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digitalocean.com!
GROWTH HACKING
STRATEGIES TO GET
YOU TO 1,000 USERS
AND BEYOND!
@MITCHWAINER!
CO-FOUNDER & CMO!
digitalocean.com!
What is Growth Hacking?!
digitalocean.com!
Growth hacking is a set of
tactics and best practices to
drive user growth.!
digitalocean.com!
Growth hacking is mindset.!
digitalocean.com!
P.S. I Love You! Get Your
Free Email at Hotmail.!
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.!
Hotmail Example!
digitalocean.com!
digitalocean.com!
Dropbox Example!
digitalocean.com!
Airbnb Example!
digitalocean.com!
•  Make mistakes!!
•  Offer it for free!!
•  Interview your early adopters!
•  Set a budget and goals!
•  Measure conversion rates!
When acquiring your first 100 users…!
digitalocean.com!
Channels! Spend! Sign Ups! CPA!
Banner Ads! $100! 5! $20!
Social Media! $500! 10! $50**!
Email! $50! 25! $2!
Retargeting! $1,000! 250! $4!
Totals & Averages
 $1,650
 290
 $5.69
“**Social Media’s CPA is too high, it might be time to shut it off and
allocate more budget into email and retargeting.”!
Build Monthly KPI Reports!
digitalocean.com!
•  Monthly Churn!
•  Lifetime Value!
•  CAC!
•  LTV:CAC!
•  Payback CAC (Months)!
The Next 900+ Users…!
digitalocean.com!
Measure Your P/M Fit!!
If your monthly churn is
greater than 10%, you don’t
have the right product/
market fit.!
digitalocean.com!
KPIs! Current Month! YTD Average!
LTV! $214.35! $230.44!
CAC! $8.04! $6.56!
Churn! 6.20%! 4.50%!
LTV:CAC! 26.64x! 34.65x!
CAC Recovery! 0.61 Month(s)! 0.49 Month(s)!
“The best SaaS businesses have a LTV to CAC ratio that is higher than 3, sometimes as high
as 7 or 8. And many of the best SaaS businesses are able to recover their CAC in 5-7
months.”!
!
Source: http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/saas-metrics-2/!
Health Metrics (Sample)!
digitalocean.com!
Acquisitions (Free Trial)!
Activations (Paying Customer)!
Retention!
Revenue!
1,500!
15!
11!
$!
30,000! Website Visitors!
Conversion Funnel!
digitalocean.com!
June 19, 2012

2.10%
Acquisition Rate

22%
Activation Rate!
A/B Test!
Our first website design
digitalocean.com!
Released new website
design with stronger
CTAs and saw a
147% increase in
acquisition rate but
activation rate stayed
the same.!
Focus on Design & Strong CTAs!
digitalocean.com!
New Website Design
Released!
Pricing plan lowered
from $10 to $5 Per
month!
We saw a 113% increase in activation rate
when we introduced lower pricing.
A/B Test Again…And Again…And Again!
digitalocean.com!
Acquisitions (Free Trial)!
Activations (Paying Customer)!
Retention!
Revenue!
600!
132!
92!
$!
30,000! Website Visitors!
Monthly Conversion Funnel (Before)!
2%!2%
70%
22%
digitalocean.com!
Acquisitions (Free Trial)!
Activations (Paying Customer)!
Retention!
Revenue!
1,500!
690!
483
$!
30,000! Website Visitors!
Monthly Conversion Funnel (After)!
2%!5%
70%
46%
digitalocean.com!
1,500!
690!
483!
$!
30,000!
Monthly Conversion Funnel (After)!
2%!5%
70%
46%
We 4x’ed growth by
focusing on improving
acquisition and
activation rates.!
digitalocean.com!
Implement, test, iterate, and
scale growth hacks that work
for your business!!
digitalocean.com!
•  Make signing up very simple. 1-2 fields that simply collect email and password are
ideal and some of the most popular websites such as DigitalOcean, Slack and
Kissmetrics sport an in-line one to two field sign up form. !
!
•  Demo your product in front of an audience and offer a credit / promo (we demoed at
New York Tech Meetup and acquired our first 50 customers via a $50 promo credit)!
!
•  Include promo codes in ad text for campaigns. This will increase conversions and
lower your CPA.!
Free Trial / Promo Codes!
digitalocean.com!
•  Write and publish high-quality content that appeals to your ideal customer!
•  Aim for 20 posts per month / 5 per week!
•  Lists make create topic headlines (Buzzfeed tactic). Use odd numbers.!
•  Google likes longer content (500+ words per page).!
•  Can’t hire a writer? Pay customers to write content for you (we pay $200 per tutorial).!
