Category: Growth Hacks

We’re going to move a bit from the middle/bottom of the funnel with handwritten letters, all the way back to the top of the funnel.

When I say barriers, I don’t mean hurdles to convert or upgrade. I mean barriers that stop or prompt users before they leave your website.

Most marketers call this an exit intent pop-up. Here’s a great example from QuickSprout:

This pop-up appears when a user shows the behaviour of someone that might soon or is about to leave your website.

Some of the more rudimentary exit intent platforms make the pop-up appear when the user’s cursor leaves the window.

The idea of these pop-ups is to make a last ditch effort to engage a user. In the above example, the link leads right into QuickSprout’s website analyzer tool, which does a great job of showing value as well as acquiring a user’s contact info.

The use of this type of tool for Growth Hacking is to push users towards engagement funnels. If a user doesn’t find what they want on your website, or wishes to leave for some reason or another, this is a way of showing them an alternative value.

By showing them value in another form (usually with a drip campaign), you can then build credibility over time to hand that user back off into the normal user funnel.

This can be a highly effective way to increase your conversion rate and reduce the visitor to user churn for your website.

Unfortunately, exit intent platforms and plugins cost money. I have yet to find one that works well for free. But there are multiple options to choose from and when you apply it to a SaaS or ecommerce site you will notice the difference almost immediately.

If you have a direct to revenue product you are having trouble optimizing the conversion process for, here’s a list of a few exit intent platforms that I’ve used:

Bounce Exchange
It’s an amazing platform that has some really solid analysis behind it, but the price puts it on the VERY high end of the spectrum at $3,995/month and up! It’s what power’s QuickSprout’s above exit intent pop-up.

Exitintent
This is a relatively new one, I’ve tested it out and so far it’s had some good results. It’s significantly cheaper that almost anything else I’ve used. It starts at $9/month, but the lack of customization is frustrating.

Optin Monster
Optin Monster is my favorite exit intent platform. It has no monthly fees, plugs right into WordPress, offers lots of customization and the ultimate package offers unlimited website support. I purchased the ultimate package a few months ago and I’ve never looked back.

Once you’ve got yourself setup with a platform to support your exit intent campaign, now you have to figure out what to use as an offer.

I highly recommend ebooks or content based offers. Let’s take Top Hat as an example to work with:

Now they have a product that has a long sales cycle. It requires phone calls and emails to get a user on-board. So to help increase touches, they might want to set their exit intent offer to target users who hit their pricing page and then behave like they will exit.

In their case they have multiple pieces of content they can offer from ebooks to drip courses, but the best thing to do is choose the content piece that is A) the most signed up for and B) has the longest engagement time.

If you have an ebook drip that has 1,000 downloads but only 20 people make it through the email funnel that goes along with it, that is much worse than an ebook that has 300 downloads but 30 people make it through that funnel.

This is starting to get into the realm of complex, so if you need help with figuring out the best way for you to use an exit intent platform, reply and let me know!

I’d be happy to help you figure out the best way to implement an effective exit intent campaign.

Now go and capture some of that exit traffic!

Free. It’s the world’s most powerful word. It can moves mountains and can be a great way to hack your business.

Unless your a developer, you’ve probably never heard of New Relic. For those who don’t know, New Relic is a web application monitoring tool that keeps track of your web app’s performance.

It went from a relatively small company into a behemoth of a company with $214 million in funding.

It also used one of the Growth Hacks I love, the free t-shirt.

Why a free t-shirt?

Why not a sticker, notebook, beer glass, iPhone whatever they’re at?!

One simple reason, people don’t use half the, pardon my language, shit, that you give them for free. But a t-shirt, why would anyone throw it away. You can always wear it.

T-shirts are probably the only company swag that I never throw away. The rest I giveaway to friends or try to sell on Kijiji for a few bucks just to get rid of it.

New Relic wasn’t the only one to realize this, InVision – the popular prototyping and design feedback tool also used this Growth Hack. So did Trak.io, When I Work and a ton of other companies. The reason being, it works!

Now the idea isn’t just to give away a t-shirt and be done with it. That would be wasteful.

The idea behind it is to incentivize a paid signup in a unique way. Give someone a t-shirt that looks cool, not something branded to hell.

Here’s an example of the shirt New Relic gave away:

To some it seems plain but New Relic knew their customers, they were mostly backend developers or infrastructure guys. This shirt was pretty cool to them. Maybe not cool enough to buy on their own but cool enough to refer New Relic as their choice of performance monitoring.

The free t-shirt hack is a barrier assistant to help those on the fence about buying a great product.

The key idea here being that you have a great product to start, but you just need some help converting those visitors into paying users.

To get you started, I’ve broken it down into steps:

1. Start with multiple designs, not every design will appeal to everyone. Get a few made and use your users to narrow it down.

