Growth Hacking
Lean Marketing for Startups
How to get free traffic to your website
Put content up on Slideshare
Answer questions on Quora
Answer questions on Quora
Edit Wikipedia
Cheat your way onto the Hacker News homepage
Cheat your way onto the Hacker News homepage
Start a Meetup
Post on Craiglist
Teach on Skillshare and at General Assembly
Get on email newsletters
(submit here and here)
Go to events
Update your email signature
Dave McClure’s Marketing Channels
But none of that really
matters...
“

PS: I love you. Get your free
e-mail at ???

”
In 1996 co-workers Sabeer Bhatia and
Jack Smith planned to start JavaSoft
They were afraid
their boss might
read their emails
They were afraid
their boss might
read their emails
So they built a webbased email system
...and so

was born
They raised
$300,000 from
investors
But Hotmail’s launch was
unimpressive
July August
Their growth strategy was to buy
billboards and radio ads
But investor Timothy Draper

had a better idea
“

Put ‘PS: I love you. Get your
free e-mail at Hotmail’ at the
bottom of each e-mail.

”
Within hours, Hotmail’s growth
took the shape of a classic
hockey stick curve
July

September
They started averaging 3,000
new users a day

July

September
Within 6 months, they were up
to 1 million users

July

September

November
Five weeks later, they hit the 2
million user mark

July

September

November

January
In one case, Bhatia sent an
email to a friend in India
In one case, Bhatia sent an
email to a friend in India

within 3 weeks Hotmail
had 300,000 users there
When they sold to Microsoft 1.5 years
after launch, Hotmail had 12 million users

July

September

November

January

Marc...
When they sold to Microsoft 1.5 years
after launch, Hotmail had 12 million users
(There were only 70 million
internet user...
This story is not an anomaly
Why did these
companies succeed
when everyone else
failed?
E
TH

BS

I run the world’s first growth hacking agency based
out of New York City and have helped launch
dozens of differ...
What we’re going to cover today
What Is Growth Hacking?
The Science of Growth Hacking
Notable Growth Hacks
This is adapted from posts by Dave McClure,
Andrew Chen, Noah Kagan and others, as well as
from my own experience
Most startups find themselves facing the

same problem
They build a product that no one ends up using
Say your startup has

an idea
You assemble a team
and start building
Six months later, you have a
product you're happy releasing
When that day finally comes,
you launch and…
When that day finally comes,
you launch and…
nothing happens.
You get a writeup on TechCrunch
and several thousand users
You get a writeup on TechCrunch
and several thousand users
(But most of them stop using it after a few days)
Nothing like the tremendous
viral growth you were
anticipating

July

September

November

January

March

May

July

Sept...
What do you do?
You’re in the trough of sorrow, my friend
Wearing Off
TechCrunch

of Novelty

of Initiation

Wiggles of

The Promised

Fal...
Continuing to ship new features
is the worst thing you can do
It compounds what the real problem
was in the first place, which is that
you don't know what's wrong
Enter the growth hacker
What the fuck is

Growth
Hacking

?
Growth hacking is a set of
tactics and best practices for
dealing with the problem of
user growth
Viral growth
Viral growth

Landing page optimization
SEO

Product management

Analytics

Email marketing
PR

Onboarding
UX

Behavioral ...
Traffic

Most companies only
track three things

Users

Revenue
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5
Get
traffic

?

Get
users

?

Profit
Those metrics
aren’t very helpful
Those metrics
aren’t very helpful
(The magic is what happens in between)
The key is to map out the user
lifecycle for your product
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION

Acquisition = getting people
to come to your site
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION

Activation = getting people to sign up for
...
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
RETENTION
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
RETENTION

Retention = getting users
to beco...
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
RETENTION
REVENUE
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
RETENTION
REVENUE

Revenue = monetizing acti...
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
REFERRAL
RETENTION
REVENUE
SEO
Email

Viral
PR

SEM
Blogs

Partnerships
Contests

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
REFERRAL
RETENTION
REVENUE

Referral = getti...
The lean marketing funnel

ACQUISITION
ACTIVATION
REFERRAL
RETENTION
REVENUE
(It kind of looks like a teacup)
Let’s see it
in action
Acquisition

