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 the final part 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 kickass uber growth hacking tips & techniques you can use - starting from today.

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

Read Part 3 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!!!

So, before we get started if you like these tips and you want to get more then its worth signing up for the daily DISTROSNACK email at Distro Snack. Or, you can wait until next year and maybe I'll create another big list like this one!

For now, slide into your comfy chair, grab a coffee and a note pad, and start getting excited about what you can do to boost your growth this year. And please tell us in the comments what your going to try (and how you get on!)

Ok - let's go!!

50. Distrosnack: The Perfect Time 2 Email

There’s no single perfect time to send campaigns.

Instead, test:

  1. Time LAPSE since subscribe action or trigger event
  2. Send time / day / frequency
  3. Campaign & content repetition

49. Distrosnack: App Keywords

  1. Use all available characters
  2. Look @ ur competitor’s keywords + synonyms & antonyms
  3. Don’t repeat: words from app categories, words from ur publisher name or app name
  4. Leverage App Store search + Google search suggestions + SEO keyword tools 4 MOAR

48. Distrosnack: Big Data Insights

Got big data? (really?)

Start w/ 1 critical business question, measure for insights around that question. Don’t track everything, track what matters.

Question / problem -> hypothesis -> tracked experiments -> aha! -> repeat.

47. Distrosnack: Conversion Threshold

The biggest misconception startups make is assuming ppl buy the 1st interaction they have with their product.

TRUTH: the conversion rate for 1st time interactions hover around 2%. MOST SALES HAPPEN ON THE BACKEND --

-- meaning the 5th - 10th time a potential customer interacts with u.

For better PRE-purchase engagement: 1) collect emails 2) drip campaigns.

46. Distrosnack: Virality

Virality is front loaded…

(onboarding focuses user on goal completion, untapped friend networks, new product is shiny & exciting)

…but retention is 4 ever (aka, compounding).

Prompt immediate invites, then make / keep users HAPPY.

45. Distrosnack: Advanced Onboarding

Sending advanced-level product emails to disengaged users is like asking "would you like fries with that?" before they even step up to the counter.

Startups stress over hyper-targeted marketing, but once a user signs up, we treat them all the same.

Design ur onboarding CONTENT & FREQUENCY to be triggered by: 1) acquisition source, 2) user behavior / events, 3) psychographic.

44. Distrosnack: Mobile Installs

Built an app but not testing paid installs yet?

3 reasons to try:

  • Retention / reactivation: 80% of apps only used once
  • App store visibility: more installs = greater likelihood
  • Targeting: behavior-based, profile-based

“Borrow” a template from a high visibility ad, use vivid/real images, and TEST.

43. Distrosnack: Email Gold Mine

Email gold mine:

http://reallygoodemails.com/

And check your spam rating before you send:

http://mail-tester.com

UPDATE: Oct 2016:
The emailspamtest.com service is no longer available. Instead you can run your subject lines and email’s content through the GlockApps Spam Test
to ensure your emails get to the Inbox of your subscribers.

42. Distrosnack: This 1 Conversion Trick

Conversion Rate Optimization is highly custom, and depends on your funnel, your customer, and your conversion definition.

CRO “best practices”? Be highly skeptical, develop hypotheses based on the customer dropoffs you’re observing, and ALWAYS TEST.

41. Distrosnack: A/B Test This

A/B testing colors?

There’s no best color - it’s always about visual hierarchy.

Yes u can find tests online where somebody found gains via testing colors, but they’re all no brainers. Don’t waste time on testing no brainers, just implement.

Use ur traffic on high-impact, data-driven hypotheses.

40. Distrosnack: More Leads

Get more leads w/ a lead magnet, but make sure it’s gonna work:

  • free = magic word
  • no false promises
  • an offer that’s actually good
  • HIGHLY specific. Lead magnet = lead qualifier

39. Distrosnack: When No One Opens Ur App

80% of users will only open ur app once. Things 2 optimize / test:

  • sending user STRAIGHT into app experience, no tutorials
  • very short or no account creation
  • wait 2 ask 4 push notifications, no one gets married on the 1st date
  • make it easy 2 share w/ friends thru-out the ENTIRE app experience

38. Distrosnack: Secret Insights

If you can’t use Facebook Audience Insights or some other sexy solution, I implore you to CALL your users. Email them, livechat them, find any way you can to talk to your power users.

