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10 Progress Hacking Examples to Increase Engagement and Income

13 min read

What Is Progress Hacking?

Progress hacking is a advertising technique centered on fast progress inside a brief interval. 

It originated within the tech startup world—the place budgets are sometimes tight and the main target is on fast scalability. 

The purpose? 

To accumulate as many customers or prospects as attainable whereas spending as little as attainable. 

Progress hacking is as a lot a mindset as a toolbox of methods. It’s about experimentation and utilizing low-cost methods to develop a enterprise. 

It usually includes cross-disciplinary abilities that merge insights from advertising, product growth, and knowledge evaluation.

Fascinating reality: GrowthHackers founder Sean Ellis coined the time period “progress hacking.” To explain the distinctive method high-growth startups had been driving large buyer adoption.

Who Is a Progress Hacker?

A progress hacker makes a speciality of implementing and analyzing high-impact methods for enterprise progress. 

This position isn’t simply confined to entrepreneurs. It will probably embrace product managers, builders, and engineers centered on progress.

Conventional entrepreneurs have a broad focus, starting from model constructing to progress advertising to promoting and gross sales. 

A progress hacker, alternatively, is singularly centered on progress. That might imply something from buyer acquisition to buyer retention. Plus all of the metrics in between, like engagement and conversion charges. 

A progress hacker’s main objective? 

To search out scalable and repeatable strategies for progress (like the expansion hacking examples we’ll have a look at on this article). Utilizing metrics and knowledge evaluation to measure their success.

Additional studying: 9 Final Progress Hacking Methods + Examples 

10 Progress Hacking Examples & Success Tales

Case research can present invaluable insights into efficient progress hacking methods. 

Listed below are ten profitable progress hacking examples and the methods behind them to encourage you. 

1. Dropbox: Referral Advertising

Referral advertising is when an organization rewards folks for bringing in new prospects and rising its consumer base. 

This widespread advertising tactic might be a good way to develop your online business shortly.

Individuals belief suggestions from family and friends greater than random advertisements. A study from Nielsen confirmed that 89% of individuals take into account suggestions from folks they know as probably the most trusted type of promoting.

Take Dropbox for example.

The file internet hosting service boosted its progress by providing a referral deal. The deal was easy: If prospects advised somebody about Dropbox they usually signed up, each the client and the pal acquired an additional 500 MB of free space for storing. 

Clients might hold doing this, incomes increasingly more area, as much as a restrict of 16 GB.

Dropbox referral program page

Picture Supply: Viral Loops

Double-sided referral applications like this one make the sharing cycle even stronger. Each the particular person sharing and the brand new consumer get a reward, so it’s a win-win for everybody. 

Dropbox additionally included the referral program as a part of the onboarding course of. Throughout signup, new customers might enhance their space for storing by sharing a hyperlink instantly.

Dropbox made it tremendous simple to ask pals by means of social sharing with distinctive referral hyperlinks. 

"Refer a friend" section. under Dropbox's Personal account settings

As an alternative of getting to dig by means of menus, new prospects noticed the choice to refer pals and earn additional area entrance and middle. 

So what occurred? 

After implementing the referral incentive, Dropbox achieved virality. Consumer numbers shot up by 3,900%.

Dropbox nailed its double-sided referral program by making it simple, rewarding, and a part of the preliminary consumer expertise (UX). 

2. Airbnb: A/B Testing

A/B testing is a technique the place you examine two variations of one thing (like an e-mail advertising marketing campaign or a touchdown web page) to see which one performs higher. 

In line with research by Harvard Business School, startups that use A/B testing scale extra shortly, launch extra merchandise, and appeal to extra enterprise capital. 

Fascinating, proper?

Let’s check out how Airbnb improved its search web page with A/B testing.

For this firm, A/B testing isn’t simply an occasional technique. However a core a part of its product growth and advertising technique. 

The corporate makes use of managed experiments to make selections at each stage. These embrace:

  • Tweaking the design of the web site
  • Enhancing search algorithms
  • Deciding what sorts of houses it ought to characteristic 

This strategy helps it continuously refine the consumer expertise. 

In 2013, Airbnb revamped its search page to deal with enhanced visuals and map options. 

Airbnb's search page "before" and "after"

Picture Supply: The Airbnb Tech Blog on Medium

It then performed qualitative consumer research to check the web page. The research confirmed a constructive response from customers.