You hear about Quora after
your friend posts a question
from Quora to Twitter
After reading the page
you decide to create an
account
Acquisition
Activation
Acquisition
Activation

...a few days go by
You get a weekly digest
email with questions and
links back to the site
Acquisition
Activation
Retention
Once you’re back, Quora
encourages you to read
related questions
Acquisition
Activation
Retention
And share interesting
questions through
Twitter and Facebook
Acquisition
Activation
Retention

Referral
Quora doesn’t
currently make money
Acquisition
Activation
Retention
Revenue

Referral
Each step of the LMF
corresponds to a user state
The growth hacker’s job is to figure out how
to move users from one state to the next

???
Creates an account

Visits agai...
You need to measure conversions at each step
1744

10%

Acquisition

174
Activation

30%

30%

52

17

Retention

Revenue
Dave McClure’s example conversion metrics
Mixpanel and KISSmetrics are great for analytics
At first your numbers will be really shitty
1744

1%

18%

0%

17
Acquisition

3

0

Activation

Retention

Revenue
At first your numbers will be really shitty
1744
Focus here

1%

18%

0%

17
Acquisition

3

0

Activation

Retention

Rev...
At first your numbers will be really shitty
1744

10%

Acquisition

174
Activation

10%

0%

17

0

Retention

Revenue
Don’t focus on
acquisition if your
activation rate is 1%
Growth hackers have developed
tactics for optimizing the funnel
Measure the quality of traffic sources
Design landing pages to convert better
Tweak onboarding to improve activation and retention
Get people to come back using email
Social integration to get people to share
Identify companies that focus on
optimizing and try to learn from them
Not every growth hack will
work for your company
How do you run a proper
experiment?
Divide users into a control and a test group
Divide users into a control and a test group

Control

Test
Control

Test

Run your change on the test group and measure
the difference between the two groups
This is often called an A/B test
Growth hackers
experiment a lot
Highrise wanted to
test out different
homepages to see if
they could increase
account signups
So they created a
“long-form sales
letter” page
Homepage
traffic

And ran an A/B test

Original Design

Long-form Design
Can you guess the
results?

Original Design

Long-form Design
The long-form
design saw a 37.5%
increase in account
signups
Original Design

Long-form Design

37.5%
Then they created a
personal testimonial
page
And ran another A/B
test
Person Design
Long-form Design
It performed even
better than the longform page

Person Design
Long-form Design

37.5%

102.5%
But the person
design was shorter
and had much less
information

Person Design
Long-form Design

37.5%

102.5%
So they added more
information to the
bottom
And ran another A/B
test
Person Design

Long Form
Person Design
It turned out that
adding more
information made it
perform worse than
the original design!

Person Design

102.5%
Long For...
But that’s not where
testing ends...
Unbounce is an amazing tool for easily
creating and testing landing pages

Use promo code mattanfree3
for 3 months free
Testing applies to
product features too
Vanity and A/Bingo are testing
frameworks for Ruby on Rails
Measure the lifetime effect of a change
1744

10%

174

30%

30%

52

17

Acquisition

Activation

Retention

Revenue

Ver...
From Dave McClure’s Startup Metrics for Pirates
Most tests results
are not as conclusive
as the ones by Highrise
Growth hackers often need to
perform 15-20 tests per week
to find 1-2 improvements
Getting users to the

AHA
MOMENT
What’s the one core activity
of your product?
What’s the one core activity
of your product?
How can you get people
there as fast as possible?
Keep refining and iterating until you get to
the problem definition that resonates with
the most people, most easily, and ...
Our AHA moment at Twitter was ‘Once a
user follows 30 people, they're more or
less active forever.’
- Josh Elman, ex-Produ...
Notable Growth Hacks
Acquisition:
Mint has a landing
page or blog post
for nearly every
personal financerelated topic
Acquisition:
OKCupid’s OKTrends
Blog created viral
stories by “trading
up the chain”
Acquisition:
BrandYourself kept
their Mashable article
trending for 2 days
by promoting it on
StumbleUpon
Activation:
Groupon has two
different pages for
Google vs. Direct
traffic

(Footers are good for SEO but
reduce conversion...
Activation:
Path texts the app to
your phone
Activation:
OKCupid has a “tour
guide” that interacts
with you during the
signup process
Activation:
Dropbox sends an
email when a user
signs up but never
installs the software
Retention:
Eventbrite sends
emails if you’ve been
inactive for too long
Retention:
Path has your friends
do it instead!
Retention:
Path has your friends
do it instead!