•  Conduct keyword research using Google’s Keyword Tool or Google Trends!
•  Include CTAs (e.g. Newsletter form)!
•  Optimize headlines and meta descriptions (include H1, H2, H3 tags)!
•  Optimize URL strings using dashes (e.g. yoursite.com/what-is-growth-hacking)!
•  Build links through guest posts, product reviews, etc.!
Content Marketing / SEO in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
•  To ensure you are driving high quality traffic
to your website, you must evaluate conversion
rates, time on site, pages per visit, bounce
rate, etc. We used Google Analytics and in-
house reports.!
•  Evaluate common attributes of users who
have become an active customer (device,
OS, location, keyword they used in their
search, etc.)!
•  Track campaign performance using Google
Analytics URL Builder
Analytics in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
•  Find websites that have ad
space with extremely low
CPMs (cost per thousand
impressions)!
•  BuySellAds.com and
BuyAds.com are great display
platforms to research and find
ad space on websites that
speak to your target customer!
Include Incentive & CTA!
Short Headlines Work!!
Display Advertising in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
•  Target individual writers that write content within your industry!
•  Be brief with your pitch!
•  Save big stories for major publications.!
•  Build relationships with writers. Keep them in the loop.!
•  Work your network. You may be surprised that you have a close
friend that knows a writer at a major publications (this is how we
secured our first exclusive on TechCrunch).!
PR in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
•  Insert retargeting tracking code on all prospect facing site
pages (make sure to have a burn list created to not target
existing customers)!
•  Facebook Retargeting (FBX) through AdRoll and Google
Display Network is a great way to generate signups at a low
CPA!
!
•  Don’t discount “View-Through-Conversions” too heavily. If
they see your ad, they become influenced. This is where
multi-attribution tracking tools like Convertro come in handy.!
Retargeting in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
•  We recommend building your own in-house referral program.
Otherwise, GetAmbassador.com is a great tool for referral
automation. !
!
•  Incorporate easy social and email sharing!
!
•  Pay via users with credits vs money!
!
•  Implement a double-sided incentive (give $10, earn $10)!
Referrals in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
On August 26 2014, we launched
our double sided referral program
and 2 months later generated over
6,000 referrals, the highest number
of referrals in a single month to
date.!
Our NPS = 69!
DigitalOcean’s Double Sided Referral Program!
digitalocean.com!
•  Create a social media influencer target list!
•  Engage, re-tweet, and favorite to get on their radar.!
•  Reach out to prospects with promo codes. Find them
using search.twitter.com.!
•  Implement a social tool to manage multiple profiles
(e.g. Hootsuite)!
•  Leverage Twitter’s ad platform to target followers of
your key influencers or competitors!
•  Facebook Ads have a low CPC. You can select your
perfect audience to target based on demographics
and interests.!
•  Answer highly visible questions on Quora!
•  Actively participate and answer Tweets and mentions
in a timely manner!
Social Media Marketing in 90 Seconds !
digitalocean.com!
•  Collect as many email addresses as possible!!
!
•  A/B test every email – focus on subject lines (shorter subject lines
produce higher open rates)!
!
•  Add large call to action in every email and include incentives (e.g.
promo code)!
!
•  Best time to email is between Tuesday-Thursday and 11am-4pm EST!
!
•  Implement drip email automation (we use Customer.io) over 1 week
to educate and incentivize users to eventually convert!
Email Marketing in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
Email Marketing in 90 Seconds!
digitalocean.com!
Create auto-triggered emails using segment.io and customer.io to follow up
with people who bail out of your signup process.!
Retention Growth Hack!
digitalocean.com!
Emails Sent" " "# of Re-Activations " Monthly Run-Rate!
4,739 688 (15%) $8,225!
After 30 days….!
Retention Growth Hack Results!
digitalocean.com!
•  Waiting lists / invite only (we plan to use this tactic for our
next major product launch)!
•  OAuth login – easy signup with your Google/Facebook/
Twitter/GitHub/LinkedIn accounts!
What We Haven’t Tried…!
digitalocean.com!
Drive High !
Quality Traffic!
Visitor Returnsand Signups !
Customer
Refers Friends!
!
OR!
2% Leave !
& Receive !
Email with!
Incentive!Referral Program!
Retention Email!
Social Media!
PR!
Display & Text Ads!
Content Marketing!
SEO! Collect Email Address!
Retargeting!
Email Marketing!
Free Trial / Promo!
Landing Page Optimization!
Create a Viral Growth Engine!
5!
1!
2!
3!
4!
digitalocean.com!
Questions?!
Subscribe to !
GrowthHackers.com!Buy This Book!!
