Learn the best tips and tricks in the growth marketing topic and grow your own business faster!

hacks for quality lead generation

10 Important Hacks for Quality Lead Generation | Guest Post

Before we begin, let’s cover some basics on lead generation for those in the dark. A lead is essentially a person who’s shown interest in your products or services, and lead generation is the process of generating leads — you attract people with the intent of converting them into leads.

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validate your product idea

How to Validate Your Product Idea Using 3 Tools

Making sure there’s demand for your product before starting to build it is crucial. You don’t want to dump your energy and resources into a product that no one needs or is just nice to have. That’s why it’s necessary to validate your product idea before starting to write a line of code.

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improve copywriting

10 Awesome Tools to Help You Improve Your Copywriting

According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing in their strategies. And we all know that effective content marketing requires lots of a quality copy.

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blogs saas founders ceos

The 6 Best Blogs for SaaS Founders and CEOs

In this age we’re living in there are crazy amounts of content floating around. Take YouTube for example 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! If that doesn’t convince you, users watch almost 5 billion videos on Youtube every single day.

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knowledge base

Why a Knowledge Base Is Important for Internal Coordination Among Inbound Marketers | Guest Post

Knowledge base tools do so much more than help create online documentation. They are used for collaborative work, for helping customers solve problems or get informed, and can be used for marketing purpose as well.

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scalable growth growth hacking marketing automation

How to achieve Scalable Growth with Growth Hacking & Marketing Automation

The startup world continues to expand and it seems like companies are popping up daily. With this type of expansion, it’s only natural that there’s sort of a ‘natural selection’. And all of us who dare to hustle in this unforgiving world knows of this: 9 out of 10 startups fail.

But what separates that 1 company who succeeds and other 9 that fails?

Of course, success depends on a number of factors, and one of those factors is scalable growth. Yes, scaleable. Not rapid, fast, quick, exponential or unbelievable but scalable and sustainable growth.

In this cruel and challenging but awesome universe of startups, you’re going to have ups and downs just like in any field of life. And when people think about growth hacking, and marketing for startups I think the main misconception they have is that growth hacking is about quick hacks that will result in rapid growth. And they are not far from the truth but this mindset is shortsighted.

Growth Hacking is about finding a combination of “hacks” that works for you. Growth hacks that have the best possible results for your company in the present and are scalable so you can keep growing without major growth bumps on the way to a sustainable business.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at:

  • What the heck is Growth Hacking?
  • What does scalable growth mean?
  • And how can Marketing Automation help you achieve scalable growth?

What the heck is Growth Hacking?

growth hacking marketing

Most of you are probably familiar with Sean Ellis, he coined the term “growth hacker” in 2010. He felt the need to come up with a new term when he was looking to hire replacements for himself. And during the hiring procedures, he felt frustrated. This frustration gave birth to the new business methodology: Growth Hacking. And the name for the people using this method: Growth Hacker.

Actually, because Sean thought of the term for hiring purposes “growth hacker” came about first. In his blog post called Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup, he provides a simple yet sufficient definition to growth hacker:

“A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.  Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.”

So for a growth hacker, the importance of a business move is determined by whether it drives growth or not. Because of this seemingly simple definition, Sean says that a growth hacker can have an engineering background as well as a sales background.

Later he follows this up by describing the common characteristic of growth hackers:

  • “…an ability to take responsibility for growth and an entrepreneurial drive.”
  • “…will have a burning desire to connect your target market with your must have solution.
  • …must have the creativity to figure out unique ways of driving growth in addition to testing/evolving the techniques proven by other companies.
  • “needs to be disciplined to follow a growth hacking process of prioritizing ideas, testing the ideas, and being analytical enough to know which tested growth drivers to keep and which ones to cut.”

By adding these characteristic the succinct definition becomes much clearer.

Okay so the person with these characteristics is a growth hacker, but what’s growth hacking?

The activities, processes carried out by growth hackers (to drive scalable growth).

