Growth Hacking Techniques

I’ve worked with a number of SaaS businesses over the past few years with the goal to accelerate growth and on-board new users to their respective platforms.

This is no easy feat and I’ve had a lot of learning curves with the different companies that I’ve worked with. That said, I’ve also had a lot of success. Within this guide I’m going to talk you through some of the core fundamentals of promoting a SaaS startup and outline some of the specific techniques that you can use to promote your own startup.

Not only this, but I’ve spoken to some of the most innovative and exciting SaaS companies of late to get their insight into what worked for them.

For the purpose of this guide, I’ve broken down the individual strategies into concise chunks of information that will tell you why it’s useful, how you can implement it and any tools that may help.

List of Hacks

Pre-Launch

Contents list

Post-Launch

Contents list

Pre-Launch Strategy

One of the most important times for your SaaS startup is before you’ve even launched. This is a stage where you can start cultivating a following of early adopters and get crucial feedback on your product before you open it up to the wider public.

An effective pre-launch strategy will create momentum that can follow through into your launch stage and help you enter into competitive markets without a standing start. I can’t stress enough how important this is, and most successful startup founders will echo this.

So enough scene-setting and onto the strategies!Get Concept Feedback from RedditTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: EASY

Why: Improve your product and add features that your potential users want to see, plus build relationships with potential advocates.

Implementation:

  1. Find a relevant subreddit for your product or post in the /r/startups with an overview of what your product aims to do.
  2. Ask for feedback on the idea and any particular features that people would like to see.
  3. Engage within the comments and compile all of the feedback into a manageable format. You could consider using Google Forms for quick multiple choice questions.
  4. Direct anyone that seemed interested to leave their details with you for future updates on the product’s progress (you could use a data capture form on a landing page or just message the Reddit user).
  5. When it comes to launch time, get in touch with these individuals and explain the changes you made (if any) based on their feedback. Give them early access as a thank you, ideally for free when possible, and ask if they’d share it with their peers.

Useful Tools: Google FormsSurvey MonkeyReddit.Use Reddit for concept validation before you launch and nurture early brand advocates

CLICK TO TWEETGive Away a Free Tool or CourseTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Data should be at the forefront of your mind before you launch. The more data you have, the more ammunition you have when it comes to gaining launch momentum. Giving away a relevant free tool or online course (via an email series) is the perfect way to gather relevant data for upselling later.

Implementation:

  1. Find a small problem that your target audience are having that’s particularly relevant to your product (you could use Reddit for this).
  2. Develop a small tool or plugin that isn’t too advanced in features (HubSpot do a great job of this – just check out Sidekick that was created by them). Alternatively, develop a short online course that could be delivered via email or behind a data capture gate (I recently signed up for a free course like this from Programming for Marketers – I’ve now purchased their book).
  3. Develop a landing page on your domain or a microsite that has a data capture form.
  4. Use the data that you’ve gathered to inform people of when your product goes live. Make sure you don’t leave it too long between communicating with these users, try to keep them engaged during the pre-launch period.

Useful Tools: Unbounce (landing page creation), Interrupt (data capture forms), WelcomeGate (landing pages), MailChimp (email).

Bonus Tip: Use this technique to run your automated email series for less than $30 a month.Give away a free tool/course to gather data before you launch your startup

CLICK TO TWEETCrowdsource FundingTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: HARD

Why: This is less about getting funding and more about building a community before you launch. Individuals who have helped fund your venture will have an attachment to your brand and could prove to be instrumental in getting the word out about your business once you go live.

Implementation:

  1. Decide on the reward package that you’re going to offer and the target for your funding campaign.
  2. Put together a compelling pitch and upload it to KickStarter (or a similar crowdfunding platform).
  3. Incentivise early adopters to spread the word via social media to help stimulate press coverage.

Useful Tools: KickStarterIndiegogoCrowdfunderRockethubCrowdriseAppbackr.Use crowdfunding platforms to build a pre-launch community around your startup

CLICK TO TWEETInvite Influencers to Beta TestTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: EASY

Why: Aside from the valuable feedback that you can get from influential individuals within your industry, this is the perfect inroad to building a long term relationships with them.