2. Get t-shirts printed (resources below) and give them out to VIP users, users who need a bit of love and newly signed on customers.

3. With each t-shirt you give away, include a request for a picture via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever medium you desire. The key is to get your customer excited and get them sharing.

Bonus: Offer existing users a free t-shirt when they refer a new paying user. Make sure to also give the new paying user a t-shirt.

Now if you need some great quality t-shirts, here are some places I’d recommend based on personal experience:

Startup Threads
Freshly Bakes Tees (Toronto local and owned by a great guy!)
The Printful (they also automated ordering and ecommerce stores, great resource)

There are definitely others, but those are the 3 I recommend the most because I use them for all my t-shirt needs.

To help you with design, here are some of the shirts that startups are giving away for free.

InvisionApp

Trak.io

When I Work

Now go out there and brand the world with awesome t-shirts!

I’m ending your first 7 days off with something a bit bigger and more complex than the Growth Hacks I’ve talked about so far.

The Drip Email is a first step into the idea of a funnel. Now every business operates with a funnel, whether they know it or not.

An great example is Netflix. You can view their on-boarding teardown here. Now this tear down is specific just to the funnel of on-boarding a user. There are many more types of funnels depending on the size of your business, the role you play and so on.

I’m going to keep things simple for now and apply the Drip Email to the on-boarding funnel.

When a user signs up for your service, you likely send some type of welcome messaging with their login information or maybe even a personal welcome email. But when a user signs up you need to begin thinking about the journey that user must take to either convert to a paying user, be up sold to generate more revenue or achieve whatever high end goal you have.

At this stage I highly recommend you all read about using the OMTM method of operating, OMTM means “One Metric That Matters. The basic concept is that you should focus on one single metrics to determine the journey of your own business and surround efforts around improving that metric.

Back to the on-boarding Drip Email!

Rather than keep this all in theory, I’ll use an example with emails already public. BareMetrics posted their on-boarding emails not too long ago and I really like the way they display themselves to their users so I’m going to walk you through this.

At the start of the funnel and Drip Email campaign, a user signs up for BareMetrics.

Email #1 comes as a welcome email from their founder to tell the user A) their business is appreciated, B) that their data can take some time to import and C) that the founder is always accessible via phone or Skype call.

This email is sent hours after signing up in place of an automated system welcome email.

Email #2 focuses on support and is sent 2 days after the user signs up. The purpose is to send the user towards documentation and articles that can help answer questions the user may have. The usually helps alleviate frustrations.

Email #3 is sent 3 days after a user signs up, with the purpose of getting a user to invite team members (a viral loop of sorts). If you look at the steps to inviting a user on BareMetrics, it’s dead simple. The reason for this is A) less steps are a better user experience and B) a lower barrier action usually get’s actioned upon more.

Email #4 is sent 5 days after a user signs up and it points attention towards a feature that can help in improving a user’s daily experience.

Email #5 – 9 are sent 2 days apart from each other and they are all emails to begin introducing more features to a user over time. BareMetrics is a very fully featured application, which means too much at one time can overload someone. They take care of this problem by introducing the most important features over time to help them get a grip on the application in increments.

Email #10 is a simple wrap up of the on-boarding by asking users if they have any questions and letting them know the lines of communication are open.

BareMetrics does a great job of wrapping up their on-boarding in 2 weeks with all emails being to the point.

If you want to read email 6 – 9 and see the other emails BareMetrics uses for other actions, you can read morehere.

Now that you have an idea of what a Drip Email campaign looks like, I’m sure you are wondering how it can be implemented. BareMetrics used GetDrip and I also have a strong preference to GetDrip as opposed to Intercom or other Drip Email services for those who don’t have a lot of technical expertise (I’m talking API and JavaScript knowledge) and want something a bit simplified to get started.

You can try it free for 3 weeks, but in my experience with it, it’s REALLY good. If it’s your first time implementing a Drip Email campaign, it can be confusing and difficult to wrap your head around putting your user experience in a funnel and mapping it out via emails. If you need help in figuring out your first Drip Email campaign, feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to help!

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Best,

Jamil

P.S. If you need help with Drip Emails or just have questions about anything, just comment!

I hope you all had a great day yesterday. How did that Quora hack work for you?

Now that I’ve talked about guest posts and influencer posts, I want tell you about something even more fun!

With this Growth Hack you can get yourself and your brand out there to media outlets, without needing a press release, PR firm or company milestone.

I want to show you how to leverage the power of HARO (Help A Report Out) and similar websites that connect you to journalists looking for content.

When I say journalist, I mean everything from high traffic blogs to mega popular news outlets like Forbes, Wall Street Journal and sometimes you can even getfeatured on TV!

