Basic User Acquisition in Growth Hacking

The following notes were taken from reading Growth Hacking: A how to guide on becoming a Growth Hacker by Jose and Joe Casanova.


  • the 5th largest website in the world.
  • When Techcrunch began they’d update Wikipedia with links to their articles to drive traffic.


  • Allows you to share your presentations online
  • Produce solid presentations that are educational and provide value then post on slide share
  • Offer value to people, earn their trust and start moving them through the funnel


  • There are a large amount of Founders and CEO’s answering questions on Quora
  • Getting your Founder of CEO answering questions or contributing to discussions within your niche creates high-quality and valuable content


  • Meetup is a community based website dedicated to organising meetings in the off-line world
  • Face-2-face meetings can stimulate retention and referral
  • B2B  businesses can take advantage of industry trade shows, summits and events to foster growth and build retention

Viral Channels

Webmail Address books

  • Use a service like Openinvite and ensure you’re doing APIs for the four largets webmail providers: Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL, Gmail
  • For B2B – how about using LinkedIn?

Social Media API’s

  • Dont forgot to have presence on the major SM platforms (FB, Twitter, Foursquare, Linkedin) but also the up-and-comers (google+, Tumblr, Yammer, SalesForce)
  • Make sure your content is easy to share on social content sites like Reddit etc.

Phone Contacts

  • If you’ve got a mobile product make sure it contains a built in function that makes it easy for people to share it with their contacts

Facebook Apps

  • FB has over 1billion users

Contact Files

  • House email lists
  • Use them and make sure you’re ready to support other business users email blasts with appropriate CTAs


Growth Hacking Tactics

The following notes were taken from reading Growth Hacking: A how to guide on becoming a Growth Hacker by Jose and Joe Casanova.

Strip down your home page to the bare essentials

–          Design your website with a minimalist approach

–          Most people wont find you through your home page – rather another landing page from a shared link or natural SERPs

–          Users will more than likely visit your home page to learn more about you so don’t distract them from this mission otherwise they may just leave

–          Notable companies who stripped down there home page include Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Groupon

Integrate your product with a business that has a large user base

–          Spotify became one of the first companies to integrate its product into Facebook’s newsfeed

–          Paypal integrated into eBay

–          Zynga integrating with Facebook

Speed up your website

–          People wont hang around for pages to load

–          Go to a public library and test how long a webpage takes to download

–          Resource intensive page elements like video or flash objects can affect speed

–          Fast page loads = high satisfaction

Social Proof

–          Users value others  opinions and advice when making decisions

–          This can be demonstrated through customer testimonials, logo’s of established companies, customer statistics, thought leaders

Growth Hacking Strategy

The following notes were taken from reading Growth Hacking: A how to guide on becoming a Growth Hacker by Jose and Joe Casanova.

A growth hacker’s goal is to leverages different fields of expertise to move users along a predetermined “user experience funnel”.

Funnels differ, but a common flow is:

> Hears about your product

> Visits your website

> Creates an account

> Refers a friend

> Pays you

To accomplish this GH build in scalable marketing features in a product and ensure that every aspect of the user’s experience is custom-tailored to lead them to the next step in the funnel.

Content marketing, social media marketing, virality, product features that encourage sharing and involvement are all examples of new marketing ways to cut through the deluge marketing noise.

The Growth Hacking Funnel

AARRR – Dave McClure (Startup Metrics for Pirates)

Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue

Stage / Example

Acquisition / Use a/b testing to engineer landing pages optimised to generate more  sign-ups

Activation / Earn users trust by providing high-quality content to consumers in your niche. Leverage SEO to get the most out of your content marketing efforts.

Retention / Evaluate how consumers use your product, experiment, and recreate until you find a strategy that attracts and retains long-term growth.

Referral / Provide tools to enable users to share content easily (addthis, sharethis, prompting)

Revenue / This is dependent on the business model.  However, if you’ve worked hard enough at the first four stages the final stage should feed itself.

Growth Hacking Strategy

Growth Hacking strategy is based around 4 main questions:

  • How do I get more people to sign-up?
  • How can I get new users activated as quickly as possible?
  • How can I best engage and retain my users?
  • How can I bring back customers who have fallen off the platform?


Growth Hacking

The following notes were taken from reading Growth Hacking: A how to guide on becoming a Growth Hacker by Jose and Joe Casanova.

What is it?

The majority of online businesses focus on retention and engagement.

The more engaged users are the more likely they are to refer friends, family and professional contacts.

This drives organic retention, as a larger base will increase engagement and referrals.

This concept is known as virality (word of mouth in old money).

Growth Hacking is a data-driven outgrowth of marketing and product development disciplines.

It’s about getting people to keep using a product once they’ve tried it and how to get them to tell their friends and family about it.

The main objective of GH is the same as all business – growth.

Growth must be the central goal of the product for GH to work.

Growth is something that business people understand but “hacking” is a little more unfamiliar.

Hacking simply means to find a simple solution for something (check life hackers for examples of creative solutions to life’s everyday problems).

In the marketing context, hacks are the solution to sustained growth.

Traditional marketing sells an existing product; growth hacking creates a product that will market itself.

Growth Hacking Example

Twitter realised that users who followed at least 5 other users when opening a new account were more likely to return and use Twitter again.

Twitter put in place projects to ensure that all new visitors had to do this when opening an account.

How to gain subscribers and retain them

There are 5 steps to gaining a subscriber and keeping them.

1. Value Exchange. 
– If you want someone to subscribe you must incetivise them to do so.

–  You must offer something of value in exchange for their contact details and permission to continue to communicate.
– The incentive can be anything from valuable information or entertainment to a discount on future purchases.
– The incentive must be overt, obvious and clearly delivered.

2. Editorial Schedule.

– Create a schedule of stories that can be relayed to the consumer overtime explaing the benefits of your product or service.

– Every communication must sell the next communication – each communication needs to be interesting, usefull and relevant.

3.Re-inforce the incentive.

– The incentive’s appeal may wear off over time.

– Analyse the data of your customer – What do customers respond to? What do you know about this particular customer?

– Optimise your comunication – Make it personal and relevant!

4. Increase customer permission over time.

– To collect more customer knowledge (e.g. personal information, job information, hobbies, interests etc.)

– To offer new service or product information.

– To provide a product sample.

5. Change behaviour towards profit.

-These steps lead to sales.

– Use the customers attention to turn their permission into a profitable situation for both of you.

– Repeat these steps to sell more products.

4 Steps for Growing your business

Digital Marketing has fundamentally changed the way agencies operate. They need to think of themselves as being a much broader operation than they have been. Expansion will be unavoidable for those that want to succeed. Fotrunately, there are 4 simple steps agencies can follow to create a road map for their businesses growth:

1. Identify key competencies.
2. Identify supplemental services required
3. Identify partner with domain expertise
4. Plan for the long term and think holistically