When the end goal of marketing efforts is growth, there are a lot of tools that can help achieve that goal. The difference between traditional business growth and the tactics of a growth hacker is that the latter is able to set up experiments, identify the best tactics through the entire funnel, and scale things appropriately and efficiently. With the right tools, this can actually be quite effortless.
Keep reading to learn more about growth hacking, including what it is and how it can change the way you grow your own business in the coming year. Also included are some of the best growth hacking tools to assist with conversion rate optimization and increased sales or leads.
What is Growth Hacking?
Put simply, growth hacking just refers to the process of approaching marketing from a different angle to generate the maximum reach (or profit) with the smallest budget possible. Instead of expensive ads and campaigns, growth hackers focus on user psychology and unconventional methods to tap into the best resources for the ultimate growth.
Startups are most commonly associated with this strategy, often because they have limited budgets that require them to divert from traditional marketing and growth practices. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and resources available today to assist with all kinds of marketing and growth efforts, including accelerated growth hacking in the areas of content marketing and SEO, email marketing, and even social media marketing.
Growth hacking is about experimentation and pushing the limits. They often seek out tools and ideas that bigger brands and more established businesses will avoid at all costs. They aren’t afraid to try new things and reinvent the growth process in any way that benefits them or their company, which is where the use of the term “hacking” comes into play. It’s about growth at all costs, and that’s the beginning of what sets these individuals apart from traditional marketers.
The Difference Between a Growth Hacker and a Marketer
Although many people think that they understand the difference between growth hacking and traditional marketing, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Growth hackers are no better or worse than marketers, nor are they a replacement. They are simply an alternative to a traditional marketer. Rather than focusing on a variety of marketing goals, a growth hacker is a person whose true focus in all marketing efforts is one thing: growth.
Every single decision and idea that a growth hacker entertains is based on growth. All of the goals and efforts involved in marketing and building the brand focuses on growth alone, with the thought that other elements will fall into place or can be tweaked later. A startup is nothing until it begins to grow, so it’s natural that many businesses find themselves looking for a better way.
Many people worry that growth hackers have to be unethical and self-focused in the decisions that they make. This could result in a negative association with the term and a cause for many businesses to stick to traditional marketing when they don’t actually know what they are getting into. Although a growth focus may require a brand to go more outside of the comfort zone when making decisions, the line can still be drawn so that ethics and morals aren’t compromised and so that the brand reputation isn’t compromised by poor decisions.
Benefits of Growth Hacking Tools
It is much easier to grow a business when the right tools are in place. Taking business growth to another level entirely is the goal of growth hacking tools. By allowing tools to automate a lot of the tasks required for the success of the marketing plan, companies can benefit from a variety of tools designed specifically for hacking the business growth code.
One of the biggest benefits of these tools is that they will often give you access to resources and information that may not have been discovered otherwise. For example, some of the best tools are focused on conversion rate optimization, which can substantially increase the success of any website or landing page. Other tools may focus on keyword research, market segmentation, and other aspects that could be impacting your business growth.
In an industry where everyone is trying to gain a competitive advantage, it can be hard to keep up, let alone get ahead of them. Growth hacking offers a solution for faster success by allowing companies to automate certain tasks and activities and providing a set of tools that are above and beyond what’s going on at the surface.
Growth hacking tools increase the effort and decrease the cost of those efforts, helping to increase profits and give startups the chance to get into the black faster. For someone working on a limited budget, having affordable resources without compromising growth potential is a big deal. Growth hacking is about leveling the playing field a little so that every business has a chance at success with online marketing and conversion efforts.
What Can These Tools Do?
Typically, growth hacking tools are divided into separate segments, covering the entire category of tools used in the design and marketing of landing pages and websites. These tool categories include:
Social media and traffic generation
Customer engagement and email marketing
Search engine optimization
Conversion rate optimization
Statistics, analytics, and testing
Content marketing and SEO
There are tools in every category available for every type of business and it isn’t difficult to find what is going to work best for you, no matter what that might be. There are also some tools that are designed to cover all of these elements, or more than one of them, to minimize the number of tools that businesses need to get the job done.
This marketing tool makes it easy for brands to experiment with various marketing, reporting, and project management efforts to increase their growth at a faster rate and innovate sooner than ever before. Managing the experimentation process can make it easier to find successful marketing solutions that will create exponential growth that is known as growth hacking.
2. iPaper Displays
This is a product discovery platform designed to assist with conversion rate optimization. It allows eCommerce businesses to put their products front and center for online shoppers, helping to increase engagement and reduce bounce rate. Displays can be built for promotional sales, themed campaigns or to bring awareness to key brand messages. They can be shared across social media and email newsletters and can boost your conversion rate.
One of the biggest names in growth hacking, Sean Ellis, is behind this tool, which provides audience insights with a number of available statistics and data tracking options. You can identify consumer needs and audience browsing patterns, allowing you to increase engagement and influence with ease. By tracking people’s needs and activities, it will be much easier to generate growth.
Marketo is a versatile marketing tool designed to assist with a variety of automated tasks and solutions. This tool assists with social media marketing, email marketing, analytics, and automating other tasks. From measuring to making improvements, this tool is one of the leading automation platforms available on the market today.
This leading email marketing tool provides a variety of resources for newsletter campaigns and email marketing. The interface is user-friendly and feature-rich with a variety of autoresponder options. The service makes it easy to deliver professional, personalized emails for targeted customer advertising and offers scheduling options and follow-up automation, as well.
