Growth hacking is only possible when people are empowered with the best tools. Yes, the spirit of growth hacking is rooted in “doing more with less”. But it would be impossible to iterate without the help of some useful online resources.
There are various tools at your disposal to execute growth hacking. The ones that you select will ultimately depend on your marketing objective. Use this guide to understand what the best fits are based on your company’s needs.
The AARRR Funnel
Ten years ago, Dave McClure created the concept of the AARRR Funnel or Framework. Also known as “Pirate Metrics” (Aarrr…). Today, it is one of the most popular concepts among growth hackers. So what is the AARRR? It is the five pillars of growth, including Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue.
Acquisition – Where do our users come from?
Activation – How good is the user’s first interaction or experience?
Retention – How many customers are you retaining?
Referral – How can you get customers to attract more customers?
Revenue – How can you increase your revenue?
Each of these steps describes a point in the buyer’s journey. As well, these are the company’s most important metrics. With this framework in mind, what tools can help us in each category?
Best Growth Hacking Tools for Customer Acquisition
Getting people to find you is only part of the problem, the other part is turning them into customers. Look below for some tools that can aid through this process from start to finish.
Want to learn more about the industry standard for email open rates and click rates? Be sure to read Mailchimp’s article here.
Startups will find that there are several applications of webinars (web-based seminars). They can help to onboard new hires with consistent information. They can also be used to educate customers about products. But webinars can also be quite the hassle. Clunky interfaces and unreliable connections can severely hamper their efficacy.
Fortunately, GoToWebinar solves this issue and then some. Managers can schedule and organize a webinar, hassle-free. It is also a tool to automate follow-ups, conduct polls and analyze data. It’s no wonder that LogMeIn (owner of GoToWebinar) has been named leader in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions numerous times.
For another popular email tool, look into Constant Contact. The company has been in the industry for over 20 years. And they’ve perfected their process, making it easy and enjoyable to craft beautiful emails. Choose from over 100 templates and track in real-time. Users can sign up for a free trial, or subscribe for $20 a month.
If you’ve used Facebook, you’ve seen the ads. Facebook Ads have raised awareness for many brands and causes. And luckily, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to use them. The platform is easy to understand and navigate once you have planned your strategy well. You need to know what you’re advertising, what your budget is, and who your target market is. You’ll also want to create a copy of the imagery you’ll be using. From there, Facebook handles all the heavy lifting.
Tips for optimizing customer acquisition
- Become a source of information – Customers are more likely to purchase when they trust the brand they’re buying from.
- Use email or social media – They continue to be effective and affordable channels of outreach even today.
- Experiment with different landing pages – A/B test your webpages. Which copy, design, or offers lead to more sign-ups or purchases?
Best Growth Hacking Tools for Customer Activation
Once your customer knows about your brand and offering, the next challenge is getting them to convert. These tools can help convince customers into signing up or purchasing.
Forms and surveys are a good way to gather data about your customers. With Typeform, you can set up quizzes, feedback surveys and even shopping sites to collect forms. Further, they’re designed beautifully and engaging. Typeform will deliver higher completion rates. Learn more about your audience and use the insights to improve your services. What’s even better, it’s easy to use, customizable, and anyone can use it.
Google Analytics provides basic insight into user tracking. For a more powerful tool, check out KISSmetrics. The platform reveals where your customers come from and what their buyer journey is. It will also analyze the value of each campaign and channel. Most recently, KISSmetrics added engagement metrics like cohort analysis. This can help you determine the efficacy of website improvements or remarketing efforts.
A call-to-action or message featured at the top of a webpage is starting to become a design standard. This drives conversion. Websites may ask you to sign up for a newsletter or follow them on social media. Hello Bar makes it easy to set these messages up and tailor them to your specific audience. The brand ranked as one of FinancesOnline top 50 landing page software products. It was also named one of the top 100 conversion rate optimization software products.
