Want to increase leads, sales and revenue?
Unless you’re living on a communal eco-farm, I’d guess the answer is yes.
The question is:
How do we increase leads, sales, and revenue for our business in a real, sustainable way?
That’s where growth hacking comes in…
Growth hacking is a term coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. It refers to a skill set somewhere in between marketer and engineer; someone capable of creatively envisioning ways to grow a business, but also with enough technical know-how to make it happen – or worst case, know what is possible and what is impossible and outsourcing the former.
So if a growth hacker is someone who can see opportunities and exploits them for growth purposes (leads, sales, revenue, etc.), then a good growth hack is a technique, method, or process for creating this growth.
The problem: a lot of growth hacks are confusing (either difficult to envision or seemingly impossible to develop without a degree in computer alchemy).
The solution: simple growth hacks that anyone can implement with minimal to no code, that can be replicated in under an hour, and that will dramatically multiply your return on investment.
The following is a list of the top 10 growth hacks (in no particular order) that will help you do just that.
Note: each growth hack is designed for a specific scenario, so not all may apply to you.
Have a product or service you just launched and want to increase leads and sales as quickly and easily as possible?
Enter: The LinkedIn Email Blast Technique.
The LinkedIn Email Blast Technique is an extremely simple way to reach out to a potentially lucrative business demographic (people who follow you on LinkedIn).
There are two ways to put the LinkedIn Email Blast Technique to work.
Option 1: Manual Export and Email
Export your contacts from LinkedIn (under the connections tab), adjust the CSV file if necessary for your email service provide, and upload to your email service provider of choice like Mailchimp or Aweber.
From there, create a generic email template and send away.
For more details on how to do this, check out this article on GrowthHack.com.
Option 2: Automate with a CRM
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.
A CRM refers to a tool you can use to manage contacts. I personally use Contactually, but there are dozens of other solutions out there (including free ones like insightly.com and zoho.com among others).
When you use Contactually, you can automatically integrate LinkedIn into your contacts list (and, if you want, sync that list with Facebook friends, email subscribers, regular Gmail contacts, etc.). Next, you simply select LinkedIn from your contacts list and you’ll see everyone that was imported via LinkedIn.
From there, you can use an amazing function called “ScaleMail” to send out generic emails to a large group of people, but configure them down to the individual recipient if you want.
Best of all – you can batch send these emails to make sure they have a better chance of reaching their destination. Finally, you can actually track every email that goes out to see who opens up the email, who clicks, who responds, etc.
If you’ve been a reader of online marketing and sales strategies for some time, you’ll most likely recognize this growth hack.
The Hotmail Technique is named after the famous email provider’s use of marketing its service every time someone sent an email.
At the bottom of every message sent via Hotmail would be this text:
“PS. I love you. Get your free Hotmail account”
And it would link back to Hotmail, so anytime you sent a friend an email, he or she had a great incentive to find out more and get their own free email account.
According to growth hacker Andrew Gale, this was “the original growth hack…before growth hacking was even a thing.”
How to Use the Hotmail Technique
Simply include a link back to your site in the products or services you offer.
A Couple Examples:
- Add a link back to your site on highly shareable images, pdfs, documents, etc. (e.g. any of these pay what you want pdfs)
- Advanced technique: Automatically creating an affiliate link for your people who sign up for your software as a service product and include it anytime someone uses the software (like Mike Filsaime did with webinarjam.com)
In the middle ages, many feudal lords ruled from a central castle.
Every castle had the same standard setup: a few main buildings surrounded by high walls and towers.
The more serious castles were surrounded by moats for extra protection. Of course, a moat is only good if you have a way for people to move across it easily in times of peace (and close it off during other times).
In other words: determine the access and flow of people.
Enter: the drawbridge.
Drawbridges provide a single path over the moat and inside the castle walls and you can only get in when it’s down.
Today, if the modern-day castle and moat is a website (a stretch, I know, but go with it), then the modern-day drawbridge is an optin box (a place for people to put their emails to get access).
Here are just a few:
What you’ll notice is that some of these examples force the user to enter their email to continue (Groupon), while others encourage people to submit their emails but don’t force.
How to use the Drawbridge Technique
- Create a single page optin box for your site (you can use something free like AppSumo’s Interrupt WordPress Plugin or pay for LeadPages and set your homepage to a Leadpage splash page).
- Either force people to enter their email address to get access or give them a great incentive to optin (optin bribe), but let them continue on whether they optin or not (this is probably a better strategy if you want to get people to trust you faster).
One word: Popups.
Popup optin boxes are one of the oldest growth hacks on the list and still one of the best.
If you want to turn more visitors into subscribers, the fastest, easiest way is to create a popup optin box for your site.
According to Craig Kilgore of MainStreetHost.com who recently started using the free SumoMe popup pluginListbuilder, adding a popup optin box has dramatically increased his overall site conversion.
How to Use the Original Lead Capture Method
- Install a popup plugin on your website. Here are some examples of free and paid versions.
- Set it up to offer a free optin bonus (see “The Hyper-Targeted Optin Upsell Technique” below for ideas on what increases conversion).
- Watch new subscribers roll in.
If you’re in marketing or sales, you know urgency is essential for sales.
You can create urgency in a number of ways, most effectively by increasing scarcity.
One of the most effective ways to increase scarcity is by setting a time limit for something…
And then showing the potential customer how much time is left (get it or its gone!).
This classic sales technique has been used for thousands of years in thousands of ways, more recently by companies like Amazon, Gap, and Kayak to encourage immediate purchase of their products or services.
