6 Successful Founders Reveal Their #1 Growth Hacking Tactic

6 Successful Founders Reveal Their #1 Growth Hacking Tactic


One of the biggest concerns of new businesses is how to acquire significant users to use their products or services. It won’t matter how great your idea is if you fail to gain any traction. You are likely to shut down soon if your business cannot grow. Most businesses are using countless strategies to get their businesses to new heights but  only a few tactics will really skyrocket your growth. (sometimes you don’t see any significant growth for a very long time).

Tactics that work really well for one company might not work for yours so it’s important to test and measure and repeat what works for you. Once you’ve discovered your successful growth channels, go all in.

These 6 successful founders share their top user acquisition tactics. Hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to hack growth for your new business.

1. SEOmoz

“Our SEO blog has been, by far, our single most successful user acquisition tactic. You could expand that more broadly to our overall content marketing strategy. The blog specifically has been a great success because it attracts potential customers and influencers of potential customers through many channels (email, RSS, SEO, social, press, referral links, etc) and builds recognition, likability, and trust that then transfer over to our software offering.

We don’t convert many visits directly from the blog to a free trial of SEOmoz PRO, but we convert a lot of folks who come back 6+ times, and there’s almost always a visit to the blog (or a few) in that stream.”

Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz

2. KISSMetrics

“SEO has been the most effective. It takes a while to kick in as you can’t achieve great rankings instantaneously, but in the long run it works great.

With KISSmetrics, it took me 1 year and 10 months to hit over 100,000 monthly visits. KISSmetrics only started to see big traffic increases when I started to publish 5 pieces of content a week. But with KISSmetrics, we went from publishing 2 a week straight to 5 a week. This is why KISSmetrics had a much faster growth rate.When we posted 5 a week, we had 422,885 visits a month.”

Neil Patel, Co-founder of KISSmetrics

3. Thrillist

“At Thrillist, we’ve always used one pretty simple tactic to grow our business — create great products. its an obvious answer but not necessarily something that happens in practice as much as it should. Beyond that basic principle, the thing i’d say the #1 driver of success has been a continued focus on investing into the best talent on the team. And i don’t mean just financially.

While raises and other cash incentives are nice, i think the most efficient way to drive great performance is to continually challenge people and give them the tools to get better and evolve the way they approach their careers.”

Ben Lerer, Co-founder of Thrillist

4. BufferApp

“Buffer’s most successful way to get awesome and engaged new users was through guestposting. We have written over 100 different posts across the web, which brought us a ton of traffic and exposure, making Buffer shoot to 100,000 users in 9 months. Most importantly though, we were able to build a huge amount of relationships with great people in the blogosphere that remain our strong supporters and friends to date.”

Leo Widrich, Co-founder of BufferApp

5. Onboardly

“There is not one tactic that works best. You can’t just “put all your eggs in one basket”. In fact it’s a combination of a few things that have the best results. At Onboardly, that is just what we do, we combine public-relations, content marketing and social media together to create a strategy that works very well for many technology startups.

The thing with ‘Content Marketing’, to do it right, you need to understand the logistics of PR because 80% of your time is either spent sourcing publications to post your content to or promoting it, so building those relationships is key. Ultimately it is the solid relationships you build that help drive your marketing forward.”

Renee Warren, Co-founder of Onboardly

6. Unbounce

“Our blog. The day we started coding we started the blog. We’ve focus on creating quality content on our blog and distribute via social, some post being pretty epic in size/scope. This has done several things for us. People share/discuss/reference our content and it ranks well for search, making it easy for prospective customers to discover Unbounce. Our first two years, we grew our business with only one person in marketing and their focus was our blog.”

Rick Perreault, CEO of Unbounce

One key theme you can see from the answers above is building a great product and a great relationship with your customer base. Perhaps that’s why a lot of the answers involve SEO/content marketing. People like buying from people they trust. If you have a blog that they constantly turn to for helpful content, who do you think they’ll turn to when they can’t solve the problem on their own? The company they have a relationship with.