“Growth hacking” may be a marketing buzz term, but the principles are smart. A brief definition goes like this:
Growth hacking is a process of generating sales using non-traditional channels that cost nothing, or only a little, and produce profitable results. On related term, I think, is getting “earned media,” that is, social media, broadcast, or any other channel that gets your message out virally on your behalf with no cost to you.
Start-ups use growth hacking to generate enough buzz to attract investors. When generating rapid growth, there’s a desire by customers to pile-on and share their experiences.
So how would a traditional marketer use no or low cost growth hacking techniques? I think one application would be to integrate digital channels using automated software platforms to create nurture marketing strategies with direct mail as the closer.
- Sync email contact with in-home direct mail delivery. Make sure you encourage anyone who comes to your website to opt-in to your email list.
- Test multiple landing pages with email, and when you have multiple segments of customer email, test a variety of options.
- Use Facebook sponsored posts or retargeting campaigns to serve ads to people matched from your email list or who have visited your website. Test a small budget that you’re comfortable spending daily.
- Frequently generate new content your customers and prospects want to know about. The written word is good. Video recorded from a smartphone can be authentic.
- Use direct mail as a closer. You have more space to tell your story and with direct mail, the recipient holds your sales message in their hands.
Growth hacking might not be part of a traditional marketer’s vocabulary and approach, but thinking out-of-the-box with how you can sell for no or low cost digital channels might yield some profitable surprises.