A woman with her phone standing in front of two hills with flags on top

What The Hack Is Growth Hacking?

An incon woman holding and iphone near to hills.

In our previous blog post about growth marketing, we dove into the world of growth marketing in an effort to understand how it works, what makes it different from traditional marketing, and why your company needs to embrace it. If you’ve been reading much about how to stimulate business growth, chances are highly likely that you’ve stumbled across the phrase “growth hacking” as well, so we’d be remiss not to address it. 

You may be wondering what the difference is between growth marketing and growth hacking, and if one is preferable to the other. The terms are often used interchangeably, and there certainly exists an overlap in the goals of growth marketers and growth hackers. Ultimately they are both data-driven approaches that are hyper-focused on metrics and hitting KPIs. 

But there is also a lot about growth hacking that is misunderstood or misinterpreted. We want to break down a few of those misconceptions to help you better understand what growth hacking really is (and isn’t).

Myth #1: Growth Hacking Is a New 

The term growth hacking may be quite buzzy right now, but the concept itself isn’t really anything new. It was first coined in 2010 in a blog post written by influential entrepreneur and angel investor Sean Ellis. It really blew up a few years later, though, when Andrew Chen (who was working with Uber at the time) boldly declared that “Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing.” 

But even before these two gave it a name and some viral traction, companies like Facebook and LinkedIn were building their marketing strategies around a scientific approach to rapid growth. This type of innovative and strategic thinking has been around for decades

Myth #2: Growth Hacking Is a Magic Wand 

The way growth hacking is hyped up, it’s easy to see why businesses would think it’s an overnight fix. But the sky remains blue, and business remains a long game. There is no wizardry in the world that can provide instant results, and time and effort are still necessary components to success with this approach. 

Both growth marketing and growth hacking are all about intentionality and efficiency. So while there is always a chance you’ll hit on something huge and have a viral campaign on your hands, that shouldn’t be your expectation right out of the gate. 

These methods focus, instead, on constant testing and tweaking to uncover growth opportunities. That can’t happen overnight. Additionally, it might take some serious shifts in the way your business operates to get there. But nothing worth having ever comes without effort, right? 

Myth #3: Growth Hacking Is a One-Man Show 

In the early days of growth hacking, there was an unfounded belief that this type of work was the purview of one very specific type of person. The idea that you could hire a growth hacking “guru” who was a marketing genius with crazy coding skills to come in and revitalize your dying business was rampant.

As time has inevitably proven, however, that’s not the case. Growth is literally never a one-person job.

Do you need someone on your growth team who has coding skills? Yes. Someone with extensive marketing experience? Yes. Someone with an intimate working knowledge of your products and services? Yes. Someone who is well-versed in data analysis? Yes.

Can (or should) one person do all those things? Absolutely not.  

While it’s great to look for people with a unique skill set to help propel your business’ growth, don’t fall for the lie that any one person can do all of this for you. Partnering with a growth team or fleshing out your growth team by bringing in contract workers to complement your full-time employees is one thing, but remember that no man is an island. If someone promises you they can deliver astronomical results single-handedly, walk away. 

Myth #4: Growth Hacking Is a One-Size-Fits-All Solution 

Just as growth hacking is sometimes considered a magic bullet, there is also the misconception that there is a growth hacking “playbook” that anyone can take a page from and find success. Would that it were that easy, but it’s simply not the case. 

The growth game is all about zeroing in on what works for your brand and your customers. That’s why the approach is based on the scientific method and involves countless rounds of testing and revision. It’s all about individuality, so what works for your business is very unlikely to work for someone else’s, even if you’re in the same industry. 

Each business is going to have a unique path to sustainable growth. While there is a general framework of processes many growth hackers work from, it’s vital that your approach be tailored to your product, audience, industry, etc. Growth hacking is not a copy-and-paste solution any more than traditional marketing is.

Myth #5: Growth Hacking Can Make Up for an Inferior Product

What’s that old saying? Ah, yes: ”You can’t put lipstick on a pig.”

Many businesses have made the mistake of indulging the thought that growth hacking can provide a boost to their bottom line even if they’re selling a subpar product. If you’re running into product quality or customer satisfaction concerns, though, attempting to create a “viral” moment won’t help anything. 

