To navigate the marketing & sales funnel and make your company grow, you need reliable growth hacking tools. Best tip? Find tools for each funnel stage.
Why you need good growth hacking tools?
When you’re looking for new ways to boost growth across your marketing & sales funnel, you are probably trying to find the best impact-effort ratio for you. Efficiency is queen, and your growth team’s time is king.
You might have the necessary skill set to test the ideas yourself, but sooner or later (rather sooner), you will reach your time (and patience!) limit. You could be working 80 hours per week, double your team’s size, but experienced growth practitioners will always tell you: you need a hack. And you need good tools. Good tools will allow you to save time and they can even make you see your product from a broader perspective (the so-called praised helicopter view).
One last tip before we get down to business: always test out different solutions before going big and investing in them, hence, all tools presented here offer free trial periods.
What do Pirates and Growth Hackers have in common? (Wait, what?)
Growth teams don’t use “abordage” trying to take down the competition, as pirates would board ships back in the day. But they both have an ‘AAARRR’ shout on their lips. How: you might ask. The “AAARRR” funnel, or the so-called “Pirate Funnel”’ is a customer-lifecycle framework that you can use to map out and optimize your Marketing & Sales activities. The funnel is modular, so you can always adjust it to your own company’s goals and priorities, but it’s important you bear in mind all 6 steps and use the right tools for each stage.
The AAARRR funnel is modular, so you can easily switch the stages with one another. Don't be surprised at the initial order in the funnel, especially in the RRR part. Every business is different and the Pirate Funnel is to satisfy the needs of all.
Growth Hacking Tools For Every Marketing & Sales Funnel Stage
Step 1: AWARENESS - How to turn a target group into your actual visitors?
First, you need to define who your target customers are, what their personalities are, and how you need to communicate with them. We’re all prone to bias, so to make your Personas more accurate and research-based, I recommend CrystalKnows.
The most powerful product that CrystalKnows offers is “Crystal predictions with DISC framework”. It can analyze people’s Linkedin profiles and share dos and don’ts for different types of communication (direct, written). You can also compare 2 different profiles at a time, but I suggest analyzing your own at first to test the tool’s accuracy. The results might be astonishing.
CrystalKnows uses AI to determine your target user's personality.
Once you collect information about your current customers, look for similarities, and focus on communication improvements that you could implement into your strategy. It prepares the ground for further improvements. It also builds the foundation for any actions focused on increasing your traffic such as SEO, SEM, or even social media ads.
Step 2: ACQUISITION - What do you want your prospects to do?
You might have various goals in mind. Be it: signing up, obtaining email addresses, users reaching a particular page. The key is not the goal itself, but the goal definition so you can measure it, experiment, and optimize your efforts. And you need to test your performance if you don’t want to stay behind your competition.
UsabilityHub is a remote user testing platform that can help you with testing and optimization. It allows you to perform:
- first click tests, analyzing your content hierarchy
- design surveys, validating your assumptions
- preference tests, measuring user sentiment
- five-second tests, measuring prospects’ first impressions.
UsabilityHub - The Testing Templates Gallery
Depending on your approach, you can either engage your own customers or use UsabilityHub’s testers panel. Collected feedback will help you make more accurate decisions and prioritize. And if you’re still hesitant if investments in design really pay off, check out this article: The Business Value of Design: Why to Invest in Design?
Step 3: ACTIVATION - What value do you offer to your users?
Activation is the moment when your users perceive your solution as capable of solving their problem or addressing their needs. This moment can go by many names, the “wow-moment”, the “aha-moment”, but whatever you want to call it, you need to win your users over.
To determine your possible chances, you need to set up proper analytics and follow your prospects through their journey. You can do it with SimilarWeb, a platform aggregating market intelligence solutions.
There are several approaches you can take with SimilarWeb. Apart from the analysis of your own website, you can examine the competitors’ strategies and benchmark them to identify emerging trends. Observing your competition on all aspects is always a good idea and it will help you stay in the ‘WOW’ game, and adjust your activation tactics.
Step 4: RETENTION - Do customers use your product more than once?
Attracting new customers takes a lot of time and resources. Respect the job you’ve already done, and learn to optimize your customer retention rate. How? Keep an eye on the analytics and make the right conclusions based on customers’ behavior, that’s a given. But you can also try alternative ways to continuously keep your customers engaged.
One way of doing this would be gamification, so engaging the users with your product using game-like elements. If you want to use a ready-made solution, here comes Stamp Me and their Loyalty App or Digital Rewards Platform. In a nutshell, Stamp Me replaces paper cards with a digital tool and enables your customers to collect and keep track of their loyalty points. Not only does it give your customers a chance to gain rewards, but it also encourages your direct client communication, so you can better understand their purchase motivations.
Step 5: REVENUE - how to turn one-time visitors into loyal customers?
‘It’s not about the money, money, money, we don’t need your money, money, money’ - while you might want to make the world dance to the Jesse J song, you need to pay the bills, so you can’t really forget about the price tag. You want your customers to stay with you, and you want them to pay for your service. This phase done right can equal more upsells and more cross-sells.
Funnelytics is a tool that can help you meet customers’ expectations, and in effect, make them stay. You start with reviewing previous elements in your funnel and mapping revenue strategy, then you move to planning your goals and profits, and finally, you track how customers actually flow through the funnel. Using this tool, you can actually understand your users’ actions, so you can offer them what they really need. In short, you align their needs with your goals.
Funnelytics has a variety of Customer Funnel Templates for you to choose from.
Step 6: REFERRALS - do clients become your ambassadors?
Referrals are the key to make your product go viral. But, before implementing any referral strategy, make sure to take care of your current customers first. This old advice still applies. Keep your users happy, so they are naturally inclined to recommend you without additional stimuli on your side.
Only after you’ve taken care of this, you can try scaling your efforts using additional tools.
One of them is Growsurf. With Growsurf, you can build a native referral program for your product. Upon deciding what counts as a referral and what is the reward (milestone, leaderboard, single-sided or double-sided), you customize the referral campaigns’ look and flow, and eventually, you will have a system allowing you to oversee the whole process.
Growsurf: Campaign Creator
The marketing funnel is a cycle
The marketing funnel is a cycle of ongoing improvements and tweaks. Treat it as if it were always in progress and reevaluate your efforts for the best efficiency and the best results for all funnel stages. This way, you can detect any weak points in real-time and better your strategy over time.