What does Scalable Growth mean?

scalable growth

Scalable growth allows your company to expand and increase revenue while reducing significant increases in operational costs.

For startups, scalability is of utmost importance and it requires you to know certain things in advance.

Don’t worry you don’t need to hire a fortune-teller. As exciting as it sounds it might be a waste of money. However, there are steps you can take to ensure scalable growth for your business:

Start with a rock solid foundation

A rock solid foundation means that your business model is simplified and streamlined and that makes scaling way easier.

So as you’re starting out you should focus on building this foundation. That means making your core features, products, offerings consistent.

You should focus on your core and that’ll allow for an effective, stable growth.

Plan ahead instead of just reacting

Of course, in some cases, you must react especially in the world of startups. There are fewer employees who have to focus on a lot of different tasks simultaneously. Strategies can shift because nowadays our world is changing and evolving quickly.

However, one thing that differentiates the 1 startup that succeeds from the 9 that doesn’t is that the 1 that makes it can somehow plan ahead and predict these changes. With these changes come new problems, challenges.

[ctt template=”3″ link=”mIGp3″ via=”yes” ]A great startup should be able to offer solutions to problems the world or an industry have never faced before.[/ctt]

If your company acquires new clients and then you realize you won’t be able to fulfill their desires you’re probably too late.

Keep your eye on scalable solutions

In the early stages of a company, it’s tempting to go with cheaper and quicker solutions. Limited resources shorten the time spent on deciding which solution to choose. The high number of tools only complicate this challenge.

It’s wise to choose solutions with a good value-to-price ratio and a short learning curve.

Focusing on scalable solutions is a part of building a rock solid foundation. Think ahead and predict. What will you need a year from now? In 2 years? Or in 10? With forward thinking, you can stay away from subpar solutions that don’t get the job done. Not mention data migration, which can be a great amount pain in the ass.

So choosing scalable solutions can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

How can Marketing Automation help you achieve Scalable Growth?

growth hacking marketing automation

The main benefit of marketing automation is that it lets growth hackers, marketers focus on meaningful and creative tasks. Rather than wasting their time doing repetitive and time-consuming ones. Essentially marketing automation is about communication at scale.

What might not be a problem in the early days can cause a serious overflow of tasks later on as your company grows. Also, with limited human resources which is the case for most startups, it’s especially wise to maximize the potential of your employees.

As your company grows you’ll have a lot of processes that can be automated. But you have to keep in mind that communication requires a personal touch. This is where personalization comes in handy, and don’t forget that there are cases where you’ll have to buckle down and respond personally.

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Talking about Marketing Automation, why don’t you give Automizy a try? Get started for free now!

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lead magnet examples

18 Lead Magnet Examples That You Can easily Use for your Business

lead magnet examples

Real lead magnet examples are great if you are new to the content marketing world or want to extend your lead generation efforts. Therefore, I collected 18 types of lead magnet examples for you and each of them are different types of hooks. Get inspired for your next lead generation campaign and grow your email list!

What are “lead magnet” or “hooks”?

Free content that you offer to your visitors and ask for their contact information if they are interested in it. There are lots of types of hooks, such as ebooks, infographics or even free trials. This collection shows you 18 different types of lead magnet examples.

1. Email course

An email course can be a very good lead magnet. Teaching people highly specific and valuable knowledge is always a thing that makes people opt-in.

One of the best things about these courses is that it doesn’t need as much resource as you would need for a video course for example.

The Automizy email course, for example, teaches subscribers how to manage their email list in order to save money and always be able to send highly relevant messages.

Automizy email course

Creating a good email course as a lead magnet works only if you truly can provide valuable information – a badly constructed course can easily ruin your company’s reputation!

There are courses with different length, we wrote about it in our email course guide.

2. Checklist

Downloadable checklists are great because these are actionable, teaches something that is highly specific and easily consumable.

What can you write a checklist about? About almost everything:

  • How to improve your SEO via backlinking?
  • How to outsource your contents to agencies?
  • How to do sales without selling actually?
  • How to do gardening in the inner city?