To get you actioning, I’ve made step by step instructions for you to follow:

1. Go to HelpAReporterOut.com to sign up for an account and begin receiving queries 3 times per day

2. Wait to get your first email from HARO, look through the requests and choose a query that you have the background to answer, or pick a query you can do research on to answer

3. Use the provided email address to contact the journalist as they have requested and be sure to include a link to the website you want to promote, a twitter handle and your bio.

If you need further instruction or would like to see something more visual, Neil Patel put together a great video to help with going through the process of creating and using HARO.

Now I mentioned sites like HARO, and there are many out there. Here are a handful of sites I personally use, in addition to HARO to get press on myself and the companies I work for.

1. ProfNet
ProfNet is one of the older journalist sites out there (since 1992!), but it’s not free. ProfNet definitely carries the top tier of media outlets which carries a price. You can read more about the benefits of ProfNet here.

2. My Local Reporter
Now My Local Reporter is not quite like HARO in the sense that it focuses on finding outlets for experts to pitch. But it’s another resource you can use to build some buzz. This one carries a monthly fee which you can read about here.

3. Reporter Connection
Reporter Connection is basically like HARO but it doesn’t have as big of a list on the source or expert side. There are still some gems in there though!

4. SourceBottle
SourceBottle basically does away with the newsletter and sticks to queries on a website. It’s searchable but I rarely find good business or marketing requests on there. It’s much more focused on lifestyle.

5. Muck Rack
Last, but definitely not least, is Muck Rack. Comparing any of the other sites or resources to this, is kind of like comparing a BB gun to a sniper rifle. If you know who you want to target, Muck Rack will make it easy. That being said Muck Rack does come at quite the premium with plans starting at $179/month. If you can afford it, try it. The results you can get are quite spectacular, especially if you actually do have a press launch on the horizon.

Go out there and get some buzz, then come back and tell me about it!

As much as I hate to keep on one area of your strategy for too long, today I am also talking about a Growth Hack that will help your blog.

You may hear a lot of advice telling you not to drop names because it can only lead to trouble. Well in the world of blogging, name dropping is the road to more traffic!

By calling out people in blogs, you are making a request for engagement. Sujan Patel, Author of 100 Days of Growth, uses this technique often on his personal blog.

One of the best examples is his 17 Killer SEO Resources blog which has over 500 shares!

He did this by writing a blog about other blogs and websites, identifying the contact information of the people he wrote about and then reaching out to let them know as well as request a share.

The whole strategy revolves around promoting the efforts of others.

Another great example to use as inspiration is Buffer’s 16 Top Tips from Blogging Experts for Beginners. This article took quotes from 16 top bloggers and compiled those quotes into a blog post.

After compiling and posting a blog like this, the real work kicks in. The email outreach followed by more email outreach followed by yet more email outreach to get influencers to share the blog.

The simple steps to follow in leveraging This Growth Hack are:

  1. Identify a topic that fits with your market
  2. Build a list of people who are influential in this market or people who have a good following
  3. Write and post your article or blog post
  4. Reach out to everyone on your list to let them know about the article and that their blog or website is mentioned – don’t be shy to ask for a tweet

To help you with the process, here are some resources you can use:

BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo allows you to search by keyword or domain name to find the amount of times content has been shared. It works great for narrowing down content ideas. Use the results you see to determine what style of blog or article you should create to give it the best chance of being shared.

ContentMarketing.io
ContentMarketing.io is a new tool, created by Sujan Patel. It automates the process of identifying and reaching out to influencers you mention in a blog post. It’s still in private beta but it’s what Sujan used to get his 17 Killer SEO Resources article to 500 shares!

That should be enough to help you get your hands dirty.

Let me know if you have questions you’d like answered, want Growth Hacks for specific things or just want to share your adventure!

Best,

Jamil

P.S. Here’s a bonus Growth Hack; on Quora, use your name @ company.com to widely distribute your company name.
For example: Jamil Velji @ ScienceOfGrowth.co

I hope your ready to start really getting your hands dirty!

While not everyone has a blog, there are still ways to build authority and drive traffic to your product, business or other web properties.

This lovely Growth Hack is the guest post.

A guest post is a blog or article you write and then have published on another website.

Unbounce, the landing page builder, has a great blog that is made up of mostly guest posts. If you are in the digital marketing arena, getting a guest post on Unbounce is a great achievement.

Of course if you are in another arena of knowledge, you can use Google to find sites that are relevant for you and allow guest posts.

The easiest way to do it is to go to Google and search “<your market> + guest blog” or “<your market> + guest post”. In this case “<your market>” would be replaced with a keyword representing your area of focus.

For example, if you were a financial planner, you might search “financial planning guest post”.

