So, we listed all this years DistroSnacks to figure out what growth tactics we were missing out on (or what mistakes we might be making!) and decided to share the list we'd compiled..

This is Part 3 of our compendium of 200 Growth Hacking Tips from the Distro Team at 500distro.co. You'll never run out of growth ideas with these butt kicking uber growth hacking tips & techniques you can use - starting today.

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

500 Distro Best Growth Tips Star Wars The Force Awakens Quotes Han Solo and Chewie Chewbacca The growth force is strong in this one.

This is a compilation of the daily Distro Snack emails in a handy reference. A HUGE THANKS to the 500 Distro team - we totally LOVE LOVE LOVE you!!!

If you like this stuff - you should DEFINITELY sign up for the daily DISTROSNACK email at Distro Snack.

For now, sit back, read and enjoy and get excited about what you can do to grow your business bigger, better and faster this year. Pick your favorites and tell us in the comments. Or add a NEW hack to share.

Ok - let's get started!!

100. Distrosnack: Slack Use Cases

OBVIOUS
- Team communications - Freelancer workflow

LESS OBVIOUS
- Customer support (Step 1: get THEM to add YOU to their Slack) - Customer insights / research / OUTREACH (Step 2: ping them on their Slack)

Don’t be boring / spammy, you’ll get deleted in 1 click :)

99. Distrosnack: Press Hack

Big press outlets on the web are BUSY and rely HEAVILY on other sources 4 credible content to syndicate.

Contacting ppl from best-known news sites can be a long-shot.

Instead, track who they’re linking out to / sourcing from (or scrape external links), pitch those outlets, and get featured thru syndication.

98. Distrosnack: One Metric That Matters

While measuring overall conversion or close rate is important, it alone won’t help u drill down on drop-offs in ur funnel.

Watch CTR on each specific call to action in ur funnel 2 see whether weaknesses in your close rate are coming from content & marketing, or from ur sales process.

97. Distrosnack: Product vs Growth

Use a Smoke Test to validate “new ideas” & prove them out BEFORE building moar product — because that way u don’t stunt growth.

Don’t let product roadmap hi-jack growth — use growth 2 drive ur product roadmap.

READ MORE: http://500.co/smoke-tests-for-growth/

96. Distrosnack: Moar Mobile Downloads

MOAR mobile downloads:

  1. Have a great product.

  2. Incentivize installs. Vendor list here.

  3. User reviews averaging 4+ stars — ask at the right time

  4. WOM, press, partnerships

  5. Optimize ur app name, keywords, icon, description, tracking, and updates. App cheatsheet here.

95. Distrosnack: Core Users

Core users can help u acquire new users better than any campaign.

  1. Sustain their enthusiasm: reward program

  2. Level up their engagement: multi channel engagement / reactivation campaigns

  3. INCENT THEM TO PROMOTE: referral program, social share via contests, sweepstakes

ENGAGE + MULTIPLY.

94. Distrosnack: Enable Domain Keys Now

Enabling domain keys authenticates the DNS of u as an email sender, verifies that ur message is good, and can increase open rates dramatically (more than 20x if u start out really bad :)

HOW depends on what tools ur using, so Google “Enable domain keys + [ur email tool here]” to get exact how-to.

READ MORE: http://500.co/avanoo-growth/

93. Distrosnack: Activation Rate Metrics

Activation rate matters at every size / type of business.

AR = # of ppl who complete ur 1 single activation event / # of visitors or prospects.

Some basic metrics to pay attention to around activation:

  • Activation by channel
  • Time-to-activation
  • Retention on activated users

92. Distrosnack: Lifetime Value Calculator

Understanding customer lifetime value helps u understand:

  • Marketing: How much should I spend to acquire a customer?
  • Product: How can I offer products and services tailored for my best customers?
  • Customer Support: How much should I spend to service and retain a customer?
  • Sales: What types of customers should sales reps spend the most time on trying to acquire?

LTV calculator http://customerlifetimevalue.co/

91. Distrosnack: Reduce Involuntary Churn

Subscription billing?

In addition to voluntary churn i.e., users canceling the service, fix ur INVOLUNTARY churn (re-billing failure).

  1. look into vendors/services that do re-billing optimization
  2. encourage users to switch away from pre-paid/debit
  3. use segmentation analysis to understand which acquisition channels are over-indexing for pre-paid/debit card users

90. Distrosnack: Instagram + Email

There’s more u can do in email besides social buttons that no one clicks:

  • Instagram content in email (drive traffic/engagement 2 Instagram — 300 MILLION USERS)
  • Show interesting / social proof tweets
  • Promote social contests and/or showcase results

89. Distrosnack: 80 Percent of Your Revenue

80% of your $$ will come from previous customers.

