In this resource I list out a bunch of digital marketing growth hacks that have worked for me. I am a full-time SEO and growth hacker so I thought I may as well share some of these tips and tricks!
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 1: Add A Hidden Form Field For LeadGen
The more you know about your leads the better.
One trick used to capture even more information about your leads is to pass a parameter in a URL that can be received by a hidden field on one of your forms.
By using this trick you can capture even more information about your leads without making them fill out extra data.
Common uses of this can include location, campaign, and interest category.
If creating a hidden field in Gravity Forms (for example), simply check Hidden Field” when adding your form field.
Many similar WordPress contact form plugins will have this feature.
Here’s an example of using this hack in real life.
I have a popular events directory that lists niche-specific events (conferences) taking place around the world.
The events are broken up into geographical regions so if someone is viewing events in Europe it is likely that they’re (obviously) interested in events in Europe, so when they sign up for the newsletter there’s no need to ask them.
In other words, let’s assume they want information on events in Europe.
This growth hack is particularly important because the more data you ask for, the higher the dropoff rate.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 2: Cheap And Effective Chat Bot
Chatbots continue to be popular.
The statistic that I’ve seen for many years now states that only 1% of visitors to your site will likely convert into paying customers.
Chatbots push the above statistic higher through automated chat that will help your visitors make faster and better-informed decisions.
Chatbots continue to grow in popularity as we use our phones less for voice and more to gather information.
This growth hack is not a specific method or trick but rather to introduce the most affordable and effective chatbot that I could find, namely, www.conversiobot.com
The major player in the market is called Drift www.drift.com but it is very expensive.
The reason I like ConversioBot is that it does the same thing whilst being reasonably priced.
What are the advantages of ConversioBot?
- There are x10 ready-made templates
- It’s Cloud-Based;
- Lot’s of excellent documentation;
- All changes are centrally managed;
- One-Time Cost
If you haven’t installed a chatbot then I recommend that you do so.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 3: “Leads” To “Trello Board” (Cheap-Ass CRM)
This growth hack might have a seriously positive impact on your business if you’re struggling to keep up with your lead flow.
I’ve been using this for several years now and it’s a fantastic way to visualize all the conversations you’re having with leads or inquiries that have entered your lead capture forms.
The required tools include Trello, Gravity Forms, WordPress, and about five minutes of your precious time!
So, if you’re familiar with Trello www.trello.com then you might really love this hack.
If you’re not familiar with Trello then please go ahead and read up about it. Long story short, Trello is a great tool to organize and visualize projects and the flow of information.
Here’s the growth hack.
Gravity forms (which is a Contact Form plugin for WordPress) plays nice with dozens of other apps via its easy-to-use API connectivity.
When a Gravity Form (i.e. “a message”) is received, you can send that data to Trello and instruct it to create a card.
Now, back in Trello, you’d create a board, give it a name like “Lead Capture” and then have four columns.
Column one could be “Warm Lead”. Why is it warm? Well, they’ve obviously just completed a form so the chances are there’s a positive association with their inquiry. The next column is “contacted”, the third “exchanging” and the last could be “CRM”.
Let’s break this down.
The lead that came via your web form (Gravity Forms), which is sent to Trello, creates a card with all the data you need to get your outreach going. The card will contain an email address, first name, their inquiry, and, what I like to do, copy and paste a little snippet of swipe copy that I’ll send out in an email.
Of course, the visualization piece works really well because you can see, graphically, how your lead flow is going, i.e. who is at what stage, and the bit that I really like, is that you can set a “deadline” to reaching out to the lead by using the inbuilt calendar.
This highly simplified CRM tool is a fantastic solution if you are just starting out or have a project that does not yet merit a fully-fledged expensive CRM solution like ActiveCampaign,
Infusionsoft Keap, HubSpot, etc.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 4: Reverse Engineer Successful Content
Here’s a neat and fantastic way to get more backlinks and credibility for your brand and get your name out there as an author.
This hack includes, as many others do in my course and book, a clever Google Dork that finds footprints of where the most prolific content marketers within your niche are landing their guest posts.
Here’s the dork:
keyword intext:"author name" inurl:author
This tells Google to only show published content from the author you’ve selected that contains the associated keyword.
For example, Cybersecurity Conferences is one of my niches. Bruce Scheider is a well-known figure in the industry so if I run this search:
cybersecurity intext:"Bruce Schneier" inurl:author
This result produces 4,660 results and that’s pretty useful because now I know who might be interested in similar content that I could pitch to them.
