This final step is what allows you to decide the actions that’ll allow you to scale and the actions that have absolutely no impact on your bottom line. If you skip it then you’ll be a wantrepreneur and nothing else.
Get it right and they’ll be singing your praises from the high heavens. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer the second one (not that I’m vain or anything).
We’re going to be looking at key metrics to measure and how to scale the process so it becomes a self-propagating machine.
You know that feeling when you’ve just published a new article; you worked hard on the title, shared it across all your social media channels, and emailed a few influencers.
You’re sure it’s going to take off and get you the much-deserved traction you’re looking for. You check your analytics every few hours to get a bead on the real time visitors to your site but nothing special happens. It just faded into the obscurity of the internet.
The same can happen with your growth hacking campaigns if you don’t measure them ruthlessly.
You need to be able to determine the ones that are moving the needle and the ones that are just eating up resources.
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Measuring the numbers of visitors to your site is nice, but we want to go much deeper than that. You want to keep a constant eye on metrics that will have a direct impact on your bottom line.
There are a lot of metrics that you’ll be measuring and sometimes, you’ll fall into the trap of putting too much emphasis on vanity metrics. EG raw page views. While these can have an important place in your overall strategy, they aren’t the most important things to measure.
Is it authentic?
As I mentioned just a few moments ago, you need to make sure the activity is moving your business forward. getting traffic is great, but it’s much more important to measure something that you can actually grow your business with like qualified leads.
Is it within your control?
Getting featured on a huge media outlet is nice, but it’s mostly out of your control and not actually worth measuring. Engagement on your Instagram feed, on the other hand, is well within your control. Measure what you can control and leave the rest as a happy occurrence.
Does it move the needle?
Ask yourself this question, if I were to spend more time and energy on growing this metric, will it increase my bottom line? If the answer is ever no then it’s a marketing metric that shouldn’t be given more of your time and energy than it’s already consuming.
Growth hacking is an integrated strategy so it’s only natural that you’ll be taking an integrated approach to measuring the successes and failures of your campaigns.
The most important metrics are as follows:
Consumption metrics let you get a bead on how people are actually using your website or service. For example, if you’ve written a five thousand word post and your visitors are only staying on your website for 30 seconds before bouncing, you know there’s a problem.
On the other hand, if you’ve written a five thousand word post and people are staying for seven minutes, you know there are many aspects of the article they find interesting or useful. The same applies to a course or a service.
Where do people spend the most time in your course? Is it the module that introduces them to the topic in general and defines difficult concepts? Or is it the part where you outline different tactics they can use to become a better version of themselves?
A SaaS business can use the same model with a few tweaks. What part of your dashboard encourages users to stay longer and interact more frequently with your service?
These consumption metrics will give you a great idea of what’s working and drawing users in and what’s just taking up space in your offerings. You should be tracking these metrics daily and comparing them on a weekly and monthly basis.
Although I regularly refer to sharing metrics as vanity metrics, they can still serve an important role in your business. Since sharing itself doesn’t actually make money, it’s a great way to build brand exposure and get people talking about what you’re creating.
Optimize your pages so that everything will be easy to share and keep a bead on what’s getting shared most often. If you see a large deviation up or down from the average number of shares you’re getting then it could mean something is resonating with your audience or the opposite.
You can use the display share counts on your website to keep track of this, but I suggest you use something more robust to get an accurate picture of how your content is doing across the different social media platforms (there are over 70 of them with more than 100M monthly active users).
Knowing where and how your content is being shared and how those people are interacting with it will inform your social strategy decisions. You CANNOT be everywhere so choose the platforms that are getting the most engagement for you and stick with growing your brand there.
Once you’ve built a strong presence there, you can start building out the second most important social media platform.
Bottom line, keep an eye on this metric, but don’t lose sleep over it.
