This Week in Growth Marketing Ep.4: How to Get Users for Free using a Viral Loop

Abigail Nwaocha
May 22, 2017 · 13 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. How to Get Users for Free using a Viral Loop by Stefan Kojouharov

The Future of Bot Marketing

In February, I started thinking about ways to get more users for NearGroup Chatbot. Up to that point, we had been successful and getting users engaged, however we were overly dependent on Facebook for getting new users.

Dating apps generally have a negative network effect. If you are successful, your users will start dating each other and leave the platform. In order to be viable, you have to prove that you can get new single people to join the network.

Getting Users is Expensive

Getting users can be hard and expensive. As a comparative, just getting a new install cost ~$3. Here is a chart of the Dating Funnel:

The CPC costs on Google and other ad networks aren’t much different. The hard part begins after the user has clicked. Even if you have a 40% retention rate this means that it costs you $7 to get a user!

Your Product should Market Itself

A Viral Loop is a simple way to incentivise users to share your product. There are 3 ways to do it:

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2. Evolve Your Business with Incremental Marketing by Brooklynn Boyer

Imagine building your marketing efforts as climbing a mountain — which is how many marketing departments feel when starting from scratch. But what businesses don’t think about are the plateaus that come with these growing pains.They should be used as break to look back, report and analyze the results, rather than plowing full force ahead.

Incremental Marketing is a way to build a sturdy mountain — urm, marketing plan. In the simplest terms, this process of marketing allows you to first build a killer strategy, and execute it with slow investments for each step along the way.

It’s the sense of understanding your audience and where they are online before you start any major campaigns. This not only will save you time and money but online reputation as well. You won’t be getting unqualified leads to your site, you will be fitting into the space your product or service is meant to occupy, and gaining traction along the way.

Your Marketing Strategy as a Mountain

Some people jump into marketing worried that any marketing is better than none. We’re here to break that myth.

Incremental Marketing can be easy to implement. Before you start diving in without a strategy, you need to think of what you want your outcome to be — and then break it into manageable steps in order to achieve that outcome. Marketing should be a gradual effort and many people don’t see it as that way. Not just with strategies and campaigns, but as a whole.

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3. 9 Strategic Tips for Beating Out Your Big Competitors by Ashok Sharma

Are you tired of having a lot of contacts and promising words like “I’ll call You” but still, have no sales coming in? If you are currently experiencing this in your sales strategy, then it’s time for you to learn how you can generate leads for your business.

Wikipedia defines leads generation as the

“Initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into a product or services of a business”.

Small business certainly fell the pressure to stay competitive with larger companies and always wanted to attract customers to grow the business. These businesses are finding it harder and harder to compete and stay profitable against such big powerhouse stores like Wal-Mart and Amazon if we talk about the Ecommerce scenario.

Although it is true that small businesses can have a hard time matching these big business prices, there are plenty of other features that a small business offers that the big companies simply cannot compete with.

The key to beating out big competitors is to offer new surprise features with extra benefits that larger companies cannot offer. Now question arises How can this information help you make your business more profitable from the beginning?

First, discover your strengths and weaknesses and use them as a marketing tool. Once you discover your strengths and weaknesses, you can easily implement further activities.

In addition, if we take here a simple example of Reliance Jio’s 4G service, company claimed that they are the fastest to gain 16 million active users within a month. Reliance Jio make all this possible by offering the best possible services with extra benefits.

The main 6 things that Jio focus on and most other big companies did not

1. Welcome offer
2. Cheap Tariff plans
3. Student Plans
4. Affordable Jio devices
5. Free Voice Calls
6. Offers for the enterprise users

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4. 3 growth marketing principles to be used in relationships by Sarolta Geréb

I am one of those lucky people who likes to think about his/her job after working hours. For me growth marketing is more a general mindset than a field of career. So everything I learn at work, helps me to achieve personal growth. Even when it comes to relationships:

1 | The dilemma of intuition

In relationships:

I think you have all experienced at least once the feeling when you just know that there is something special about that girl/boy and you just need to get to know her/him. I do not believe in love at first sight, but I do believe in the crucial role of intuition to identify the potential of a relationship.

