It’s tough truth time. While the number of startups starting up every year increases, 9 out of 10 startups fail.
Maybe some of these ideas were ahead of their time. Maybe some of them offered something people just didn’t want. Success is a mutable art, but one of the biggest factors that make the difference between success and failure? Growth.
Not necessarily unbelievable, unrealistic, insanely rapid growth. In fact, the best startups enjoy the opposite: scalable, sustainable growth.
This is where growth hacking can be your new best friend. Yet in order to hack growth that works — and that works for you — you need to understand what a growth hack really does.
This isn’t about rapid growth at any cost. Instead, it’s a case of finding the hacks which work for you and doing so in a way that means you can keep your costs as low as possible.
The purpose of a growth hack is to give you the best possible chance in the present while setting you up to be able to scale up in the future without suffering any serious growing pains.
So we’re going to see you through learning about scalable growth and growth hacking, and then highlight the important role that marketing automation can play in helping you get further.
Your new best friend: marketing automation
Marketing automation is the secret weapon of growth hackers and their marketing efforts. It means that the time-consuming and repetitive tasks which can dominate a day are done automatically, leaving your hacker free to focus on creative business solutions.
Marketing automation allows you to build communication at scale and is a vital trait for any startup planning to succeed. With limited human resources, marketing automation makes a smart investment of time and money, even when it may not seem totally necessary. In the early days, what could be manageable for one person will become much more unwieldy the larger you grow.
It also allows your team to keep on top of where the personal touch is needed — such as in direct customer contact cases, or in terms of communication — and means it’s much less likely for things to fall between the cracks.
Using marketing automation is a great way to ensure that the quality your startup can offer the first 10 customers is something that you can continue to provide for the next 10, 000.
Convinced? Read on to find out five ways you can get your marketing automation to work well for you.
1. Automation & content marketing, a love story
You know that quality, evergreen content is a great way to set up your company for success, right? After all, everyone is taking on the world of SEO and trying to make it work for them. But have you considered using content as a way to get your potential customers through the sales funnel?
Automation here will allow you to deliver personalized content for each segment of your audience. Delivering potential customers the content that you offer for free is a great way to build a relationship with you, and to soft-sell your products and services.
2. Getting your onboarding right
Setting up the right onboarding mechanism — and then automating it — is a great way to make sure that your email and information is doing the best job for you. After all, this is an intrinsic way to get people into your sales funnel and convinced of what it is that your business does well.
It works in a similar way to content marketing and allows you to segment the behaviors of your users to create ideal profiles for them. Instead of sending informational content, you can encourage people to sign up for a free trial or information about your business or service.
These personal emails are a great way to nurture people who have expressed an interest, and just need a little nudge in the right direction for you.
3. The art of the deal
Marketing automation allows you to set up personalized, conversational emails which will go to your specific clients. And a great way to drive home how well you know your people is to make sure you are sending them offers and discounts that they want to use.
Whether that’s a discount or a use code, you can base your offers on the existing behavior patterns of your audiences. This is a great way to entice people in without having to do a hard sell.
4. Find out when someone is most likely to buy, and entice them a little closer
If you’re looking at the behaviors of your hot leads — people who haven’t bought yet, but are showing a high level of purchase interest — can often benefit hugely from a little nudge from our friend, marketing automation.
You can establish a behavior pattern for customers who:
- Visit a pricing page more than once
- Clicked through a VIP email link
- Has signed up and clicked a ‘ready to buy’ tick box
- Based on actual interaction with your bot or a member of your sales team
- Someone who has engaged in several interested behaviors but not quite converted yet
Marketing automation allows you to establish a sequence of IF x happens THEN y happens. So if someone has clicked through on an email link, they get a follow-up email. Or a pop-up asking if they need clarification or assistance.
5. Remind people that they wanted to buy
User has gone as far as your checkout page with a product in their basket, or a promise of service — but they haven’t completed the transaction.
It’s frustrating, right? This happens to over 60% of people who add an item to their shopping cart. They end up bouncing, not completing the purchase, and it’s a real challenge for businesses.
Marketing automation allows you to prepare for this act accordingly. Somebody gets almost all the way through but then bounces. You can send a followup email or use a retargeting campaign letting them know that they almost completed the deal — with a link to their still-waiting cart. This is a great way to pre-empt the cart bounce and increase your sales closing.