Growth hacking is gaining more and more attention and not only in the startup world. Nowadays, even well-established business are looking for growth hackers - also called full-stack marketers. Growth hacking is far more than an uber fancy buzzword. It is a true philosophy that has the potential to shape a product or a service not only faster but more efficiently, unlocking growth by driving better results in less time.
If as a business owner, product manager or simply a (digital) marketer, you need to launch - and get traction for - a new business/product/service, then you have landed on the right page. I have carefully crafted a list of the top 10 best growth hacking tools, just for you. Enjoy!
Before reviewing the best growth hacking tools, let’s quickly recap the key concept of growth hacking for those of you who are not so familiar with it. For the growth hackers among you who are already experts, you can access our growth hacking toolkit here.
What is growth hacking again?
I believe Optimizely coined the best definition of growth hacking (also known as 'growth marketing') by defining it as “the use of resource-light and cost-effective marketing tactics to help grow and retain an active user base, sell products and gain exposure."
Hence, although growth hacking is most often linked to the start-up world, it’s important to understand that it is still highly relevant for all businesses aiming to rake in fast, cost-efficient results. Growth hacking is all about optimizing lead generation and client retention, which is a long-term sustainable strategy, not just a short-term goal.
How does growth hacking work? The growth hacking – pirate – model and its metrics
First, it is important to bear in mind that growth hacking is mainly about scaling a product. The key prerequisite to any growth hack therefore is the market fit – a product or a service that successfully addresses or solves a consumer demand or need.
It is only once you have such a product that you can move forward and start hacking the whole product funnel, focusing on the AARRR-metrics (also known as the pirate metrics). AARRR, which stands for Acquisition Activation Retention Revenue Referral, is a model created by Dave Mcclure.
Typically a growth hacker will analyse and track individually these 5 metrics so as to optimize every single one of them. Understanding each of the AARRR metrics is key because it enables you to identify actionable improvement areas and then gives you a direction for implementing optimizations through experiments.
Our top 10 best growth hacking tools
This amazing tool is best at getting you in front of your audience by allowing you to monitor and track your brand on social networks, online communities, forum, etc. But it doesn’t stop there. It also comes with a comprehensive list of hacking tools tailored to boost both your SEO and reach on social media. The cherry on the cake: it can also be integrated into your Google Analytics account, helping you to hack the Acquisition metric.
Created by Sean Ellis – no less a figure than the father of growth hacking – Qualaroo will help you to increase your conversion rate by gathering insights about your audience such as browsing patterns and common objections through targeted online consumer surveys. The good news: they offer free trials!
- Just Reach Out
Forget about your PR agency. Just Reach Out will make sure you get media coverage by giving you the tools to identify and connect with the most influential journalists from your industry. Furthermore, Just Reach Out even provides you with an email template to pitch your project/product/service, along with the support of their team to make sure you have the perfect pitch that will trigger the interest of the reporters you are contacting.
Like Hotjar, Crazy-Egg is a tool that allows you to keep track of how your visitors behave, at the segment level. Their mouse-scrolling technology gives you access to useful views such as heatmap, scroll map, etc. Leveraging the different heatmaps provided, Crazy-egg will help you to identify easily which parts of your page are generating the most interactions and which parts are being totally ignored so that you can ultimately optimize your page efficiency.
Kissmetrics is all about connecting the data dots to understand your funnel better, so as to improve the engagement, conversion and retention on your website. Moreover, Kissmetrics gives you the opportunity to segment the prospects based on their browsing behaviour, helping you to identify (at segment level) which of the funnel metrics you should be focusing on boosting your growth.
BuzzSumo is your #1 tool for tracking the performance of your content marketing. You can use this social media analytics tool to identify the performance of each of your content pieces, while gaining a deep understanding of which topics, channel and format are best suited for you and your audience. It also provides meaningful insights on which contents perform best at keyword level for you and your competitors.
When it comes to optimizing your Facebook ads, no other tool can match the performance of AdEspresso. Although Power Editor is really powerful, it is quite a complicated and resource-intensive task to create and implement multivariate A/B testing. Meanwhile, in addition to making it super easy and fast to create split tests on Facebook ads, AdEspresso will provide you a with crystal clear report about which ads are working best with which audience. It will even give you insights into the ad elements that drive performance. AdEspresso moreover offers an easy to use automation feature helping you to edit rules according to the “if this, then that” model. Finally, their algorithm will help you to reduce your PPC and stop wasting money on non-converting clicks.
Conversion rate optimization is the highway to improving your marketing effort. In order to do so, testing is crucial to uncover what's working and what is not in terms of copy, title, images, CTA, colours and even font. You have to compare and contrast different ads or creative elements constantly. Optimizely is one of the best tools available for A/B and multivariate testing of your landing pages. As a result, Optimizely will help you to craft the perfect landing page, enhancing the best user experience to get you more leads.
This one is a treasure hunter and one of my favourites (together with Zappier). If you need to find email addresses of prospects, influencers, Barack Obama or anyone that is relevant for your business then look no further: Email Hunter is what you need. You just need to install the Email Hunter extension, log in on LinkedIn and the email hunt can start! Once you have found an interesting profile, a simple click on the extension will serve you the mail address on a silver platter.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways (if not the most effective way) to start and build a relationship with your prospects. However, finding the right emailing marketing tool for your company is a real struggle, as the market is flooded with cheap and yet efficient email solutions. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the growing competition, notwithstanding, Mailchimp is still the best solution for any company willing to start leveraging the power of email marketing. Why?
First because 10 million marketers simply can’t be wrong. But that’s not all! Mailchimp allows you to segment your mailing lists and to implement automation campaigns while targeting users based on preference, behaviour or previous sales. What’s more, the fees are extremely competitive, the templates are stunning and the report function is extremely clear and helpful.
Hacking is also about optimizing resources, including your time, which is one of the scarcest. Repeated daily actions are very time-consuming, so a natural hack is their automation. That is precisely why Zappier has been created: to help you connect your online apps (Salesforce, Hubspot, Basecamp, Slack, Mailshimp, to name just a few) and to automat workflows without requiring the support of developers.
I sincerely hope this list of the top 10 growth hacking tools will help you to improve your marketing ROI and will be synonymous with growth. Don't forget that the growth hacking tools listed reflect my personal point of view. So don’t stop there. Keep on looking. There are plenty of new tools launched every day, month, and year!
As you know sharing is caring, so if you think this list is missing really good growth hacking tools or if you just created a new revolutionary tool, please feel free to contact me via linkedIn or via email.
Aaron Ginn's Thoughts, AdEspresso, Buzzsumo, Colibri, Crazy-Egg, CXL, Hunter, JustReachOut, Kissmetrics, Livechat, Mailchimp, Pierre Lechelle, Optimizely, Qualaroo, Quicksprout, Search Engine Journal, StartitUp, Unsplash, Wordstream, Zapier.