Crowdsignal (formerly Polldaddy) helps you create beautiful survey designs. Surveys are a quick way to gather and analyze data. Use the simple drag-and-drop tools, and enjoy the customization and platform integration ability. Crowdsignal makes survey creation a breeze. The platform is a development by Automattic, the company that created WordPress, WooCommerce, and Tumbler. You can be sure to expect plenty of support.
Tips to optimize customer activation
- Create an incentive – Whether it’s a download, a limited time offer, or some other value, entice your customers.
- Place a limit – When you include words like “now” or “limited”, customers are more compelled to convert.
- Simplify the process – The fewer steps involved to sign up, the less excuse they have not to.
Best Growth Hacking Tools for Customer Retention
Once you acquire a customer, how do you keep them around? Focus on customer retention— ensuring your customers continue to seek value from your company. Here are a few tools to help with that goal.
Nimble provides a powerful CRM tool centered around managing and organizing your contacts. You can task yourself to follow up with customers and track their activity. Or manage the entire sales process without leaving Office 365 or Gmail. Never again will you have to keep track of a dozen spreadsheets or countless third-party apps. Nimble does it all in one platform. The platform has become so popular that it’s received praise from Mark Cuban.
Here is yet another CRM tool, but only tailored for e-commerce brands. Drip allows you to both segment & analyze customers, as well as their customer journeys. You can use this to personalize your marketing outreach. Then, use their visual workflows to better understand consumer behavior. Drip has made it easier than ever to understand their movement online.
The analytics provided by social media platforms doesn’t always paint the full picture. That’s when you need a social media marketing suite like Mention. Two of their best features are worth mentioning. One, a social media listening tool that tracks online opinion about a certain product. Two, a content publishing tool that lets you plan and schedule your messages. A future update brings forth a third tool that can increase interaction and presence with your audience. Between the first two tools, this platform is already worth it.
It may be worth investing in an automation tool if there’s a process you continue to use. While Klaviyo‘s services may seem similar to competitor’s, it also offers automated communication with customers. If a customer abandons their cart, an email reminder can be sent to them. Klaviyo empowers your brand to delight customers through the customer journey. To date, Klaviyo services over 20,000 brands.
Tips to optimize customer retention
- Send frequent reminders – Whether they’re purchasing a product or signing up for a service, send an offer or news update to keep them in the loop.
- Reward customer loyalty – Reward points and exclusive deals can show customers that you value their business.
- Offer strong customer support – Listen to the harshest, most critical reviews, and find ways to flip the situation around. Those critics may just turn into advocates.
Best Growth Hacking Tools for Customer Referral
Why spend time and money on marketing, when your customers can do it for you? These tools are designed to encourage more customer referrals to your brand.
TapMango does customer loyalty right. Their sleek design and gamification make users want to engage with the brands they love. Via tablet, mobile app or email. You can offer your customers mobile check-in payments and reward points. Or use their SMS service to send reminders and notifications. On top of it all, you can also use their geomarketing tools and robust analytics. You’ll soon have created a brand ecosystem.
Social media marketing doesn’t have to be a one-man job. Instead, it can be a collaborative experience. That’s the goal of Buffer, one of the most effective social media tools. Draft posts, schedule each message by account, and work seamlessly with large teams. You can even reply to your audience directly from the platform. Over 75,000 businesses are using Buffer for their social media strategy today. And it’s not hard to see why.
If your business has the habit of working with more than one tool, Zapier will make your life a whole lot easier. Instead of doing a long and arduous process over and over, why not have your apps “talk” to each other? A Facebook Messenger inquiry could trigger an automatic email through MailChimp. Or perhaps you would like to remind your Slack team whenever a user signs a document with DocuSign. By supporting over 1,500 applications, Zapier saves each user more than 40 hours on average per month.
Content is everywhere. And sifting through noise to find quality posts can take forever. Fortunately, BuzzSumo helps ease this pain. Use BuzzSumo to identify top performing pages, performance on social media, and competition. This is a must have for those who need to develop their content strategy. Get your users to share and engage more with your content.