Consumer suggestions is essential—it provides a human aspect to decision-making. You get firsthand suggestions from precise customers. Which offers insights that knowledge factors and algorithms can’t seize.

Regardless of the outcomes, Airbnb insisted on additional quantitative testing. 

It ran data-driven exams centered on efficiency metrics. Together with key efficiency indicators (KPIs) like click-through charges, time spent on the search web page, and conversion charges for bookings.

The outcomes confirmed that the brand new web page had a impartial influence on its effectiveness. 

Upon additional investigation, Airbnb found that the change was performing effective more often than not. However the brand new design wasn’t utterly suitable with older variations of Web Explorer. This affected the click-through charge (CTR), which skewed general outcomes.

The corporate was capable of repair the difficulty and enhance the web page’s efficiency.

What does this present?

Thorough testing reduces the chance of rolling out advertising efforts that is probably not efficient.

Plus, the twin strategy of qualitative and quantitative analysis provides larger perception into how modifications have an effect on consumer engagement and enterprise metrics.

3. Duolingo: Gamified Consumer Expertise

Gamification provides game-like parts akin to factors, badges, or challenges to a non-game exercise. It goals to make these actions extra participating and gratifying. 

Gamification faucets into folks’s pure needs for competitors and achievement. 

What does this follow obtain precisely? 

It sparks intrinsic motivations to finish duties, remedy issues, and work together with the system or app in a extra significant method. 

Take Duolingo, the language studying app. It provides customers rewards like digital cash, streak counts, and aggressive leaderboards. 

Duolingo's login rewards section

When customers see factors including up or unlock a brand new badge, it triggers a way of accomplishment. 

Customers can full bite-sized classes, earn factors, and compete towards pals. Making the educational course of really feel like much less of a chore and extra of a enjoyable problem. 

Duolingo's silver league section, inviting users to compete against players in a weekly leaderboard

These emotional rewards can grow to be addictive in a constructive method. They encourage customers to maintain going, full only one extra problem, or obtain only one extra milestone.

The advantages? 

Greater consumer engagement, extra time spent within the system or app, and a deeper emotional connection to the product. 

4. Slack: Optimized Onboarding

A easy, intuitive onboarding course of helps new prospects perceive the right way to navigate and use your services or products. It additionally units the tone for his or her complete expertise together with your model. 

When customers can effortlessly navigate by means of onboarding, you scale back friction and construct belief. Clients usually tend to proceed utilizing your service and even advocate it to others.

Slack is a good progress hacking instance of optimized onboarding finished proper. 

Clear, user-friendly interface? Verify.

Slack's interface

The design is so intuitive that groups can begin utilizing it immediately. They don’t must wade by means of a posh setup or a protracted record of directions.

Whenever you enroll, all it is advisable to do is enter your e-mail handle. 

"First, enter your email" pop up window in Slack

Slack then emails you a code to log in. No have to create a password.

"Check your email for a code" pop up window in Slack

This hastens the onboarding course of. Which in flip reduces the possibility of customers dropping off annoyed or confused.

The quicker a consumer will get to expertise the platform’s utility, the extra probably they’ll stick round. And grow to be loyal advocates for the service.

5. Spotify: Freemium and Free Trial Fashions

Freemium pricing is a enterprise mannequin the place you provide a free fundamental model of your services or products. Whereas premium options come at a value. 

Free trials let customers check out all of your options totally free earlier than committing to a purchase order or subscription. 

Each fashions create a low barrier to entry. They encourage extra folks to strive the product by giving them a style of its worth with zero danger. 

With a freemium mannequin, as soon as customers are hooked on the free model, they might need the extra options that include a paid subscription. 

Growing the possibilities of them changing into paying prospects. 

Each ways can enhance your product publicity and spur progress. Apparently, although, one study discovered that freemium merchandise convert prospects with out gross sales 25% extra usually than a free trial mannequin.

Spotify is a primary instance of profitable freemium pricing. 

Customers get entry to a library of music with the free plan. However they must hearken to advertisements and may’t obtain songs for offline listening. 

To take away these limitations, it is advisable to go for the premium model. 

So what’s working for Spotify?

First, it provides sufficient worth within the free model to maintain customers engaged. Reserving sure irresistible options for the premium subscription. Which creates a compelling motive for customers to improve.

Plus, the app usually shows calls to motion that designate Spotify Premium advantages. 