Implementation:

  1. Use a tool like BuzzSumoFollowerwonkTopsy or Social Crawlytics to identify individuals within your industry that have a large social following.
  2. Compile all of the influencers into a spreadsheet and upload it to BuzzStream to gather extra contact information. If you don’t want to use a paid tool like BuzzStream then you can go through and search for contact data manually or use a service like Microworkers to get this done quickly and at a low cost.
  3. Once you have the contact data, craft a pitch to the individuals that tells them why they would find your product useful and how they can become a beta user. If you think it’s worth it, you could even offer payment in return for feedback (I’ve done this in the past and it’s definitely worth it).
  4. Incentivise beta testers further when you get close to launch by asking if they’d review the product on their website or simply share with their social following and newsletter.

Pro Tip: Tie this into an early affiliate program to give the beta testers even more reason to get the word out about your product.

Useful Tools: BuzzSumoFollowerwonkTopsySocial CrawlyticsBuzzStreamMicroworkers.Get industry influencers to become beta testers of your product to build early relationships

CLICK TO TWEETRun a Pre-Launch GiveawayTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Competitions are a great way to gather data that can be used for remarketing or for gaining insights into your product/brand. They can also be a cost effective channel for getting bulk loads of relevant contact information for upselling.

Implementation:

  1. Sign up for an account on Rafflecopter ($13 per month) to easily run interactive competitions via their widgets.
  2. Decide upon a competition prize that’s relevant to your target audience. As you probably guessed, this is very important. There’s no point in just giving away an iPad so that you get more entries (unless your product is relevant to iPads!). You want to go as specific as possible so that you can validate the entries you’re getting. To do this, I often ask the question of, “What would only my target audience want?” In the case of my blog, this could be a subscription to an SEO tool. This would filter out anyone who’s just after a freebie and get down to those that I’d like to engage with.
  3. Create some custom imagery for your competition that can be used on the Rafflecopter widget and also when sharing on social media. Check out this social media image size guide for directions on the image dimensions you’ll need.
  4. Embed the competition widget into a page on your website and share the link to your social following.
  5. Set up some advertising via Facebook ads, Twitter ads and Reddit ads, ensuring that your targeting is right. This guide from AdEspresso might help.
  6. Build a list of influencers whom you’d like to share the competition and reach out to them individually via Twitter or email (you can incentivise them further by offering them extra competition entries for each referral they make).
  7. Work with relevant blogs in your industry to send out the competition to their email subscribers and their blog readers (you’ll need to pay for this).

Useful Resource: Check out my huge guide on running online competitions to go into more detail on the process above.

Useful Tools: RafflecopterGleam (another competition tool).Run a pre-launch giveaway to gather data that can be used for remarketing when you go live

CLICK TO TWEETTrack Pre-Launch Visitors for Social RemarketingTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: EASY

Why: Facebook’s ‘custom audiences’ and Twitter’s ‘tailored audiences’ are seriously powerful features that can be exploited to gain momentum upon your launch through remarketing. Pre-launch, whilst you’re building an audience, you’ll want to track and store your web visitors’ social accounts so that you can direct ads on Twitter and Facebook to them. They’re incredibly cost effective and can generate a TON of traffic to your website.

Implementation:

  1. Log in to Facebook and navigate to the ‘audience’ section of the advertising tab.
  2. Click on the ‘Create Audience’ button at the top right (it’s a green button).
  3. Select the ‘Custom Audience’ option.
  4. Select the ‘Website Visitors’ option.
  5. Enter your domain name and leave the rest of the fields the same, only changing the ‘In the last X days’ value to 180 days.
  6. Press ‘Create Audience’ and then paste the tracking code within the <head> and </head> tags of your website.

Here’s a detailed guide from Jon Loomer on setting up the Facebook tracking code.

