growth hacks for startups

Don’t think of growth hacks as just another fancy concept famous bloggers have adopted as click-bait to keep their websites alive. Not only is growth-hacking a thriving industry but is also being actively used by early startups to obtain fast publicity and customer outreach.

So, if you’re a new startup looking to create an early bang in your industry, here are 4 growth hacks to use:

1. Build a personal brand

There’s a reason why brands choose to make headlines by hiring celebrities for promotions. The blind trust people put in them rakes in millions in sales for these firms. It isn’t so different in the tech world, either. CEOs, like Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, are celebs in their own rights – they inspire believability and fan worship.

You might not be a celebrity yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t be. With a good internet connection and a computer, you have the tools to get people to listen to you. Build a network with other CEOs and entrepreneurs within your industry and outside it.

Give a few talks in public, or if that’s not possible, conduct webinars. Your goal is to come across as an expert in your industry. This is definitely going to take some time but once customers know you personally, they’ll believe you enough to buy the products you push at them.

2. Choose emails over Social Media

Having a thousand fans on Facebook and a thousand customers in your email contact list just isn’t the same. Research continues to prove that email marketing produces starkly better results than social media.

Mail Munch claims that emails have a 3.57% click-through rate – much higher than Facebook and Twitter’s combined 0.10%. Moreover, emails are better at ROI, conversions and traffic generation.

So, if you’re short on marketing budget/time in your early days, pick email marketing over social media marketing. One quick way to get customers’ IDs is to create an opt-in form for email. HubSpot has the best trick to contact building in emails – offer free services or content in return.

You can also try pop-up invitations or free trial offers. Frankly, customers might hesitate to give you their emails so you have to conduct a trade – give them an irresistible incentive.

3. Engage Website Visitors for Conversions

Here’s a secret about website visitors; most of them are intrigued (interested, even) but aren’t ready to spend money, yet. It’s your job to convince them otherwise. Therefore, strike when the iron is a hot and live chat with customers currently exploring what you offer.

Start the conversation by offering to help them. For example, if you’re selling to a B2B customer say something like “Good Morning (or whatever applies). How can I help you make more sales today?” Your initiating message should be un-ignorable – be it through humor or an offer your visitors can’t refuse.

Once they answer you, try to discover the reason why they may not want your product. Maybe they don’t trust you or don’t know how to get started. Remove these inhibitions and you’ll get your conversion.

4. Data is a Prerequisite to Growth

Yes, data is lengthy, complicated and frankly; boring. However, in today’s day and age, it is also unavoidable. As an industrial tactic, growth hacking is obsessed with data – it thrives on it. Moreover, simply collecting numbers in a file or using Google Analytics just doesn’t make the cut anymore. You need to not only collect data but understand it and use it practically.

As a manager, it’s become crucial to keeping track of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), LTVs, Daily Net Change, Cohort Activity Heatmap, Conversion Funnel and what not. Don’t be daunted by all those complicated names; the budding growth hack industry has a data tool for almost everything.

There’s KISSmetrics for customer information, AMZInsight for market research, Buzzumo to keep track of content. Basically, if you need understandable data, it’s safe to bet that there’s a tool out there for it.

From the get-go, follow these 4 tricks and set achievable goals for everything in your firm. Pretty soon you’ll see your company growing.

Shahid Amin

Brought to you by Dr. Shahid Amin Trali who is an Assistant Professor at ITM University Gwalior, Editor-in-Chief for and a regular columnist of various leading newspapers in India. He can be reached at-