As we’ve covered many times before, growth hacking, specifically SaaS growth hacks can have a huge impact on your business. But what is actually working?
There are plenty of posts on the web that’ll give you a huge list of experiments to try, and we’ve even covered how to remove the guesswork from growth hacks.
There are loads of SaaS businesses out there making growth hacking work for them and their teams, so why not learn from the best?
What is actually working when it comes to applying growth hacks?
The SaaS growth hacks that are forging a path in 2019
To find out what’s working now we took to Twitter and good old fashioned personalised email outreach. (It still works, now more than ever!)
If you’d like to know about how we went about getting this post together, the research, templates and tools that we used to get it all together we’ll be publishing a post soon enough about our content hacking process – in the meantime sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know when it’s released.
The main part of our outreach was to seek answers to our burning question.
“If you could only choose one growth hack for a new SaaS company, what would it be?”
And let them run rampant with it. We got some one-liners, we got some jokes, but best of all we received some of the best growth hacking snippets we’ve read in a long time.
Without further ado, here they are, your growing collection of hacks, tweaks, tips and tricks:
“Track, track and track some more”
Gilles DC, Founder and Growth Strategist at Ablaze Growth Studio
Religiously track app activity of retained users (this implies you have Product-Market Fit) to identify 1 key action that represents the core value proposition of your product. This is the action all of your best users consistently do to get value out of your product. It’s what essentially retains them. Examples include pinning an item on Pinterest, making a second order on a food delivery app like Deliveroo, creating an opportunity in a CRM, booking a ride on Uber, creating a proposal on BetterProposals, adding a card on Trello.
Now design your app onboarding to remove everything that stands between users and this key action plus the value it generates. If possible make that key action available straight from your landing page: ‘Create a Proposal,’ ‘Book a ride,’ ‘Create a task,’ ‘Which language do you want to learn?’ The last example refers to Duolingo. Their landing page is the onboarding. Go check it out.
“Sign up to your own service”
James Gill, CEO at GoSquared
If you’re building a self-service onboarding flow, sign up for your own service every single week. Put an event in your calendar to do it. Every time you go through your own onboarding you’ll find something you want to improve.
“A brand aligned opinion”
Tom Lloyd, Senior Director of Marketing at Userzoom
Ultimately, to have an opinion, and for that opinion to be as authentic to your brand, product and service as possible. It’s definitely a longer-term strategy than a traditional growth hack, but it’s a differentiator that will underpin the success of your other marketing efforts. Employing growth tactics alone might yield short-term gains, but having a defined, defensible position within your category (and living that through every aspect of your brand) will help ensure those spikes lead to sustained growth, while apathetic competitors fade away.
“Your customers are your most powerful resource”
Gina Edwards, Head of Client Growth at GrowthMinds
Your customers know your offering, they understand the value of your product, they have networks of people similar to them. They are your most powerful resource – look after them but also make use of them! Set up a referral scheme that actually provides them with value (money off their next bill / more insights and advice etc / free pass). Interview them – produce content about them that they’ll want to share with their network. Foster your community and your success will snowball.
“Building long term partnerships”
Aazar Ali Shad, Co-founder and VP of Growth at Userpilot
Build relationships than sell. It might not give you immediate growth. But building relationships and genuinely helping your prospects will help you close the customer. How do I build relationships and close?
I give feedback on their user onboarding, product adoption, and even website. I give first and then they (prospects) are curious themselves on what I do. Then, I close the customer. My response rate is 90% and out of the prospects who say “Yes” to talk to me personally. 50% of them close. Sshh! The secret is out.
Moreover, building relationships help me create content, partnership, understand the customer/user and even promote my content or company. Go for the long term relationship than look for short-term hacks. My 7 years of working in sales and marketing, this is what I learned. It’s counterintuitive but this the best advice on growth hacking. I’m sure others will give quick-short hacks anyway.
“Focus on the mindset”
Raffaele Gaito, Growth Hacker and Partner at yourDigital
My hack is… don’t trust hacks, just trust the process. Forget hacks, tools, tricks, and tactics and focus on mindset. That’s the key for a sustainable growth: process and mindset.