Tips for Optimizing Customer Referral
- Create shareable content – Articles or videos that are interesting or funny tend to circulate more than dry content.
- Reward users for referrals – A discount, added space, or some similar benefit is enough to incentivize referrals.
- Create a brand worth referring – Nobody is going to want to refer an unprofessional brand. Your website and social media presence should appear top notch.
Best Growth Hacking Tools for Revenue
At the end of the day, your efforts should lead to greater revenue. Growth hacking is as much about generating revenue as it is about building audiences. So here are a few tools to ensure your brand can increase revenue and continue operating the business.
Using AI to improve your content may sound like science fiction. But it’s a reality for many businesses today. MarketMuse analyzes your content to determine which are performing best or need improvement. The tool can help you find opportunities in your content workflow, better guiding managers or writers. Read their case study on Tomorrow Sleep and how they grew traffic by 10,000%.
For organizations serious about data analytics and business intelligence, research Tableau. This is a tool that can break down vast amounts of data and set them into beautiful visuals. The analyses will provide crucial business insights. But this one is more technical. Read some of the customer stories from Verizon, Cigna, Pfizer, Charles Schwab, Chipotle and more.
Tips to optimize revenue hacking
- Study your data – Understand how your customers convert and their behavior patterns. This will help inform your strategy moving forward.
- Work with what you have – Don’t break the bank by working on new initiatives or projects. Start by taking stock of your existing properties and how you can leverage them for greater revenue.
Best Growth Hacking Tools to Measure Success
While not a part of the AARRR model, we thought it would be useful to include tools to help you gauge your progress and effort. Here are the best growth hacking tools to determine whether you’re on your way to success.
You don’t need to spend a dime to start tracking your website’s efforts. Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool today. More than 50 million websites use the platform for free. Track the traffic that goes in and out of your webpage. Capture information about your customer’s demographics. And review the performance of your various campaigns. If there were only one tool to iterate from this list, make sure it’s Google Analytics.
Google Search Console
Google Analytics tracks user behavior. Search Console, on the other hand, tracks search engines. Specifically, it tracks how they crawl webpages. Webmasters use search console to analyze clickthrough rates, search queries, crawl errors, and more. When using search console, you can determine how people find your website. That’s why Search Console offers suggestions for improving your overall site SEO.
The all-in-one design makes it a popular tool among marketers. SEMrush has more features than most of the tools mentioned here. With products for SEO audits, PPC, social media, content marketing, and market research, few platforms come close to SEMrush’s comprehensive solutions. SEMrush is ideal for agencies and enterprises. The most popular tier costs about $200 (although there is a version for startups and freelancers for $100). If you want to take your marketing to the next level, and only have to use one tool, then SEMrush may be all you need.
HubSpot is a brand that has earned a reputation as one of the most authoritative brands in marketing. So much so that their online courses have created industry standards. Their CRM platform offers reporting, tracking and pipeline management. But the best part: it’s 100% free. That includes forms, ad management, live chat, and many more. To access additional features like ad retargeting, HubSpot starts at $50 and can run up to $3,200.
If you’re interested in their educational material, be sure to enroll in some of their courses at the HubSpot Academy portal.
Tips to measure success
- Choose one or two KPIs – Start by narrowing your focus to one goal to track. Is it conversions? Revenue? Visitors?
- Set SMART goals – Create targets that are clear and realistic. Read our previous blog post on SMART goals here.
- Review your data frequently – Whether it’s monthly or quarterly, get into the rhythm of analyzing and understanding your data.
Growth hacking can seem like magic, but the tools you use can make all the difference on whether it works. But even with the best tools, success is not guaranteed. It’s important to develop a solid strategy first, and then use these tools to help you in your tactics. The tool is only as useful as the company’s purpose for using it.
To learn more about growth hacking strategies, read our previous post here.