Growth hacking: it's the magic wand everyone wishes they had, capable of turning startups into the next big thing overnight. While it’s not magic, growth hacking employs a mix of marketing, product design, and analytics to accelerate growth rapidly.

In this article, we'll explore some tried-and-true growth hacking techniques, complete with real-world examples to inspire your own strategies.

Technique 1: Referral programs

Example: Dropbox

Dropbox offered additional free storage space to users who referred their friends. This simple yet effective method propelled their user base from 100,000 to 4 million in just 15 months.

Try next: Implement a referral program that offers real value to your existing users for bringing in new ones. Make the process seamless and easy to execute.

Technique 2: Content marketing

Example: HubSpot

HubSpot excels at providing free resources, guides, and tools that help with inbound marketing. This not only establishes them as a thought leader but also funnels users towards their paid offerings.

Try next: Create high-quality, relevant content that solves specific problems for your target audience. Use this content as a lead magnet to capture emails or drive user engagement.

Technique 3: Social proof

Example: Airbnb

Airbnb showcases user reviews and ratings prominently, making newcomers more comfortable and likely to book a stay.

Try next: Highlight customer testimonials, reviews, or notable partnerships to build credibility. Display these trust signals on your landing pages, product pages, and checkout process.

Technique 4: Email marketing automation

Example: Amazon

Amazon sends personalized product recommendations based on browsing history, creating a more tailored shopping experience.

Try next: Utilize email automation to engage users with personalized content or offers. Segment your audience for more effective targeting.

Technique 5: A/B testing

Example: Google

Google once tested 41 different shades of blue for its CTA buttons to find out which one generated the most clicks.

Try next: Don't rely on gut feelings. Use A/B testing to experiment with different elements on your site or app to see what actually drives the desired actions.

Technique 6: Freemium model with upsells

Example: Spotify

Spotify offers a free version with ads, and an upsell to a premium, ad-free experience. The free tier acts as a gateway to the premium service.

Try next: If applicable, offer a freemium model to attract a large user base and upsell additional features or an ad-free experience to monetize the platform.


Growth hacking is about testing, iterating, and optimizing different aspects of your business model to achieve rapid growth. By adopting some of these proven techniques, and tailoring them to fit your unique circumstances, you can give your startup the boost it needs.

Growth hacking techniques to accelerate startup growth

Skyrocket your startup’s growth with proven growth hacking techniques. This in-depth article offers actionable tips and real-world examples to give your startup the push it needs.