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This article was published on July 14, 2015

Growth hacking: Do or don’t?

Growth hacking: Do or don’t?
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TNW Academy

The official online education and training chapter of The Next Web The official online education and training chapter of The Next Web

When growing your user base, do you aim to become viral overnight or have you found that a long term strategy suits you best? At The Next Web we use both techniques in order to maximize growth for our projects.

In this tutorial, we’ll demonstrate our method with two use cases that we’ve implemented recently and have been met with great success. But how can you personally learn to hack growth in your organization?

After this read, you’ll know how to employ strategies used by The Next Web. Test them out to start growing your business right away!

Case #1: Email Popups?

At The Next Web we strive to constantly engage with our audience, and there’s hardly a better way than doing this over e-mail. But how do you first collect email addresses without disturbing the user? You might have already seen a registration form in the right sidebar (No? Look at the right hand side of your screen!).

Recently, we launched a growth hack in an A/B test to see how users would respond to a popup that appeared only when they attempted to leave our site. It turns out that the popup generated over 5,000 email addresses on a monthly basis. We plan to expand our testing on this front.

Growth hack: Use exit intent pop-ups to retrieve user data.
Lesson learned: Make use of user intent — even if it’s negative — to engage with your users.

Case #2: Share buttons > re-test!

Did you know that someone puts thought into every single detail of an article, even including the order of the share buttons? Well, I can confirm we did, and we found that you’re more likely to share something on Facebook or Twitter on your desktop than on other social networks.

However, this changes if you’re on mobile, in which case the WhatsApp share button will appear first. Why? Because mobile users prefer the WhatsApp share button over all social media accounts.

But how did we find this? It wasn’t a guessing game; we tested it multiple times to be sure. While we knew that WhatsApp was becoming popular to share content on mobile, our initial tests showed that WhatsApp’s share button didn’t produce favourable results at any other position.

What we learned from this is that the order of buttons matters, and you have to take into account the device the reader is using.

Growth hack: Test the order of share buttons or any other element.
Lesson learned: User behaviour varies across devices and you should adapt your strategies accordingly.

Want to start hacking growth yourself?

Growth hacking doesn’t work with every crazy idea that you come up with — it needs strategy and methodology as well. It’s best to learn from experts to see how they have hacked growth and what they tested to do so.

It’s not a given that growth hacking will work for you, but there is no doubt that it will help you at least embrace a new philosophy on how to approach growth hacking. Ready to give it a try?

Learn from the best and let Ryan Holiday teach you about growth hacking

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