Growth hacking is a hot buzzword today! Coined in 2010, growth hacking is an umbrella term that refers to using low-cost creative strategies to grow revenues.

Growth hacking used to be a thing for startups a couple years ago, but now, it isn't limited to startups alone. Even large companies use growth hacks today to accelerate their growth. After all, who doesn't like acquiring customers without spending a penny!

Here's 7 amazing growth hacks to do exactly that:

Hack #1: Cross promote your business

Cross promotion is the most powerful growth hack to acquire new customers for free. Reach out to brands or companies that share a similar customer segment and ask them to promote you while you promote them!

Consider the example of the Amazon-SiriusXM cross promotion. SiriusXM offered free Amazon Echo Dot speakers to those who sign-up for new subscriptions through the Sirius website. In turn, Amazon offered a free 3 month trial of SiriusXM when customers buy an Echo Dot speaker.

Today, there are even tools like Madneto that allow you to explore brand partners and cross promote with other brands.

Hack #2: Make sure your call-to-actions appear with your content

This isn't really a growth hack but it's probably the biggest mistake folks make. You have a great website and you produce amazing content. Customers come to your website, consume your content but don't convert. You know why?

It's because you don't have a call-to-action in your content! Try using opt-in popup tools like SumoMe or OptinMonster to convert your readers into leads or customers and test out the results for yourself.

Hack #3: Create content upgrades through e-books and collect emails

Content upgrades are an increasingly popular growth hack to collect email subscribers. Imagine a great 1,000 word blog post on a topic that you're interested in and at the end of the post, you realize there's more to it!

All you need to do is click a button and download a much more detailed e-book on the topic. You click the button, provide your email address and get your shiny new e-book in your inbox.

Content upgrades can take many shapes and forms including infographics, e-books, checklists, videos and spreadsheets.

They're an amazing way to generate leads and increase your conversion rates!

Hack #4: Optimize conversion through free tools

This growth hack may not apply to everyone but can be super powerful if it makes sense for you. Sometimes, depending on your website's category, you can build useful free tools for your target customers. If the tool is useful, you might be able to spread word about your company or brand faster than ever without ever spending on marketing!

Let's consider Hubspot. Hubspot's founder built a small tool to grade websites on performance and SEO. It was an incredible success and millions of people used the free tool to analyze their websites and make improvements. It helped make Hubspot the company it is today by building an awareness of Hubspot and growing it's email list.

Hack #5: Create promotional or educational videos that can go viral

Let's be honest here. Video marketing can be tough. But, videos have the potential to go viral.

Checkout Dollar Shave Club's video below. The founder took a topic like shaving that’s quite boring and turned it into entertaining humour worth sharing with a friend. The video went viral with over 20 million views and was the primary growth driver for DSC!

Hack #6: Carefully craft a referral program

Referral programs are dime a dozen today! Most referral programs fail. But the ones that succeeded have had astronomical growth.

Think Paypal, Dropbox and Groupon. The reason why they've been so successful is that these referral programs were designed to be luring for customers yet inexpensive.

Dropbox's referral program rewarded customers with more cloud storage. So, the customer who got more storage is now even more hooked to Dropbox. And what's more, he/she gave Dropbox more customers!

Dropbox managed to attain a whopping 3900% user growth in 15 months owing to its legendary referral program.

What's most important in referral programs is to create this kind of a viral loop. So, carefully craft your referral program to make it effective, and perhaps you can achieve the same growth!

Hack #7: Use applied social psychology

No, I'm not asking you to hypnotize your customers. Just create a sense of urgency by displaying real data.

Groupon, in its early days, used this growth hack amazingly well. Groupon needed a minimum number of people to buy the deal but they also had a limited quantity available. So, they would display the remaining available quantity on their deals.

So, not only did it create a sense of urgency, but to avail the deal, you had to spread the word about the deal and about Groupon!


Paras Malhotra

Paras is the founder and CEO of Madneto, the world's first cross promotion platform. He's been advising brands for over 5 years on marketing campaigns, specifically around cross promotion and brand partnerships.

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