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Engineering Growth Hacks for Startups


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Talk given to Start-up Chile E-Commerce Tribe on Growth Hacks for Start-ups

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Engineering Growth Hacks for Startups

  1. 1. Engineering Growth Sumeet Patel E-Commerce Tribe December 13, 2012
  2. 2. My Background• First programming class age 14 - Java• UC Berkeley – Industrial Engineering and Operations Research• FICO –Analytic Scientist - helped to develop a credit risk score model that effects over 100M people worldwide• LinkedIn – Early employee and Data Scientist. Built analytic products and analysis with the growth, international, sales, marketing and monetization teams over 3 years.
  3. 3. GoMakeIt : Platform that helps people create or get involvedwith projects they are passionate aboutNowlr : Discover the top trends and measure your ability as anexpert across your interestsBrandBacker : Intelligently connecting brands with bloggers
  4. 4. Rivers of Information Definition: A river is a place online your users rely on for information that you can use to get eyes on your product or engage existing users. (credit to Elliot from LinkedIn) Growth Rivers: 1. Email 2. Google (SEO) 3. Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Tumblr, etc) 4. Content Producers (Publications and Blogs)The more your product shows up in the rivers, thehigher likelihood it will take off. Don’t pollute the rivers!
  5. 5. Email: Data Scraping and Cold EmailingAutomated Cold Emailing : 1. Seed - Find an online directory, source, community, or association for your target users. (GMI Examples: Behanced, CarbonMade, IFB). If not explicitly in a member list, use the browse or search pages (most are paginated). 2. Scrape user information (Name, Age, Gender, Email, Social Media Profile URLs and Handles) 3. Email – build a mechanism (not attached to your production server) to send individual emails out that are personalized based on information you scraped (gender, profile information, etc). 4. Attractiveness - Emails need to appeal to user vanity and ego’s and keep the call to action button simple (“Join”, “Continue”, “Learn More”, etc.) and always show value props.Results: Brand Backer is seeing 40% CTR on Email and 20% overall signup ratefrom the email. Over 3,000 signed up blogs in just over 1 month. 20% of emailedusers engage with the emails by replying back for more information.
  6. 6. Email: Warm Signups and InvitationsWarm Signups through user generated email invitations: 1. Addressbook Uploader – ask users to upload their address books to see who they know in the community (signup flow, home page) 2. Referral Incentives – give your users incentives for inviting their friends to your site. (money, discounts, badges, unlocking features and others specific to your site) 3. Personalize emails with the name of the referrer and if you can try to add something personal in the subject line (e.g. Max thinks you’re an expert in Indie Music) 4. Crisp invitation cycles to increase viral speed (i.e. suggest friends to invite via email, one click invite options and one click join options for the receiver of the email
  7. 7. SEO: Public and Peek Pages• Public pages and directories – Try to publish a limited or peek version of pages inside your site that can be indexed by google (pages like profiles, browse pages, overview pages, blog posts, etc.)• Make it easy for google to index pages – Add links to a directory structure or browse page that can easily be found from the landing page, use a site map.• Pick unique titles and descriptions for each page and make sure they are repetitive. For profiles, use full names of the people in the page title, description and permalink• Think about long tail traffic. Does you product have something that would be searched an only found on your site, even if it’s low search results• Back Links from other reputable websites and publications
  8. 8. Social Media: Follower BotsFor all social media channels: 1. Come up with an intial list of handles/profiles of influencers in your target market (“Seed”). 2. Use the social media API’s to start following their followers and their followers followers. Use real faces for profile pictures and not you’re logo. 3. The ones that follow you back or handles with bigger followers start auto-tweeting. Interacting with the users increases chances of conversion 4. Conversion is correlated to the number of followers you have. The more followers you have the higher likelihood of someone following you back.
  9. 9. Social Media: Transactional EngagementUsing transactions as a viral mechanism:• Facebook Open Graph – auto pushes content to facebook when someone does a transaction (i.e. backing trends)• Share buttons and widgets – prompt users to share content from your site on every action• Trickle emails – periodically email users of friends from social media who are on your site• Activity Feeds – a way to show off transactions on your site that promotes engagement• Warm Signups/Invites – add ways for users to auto invite friends from their social networks (personal message vs app requests)
  10. 10. Questions?