  1. Log in to Twitter and navigate to the Twitter Ads section.
  2. Under the ‘Tools’ menu, select ‘Audience Manager’.
  3. Click the ‘Create new audience’ button and select the ‘Create website tag’ option.
  4. Give your audience a name (e.g. ‘my website visitors’), select the conversion type as ‘Site visit’ from the drop-down list and then press ‘Save tag and generate code snippet’.
  5. Paste the tracking code within the <head> and </head> tags of your website.

Once you’ve set these tracking codes up, any new visitors to your website that are logged into Twitter or Facebook will be added to your custom audience list. Once you’re ready to launch, create some targeted ads and drive through traffic to early adopters to get the word out and accelerate growth.

Important: Get this set up as soon as possible so that you don’t lose out on adding early visitors to your custom audience lists.

Useful Tools: AdEspressoFacebook Power EditorQwaya.Store pre-launch visitors within FB/Twitter custom audiences to remarket to them when you launch

CLICK TO TWEETHack LinkedIn to Find Out Who Visits Your SiteTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Ever wished you could know exactly who is visiting your website – I mean, like a list of individuals who went to your website? Well, with this sneaky LinkedIn hack you can do just that. Then, once you know this you can connect with them on LinkedIn and get in touch directly with them. Sounds good, right?

Implementation:

  1. Sign up for a LinkedIn Premium account (if you haven’t already). You can just get the entry level package here – it’s just so you can view who’s viewed your profile.
  2. Go to your website and add the following code within the <body> and </body> tags of the page(s) you wish to track visitors on:<img src=”https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?authToken=zRgB&authType=name&id=XXXXX” />You will just need to replace the XXXXX with your LinkedIn user ID. You can find this by logging into LinkedIn, clicking the Profile button and then taking the numerical code from the page URL that directly follows the text ‘profile/view?id=’.
  3. After a few days, go back into your LinkedIn account and click on the section to view who’s looked at your profile. You’ll notice that there are a lot of people in this list now. That’s because LinkedIn is now tracking everyone that visits your website (that’s still logged into their LinkedIn account) as someone who’s viewed your profile!
  4. Go through the list and start building individual relationships with your web visitors through the LinkedIn platform. A perfect intro would be to offer them early beta access to get their feedback on your product.
my LinkedIn stats


Useful Resource: Check out the original article that uncovered this awesome hack.Hack LinkedIn to find out exactly WHO visits your website #growth

CLICK TO TWEETRun an Early Adopter Focus GroupTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: EASY

Why: Get invaluable feedback on your product from your target market before you launch. Not only will this help you to adapt your product in a way that will benefit your users, but it’ll also help to build an audience of early adopters that could become the catalysts for marketing your product upon launch.

Implementation:

  1. Hop on over to Erli Bird.
  2. Put together a detailed brief on what your product does and what you’d like the beta user to do and drop it in an email to team@erlibird.com.
  3. The Erli Bird team will get in touch with you about next steps and get your campaign up and running. Just FYI, these campaigns cost $1,000 to run but they seem well worth it considering Erli Bird offers features like screen capture as the users navigate through your product, heat mapping and much more.
  4. Once you’ve had your feedback, make changes based on the requirements of your audience and get in touch with the beta testers once you’re ready to go live.

Useful Tools: Erli Bird.Use @erlibirdapp to get beta testers for your new product #growth

CLICK TO TWEETSubmit Your Startup to BetaListTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: EASY

Why: BetaList is a community similar to Product Hunt but it’s exclusively for startups that haven’t launched yet. Being featured on BetaList can result in a moderate influx of traffic, and from the feedback of many startups that were featured on BetaList, the main benefit seems to be the large numbers of sign-ups it generates. On average this seems to result in between 300-500 sign-ups.

Implementation:

  1. Go to the submit page on BetaList.
  2. Click on the ‘Submit your startup now’ button and sign-in to BetaList via Twitter.
  3. Follow the instructions on the page to enter the details of your startup and submit it to the moderation team. This is free to do but there’s no guarantee that it will be accepted (success is all dependant on the merit of your product). You can also pay a small fee to have your process expedited.

Useful Resource: check out this awesome thread on Quora that talks about successful applications and what they’ve brought to other startups.