Is it a good idea to go for the biggest publications first?
I’d argue that you might be best looking at the results from pages 2,3,4 and perhaps leaving the heavier-hitting sites until you’ve got some solid and high-ranking content to refer to.
Either way, this is a great way to find out who allows authoritative content from your niche.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 5: Data Miner Is Your Data-Extraction Friend
Data Miner is a chrome extension that is very useful.
Once you master how to use this data extraction tool then you’ll be able to remove data from a web page or web pages at will.
Often in your travels through the Internet, you’ll come across a resource that will contain a treasure trove of data, perhaps, for example, a list of experts in your field of interest. The value of this data might be significant for your purposes so using this tool will allow you to scrape the data.
Remember that this is one of those hacks that you personally don’t have to learn or do but one that you can ask your junior executive or Virtual Assistant to learn how to use and then you just ping them the URL to scrape on the fly.
Other data scraping tools you might want to take a look at are Scrapebox, Octoparse, and Phantombuster.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 6: Crunchbase For Well-Funded Companies
The “official” purpose of Crunchbase is to help users find company information.
The growth hackers use of Crunchbase is that it tells you who has just landed a big (investment) paycheck.
Sounds useful right?
Let’s say you live in Pittsburgh, here’s a list of Pittsburgh startups, which in early 2021 numbered 176. Here’s the URL: www.crunchbase.com/hub/pittsburgh-startups#section-overview
Why is this helpful?
Companies that have just received funding means two things to us:
- Firstly, that they are focused on scaling their business to satisfy their investors and therefore to acquire more funding;
- And, they have money and that they are more likely to make faster decisions.
Both of these factors are green lights for growth hackers.
The added benefit of this growth hack is that you’ll be able to find out the founders of the startups, and I can guarantee that they will be approachable and friendly and company founders almost always answer emails.
Fire up my favorite GMass tool or Lemlist, (both mentioned in my book) and have a short sweet and curiosity-packed subject field and your open rate will be sky-high.
Bonus tip: when I ran the above growth hack in Hong Kong I had an open rate of around 50%.
What got me to the actual meetings was the fact that I mentioned I was physically in Hong Kong. This tends to cut through the general offer-spam that they receive from other parts of the world.
Extra bonus tip: Octoparse (www.octoparse.com) has a pre-built Crunchbase template you can use to scrape well-funded businesses within your niche and city.
Try it, I bet you get results. Good luck.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 7: Make Your CTA Say Exactly What The Button Will Do
High converting copywriting is vital.
What is equally vital and there’s plenty of research to prove this, is that the clearer the text in your CTA (“Call To Action”) buttons are, the longer the visitor will stay on the destination page.
For example, if you have a landing page with a button that simply says “Click Here”, the destination is vague, i.e. what can the user truly expect? Sure, they are expecting more of the same or an enhanced information page but it is still vague as to the true benefit that they will attain.
Make sure that you are accurate and descriptive with regards to the benefit of clicking a button or link.
For example, “Yes, I want a discount!”, “Download 331 Interview Answers”, or “Access Free Trial” is clear, descriptive and you’ll generate additional trust equity with your prospects since it is abundantly clear what it is that they will achieve.
Taking actions like this will install trust in your service or product.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 8: Geotag Testimonials
Ask a developer on Upwork to create a system in which testimonials (or content) are shown based upon which country the visitor is from.
VPN companies do this with significant success.
Here’s an example of the messaging they use:
“We know that you’re in [City Name], using [Vendor Name] ISP Provider, and so does law enforcement”.
The accuracy of this message adds validity to the fact that you can be tracked without a VPN and has been proven to be an effective sales tactic.
You can use this same technology to show messages and testimonials pertaining to the geographical region (or country) your visitor is from.
Your testimonials can be either text or video or both.
For an extra boost to this hack try and see if you can get video testimonials made in national accents, so for Australia, you’d have an Ozzie accent, and for the UK a British accent, etc.
Fiverr used to allow recorded (fake) video testimonials and I am sure with some creative searching online you’ll find an equivalent, but of course, your intention should be to procure real testimonials.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 9: Vanity URL? Yes, Here’s Why!
As most of us know, LinkedIn is a professional social network.
LinkedIn utilized this following hack to achieve gigantic growth success over a short period of time.
The hack I am referring to was trading on people’s vanity.
