A few tactics have delivered disproportionally big returns for us. Here’s how you can put multipliers to work for you.
A couple of weeks ago, something pretty explosive happened at Groove.
We finally launched our Zapier integration, and a lot of things changed right away.
All of a sudden, we could stay saying “yes” to a lot of things that we’d been saying “not quite yet” to in the past.
Overnight, Groove customers could integrate – without any code – with hundreds of other popular apps.
It was a game-changer, and it got me thinking about the power of “multipliers” in business.
We do a lot of things that don’t scale. That will never scale. And we’re going to keep doing them, because they’re that valuable.
But we’ve also gotten tremendous value from multipliers: those tactics and wins that deliver ridiculously outsized returns for the effort involved in executing on them.
Now, that doesn’t mean that they’re easy. Multipliers aren’t a lazy way out, and many of them require a lot of upfront effort. But the returns can be exponential.
Some people might call them growth hacks, but I don’t really see them that way. Aside from the fact that the term “growth hack” has been muddled and diluted over the last couple of years to mean just about any marketing tactic, multipliers don’t necessarily have to do directly with user acquisition (you’ll see what I mean below).
I started thinking about which multipliers have been most useful for us in our own journey, and realized that they come in all types and sizes. Below are a few that I think any business can benefit from:
7 Multipliers That Have Helped Us Grow Our Business Faster
1) Automated Emails
There are two places where automated email drips have helped us dramatically: new trial signups, and new blog subscriber signups.
For new trial signups, we send a short sequence of emails (which differ based on user behavior) that help trial users get more value out of Groove, and help them develop a habit of logging in.
For blog subscribers, we send them a few emails highlighting our most useful content (including some that has never appeared on this blog), as well as a final email explaining what Groove is and how it can help them:
Both of these automated drips have made a big impact on our business (more on that in a future post), but the important thing here is the multiplier effect: once we set these emails up once – with just a bit of optimizing along the way – the drip “passively” works to reach thousands and thousands of people.
And every single person, from the first to the thousandth, has the same experience, with no additional work on our end.
You might also find useful:
2) Evergreen Blog Content
When we first launched this blog, my hope was that it would be the blog that I would’ve wanted to read the first time I started a business.
The challenges we’ve faced might be driven by the times we live in (who knows whether or not businesses in 20 years will be debating whether or not they need a Facebook page), but at their core, they’re the same problems that thousands of businesses had before us, and that millions of businesses will have in the future.
We work hard to ensure two things:
First, that we take the extra time and put in the extra effort to make our content as useful, actionable and interesting as possible.
And second, that the usefulness of our content isn’t always determined by its recency.
That’s why posts that are months (or even more than a year) old are still some of our most shared today:
- How We Got 1,000+ Subscribers from a Single Blog Post in 24 Hours (published on November 7, 2013)
- The Pros & Cons of Being a Remote Team (& How We Do It) (published on May 1, 2014)
- 8 Things Every Non-Technical Founder Should Know How to Do (published on May 8, 2014)
3) Referral Links
This is probably the tactic on here that most closely resembles a “growth hack.”
A lot of our customers use Groove’s support widget on their sites and apps. It gives their customers an easy to way to get help or contact the business.
Last year, we added a “Powered by Groove” link to the bottom of these widgets.
I wrote at length in an earlier post about the internal debate we had on this, and the fear of making our customers angry (none of that ended up happening, and our customers were overwhelmingly fine with it).
That resulted in a boost of signups for us, but it wasn’t nearly as effective as adding a referral link to the “Rate My Reply” page that Groove customers’ support emails link to.
We also get a handful of signups each week from the same link in Groove’s Knowledge Base app.
Together, those three referral links bring us hundreds of new trial signups that might’ve otherwise never found us.
4) Reading Books and Blogs
In Len’s post about his favorite customer service books, he said:
When it comes to improving ourselves and our lives, there’s no single better investment of your time and money than books.
What other investment gives you access to an expert’s knowledge that took them years — and sometimes, a lifetime — to gather and distill for you? All for less than $15 and a few hours (or days).
To a smaller extent, blogs are much the same: many of the posts we write distill weeks, months or years of testing and learning into a piece that takes just a few minutes to read.
Books and blogs are perhaps the ultimate multiplier for personal development.
5) A Basic Understanding of SEO
I’m not an SEO expert.
In fact, for the longest time, I avoided SEO, because I had a lot of (wrong) assumptions about it.
But when we finally took the time to get a basic understanding of SEO principles, and that good SEO was simply figuring out what your audience wanted (and then giving that to them), a lot changed for us.
We don’t do much guesswork when it comes to developing site copy or content anymore. On top of our customer development efforts, we now make keyword research a key part of our process.
That’s how we ended up building some of the most highly trafficked (and highest-converting) pages on our site, like this one, which appears as the #1 result on several popular Google searches:
6) Guest Blogging
Building a relationship with your readers is incredibly important, and we work hard to do that.
But to grow a business through content marketing, finding new readers is really important, too, and guest blogging has been one of the most effective ways we’ve done that.
Every single time our content appears on another blog, we get exposure to many thousands of readers who aren’t regular visitors here.
That’s a big multiplier, and it compounds over time, as future visitors to our partners’ blogs may also stumble upon our content.
All in all, guest blogging has helped us reach more than 1 million people; Check out the link above to learn everything about our approach, including our strategy for pitching guest posts.
Some of our most popular posts have been:
- The Power of Storytelling: How We Got 300% More People To Read Our Content (Buffer)
- The 8 Types of Images That Increase the Psychological Impact of Your Content (Copyblogger)
- How One SaaS Startup Reduced Churn 71% Using “Red Flag” Metrics (KISSmetrics)
- 4 Common Blogging Mistakes That Prevent You From Growing Your Business (Unbounce)
Along with the content on our own blog, guest blogging has been one of the top two multipliers when it comes to driving traffic and new signups for Groove.
7) Partner Integrations
The Zapier example at the beginning of this post is a great example of how one integration can expose you to massive new opportunities.
Not every integration will let you hook your product up into 350+ other apps, but that’s okay: native partner integrations have also been huge for us.
Our integrations with partners like Slack, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and others have yielded a lot of value for our existing customers, but also introduced us to new audiences that we didn’t have access to before.
Today, when we ask new customers why they signed up, many of them learned about us through one of our partner integrations.
How to Apply This to Your Business
I’ve been a loud advocate of doing things that don’t scale.
And I always will be.
I think that the painstaking effort in stuff like customer development, manual content promotion and one-on-one relationship building is undoubtedly worth it.
But there are also a lot of tactics that any business can use that deliver a ton of value for relatively little effort.
Some of those tactics will be unique to your business, but many aren’t. I hope that this post has given you some new ideas to get started with.