This technique is great for selling anything, from product sales to educational training material (for example, dozens of online infoproduct salesmen restrict enrollment to their completely digital courses – there’s no reason for this except to increase urgency and therefore sales)
How to Use The Emergency Sales Technique
- Set a time limit for something you’re selling (e.g. if you’re selling an ecourse, have a 1 or 2 week launch window).
- Let your users / readers / potential customers know about the time limit.
- Advanced Technique: include a countdown timer. For more on this, read this article about how this technique helped sell over $ 3,000,000 of one product (using one landing page).
If you’re a bootstrapper selling products or services online, then you know one of the most effective and cheapest ways to get in front of an audience is through guest blog posting.
The concept is simple: find a website that has an audience of people you’d like to get in front of, write a guest post for them, and when it goes live it will drive people back to your website.
But then what?
What happens when the traffic comes?
First of all, a lot of people squander guest blog posting opportunities by having a weak call to action at the end their article (e.g. “click to read more of my writing”…blah, who cares?).
The second place many people fail is by having a generic optin incentive for people once they come back to your site.
That’s where The Hyper-Targeted Upsell Technique comes in.
Now, instead of trying to entice someone with a generic optin offer (or worse, no offer at all), you create a bonus piece of content that is a value-add to the one you originally created.
In a guest blog post I did for Fizzle.co, I wrote about experiments in Pay What You Want pricing. I explained how I made more money removing price and selling from my platform than had I used Amazon.
My hyper-targeted upsell?
An exclusive case study to show how my book performed on Amazon.
Who wouldn’t want to read that if they enjoyed the blog post I just wrote?
- For every guest post, include a bonus that improves the original article (a case study, more detailed breakdown of the same material, checklists, swipe files, etc.).
- Make the call to action explicitly clear at the end of the article, and make sure you use something to collect emails before giving the upsell (I use LeadPages or Gumroad.com)
- Advanced Technique: create an optin using Gumroad’s Pay What You Want feature, which acts as a delivering system for your product if people take it for free, plus you can integrate it using Zapier to automatically curate emails into your email marketing service software (Mailchimp, Aweber, etc.). Get paid WHILE getting subscribers…double cool.
- Advanced Technique: add a hyper-targeted upsell to every blog post you write for your own site, not just for guest blogs (read more about that technique in this article).
How to Use The Hyper-Targeted Upsell Technique
Noah Kagan is the taco-eating genius behind AppSumo, a company that offers daily deals for businesses and entrepreneurs (think Groupon but for software and digital products).
One of the ways Noah was able to grow AppSumo to a multi-million dollar business with over 700,000 subscribers was through relentlessly testing new marketing tactics.
According to Noah, 86% of their marketing experiments fail.
Of those that worked, most were marginally successful.
But one in particular struck gold:
AppSumo tested out a lifetime giveaway of Dropbox to build their email list. It cost around $ 60,000 (if you assume an average lifespan of 60 years) and within a few days they had 250,000 new subscribers and made over $ 40,000 in new sales.
How to Use The Giveaway Method
- Download a program like King Sumo’s Giveaway plugin
- Put up your giveaway
- Promote and share
A caveat: don’t use this unless you have something to sell on the backend (AppSumo sells products every day, so it’s a good bet they’d convert new subscribers into customers).
Note: for one of the best talks on marketing in the past couple years, listen to Noah’s presentation on Rogue Marketing here.
Sometimes, you just need someone to reply to an email.
Maybe it’s a new business lead, maybe it’s someone you want to interview for your podcast, maybe it’s a hard to reach client, whatever.
It sucks when people don’t respond to your first email. But, here’s the thing: people are busy. They usually just need a reminder…
But remembering to send a reminder is painful.
That’s where The Guaranteed Response Method comes in.
The Guaranteed Response Method essentially forces people to respond to you…or ignore you an unrealistic amount of times.
How to Use The Guaranteed Response Method
- Install Rebump.cc (free) for Gmail.
- Every time you want to be sure you get a response, click ‘rebump’ at the bottom of your email:
- Wait for your reply.
The Ultimate Twitter Machine is all about automating your Twitter growth and turning followers into email subscribers (and from there, customers).
How to Use The Ultimate Twitter Machine
- Automate your Twitter growth with TribeBoost.com.
- Automate audience engagement on Twitter by using Bufferapp.com.
- Turn Twitter followers into email subscribers by use a program like Tweetganic.com.
- Have an autoresponder set up to turn subscribers into sales (see “The Advanced Autopilot Sales Technique just below this).
For a more detailed blog post on setting up The Ultimate Twitter Machine, read this.
Once you start turning Twitter followers (or anyone) into a website or blog subscriber, then what?
Most people spend a lot of time creating new content…but why?
Not only does it take up too much time, the old stuff you create never gets properly distributed.
The solution: The Advanced Autopilot Sales Technique.
This technique is all about creating an automatic sales funnel through properly developed autoresponder email sequence and appropriate upsells.
How to Use The Advanced Autopilot Sales Technique
- Create an email list from an email marketing service provider (using Mailchimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft, etc.)
- Determine the premier product you want to sell
- Create a series (3 – 7, depending on industry) of emails to get the reader interested in the product or service you offer.
- Integrate these emails into an autoresponder on your email marketing service provider
- Advanced Technique: develop unique autoresponder upsells for every product or service you have (so that every product or service you sell has a little robot salesman guiding the transaction process)
Note: if you aren’t very comfortable writing sales letter or if you’ve never done an email autoresponder sequence, this could take more than 1 hour to implement (once you get good at it though, it can be done much, much faster).
For more details on how to create an effective autoresponder and integrate hyper-targeted funnels into all your products and services, read this article.