Think about your own industry, find 5-6 topics, write them down and create PDFs from these. Always think about lists that can be done step-by-step.

3. E-book

E-books are great because you can relatively easily create them based on your blog articles for example.

Choose a topic, collect your best-performing articles, connect them, add additional value, and done!

For example, Unbounce offers The Conversion Marketer’s Guide to Landing Page Copywriting” ebook in order to collect emails.

Or Zapier offers a lead magnet on project management.

Or you can download an ebook on Product Management from Accompa too.

free ebook

4. Your newsletter

Believe it or not but your newsletter can be a good lead generation tool for you. But you have to pay attention to send relevant, interesting, truly valuable content.

For example, The Hustle is a newsletter for entrepreneurs about the most recent tech news. Every June they organize an event around “Startup tactics for non-techies” and this is why they have their newsletter as their most important lead generation tools.

the hustle newsletter

Best newsletters are great lead magnets because their value proposition is unique, entertaining and does not say that boring “subscribe to our newsletter” message.

5. Educational video

Educational videos can be used easily as lead magnets. Companies usually give the first lesson for “free” so you can watch without giving your email address. But in order to be able to watch the next ones, you have to provide your contact information.

Video is a good medium as it is quite engaging and also have higher possibility to go viral. On the other hand, it can be difficult to create one: you have to be prepared to create good quality videos.

But you can save time if you can repurpose your existing content. Just pick a topic you already wrote about and tell more about it, dig deeper.

Videos can work as a lead magnet even if they are not educational. It can be your opinion, something funny or interesting – it only depends on your industry.

For example, Brain Dean, the founder of Backlinko does it very well:

6. Webinar

Live, limited time webinars can work very well too for your business. As you restrict the number of people who can attend your online event, you create the VIP feeling that is one of the most catchy things.

A good webinar does not only help you generate more leads but it can easily help you get actual subscribers for your business’ email list.

For example, Content Marketing Institute regularly offers free webinars.

content marketing institute webinar

7. Infographics

Good infographics require a lot of work from you:

  1. Generate data
  2. Identify patterns
  3. Outline key takeaways
  4. Visualize data in an understandable, simple way

For example, Antavo created an astonishing infographic about loyalty programs that was republished by Hubspot.

8. Case study

What would you tell if somebody would ask what do you do? You would tell a story of your customer and how he used your product and what results he/she got.

These case studies give your prospects ideas on how to use your product and assure them that it truly works.

But not only successes are important. You can also tell stories about failures. This way you can teach others what not to do in different situations.

For example, Hootsuite created an amazing case study with their client’s achievements.

Hootsuite case study

The Kissmetrics blog created a good guide on how to write a great case study.

9. Presentation

Slideshare is a great place to upload your presentations. If you speak somewhere (on a conference or a meetup) you can easily use that as a lead magnet as well.

For example, my colleague, Viktor created this awesome presentation below that teaches a lead generation method for online businesses.

10. VIP content

If your business provides membership permission levels, you can easily hide different sections of your blog content from visitors.

In order to read the rest of your blog content, ask for an email address!

This is one of the best strategies to generate more leads – using your own blog as a lead magnet will insanely increase the sign-up rate.

The only drawback of it that it can easily ruin the experience for your visitors – I don’t really recommend it until you have a big audience.

11. Podcast

Get a good quality mic and record your thoughts on a topic. Be entertaining and professional, chat with experts in your field and promote it on your channels.

Podcasting is a great community-building tool and you can target these people with other lead magnets easily to grow your subscriber list.

For example, Duct Tape Marketing has an amazing podcast.

Duct Tape Marketing podcast

12. Interview

Research the professional your audience would love to listen to. It can be an industry expert, an opinion leader or even a celebrity.

Interviews are great because it can be a good incentive, it builds your trustworthiness and very easy to advertise it on social media.

