What do a “growth hackers” do, all day?

Off the top of my head, here are a couple things you’ll do regularly, and become good at:

  1. Quickly sketch out a clear growth strategy
    Like an architect/strategist, you’ll lay out the ‘master plan’ for getting users and driving growth (tomorrow’s email shows exactly how to do this)
  2. Design / structure growth systems
    Once you have the strategy, start designing each individual module or system (growth engine, sales funnel, etc.) —this is the ‘planning phase’. 
  3. Create funnels & growth systems
    With the plan drafted, you’ll start building small systems, and tweaking them towards performance… 
  4. Testing  ::  Create tests
    With the basic systems set up, we start running high-tempo tests… to test which tactics are working and which are not 
    (I’ll explain “high tempo tests” below, in this email)
  5. Testing  ::  Copywriting
    Hard to skip this. Whether it’s ads, web pages, emails or onboarding flows… copy is at the heart of what drives conversions…. and these conversions are what drives growth. So copywriting is literally half of the game (!!)
  6. Testing  ::  Analyze data
    Here we channel our inner nerd, and analyze the data to see what’s working and analyze customer’s behavior.   Data ➾ conclusions ➾ new ideas ➾ new tests (➾ new data, etc.) 
  7. Testing  ::  Create new tests
    Yeah, those new tests need to be executed, too. There’s this endless cycle of running more and more tests, at an ever increasing velocity. It’s in this process where most growth happens!

Do you notice the significance of testing, in that little list?

Because once the strategy is laid out, it’s this routine of testing that’s at the core of what you’ll do as a growth marketer, day-to-day.

Rather than grand visions, it’s rapid experimentation that’s at the core of a strong growth process.

It’s very much the “spaghetti on the wall” approach: you throw shit out there, and see what sticks.

I love how Sean Ellis (the original “growth hacker”, who coined the term) describes their testing routine:


“[…] we set the goal of launching at least three new experiments per week. We use the term experiment broadly to include new initiatives, product feature releases, and yes, A/B tests.” 

“High tempo testing isn’t easy, but it is extremely effective. 
It requires both a rigorous process and a system to manage that process. 

Much like lean manufacturing, it focuses on throughput and small batch sizes. 

If your team is truly committed to driving growth, High Tempo Testing is the most predictable way we’ve found to hit aggressive targets.”

The takeaway is simple:  


The magic is in the growth process — not in any particular tactic!!


Today’s mental model: 
Aim for faster iterations and quicker deploys (= high-tempo)

Focus on small experiments, but release them at a high velocity.
The more you try, the more you’ll win.

A few pointers:

  • Pick one metric to optimize for—you can change it later, but pick one for now.
  • Make sure everyone’s clear on what metric you’re trying to optimize.
  • Know how much improvement you need in a metric (5% improvement, or 500% improvement?)
  • Involve everyone in generating ideas and concepts for tests and experiments
  • Pick one area to optimize at a time. It helps you stay focused.
  • Look for tests that can bring meaningful change —if you need a 200% improvement, an idea that brings 5% lift is a failure. You need bigger, bolder ideas.
  • Focus your testing on areas that will validate your business model, and have the biggest impact on the effectiveness of your growth loops. Go for the “big wins” first!
  • Constantly work on your process to allow for faster testing cycles (= embrace the chaos )

Okay, I think that’s enough to get you started, right?

Action item:  
Can you ship marketing tests earlier and faster? Can you start building a bit of a high-tempo testing routine?

Don’t wait until you’ve gotten your hands on Elite and studied this matter deeply. 
Nothing holds you back from starting the process right now, and scoring early wins…

This ain’t rocket science.
You can do this.

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