Allowing users to create their own profile which is publicly accessible on search engines gave the individual a sudden platform for them to illustrate their skills.
When we see our name online we’d naturally like to control that narrative, and this is what this growth hack trades on.
You could do the same.
You could have a post, for example, of the “30 Most Influential Professionals In ABC Industry” (with “ABC” being your niche).
Mentioning these people, or even better, having a unique URL for each of the 30 people could be a huge win because half of them will almost certainly connect with you and ask for the content to be edited and they’ll likely even link back to you.
Of course, make sure that you are incredibly positive about their achievements and skills!
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 10: Invoice And Referral Hack
If you send out receipts or invoices to your customers on a regular basis then why not incentivize them to refer your business?
The “hook” for incentivization could be a cost reduction on their next monthly payment.
The recipient of your invoice is in a “paying mode” and they will be turned into the idea of saving money. Give them a simple way to do so and you’ll get results.
Here is a real-life example and a practical way you can execute this hack.
DigitalOcean is a hosting company that sends out millions of dollars of receivables every month.
They have a neat offer in which they offer to discount your next month’s bill by several percent if you refer a client to them and to make it easy they include a referral link ready to be used.
I did this hack in New York when I was working for a food delivery startup.
My twist on this hack was to personalize the referral URL with the name of the customer so when the recipient received it they’d be more inclined to trust it and click it.
The hack here is the mind-shift of including marketing within your monthly messaging.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 11: Competitor Homepage Hack
Create an account with VisualPing (www.visualping.io) to monitor your competitor’s homepage or sales pages.
Let’s take a look at each of these examples in turn.
A tool like VisualPing will detect whether there have been any changes to the homepage, and if there have been changes you’ll be alerted.
Why is this helpful?
It lets you see what your competitors are up to and any changes that they’re making to their all-important homepage.
If a new product is launched, for example, or there’s some urgent bit of “exciting news”, then it’s likely going to be splashed all over their homepage.
Being aware of your competitors’ activities is obviously beneficial. For example, seeing their copywriting messages, offers, etc., all help to understand their strategy.
The added bonus with this alert is that if they change their homepage after two weeks you can be sure that their bounce rate increased and therefore that particular messaging didn’t work.
Conversely, if they keep the new homepage for more than two weeks then clearly what they introduced worked.
My point here is that your competitors have done a lot of hard work in split-testing, etc., why not take advantage of their research?
Another use-case could be creating an alert for a particular sales page that lists the features they offer.
Most marketing sales pages have a list of features. Being able to monitor these changes will help you discover new features that they’ve launched. Perhaps, for example, they are offering some new incentive or discount.
Either way, this hack has a ton of value when deployed correctly.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 12: Join Competitors Newsletters
Nice, simple, and effective: join your competitor’s newsletters.
To keep your sanity from a deluge of emails, just join your main competitors, i.e. the ones that are your “real” competitors, and I’d suggest that you create an email filter specifically for them.
An even better solution, from my experience, is to use Slack or Google Sheets as your “dashboard” for alerts like this. (You’d need to use Zapier or IFTTT for this).
The benefits of this five-minute hack are that you will, of course, be able to get a sense of what your competitors are up to but also you’ll get a sense of the tone and language that they use.
Being alerted to their seasonal messaging and promotions, for example, can give you the inspiration to create a similar (and improved) version of what they’ve been sending out.
This is one of those hacks that you set up once and then regularly monitor.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 13: Use Heatmaps To See Genuine User Behavior
Stop wasting time thinking about what users want and are doing on your site by implementing heatmaps.
Heatmaps are used as an analytic tool to show user behavior on specific web pages or web page templates. The major benefit Heatmaps bring is that they show us where users have clicked on a page or how far they have scrolled down a page.
So, this five-minute growth hack will lead to hours of time saved when it comes to validating what’s worked and what hasn’t.
The implementation of a heatmap takes under five minutes and is best administered via Google Tag Manager.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 14: Extra Discount For Extra Action
Extra discount for more action!
What does that mean?
Imagine that you have a free offer or trial for your product or service – why don’t you get more out of those freeloaders?
For example, imagine that you offer USD$ 7 for a 7 day trial of your SaaS product; why not extend that by 3 days in exchange for a “like” on Facebook, LinkedIn, or whatever platform you are on.
As always, try it and see.
Having further engagement from a trial user (paid or otherwise) further affirms their conviction in your product or service.
