What’s Growth Hacking All About? And What You Should Know

The Internet is cluttered. Here at our Florida advertising agency, we’re inundated each day with reasons to try new products and services, and as we all know, what’s hot one day might not be so popular a week from now. In marketing, the difficulty of creating enough personal touch points to gain a conversion is compounded by shortened attention spans, and an influx of outlets to reach people – some of which may not be so helpful in the long run.

Fortunately, digital marketing thought leaders have particular expertise in being able to reach people in new ways. One of the tried and true methods of reaching individuals is through a concept called growth hacking.

While ideas for what might be considered a “growth hack” are as disparate as the innovators who concoct these ideas, there are some fundamental foundations that owners of startup companies can use to help leverage growth for their businesses.

One of the most commonly cited examples of growth hacking in action comes from Hotmail.com. Several years ago, Hotmail was a leader in the email industry. But as it was rising, it faced a high barrier to entry in the marketing arena, taking on tough competition from the already-established America Online email programs.

Hotmail’s marketing team found no success with traditional channels. This was also in an era before social media, making easy sharing impossible. Instead, Hotmail investor Tim Draper came up with a simple hack. At the bottom of his email, he would put an automatic email signature, one that said, quite simply, “P.S. I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail.”

This way, the message would get out to every person emailed from a Hotmail account. If any people switched to Hotmail email, the same signature would automatically be placed on their emails as well. In an era before the term “viral” existed in digital marketing, this email marketing strategy went viral, leading to success for Hotmail for a number of years. (Read the whole story over at TechCrunch.)

These days, there are a number of other methods people use to encourage growth for their businesses. AirBNB, a favorite company of tech enthusiasts, relies on good design as part of the overall strategy in order to keep consumers returning for more. However, as Business Insider reports, in its initial phases, it relied on growth by posting to none other than Craigslist, an internet classified ad system that itself began as a barebones startup that spread to many cities throughout the country.

People interested in learning more about growth hacking can join the community to learn more about trends in the industry by signing up at GrowHack. In addition, Skillshare and General Assembly offer courses on growth hacking.

Growth hacking can require significant experimentation, but luckily this type of trial-and-error methodology often has few costs and can lead to significant benefits.[quote]Companies that haven’t tried growth hacking should look for ways to shortcut growth in their businesses.[/quote] Outside-the-box thinking fosters innovation, and this innovation can help marketers figure out new ways to help grow their businesses, often on a shoestring budget.

The team at our Orlando marketing agency thinks growth hacking is a great ingredient in the small business recipe for success. Contact us today to allow us to help you with your strategy!