
💵65% Prospecting audiences (lookalike, competitors, custom)
💵25% Retargeting (site / page traffic, 24 / 72 hours since visit)
💵10% Dynamic Product Ads
Optimize ads after $50+ spent & 72 hours#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 24, 2020
40) #Bootstrapped founders, the truth is your profits drive your marketing strategy. Here are your options.
DON’T HAVE MONEY: Do free channels like #SEO, Email, Content Marketing, Things that don’t scale
HAVE MONEY: #SEM, Social Ads, Retargeting, Influencers, Podcast#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 25, 2020
41) I love TAM (Total Addressable Market) stats but if you want traction make a bottoms up growth model. Model how to manually acquire your first 1,000 customers. Here’s how:@Meetup / FB Groups
Product Hunt Launch
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 26, 2020
42) Running @instagram ads to a cold audience. Try these ad ideas 💡
Highlight Flagship Product
Social Proof (press & testimonials)
Checklist of benefits
Checklist of features
Connect their aspiration to your product#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 27, 2020
43) What @email service provider should I use based on industry?
📧For #Ecommere, go w/ @klaviyo
📧For #Saas, go w/ @ActiveCampaign
📧For Information Products, go w/ @ConvertKit
📧For Enterprise, go w/ @HubSpot
📧Just getting started? @CampaignMonitor is best ux#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) February 28, 2020
44) In a world with unlimited competition for attention, you must find a way to deliver value to your customer before they ever make it to your product pitch. At the end of the day, all businesses will be media companies. What’s your media? podcast, video, casestudies #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 2, 2020
45) The person that runs #growth has to be strategic & capable enough to engage in the core strategy of the product bc then you allow yourself to uplevel the conversation and have it become the most important framework in which you organize an entire company @chamath #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 3, 2020
46) Are you making noise as a #D2C brand? So many brands think they can just run ads to grow. Wrong. You’re not @pepsi Relentlessly make noise every week so people know you exist. Product Launches, Site features, Referall programs, #Partnerships, PopUps, Guest Post #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 4, 2020
47) New to #GoogleAnalytics? These 3 filters will help u understand any site
📊How people found you? Acquisition>All Traffic>Channel
📊Where people land on your site? Behavior>Site Content>Landing Pages
📊Where are the drop offs? Conversion> Goals>FunnelVisualization#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 5, 2020
48)Improving persuasion on a site is done by ✍️ writing better copy. Do users understand if your offer fills their need / solves their problem? Does your site join the conversation in their mind? Does it offer proof? Remove doubts? Enable friction-less checkout? #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 6, 2020
49) Trying to fundraise for your #startup? Focus on your 6 month growth narrative by showing the following:
💰Prove traction. (Conversions, waitlist, pre-orders)
💰Prove you have #earlyadopters. (#NPS, Referrals)
💰Prove unit economics that can scale. (CAC, LTV, CPP)#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 9, 2020
50) #SMS can be an untapped channel for you. Texting has higher open rates & quicker responses time than email. It’s worked nicely for @greatsbrand WARNING: Be careful not to miss use it.1) Start w/ top clients, 2) Know timezones, 3) Make it easy to opt out w/ STOP #huffmantip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 10, 2020
51) Is perfection your enemy when it comes to growth? Depending on your market, it can get in the way of rapid iteration. Or perfection can be the thing that differentiates. YOUR MOVE: Be intentional about your iteration speed vs when you decide to be a perfectionist. #HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 11, 2020
52) How do you beat #Amazon at #ecommerce. Some thoughts:
👊 Personalized Experience (EX: @ThirdLove Fit Finder)
👊 White Glove Service (EX: Fit Liberty by @universalstand)
👊 Community (EX: @lululemon Meetups)
👊 Merge Off-line w/ Online (EX: @glossier PopUp)#HuffmanTip
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 12, 2020
53) Trying to upgrade your #pricing page?
✅Anchor with Most Expensive plan first
✅Make comparing prices easy with grids
✅Use Benefit focused names of each plan
✅Highlight highest converting plan in middle
✅Add FAQ at Bottom#HuffmanTip #SaaS
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 13, 2020
54) How to test a new channel? Break it down into how much money and time is needed to get “signals” that it’s working. EX: 3 ways to test #podcasts in order by effort
Test 1: Podcast #ads
Test 2: Be a guest on podcasts
Test 3: Launch a podcast#HuffmanTip #growthmarketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 16, 2020
55) Cannot grow without paid #ads? Then you don’t have #traction. Focus on the following:
🔎 Make viral product features people actually want
🔎 Give a reason to refer or share
🔎 Focus on content & #SEO
🔎 Engineering as #marketing #HuffmanTip #startup #growthmarketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 17, 2020
56) Should your growth ideas scale? Yes and No. It’s a balance. In the early days, embrace things that don’t scale but work to find ones that do. A simple example:
NOT SCALABLE: Hand written letters from #founder
SCALABLE: SEO-Driven Content#huffmanTip #growthmarketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 18, 2020
57) After working with 100+ companies, we’ve uncovered the components of an killer #growthteam:
– Strategic business alignment (everyone on same page or you’re doomed)
– Customer obsession
– Data driven
– Embrace Rapid experimentation and failing#HuffmanTip #growthmarketing
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 19, 2020
58) What high intent questions are customers asking before they realize they need your solution? The search volume might be low but the timing could be ideal. Use @semrush to determine volume. Test keyword ads while trying to rank on #search & #youtube. #HuffmanTip @ClickMinded
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 20, 2020
59) How do you market in a downturn? See what @HarvardBiz says here:
During downturns, marketers must balance efforts to pare costs and shore up short-term sales against investments in long-term brand health. https://t.co/hsrwST35ya#HuffmanTip #marketing #downturn #CMO pic.twitter.com/DovOQMLR5n
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 23, 2020
60) What’s your growth plan in a #recession?
“Most companies battened down the hatches during the recession of the early ’90s. But the more successful competitors pressed their advantages.” @McKinsey https://t.co/RPkoPod7yc #HuffmanTip #consulting #marketing #CMO
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 24, 2020
61) How do you play offense in a downturn?
“Taking advantage of a downturn starts with a realistic assessment of a company’s strategic and financial starting positions.” Do this before you build your #marketingplan @BainAlerts https://t.co/Fo4Q8kQiFO#HuffmanTip #marketing #CMO pic.twitter.com/WJ2sXzlL2T
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 25, 2020
62) Should you cut your marketing budget in a downturn?
“If your first reaction is to cut all costs, all people, all marketing,” then “you have fewer tools available for your remaining choices.” @pjeedai #HuffmanTip #marketing #CMO
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 26, 2020
63) Cutting budgets for #marketing during a #recession is a gut reaction many inexperienced business owners (and experienced ones ) will make. If your competitors are cutting budgets, you’ll see an even greater long-term return on your marketing investments.#HuffmanTip #CMO
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 27, 2020
64) Need a #B2B ad strategy for #socialads?
Run prospecting ads on #Linkedin using their powerful targeting tools. Then retarget on #Instagram & #Facebookads with your pixel. FB & IG are great for increasing ad frequency and being top of mind. #HuffmanTip #paid #ads
— Jim Huffman (@JimWHuffman) March 30, 2020
Summary of Best Growth Hacks
For more inspiring growth hacks, check out my daily updates on growth hacks on Twitter or schedule a team to learn more about how our growth marketing agency helps startups find repeatable and scalable ways to grow.
The #1 Newsletter for Growth Marketers & CEOs
The best kept secrets in growth. Every Thursday you’ll get:
- 3 must-read articles
- 1 podcast episode
- Sneak peek at our startup studio