Churn and lack of engagement are the biggest killers when it comes to the adoption and take-up of your SaaS product, so experimentation will be of critical importance.46
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 15: Create Or Buy A Tool And Make It Free
Create a digital tool and share it.
If it has value and saves a bunch of time then you’ll get a ton of love and respect for it.
Sounds difficult? No, because it isn’t.
Head to “code canyon” (Google it) and you’ll find a plethora of scripts and tools you can buy for a very reasonable price.
If the tool doesn’t quite do what you want it to do then outsource it on UpWork (www.upwork.com) and ask a developer to tweak it to your heart’s content.
As an example, I found a Plagiarism Tool that costs USD$ 8.
Other examples include bitcoin calculators, admin tools, and a bunch of miscellaneous scripts like “Local Google Results Scraper” which would look great on your site if it were included within a mega piece of content.
What I’d suggest you do is buy it, tweak it to your niche, make it yours, and promote it.
An extreme version of this hack is Neil Patel’s Uber Suggest.
SEO Tools, especially Keyword Tools, are notoriously expensive. He offers a tool that does a lot of the same functionality as the biggest names out there like SEMRush and AHRefs and offers it for free.
Matthew Woodward, another highly reputable SEO blogger, has a fantastic example of this with a simple PHP script that generates some code to place on your site to get your FAQs to rank higher in Google.
In summary, search for tools that could help your community and promote it!
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 16: The Only Three Bits Of Content You’ll Ever Need
I learned this from expert bloggers Jim and Ricky from Project 24 (Income School), a YouTube channel I wholly recommend.
Central to your content marketing is planning what to publish.
The answer is to mix it, and here’s how: by mixing your content to a factor of three. The three content types are, “Response Posts”, “Staple Posts” and “Pillar Posts”.
If you’re just starting your business the recommendation is to do it in that order:
Response Posts are typically quite short, around the 1000 – 1500 word range that answers a specific question in your niche that someone is searching for on google. Now, here’s the thing. If someone has done an excellent job at answering that particular question then move on – find another question that you know you can write a better response for.
Staple Posts are engaging and shareable content like “How-To’s” and “Top Lists” and other such familiar yet in-demand content types.
Pillar Posts are the heavy-duty authoritative posts that you write.
So, this growth hack relates entirely to content planning. Follow these above principles, especially when starting a new site which I suspect many of my readers and viewers are.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 17: Say Goodbye With A Photo
Quirky, pattern-breaking behavior stands out and that’s what we growth marketers yearn for.
Here’s an example of precisely that.
If you know someone just left your service then you can send a tweet to them holding a sign up saying we miss you.
This works especially well if your business has a subscription-based MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue). The churn rate is obviously the killer in an MRR model so when someone cancels their membership let’s try to turn that into a positive!
Rather than sending an automated email saying a “Sorry To See You Go” message, I’d suggest doing something more humorous like holding a placard with the user’s first name with a sad expression on your face.
You can get a program or design software to replace the user’s name to make it look more authentic so that someone in your team can fire off a more engaging message with a positive goodbye in which you can ask for more information. The options here are endless and I’m sure you get the gist but these touches can make all the difference. The message you’ll convey is that you actually care and a positive final emotion would have been left.
A nice tool for this would be Lemlist which I also cover in this book.
Lemlist allows you to insert customized text (such as first names) into images embedded in emails.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 18: Scraper API for Proxies and Scrapebox
Advanced Growth Hackers use tools like Scrapebox and if you don’t already have a license I recommend you get one.
There’s no affiliate link for me but here’s the URL: (this link gives you a discount).
One of the challenges of using Scrapebox is finding proxies that actually work and that you can rely on.
Here’s the solution: Scraper API.
The reason why this is the best solution, in my opinion, is because one of the most frustrating parts of automated web scraping is constantly dealing with IP blocks and CAPTCHAs.
Scraper API rotates IP addresses with each request, from a pool of millions of proxies across over a dozen ISPs, and automatically retries failed requests, so you will never be blocked.
In other words, no more headaches with failed proxies.
To get it going all you need to do include one line of your code in your Scrapebox proxies setup like this:
And of course, add your API KEY, and that’s that, you’ll be able to scrape to your heart’s content.
Here’s the link for more information: www.scraperapi.com/scrapebox
Also, here’s a reminder, what are the benefits of Scrapebox?