Useful Tools: BetaList.Submit your startup to @betalist to drive through a ton of early signups #growth

CLICK TO TWEETCreate a PR Hit ListTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Before you go live, you’ll want to do everything you can to build momentum around your startup. Get organised early on and create a hit-list of journalists that you can approach when the time is right.

Implementation:

  1. Use a journalist database like Hey.Press (free) or Muck Rack (paid) to search for journalists relevant to your startup.
  2. Once you’ve got a good list, extract their information and add it to a spreadsheet.
  3. Head on over to Followerwonk and run the following search (only searching within a user’s bio):keyword “journalist”Just replace keyword with a keyword relevant to your startup (for example, ‘tech’). This will return a list of Twitter users who state that they’re journalists covering stories relevant to your business.
  4. Again, export this list and add it to your master spreadsheet.
  5. Use a backlink analysis tool like Open Site ExplorerMajestic or Ahrefs to search through websites that are linking to your competitors. Pick out any links that have come from editorial mentions and find the author of the article (usually bylined at the bottom of the article).
  6. Find the social profiles or personal websites of the authors and add them to your master spreadsheet.
  7. Monitor all of the mentions that your competitors get from publications/journalists online with a tool like MentionGoogle Alerts or TalkWalker.
  8. Add any new mentions from journalists or publications into your master spreadsheet.
  9. You’ll now want to gather all of the contact information for those on your hit-list. You can do this in three different ways. The first is to manually go through each of their websites/social profiles to gather emails, etc. The second is to upload all of the data into BuzzStream which will automatically extract any contact information from their website(s). The final way is to outsource this task via MicroWorkers or Mechanical Turk.

Useful Resource: check out this interesting article from Chris Winfield that lists 92 ways to get coverage for your company.

Useful Tools: Open Site ExplorerMajestic, AhrefsHey.PressMuck RackFollowerwonkMentionGoogle AlertsTalkWalkerBuzzStreamMicroWorkersMechanical Turk.Create a PR hit-list before you launch to build momentum and get early coverage #growth

CLICK TO TWEETCreate a Press KitTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Before you go live, you’ll want to have everything prepared to send over to the press in order to get coverage of your business. Getting all this ready in advance will be hugely beneficial and enable you to reach out to journalists a lot quicker.

Implementation:

  1. Create a page on your website on which you can host your entire press kit (this makes it easy to just send over a URL to journalists, as opposed to attaching loads of files to an email).
  2. Create the following assets:
    • Introduction/pitch letter – this should explain why people should care about your product.
    • Company history/profile – an overview of the company and its core staff.
    • Logo/product images – you’ll want a few variations of your company and product/service logos that can be used by the press.
    • Screenshots/videos – simple screenshots of the product in action, along with a walkthrough video.
    • News coverage – any other news or coverage around your product/business should be shown here.
    • Speeches/interviews – any talks at events or interviews with your founders.
    • FAQs – this gives journalists a quick resource to get their questions answered.
    • Awards – any awards you’ve received.
    • Stats/case studies – any statistics on your product or successful customer case studies.
  3. Once you’ve got everything ready, upload all of this information to your press kit webpage, laying it out in different sections.

Useful Resource: one of the best press kit examples I’ve seen is on Balsamiq’s website.

Useful Tools: PR.co.Create a press kit before you launch to maximise coverage potential #growth

CLICK TO TWEETOptimise Your Website for SearchTAG: PRE-LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Getting your website optimised for search engines in advance of going live will help you get some quick wins with traffic and ensure that you can capitalise on all the promotion that’s going on within other marketing channels to drive through traffic from the search engines.

Implementation:

  1. First you’ll want to identify a list of keywords/phrases that are relevant to your business to target within the search engines. I’ve outlined the process for keyword research in more detail here but you can use a combination of KWfinderGoogle Keyword Planner and SEMrush to identify new keyword opportunities.
  2. Once you’ve carried out the keyword research, ensure that you make the following changes on your website:

Useful Resource: here’s an extensive guide on website optimisation for search that you can follow step-by-step.Optimise your website for search pre-launch to maximise traffic potential #growth

CLICK TO TWEET

Post-Launch Strategy

Once you’ve pushed the button and gone live with your new venture, there’s no looking back. If you’ve followed some of the advice above then you’ve given yourself the best chance of success pre-launch.

