How Today’s Growth Marketers Find Traction
4 kinds of creative experiments that improve your funnel
Since growth hacking has been fashionable, it has been presented as a way to find unlimited virality through specific techniques.
Yet, while these new tools can considerably improve your growth figures, they have never been a substitute for a product providing a valuable customer experience.
According to Sean Ellis in Hacking Growth, what really differentiates growth hacking from traditional marketing is an experimental and data-oriented method, aimed to improve every stage of the marketing funnel.
Growth marketers understand that there is no magic solution, but that you need to invent the right solution for every marketing issues you face: acquisition, activation, retention, income.
They use their creativity to make users experience quickly and fully the value of their product, so to make them stick to it and spread the word.
What defines their mind-set is an accumulation of new ideas, a rigorous evaluation of the impact and the cost of these ideas, and then a smart and insightful testing process.
Here are 4 examples of creative experiments that helped various marketing teams to raise their growth figures.
1. Constantly Testing New Copy and Language
When it comes to increasing traffic to your site or platform, giving a clear and attractive presentation of your value proposition requires several adjustments.
Many start-ups have discovered the importance of a language delivering a clear and persuasive message to the ears of a potential audience.
Growth marketers are striving for constant experimentation on an accurate copy, performing small, fast, and effective A/B testing on their websites.
For example, the first message from Tickle a photo-sharing service was “store your photo online” and received very little traction. The growth team wondered if “share your photo online” was more appropriate for their product, and quickly began testing this message. It did indeed completely change the perception of the users, who came in a larger number.
Similarly, as the same growth team presented for a dating application a simple message “Find a Date”, the attendance was meager. But after discovering that their users were more sensitive to a social aspect of their platform, they changed their message to “Help People Find a Date”. This novelty has also increased considerably their growth figures.
2. Segmenting Your Customers to Find Your “aha Moment”
Attracting multiple users is not enough if you can’t engage them further in the use of the product.
Early in the process, many users may drop out because the experience is not ergonomic enough, does not release enough value, or is not what the user was looking for.
To engage your customers, you need to make them experience as quickly as possible the “aha moment” of your product, i.e. an action where the user feels the full value of the service.
Growth hacking teams generally focus on finding this moment and highlighting its value. They segment their data to find the reasons why the most active users are more invested in the experience.
For example, the team at Qualaroo, an online survey company, had a hard time recognizing what motivates people to buy their services. Comparing users who paid and did not pay after the free trial, they found that those who paid had conducted surveys that returned more than 50 responses.
This led them to infer that users discovered value when they received usable data from at least 50 people, allowing them to receive real insights.
So they tried to attract enough survey respondents to meet their requirements. And their numbers then skyrocketed.
3. Creating and Testing a “Learning Flow”
As the novelty effect wears off, comes one of the most decisive moments of the customer journey: either the user begins to tire of the experience or he continues to invest in it.
To maintain the users’ interest, you need to provide an experience where they continue to learn, progress, and discover new things. It’s about motivating them to act and rewarding them for those actions.
Former Twitter head of growth Josh Elman has gradually improved the platform’s retention by creating a true “learning flow”. The design of Twitter was created to gradually introduce the user to all the features. Through account suggestions, profile customization, the appearance of notable profiles, the user is immediately pushed to customize his interface, and thus to invest in the experience. Through emails that report likes and comments on their posts, they are also rewarded and motivated to continue.
In the same way, the Pinterest team taught their users immediately how to use the “pins” and how they provide value: a flow of the most popular new content appears immediately and they can choose and collect as many as they want. In this way, they create their personalized repertoire of photos that keeps them coming back for more.
4. Building a Customized Experience
Another way to retain users over the long term is to offer them an experience that is increasingly specific to their personalities and needs.
Using machine-learning technologies, Pinterest has progressively built photo recommendations, messages, and emails that are fully personalized to the exact words. It is constantly testing thousands of configurations to find the best ones for each type of user.
Netflix uses each user’s precise viewing data from series and movies to provide a home page full of specific and highly variable recommendations. A bit like Medium’s home interface.
Amazon, one of the companies with the highest retention rate, uses the “Jaccard index” its complex algorithm based on combined purchases to improve its recommendations to users: “Customers who bought this item, also bought…”.
All these companies use the creative and experimental method of growth marketing to find growth.
It’s up to you to invent your experiments to increase your numbers!