Here are only a few of the features that Scrapebox offers:
- Search Engine Scraper
- Keyword Scraper
- Domain Availability
- Comment Scraper
- YouTube Downloader
- Phone Number Scraper
- Bulk Anchor Creator
- Fast Blog Poster
- Proxy Harvester
- Webpage Meta Scraper
- RSS Feed Creator
- Name & Email Generator
- Contact Form Submitter
- Manual Blog Poster
- Email Scraper
- RSS Submit
- Create Sitemaps
- Bulk Image Downloader
And a ton more.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 19: Get Straight To A Scheduled Meeting Appointment
If your cold outreach is successful then the next “challenge” is being able to confirm a meeting either in person or virtually.
Invariably, there’s the inevitable back-and-forth exchange deciding on a time to talk which can often delay the meeting.
Locking down your potential customer or client into a meeting is what this growth hack is all about.
I use this tool, Calendly (www.calendly.com) to solve this and it works great.
It works by showing the recipient a daily schedule of time slots that you’re available for a call.
All the recipient needs to do is click one of your available time slots and it will populate your calendar of choice.
The tool pulls in your existing schedule from popular calendars like Google Calendar and Outlook.
Give it a try, add the link to your email signature for example, and you ought to see an uptick in meeting confirmations.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 20: Get Noticed And Mentioned By Journalists
This is a typical five-minute growth hack that has the potential to seriously help your business grow.
The “hack” is using a service known as “HARO”.
HARO is an abbreviation for “Help A Reporter Out”, and here’s how it works.
As we all know, reporters, journalists, and bloggers all need quotes and citations.
HARO is a platform that facilitates the above, i.e. it connects you, the specialist in your niche, with them.
If you’re successful in being referenced then you’ll generate additional credibility and often a backlink (link to your site) which is great for SEO.
For example, if you’re a Real Estate broker, and a journalist requests information on a particular theory they have with regards to a rise in property prices in an area you operate in, then you can chime in with your thoughts and facts and in exchange, they’ll mention you.
Now, this growth hack has two parts, each part is two minutes long.
- Create an account with HARO.
- Set up an alert so when your niche is mentioned you can be alerted.
HARO works by sending out emails, so all you need to do is set up an alert(s) using IFTTT to convert inbound HARO email alerts to populate a row on a Google sheet.
Then, once a week or twice a week you can scan down the list to see if there’s anything worth applying to. You could very easily snag yourself a top-tier authority link from a highly reputable media outlet.
The cool thing about this growth hack is that once you get one or two citations or references then you can share them with other journalists to validate your credibility and trustworthiness, and, very often, the same journalist will come back to you!
I did this very trick with the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom and it worked great, here’s the article and if you search for Henry Dalziel you’ll see I get quoted.
There is another slight variation to this method which uses different tools and some creative Google Searches.
This second variation is where you’d contact journalists directly.
Here’s how: type into the search engine your competitor’s name or a keyword describing what your company does then hit the “news tab” and you’ll notice a list of the most recent related articles. Those articles are written by journalists that you could pitch your product or service.
To discover their emails you could use tools like www.EmailHunter.co, www.Lead411.com, www.AnyMailFinder.com, or my favorite www.dropcontact.io
Once you have their email then you can try to discover their LinkedIn Profile (we cover this elsewhere using Phantombuster).
When it comes to contacting your scraped journalists I’d recommend using GMass or Lemlist. Both of these email delivery tools are also covered elsewhere in my book.
Another possible tool to look at is called “JustReachOut” which is paid automation for the above.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 21: Landing Page Personalization
For this growth hack, you’ll likely need help from a developer.
Personalize your landing page with the name of the recipient within the copy and the URL.
This works best for highly targeted outreach or if your cold and warmed outreach has replied to an email message.
For example, www.mysite.com/henry-dalziel/ – now clearly that’s me and if I received that, yes, I would be interested to learn more about that page that has my name in the URL slug.
When the user clicks the link then the message could contain the message “Hi Henry”.
The promo code or coupon code could then be “Henry20” for a 20% Discount for example.
Sure, this might sound like a lot of work but you can use tools like Advanced Custom Fields in WordPress whereby it will take you a minute to clone your landing page, edit the URL and insert the first name into the page.
As ever, this task might be better managed by a Virtual Assistant.
If you’re doing this ten times a day for high-value conversions then it could be worth your time.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 22: Get A Killer Logo In Minutes (Great For Concept Testing)
Create a free custom logo in seconds with ShapeFactory’s online logo generator and logo builder.