Now, when we say that “love is blind”, intuition obviously plays a very important part of that blindness. However, being concerned exclusively about the positives of someone, makes us care less about the negative parts. So this might lead us to a strong devotion, but it might be the wrong kind of attachment (just like when our business is developing, but it is moving forward in the wrong direction).

Since we talk about relationships, obviously your heart has a leading role, but if it is a long-term thing, you have to sit down and do the math. Are you staying in this relationship because you want to stay loyal to your intuition and you do not want to admit that the “vie is not really en rose”?

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5. Startup Guide: Empowering product and marketing teams to fail-fast on lean experiments by Prabhat Gupta

In growing startup, one of the fact is that there are plethora of hypothesis to test and validate, however bandwidth and costing always exists as constraint for companies striving for profitability. Further you can’t stop experimenting or avoid failures, so you can just fail fast if you want to succeed sooner.

Thanks to Optimizely and VWO for providing us A/B test framework, though that’s just necessary but not sufficient tools. Our growth hacking team charts out all variations in beginning as required, but requirement of new variation comes at anytime based on data and need to be implemented in no time to move forward quickly and achieve success of failure in least time.

Giving one dedicated full stack tech developer bandwidth each to marketing as well as product growth hacking team, just for experiments, has never yielded ROI. Getting it done through standard development sprints too is not an option as it takes 1–2 weeks to deliver on variation of experiment and above it, it gets hard to accommodate so many runtime requests on regular basis. We have faced this problem first hand as well as I’ve also checked the same across all startups in my network.

Back-end team is always occupied in company’s critical projects and hence we needed to figure out way to have experiments created and scaled anytime, without back-end tech team as well as independent of sprints. Goal was set to increase our experiments count, decrease our failure time & increase our success rate as well.

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6. 3 Growth Hacking Mistakes That Can Kill Your Startup Dreams by Antonio Ormachea

Everyone makes mistakes in business. Sometimes you make stupid mistakes like choosing a logo like this:

And sometimes you make a really bad mistake like Blockbuster, who had multiple opportunities to buy Netflix. Blockbuster executives laughed at the idea of owning an online streaming service but ended up going out of business shortly later.

When so many new businesses fail, it’s important to avoid any major mistakes at this crucial stage. Growth hacking helps launch a business and gives them enough capital to stay alive. It gives startups the ability to stay in business and gain enough customers to make them a viable business..

Here’re three costly growth hacking mistakes that have the potential to kill your startup dreams:

You’re the Only One that Thinks Your Product is Amazing

I once spent an entire year as an advisor for a startup that I knew was doomed to fail. They didn’t listen when I suggested their product was exactly like a million other products on the market. They didn’t listen when I suggested targeting a niche. And they didn’t listen when I said they could get the same basic thing for free.

I’m not a business genius as all my advice was basic business 101 stuff! I still got paid and they made three sales (not kidding!).

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7. 5 Simple Growth Hacks Using Market Intelligence by Nikhil singh

In today’s highly competitive world, turning a business into a profitable entity is the biggest challenge that any venture faces whether it is a startup or an established business entity.

According to Michael Porter’s famous profitability model, there are five key market forces that influence and decide the profitability of a venture. These include — bargaining power of customers, bargaining power of suppliers, threat of substitute products/services, threat of new entrants and competitive rivalry. Although some marketers like Peter Frisk no longer believe that Porter’s five forces are any more relevant in today’s dynamically changing competitive landscape.

However, I found it to be an excellent framework for evaluating it as a possible growth hack for all businesses trying to achieve profitability. The points below summarize the positive growth impact that a business can attain by gathering competitive market intelligence around each of these forces in a consistent manner.

Monitoring competition — Monitoring competitors in the marketplace is probably one of the most crucial factor that can be used as a powerful growth hack in short-term as well as long-term. Tracking competitors online / offline campaigns, product launches, events etc. can provide valuable insight to businesses in re-aligning their own business strategy.

