what is growth hacking

growth hacking

What is Growth Hacking


If you are a fan of the world of marketing, surely the term “Growth Hacking” is familiar to you.

In this post, we are going to review the main keys that revolve around this concept. In such a global world, the terminology of digital marketing is full of Anglicism’s, so we add one more to the list.

We will not stop talking about the figure of the growth hacker , a new profession in this world that will open doors to many people.

In traditional marketing, professionals had skills to give visibility to standard products. But the internet has redefined the entire portfolio, giving it variety.

Now, Twitter has become a product, your online account in the cloud is another product. This new range has given way to a whole time of transition that demands a new way of thinking, a new profession.

What is Growth Hacking?

Growth Hacking is a whole discipline that encompasses a set of positioning strategies , which seek to considerably increase the number of users, income or impact of a company with the minimum cost.

Like any technique, it arose to cover a need that did not exist before. This need is to give visibility to startups. Later, thanks to its versatility, it was extended to other business models.

We could say that their strategies use social networks and viral marketing instead of traditional advertising, it is about using the shortest path, although no less excellent.

The mechanics of the aforementioned strategy is called “Product Market Feed” . The process begins with the famous “external triggers “. They are attention calls to potential users (such as the traditional, but no less effective, email arrival).

It is important to keep in mind that any external triggers or viral loops must be strictly focused to make the user perform an action.

This response allows us to carry out product interactions, and in this way, obtain a series of metrics on different versions of our product, for which we will have to reward the user and ask him to make an investment (for example, giving him a like or put a comment).

The main novelty of this procedure is that it allows us to save the famous and feared market study (which requires time, effort and money). This interactive tool increase+9the economic and execution independence of the entrepreneur. They are strategies that allow the entrepreneur’s creativity to be exploited and with a massive reach .

Who is the founder of Growth Hacking?

Blogger Sean Ellis, in 2010, coined this term in one of his posts titled “Find a Growth Hacker for your Startups” . Internationally known as the author of the first Growth Hacking books that delves into this subject, entitled Hacking Growth , already translated into more than 15 languages.

He has worked in companies with a clear innovation in this sector: Dropbox or Eventbrite. Currently, he is the founder and CEO of the most famous Growth Hacking portal in the world, better known as GrowthHackers.com , which is going around the world.

You can read some great Growth Hacking Books to learn the Hacking Growth properly. 

What are the characteristics of a growth hacker?

The Growth Hacker is a person who is oriented to the growth of a company , that is, all their efforts are aimed at carrying out actions that allow the growth of the “leads” or users already registered in our database.

Among his qualities, we can highlight his analytical thinking, which allows him to know what techniques to try or not and what audience to target, for example.

Another characteristic of the Growth Hacker is their ability to innovate and not stagnate , which leads them to be very creative individuals, always looking for new ways to grow.

And, finally, the Growth Hacker is multidisciplinary par excellence, he knows many fields, which makes him a very complete professional.

How to get our first users

For Sean Ellis, the Growth Hacking guru, this varies a bit depending on the business model, although according to his way of thinking, he prefers to use free strategies.

Within these free strategies, we find content marketing or SEO .

These strategies are located within inbound marketing , which focuses on consumer needs through blogs, social networks or newsletters.


Content marketing offers information of interest in order to attract customers. This content is positioned in search engines to gain notoriety through SEO.

SEO positioning techniques are considered one of the best inbound marketing tools to get new users. In addition, it has the advantage that it can be done for free and that they have a certain permanence over time, now we will see why.

These types of techniques are focused in the eyes of Google, so, within its advantages and disadvantages, we depend on it, or, rather, on its algorithm. This is changed from time to time, so, although SEO has a greater permanence, we must always be alert to trends and new techniques that allow us to persevere in the first results.

In this field there are great references at a national level, among which I would highlight the web positioning agency NeoAttack .

At the other extreme, we would have outbound marketing, which would be the other side of the coin with respect to inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing is also known as “traditional marketing”, that is, it focuses on a brand and a product, limiting itself to describing its characteristics and benefits. For this, they usually go to traditional media (radio, press, TV).

Contrary to inbound marketing, in outbound marketing there is no opportunity for the consumer to give feedback, so the communication is one-sided. Let’s say that a message is offered in which there is no reciprocity, this is the main difference with Inbound.

Another of its characteristics is the so-called “interruption marketing”, since the contact with the client is “cold”, we could say that outbound does not have enough information to know if the client may be interested in the product, that is, the client is interrupted without asking for information, and this can be counterproductive.

Tools to carry out Growth Hacking

A/B test

We can define the A/B test as one of the main Growth Hacking implementation tools . Next, we will see what it consists of, since it has a certain complexity.

It is an experimentation tool, where you can test and compare two models with each other, with the aim of optimizing or improving our product in very specific aspects.