13. Free tools

The reason I listed this as a lead magnet example because it is a great opportunity to collect high quality leads for your business.

For example, Crazyegg asks for your website URL and then gives you heat map analytics.

Or we offer a free email editor. You can craft your emails but in order to be able to send it… well, start a free trial!

free tool email editor

14. Calculator

Calculators are great tools: show the problem in an interactive way you solve!

IonInteractive does this well with its ROI calculator. You choose your interest, tell something about your business and then it shows you what you lose.

It explicitly shows you the pain you face and offer you a solution via its service.

roi calculator

15. Consultation

Offer consultation to your prospects and provide customized, personalized value and experience.

Don’t be too salesy though’, it can easily frighten your prospects away.

The marketing of the new era is more about solving difficulties by introducing an approach instead of hard selling. Keep it in mind!

For example, the Holini team does it quite well:

Free consultation

16. Buyer converter product

If you would like to know more about the concept of buyer converter product, you can read about it in our post about the buyer converter product.

These are low-ticket offers that convert leads or visitors into customers. They only pay a few dollars… but it fundamentally changes the relationship between you and your prospect.

17. Waitlist

If you are about to launch a new product, a newsletter or something that deserves a standalone campaign, it is usually good to create a separate landing page for it.

On this web page, you can tell your value proposition and allow people to subscribe – so you can build an audience way before you launch it. And there will be a list of people you can tell about your offer when it released.

Waitlists can create a VIP membership feeling, therefore it can be a powerful lead magnet for your business.

Another way to use it is to test a market with a value proposition.

Just build a landing page around an assumption. Promote it and check whether there is a need for it – validating your products even before creating it can be a good way to find product/market fit sooner.

You can create a wait list with any type of web page builder such as Unbounce. In addition, this waitlist builder tool below helps you get started and provides enhanced gamification opportunities to help your landing be viral:

Waitlist

18. Trial offer

Free trials are usually offered by SaaS solutions and gives an opportunity for people to give the tool a try.

It also means that you get their contact information so it can be a good lead generation strategy.

Trials vary company-by-company: they can be 1 or 2 weeks, 1 month or even longer.

The length of your trial should fit your sales cycle length – but it usually requires a long learning curve for you to truly understand it.

In the example below, you can see Dropbox’s 30-day free trial for the business plan.

dropbox trial

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Talking about free trials, why don’t you give Automizy a try? Get started for free now!

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What you should and shouldn't automate on Social Media-

What you should and shouldn’t automate on Social Media?

What you should and shouldn't automate on Social Media-

The main benefit of automation is the ability to let the marketers focus on more meaningful tasks that require creativity. Rather than wasting their time doing repetitive and time-consuming ones. However, if you use automation tools to minimize the human factor, you’ll most likely fail.

You have to keep in mind, that marketing automation is nothing more than communicating at a high scale, and for that you need problem focused data: information that is helpful in identifying the bottlenecks by highlighting different KPIs. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated your automation system is, you will always get back to the human factor especially when you automate social media.

Automation can be quite addictive. Once you’ve finished setting up your first automated workflow and realize how much time and resources you’re able to save and allocate somewhere else, that can feel overwhelming. So it’s important to draw the line on what you should and shouldn’t automate on social media platforms.

What should you automate?

Scheduling your posts

Let’s say you post 8 times a day on Twitter and 3 times a day on Facebook and LinkedIn and you work 8 hours every day. That means you have to stop whatever else you’re doing at least every hour! But what about weekends, holidays, and posting before and after working hours? And what if your audience isn’t active during the time you post.

This is where a social media management tool comes in handy: these let you schedule your post in advance and automatically post your content at the time you set up. So you can enjoy your weekends and holidays without worrying about posting.

It’s also great because you decide what part of your timetable do you want to dedicate to managing your social channels.

finding out the best time to post

Finding out the best time to post

Finding out and using the optimal posting time increases your reach and engagement, which is exactly what you want.

