This Week in Growth Marketing Ep.3: 6 reasons for customer interaction

Abigail Nwaocha
May 15, 2017 · 11 min read

This week in Growth Marketing is a curation of 10 of the best Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking post (In no particular order) published on Medium within the week.

Alright let’s get into it!

PS: I‘m working on a List- style Customer Acquisition Strategy article, and I’m looking for sources with successful and failed customer acquisition stories. Here’s the link to the form in case you’re interested:


1. 6 reasons for customer interaction by Bart van Wijchen

When was the last time you spoke to a customer? If your answer is “Longer than two weeks” you better be on vacation. I’m not just talking to CEO’s here. YOU have to understand your company’s customer. In this blog post I will give you 6 reason why you need to hit the road today and I share the insights I got while doing so for a B2B online store.

Getting out there might seem scary. That’s what I thought when I was driving up to my first customer. Why am I doing this? How will it benefit? What’s in it for them? Then I walked through the door and had a wonderfully insightful day.

1. Every click/bounce/conversion is a person looking for a solution to his or her problem

One of the benefits from the Internet is that it makes virtually everything quantifiable. But hard data can make you forget that every number is someone with a problem they need fixed. It’s someone taking the time to visit your website to see if you can relieve them from their pains or create their gains.

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2. HOW TO SAVE YOUR DYING KICKSTARTER by Anthony Ambriz

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” -Dale Carnegie

Many creators watch helplessly as their beloved campaigns pass away right before their eyes. In an attempt to educate and prevent such a tragedy, let’s talk about some specific techniques that will help you revive your Kickstarter campaign:

WARNING: These techniques will require possibly blood, definitely sweat and tears to execute on. Asking people to give you money on something that they’ll be getting a few months down the road is tough. You’re asking people to make an investment so work for it.

  1. LIFE SAVING TECHNIQUE #1: Get the emails of your current backers– If you’re going to skim through all the bullet points be sure you read this one and do it. GET YOUR BACKERS EMAIL ADDRESSES! It does not matter if the project is going to fail miserably or succeed. If you fail, that backer list will be the most valuable asset when you relaunch. When you launch again, it will serve as an email list to reach out to on the first day of launching to get traction, that traction will get you more backers because of the Kickstarter algorithm, and most importantly you can use that list to build a Facebook look-a-like audiences to target. Facebook look-a-like audience marketing is the #1 ROI Kickstarter marketing tactic. No matter how many times you fail, always get the backer list! You can do this by making a simple Google survey and blasting that survey out to your backers on your Kickstarter campaign page.

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3. Models, cats & pirates: a lesson on product management by @brentlarue

Welcome back to the inside scoop on General Assemblys product management course. Todays class was all about business models and metrics. Lets skip the intro and jump right in.

Business model design

During the first part of class we learned about different types of business models, components of business models, how those components relate to each other, and how to develop a business model around a new product idea. Three common business models that dominate the digital world are e-commerce (Etsy, Amazon), subscription (Spotify), and ad-supported media (Gawker). And there are also companies with pre-revenue models (Snapchat, Instagram). More specifically, these business models describe the monetization of a larger business model canvas (or lean model canvas).

The Lean Model Canvas (a derivative Alexander Osterwalders original 2008 Business Model Canvas) looks something like this. (Download the Excel template)


The lean model canvas forces you to think about all aspects of your product, from what problem you are solving to how are you going to make money. Once you’ve taken the time to fill this out, you should work to identify your biggest assumption categories. As with everything in product management, do your best to test any and all assumptions. This will reduce your risk and increase your likelihood of success.

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4. Why Didn’t You Buy from Us? by 10xU

The key to a successful startup is understanding your customer. This sounds obvious, but for some reason it’s not.

Yesterday we talked to an entrepreneur who’s poured $90k into his beautifully-designed product — and he’s only just now starting to think about revenue.

So he’s asking investors for money to figure it out. But that’s not how it works.

Smart investors want you to already know how you’re going to make money AND they want you to already have some proof that your plan is going to work.

Otherwise you’re just taking a giant gamble with their investment that probably won’t pay off. You might not be able to see this, but they definitely can.

Finding Customers

We recommend spending as much time validating your sales and marketing as you do developing your product.

The toughest thing to understand is why people DON’T buy from you. They check out your website. They read the emails you send them. They scan your articles. They watch your videos.

And then they don’t buy.

Here at 10xU we recently ran a marketing campaign aimed at entrepreneurs who want to learn to build successful startups that scale. Some people bought a six week course — but many more didn’t buy.

Why not?

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5. How To Use Metrics To Improve Email Conversion Rate by BizzBee Solutions

A lot is talked about email marketing and the strategies that can make your campaign successful and improve email conversion rate. It seems like new findings and statistics arise every week. Marketers learn something new in the period, whether that’s from their mistakes or from their successful email marketing campaigns.

But, if you don’t know how you’ve achieved good results from your campaign or what mistakes you did when you flop with your email marketing tactic, you’re just increasing your learning curve. That’s why you need to measure your email marketing on regular basis and see whether or not your campaigns are helping you to reach your business goals.

Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your email marketing campaign. Are going after subscribers count, or you want to generate leads? Do you want to finally convert those leads into customers?

When you’ll know what your email marketing goals are, the next thing that you need to think about is what metrics you should measure. And how to use those metrics to increase your email marketing conversion rate. Let’s take a look on how to properly use metrics so you can turn your email marketing campaign into a conversion machine.

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6. Customer Validation using Facebook Ads by Misa Bakajic

For those who are not familiar with Timo Herttua he is a Helsinki based Growth Marketer who is the current CMO at Plan Brothers. Timo took time away from his busy schedule to come to the Turbiini Prestartup Acceleratorand teach our teams about validating customers using Facebook Ads.