“Hyper personalization of outreach and ads”
Ian Naylor, Advisor at ChatWhale
Hyper personalization – implement in the full sales funnel. ie cold emails with hyper personalized demo images. Follow through in sales page using the same images and then finally in remarking ads. Using this strategy almost 2x cold email conversions.
“Have a system for reviews”
Duncan Jones, Head of Strategy at Web Profits
Automate your review generation process with triggered emails, pop ups or push notifications at a time where your customer is at there happiest (ie. just took their 14th action in the platform). Make sure you filter happy/unhappy customers by getting them to rate out of 10 first and then push the happy customers to third party sites that will bring you traffic and customers if you have a high number of reviews – for example, Capterra & G2Crowd.
“Do your clients understand you?”
Mike Korba, Growth Manager at UserEngage
Start with talking with your first potential clients via live chat to verify if they understand the value you provide. First, do things manually and halfly automatically, prove it that it works (it is meeting your business objectives) only than fully automate.
“Target your competitors’ users”
Daniil Kopilevych, Growth Marketing at HelpCrunch
When you’re just starting out with your new SaaS, one of the best budget-friendly ways to market it is to target your competitors’ users with a decision-stage content.
Create landing pages & long-form ‘vs.’ type of blog posts and reach your competitors’ customers via multiple channels:
1) Cold outreach
2) LinkedIn connections
3) Facebook ads
“Don’t underestimate SaaS directories”
David Cacik, SaaS Growth Hacker
I would suggest listing your company in most of the popular SaaS directories like G2Crowd, Capterra, GetApp. Start by reaching out to your current customer base and don’t forget to provide incentives.The more reviews, the better.
Not only will you rank better in their rankings which means more exposure for your product, but you can also equip your marketing and sales team with great materials – reviews from customers explaining how they dealt with various pain points that your product solves. In addition, by collecting negative feedback, you can pinpoint areas, where your product could improve. Building social proof has resulted in tripling LiveAgent’s MRR.
“Your users will remember how you made them feel”
Juraj Zamborský, Head of Sales and Business Development at Kontentino
I will share one principle instead of back that is applicable to almost every single company.
Your leads/customer/ will forget what you said but they will remember how you made them feel.
In our case, we’re trying to deliver the best customer experience with our honest support and stand as experts and always give valuable insights and advice to anyone we’re talking to.
People need to know you, like you, trust you, before they buy from you.
“Make user flow the focus of your product”
David Jackson, CEO at TheCustomer.co
Build a deep understanding of what customers are trying to achieve and make delivering that the basic flow and focus of your product. That way, you maximise your chances of achieving scalable and profitable retention of your chosen customers.
“Cull features mercilessly”
Sarosh Elahi, Senior SAAS leader & Digital Marketing Expert
80% of your users will only ever use 20% of your product. Don’t get bogged down by feature fatigue. Use data to analyse usage patterns, validate the use case and cull features mercilessly. Don’t get emotional about code. Know that your product has an end of life.
Our favourite one-liners!
Alessia Camera – “Retention hacks”
Growth Hacking Consultant – LinkedIn Twitter AlessiaCamera
Jennifer Hoffman – “Influencer Marketing & Outreach”
Kolja Langnese – “Build incentives into the product to invite new users (free licenses or limited upgrades etc.)”
Miloš Milosavljević – “Appsumo lifetime deal.”
Senior Account Director at FourDots – LinkedIn
Gaetano Caruana – “Referral marketing”
CTO at EarlyParrot – LinkedIn Twitter Early Parrot
Adeel Akhter – “Focus on partnerships in complimenting niches.”
What an amazing post right? We don’t get to brag about our content all that much, but when it was written by you lovely people we’re allowed to.
Where to go next?
Well if you’re looking to establish a basis on growth hacking, shoot on over to our learning guide. Learn Growth Hacking
If you’re looking for more insights from industry leaders check out our post on live chat from live chat expert, Szymon Klimczak.
But you missed out my favourite hack!
For now, we’ll leave you with the sentiment that starts all growth hacking journeys.
“Don’t build because you can.
Build it because you have to!”
Reuben Tozman, Chief Operations Officer at NextTech AR