A more practical example, for better understanding, would be to carry out an email marketing strategy or the optimization of a landing page (web page for conversion into leads). In both cases, two models of the same component are manufactured and distributed in order to later calculate and quantify which one is the best of the two .

So the objective is none other than to see the differences between the two models to see which one works better.

Among the components or elements to analyze in an A/B Test we have:

  • Typography and design of the contact forms of the landing pages.
  • The description of our products on an affiliate page (promotion of another company’s products in exchange for a commission for sales made).
  • The description and fields of a contact form.
  • The visual image of your web page, also commonly called a layout.
  • The price and offers of your products.

Some recommended tools for using A/B testing are: Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) and Optimizely.

Google Analytics

It is a web analytics tool, which was created in 2005 by the company Google. This Growth Hacking tool is very useful since it allows us to know information about the traffic that reaches our website. This information is measured through a series of patterns, such as: audience, acquisition, behavior and conversions.

This software, which at the same time serves as a web page, has become essential if we want to analyze our platform and evaluate the information collected about the traffic that reaches our web page.

user experience

It is a set of tools that seek to study user behavior within our web portal. Among the best known we have Inspectlet and Luckyorange.

The program is capable of recording a video of all the activities that the user has done within your web page. Another of its advantages is the heat maps , which allows you to see which are the sections with the most interaction with the user.

This offers a great comparative advantage, since by creating a free landing page you can compare both versions, seeing what you can modify or how each element affects your page.

Techniques to carry out Growth Hacking

Blogging and email marketing, the most common techniques

In these two inbound marketing techniques, it is essential to clarify that email marketing is a consequence of blogging.

Let’s say that blogging serves to create a personal brand and at the same time meet the needs of users through their publications. Then, with email marketing, once those users have been obtained, they will be offered products, courses, etc.

Although we cannot forget it, the function of email marketing is none other than to take care of the user, that is, worry about him or, better said, “accompany him in his experience”.

The combination of Growth Hacking with email marketing is called email hacking , this term is accompanied by a series of phases and is becoming increasingly popular.

Email hacking is nothing more than using Growth Hacking techniques in our email marketing strategy , that is, personalizing our messages to connect with our interlocutor and thus be able to establish a lasting relationship that generates user loyalty.

In exchange, we have to generate that valuable content that generates engagement with the audience we are targeting and offer them all the products and services that the customer needs through email marketing.

This personalization means that the user feels heard and understood through our messages. In short, we can say that the user is looking for exclusivity in what is offered.

Social networks, the great allies

Social networks have a user experience process very similar to blogging, in fact, many of the publications made on social networks come from the blog. We use them because they give us greater coverage, that is, they serve as a loudspeaker.

But networks have a peculiarity that blogs do not contemplate, and that is that networks offer greater participation with the user , that is, users feel heard when, for example, we respond to a comment, they feel that their opinion is considered in bill.

There is more interaction, for example, through a contest. There are innumerable strategies to treat the user experience where email marketing does not reach.

Ebook and infographics, one of the great classics

All downloadable content that is free on your website is a good inbound marketing strategy. Free ebooks, in addition to generating a value proposition, offer you something much more valuable, your user’s email account.

They are a good customer acquisition strategy. From there, you will be able to complete your actions with email marketing techniques that will provide you with that experience with the user in order to build loyalty.

Trial periods, a great opportunity

Trial periods would be another of the marketing techniques most used by brands when offering a product. It has been shown that this type of technique generates great confidence in the user, in addition to knowing your service for free, so that later the consumer is convinced.

Also known as “sampling”, it is a way of seducing users with new products.

The advantage of this technique is that it is capable of reaching many users , that is unquestionable, it gets many users to try the product. But despite the advantages, we cannot say the same about its conversion.

According to a study by Massey University, only a third of consumers who enjoyed the trial period decide to stay.

Urgent marketing, a matter of necessity

It is one of the most demanded marketing techniques today, we could say that, without an urgent need, the desire loses value. This would be one of the principles that would perfectly define this way of understanding marketing.

Urgent marketing is based on a very basic pillar: the more time we give the consumer, the less likely they are to make a purchase.

We have a very clear example when we go to book a hotel or a flight, and they tell us the seats that are available. We can’t help but feel that sense of pressure when there are few places left.

Urgent marketing plays with availability and limited time for the consumer to make a decision.


This term could not be missing as one of the most applied techniques in the world of digital marketing. Once again, gamification seeks to build user loyalty, that is, it seeks to follow and encourage that experience.

Normally, he usually does it through small games, with this he gets a dedicated user, who is rewarded when he performs certain actions.

An example par excellence of gamification would be social networks, whose objective is to collect as much information from the user. So, if the profile is incomplete, they will offer you rewards for completing that information or they will simply make you feel that it is incomplete.


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