... or send me !
an email:!
m@do.co!

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Growth Hacking to 1,000 Users & Beyond

  • 1. digitalocean.com! GROWTH HACKING STRATEGIES TO GET YOU TO 1,000 USERS AND BEYOND! @MITCHWAINER! CO-FOUNDER & CMO!
  • 3. digitalocean.com! Growth hacking is a set of tactics and best practices to drive user growth.!
  • 5. digitalocean.com! P.S. I Love You! Get Your Free Email at Hotmail.! 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.! Hotmail Example!
  • 9. digitalocean.com! •  Make mistakes!! •  Offer it for free!! •  Interview your early adopters! •  Set a budget and goals! •  Measure conversion rates! When acquiring your first 100 users…!
  • 10. digitalocean.com! Channels! Spend! Sign Ups! CPA! Banner Ads! $100! 5! $20! Social Media! $500! 10! $50**! Email! $50! 25! $2! Retargeting! $1,000! 250! $4! Totals & Averages $1,650 290 $5.69 “**Social Media’s CPA is too high, it might be time to shut it off and allocate more budget into email and retargeting.”! Build Monthly KPI Reports!
  • 11. digitalocean.com! •  Monthly Churn! •  Lifetime Value! •  CAC! •  LTV:CAC! •  Payback CAC (Months)! The Next 900+ Users…!
  • 12. digitalocean.com! Measure Your P/M Fit!! If your monthly churn is greater than 10%, you don’t have the right product/ market fit.!
  • 13. digitalocean.com! KPIs! Current Month! YTD Average! LTV! $214.35! $230.44! CAC! $8.04! $6.56! Churn! 6.20%! 4.50%! LTV:CAC! 26.64x! 34.65x! CAC Recovery! 0.61 Month(s)! 0.49 Month(s)! “The best SaaS businesses have a LTV to CAC ratio that is higher than 3, sometimes as high as 7 or 8. And many of the best SaaS businesses are able to recover their CAC in 5-7 months.”! ! Source: http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/saas-metrics-2/! Health Metrics (Sample)!
  • 14. digitalocean.com! Acquisitions (Free Trial)! Activations (Paying Customer)! Retention! Revenue! 1,500! 15! 11! $! 30,000! Website Visitors! Conversion Funnel!
  • 15. digitalocean.com! June 19, 2012 2.10% Acquisition Rate 22% Activation Rate! A/B Test! Our first website design
  • 16. digitalocean.com! Released new website design with stronger CTAs and saw a 147% increase in acquisition rate but activation rate stayed the same.! Focus on Design & Strong CTAs!
  • 17. digitalocean.com! New Website Design Released! Pricing plan lowered from $10 to $5 Per month! We saw a 113% increase in activation rate when we introduced lower pricing. A/B Test Again…And Again…And Again!
  • 18. digitalocean.com! Acquisitions (Free Trial)! Activations (Paying Customer)! Retention! Revenue! 600! 132! 92! $! 30,000! Website Visitors! Monthly Conversion Funnel (Before)! 2%!2% 70% 22%
  • 19. digitalocean.com! Acquisitions (Free Trial)! Activations (Paying Customer)! Retention! Revenue! 1,500! 690! 483 $! 30,000! Website Visitors! Monthly Conversion Funnel (After)! 2%!5% 70% 46%
  • 20. digitalocean.com! 1,500! 690! 483! $! 30,000! Monthly Conversion Funnel (After)! 2%!5% 70% 46% We 4x’ed growth by focusing on improving acquisition and activation rates.!
  • 21. digitalocean.com! Implement, test, iterate, and scale growth hacks that work for your business!!
  • 22. digitalocean.com! •  Make signing up very simple. 1-2 fields that simply collect email and password are ideal and some of the most popular websites such as DigitalOcean, Slack and Kissmetrics sport an in-line one to two field sign up form. ! ! •  Demo your product in front of an audience and offer a credit / promo (we demoed at New York Tech Meetup and acquired our first 50 customers via a $50 promo credit)! ! •  Include promo codes in ad text for campaigns. This will increase conversions and lower your CPA.! Free Trial / Promo Codes!
  • 23. digitalocean.com! •  Write and publish high-quality content that appeals to your ideal customer! •  Aim for 20 posts per month / 5 per week! •  Lists make create topic headlines (Buzzfeed tactic). Use odd numbers.! •  Google likes longer content (500+ words per page).! •  Can’t hire a writer? Pay customers to write content for you (we pay $200 per tutorial).! •  Conduct keyword research using Google’s Keyword Tool or Google Trends! •  Include CTAs (e.g. Newsletter form)! •  Optimize headlines and meta descriptions (include H1, H2, H3 tags)! •  Optimize URL strings using dashes (e.g. yoursite.com/what-is-growth-hacking)! •  Build links through guest posts, product reviews, etc.! Content Marketing / SEO in 90 Seconds!