  1. REACTIVATE - look 4 key dropoffs, reactivate w/ campaigns and/or promotions, don’t be afraid to go long
  2. RETAIN - keep ur users happy & paying attn with engagement campaigns, product improvements, community
  3. REMARKET - upsells, new products
  4. REFER - ask and incent

88. Distrosnack: When 2 Discount

Discounting works in RETAIL b/c brands can limit supply and create impression of scarcity / urgency.

With software, supply is practically unlimited & non-physical, and we’re inundated with so many promotions and discounts every day that we know more are coming, even if u say “for 2 days only!!”

DON’T DISCOUNT, instead:

  1. Create an entry-level tier

  2. Add value

  3. Improve ur segmentation

87. Distrosnack: Moar Features, Moar Traffic

Moar features ≠ moar customers, moar content ≠ moar traffic.

Focus on distribution of what you already have:

— authority + backlinks + influential shares (CONTENT) — paid acquisition + core users + referrals (PRODUCT)

86. Distrosnack: Micro Optimizations

Increasing conversion rates from 0.9% to 1.1% doesn’t matter if only 100 people come to ur site every day.

Much more important is getting 1,000 people (OR TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE) in the top of ur funnel every day.

If ur early, aim to 3X ur One Metric That Matters. U can always micro-optimize later.

85. Distrosnack: Ad Metrics

In FB Ads, “FREQUENCY” tells u how many times ur ad was viewed, on avg, by an individual.

If ur running a branding campaign, higher frequency (10+) = better recall.

If ur running a lead-gen campaign, research shows that a frequency of 9 increases the cost per click by up to 160%...

i.e. by the time someone sees ur ad 9 times they’ll either have already clicked, or they definitely DON’T WANT TO.

Instead: improve ur targeting or creative at frequency = 5 to keep it fresh, & increase likelihood that ur target audience will clickthru on something new.

84. Distrosnack: Push Notifications Working?

Basic response tracking (open rates, click-throughs) DOESN’T tell u if push notifications are working.

Instead, make sure PN metrics tie directly to onboarding goals.

Did the push notification drive users to take actions that matter:

Sign in, share, add 2 cart, purchase, REVENUE.

83. Distrosnack: Subscriber Segments

U know more about ur subscribers than u think.

Even if u don’t have demographics or behavior targeting, u can always segment based on what channel / offer brought them in.

The better ur targeting, the HIGHER THE FREQUENCY of emails u can send, and the lower ur unsub rate will be.

82. Distrosnack: Too Late 4 Marketing

The final stage just before ppl make a big purchase decision is when most companies amp up marketing 2 try to influence purchase.

But by then they’ve pretty much already decided & it’s too late.

Instead: market at the research stage, which is increasingly happening on MOBILE FIRST.

READ MORE: http://insights.fb.com/2015/07/23/road-to-purchase-mobile/

81. Distrosnack: 3 Pinterest Optimizations

72.8 MILLION users, 85% female.

  1. Don't compare Pinterest CTRs to other platforms. Impressions are high, CTR may seem low, BUT clicks may be more qualified.

  2. Pick a CPA ur happy with, optimize pins & keywords for that CPA.

  3. Refresh your promoted pins every 2-5 months. Ads get stale, CTRs decrease, change it up.

80. Distrosnack: Make YouTube Ads Work

YouTube ads WORK. But to be able to reach people (again) outside of YouTube, u gotta get ‘em to ur website.

4 destinations for in-stream / True View ads:

  • lead magnet / free gift / free download to drive opt-in
  • send them addnl content
  • surveys (work really well)
  • another youtube video to get new subscribers to ur channel

and way MOAR.

79. Distrosnack: Google+ Isn't Dead

Getting reviews for your brand / business on Google+ helps search visibility, not to mention increases social proof.

PROTIP: add “?review=1” to ur Google+ URL to send ppl straight to the popup review form for minimal friction.

PS - If ur growing thru YouTube, connecting ur Google+ account helps videos get better prominence in search results

78. Distrosnack: 6 Mobile Optimizations

40% of visitors will LEAVE ur site and click on another search result if ur site isn’t mobile compatible.

Over 25% of total web use happens on phones.

Optimize 4 mobile:

  • fast load time
  • short title
  • big button
  • images & videos that work (test ur media)
  • info hierarchy, good stuff at the top
  • no scrolling

77. Distrosnack: Moar Content Reach

Hashtags are effective 4 content discovery AND 4 audience research.