Find out exactly who they are: age, gender, income, psychographic.

Understand your audience FIRST, and then choose your acquisition mix from there.

37. Distrosnack: Unsubscribes

Are ppl opening your email just to unsubscribe?

U have to open before u can unsub, so watch for higher open rates accompanied by higher unsub rates.

It points to problems in the entry points of ur campaign:

  • send frequency — too high or TOO LOW
  • FROM name issues
  • irrelevance in SENDER name, subject line, or preview text

36. Distrosnack: Non-Obvious Trigger Words

Less obvious trigger words that WORK for acquisition campaigns, email, content, landing pages:

  • tomorrow
  • meeting
  • Fw:
  • Re:
  • alert
  • personalization on geo / company / other affiliation NOT {firstname}

35. Distrosnack: GIFs

GIFs are good for more than just DISTROSNACK (hard 2 believe, but true).

Turn any short product video into a GIF to animate a process / flow but with an image file not a video. Pros: doesn’t require “play” action, small file size, easily shareable (share as image).

34. Distrosnack: Referral Magik

Two ways to grow ur biz: either you’re telling potential customers, or your CURRENT customers are telling potential customers (4x better).

Crack the referral code:

  1. happy customers
  2. reciprocal incentives
  3. reproduction — create an epidemic by nudging users across multiple / ALL channels.

33. Distrosnack: Urgent

Urgency can be blocked by your customers’ minds if you don’t give them specific instructions on how to solve the problem.

Leverage urgency / scarcity, but tell users EXACTLY what to do when the time comes — don’t be afraid to drive them toward specific actions.

32. Distrosnack: 70% of Searches on Youtube

  1. 70% of searches on YouTube start with “how to.”
    +

2. Google loves Youtube results.

  1. It’s ur chance to RANK:

  2. “how to” + ur company’s keywords

  3. “how to” + ur competitor’s keywords (or BRANDED keywords)
  4. “how to” + every single 1 of ur peer’s or competitor’s FAQs / help center entries

31. Distrosnack: If you’re building a list

The lower an email list’s open rate, the less engaged those subscribers are — even among the people who do open.

If you’re buying an ad on someone’s list > look for publishers that have over 20% open rate.

If you’re building a list > Always Be Subscribing (open rates naturally decline over time)

EVEN MOAR EMAIL MARKETING? SHHH... SEE EMAIL FOR STARTUPS

30. Distrosnack: 1 landing page rule

On a true landing page, there is no menu. And no choices. No content to browse or admire.

  • As soon as u add a site menu, ur response will plummet.
  • Drive paid campaigns (and ALL OTHER TRAFFIC) to landing pages with 1 action: buy — or leave.

29. Distrosnack: Psychological trigger

The more often a person sees your name, logo or call to action, the more likely they are to convert (“Mere-Exposure Effect”) out of preference for familiarity and liking.

Leverage:

  • multiple instances of ur CTA
  • repeat and reiterate name, logo, and offer
  • be EVERYWHERE and amplify thru retargeting, content marketing, email remarketing, and referrals.

28. Distrosnack: Interview Secret

For customer insights interviews, if it’s in person, leave dead air to the point of awkwardness.

People will talk to break the silence — pure unfiltered insights = gold.

Talk 10%. Listen 90%.

27. Distrosnack: "Good" Metrics

GOOD metrics are:

  • Comparative: must be able 2 compare ur metric across time periods, user cohorts, traffic sources, etc.

  • Easy 2 understand: smthg ur team can easily understand, remember, discuss

  • A ratio: rates are actionable, inherently comparative, and good for comparing factors that are oppositional (e.g., distance driven / # traffic tickets obtained)

  • An enabler of behavior change

26. Distrosnack: Tailgate Big Brands

Leverage relevant big brands’ existing marketing spend, tailgate off their ride:

  1. Bid on their branded AND longtail keywords

  2. Write content about them: the ultimate integration guide to [ BIGASS BRAND NAME HERE ]

25. Distrosnack: Before U Launch Ur Mobile App

Mobile app coming?

Soft launch a test app under a diff name in a small/emerging market, grab data/insights, apply learning to real app in key markets, delete ur test app. Aka, “Fondango” in the Philippines.

p.s. How good is your Marketing Analytics Stack? Find out HERE.

