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Growth Hacking: Definition, Funnel, and Strategies

Last updated: Jun 20, 2024

Growth Hacking
Cover image: Illustration of growth hacking to increase a significant business growth.

What Is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is a marketing strategy focusing on rapid and significant business growth. This method gained popularity in 2010 and is frequently used by startups. 

CEO and founder of GrowthHackers, Sean Ellis, coined the term growth hacking. In general, this strategy lies in quick results with minimal spending. 

So, what is growth hacking? To put it simply, growth hacking is a solution for startups with limited capital.

Unlike conventional marketing, growth hacking is a creative strategy to attract and retain customers, increase brand awareness, and drive business growth. 

Funnel Growth Hacking

Funnel growth hacking is a helpful framework for mapping user journey stages and helping to identify areas that need to be optimized to boost business growth. 

The growth hacking framework comprises five stages: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue (also known as AARRR). Here's an explanation of the growth hacking method:


1. Acquisition

The acquisition is an early stage in a growth hacking framework that focuses on attracting and gaining new users or customers. 

Knowing if the target market is interested in your business is important. There are numerous acquisition methods, including SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, paid search, and viral campaigns.

For example, you can use popular social media like TikTok or Instagram if Gen Z is your target market. This platform allows you to effectively reach the target market and increase brand awareness.


2. Activation

The following stage of funnel growth hacking is activating new customers by turning them into active and loyal customers. 

Activation focuses on educating customers on the value of your product or service. One way to do this is to send an email. 

An effective email should be attractive, informative, and descriptive. The email may also contain information about discounts or free trials to encourage customers to try your product.

When customers try the products, it's essential to make sure they get a positive experience. You can provide video tutorials, guides, and others. 


3. Retention

The other growth hacking method is retention. This process focuses on making regular or loyal customers who constantly use your product or service. 

A few strategies can be tried to increase retention, such as offering customers limited promotions, free shipping fees, and extra discounts or other bonuses on subsequent purchases. 

Other ways can be done, such as sending a thank you e-mail after a customer purchases your product or giving a special voucher for a birthday.


4. Referral

Growth hacking is a way to draw customers' attention and referrals. This growth hacking strategy encourages old users to recommend products or services to others. 

Referral leverages the power of word of mouth and shares on social media to boost organic growth. Generally, people trust recommendations from friends or family more than advertisements.

This growth hacking method can leverage existing social networks to expand brand reach significantly. Referral also helps increase website traffic and the number of your customers.


5. Revenue

Revenue is the primary goal of funnel growth hacking. If previous growth hacking methods, such as acquisition, activation, referral, and retention go well, revenue will be achieved.

Some tips can be used to achieve optimum revenue, such as determining the right, potential, and profitable business model. 

Avoid focusing too much on acquiring new customers and paying attention to retaining existing customers. Apply for an annual subscription to provide a stable financial benefit.


Growth Hacking Strategy

After understanding what is growth hacking and its framework, it's time to know the growth hacking strategy. 

Growth hacking is an innovative and creative marketing strategy that must be appropriately implemented. Choosing strategies that match your target market and business goals is essential. Here are some growth hacking strategies you can implement. 


1. Create an Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliation is a marketing strategy that utilizes the trust and recommendations of friends, family, or colleagues to increase the conversion of leads faster.

Consumers who get linked through referrals also have great potential to become loyal customers. The advantage of growth hacking is to provide quick results with minimal spending and affiliation, including the most cost-effective strategy for startups.


2. Attend Community Events

After understanding what is growth hacking, the next strategy you should do is to attend community events for startups to enhance knowledge and expand the network.

Not only meet and learn from the best people in your field but you can also build connections to increase your chances of success. Through community events, you can promote your startup to a broader audience.


3. Make SEO-Friendly Websites

The website is used to welcome visitors, present products or services, and build customer relationships. Therefore, it's essential to have a comfortable and user-friendly appearance. 

Several aspects support the convenience of visitors, ranging from layouts, colors, to smooth navigation. 

Building an SEO-friendly website is also essential, as it can help your website get a higher ranking on the SERPs

Once you learn about what is growth hacking, the following step in growth hacking strategy is to choose a suitable domain name. Choose a name that is relevant to your business, easy to spell, memorable, and unregistered. 

Several extensions, including com,.net,.org,.eu, etc. can be selected. Tips: choose an extension based on who your target market is. 


4. Build a Community on Social Media

Social media is becoming a crucial platform for brands and startups in the digital age to gain popularity, promote, sell, interact with consumers, and get feedback.

However, gaining popularity on social media requires commitment and dedication. One effective growth hacking strategy is creating groups or communities on social media.

This technique aims to attract target markets by displaying relevant information and creating quality content. Remember to engage the audience and help them to know and trust the brand. 


5. Send Rewards to Customers

Giving rewards to customers has a positive impact, even if it is just a bonus or freebies. Customers will assume that giving a bonus is a seller's attempt to give appreciation for their loyalty.

Giving rewards not only increases the satisfaction of old customers but also attracts new customers as the satisfied customers will recommend your products.


6. Collaborating with Influencers

Collaborating with influencers is the perfect growth hack method for startups since influencers can reach a wider audience and build the trust of potential customers.

You can invite collaborative influencers with a mass base depending on the target customer. By implementing these strategies, you can increase your chances of achieving business goals.


7. Take Advantage of The Latest Trend

Growth hacking is a creative strategy for attracting new customers and retaining old customers. You can use a compelling way to take advantage of trends after you understand what is growth hacking. 

Try to find out about the latest trends, industry news, and widespread phenomena to create campaigns that are relevant and attractive to the audience.

Staying up-to-date with the latest trends will also make your business more unique and able to reach a broad audience. Overall, taking advantage of trends would not only increase your brand awareness but also increase your sales.

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