  1. Reverse engineer - create content around top hashtags
  2. Natural language - incorporate hashtags into content AND comments
  3. Tailor by channel:

  4. Tweets with 1 to 2 hashtags get 2x more engagement

  5. FB no more than 2 tags
  6. Instagram more = better
  7. Google+ incorporates # into search & comments

DON'T MISS PART 4! We’ll publish Part 4 soon, so if you don't want to miss out you know what to do..... subscribe here.

76. Distrosnack: The Best Time 2 Email

Marketing emails: pick 3 slots and test which performs the best.

Sales emails: observe recipient behavior and hypothesize.

There is no single rule, MUST. TEST.

PS - People not opening? Remarket, remind, RESEND.

75. Distrosnack: Conversion Rate Fix

Conversion rate optimization is overrated.

Solution:

  1. Throw more traffic at ur landing page
  2. Some of it will filter thru
  3. Don’t sweat cost per click, that’s what the funding's for

JUST KIDDING.

Convert moar users. FIX UR LEAKS.

74. Distrosnack: Click Fear

Click fear is a real thing.

Your landing page CTA should make it absolutely clear what happens when u click on it, and it should prob be low-commitment at this stage.

TEST: low-commitment, high clarity call to action copy on ur button, proof of claims before and after it.

READ MORE: http://500.co/startup-landing-page-teardowns/

73. Distrosnack: Open Rate Is A Vanity Metric

Cold emailing for sales follows different rules from marketing-only campaigns.

Open rate matters (u should always be optimizing subject and send time/name), but it’s not the only or most important thing.

Instead, outperform on response rate and conversion from demo to deal.

Formula:

Subject + timing + content (value prop + CTA)

p.s. How good is your Marketing Analytics Stack? Or your competitors'? Find out with our FREE online Marketing Analytics Stack Grader tool.

72. Distrosnack: 3 Step Copy Hack

Make ur copy match the conversation in ur customer’s mind.

  1. Ask converted customers: who they are, what specifically they like about ur product, & what value prop got them to finally buy it

  2. Free text responses IN THEIR OWN WORDS, not multiple choice in ur words

  3. Look 4 patterns, then leverage exact customer wording in ur acquisition campaigns, landing pgs, and email marketing

71. Distrosnack: Dominate “Organic” Results

Creating multi channel content lets you dominate the search results without buying (directly) into paid placements.

  1. Optimize ur site content for ur key search terms

  2. Optimize ur social content with those same key search terms

  3. GET ON YOUTUBE for those same key search terms

Google will prioritize domains like Facebook.com, Instagram.com, and especially YouTube.com over RandomAssSite.com/blog

Bonus: amplify behind the scenes with promoted social and embeds & get more action in ‘organic’ results without looking like ads

70. Distrosnack: Penalties Are Real

Search engine DISLIKES:

  1. Paid links

  2. “Top heavy” (too many ads b4 content)

  3. Hidden text

  4. Keyword stuffing

LIKES:

  • content recency, relevance, and depth
  • social shares, likes, embeds
  • clean architecture, structured data

69. Distrosnack: Contest Formula

6 participation mechanisms:

  1. Sweepstakes (nothing required, good 4 Twitter)

  2. Like or Follow us to enter

  3. Like or share a particular piece of content to enter

  4. Give us ur email to enter

  5. Vote on smthg to enter (& give us ur email)

  6. CREATE + SUBMIT to enter (& give us ur email)

Bigger commitment = fewer completes.

Don’t forget to AMPLIFY LIKE HELL (posts, promoted posts, multi channel remarketing) and promote the WINNERS.

68. Distrosnack: When Active Users Churn

Just being “active” doesn’t mean ur user is “successful.”

High volume logins & random in-app activity could be a sign that they want to do smtgh but can’t figure out how… i.e., a churn threat.

Instead: figure out what specific action sequence leads to VALUE DELIVERED, define activation from there.

67. Distrosnack: Marketing Multiplier

Marketing is a massive force multiplier that gives you leverage in hiring, fundraising and sales.

It’s not just about lead gen. It’s about positioning your company in a way that’s relevant and exciting to your stakeholders.

Everything is easier with great marketing. “We don’t do marketing” is not something to be proud of.

66. Distrosnack: Marketing Multiplier (again!)

Fear of missing out is a powerful psychological tool 4 email subject lines, ads, landing headlines — anything that needs a CLICK.

BUT don’t forget 2 follow thru on ur content / offer, otherwise ur just sending clickbait (promised value not met). Next time, they’re not gonna click.

65. Distrosnack: Bad Data

Data quality problems can/will invalidate ALL of ur metrics and sabotage marketing automation.

  • if Mixpanel Alias & Identify are not set up correctly
  • if conversion pixels are on landing pages
  • if you A/B test sequentially rather than in parallel

Make sure ur data is: accurate, complete, TIMELY.