(Can have a 10x higher
conversion rate)
Referral:
Facebook integration
makes it really easy
to get people to
share
Referral:
Dropbox,
LivingSocial, and
Appsumo know
incentivization
works well too
Referral:
Quora forces people
to sign up before they
can read answers
Growth Hacking
Resources
Watch Dave McClure’s
Startup Metrics for
Pirates
Quora has boards on Growth
Hacks and Growth Hacking
Andrew Chen has
posted a list of notable
growth hackers:
Check out our
posts at
growhack.com
If you’re around NYC
check out my new meetup
Thank you.

Get more growth hacking case studies
at growhack.com/case-studies

Mattan Griffel
mattan@growhack.com
@mattang...
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  1. 1. Growth Hacking Lean Marketing for Startups
  2. 2. How to get free traffic to your website
  3. 3. Put content up on Slideshare
  4. 4. Answer questions on Quora
  5. 5. Answer questions on Quora
  6. 6. Edit Wikipedia
  7. 7. Cheat your way onto the Hacker News homepage
  8. 8. Cheat your way onto the Hacker News homepage
  9. 9. Start a Meetup
  10. 10. Post on Craiglist
  11. 11. Teach on Skillshare and at General Assembly
  12. 12. Get on email newsletters (submit here and here)
  13. 13. Go to events
  14. 14. Update your email signature
  15. 15. Dave McClure’s Marketing Channels
  16. 16. But none of that really matters...
  17. 17. “ PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at ??? ”
  18. 18. In 1996 co-workers Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith planned to start JavaSoft
  19. 19. They were afraid their boss might read their emails
  20. 20. They were afraid their boss might read their emails So they built a webbased email system
  21. 21. ...and so was born
  22. 22. They raised $300,000 from investors
  23. 23. But Hotmail’s launch was unimpressive July August
  24. 24. Their growth strategy was to buy billboards and radio ads
  25. 25. But investor Timothy Draper had a better idea
  26. 26. “ Put ‘PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail’ at the bottom of each e-mail. ”
  27. 27. Within hours, Hotmail’s growth took the shape of a classic hockey stick curve July September
  28. 28. They started averaging 3,000 new users a day July September
  29. 29. Within 6 months, they were up to 1 million users July September November
  30. 30. Five weeks later, they hit the 2 million user mark July September November January
  31. 31. In one case, Bhatia sent an email to a friend in India
  32. 32. In one case, Bhatia sent an email to a friend in India within 3 weeks Hotmail had 300,000 users there
  33. 33. When they sold to Microsoft 1.5 years after launch, Hotmail had 12 million users July September November January March May July September November
  34. 34. When they sold to Microsoft 1.5 years after launch, Hotmail had 12 million users (There were only 70 million internet users at the time) July September November January March May July September November
  35. 35. This story is not an anomaly
  36. 36. Why did these companies succeed when everyone else failed?
  37. 37. E TH BS I run the world’s first growth hacking agency based out of New York City and have helped launch dozens of different products. I've also spoken at various industry events – including at Bloomberg, Internet Week, and Social Media Week – and have been featured in Forbes, BusinessWeek, Mashable and The Next Web. ONT L A Mattan Griffel Founder & CEO, The Front Labs Partner, Grow/Hack FR
  38. 38. What we’re going to cover today What Is Growth Hacking? The Science of Growth Hacking Notable Growth Hacks
  39. 39. This is adapted from posts by Dave McClure, Andrew Chen, Noah Kagan and others, as well as from my own experience
  40. 40. Most startups find themselves facing the same problem
  41. 41. They build a product that no one ends up using
  42. 42. Say your startup has an idea
  43. 43. You assemble a team and start building
  44. 44. Six months later, you have a product you're happy releasing
  45. 45. When that day finally comes, you launch and…
  46. 46. When that day finally comes, you launch and… nothing happens.
  47. 47. You get a writeup on TechCrunch and several thousand users
  48. 48. You get a writeup on TechCrunch and several thousand users (But most of them stop using it after a few days)
  49. 49. Nothing like the tremendous viral growth you were anticipating July September November January March May July September November
  50. 50. What do you do?
