Ok, first of all, what the heck is a marketing growth experiment?
Growth experiments are tests that you’re running on your business, ideally every week, and they’re basically what’s going to help your business grow in the long run.
Most of your experiments probably aren’t going to work, but the idea is that because you have this process in place, your business is going to grow over the long term. Some of these tests are going to pay off big time, and those you can double down on. That’s how you get huge dividends in the long term.
A Real-Life Example of a Growth Experiment I’m Running
To give you an example of growth experiments, we’re constantly iterating on Single Grain. For example, we just came up with a new video where visitors opt in for a lead magnet, like a checklist or an e-book.
And as soon as they opt in, they’re taken to a video that tells them, “Hey, before you go, we’re offering a 15-minute call.” They can take us up on that offer and sign up for a call by filling out a quick questionnaire to see if they’re qualified or not.
We’re trying this out because we think it will increase our free consultation conversion rate. But we don’t know that for a fact, it’s just a hypothesis. In other words, this is a growth experiment.
Now let’s say this works and we’re getting an additional ten free consultations per month. That’s totally worth it, because the effort we put into creating this video and popup, even the effort of the actual consultation calls, is negligible.
The Best Tools for Growth Experiments
First and foremost, you should be using a tool called GrowthHackers Projects. You don’t have to pay for it, you can just sign up for the free trial. In fact, once you see how it works you can just start tracking this sort of stuff manually in a simple spreadsheet.
So here’s an example from somebody on my team who’s using GrowthHackers Projects. Raghav tells me that if we add an explainer video to the homepage that talks about how Single Grain is different from other marketing agencies, this will help boost our consultation calls by 20%.
Learn More: How to Craft a High Converting Explainer Video
Here’s the cool thing. You get to rate your tests in terms of:
- how big you think the impact is going to be on a scale of 1-10
- how confident are you that this test is going to be a success on a scale of 1-10
- how easy you think it will be to implement on a scale of 1-10
When you hit “test idea,” it’s going to run that test and show you, by the end, how accurate your hypothesis was.
This year at Single Grain we’re requiring our average monthly spend for paid advertising clients to be $30,000 over 90 days and we changed a title description on the homepage. So we’re going to wait 30 days before looking at Google Search Console to see what difference this makes. We’re also running some Facebook tests and other tests.
Another great thing is the leaderboard. You can see how many ideas there are, how many tests have been run, how many wins there are from different people on your marketing team. You can see how active your team is and then you can talk about it during your weekly team sprints.
Talk about who actually had the most tests this week. Who had the most wins? Those people will be rewarded and compensated for doing well. You can also go to GrowthHackers.com and pull ideas from there and then import into here. That way you just have a lot of different things that you’re testing for all the time.
What Tests Am I Running Right Now?
For Single Grain, we try to run at least three different tests per week. And we track them over time during weekly team meetings.
For example, let’s say we want to do a marketing campaign grader tool, like an ROI tool or widget. Once we decide to do this, we’ll e-mail blast people who are really interested in our services. It’s an experiment we’ve been trying. We’ve been retargeting people who visit our services page 3+ times and the CPA is much better.
Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly), we also run a lot of tests on our jobs and team pages. I’ve mentioned before that once you’re a certain size, your job as the CEO is to just keep hiring the best people for growth.
Finally, we’re experimenting with tripwire offers where we might put all of our podcast episodes into little USB drives. The idea is that as long as we’re continually iterating, we’re going to succeed on maybe 1 out of 12 tests. Even if you get 1 win out of 20 experiments, that’s still good!
Some Parting Growth Wisdom
Brian Balfour, who used to be the VP of Growth at HubSpot, talks about how to run a weekly growth meeting that get results. HubSpot is very good about sharing these kinds of meeting templates.
Shaun Ellis also has a good template. You want to look at these templates and then figure out what kind of cadence makes the most sense for your business and your goals. Then you start executing on a process, repeat it over and over, and then you’re going to start growing.
Even in the early days, when it’s just one or two people and it probably doesn’t make sense to do this all the time, you want to start getting in the habit of running these growth experiments. That way your whole organization understands, or at least a good portion of your team understands, that growth is no joke. You can’t just do it once and then come back to it later.
Growth is a commitment that you have to come back to over and over again.
And if you do, great things will happen.
This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:
Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.