It’s hard being a start-up. At the dawn of their lifecycle, startups have to keep up a steady growth of 30% every year or suffer a painful death.
Up until a while ago, “growth hacking” was an odd buzzword on the lips of SEOs and marketing professionals alike. Today, it has become a synonym for most of the marketing tactics used by startups; a process of experimenting across marketing channels in order to identify the most effective and efficient ways to grow your business. It is a mindset; a fast-paced, data-driven and actionable approach to help you capitalize on the opportunities and ideas that drive business growth.
The man who coined the term, Sean Ellis, defines it by stating that start-up companies need to change the rules of conventional channels, or better yet, innovate outside of them since they are beyond the advantage of adapting to the old rules of marketing. Young startups need to be creative and test new ideas relentlessly because, if they don’t, they will be soon out of business.
If this is all so overwhelming for you, fear not – we have compiled a list of the 15 top growth-hacking tools that will help you get the job done, most of which are free to use! Check them out below:
1. Buff up your marketing efforts on Twitter with Click to Tweet
This one is the simplest – Click to Tweet helps you promote your products on Twitter. Engage your Twitter followers in sharing your product and you can offer them reward like coupons. The built-in analytics will tell you how many times your link has been clicked, which is as useful as ever. Just sign in with Twitter!
2. Automate your marketing strategy on Twitter with Jooicer
The automation on Jooicer makes life on Twitter for the baby start-up a charm: you can select the actions you want to be automated by creating “recipes”: say, “follow all users with a certain hashtag in their bio”. You can create your own custom recipes or share with others.
3. Create email collect forms with SumoMe ListBuilder
Out of the nifty little bundle of tools called SumoMe, the ListBuilder lets you convert one-time visitors into subscribers. You can either use the completely customizable popover after visitors spend a certain amount of time on your site or turn on smart mode so that the tool can ask them to subscribe when they’re ready to leave the site.
4. Add an email collect pop-up with SumoMe ScrollBox
Similar to the ListBuilder, you can customize a pop-up to appear after the visitor has scrolled down a specific percentage of your site. That way you can be sure that they have had the time to enjoy some of your content before committing.
5. Create giveaways with SumoMe Leads
This is the hottest way to turn visitors into leads – by rewarding them with downloadable content like brochures or PDF documents. The button is free for you to place anywhere on the page; all you have to do is create the bonuses to lure those leads!
6. Make any selection of text tweetable with SumoMe Twilighter
Sharing made easy! All your visitors have to do is highlight any piece of content they wish to share and they can send it to their Twitter feed with the click of the mouse.
7. Ease the sharing of image with SumoMe Image Sharer
A must-have plug-in that makes it easy for your readers to share an image from your blog posts. This comes supported with the fact that shares on Facebook get over 39% more engagement if they include an image. It’s very user-friendly: all the photos in your posts will be overlaid with sharing icons for the social platforms and each share includes a link as well.
8. Add conversion pop-ups with Optimonk
Much like the ListBuilder and the ScrollBox, Optimonk allows you to detect “exit intent” and add a pop-up message asking your visitor to extend their stay or sign up for more. They offer a free 14-day trial, after which you will have to inquire for the rates.
9. Discover the most popular articles with BuzzSumo
With this free little tool, you just type any term in its search bar and it lists you all the popular articles on that particular topic. Work wonders for writers who want to be at the top of their writing game by staying relevant!
10. Add call-to-action with HelloBar
HelloBar is not new, but it’s still not very well known. It adds a notification bar on the top of your site that doesn’t move and you can stick any kind of action you want on it, from email collection to a simple message! The basic plan is free, but with the PRO you can do some cool things like A/B testing.
11. Help resolve problems with SessionCam
With SessionCam, you can watch a recording of your web and mobile visitors in order to identify potential problems or simply increase conversion. It also shows you heat maps and helps you build conversion funnels between the pages on your site. It’s free for the Basic Plan.
12. Analyze your conversions with ClickTale
Improve your conversions by finding out where your visitors like to click on your site. You can even analyze the performance of the forms you want to be filled in. ClickTale records individual visitor sessions on both desktop and mobile and aggregates it all while allowing you to focus on a particular individual.
13. Overlay an ad over the link you share using Snip.ly
This one’s also a no-brainer: If you have an ad that is related to the story you wish to share, use Snip.ly to increase conversions. It’s free up to 100 conversions; if you want to beef it up, plans start at $16 for 500 conversions, up to $85 for 5000 conversions.
14. Forget the plain old forms and surveys with Typeform
Make all your lead generating tools interactive and fun with Typeform and watch as the number of leads increases! As many other tools on this list, they offer a basic plan for free to try it out.
15. Send user-specific emails with MailGun
The last one on our list makes the coveted email marketing a breeze. No matter if it’s a thank-you email for a visitor signing up or an apology for when their session was rudely interrupted by an error, MailGun is the API for you! And it holds a sweet pricing plan: free up to 10,000 emails/mo, then it’s $0.00050 per email.
It may be difficult to grow your business from the ground up, but it’s a fun and exciting challenge. One that can be made a lot easier once you find the right growth marketing tools that will ease many tasks. Try out some of the 15 on this list and let us know how you liked them. And if you need more suggestions, or additional growth marketing help and advice, don’t hesitate to contact Visible Factors. We’ve been where you are.