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  • 1. 21 Ways to get More Users Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Virtual Assistant @yongfook
  • 2. Disclaimer! Based on first hand experience growing a user-base of 500,000 (1.5 years) at previous company and doing customer acquisition consulting Focus is on users with an explicit ARPU! e.g. SaaS, E-commerce, Gaming... Zero-revenue services may not be applicable YMMV, don’t tase me bro etc. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 3. Jon Yongfook Director of Online, Glamour Sales #2 Luxury Flash-Sales Site in Japan US$XX million per year sales Joined at 0, left at ~500,000 members Lived in Japan for 10 years before moving to Singapore Founded recipe portal - acquired 2009 Bootstrapping 2 startups in Singapore - SaaS / E-commerce Selected blog posts: Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook Fuck starbucks. Bootstrappers drink their coffee from plastic bags
  • 4. This is a not a Growth Curve Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 5. This is a Growth Curve Rapid, unsustainable* tactical growth Periods of strategic, sustainable growth *perhaps a temporary paid partnership, exploiting some growth vector that shuts itself off after a while, or a landing page optimization that inexplicably and suddenly stops working magic Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 6. The 3 Commandments Of Growth Hacking Knoweth What Thy Customer Wants Knoweth Where Thy Customer Resideth Knoweth The Language Of Thy Customer Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 7. Think About & TEST: What’s the language potential customers use to articulate their problem? How can I save time? How can I produce better results? How can I look great in front of my peers? How can I never have to do this myself again? How can I earn more money? Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 8. ...and always asketh... How Can We Automate This? Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 9. cheap Trivia: The artist Michelangelo was famously cheap and lived in poor conditions, despite being very wealthy
  • 10. scalable Trivia: Mount Fuji in Japan is actually a volcano and has been dormant since 1708
  • 11. expensive Trivia: Archimedes discovered buoyancy, was one of the best mathematicians of his time and also built giant, mechanical war machines
  • 12. 1 Organic Search • AUTOMATE: For every model in your database, think about how it can be turned into automatic public-facing content. • • Remember to put an obvious CTA! Automatic / Template Ex AUTOMATE: Make sure sitemap.xml is being generated programmatically and is submitted properly to google / bing etc. Editorial There’s a page like this for every country on DirectRooms Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 13. 1 • Organic Search AUTOMATE: Use RICH SNIPPETS. Seriously. Not everyone is yet, you have the advantage right now. (which one would YOU click) Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 14. Blog Blog Blog 2 • • • • Create shareable content • • • Ex Top 10 Lists Useful stuff PICTURES! (e.g. Think about content that is useful to your customers. Don’t talk about yourself too much. AUTOMATE: you can’t automate content creation but can you automate idea generation? Use google trends / social searching to hack yourself a weekly list of topics to cover. Mr Porter Excellent, authoritative and shareable blog content. Their business is e-commerce. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 15. 3 Guest Post Elsewhere • Tech blogs are always looking out for good new content. Don’t be afraid to reach out if there’s market overlap. • Be proactive - write first, then offer it to a blog. If they decline, offer another blog. And so on - worst case? Put it on your own blog. • • SEO value + direct leads AUTOMATE: same as blogging, cannot automate this but can automate idea generation. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 16. 4 Share Your Content • Get your content out there - don’t expect people to come to it! • Find relevant Subreddits and self promote! • Same goes for Quora, forums, comment feeds of related blog posts on other blogs - flirt with that line between being spammy and being useful. • • Master the art of Hacker News! AUTOMATE: get everyone on the team to sign up for buffer and buffer the hell out your content each time you post. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 17. 5 Landing Page Tests • AUTOMATE: use tools for this. obviously. Google Content Experiments (lame) or Visual Website Optimizer (quite awesome). • Don’t fuck around testing your design too much. Test your language / value proposition and CTA. • • Preserve Scent • Don’t let them LEAVE your signup page without signing up. • Be ready to test AGAIN in another few months - optimizations don’t last forever. Ex Get Their Email Address (it’s really all you actually need) Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook Groupon Different graphic assets depending on entry keyword to preserve scent: this search was for “spa coupon”
  • 18. 6 Built-in Sharing Allow your users to share / like / recommend / EMBED your content AUTOMATE: BUILD SHARING INTO the user journey
  • 19. Distribution Automation 7 • AUTOMATE: Retrofit other large markets to work with your site in a way beneficial to users. • • AirBNB / Craigslist • Ex Big companies can’t get away with this. Do this before you get big. Craigslist actively prohibits this sort of thing now but I bet there’s some regional incumbent that will be slow in closing any loophole you exploit! Air BNB Famously created a “Post to Craigslist” feature despite there not being an official API, in order to gain initial traction Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 20. Social Campaigns 8 • • “Retweet this to Win!” • Ex Is this really social? not reeeally. AUTOMATE: • • Leverage vanity / curiosity • User B learns about your company via learning something funny about User A (their friend). Give User A some dynamic content specific to them (e.g. a horoscope) and encourage User A to tweet it. Klout Some (most?) of Klout’s growth is driven through leveraging user vanity and curiosity: 1) Vanity of users sharing their high score 2) Curiosity of user’s friends to find out their own score Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 21. Seed Supply 9 • “Fake it till you make it” • If you’re a marketplace or UGC site, seed it with as much content as possible. Nobody will stay loyal to an empty site. • What content can you use? Creativecommons licensed. Fair-use from other sites (think: excerpt + link back a la Pinterest). Reddit famously created fake profiles in the early days. • • Don’t be shy! Seed Supply. But uh, don’t keep doing it - real customers pay much better than fake customers. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook So the founders made a small addition to the submission page, visible only to themselves: in addition to the "URL" and "title," there was a "user" field. Ohanian and Huffman could make up a login in the "user" field, and if it wasn't already registered by an actual person, the link would be submitted under the ghost profile. "That did two things," said Huffman. "It set the tone… and it made the site feel alive."