Simple, easy to use, and no design skills are required to make yourself a beautiful logo.
Branding and having an identity is, needless to say, vital.
You can commit hours to work with a designer to create the perfect logo and branding or you can just head over to www.logo.shapefactory.co and have it done in a matter of minutes.
Trust me, just try it out: you can have a professional vector-based logo and font made for you in a matter of minutes, and all for a very affordable fee.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 23: Video For Onboarding
One of the biggest challenges a new customer faces is how to use your service effectively to maximize its benefits.
That’s where the power of video comes in.
The best tool that I can recommend is Wistia.
When a new user registers with your service then make a “how-to” series of videos on how to best use your service and thereby you will be educating them more about your product and services.
One of the major benefits of Wisita (compared to YouTube and Vimeo) is that they have excellent analytics, embedding capabilities, and branding so you can really maximize the experience.
Wistia has a free option for (I believe) three videos.
Loom is another possibility as well.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 24: 2-Sided Referral Program Hack Work Best
They say that the best deal is when both parties benefit.
In other words, we both win, i.e. a “win-win”.
With regards to referrals, this can be done using a referral known as a “Double-sided referral program”.
To create and launch a Double-Sided Referral Program, you should make sure that you are able to deliver exactly what you set out to, i.e. is the offer and discount possible at your company?
Make sure that your IT and Support Teams are able to deal with the offers and discounts that you set out to promote.
Once you understand what is technically possible, you can figure out the economics of your program.
Of course, you need to make sure that your referral program is sustainable and helps you grow in a way that produces a positive return on investment.
An example of such a program would be Dropbox.
The company had stratospheric growth largely owing to a popular referral campaign whereby the referrer and referred would both have extra data storage capacity added to their accounts.
So, if you are stuck with what referral program to launch, you should consider the strategy I’ve outlined above.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 25: Make Your 404 Page A Landing Page
The chances are that there will be broken links on your site, or, someone linking to your site will point to an incorrect page that will generate 404 errors.
For those that don’t know, a “404 Error” is a page that does not exist on your website that will show an error to your visitors.
OK, so what’s the growth hack?
Make sure the error page has a “Call To Action” on it.
For example, you could include giveaways such as an ebook, checklists, or whatever else your visitors might be interested in.
This hack is a brainer, but you’ll be amazed at how many clients I’ve worked with that had a blank 404 page.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 26: Create A Link For Customers To Write Reviews
If you haven’t already registered your business with “Google My Business” then stop what you’re doing and do it now.
Google, and humans for that matter, place significant importance on reviews, and there’s no better place to place reviews than on Google My Business.
Once you’ve set it up correctly with images of your office, or just get fake cool photos of a startup co-sharing office from Unsplash, you’ll see that there is a link that you can send to customers to ask them to leave a review.
What I suggest is to create a tracking URL (using a tool like bit.ly) and send that to any satisfied customer. The point I’m making here is to make efforts to generate as many positive reviews as you can on your “Google My Business” page.
I’ve appended the link to my email signature and I’ve been able to generate a dozen or so positive reviews.
One of my websites receives a lot of user-generated content and when the user has submitted content I send them to a “thank you” page and that is an example of a fertile place to insert your review – not least because they’ve sold themselves on the value that you are bringing them.
A further twist on this is that if you’re using Gmail business email you can now have several signatures. If you’re having a great conversation with a client then switch your signature to the “Ask for a review” format that has a clear CTA in the messaging to entice the client to drop you a review.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 27: Hack To Find A Freelancer With Attention To Detail
This hack is insanely simple and I do it every time I am seeking to outsource any size of the project.
I use Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and Legiit to outsource projects or gigs, and I was getting particularly frustrated with applicants simply “copying and pasting” generic replies when applying to your job.
Conversing with someone who hasn’t properly read and understood your job requirement is frustrating because it can chew up a lot of time, and this hack can separate the freelancers that might spell trouble.
Because someone who hasn’t taken the time to properly read the job description will likely be a sloppy worker.
Here’s the hack.
When you write your job description, in the second or third paragraph, write something like this:
“When replying to this job please add the word “carrot” so that I know that you’ve read my entire job description and requirement”.
You’ll be amazed at how many people will not write your catch-word, therefore, implying that they have not read your job description properly.
If the person replying cannot be bothered to read your entire job description then it is likely that they will also take shortcuts in the work they will do for you.
I use Upwork and Legiit every day and I’ll often receive upwards of 30 replies to job offers.
