What is a Growth Hacker?
Sean Ellis (Dropbox) came up with the phrase “Growth Hacker” in 2010 when he
was trying to hire his replacement. Because a the Marketing candidates weren’t
“A Growth Hacker is
a person whose true
north star is Growth.
” – Sean Ellis
Wait, So What Does that Mean?
“After product-market fit and an
efficient conversion process, find
scalable, repeatable and sustainable
ways to grow the business.”
– Sean Ellis
What Goes into Growth Hacking?
GH = Distribution Built into Product
Add Your Address Book and
Build Your Network.
Invite a Friend and
Get $25 When They Buy.
Growth Hacking Summary
1. North Star = Growth
2. Find scalable, repeatable and sustainable ways to
3. Use Product, Data & Marketing
4. Distribution Built into Product
How do you know you’re ready to GROW?
You Need to Answer
1. Do You Have Product Market Fit?
How do you measure Product Market Fit?
1. 40% of Users would be “Very Disappointed” if your product disappeared.
2. NPS Score
How would you feel if you could no longer use
(A) Very disappointed
(B) Somewhat disappointed
(C) Not disappointed (it isn’t really that useful)
(D) N/A – I no longer use [product] (Survey.io)
DISCLAIMER: False positives could emerge from surveys. Make sure your engagement &
retention data supports your results.
How Do You Maintain PMF?
Talk to users and understand their problem. And do it every single day. We call our experience the
“Happiness Initiative” and we measure it daily.
2. Are You Optimized for Growth?
Can you convert a user?
Can you keep a user?
How We Messed Up Conversion
and Then Fixed It
< 1% Sign-Ups
We Leveraged Our ‘Magic Moment’
• Users coming through SEO (70% of traffic) are trying to Solve a Problem,
• Identify when you solve a user’s problem = “Magic Moment”
• RESOURCE: Alex Schultz, Head of Growth – See your friends
• Demonstrate why they should sign up
Over 4% Sign-Ups
We Bring them Back with Email
• Editorial team dedicated to keeping you users engaged through high quality content.
3. Is Growth a Priority?
Then you better track it every single day. Facebook’s #1 Metric:
How Many More Users (as a percentage) Were Added Per Day?
1. Product Market Fit
2. Conversion & Retention
3. Everyone’s Focused on Growth
Congrats, you’re ready for growth.
Lets Get in the Growth Mindset
1. Your Goal is to Expedite the Speed of Your
2. A/B Testing & Analytics are the Language of
3. Over 80% of your Growth ideas will FAIL.
(And that’s okay.)
GROWTH HACK: Plan of Attack
STEP 1: Identify Growth Ideas to Test
STEP 2: Test for Scalable & Repeatable Ideas
STEP 3: Measure & Model Your Growth
STEP 4: Repeat
How to Come Up with Growth Ideas?
It starts with thinking about your Customers.
1. What does the customer or the market want?
2. Who are my customers / users?
3. Where do I find my customers / users?
4. What language do my customers / users
Here are 19 Traction Channels
1. Viral Marketing
3. Unconventional PR
5. Social & Display Ads
6. Offline Ads
8. Content Marketing
9. Email Marketing
10. Engineering as Marketing
11. Targeting Blogs
12. Existing Platforms
13. Business Development
14. Affiliate Programs
15. Trade Shows
16. Community Building
18. Offline Events
19. Speaking Engagements
Get Inspiration from Market Research
1. Study a Brand or Competitor
2. Research their Traffic Drivers
3. Analyze their channels that have traction
4. See where they’re putting their creative energy
What to Consider When Testing?
• Biggest Impact
• Free vs. Paid
• Fastest Feedback Loop
• What A/B tests are you the most excited about?
• What segments are you targeting?
And most Importantly . .
Are these Ideas are Repeatable & Scalable?
How to Measure Your Growth?
• Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity.
• Pick One Thing: Traffic, Sign-Ups, Engagement/Retention, Whatever.
• Automate Your Reporting.
How to Model Your Growth?
• Model Growth Based on Your Growth Channels
• Use Your Inputs to drive growth. Do NOT use growth rates
Growth Hacking Inspiration
Google Images + Timing = Traffic
Capturing Users Through Organic SEO
Screenshots taken in an incognito window
• Be the first website to submit images & pages for movie & TV show products
• Search = over 70% of Traffic
Coach.Me: How They Found 70k Users
• GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER: How are people talking about your product?
• QUORA: Where are they talking about your product?
Hitlist: Engineering as Marketing
Chrome extension went viral on product hunt & featured in the Chrome Web Store
Mint: Growth through Content
• Challenge: Personal finance (not viral) and requesting personal data
• Product Wasn’t Viral but their Personal Finance Blog Was viral.
• 1.5 Million Users in 2 Years, Sold for $170 Million
SumoMe: Just Get in the Door
• Promote Free Products (ahead of Paid)
• Frictionless Sign-Up: No Credit Card Required
Evernote: Find a New Growth Channel
• App Store = New Distribution Channel
• “We really killed ourselves in the first couple of years to always be in all of the
app store launches on day one.”
• 19,000 New Sign-Ups / Day
My Favorite Resources
1. How to Start a Startup: Alex Schultz, Growth at Facebook (Video)
2. Lean Startup Marketing (Book)
3. The Viral Startup (Book)
4. Traction (Book)
5. The Viral Loop (Book)
6. Growth Engines (Book)
7. Hooked (Book)
8. The Ultimate Sales Machine (Book)
9. What Great Brands Do (Book)
10.First Round Capital Review (Blog)
12.Startup Grind (Podcast)
13.The Growth Show (Podcast)
14.Paul Graham’s Essays (Blog)
15.Neil Patel (Blog)
BONUS: jimwhuffman.com (Blog)
VP of Marketing