Growth hacking is an organized way of experimenting with new ideas to grow business. An unorganized way of running growth hacks can actually do bad than good.
There is always a danger that businesses can run out of cash, or spoil company’s reputation.
Below are the mistakes to avoid when experimenting with growth hacks.
Running behind multiple metrics
Companies can only find success with growth hacking when they focus on the single goal at a time. Running behind multiple goals takes more money and time. This could be very ineffective.
This is the rule #1. Keep a single goal and to achieve those make small milestones.
Running growth hacks without strategizing
Successful startups plan the experiments well before they start experimenting. The process of growth hacking begins with choosing ONE right metric to get success with. It could be the number of users, or sales or retention. This totally depends on the company goals at a given phase.Companies can end up spending more money than doing benefits if the experiments are not well planned.
Planning growth hacking can be done on a simple Google Sheet. Here is my answer on Quora on “what is growth hacking?”, I have mentioned how you can start planning growth hacking activities on Google Sheets.
See this screenshot of a template you can use:
Step1: Fill the idea pipeline, take help from every possible team member.
Step2: Score every idea. I used ICE score in this example. Impact, Confidence, and Ease. At Voxturr, we sometimes use more complex metrics to score. Which also includes a budget for every experiment.
Step3: Prioritize. I choose easy wins and low hanging opportunities first and then high impact ideas.
Step6: Scale, discard or test another version.
There is no need of fancy tools, Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel are good enough to organize growth hacks.
Avoid blackhat growth hacks
The term “Hacking” brings a fishy image in mind. Sometimes, it gives an impression of using blackhat techniques. But this is a big NO.
Blackhat link building techniques or on-page keyword stuffing or other similar hacks can get the site blacklisted from the search engines. Here are few popular hacks that people should avoid:
- Adding irrelevant keywords to get more hits on the website. You should consider that doing this can actually harm the user experience of the website and results in more bounce rate.
- Using hidden text or keyword stuffing. This is a big alarm. Try this and Google will soon give your website a penalty.
- Redirecting to a separate page using doorway or gateway pages. Try avoiding surprises for the users.
- Switch and Bait – Changing the website content suddenly when the traffic is increased.
These are just a few to mention. The only thing to keep in mind here is that your visitors should have a pleasant experience if you really want them to be engaged with you.
Don’t initiate big experiments
The ideas that a company should scale should the ones which are tested. Starting big experiments without testing could be a big mistake.
Big experiments need big teams, resources, and money.
Running growth hacks in an organized way allows to measure the results of the experiments and accordingly take decisions on which ones to scale.
While planning a PPC campaign, Social Media campaign or an email marketing campaign avoid choosing a very large audience or demographics.
Don’t put brand reputation on the line
Avoid taking a shortcut to achieve short-term goals. Making false offers or communicating wrong messages could harm your brand in a long run. Avoid any activities that are against key values of the company.
Companies sometimes take desperate measures to complete a short-term goal. These can sometimes irritate the customers.
Once I was working with a client who sent multiple emails to their audiences without segmenting the database. As a result, they got very high unsubscribes. Planning on what to send and who to send can make a huge difference.
Growth hacking is also about doing the right things. Misconception companies have is that growth hack is about bulk and masses.
Move the focus away from the core product
After running thousands of campaigns, out of which many failed and few got very successful, the only difference was a good product.
Marketing campaigns can only bring visitors but conversations happen only when people love the product.
Companies believe more traffic brings more growth, which is true to a certain limit but not completely. Successful companies fix the products and the offerings for third customers.
Companies should always keep iterating the product until they know their product has a complete market fit.
Not running competitor analysis
Insights from the competition can give a lot of new ideas. To grow and sustain growth it is always important to know what competition is doing.
At Voxturr, we provide complete scan services to our clients. We decode the digital strategy of the competitors. Many time we have found surprising results.
Not think long-term growth
When planning growth hacking think of the long-term growth metrics of your company.
Successful only if your ideas can bring sustainable growth.
In a nutshell, growth hack experiments should be cost-effective and small experiments that can be scaled. Long-term growth should be the objective behind the efforts of experiments.
Did we miss anything? If you have more to talk about growth hacking mistakes to avoid then let us know, we will be happy to include your thoughts.