  51. 51. You’re in the trough of sorrow, my friend Wearing Off TechCrunch of Novelty of Initiation Wiggles of The Promised False Hope Land! Trough of Sorrow Releases of Crash of Improvement Ineptitude
  52. 52. Continuing to ship new features is the worst thing you can do
  53. 53. It compounds what the real problem was in the first place, which is that you don't know what's wrong
  54. 54. Enter the growth hacker
  55. 55. What the fuck is Growth Hacking ?
  56. 56. Growth hacking is a set of tactics and best practices for dealing with the problem of user growth
  57. 57. Viral growth
  58. 58. Viral growth Landing page optimization SEO Product management Analytics Email marketing PR Onboarding UX Behavioral economics
  59. 59. Traffic Most companies only track three things Users Revenue
  60. 60. Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 Get traffic ? Get users ? Profit
  61. 61. Those metrics aren’t very helpful
  62. 62. Those metrics aren’t very helpful (The magic is what happens in between)
  63. 63. The key is to map out the user lifecycle for your product
  64. 64. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests
  65. 65. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION
  66. 66. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION Acquisition = getting people to come to your site
  67. 67. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION
  68. 68. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION Activation = getting people to sign up for anything that could lead to a repeat visit
  69. 69. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION RETENTION
  70. 70. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION RETENTION Retention = getting users to become active
  71. 71. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION RETENTION REVENUE
  72. 72. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION RETENTION REVENUE Revenue = monetizing active users
  73. 73. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION REFERRAL RETENTION REVENUE
  74. 74. SEO Email Viral PR SEM Blogs Partnerships Contests ACQUISITION ACTIVATION REFERRAL RETENTION REVENUE Referral = getting active users to refer others
  75. 75. The lean marketing funnel ACQUISITION ACTIVATION REFERRAL RETENTION REVENUE
  76. 76. (It kind of looks like a teacup)
  77. 77. Let’s see it in action
  78. 78. Acquisition You hear about Quora after your friend posts a question from Quora to Twitter
  79. 79. After reading the page you decide to create an account Acquisition Activation
  80. 80. Acquisition Activation ...a few days go by
  81. 81. You get a weekly digest email with questions and links back to the site Acquisition Activation Retention
  82. 82. Once you’re back, Quora encourages you to read related questions Acquisition Activation Retention
  83. 83. And share interesting questions through Twitter and Facebook Acquisition Activation Retention Referral
  84. 84. Quora doesn’t currently make money Acquisition Activation Retention Revenue Referral
  85. 85. Each step of the LMF corresponds to a user state
  86. 86. The growth hacker’s job is to figure out how to move users from one state to the next ??? Creates an account Visits again later
  87. 87. You need to measure conversions at each step 1744 10% Acquisition 174 Activation 30% 30% 52 17 Retention Revenue
  88. 88. Dave McClure’s example conversion metrics
  89. 89. Mixpanel and KISSmetrics are great for analytics
  90. 90. At first your numbers will be really shitty 1744 1% 18% 0% 17 Acquisition 3 0 Activation Retention Revenue
  91. 91. At first your numbers will be really shitty 1744 Focus here 1% 18% 0% 17 Acquisition 3 0 Activation Retention Revenue
  92. 92. At first your numbers will be really shitty 1744 10% Acquisition 174 Activation 10% 0% 17 0 Retention Revenue
  93. 93. Don’t focus on acquisition if your activation rate is 1%
  94. 94. Growth hackers have developed tactics for optimizing the funnel
  95. 95. Measure the quality of traffic sources
  96. 96. Design landing pages to convert better
  97. 97. Tweak onboarding to improve activation and retention
  98. 98. Get people to come back using email
  99. 99. Social integration to get people to share
  100. 100. Identify companies that focus on optimizing and try to learn from them
  101. 101. Not every growth hack will work for your company
  102. 102. How do you run a proper experiment?
  103. 103. Divide users into a control and a test group