Timely, actionable intelligence can provide the businesses to change their marketing strategy, refine their offerings, launch new programs to acquire and retain customers. This can be a great tool for driving growth !

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8. Email Marketing: 7 Sensational Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rate by Moss Clement

Email marketing is one of the best digital marketing campaigns that’s helping marketers, brands, and businesses to reach massive targeted audience. It is credible, low-cost, and measurable.

Recent study by “The Radicati Group” on their Email Statistics Report 2017–2021, reveals that email marketing campaigns will have a consistent growth.

The report foretells that 269 billion business and consumer emails will be sent every day during 2017, and by 2021 it will increase to 319.6 billion emails.

With this huge amounts of emails being sent each day, resulting in an influx of emails in our inboxes, many recipients are too reluctant to open their emails. This has resulted in a low email open rate.

Here are 7 effective ways that will help you maximize your email open rate.

1• Send Emails at The Right Time

In everything we do, including email marketing, timing is very essential. You don’t want your emails ignored, you want to make sure they get to your subscribers at the best times when they’re sure to open their emails.

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9. The eCommerce of Fidget Spinners: Why Being Interesting Can Do More For Your Brand Than Being Useful by Marvin J. Strauss

The “fidget spinner” or sometimes known as the “finger spinner” is undoubtedly the hottest toy so far in 2017. This ultra simplistic yet alarmingly addictive toy, originally designed for kids and adults with ADHD, has singlehandedly turned eCommerce, marketing, branding, and manufacturing into a viral meme, selling out wherever they crop up.

Being more popular than Star Wars, Marvel, and even Disney branded toys, fidget spinners are already creating controversy among parents, teachers, and doctors. That’s elite status any brand would kill to achieve. More importantly, the fidget spinner has proven that a product does not need to be useful as long as it can generate enough interest. And that accessibility through simplicity and curiosity is often greater than the sum of its parts.

Interestingly enough, fidget spinners don’t even have a brand. There’s not a single company that dominates a market for fidget spinners under a brand like Nike or Apple. There’s no major distributor for fidget spinners either. And although eCommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart control the majority of searches and sales of fidget spinners, these toys sell just as well via street vendors, SMB eCommerce stores, and local mom-and-pop shops. We’ve got 8 of them here in the Reamaze office…

In fact, these spinners sell so well everywhere that they’re considered the

Looking at Google Trends for the past 30 days, fidget spinners generate about as much interest as America’s favorite celebrity, President Donald Trump, and that’s saying something. On Amazon.com, 18 of the top 20 best-selling toys and games were fidget spinners.

So why are fidget spinners and other related toys like the fidget cube so popular? Are they a fad where demand for them will dwindle in mere months? Other than helping kids and adults with ADHD reign in the desire to fidget, what other value does it deliver? Does it even need to?

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10. 10 Ways to Generate Thousands of Leads in a Month for your Startup by pressfarm

Have you just launched your startup and are wondering when the first sale will come? Most business owners take up to three months before generating their first lead, but you can generate thousands of leads in a month. Here are the secrets:

1. Make your landing page sensational

The most important page on your website is the landing page. What do clients see when they land on your site? Entice visitors to stick around your home page by organising content in such a way that all sticky posts are more visible. Showcase that you understand the customer’s needs, and you have the best solution for their problems.

In addition, include a call-to-action in the middle and at the bottom of the page to help visitors make the right decision. Do you want them to download an information booklet, or sign up for email? Include that on your landing page and put it as your Google Analytics goal so that you can measure its success rate.

However, avoid static pages. Work on all the other pages by offering quality and relevant content to your website visitors. Update your pages regularly and check the success of your content on Google. A high bounce rate is an indicator that visitors do not find your other pages useful. Conduct A/B tests to establish the best approach to content, and use tools such as WordPress Thrive themes to make your pages interactive.

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The Growth Metric

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

Abigail Nwaocha

Written by

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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