I’ll instantly remove half of those for failing to prove that they have read the job offer in its entirety.
Doing the above will save you time with your job outsourcing and seeking appropriate and professional freelancers.
Time is money and it’s better to weed out the time-wasters from the get-go.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 28: Staggered Registration
Before we go any further let’s just remind ourselves that when it comes to web forms (capturing data) then less is more, i.e. keep it simple (or “KISS”, “Keep It Simple Stupid“ as the old mantra goes).
The more data you capture the higher the drop-off so I’d ask the recipient for their email only.
However, in most cases, an email address is not enough.
Instead, what I am suggesting is to capture their email and then upon the “Submit” button the same user is shown previously hidden fields that they are invited to complete that include for example their name and other information.
Why does this work?
Because they’ve already invested time entering their email, so asking them to finish what they started shouldn’t be difficult.
If your landing pages ask the lead for several pieces of data then try this hack out, it might increase conversions.
As always, try it and see.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 29: Fake Funny Name In Placeholder
When creating a sign-up form for subscribers on your website you’ll invariably have an email capture field.
Rather than having an email placeholder within the field saying “Enter your email here” place a more friendly and amusing placeholder.
For example, on one of my Cybersecurity websites, my email capture form has the placeholder “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Now, for those that don’t know, Edward Snowden is a famous whistle-blower who worked for the US Government.
Another example could be if you have a name field and have a growth app or service, your placeholder could be “Max Conversion”, or “Hugh Saturation” etc., you get the idea. In fact, there is a website dedicated to this.
Doing a little touch like this lightens the mood and might be a little positive nudge to get your visitor to take action and submit their email.
As always, try it and see.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 30: Mention People, Stroke Ego’s
Facebook is the largest social network in the world with approximately over 2 billion monthly active users. The biggest social network platform used growth hacking to implement its agenda when it first started out.
Instagram, Airbnb, Hotmail, YouTube, and Dropbox are companies that all have a defining growth hack moment (and I cover many of these throughout my book).
This five-minute growth hack could really be done every day, but I’d recommend that this be done via batch processing.
This hack revolves around vanity-baiting and it couldn’t be any simpler. All you do is this: mention people by tagging them.
This hack works best on all social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Mentioning people obviously alerts them that someone is talking about them and of course they want in on the conversation.
Never be rude, but be polite and congratulate them on a recent success they’ve had or other.
The chances are that the “influencer” that you’ve likely tagged will reciprocate and promote your content to their audience.
This hack works. Period.
Through the use of email notification and other mechanisms, Facebook was able to engender an unparalleled level of participation.
When people started receiving emails that they were being tagged and mentioned on Facebook or on LinkedIn then this led to curiosity and then engagement.
This ingenious approach made Facebook the biggest online success thanks in part to growth hacking.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 31: MRR Onboarding Hacks
I love the MRR model.
MRR meaning “Monthly Recurring Revenue”, also known as the “Subscription Model”.
If you offer a service in which you are billing your clients per calendar month (for example) then getting them to become clients can of course be a major challenge.
There are a couple of ways to do this, and this growth hack focuses on my favorites.
Let’s discuss them.
Here are my two favorite hacks.
- The 7-Day Paid Trial.
The hack here is to use the number “7”.
“7” seems to be a magical number.
For some reason, odd numbers do better and “7” has a lot of connotations, like the fact that there are 7 continents, 7 oceans, 7 visible astral objects from earth, 7 holes in the human skull, 7 systems in the human body and of course 7 days in a week.
Charging a nominal trial fee of USD$7 for 7 days, so a dollar a day is what’s known as a “trip sale”.
Your conversion rate will be lower than simply offering “free trial access” but you’d have two clear benefits of this, firstly – you remove time-wasters since they’ve willingly given over their working credit card, and secondly, the transition from “paid trial” to “full member” is easier because you’ve captured their credit card details.
- Extending The Trial
Another favorite is triggering an email if the trial account is not used that extends the trial by five days with a discount code.
Try either of them out!
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 32: Intelligent Countdown Timer
I mentioned the “Hello bar” in my book.
This tool, called the “Hurry Timer” is identical to the “Hello Bar” but it works on a timer rather than animated text.
Timers create a sense of urgency and they work.
What makes this countdown timer amazing, (which is available in a free or paid plan), is that aside from working seamlessly on WordPress, it is wholly configurable to that specific user by using their IP address.