Now that you’ve launched, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Here are a ton of strategies that you can use to gain immediate traction and sustain long-term growth.Get Featured on Product HuntTAG: POST LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: HARD

Why: If you’re looking for a big hit of traffic and new user signups then Product Hunt is for you. On average, a front page feature will bag you around 10,000 visitors within a week and convert at anywhere between 5-10%. Not bad, right!

Implementation:

It’s not easy to get featured on Product Hunt, especially if your product isn’t great (that would be the ultimate stumbling block!). That said, I’ve spoken to a lot of companies that have been featured on Product Hunt and worked with some of them as well.

I’m going to share my process for getting featured on Product Hunt that I’d recommend any new startup follows:

  1. Unless you have an invite, you can’t comment or submit a new product to PH. Even then, if you were to submit yourself, the likelihood is that you’d miss out on a lot of traction compared to someone influential on PH submitting. You only get one chance to submit to Product Hunt so you’ll need to identify someone who would be interested in your startup and also have influence within the PH community.To do this, go to Twitter and search the following query in the search bar:via “on @producthunt” from:producthuntThis will display tweets from the @ProductHunt Twitter account that mention who has submitted a product (via that person’s Twitter account). All you need to do is search for a similar product to yours and then find the person who submitted it. This person will be perfect to submit yours.
  2. Once you’ve got a PH member in mind, it’s time to reach out to them via Twitter to ask if you can drop them a quick email. It’s important not to just ask them to submit straight away – you’ll want to do something for them first.
  3. Drop them an email that gives them a brief explanation of your product and get them on-board to test it. You may need to incentivise them somehow. For example, you could give them access for free.
  4. Once you’ve built the relationship, ask them to submit your website to PH. You’ll want to set up a landing page URL to give them that has a specific discount/offer for PH members – this dramatically increases conversions and also helps to boost interest within PH. Here’s an example of a website doing this.
  5. As well as setting up a landing page for Product Hunt members you may want to add a banner on your site that displays a discount or just links back to your PH listing (to encourage more voting). You can use IntroBar (free) to set this up in a few minutes and only display to people coming from Product Hunt.
  6. Once you’ve been submitted, you’ll want to ask the submitter to mark you as the Maker of the product so that you’re able to comment. If they have trouble, just drop @ProductHunt a tweet.
  7. Once you’re able to comment, ask the PH community to give you honest feedback on your product and make sure you answer any question or comment as quickly as possible – this is what the PH community loves and it can be some invaluable feedback for you.
  8. Drop through a link to your Product Hunt listing to your social media followers and email subscribers to get them to engage in the comments and upvote.
  9. Add a call-to-action on your website to visit the PH page so that people can upvote or comment – this could be a simple pop-up.

Useful Resource: check out this case study from the founder of Nomad List on how he got featured on Product Hunt.

Useful Tools: IntroBar.Target @ProductHunt once you’ve launched to capture 10,000+ web visits #growth

CLICK TO TWEETGet Featured on Hacker NewsTAG: POST LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: HARD

Why: Like Product Hunt, Hacker News has the potential to bring through large volumes of relevant traffic in a short period of time. On average, you can see around 3,000 visits within a couple of hours!

Implementation:

As with Product Hunt, it’s not easy to get featured on Hacker News. In fact, it’s probably much more difficult and relies heavily on good timing and the right person.