24. Distrosnack: Landing Page Length

Short landing pages work best for:

  • preexisting audience awareness of problem
  • low commitment / risk / cost
  • leads prequalified before hitting landing page

Long-form pages work best for:

  • low or NO audience awareness of PROBLEM or PRODUCT
  • product is high commitment / complexity / price

Protip: don’t trust Distrosnack, ALWAYS TEST.

23. Distrosnack: Drop-offs are your friend

Track drop-offs + use them to inform activation or retention triggers:

  • Checkout flows: use livechat to (1) recapture and (2) poll churning users
  • On YouTube: add annotations w/ CTA before all major ‘minutes watched’ drop-offs
  • In activation flow: use multichannel remarketing (email, SMS, retargeting)

22. Distrosnack: Bad Ads

Good:

  • human faces
  • stock imagery = ad approval fast track
  • action word + branded keyword + trigger word (new, now, instant, free, YOU)
  • dedicated landing page + offer-specific funnel

BAD:

  • unclear image or too-small text on image
  • sends traffic straight to homepage :(
  • bait and switch

21. Distrosnack: Trust Trigger

Marketplaces (Silk Road, Airbnb, Uber, Getaround, AMAZON) work because of (1) trust and (2) efficiency.

Leverage trust factors 4 EVERY BUSINESS:

  • reciprocity (ratings and reviews)
  • consistency (standard, repeatable process)
  • managed scarcity (improved supply and demand dynamics)

20. Distrosnack: Email Pre-targeting Trick

Warm up ur list for a major, conversion-oriented email campaign with pre-targeting BEFORE u send:

  1. Target recipient list in paid campaigns thru FB Custom Audiences, Twitter Tailored Audiences, and/or Gmail Adwords

  2. Focus ads on brand awareness; no “hard sell”

  3. Send campaign

BONUS: Retarget un-opens after

19. Distrosnack: Social Call-to-Action

Social media bio = free real estate on some of the highest value domains on the internet — don’t waste it on ‘whimsical/cute.’

Use bio sections of social media accounts to make a STRONG & SIMPLE call-to-action to a landing page 2 capture leads, or send straight 2 sales funnel.

18. Distrosnack: Mobile Content + Distribution

HALF of all conversions start with or are accompanied by research on mobile devices.

  1. MAKE CONTENT that’s lifecycle-appropriate: mobile-optimized content design, educational not (yet) salesy

then

  1. DISTRIBUTE: youtube is huge, paid social works, leverage other apps / existing distribution channels (ie, review apps, aggregators).

17. Distrosnack: Inbound Sales

Outside the insular tech world in which we all live, there are people who actually use the phone (not as “a device”) — inbound.

Especially in B2B, where big customers can be worth 10X - 100X more than the avg customer, it’s advisable to LET PEOPLE CALL YOU.

  1. Feature a phone number prominently
  2. Follow thru on answering it
  3. Get their number whenever / wherever you can

Warning: DON’T put the phone number on consumer pages unless ur looking 4 support calls.

16. Distrosnack: Content Funnel

It’s a crime to publish content without a CTA and/or a collector. Turn content into conversions:

  1. All on-site content should have an CONTENT-SPECIFIC email collector (offer / CTA is related to content they’re on)

  2. Content => landing page w/ downloadable => email marketing OR sales outreach.

15. Distrosnack: Incentivized Word of Mouth

“Marketing gurus” tell you to focus on one or max 2 types of customers persona.

Instead, allow — & INCENTIVIZE — ur customers to talk about ur brand (ie., make a user review = free access to premium product).

If you have a great product, nobody will ever sell it better than a happy customer.

14. Distrosnack: UTM + Retargeting

FB Custom Audiences + UTM filtering:

  1. Set up unique UTM parameters for each ad you’re making

  2. Create new Custom Audience: “People who visit specific webpages" > "Url contains" > [utm value here]

  3. Retarget that audience w/ a new ad set they haven’t seen yet.

13. Distrosnack: Virality vs Retention

Virality is front loaded…

(onboarding focuses user on goal completion, untapped friend networks, new product is shiny & exciting)

…but retention is 4 ever (aka, compounding).

Prompt immediate invites, then make / keep users HAPPY.