So, in other words, each person that hits your site will see the same countdown ribbon at the top of every page, but whether or not they revisit the same page will determine the behavior of the countdown timer, thereby making it more effective.
The messaging that then follows the expiration of the countdown can be personalized, in other words, it’s a more “honest” approach when compared to a blanket countdown timer that typically refreshes every three days or so.
Try it and see!
It’s free so there’s little to no risk in experimenting with this tool.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 33: Find Your Niche’s Most Shared Content
Buzzsumo (buzzsumo.com) is a great way of seeing what the most popular and shared content is for any topic.
Simply enter the search term you want information on and Buzzsumo will return the most shared results over the past year.
This tool is excellent when it comes to content creation and content ideas.
Link this tool with the AIDA principle and the RSP Posting Principles and you’ll be generating a ton of useful and SEO-able content!
(The RSP Posting Principles relate to “Responsive, Staple and Pillar” types of content which we cover in this book).
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 34: Find Leads With Builtwith + Publicwww
BuiltWith is a tool you should get to know and have installed on your browser (as a Chrome extension).
BuiltWith tells you how a website has been made and all its associated technology, including, for example, its CMS, advertising or optimization tools, and a lot of other data!
This tool also can be used for Lead Generation because it contains the footprints of tens of thousands of web technologies from over a quarter of a billion websites that show which sites are using shopping carts, analytics, hosting, and much more.
Let me be clear on the use of this tool.
If you are offering software as a service (SaaS) then it’s likely that you can find leads using similar technology. Reach out to see if they are dissatisfied and if they are then you could offer them your service.
For example, if your service is aimed at Stripe users in Germany then you can filter out websites in Germany involved with eCommerce that are using Stripe.
Publicwww is equally amazing.
Why would you need this?
Well, it will help you find who is using AdNetwork, affiliate platform, CMS, WordPress sites using particular themes, and a bunch more.
Say for example you have a product or a service that can be added to Hubspot, perhaps through an API, then publicwww will pull up as many websites as it can find that are using Hubspot.
Alternatively, you can find a list of companies (websites) that are using your competitor’s solution. You could then scrape those results, harvest their details, and contact them to see if they’d be interested in your more affordable and better solution.
There are multiple growth hacks contained in using either of these incredible tools.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 35: Google Maps Search Export
Turning again to my dear friend Phantombuster, or, using a dedicated Chrome AddOn to do the same thing, this hack can be used for positive gain.
The benefit of using Phantombuster is that you can automate it and add a bunch of URLs of businesses (maps) that you’d like to scrape.
This growth hack focuses on Google Maps and the precious data contained within its precise and specific geolocation.
Say for example you’d like to target pet shops in a particular city to offer them your services or similar, then this method will extract useful data including names, emails, and phone numbers.
Once set up with Phantombuster, the tool will scrape Google Maps search results and convert the results in an easy-to-use CSV spreadsheet.
There’s not much else to say about this hack, suffice to say that it can – and does – generate prospective leads.
Digital Marketing 25: Slider Calculator To Show Benefits
Let potential customers validate your service themselves.
There is nothing better than a prospect self-validating and convincing themselves that your product or service will help them.
This hack works particularly well in services like real estate, insurance, and loans.
To achieve this you simply create a calculation that shows how much money will be saved.
Self-validation is key here and can provide significant uplift when it comes to conversions and sales.
To get dozens of templates that you can tweak to your industry and use-case head over to Evanto (Theme Forest) and you’ll find dozens of them for sale.
I had a coworking client in Hong Kong and we implemented a “rent-saver” calculator which illustrated the cost-saving difference between using a coworking space vs a “traditional office”.
The campaign worked well and it continues to be used.
Digital Marketing Growth Hacks 36: Google Reviews Hack
This hack is an excellent way to start a conversation, especially if you’re in the B2C space.
Google reviews (indeed, all reviews) are important because they contribute to the success of any offline or online presence.
Reviews for the most part add credibility to the business.
Here’s the hack: find a business that you can pitch your services to that is struggling with bad reviews. All you then have to do is screenshot the review, or print it, and send it to your prospect with an offer to improve their online presence.
Starting conversations can be tricky, and I’ve discovered that this growth hack does in fact generate an emotion from your prospect that frequently creates a response.
I tried this hack successfully in Hong Kong with Dentists and I was able to convert several of them into becoming clients.
Some of their reviews were terrible and the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that I suggested was to improve the reviews within three months, and I made sure that I did so!
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