"Why go Premium?" section, listing Spotify Premium benefits

Furthermore, the transition from a free account is seamless. A number of cost choices make it simple to decide on a technique you’re snug with.

Spotify additionally often provides free trials of its premium service. 

Spotify's free trial for a premium service page

This “try-before-you-buy” technique permits customers to expertise the added advantages briefly. Encouraging them to grow to be everlasting premium members as soon as the trial interval is over.

6. HubSpot: Content material Advertising

Content material advertising focuses on creating and distributing beneficial, related, and constant content material. To draw and retain a clearly outlined target market and drive worthwhile buyer motion.

In contrast to conventional promoting, content material advertising doesn’t simply promote a services or products. Its major focus is to supply helpful info or leisure to the viewers. 

Take CRM platform HubSpot’s exhaustive content material advertising technique.

First, it educates its viewers to grasp the nuances of inbound advertising. This information establishes HubSpot as a thought chief within the business.

HubSpot additionally employs a mixture of video advertising, blogs, podcasts, and webinars. 

HubSpot's blog landing page

A various vary of content material sorts ensures you attain your viewers within the format that’s most snug and accessible for them.

One other key to HubSpot’s success is its dedication to SEO (search engine marketing). In consequence, its content material ranks nicely on Google and different engines like google. 

HubSpot ranks on the first spot on Google SERP for "seo trends 2023" search

search engine marketing improves natural visibility. Which pulls a bigger and extra focused viewers. 

Lastly, each bit of HubSpot content material serves a objective throughout the bigger buyer journey. 

Clear calls to motion (CTAs) and strategically positioned conversion paths information the viewers towards the specified actions. 

HubSpot integrates completely different steps into its content material. Like signing up for a e-newsletter, downloading a software, or buying a service. This seamless journey ensures the consumer isn’t simply knowledgeable but additionally impressed to take motion.

The CRM platform additionally makes use of assets as lead magnets to seize potential prospects’ info. Like this one:

HubSpot's downloadable "Free Marketing Plan Template"

HubSpot’s strategy to content material is not nearly amount, however high quality. 

It invests in understanding its viewers’s ache factors. Then curates its content material to handle their particular challenges. The content material isn’t simply common info however actionable insights that companies can implement instantly.

7. Uber: Surge Pricing

Surge pricing is also known as dynamic pricing. It’s a method the place costs fluctuate primarily based on real-time demand and provide. 

When demand is excessive and provide is proscribed, costs go up. Equally, costs might drop with low demand. 

This strategy can maximize income, optimize provide, and steadiness market dynamics.

Uber is a textbook instance of surge pricing in motion.

When demand for rides spikes—say, throughout rush hour, unhealthy climate, or huge occasions—Uber raises its costs. This encourages extra drivers to get on the street. 

Higher provide improves service availability and reliability. Which means extra glad passengers.

Uber's surge pricing example

Picture Supply: Global News

Be utterly clear together with your prospects when you’re going to make use of surge pricing. Surprises can result in distrust. For example, Uber notifies folks about surge costs earlier than they affirm a trip.

Additionally, for surge pricing to be efficient, your algorithm must be top-notch. Uber makes use of real-time knowledge and algorithms to set surge pricing. 

This ensures that the surge is reflective of precise demand and provide situations. And never a money-making tactic inviting backlash from sad prospects.

8. PayPal: Early Adoption Incentives

Provide prospects incentives to start utilizing a brand new services or products quickly after launch. You’ll pace up progress.

These early adopters are essential. They supply beneficial suggestions, construct credibility, and can promote your product by means of word-of-mouth.

PayPal used a progress hacking tactic to construct its preliminary consumer base. In his ebook “Zero to One,” co-founder Peter Thiel says the corporate turned to referral advertising, shortly reaching a “crucial mass” of 1 million customers. 

Conventional promoting was simply too costly and never as efficient. So PayPal provided $10 to new customers. And one other $10 for each pal they referred. 

PayPal's "Refer a Friend" landing page

The outcome was jaw-dropping: a every day progress charge of seven to 10%.

The important thing to encouraging early adoption is to supply beneficiant incentives. You possibly can add different incentives like loyalty factors, unique entry, swag, time-limited bonuses, or “early adopter pricing.” 

That mentioned, you don’t need to do beneficiant incentives indefinitely. 

It will probably get costly. And appeal to customers who’re extra within the incentive than the precise product. Which might dilute the standard of your buyer base.

Set clear parameters, just like the variety of customers or a particular timeframe. Then part out the inducement or modify it. 