  1. Hacker News works in a very similar way to Reddit in the sense that the more upvotes you receive in a short period of time, the higher you will rise in the list. Within Hacker News, it’s important to have influential members upvoting your content, so this is the starting place.You’ll want to identify around 20-30 influencers whom you can call upon to upvote your startup on Hacker News. To do this, you could check out people who are tweeting the @NewsYCombinator Twitter handle using this search query within Twitter:to:newsycombinatorIn addition to this you can go through Hacker News and message people who have submitted similar things to your product/business.
  2. Make contact with the Hacker News members and give them an overview of your product (brief) and what it’s looking to solve. Ask them for feedback on what could be changed, etc. and it could even be good to ask them for a quote that you could place on your website (give them as much ownership as possible).
  3. Once you’ve built a relationship with a few of them, submit your website to Hacker News.
  4. As soon as you’ve submitted, you’ll want to get an email over to all of the people you’ve built a relationship with to upvote the post. It’s important here that you don’t send them the link to your Hacker News post as they don’t count any upvotes that come from direct link visits. Instead, you’ll need to ask them to go to the https://news.ycombinator.com/newest page and find your website from the list.
  5. If you get a bit of early traction (around 10 upvotes in quick succession should do it), you’ll hop over to the front page. Once you’re there, get active in the comments and ask for as much feedback as possible. You could even offer Hacker News discounts.

Useful Resource: check out this case study from Alex Turnbull of Groove in which he explains his experience of hitting Hacker News front page.Hacker News has the potential to bring 1000s of new visits in a matter of hours #growth

CLICK TO TWEETSet Up & Respond to Press Request AlertsTAG: POST LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Journalists are always looking to cover the latest interesting products/services. Through press request alerts you’ll be able to connect with journalists and get featured in top tier publications.

Implementation:

The key to success with press requests is to be organised. You’ll be receiving over 100 press request emails every day once you sign up to any of the services below. To ensure that you don’t miss big opportunities, follow this process:

  1. Sign up to any of the following press request services:
  2. Create separate folders within your inbox for each of the different services you use (i.e., ResponseSource, HARO, Muck Rack, etc.).
  3. Create rules for any new emails from each of these services to go into their allocated folders.
  4. Create sub-folders underneath each main folder that are broken down into different topics. For example, I have folders marked as Small BusinessSEOSocial MediaBlogging, etc.
  5. Once you’ve created these sub-folders, create rules on any of the emails that include keywords related to each topic to be filed under the relevant sub-folder. For example, any request mentioning SEO will go into my SEO sub-folder. I also exclude any emails from going into the folders that mention competitions or review products (this avoids me getting irrelevant requests). This may not be the case for you, though.
  6. The final thing that I do is create rules on any of the emails from these services that will flag any email that comes through from a publication that I’m targeting. In my case, I have alerts for any PR requests that come through from Forbes, The Guardian, The Financial Times and a few others.
  7. For really important requests, you can use this IFTTT recipe that I created that will send you an SMS alert to get your immediate attention.
  8. Create a set response template that you can edit quickly and get sent to the press in order to stand the best possible chance of being featured. The template should give a 1-2 sentence description of you/your business and then 4-5 bullet points with the information requested by the journalist.Be sure to add your email address, phone number and social profiles so that it’s as easy to reach you as possible.

Useful Resource: check out this full guide to using press requests that I wrote for Search Engine Land.Utilise press request alerts to get coverage in top tier publications #growth

CLICK TO TWEETEvent Hashtag HijackingTAG: POST LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: EASY

Why: Instead of paying thousands to get an exhibition stand at an event, utilise Twitter advertising around event hashtags to bring through tons of relevant new users.

Implementation:

Setting up exhibition stands at events can prove to be an expensive exercise. Not only that but the conversion rate off the back of these events aren’t always great. To cut costs and increase conversions, I tend to stay clear of event attendance and hijack the event hashtags instead.

The quickest way to do this is to run some Twitter advertisements that can bring people through to your sign-up page. Considering that it will mainly be people attending the event who will be using the hashtag, it’s fair to assume they’re relevant to you and could be on the lookout for new software.

Here’s how you can get it all set up.