  • 24. digitalocean.com! •  To ensure you are driving high quality traffic to your website, you must evaluate conversion rates, time on site, pages per visit, bounce rate, etc. We used Google Analytics and in- house reports.! •  Evaluate common attributes of users who have become an active customer (device, OS, location, keyword they used in their search, etc.)! •  Track campaign performance using Google Analytics URL Builder Analytics in 90 Seconds!
  • 25. digitalocean.com! •  Find websites that have ad space with extremely low CPMs (cost per thousand impressions)! •  BuySellAds.com and BuyAds.com are great display platforms to research and find ad space on websites that speak to your target customer! Include Incentive & CTA! Short Headlines Work!! Display Advertising in 90 Seconds!
  • 26. digitalocean.com! •  Target individual writers that write content within your industry! •  Be brief with your pitch! •  Save big stories for major publications.! •  Build relationships with writers. Keep them in the loop.! •  Work your network. You may be surprised that you have a close friend that knows a writer at a major publications (this is how we secured our first exclusive on TechCrunch).! PR in 90 Seconds!
  • 27. digitalocean.com! •  Insert retargeting tracking code on all prospect facing site pages (make sure to have a burn list created to not target existing customers)! •  Facebook Retargeting (FBX) through AdRoll and Google Display Network is a great way to generate signups at a low CPA! ! •  Don’t discount “View-Through-Conversions” too heavily. If they see your ad, they become influenced. This is where multi-attribution tracking tools like Convertro come in handy.! Retargeting in 90 Seconds!
  • 28. digitalocean.com! •  We recommend building your own in-house referral program. Otherwise, GetAmbassador.com is a great tool for referral automation. ! ! •  Incorporate easy social and email sharing! ! •  Pay via users with credits vs money! ! •  Implement a double-sided incentive (give $10, earn $10)! Referrals in 90 Seconds!
  • 29. digitalocean.com! On August 26 2014, we launched our double sided referral program and 2 months later generated over 6,000 referrals, the highest number of referrals in a single month to date.! Our NPS = 69! DigitalOcean’s Double Sided Referral Program!
  • 30. digitalocean.com! •  Create a social media influencer target list! •  Engage, re-tweet, and favorite to get on their radar.! •  Reach out to prospects with promo codes. Find them using search.twitter.com.! •  Implement a social tool to manage multiple profiles (e.g. Hootsuite)! •  Leverage Twitter’s ad platform to target followers of your key influencers or competitors! •  Facebook Ads have a low CPC. You can select your perfect audience to target based on demographics and interests.! •  Answer highly visible questions on Quora! •  Actively participate and answer Tweets and mentions in a timely manner! Social Media Marketing in 90 Seconds !
  • 31. digitalocean.com! •  Collect as many email addresses as possible!! ! •  A/B test every email – focus on subject lines (shorter subject lines produce higher open rates)! ! •  Add large call to action in every email and include incentives (e.g. promo code)! ! •  Best time to email is between Tuesday-Thursday and 11am-4pm EST! ! •  Implement drip email automation (we use Customer.io) over 1 week to educate and incentivize users to eventually convert! Email Marketing in 90 Seconds!
  • 33. digitalocean.com! Create auto-triggered emails using segment.io and customer.io to follow up with people who bail out of your signup process.! Retention Growth Hack!
  • 34. digitalocean.com! Emails Sent" " "# of Re-Activations " Monthly Run-Rate! 4,739 688 (15%) $8,225! After 30 days….! Retention Growth Hack Results!
  • 35. digitalocean.com! •  Waiting lists / invite only (we plan to use this tactic for our next major product launch)! •  OAuth login – easy signup with your Google/Facebook/ Twitter/GitHub/LinkedIn accounts! What We Haven’t Tried…!
  • 36. digitalocean.com! Drive High ! Quality Traffic! Visitor Returnsand Signups ! Customer Refers Friends! ! OR! 2% Leave ! & Receive ! Email with! Incentive!Referral Program! Retention Email! Social Media! PR! Display & Text Ads! Content Marketing! SEO! Collect Email Address! Retargeting! Email Marketing! Free Trial / Promo! Landing Page Optimization! Create a Viral Growth Engine! 5! 1! 2! 3! 4!
  • 37. digitalocean.com! Questions?! Subscribe to ! GrowthHackers.com!Buy This Book!! ... or send me ! an email:! m@do.co!