How to Growth Hack Your Tech Startup to Stardom

In the Technology sector, intense competition is the absolute norm. Established enterprises hold tightly to their majority market share, always seemingly one step ahead of their smaller competitors (who are hanging on for dear life just to survive another day). At the same time, new startups are trying to enter the fray as emerging competitors. In fact, per the GEM 2016/2017 Global Report, about 100 million new businesses are launched globally every year. That’s a daunting number to have to compete against.

Yet another piece of bad news to bear in mind is that  90% of all startups fail.  So, if the smaller and somewhat established businesses are struggling to gain a foothold in the market, how on earth are start-ups going to enter and survive (let alone thrive)? The answer can be very simply stated: Growth through creative back doors, known as “Growth Hacks”.

No one will argue growth is the most important metric for a startup with no room for stagnation. It doesn’t matter whether growth is defined in users, traffic, or revenue; if the graph keeps pointing upwards, the startup will succeed!

How other prominent businesses used growth hacking to rapidly scale their startup

Have you ever wondered how startups with no marketing budgets pop up overnight? How did a previously unheard of company like Airbnb begin with a rental of 1 to acquire a vacation rental community well over 1000 in less than 3 years?  How did Twitter become, well Twitter? The answer is through Growth Hacking!

The list of well-known startups that utilized hacks to rapidly grow their business is endless. Growth hacking is the name for a broad range of activities spread across marketing, sales, programming and design disciplines. A growth hacker uses all tools at their disposal to grow the business. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder; a person who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B testing, creating landing pages, exploring other viral factor and refining email deliverability, among other things. 

Three growth hacking tactics your startup should use immediately to springboard your company into the “Big Leagues”:

#1. Build A Massive List of Email Subscribers

Email is the most effective channel where you can easily market your company. An email list isn’t just a bunch of email addresses. There are people behind those email addresses. Email matters. People don’t change their email addresses. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, people join and drop that pretty often. But changing your email address is perceived as an incredible hassle! No one likes to do it, so they don’t. One of the fastest and effective ways to build a lot of email subscribers is to treat your home page as an email form. Popups, slide-outs, menus, and popovers are another effective list building strategy you may want to try on your homepage.

#2. Set Up a Customer Referral Program

Per the CEO of Dropbox, Drew Houston, referrals increased Dropbox signups by over 60%. Drew and team were able to growth hack Dropbox, spending very little on advertising. After spending year developing a great product for the world to have, why not make it simple for users to spread the word to others? Creating a customer referral program is one of the most effective growth hacking techniques that almost always works because people usually trust the opinion of others over generic, “one size fits all” type of advertisements and sales pitches. Referrals can come from a variety of sources, including: Friends/Family, News Publications, Customer Reviews and Opinion Posted Online, Influencers Opinions (Bloggers, Social Media Influencers) and Testimonials to name a few.

#3. Put Them On “The Waiting List”

If you are just about ready to launch, but are still working out all the kinks in your product and business, then you are at the perfect time for this tactic. By building a wait list for your product, you could make it explode and become a market leader in a very short time. When we think of a waiting list, we think of a university who has not officially accepted a student for admission, but they may do so sometime soon. This would naturally build suspense and angst for the student, making them yearn for admission even more! Here in the startup world, the term “wait list” simply means a list of people who are waiting to be notified on the day of your product launch. However, they too may yearn for your product, and by word of mouth, spread their excitement for this product to their colleagues and friends. This, in turn, can create even more of a buzz!

Now that you have a few tools to grow your business, you’re going to need to staff your business. That is where CultureFit can help. Instead of wasting valuable time and money on the lengthy process of finding potential tech candidates, talk to one of our IT Staffing Professionals at CultureFit. That way you can keep your attention on your continual “hockey stick” growth. CultureFit IT Staffing provides daily guidance to our clients to help develop a strategically smart workforce hiring plan which positions a company with the greatest opportunity to hire candidates that not only meet the necessary skill sets, but also the best culture fit to support long-term retention.