  1. Log in to your Twitter account and navigate to the ‘Twitter Advertising’ section.
  2. Click the ‘Create New Campaign’ button and then select Website clicks and conversions.
  3. Set up your ad to go through to a landing page on your website. You’ll also want to add conversion-tracking code to your website.
  4. In the targeting section, add the event hashtag, along with some misspellings, within the ‘Keywords’ section. You’ll be able to find the event hashtag on the event’s website/Twitter bio.
  5. Set your budget and get the ad running throughout the time that the event is going on, plus the week afterwards.
  6. Make sure that you’re engaging with people using the event hashtag throughout the duration of the event to absorb some more relevant followers.

Useful Resource: check out this ‘quick and dirty’ guide to Twitter advertising from the HubSpot blog.Hijack events by running Twitter ads against their hashtag #growth

CLICK TO TWEETFeature Industry Influencers on Your BlogTAG: POST LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: Not only can you have some engaging content produced on your website, but you’ll be able to tap into the wider network of the influencer to promote it. This can gain your brand a lot of exposure and result in new user signups, social shares, backlinks and traffic.

Implementation:

This is an approach that I use within a lot of campaigns (not just for SaaS businesses). I’ve outlined the full process that I take in a lot more detail here, but here’s a simplified list:

  1. Identify a number of major publications within your industry that have multiple outside contributors. For example, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post.
  2. Within these publications, earmark a few of the authors who have written content particularly relevant to your target market.
  3. Gather their social media profiles and any personal websites they have and add them into a spreadsheet. Also, you’ll want to find a contact email address.
  4. Reach out to the writers with the largest following first to see if they’d be interested working on some content for your blog (give them an example topic). Make sure you ask for their fee and availability at this point as well. When you have this info, add it to the spreadsheet.
  5. Agree on topics and dates with your chosen influencers and add them to a content calendar (this helps you stay on top of things). Here’s a template you can use.
  6. Once you publish an article, ensure that the author is bylined and get them to share it with their social following. Also, you’ll want to ask them to submit the link to any communities they’re part of to get further exposure.

Useful Resource: check out this article that I wrote on the Wordtracker blog that shows my process for identifying and engaging influencers.Feature influencers on your blog and get exposure to their network #growth

CLICK TO TWEETCreate a Viral Sign-Up FormTAG: POST LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: HARD

Why: Getting someone to sign-up or subscribe on your website is pretty tough. That said, you can make it a lot easier through viral sign-up forms.

All this entails is incentivising your customers/prospects to refer people they know to you. Simple.

Implementation:

There’s a number of ways to run a viral referral system, but all of these start with users coming through and giving you their details (in most cases, email addresses).

This is the starting point so that you’re able to create a unique referral URL for them so that you can track any referrals they bring through. The things that change are the ways they refer people.

One way is to get them to share the sign-up page via social media. Another is to get them to email friends and colleagues with their unique referral link, and you could even have them share the link on their websites, etc.

All of this revolves around the way you incentivise your users. This system is something that platforms like Rafflecopter execute really well with their competition widgets. In this case, you can gain extra entries to competitions by sharing on different social networks or giving extra contact data.

This same principle can be applied to your sign-up process. It’s exactly what Harry’s, the men’s grooming products company, did to gather 100,000 emails in just one week!

Useful Resource: if you’d like to build your own viral sign-up form then you should read this tutorial from Justin Mares and Nat Eliason.Grow email sign-ups by implementing a viral referral system #growth

CLICK TO TWEETSet Up Metrics DashboardsTAG: POST LAUNCHDIFFICULTY: MEDIUM

Why: It’s really important to analyse how each of the channels you’re working on is performing. Dashboards are a great way to gain an overview of the performance of your campaign at any moment in time.

Implementation:

There are quite a few out-of-the-box dashboard solutions that can be cost-effective and link up to a number of other platforms to give you all the data you need.

My preferred weapon of choice is Cyfe (no affiliation).

Using Cyfe you can pull in data from Google Analytics, Twitter, Facebook, MailChimp, Aweber, Saleforce, Pinterest and hundreds of other platforms to get data on your campaign. I use Cyfe for all of the projects that I work on and it only costs me $19 a month – a worthwhile investment.

There’s lots that you can do with Cyfe so here’s a video tutorial to get your dashboard all set up:

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