THE BLOG
01/20/2015 12:25 pm ET Updated Mar 22, 2015

5 Growth Hacking Tips For Any Startup

Growth hacking may be useful for any company, but it's particularly critical for startups. Startups don't typically have massive marketing departments and huge money to spend on campaigns designed by top advertising firms. Rather, startups need to focus on getting visibility, acquiring a strong user base and converting traffic into sales. And growth hacking is all about doing just that. Even the best startups can stand to enhance improve their chops. So with that in mind, we've assembled some new ideas to help you in your growth-hacking efforts.

Get experts to grow your audience for you

If you've got a site that uses content marketing to improve your presence, consider the use of experts in the field to grow your content and audience for you. Udemy, for example, does this by allowing experts to create their own coursework and then promote that course to their own user base, thereby increasing traffic and onboarding for both.

Keep your landing page on message

It sounds like a basic point, but it's surprising how many landing pages try to do too much, confusing the user and diluting the results. Your landing page should be clean and clear, with an unmistakable goal -- sign up, download or some other action. Likewise, the call-to-action button should be easy to identify and clearly state what you're asking the user to click and why. Square uses a simple page with easy graphics and a 'Get Started' button dead-center in the page. Codecademy is another great example -- graphical, explainer videos on the page, but very clean and on-message, and very simple to understand.

Use an incentive promo to drive trial conversions

Most SaaS providers only convert about 10 to 11 percent of their trials into paid accounts, which means that you should focus on maximizing your conversion rates. Consider putting together a follow-up email that is sent to every user who activates a trial a few days after they've joined with an incentive to convert early. For example: "Convert now and get the first month free." This gives them a few days to try your product but then gets them converted quickly, before they have a chance to look at alternatives. Codebase offers a clear landing page with a CTA Button to get you to sign up for a 15-day trial, and they follow that sign-up with additional incentives to get you to convert to a paying account as quickly as possible.

Create a sense of urgency

It's great that you have an awesome app or product, but potential customers are more likely to buy if they feel that time or quantities are limited. What about offering a promo that expires in a few hours, or limiting quantities of a product you have for sale? Even if the deadline or limited quantity is artificial, customers are more likely to act if they feel they're competing to get a limited offer. Sites like Groupon and Hotwire have largely built their entire business models around this concept, and almost every online retailer uses pop-ups or messages that say things like '1,200 people are also looking at this', or 'Only 2 left!'.

Consider using click map tools

You might think that your landing pages and your websites are perfectly designed, but are you sure? One way to find out whether your users are clicking in the wrong places or being distracted from what you want them to focus on is to implement click map or heat map tools, which track what your visitors click on and where they're clicking the most. That kind of information can often lead to a redesign that focuses their attention where it should be, maximizing your conversions and minimizing bounce rates. Crazyegg has will show a heatmap of clicks on your site, and Clicktale offers both trail accounts and demos, so that you can see how they help you visualize activity on your site.

These are just a few tips to think about, but there are a lot of strategies to growth hacking that work in different ways for different companies.

What types of growth hacking strategies have worked for your startup?

This piece originally appeared on Launchable Magazine