9. Zapier: Launching on Product Hunt

Product Hunt is a web-based platform the place tech fanatics, enterprise capitalists, and journalists uncover, upvote, and talk about new tech merchandise from SaaS corporations. A go-to vacation spot for these seeking to hold their fingers on the heart beat of innovation. 

It’s additionally nice for creators who need to showcase their newest choices to a extremely engaged viewers desperate to strive new issues.

Product Hunt has a big and energetic neighborhood. Business influencers and traders can discover your product proper from its launch day.

For example, the workflow automation software Zapier made a notable influence when it launched on Product Hunt.

Zapier's overview section on Product Hunt

The corporate tapped into Product Hunt’s neighborhood to generate buzz, appeal to early adopters, and collect real-time suggestions.

Listed below are 5 efficient methods to launch on Product Hunt:

  • Take part in pre-launch engagement: Enter discussions, comply with related subjects, and even upvote different merchandise that curiosity you. The neighborhood will acknowledge you whenever you launch, which might enhance engagement
  • Select the precise Hunter: The one who submits your product to Product Hunt is the “Hunter.” Discover Hunters on the platform to advertise your product. Go for one with a strong fame to provide your product immediate credibility and appeal to extra upvotes.
  • Embody unique provides: Prolonged free trials, discounted charges, or particular options will entice folks to check out your product. Talk provides in your product description.
  • Work together in actual time: Be ready for an inflow of feedback, questions, and suggestions in your Product Hunt web page when you launch. Be certain that a group displays the web page, responds to queries, and engages with the neighborhood in actual time. It will enhance confidence in your organization.
  • Comply with up publish launch: Reply consumer questions, announce new options or fixes primarily based on Product Hunt suggestions, and stay energetic locally. It would hold curiosity in your product alive and rising.

Create devoted social media areas for customers, followers, and curious onlookers to debate, share, and find out about your product. Use them to showcase your model values and enlarge the attain and influence of your product. 

Communities on platforms like Fb or LinkedIn encourage buyer engagement, suggestions, help, and even innovation. 

AI-powered writing assistant Jasper is a compelling instance of how neighborhood constructing can enhance a tech product. 

Jasper's landing page

Jasper discovered product market match and made the advanced GPT3 expertise accessible on its simplified platform. Then, it centered on educating folks on the right way to put it to use.

Its Facebook group serves as an amazing useful resource for Jasper AI customers. Right here, they will share intelligent prompts that return optimum outcomes. 

Facebook post from an user about how they use Jasper to help them target ideal clients

It’s additionally a discussion board for dialog and new pondering, creating an actual sense of neighborhood across the product.

Communities on social networks aren’t only for customers to study from one another. They provide your organization invaluable insights, too. 

For example, Jasper’s founder likes to ask for suggestions from customers.

Jasper’s founder post in the Facebook group, asking users for feedback

Encouraging consumer discussions round prompts and use instances informs updates and have releases.

Plus, the Jasper Fb group is stuffed with testimonials, display screen captures, and real-world examples of how folks use the software for various writing initiatives. Together with ones from high contributors.

Facebook post from an user asking for help with using Jasper

Jasper can use this user-generated content material (UGC) as social proof to validate the product’s efficacy. And to beef up its (influencer) advertising campaigns.

Sustaining an energetic and engaged Fb group helps Jasper create a vibrant ecosystem. 

Customers get extra worth from the product. They usually actively contribute to its ongoing growth and enchancment. 

You possibly can encourage participation out of your social media neighborhood by

  • Periodically inviting specialists to host useful “ask me something” (AMA) periods 
  • Highlighting a singular characteristic and asking neighborhood members how they’ve used it
  • Acknowledging and rewarding energetic contributors. Making them really feel valued and inspiring extra participation.

From Knowhow to Motion: Your Subsequent Steps in Progress Hacking

Figuring out the perfect progress hacking examples is barely step one. The true game-changer: making use of these concepts to actionable plans to your progress technique.

Use analytic instruments like Semrush’s search engine marketing Toolkit or Google Analytics to trace how nicely your progress hacking works. Then make tweaks primarily based on actual knowledge, not intestine feeling.

Analyzing web site visitors is one solution to assess your technique’s effectiveness. 

Log in to Semrush’s search engine marketing Dashboard. See when you’re producing extra visits and the place they arrive from. Analyze, modify, and repeat.

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