“Get Your Free Email At Hotmail”
Adding those six simple words to the tagline of every outbound Hotmail email added an incredible one million users in only six short months. At the same time Hotmail achieved one of the best examples of growth hacking the internet has seen.
Growth hacking involves implementing a data-driven approach to creating scalable and repeatable growth. Below, I’ll look at three inspiring examples of companies that have used growth hacking stratagems to accelerate their growth, increase retention and reach their target market.
#1 Blue Leaf – 10K Users Before Even Launching
Blueleaf provides web based financial software tools for advisors and clients. Using growth hacking tactics they were able to reach 10,000 users before they even launched the business. Here’s how they did it.
Before launching Blueleaf offered its clients two potential ways of accessing their products. These were getting an invite from their current users or receiving one directly from Blueleaf. Blueleaf restricted the number of people who could get in by only allowing those they had requested an invite and who would like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. This ensured that the news about BlueLeaf would be spread through their users social networks.
To add an element of urgency and up the scarcity factor Blueleaf would only make the ability to invite a friend available for a brief period of time. While people already “in” could invite as many people as they wanted, they could only do so within a brief window. This led to people begging publicly on Facebook and Twitter for an invite. In turn this increased both the exposure and perceived value of Blueleaf.
#2 Visual.ly – Hacking Your Product
Building virality into your product is one of the fastest ways to increase your growth. This is something that Visual.ly has cleverly used to their advantage. Launched in 2011, they enhanced their user acquisition by adding social features. This included allowing it’s users to follow their top designers or topics and to share and like content. It’s that kind of growth which enabled Visual.ly to secure $8.1 million in Series A Funding this year.
#3 Treehouse – Increasing User Retention
Treehouse is a web based educational platform which offers courses in everything from marketing to Ruby on Rails coding. Early in its existence Treehouse was experiencing a monthly churn rate of 12%. If it continued along this track within 10 months the company would have been out of business.
Treehouse needed to do something . They had to find a way for existing students to stay engaged, motivated and most importantly to keep learning using Treehouse. The solution was to use a badge system which would reward users for achieving certain benchmarks. This badge system worked extremely well for Treehouse. Solving its user retention problem helped Treehouse raise $7 million in financing from Kaplan Ventures.
So where do you start if you want to implement growth hacking in your business? It all starts with a hypothesis about what you can do to create growth for you business. Test that hypothesis, measure the results and then if what you did works, scale quickly. It’s a simple formula but one which can produce outsized results if you hit it big like Hotmail.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How To Get 1 Million Users In 6 Months – And 3 Other Inspiring Growth Hacking Stories
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