Ah, now we’re getting to the meat of the matter. Leads are those special people who’ve told you they want more of what you have to offer. Maybe they opted in after reading your answer on Quora or a guest post you did. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is the fact that they’ve raised their hand and told you that they value your brand. There are many ways to track this metric.
If you’re collecting leads through your website, you can implement simple conversion tracking pixels that let you know if they subscribed immediately after consuming a piece of content or if they interacted with multiple pages on your site.
If you collect leads via phone, you can place a number on your website or other places online that allow you to track calls coming in via different sources.
What you’re trying to determine is how effective your call-to-action is on different places you’ve placed them. Maybe you have squeeze pages that are converting at 45% (I have a content upgrade in one of my books on Amazon that converts approximately 47% of visitors that visit the landing page).
How well is your optin below your articles converting? Once you have a clear idea of how well they’re doing, you can test out different variations until you improve it to a place you want it to be.
Developing an awesome lead generation system is where your business begins to take on a life of its own.
Yes, this is what it’s all about, closing the friggin sale. You’re doing all this growth hacking, starting all these campaigns, and losing all your sleep for this. Revenue.
You need to be tracking it like there’s no tomorrow, because really, this is one of the marketing metrics that’s going to help you build your tomorrow.
Please use a CRM to do this, even if it’s the most basic type like Sugar CRM or something more powerful like Salesforce. The choice is yours, just use something that’ll help you keep track of all those people coming into your funnel.
What you want to understand is the gross number of people that are becoming customers through your sales funnel, the series of events that led up to them becoming customers, the time it takes to become a customer, and the percentage of leads that become customers.
I know I know, less is more and it’s more important to get quality customers than it is to get just any customer.
But, the larger your pool, the more likely it is that you’ll get quality customers added to the mix that’ll turn into brand ambassadors. To make a long story short, make sure you know exactly how many sales you can expect to make on average.
This will allow you to plan income and expenditure, you know, those things you need to know to keep your business afloat.
Let’s ask a question here, what happened before that lead became a customer? Did you nurture them with an email sequence? What is your content that turned them into believers? Or was it the referral system you set up that made all the difference?
Once you’re aware of the exact process that’s bringing in the most customers for you, you can work to optimize it. If a three referrals sent out brought in one customer and each customer has a lifetime value to you of $5000 then each referral is worth approximately $1667.
If they consumed five pieces of content before becoming a customer then each piece of content is worth $1,000 to you.
You can use the same principal to determine how much everything is worth to you and optimize the highest value aspect of your funnel.
Let’s face it, no matter how good your sales team is or how much you nurture them; certain people are never going to become customers. You need to know the average time it’s going to take to acquire a customer and use that to determine how long your sales team follows up or how long your auto responder sequence should be.
How much of a boss are you? You may be acquiring 1000 new customers a month, but if that’s from a pool of 500,000 people, your closing rate is pretty abysmal.
Understand what your close rate is as compared to others in your industry and work towards optimizing it until it is at least on par with what’s acceptable.
From there, you can start to optimize for growth.
This useful metric lets you know how much your user base (customer base) has grown or dwindled at the end of every day. You can assess customer retention, acquisition, and loss on a single spreadsheet or graph.
The questions to ask
New users. How many new users did we get today?
Retained users. How many current users used our service today?
Lost Users. How many users haven’t used our service within the last 30 days?
Daily net change = new users + retained users – lost users.
After knowing what you’re daily net change is, you can start to test changes against an average and work to reduce churn and increase acquisition.
After you have a bead on what’s working and what’s not through an accurate system of measurement, you can move on to scaling. You can’t scale if you have no idea what’s working and at it’s very heart, growth hacking is about building a system that you can scale almost infinitely using a replicable framework.
If it ain’t scaling, it ain’t growth hacking. Period.
Let me know of any metrics you feel are important to growth hacking in the comments.
Make sure you share, someone you know may need a way to measure their campaigns and are at a loss as to what metrics they should spend time on.