Written by Franco Varriano
Published under Hacks
June 18, 2012
Growth Hacking is all over the startup scene right now. Some people feel like it’s a legitimate role and critical to early stage startups, while others feel like it’s just a repeat of the “social media guru” movement.
Whatever you want to call it, there are certain techniques that a very limited number of startups have leveraged in order to quickly on-board a significant number of users and consequently yield a certain degree of influence on their industry and market.
I’ll let the facts speak for themselves.These are the Top 5 most successful startup growth hacks:
Dropbox leveraged a simple share-for-more-space strategy in order to quickly on-board more users in a short amount of time. Other than connecting your social platforms to the app, they have great messages with referral links you can Tweet or share – turning each user into an affiliate/evangelist of sorts and rewarding them for promoting their brand with their network.
This example has become quite the case study over the past weeks due to the blog post by Andrew Chen on Growth Hacking, but the example it sets is still key – regardless of the vocabulary surrounding the experiment. Leveraging existing behaviors and communities is the surest way to see rapid growth in your own startup.
Now I know what you’re thinking… “He’s sneaking an extra startup in here!” Well yes, I am. But only to better illustrate the point that a simple and concise landing/login page can create massive growth because you’re letting users know exactly which action you want them to take (notice on both sites the social login is prominent).
Buffer is my favorite social sharing tool and they’ve grown rapidly from a single pricing page to a full blown app (and Chrome extension). Here’s a great post about how they’ve achieve such rapid growth, but the main point is their acquisition of the Digg Digg bar and the addition of their own button by default to increase their userbase. Now anywhere from Hacker News to TechCrunch, you can automatically top up your buffer at the click of a button. Flawless and simple.
Now Apple may no longer be a traditional startup, but it wasn’t that long ago that they took a major risk and launched something no other computer company had ever done: mobile hardware and a vision of a new distribution model for software. Every email sent from an iPhone ends in a simple little sentence that has helped Apple sell over 316 million iOS devices. Simple yet powerful branding helped keep them top of mind.