6 Critical Growth Hacking Metrics that Startups Should Watch Out For

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In order to get the best out of your growth hacking efforts as a company, there is need to understand what metrics you need to be looking at. The aspect of growth hacking can be very elusive in your startup no matter how much you claim to know it if you don’t have an idea what will inform growth.

In this list, we look at 6 critical growth hacking metrics that should inform any startup about the indicators to look at in order to drive more leads and conversions. Most of these can be varied in terms of tactics. The sure way to know what works and what doesn’t is to track market data through use of marketing surveys, A/B testing and customer feedback.

1. Goals on digital sources

Startups use various digital sources to get and maintain customers. From social media and blogging to webinars and email marketing, these sources have immense potential for any growth hacking efforts. A startup should set down its goals for each of these digital sources, and month over month track how well their efforts are paying off. There will obviously be a winner in this digital scene as well.

It is possible to find out that social media isn’t really bringing in more customers as much as email marketing is. This is a very okay realisation. It only means you should increase, improve and put more effort in exploring email marketing. This also reduces unnecessary budgetary spending on digital sources that don’t really benefit you.

Take an example, Pinterest and LinkedIn are two very different social media platforms. If your startup is an online clothing store, you will realise that Pinterest converts a lot more than LinkedIn. Pinterest is an image-focused platform that works well for your startup. Henceforth, more effort should be put on expanding the Pinterest reach for better growth.

2. Best performing topics on CTAs

How many CTAs (Call-to-Actions) do you have across your marketing and growth campaigns? Which one performs best? From emails, PPC, tweets, Facebook Ads, blog posts, and other landing pages, people will click a lot more on CTAs that interest them. A growth hacker should find out these interests. Also important is why people prefer the interests as they are. Only then will they know how to optimize the other CTAs to get higher click-through rates.

Your blog might be getting better click-through rates than the PPC ads and even leading to higher conversion rates. It could be that the blog’s more elaborated topics perform better than a brief CTA on the PPC ads. Investigating this and understanding the data, metrics and implications will be very important in ramping up more efforts to increase leads from the blog, as well as testing better topics on the PPC ads.

3. Source of most successful leads

A startup cannot implement a proper marketing and PR strategy if they do not have an idea where most of their current leads came from. In order to implement a proper growth hacking strategy, every business should strive to understand how they got most of their leads. If you check keenly, you will see that every successful company has this data.

To find out this information, you will need to investigate what your average close rate is from every source. The highest percentage will translate into the higher number of customers that come from a specific source. When a startup is just coming up, employee and early-adopter referrals are usually the largest source of most leads. However, in some cases, it is not so.

Take an example of Airbnb whose highest referral source was eBay listings. By understanding this, Airbnb were able to double up efforts extensively to reach home owners on eBay. The importance of this metric cannot be understated. It is what enables you to know where to focus your growth hacking efforts.

4. Customer Satisfaction

If you cannot take care of your existing customers and make sure they are satisfied, you have no point being in any business. It is also understandably near impossible to satisfy every customer that uses your service. That is why by analysing and conducting surveys, you will get a customer satisfaction rate. A higher rate in the 70% or near indicates that a huge number of your customers are satisfied. A lower rate indicates that you have a huge problem that you must solve right away and ensure that rate is consequently raised.

Why does customer satisfaction matter in growth hacking? The reality is that word of mouth can lead to huge business. The word of mouth that should spread about your business needs to get you more business. Satisfied customers, a large pool of them, will convince their families and friends that you are the best for a particular good or service. This is PR 101. Always check what customers are saying about you. They are surely saying something at any point in time whether it is positive or negative.

5. Customer Retention

It is possible that you get about 100 new signups every week, and yet retain only 10 of them after the first month. There has to be a study conducted to ensure that you find out the reasons why your customer retention rate is very low. When you provide a service in the subscription model for instance, retention rates are supposed to be reasonably high because this is a product you believe customers need month over month.

It’s also possible that your customer retention rate is affected by seasonality, market or cultural shifts, among other reasons. However, you won’t be able to formulate a plan B for this cases unless you are watching this retention metric keenly. Also a sudden increase in unsubscription rates could be a result of a new update you made, a new feature that is destabilizing the product or poor customer service. You need to understand your customer retention rate in order to know how to fully proceed in solving any churn issues.

6. Customer Value

When the cost to acquire a customer is higher than the value they bring in revenue long-term, you have a problem. If it costs more to retain a customer than the value they bring in revenue, again, you cannot grow. The whole customer acquisition landscape is a loop that should reflect the value of the brand, customer, and process. Understanding the value a customer brings in revenue in relation to your costs will guide your growth in pursuing new customers. It’s all in the costs to acquire and retain. These should essentially be a bit lower than what your customer brings in revenue. That way, you are able to create a good margin and turn a profit.

Have I left anything out? What are some of the things you look for in your growth hacking metrics? Let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting us @thepressfarm.

Originally published at press.farm on February 19, 2017.

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