This tool is an automation resource that makes it easy to automate branding messages, including creating schedules for messaging. It also offers a segmentation feature that allows businesses to separate customers into target audiences for better marketing and triggered emails based on user behavior.
Kissmetrics collects important user data from the visitors to your website. Then, it allows you to segment audiences based on behaviors and actions, as well as other factors. The entire analytical platform offers a different way to target the best audiences for the best types of marketing, depending on what business you’re in. The tool will analyze your website based on its industry to help offer the best suggestions for optimization and growth.
HubSpot is a must-have for internet marketers today. This tool offers a variety of integrated inbound marketing solutions, offering multi-level business promotion that can increase conversions and growth exponentially, making it a valuable growth hacking resource. You can look exactly at the users on your website and what they need and use that data to restructure content, refocus conversion efforts, or just segment audiences better for faster growth.
9. iPaper Catalogs
Online catalogs are a must have content tool for retailers. We all know that print catalogs are a hugely successful tool for retail brands. But what about your online audience? Use iPaper's shoppable online catalogs to draw shoppers in and encourage them to continue along the buyer's journey. Use online catalogs to allow shoppers to browse products in an inspirational online setting.
For marketers into heat mapping, CrazyEgg is the tool to use. This application makes it easy to test new ideas and use heat mapping data to track visitor behaviors and actions on the website. The information gathered can assist with making improvements to the function of the site and increase conversions and growth as a result.
The Runners Up
Although the list above provides a wide selection of growth hacking tools, there are literally hundreds of them on the market that you can benefit from in a variety of ways. As such, it isn’t fair to stop the list the Top 10 without taking the time to mention a few other platforms that are still worth a look. If you still want something different than what is offered by the tools listed above, check out solutions and growth tools like:
All of these growth hacking tools offer a variety of resources designed to increase growth exponentially, either through tracking user behavior and data or by automating marketing efforts, or both. There are so many things that these tools can do, but ultimately, they will assist with faster growth and improved conversions in a shorter period of time. Plus, most of them will also reduce your efforts and expenses related to marketing and conversion rate improvements.
What About Google?
Google has an entire suite of growth and marketing tools, including things like Google Analytics, Pagespeed Insights, AdWords, and others. A lot of people look to these programs and tools first because of their positive association with the Google name. The tools do offer plenty of assistance for conversion optimization and growth hacking, but they aren’t the only solution.
Some third-party products and private platforms may have similar features with a more robust selection of options or additional tools in one, rather than having to use the entire Google suite separately. While the Google family of analytical and marketing tools is quite popular, it isn’t the only option. For those who are just starting out and need something free, it may be one of the most reputable options. However, as your need for growth continues over time, you should check into other resources that may offer more features for your marketing efforts or that have a little more to them than the Google suite offers.
How to Choose
This top list barely scratches the surface of the available growth hacking tools on the Internet today. Whether you choose one listed here or you find another solution that suits your needs better, there are definitely some things to consider. When comparing growth hacking tools, look at things like:
Does the tool assist with the growth goals that you have in mind? If you want to improve targeted email campaigns, for example, you’d look specifically at email marketing automation software and tools.
What are the costs versus the benefits or features of the growth tool? Some platforms and services are completely free to use but may have limited features. Others will offer a free trial with membership or purchase required for full use. Still more may just be purchased or require a monthly fee for use. Regardless, you can’t look at cost alone. Compare what you’re getting for the money.
Do you want all-in-one tools or multiple tools for different needs? Some people like keeping things separate. Others want to manage as much as they can in one place. There is a diverse market of tools, allowing everyone to find exactly what they need.
Whether the tool offers significant growth in a short time frame with lower costs per action for marketing efforts. Automation tools and other growth hacking resources are designed to make marketing even more efficient and cost-effective, helping achieve at least one of the aspects of growth hacking.
Is the tool or platform scalable? Although many solutions are tailored to specifically-sized businesses, there is definitely something to be said for choosing a growth tool that can be scaled to the exact needs of your business.
How much growth are you expecting or hoping to achieve through your efforts? Some tools are designed to make a bigger impact than others. Some even incorporate your specific goals into their platform, allowing them to suggest the next step or how to offer the right solutions to get the audience to make the conversion or complete the sale.
Other Resources to Check Out
Aside from actual tools that you can use to assist with growth hacking, there are a number of other resources that can assist with improving your growth in a shorter period of time or at a lower cost. Check out things like QuickSprout’s infographic titled the Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking, which even showcases the growth funnel and offers tips on how to retain users.
GrowHack has a unique platform for those who are hoping to become growth hackers. The site includes a number of case studies, user boot camps, coaching, and plenty of informational blog posts and other resources.
Making a business grow, especially in the online world, can be a difficult task. It's going to be up to you to explore the different tools listed here and see what each one has to offer. Every business may benefit differently from the use of each tool, but anyone can trust them to deliver the results that they need. Evaluate the needs of the business and the exact growth goals that you have in mind. That way, you can guarantee that you’ve chosen the right tools for the job.
The best thing that any brand can do, if growth hacking is on their list, is to figure out how big they intend to get and what resources are available around them to provide them with support. While some marketers continue to claim that growth hacking is a gem, it’s becoming more apparent to everyone that it is going to use this gem in their own way, so it’s important to take advantage of it when and where you can.