12. Distrosnack: 6 Email Tests

Moar opens? Test your subject line:

  1. trigger event mentioned in subject
  2. geo-personalization in subject
  3. mobile-optimize: under 40 characters
  4. create a curiosity gap
  5. very short (under 10 words) vs near-complete idea
  6. include a number.

11. Distrosnack: Don’t let Promotions tab stop u

Gmail WILL put you in the Promotions Tab.

Try:

On your Thank You page, include a LINK for Gmail users to go straight to a search for your Welcome email to confirm signup / indicate priority / drag to main inbox.

Link looks like this:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/

search/SENDER%SENDERDOMAIN.com

+RESPONSE+REQUIRED%3A +Confirm+your+request

Use a prompt like “GMAIL USERS, click here to go straight to your WELCOME EMAIL for your goodies that we just sent you –> LINK”

SOURCE: 7 Little Known Techniques in the NEW Email Marketing

10. Distrosnack: A/B Checklist

Before u a/b test:

  1. Look at what users are doing (UserTesting, heatmaps)
  2. Survey people in context (Qualaroo, livechat)
  3. Observe conversion metrics — study your high converting pages / messaging / ads for effective elements to replicate & try out on lower performers

Form an informed hypothesis, don’t be random.

9. Distrosnack: Hyper Targeted Marketing

Startups stress over hyper-targeted marketing, but once a user signs up, we treat them all the same.

  • Acquisition offer echoed in your welcome email
  • Segment- or channel-specific onboarding flow
  • Retargeting that reflects acquisition channel, time and segment.

8. Distrosnack: New Power Words

Power words: remember, now, you, new, sale

UN-power words: best, amazing, guaranteed, hurry, look inside, groundbreaking, once in a lifetime.

Get inside their heads (free response surveying, livechat, in-person) -- don't use meaningless superlatives.

7. Distrosnack: Customer Pushback

It’s your job to solve your customers’ problem, but it’s also their job to use your solution.

Push accountability back onto your customers get them to their desired outcome:

  • gameify completion of activation steps
  • leverage psych triggers (commitment & consistency) 4 repeat conversion.

6. Distrosnack: High Intent Ads

High quality leads from paid acquisition? Understand searcher intent + high-intent ads.

Think about what people are searching for when they are going to buy your product. Don’t come up with keywords like “best online golf store.” Nobody searches for that.

  • Get acquainted with your audience’s longtail keywords.
  • Target based on those specific search queries.
  • Create ad copy and landing page offers based on those specific searches, not just one or two broad approaches.

5. Distrosnack: Lead Gen Now

It’s expensive to compete with big advertisers over the holidays.

Instead:

  1. Get your lead gen campaigns running TODAY so you start feeding your custom audiences a week before Black Friday (or other high volume / high competition event).

  2. Focus your ad-dollars on generating demand the days before Black Friday and Cyber Monday

  3. Retarget only on those 2 days.

4. Distrosnack: Instagram Acquisition

Instagram can be a great user/traffic acquisition channel, but first u have to acquire users to ur Instagram:

  1. Use comments area for hashtagging (comment ur own post), don’t waste description space u could be using for great copywriting
  2. Get users to tag friends w/ contests & questions
  3. Buy followers not because they’re as good as organic, but because they give u social proof.
  4. Post regularly, not randomly. Be consistent.

3. Distrosnack: Organic Traffic Source

Posting content on Google+ = more organic (NOT JUST REFERRAL) traffic, in a way that sharing content on other social sites just doesn’t achieve.

The RIGHT way to share content on Google+:

  1. Find and join relevant Google+ Communities
  2. Don’t forget the long tail
  3. Engage + share content
  4. Respond to all feedback - more comments = more traffic

2. Distrosnack: Cold Emailing

Cold emailing?

Focus on the relationship NOT the close.

  1. If they say YES —> fast track them to the next step / followup at lightning speed.

  2. If they say NO —> focus on building the relationship for the long haul (send value-adding emails every couple of months).

  3. If they don’t reply —> try again x 3 (hit ‘reply’ to original msg)

1. Distrosnack: Influencers

Leverage influencers to help promote your product / brand.

But first - find the RIGHT influencers:

  1. Look 4 your customers on social media
  2. Observe / categorize which accounts THEY follow (or Like / Share)
  3. B2B don’t forget to hit up LinkedIn
  4. Sweet spot are the mid-level influencers who AREN’T YET HOUSEHOLD names

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.