  104. 104. Divide users into a control and a test group Control Test
  105. 105. Control Test Run your change on the test group and measure the difference between the two groups
  106. 106. This is often called an A/B test
  107. 107. Growth hackers experiment a lot
  108. 108. Highrise wanted to test out different homepages to see if they could increase account signups
  109. 109. So they created a “long-form sales letter” page
  110. 110. Homepage traffic And ran an A/B test Original Design Long-form Design
  111. 111. Can you guess the results? Original Design Long-form Design
  112. 112. The long-form design saw a 37.5% increase in account signups Original Design Long-form Design 37.5%
  113. 113. Then they created a personal testimonial page
  114. 114. And ran another A/B test Person Design Long-form Design
  115. 115. It performed even better than the longform page Person Design Long-form Design 37.5% 102.5%
  116. 116. But the person design was shorter and had much less information Person Design Long-form Design 37.5% 102.5%
  117. 117. So they added more information to the bottom
  118. 118. And ran another A/B test Person Design Long Form Person Design
  119. 119. It turned out that adding more information made it perform worse than the original design! Person Design 102.5% Long Form Person Design 22.7%
  120. 120. But that’s not where testing ends...
  121. 121. Unbounce is an amazing tool for easily creating and testing landing pages Use promo code mattanfree3 for 3 months free
  122. 122. Testing applies to product features too
  123. 123. Vanity and A/Bingo are testing frameworks for Ruby on Rails
  124. 124. Measure the lifetime effect of a change 1744 10% 174 30% 30% 52 17 Acquisition Activation Retention Revenue Version A 1744 (100%) 174 (10%) 52 (30%) 17 (30%) Version B 1670 (100%) 100 (6%) 60 (60%) 18 (30%)
  125. 125. From Dave McClure’s Startup Metrics for Pirates
  126. 126. Most tests results are not as conclusive as the ones by Highrise
  127. 127. Growth hackers often need to perform 15-20 tests per week to find 1-2 improvements
  128. 128. Getting users to the AHA MOMENT
  129. 129. What’s the one core activity of your product?
  130. 130. What’s the one core activity of your product? How can you get people there as fast as possible?
  131. 131. Keep refining and iterating until you get to the problem definition that resonates with the most people, most easily, and most emotionally powerful. - Josh Elman, ex-Product Lead at Twitter
  132. 132. Our AHA moment at Twitter was ‘Once a user follows 30 people, they're more or less active forever.’ - Josh Elman, ex-Product Lead at Twitter
  133. 133. Notable Growth Hacks
  134. 134. Acquisition: Mint has a landing page or blog post for nearly every personal financerelated topic
  135. 135. Acquisition: OKCupid’s OKTrends Blog created viral stories by “trading up the chain”
  136. 136. Acquisition: BrandYourself kept their Mashable article trending for 2 days by promoting it on StumbleUpon
  137. 137. Activation: Groupon has two different pages for Google vs. Direct traffic (Footers are good for SEO but reduce conversions)
  138. 138. Activation: Path texts the app to your phone
  139. 139. Activation: OKCupid has a “tour guide” that interacts with you during the signup process
  140. 140. Activation: Dropbox sends an email when a user signs up but never installs the software
  141. 141. Retention: Eventbrite sends emails if you’ve been inactive for too long
  142. 142. Retention: Path has your friends do it instead!
  143. 143. Retention: Path has your friends do it instead! (Can have a 10x higher conversion rate)
  144. 144. Referral: Facebook integration makes it really easy to get people to share
  145. 145. Referral: Dropbox, LivingSocial, and Appsumo know incentivization works well too
  146. 146. Referral: Quora forces people to sign up before they can read answers
  147. 147. Growth Hacking Resources
  148. 148. Watch Dave McClure’s Startup Metrics for Pirates
  149. 149. Quora has boards on Growth Hacks and Growth Hacking
  150. 150. Andrew Chen has posted a list of notable growth hackers:
  151. 151. Check out our posts at growhack.com
  152. 152. If you’re around NYC check out my new meetup
  153. 153. Thank you. Get more growth hacking case studies at growhack.com/case-studies Mattan Griffel mattan@growhack.com @mattangriffel
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