  • 22. 10 Forced Virality... In 2010 I made a game that at a certain point you had to invite another person in order to progress worked incredibly well and it didn’t piss as many people off as I thought it would. At that middle point in the game, most users were happy to spread the word. 10,000+ users in 2 days.
  • 23. 11 CRM Automation • • ENGAGEMENT / LOYALTY! • AUTOMATE: add other email triggers to encourage other behaviors: AUTOMATE: add a drip-campaign or autoresponder to each user after signup. Encourage them to make that first interaction / upload / etc. • • • abandoned cart - remind them! dormant - poke them! successfully used your product - get their feedback! Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook Jeff didn’t reeeeeeeeally send this mail himself
  • 24. 12 Influencers Recruited over 30 trend-setting (non-celebrity) bloggers and incentivised blog coverage via VIP events and coupons AUTOMATE: Sweeten the relationship with widgets for their blogs Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 25. 13 Paid Search • A reliable portion of our monthly growth came from paid search • It took me months to learn how to stop bleeding money in adsense. There’s a learning curve. • AUTOMATE: use the Keyword Tool and use the Ad Group Ideas feature - it’s bloody useful and saves lots of time. Quickly test various keyword groups to see which convert the best = learning the language of your customers. Ex “Singapore Hotels” A search for “Singapore Hotels” on Google shows many companies with deep pockets: Agoda,, - startups trying to compete head to head with these companies in Paid Search will simply run out of cash Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 26. 14 Remarketing! • Advertise to people who’ve visited your site already. • CTR can be better, and it makes you look like a massive company. • AUTOMATE: stick the remarketing tag across your whole site from the very beginning! Build the audience so that you can advertise to them later. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 27. 15 • Member Get Member “Refer a friend and get a $25 coupon!” • Japanese users seemed less motivated to refer for cash • Test the incentive, for example “Refer 5 friends and get free shipping for 3 months!” • Some incentives work better at different stages of the customer journey e.g. a newly-activated user / a long-term user • AUTOMATE: Remember to test the crap out of the HTML email design / message itself. Optimize and improve your conversion rates. Ex Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook Gilt All group-buying and private e-commerce sites have an MGM mechanic. It’s a scalable way of acquiring pre-qualified users - costs will rise linearly with new users acquired
  • 28. Get on Hacker News! 16 • It’s not a must-have but it’s certainly a nice-to-have. HN / Reddit drive a lot of traffic. • • • Write great content for geeks or create something open source or ask for genuine feedback: • Show HN: what do you think of our startup? Signups for a paid software product launched on Hacker News Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 29. 17 • • • Partner Up An incentivised partner sending you targeted prospects is supremely valuable • Ex High quality users Try to negotiate a revenue-share, but be prepared for other costs like a revenue guarantee or an up-front payment. In addition to rev-share offer them something they can’t already get easily e.g. build something for them for free, give them data. • AUTOMATE: We put a whole store on their site that earned a rev-share, that they never had to manage and that seamlessly-integrated with the rest of their site. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook We partnered with a popular fashion destination and got banner space, a dedicated page (we put an inline-frame store on it), EDMs and more.
  • 30. 18 • Endorsement Bit of a gamble but can be highly effective at getting users • • • Depends on the size of the blog ecosystem but in Japan: 10,000++ new users from a single post • Ex User quality varies Can result in re-blogs, conversations • Real Example: Celebrity A (paid) wrote about us, then Celebrity B (unpaid) checked us out and wrote about us organically and enthusiastically as we were selling a brand that she loves. We ended up getting more users via Celebrity B than Celebrity A. Best to do it in a regulated environment where there are guidelines. Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook Famous bloggers such as Xiaxue are no stranger to advertorials. Pick your audience wisely however.
  • 31. 19 Be Fast • FACT: Loading time affects your conversion rate A LOT • Don’t forget to optimize one of the most basic parameters out there - site speed • AUTOMATE: your deployment process should be combining all your assets into as few files as possible, minifying them, and serving them from a CDN (with gzip) your framework should be doing this for you already. • There are more quick wins to be had concentrating on static asset serving speed than db/code optimization Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 32. 20 Tell The Press • The press want / need to know what you’re up to! • There’s (about) 10 different occasions where you might want to talk to a journalist about your startup: • AUTOMATE: news wire services have some SEO benefit, but you are better off sending emails to journalists / publishers. Oh there’s an app for that! Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 33. 21 Find the AHA! Moment • Figure out what the AHA! Moment is for your service / app • Twitter: found that when users follow 30+ people, they suddenly “get it” and engagement increases • Optimize around getting users to reach that goal - make decisions for them, or make it as seamless as possible, or keep bugging them to do stuff! • AUTOMATE: Your app *needs* an onboarding process (tutorial / wizard etc) but don’t just blindly build one - the onboarding process should have one goal: get users to reach or as near as possible to the AHA! Moment as fast and with doing as little as possible. Data is your friend! Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook Twitter now tries very hard during onboarding to get people to follow others - using an algorithm to increase relevance
  • 34. Horizontal Growth You get to do it all over again for different markets Shiny Report Tool Shiny Report Tool in Japanese Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook Shiny Report Tool in Chinese Shiny Report Tool for Moms Shiny Report Tool for Dogs
  • 35. Vertical Growth Or across different verticals! Shiny Invoicing Tool Shiny Email Tool Shiny Scheduling Tool “Spaceballs the Flamethrower!” Shiny Report Tool Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics by @yongfook
  • 36. thanks! @yongfook
  • 37. Brought to you by Beatrix Virtual Assistant for Social Media