This post outlines some of the theory we learned during the workshop as well as the actual process involved. If you are in the early stage startup using Facebook Ads to validate customers can be both inexpensive and fast. I will outline the basics here so you can decide if this method is right for you.

Customer validation involves seeking out potential customers in the early stage of the idea building process. Basically you move fast to quickly convey the core concepts of your product’s features to target customer in order to get instant feedback and understand if you are heading in the right direction.

Until now selecting the best techniques for engaging customers has always been kind of kind of tricky. Most startup literature recommends various types of customer interviews, which can be valuable but also require a great deal of time to perform correctly.

If you are looking for another approach, Timo recommends using Facebook Ads to seek out early evangelists. Evangelists will be your first customers since they are people who are willing to try (and hopefully buy) your product despite its present faults.

Using Facebook Ads may not be as effective as face-to-face interviews but it is an approach worth exploring, especially for targeting customers outside your immediate geographical area.

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7. Power Play: Combining Noah Kagan’s Double-Opens Growth Hack with MailChimp Automation by Chris Tweten

Double-opens is a simple growth hack, coined by Noah Kagan, that gets results. Quick. It’s so simple it hurts. MailChimp just launched free email automation for all users and it takes only a few minutes to set this up. Get on it. Kagan’s explanation of this growth hack is best, so I’m going to just paraphrase his Double Your Open Rate blog.

What’s your normal email open rate?

20%?

30%?

…40%?

The point here is that even with a strong 40% open rate, over half of the people on your mailing list aren’t even opening up what you send them. MailChimp has a great resource showcasing email marketing benchmarks. See where you stack up with your industry average. For marketing and advertising, it’s at a very low 17.81% open rate. That’s because most people are garbage at marketing. Nothing wrong with that. We all start somewhere.

Even if you had a 50% open rate, think about what this entails. You worked hard to get those emails. You learned to write better content. Your CTA was on point as fuck. Now you’ve created a well-polished email campaign and 1 in 2 people see it, at best? Feels bad man.That sucks.

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8. How Startups Should Do SEO by Kevin Indig

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of those things a lot of startups wish they had started earlier. Initially, people think “you can do it later,” “it doesn’t scale,” “it costs too much time,” and “it’s spammy.”

Once they reach a certain point they realize that they have been missing out on SEO the whole time.

SEO is now at a place where it’s indispensable for a company, especially for startups.

It facilitates the three most important goals for a startup:

  • scaling customer acquisition,
  • finding product market fit faster (the moment product fits exactly to a market’s demand and you see exponential growth),
  • controlling reputation.

In this article I’ll address why startups lose time and money without SEO, show best and worst practices, and give you hands-on tips for success.


1. Build the right reputation in the search results

Leading with a strong online presence will allow people to find you more easily, better understand what you do, and get to know who you are. All of these will improve your chances to get funded. Do you really think VCs invest even a dime into your company without stalking the heck out of it? Exactly!

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9. Email Deliverability? It’s Complicated by @iterable_blog

A Guest Blog by SparkPost

There are few things as fraught with apprehension for email marketers as email deliverability. We know it matters — after all, if a message isn’t delivered, it has a precisely 0% chance of being opened and clicked.

But, as marketers, we don’t get much insight into how or why deliverability happens. And that opaqueness all too often is compounded by email service providers (ESPs) who seem to prefer we don’t look behind the curtain to learn how they’re actually performing on our behalf.

The myth of 100% deliverability

Well, let me start by giving you some straight talk: if your ESP is claiming 100% deliverability, you should be skeptical. Really.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, they either don’t understand the question or are doing a fair amount of hand-waving in the hope you won’t call them on it. And neither is going to help you develop an informed approach to making the most of your email performance.

Here’s what’s actually going on: it’s too convenient for ESPs to conflate how many messages were accepted by ISP mailbox providers (that is to say, they didn’t bounce) with how many actually made it to the inbox.

That message acceptance rate is easy to measure and, except for really shoddy lists, is generally going to be a fairly high number.

For example, if I send 1,000 emails, and my server’s log files say 990 of those were accepted by receiving systems and didn’t bounce, then my message acceptance rate is 99%.

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10. Don’t be the Trump of your industry by Harshita Kumbhar

Calling out the dirty growth number game of startups.

It’s 2017. We are familiar with 150X growth numbers. They are like sugarcoated shopping mall discounts which come with terms and conditions. And we all know the terms and conditions are ridiculous enough to nullify the sale.

If that simple example isn’t enough for you to stop projecting unnecessarily hefty growth numbers, here are two more logical reasons.

#1 Faster growth = Faster decline

9 out of 10 startups fail. And what’s common in them? They all had a huge premature growth. It’s hard to find a startup these days which hasn’t seen a drastic early growth and a soon after ground-hitting failure. All in the span of one financial year (or less).

This pattern of successes and failures has been ingrained in our brains. Now, we just know if an X organisation has seen a rapid growth, there is a high chance they will fall down soon.

#2 Stability > Ambiguity

As much as we humans love to feed our adrenaline rush, stable growth is still more attractive than adventure when it comes to our business minds.

The instability brings in ambiguity. It threatens the growth and produces doubts on the so-called profitable business model. Thereby, making the entire number game delusional.

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Abigail Nwaocha

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Growth Marketing consultant for Startups, Small businesses & Agencies| lover of written art | LGBTQIA

The Growth Metric

Every business needs growth, but what constitutes growth? as marketers this is a question we must answer.

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