One of the most important things that I learned working as a growth hacker for a startup is that there are no such things as silver bullets, that are creating a massive amount of growth and that will turn things around overnight. Growth hacking is about optimizing things and try new things that may or may not have been done before by a company. We do not know if there is a 5% increase in user sign up rate from an idea that may seem stupid at first, but in reality, is a brilliant growth hack once it is executed. This is the exact reason that fast-growing companies are testing multiple ideas every single week, some companies even do 30 tests a day, Hubspot is one of those companies – valued at $1.5B.
In the Danish startup that I was part of, we ran at least 2 tests per week. From small things as creating Instagram and Twitter bots that would drive some traffic to our site to optimizing our funnel and the way that we delivered products to customers. We had a lot of failed tests, most of them failed actually, but after running more than 100 tests the first year, we had grown our monthly sales with 400% and decreased our expenses to AdWords with around 30%. We had tests that surprised us on our way and for example, putting our newsletter signup form above the fold on all of our pages turned out to increase our signup rate with more than 700% and additional 30% when we found the best location above the fold. All of our hacks were not done online. For example, we got a few thousand stickers and flyers printed that I handed out in front of locations, where I knew that our potential customers were going. I handed them a flyer that had a 10% or a 20% discount code and surprisingly after running the test for a month, the 10% discount code outperformed the 20% discount code. It also turned out that giving away flyers was an effective way to drive traffic to our site.
Basically, what we stopped focusing on was the output of our growth, but more the amount of inputs that we could put into our growth machine. It does take a lot of time and resources to run that many tests weekly or daily, but when it is pulled off and a company is prioritizing tests and experiments, then it will become the company’s silver bullet and drive exponential growth!