Now let’s take it a bit further. After you’ve made a list of 10 – 15 sites that allow guest posts, you’ll want to then see what the potential traffic is to those sites.

There’s no point in spending time to write a guest post if the site only gets seen by a hundred people a month!

To do this, you’ll want to take the domain name and run it through www.trafficestimate.com

This will give you a very rough estimate of the number of unique visitors that hit that website monthly. I usually take the number given and shave off 20% to get a bit more accurate.

Now that you have your list of guest posting sites, along with their estimated traffic, you can begin making decisions on which blog to target first.

With guest posts, I always recommend to have a list of at least 5 target sites to start with, because not every site will accept your post. But if the quality is good, you can shop it around from your first choice to your second choice and so on, until you’ve found a home for it.

The requirements of a guest post will vary from blog to blog, and using the search term above you will likely end up on the guest posting requirements page. Make sure to take note of this when writing your post.

As an extra tip, if you want to increase your chances of getting accepted or at least getting feedback on your guest post, build a rapport with the blog’s site or owner on Twitter.

If Unbounce was the example, I would tweet their posts a few times in a week, try to jump in on their Twitter discussions and make some comments on their blogs. This would build some recognition for the blog owner.

Let me know how your guest posting adventures go, I’d love to hear about them and read the posts!

If you don’t already have a blog in this day and age, you need to get yourself over to WordPress.com and get yourself setup with one.

A blog can serve many purposes from SEO to thought leadership and more. But I’ll leave the thought leadership hacking for another email.

I want to talk to you about the importance of having an about page on your blog.

For most a blog is a passive lead generator, but if you notice that your conversion rate leaves something to be desired, a well crafted about page can be the perfect hack to increase your conversion rate.

It’s a place for your visitors to get to know you better, understand your vision and see if you are a good fit to take on their business. Two of the best examples I know of are Neil Patel’s about page on QuickSprout and Noah Kagan’s about page on OkDork.

Both take a different approach to it, but both have the same underlying principles in place as well as the same idea behind them. Both Noah and Neil do a great job of connecting with their readers by offering up personal information, not just career B.S., but real insight into their personality. While you may know that Noah loves Burritos from being an AppSumo user, you may not have known that he also has a passion for disc golf or that he does Yoga.

On a more extreme version of the personal connection, Neil gives you a full life story so you understand where he’s coming from. It gives great insight into the way he thinks about marketing and entrepreneurship in general.

Neil has said a few times in past posts that his about page has lead to high-value leads and making a personal connection always helps in growing customer value.

You can easily implement this conversion hack by writing up a simple paragraph or two about yourself. Make sure to cover off why you got into your market, a few fun facts about yourself on a personal level and make sure to sprinkle in some links to your business or blog posts to distribute your newly qualified traffic.

Happy hacking!

 

Today we’re going to look at Twitter. Now there’s a bunch of cool things you can do with Twitter to automate growth, but today let’s focus on the Twitter bio.

Most people keep a short and to the point pitch for themselves in their Twitter bio, which makes sense, but it’s not really effective. Driving traffic towards the URL in your bio is all you are capitalizing on with a standard bio.

Twitter allows you to leverage the @TwitterID syntax in your bio, which means that anyone who checks out your bio, can then by directed to your startup, side project, business partner, etc.

A great example of this is in Neil Patel’s Twitter bio seen below:

Now in Neil’s Twitter bio he links to 2 of his companies, KISSmetrics and CrazyEgg, as well as his business partner.

By doing this he’s able to leave his URL link for his lead generation blog, QuickSprout, while also being able to drive traffic to his 2 companies.

You can take this a step further if you have a short bio by using a second URL in your bio to drive traffic to multiple sites directly. Here’s my Twitter bio as an example:

It’s a simple but useful Growth Hack and it becomes more effective as you grow your following.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear how your Twitter hacking goes. Post a reply in the comments and tell me how it went!

What is the email signature Growth Hack you may ask?

 

The whole idea is to include relevant information and a call to action to your email signature. Most people send out at least 5 emails a day to customers, but Imagine you are at a company of 50 people. That’s over 250 emails a day that get sent out or 250 potential conversions.

 

Here’s an example of what I mean with my personal email signature:

 


 

Jamil Velji

Website | Linkedin | GitHub | Twitter | Skype: Jamilv

 

P.S. Like marketing and growth hacking? Subscribe to my newsletter now, it takes seconds!

 


 

In this example, the subscription is my main call to action because I want to build a list. If you work at or run a SaaS company, you may want your call to action to be related to viewing your company tour.

 

My only other note on this Growth Hack would be to make sure your signature is consistent. Make sure your email signature isn’t different from your coworker’s otherwise it just looks bad.

 

On a final note, if you need some help getting your email signature in order, feel free to comment below and I’ll help you out.

 

Now go hack some growth!

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