So you have an online store with great products, now what? The success of your business depends on bringing in customers. But how can you attract those customers without cash flow and brand recognition? Growth hacking.
Simply put, growth hacking tactics are an inexpensive and innovative alternative to traditional marketing. And it’s how you can build awareness and reduce your customer acquisition costs to nearly $0.
Growth hacking has undoubtedly been the driving force behind some of the most successful startups. Companies such as Air B&B, YouTube, Dropbox and Groupon are all early adopters of growth hacking strategies. Clearly, it’s working.
Now, how can you do it too? Let’s review 3 simple growth hacks that ecommerce sites use to grow their customer base. Through social media, search engine, rich content and viral marketing, you’ll be able to squeeze more out of the time and effort spent acquiring new customers.
Customer Refer Customer
“Refer a friend and get $25 towards your next purchase!”
Why it works: Refer a friend programs develop a sense of reciprocity between you and your customer. Since generally refer a friend programs require that the referral makes a purchase/subscribes, a customer feels obliged to refer a qualified lead to guarantee they will be rewarded.
What to test: Try different incentives and offer them at different stages of the customer’s lifecycle to find out what works best. Here are few examples of referral incentives:
• “Refer 3 friends and get a free gift package”
• “Invite 5 friends and get 3 months of free shipping”
• “Invite friends and earn 300 loyalty points!”
• “Refer a friend and get 1 month free subscription”
Connect with Influencers
Engage online influencers that are key players in your niche
Why it works: Building relationships and incentivizing influencers such as bloggers, journalists, experts to give you coverage introduces your online business to their entire audience. If you picked the right influencers then you just opened the doors to an exponential number of potential customers. This strategy also creates back links to your website, augmenting your SEO efforts.
Where to start: Start small. Convincing a major influencer to give you coverage doesn’t happen over night. Begin by reaching out to non-celebrity bloggers that have a strong social media presence then work your way to the top!
Engage potential customers via digital guerilla marketing
Why it works: You’re connecting with social media users that are speaking out about your specific industry, product or niche market. This means they are already interested! By providing personal attention with a helpful response, you are presenting your business as a valuable resource.
How to do it: Do a quick daily search on Twitter for #hashtags and conversations related to your business. Then tweet at these prospects that have used the hashtag with helpful advice and a link to your site or a relevant blog post. You should focus on being resourceful rather than salesy. You don’t want these potential customers to think your spamming them. For a complete guide, check out Hubspot’s Social Prospecting Workbook.
Customer acquisition is all about finding what works best for your target audience. It’s also an area of your business where you should constantly be testing new strategies. Who knows, it might be one of these growth hacks that turn your business into a hit!
Have you tried any growth hacking tactics for customer acquisition? Share your experience and advice in the comments below.