7 Growth Hacking Examples You Can Learn From | Ep. #360

In Episode #360, Eric and Neil discuss 7 growth hacking examples you can learn from. Tune in to be inspired by how these companies skyrocketed their branding and acquired more customers using a few tactical strategies. If you want to grow your company effectively, it doesn’t hurt to look to the best!

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:27 – Today’s topic: 7 Growth Hacking Examples You Can Learn From
  • 00:37 – First is Dropbox
    • 00:40 – Dropbox used pay-per-click to acquire more users
    • 00:51 – Dropbox was making $60 in revenue per customer
  • 01:23 – Second is Airbnb’s growth story
    • 01:29 – Airbnb got people to post on Craigslist
  • 02:08 – Third is SEMrush
    • 02:16 – SEMrush started with a free usage model with the option to upgrade
  • 02:56 – Fourth is Hotmail
    • 03:05 – Hotmail added “sent from Hotmail” at the end of their email to generate signups
  • 03:38 – Fifth is Hubspot
    • 03:43 – Hubspot is a content marketing machine which drives a lot of signups
    • 04:00 – Hubspot also decided to create free tools
    • 04:10 – Hubspot can generate more leads from their free tools at a lesser cost
  • 04:26 – Sixth is the Paypal case study
    • 04:31 – For every signup, they gave away $20, then reduced this amount over time
    • 04:46 – eBay was originally owned by Paypal
  • 05:00 – Startups create press
    • 05:20 – Startups are directing Facebook and Google’s paid traffic to pages that have incredible content written about them
    • 05:54 – By directing traffic, PPC isn’t that bad and the conversion is quite high
    • 06:18 – This only works for an authoritative site; the quality of content you have is what attracts people to sign up
  • 06:35 – Marketing School is giving away a free 1 year subscription to Olark which is live chat software tool
    • 06:48 – Subscribe, rate and review Marketing School
    • 06:52 – Text MARKETINGSCHOOL to 33444 for those in the US
  • 07:00 – That’s it for today’s episode!

3 Key Points:

  1. Make people WANT to know more about you and your product; the quality of your content is the means to do this.
  2. Offering an initial incentive can drive signups to your product.
  3. Create great press around your product to show the value of your product.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to marketing school with your instructors Neil Patell and Eric Sue.

Eric Sue: Welcome to another episode of marketing school. I'm Eric Sue.

Neil Patell: And I'm Neil Patell.

Eric Sue: Today we are going to talk about seven growth hacking examples that you can learn from. So Neil, what is growth hacking example number one?

Neil Patell: Sure, Dropbox. Back in the day, Dropbox tried paperclip to acquire more users. The amount that it cost them to acquire users, I don't know the exact amount, I done a presentation on this in the past, but it was hundreds of dollars, it was somewhere around the few hundred dollar range. Dropbox makes on average 60 bucks in revenue per user assuming they're paying. The problem with that is if someone is paying 60 bucks, it doesn't mean 60 dollars is a profit. It just means they drive 60 dollars in revenue.
You can't pay three or four years to make up the costs of revenue. The numbers just don't make sense. So what Dropbox did, is they did a referral program. The more people you refer, that sign up and use Dropbox, the more free storage you get. And eventually a lot of people end up upgrading like me. I hate that I have no choice but to upgrade at this point.

Eric Sue: And number two is Air BnB's growth story. So basically what they did, got people to post on craigslist. They said, hey by the way reposting your listing from Air BnB to craigslist increases your earnings, so that was kind of their growth hack. They wanted to leverage craigslist because craigslist has a ton of users on it, and people are looking for rentals all the time so in the early days this is what they did to leverage craigslist, and I'm not sure if craigslist had an API, you can correct me if I'm wrong Neil if you know this, but I think they leveraged that API too, but at the very least- I guess this is using API, to encourage people to share to craigslist as well, so that's number two. That's Air BnB's, craigslist growth hack.