64. Distrosnack: Important Update

App update? Auto update + update notifications alone = NOT ENOUGH.

Use email remarketing:

  • tell users what is / why get the update (3 bullets max)
  • REMIND them of your product / brand goodness.

63. Distrosnack: thought you might find this interesting...

Banner blindness doesn’t just apply to actual banner ads — “marketing radar” applies 2 everything, including email (1:1 sales AND mass remarketing)

TEST:
Ur name in the From name
Lower case subject line
NO greeting / personalization in body

Send it like a friend (& be useful, never spammy)!

62. Distrosnack: 1 thing for ur landing page

Doesn’t matter if ur sending paid traffic or organic — make ur landing page campaign-specific:

  • Same keywords

  • Consistent follow-thru on offer / value prop

  • Ad tells them what’s coming, landing page delivers

If it's so obvious, then WHY AREN’T YOU DOING IT?

61. Distrosnack: Viral Content

3 principles:

  1. High arousal emotions (awe, anxiety/fear) get ppl to share more than low arousal emotions (sadness).

  2. Data-backed: everyone wants to look good, no one wants to share smthg that might be made up or exaggerated.

  3. Pictures / graphics: that instantly convey / reiterate the point of your content.

60. Distrosnack: All press is good press

For established brands, bad press, bad news.

For no-name brands (i.e., most STARTUPS), almost ANY PUBLICITY is beneficial.

  • Negative perceptions fade more quickly in people’s minds than general awareness of product

  • No-names get brand recognition / recall from bad press, but ppl typically don’t remember why.

59. Distrosnack: Easy Referrals

Make referrals easy to remember, easy talk to other ppl about, & FUN to share:

Personalize w/ person’s name:

  • Code
  • Site link
  • Landing page

Share the love, GET MORE USERS.

58. Distrosnack: Get SMS opt-ins

SMS (95% open rate channel) is most effective when ur customers opt-in and the best opt-in is them TEXTING U FIRST.

Remind / incentivize your customers:

  • text us for immediate support
  • text us to get a promo
  • text us to get status updates

57. Distrosnack: Early Days

It starts with a Mini-Brand — when at least a handful of folks in your core, target customer audience begin to hear about you.

  • Service those customers well

  • Get to know them personally

  • Follow up on every possible lead with 10x enthusiasm

  • Never stop shipping great features, pay the early loyalty back.

56. Distrosnack: Spy on competitors

Spy on your frenemies w/ competitor analysis:

BASIC
http://sitealerts.com/

MEDIUM
http://spyfu.com
http://semrush.com
http://monitorbacklinks.com

SERIES A :)
http://whatrunswhere.com
http://adbeat.com/advertisers
https://mixrank.com/

55. Distrosnack: Ugly but it works

It's not sexy, but people still use FORUMS.

  1. Steal competitors’ customers (forums = people complaining)

  2. Customer wants / needs shared in their own words (forums = people asking for help or offering advice)

  3. Your product URL in signature / profile

Add value, don't just link-drop!

54. Distrosnack: Must. Click. Now.

FB ads? Get MOAR clicks:

  1. Show faces - we’re wired for facial recognition, esp ones we know like celebrities or friends

  2. Emotional beats rational, every time

  3. Contrast colors for CTAs and headlines

  4. Hot words: you, free, because, NOW

53. Distrosnack: Instagram 2 Email

Followers on instagram (or any channel) = ONE STEP IN UR OVERALL FUNNEL.

Keep in mind that most ppl buy on the backend:

  • capture emails w/ clear CTA + offer
  • send clicks to a targeted landing page
  • welcome / activation messages that are offer- and landing-page specific

52. Distrosnack: Breaking News

Media rules everything around u.

The biggest publishers on the web:

  1. rely HEAVILY on other sources 4 credible content to syndicate

  2. are BUSY.

Contacting ppl from best-known news sites can be a long-shot.

Instead, track who they’re linking out to every week (or scrape external links) & pitch straight 2 the smaller source.

51. Distrosnack: Above the Fold

Shorter landing pages always convert better — NOT.

  1. Displaying more info before ur call to action can make it more compelling and MUST-CLICK

  2. Longer / scrolling landing pages can be useful for qualifying leads.

Use psych triggers, give reason to scroll, TEST don’t guess.

DON'T MISS PART 4! We’ll publish Part 4 with the last 50 growth hacks. If you don't want to miss out you know what to do..... >>> subscribe here.

p.s. How good is your Marketing Analytics Stack? Or your competitors'? Find out with our FREE online Marketing Analytics Stack Grader tool.

Got a killer growth hack to add? It's good to share. :) Tell us in the comments below.