There are a lot of timetables and infographics about what is the ideal time to post on each platform. These are useful to get a general idea, but each business and each fan base are different. So what might’ve worked for someone in the past might not work for you. And I didn’t even mention the frequent algorithm changes which usually have an effect on how feeds are updated. Also, you have to factor in the different time zones and the engagement of your fans with your posts.

These variables are continuously changing. So you have to adapt and keep altering your posting schedule.

Most social media tools can determine what’s the best time for you to post, which is great. You don’t need to keep updating your timetable to adapt to changes. With minimal manual intervention, your social media software will figure out the optimal times for each platform.

Curating Content

curating content

Finding quality content that suits your brand and your fans like is one of the key elements of establishing a social media presence.

But how do you figure out what type of content to post? You can dig into your stats and find out what type of posts get the highest engagement and share similar content. However, there are certain rules when it comes to company social profiles. The two most popular of these are the 5-3-2 rule and the 80-20 rule.

The 5-3-2 rule states that out of every 10 posts:

  • 5 should be content from others, relevant to your followers
  • 3 should be content from you, relevant to your followers (not product related, avoid the hard sell)
  • 2 should be non-work related, fun content that helps humanize your brand.

The 80-20 rule states that 80 percent of your social posts should be content from others that your followers are interested in, and 20 percent should be your own content (again not product related, avoid the hard sell).

The essence of these rules is that you shouldn’t treat your social profile as a platform for extensive self-promotion. However, you don’t need to follow these blindly. The important thing is to find the right theme and to keep it consistent so your audience knows what to expect from you.

Because most of your posts are content from others, that’s where you’ll need some automated content curation.

Okay, but how? One possible solution is using Quuu integrated with Buffer. You just choose a couple of topics relevant to your business, then you select how many suggestions you’d like to receive daily. After the setup, Quuu will send the content straight to your Buffer queue.

However, to avoid mishaps you should check out the content sent by Quuu. And I’ll tell you why. Let’s say you own a bookstore in London. You chose print media, books, magazines, bookstores, and small businesses as your interest categories. Quuu goes to work and starts to send suggestions to your buffer queue. It’s all fine and dandy until one day you check out your Twitter page and you see an article you posted with the title “The 50 Best Bookstores in London”. You click on the link only to find out that your store is not included. That’s something you want to avoid as it paints a bad picture about your business. To avoid accidents like this spend 1 minute each day on revising the content sent by Quuu. (Or you can manually approve suggestions inside the app in the Ultra and the Entrepreneur plans.)

As you can see from this example sometimes automation requires manual intervention, and some tasks should not be automated at all.

What shouldn’t you automate?

interaction with your followers

Interactions with your followers

Engaging with your followers on social media is another key element of your social media presence. And one that shouldn’t be automated. Because customers appreciate unique and personalized responses. Companies who have limited resources might be tempted to automate responses, but that’s a slippery slope.

Imagine a customer who took the time to tweet you about her great experience with your company and all she gets in response is a robotic automated message. Even if you can avoid getting bad press from over-automating your interactions on social media, it still damages your engagement and reputation.

I’m sure your followers appreciate unique and original responses. One of the reasons they like social media in the first place is because of these interactions. And if you take the human out of social media, it isn’t social anymore.

Automated replies can be especially damaging when a customer needs your support or voices a concern and they get generic automated responses. It’s like pouring gas on fire because the customer reaches out in need of your help and you don’t even bother to write a reply. It comes across like you don’t care about them and the problems they face with your product.

Wrapping up

When it comes to automating social media you should be careful. Overdoing it can cause serious damage to the reputation of your company.

Don’t forget that social media is awesome because it lets people from all over the world share their experiences, their opinions, their challenges, their life events with each other. And that’s just amazing.

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lead generation examples

8 Awesome Lead Generation Examples and Tools in 2017

Lead generation is a big challenge for businesses… but it’s a must. Here are 2 well-known and 6 less-known lead generation examples with explanations and solution-specific tools for you to get started today!

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