Neil Patell: So number three, SEM rush. A lot of people want, or a lot of companies want people to just sign up and pay for their tool. What SEM rush did was they did a little- here's a free version, put in a URL, get started, use the app, and then if you like it you can upgrade. They limit you on how many free uses you get per day, but it's a great way to get people to keep coming back. They already know what they're gonna get before they buy it, so the churn decreases that way, and it was a really smart move, because it's like hey, try it out, and if you look at their growth as Eris mentioned in a previous podcast, they've been exploding. And the reason being is, they let you play with the product and use it to some extent for free. Best of all you don't have to put in a name, email or password, you can just use it for free.

Eric Sue: Alright, number four is Hotmail. So back in the day I actually used to use Hotmail, this is like in the 90s. Hotmail was the thing before Gmail, and what they did to grow, I think one of their investors actually pressed them to do this, but at the very bottom of your email, it says sent from Hotmail, so they have a link saying sent from Hotmail, and that's what attributed their growth to, and correct me if I'm wrong here if you know, but I think it was up to 500 million users, or something like that? But that was the main thing, because people were like what's this Hotmail thing, and more and more people started to pick it up. And nowadays, when you have free email, you're gonna see that there's a link from a lot of these other free email services that basically copied what Hotmail did. They eventually sold to Microsoft.

Neil Patell: So number five, HubSpot. One thing that HubSpot did that was cool, was their content marketing machine, you see how they're just cranking out a ton of posts, and that drives a lot of sign ups. Now most people believe content marketing is the best form of [inaudible 00:03:55] and B to B, and some even believe in B to C. But what HubSpot did that was really creative was, they also decided to start creating free tools. They have a website grader, they have an email signature generator, and they eventually ended up learning that you can generate more emails and leads through these tools at a much lower cost than you can from producing content, and that's one of the big growth strategies that HubSpot is using and it's more cost efficient than creating content by far.

Eric Sue: Alright, number six is PayPal's case study. So what they did, was with every sign up, they started to give away 20 bucks initially. When they started getting really good, they reduced it to 10 bucks, then five bucks, then eventually nothing, but this was incentivizing people to actually start using PayPal, so that's how they grew to the juggernaut that they are today, and then they sold, I think eBay owns them, right?

Neil Patell: Ebay ended up owning them, and then they spun out to being their own quote on quote company and it's publicly traded.

Eric Sue: Yeah, there you go.

Neil Patell: Number seven. If you look a lot of start ups, they create a ton of press to grow. And the press works out quite well, back in the day when you got on tech crunch, it helped. But something creative I've seen that a lot of companies are doing to generate more and more sign ups, they'll create press and the press nowadays doesn't generate as many sign ups as it used to, but what's really creative is nowadays people are taking Facebook paid traffic and google paid traffic, they're sending it to the pages that write amazing- or the websites like tech crunch that have written amazing posts about them, talking about why this app or why this company is revolutionary, why you should sign up, etcetera, and because these sites have so much authority, people are following through and signing up for the services or products. Or even buying them, let's say it's like a juicery or whatever it may be.
So by sending traffic to your press articles, you'll find that your cost per click isn't as bad compared to just sending them to your lining pages where you're just trying to get them to sign up, and then from there, a portion of people will click through and buy. Your conversion rates are typically higher, and for what I've been seeing over the last years, you can generate more sales from that than if you just took the Facebook traffic and you directly sent it to your website.
Now granted, this only works if the site that has covered you is amazing authoritative site, and the article is well written and it plugs you quite a few times, and they're having raving reviews and telling everyone that you oughta sign up.

Eric Sue: Alright, so that's seven growth hacking examples that you can learn from, but before we go we do have another giveaway for you, so this is a one year annual subscription to Olart, which is a useful chat tool that you can use to drive more conversations like conversions for your business. So all you need to do to get in on this giveaway is to rate, review and subscribe to this podcast, and then text marketingschool, that's one word, marketingschool to 33444, to prove that you did it, and we will see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of marketing school has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review, so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on marketing school.

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