But growth hacking can ultimately help you improve your product. The kind of instant feedback loop this approach creates can help you tweak not only your marketing but your product and service offerings as well.

It can be difficult to admit that your product isn’t everything you wanted it to be, but look at it as an opportunity to work out the bugs and uncover areas for improvement that will ultimately clear the path to sustainable growth. You’ll be better off for it in the long run. 

Forget Hacking and Embrace Processes 

At Tuff, we have to admit to having a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the use of the term “hacking” when it comes to discussing growth. Frankly, you can’t hack together long-term sustainable growth; you have to earn it. Chen himself even spoke out recently saying that in many ways, he regretted his role in the popularization of the term, as it has been co-opted by content marketers trying to sell quick-fixes to businesses that should instead be focusing on overhauling their processes.

We understand that when you look at businesses like Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, it can be tempting to imagine that they have uncovered some secret sauce for instant success, and you just need to figure out the recipe. But our philosophy is that while the concepts behind it are solid, “growth hacking” is largely a buzzword. At its core, it’s really just an attempt to describe how brands find success by embracing non-traditional methods of growth. 

Whether you’re a startup or an established player, growth is always going to be one of your primary challenges. So it’s understandable that businesses are eager to believe it’s possible to “hack” your way into it.

But what you should really be focusing on is refining your processes and optimizing your efforts. At the end of the day, if you’re giving your customers what they want and need, and you’re staying plugged in to the pulse of your business, the byproduct is going to be a kind of natural, organic expansion. 

Rather than looking for tricks or hacks, businesses would ultimately be better served by focusing on developing and deploying their own growth processes. It’s easy to be distracted by exciting, shiny new things that promise instant results, but the reality is that creating sustainable, stable growth is a tall order. And frankly, it can feel boring sometimes. 

But the brands that really nail the growth game aren’t those that experience one instance of rapid explosion. It’s the ones that put in the hard work to find the right catalyst for that explosion point and go in armed with a fully fleshed-out plan for how to capitalize on—and continue—that growth after the initial shine wears off.

The landscape of marketing is constantly changing, so growth initiatives simply can’t be a one-off thing. Growth has to be an integral and ongoing part of your business plan.

Your approach has to be able to evolve. It has to be able to pivot. There are lots of great ideas underpinning growth hacking, but make sure you don’t get caught up in the hype. 

If you want to explore more about how to approach creating a smart and sustainable growth plan for your business, reach out. We’d be happy to set you up with one of our free 30-minute growth strategy sessions. We’ll meet with your team to talk through some ideas for growth that are specific to your brand and your long-term goals; no “hacks” needed! 

Woman throwing paper plane

Growth Marketing: What It Is and Why You Need It

Woman throwing paper airplane.

Growth, as it relates to business, is generally defined as, “The process of improving some measure of an enterprise’s success.” When you consider that definition through the lens of marketing, what does “improvement” really mean to you? More sales? More leads? An expansion of your product line or service offerings? All of the above? 

Growth marketing aims to address them all. At its heart, growth marketing is about going beyond the surface of advertising and diving further into the sales funnel, using data-driven analysis and experimentation to unlock avenues of growth for your business. It is a unique approach to marketing that focuses on the use of the scientific method combined with creative tactics to identify the best possible way for your business to attract more engaged customers. 

Growth Marketing versus Traditional Marketing

The marketing industry is full of buzzwords and “growth” has been a big one lately. We can’t blame you if you’re thinking that all marketing is ultimately growth-focused, so why the need for this special designation?

It’s the job of any marketing expert to grow your revenue, right? The difference, though, is all about how they get there. 

Traditional marketing focuses primarily on two goals: awareness and customer acquisition. It seeks to play the long game of creating brand recognition and building reputation. Both of those things are incredibly important, but if you’re just starting out (or your growth is stalled), you may not have the luxury of the time it takes to see results from that type of approach. 

Growth marketing, on the other hand, aims to deliver more rapid results. It uses experimentation and testing to identify ways of maximizing opportunities at every stage of the sales funnel.

It also considers the LTV (life-time value) of each customer. Rather than focusing solely on “getting bodies in the door,” it creates a framework that hones in on the right customers and then engages them throughout the sales cycle, keeping them coming back for more with proven customer retention strategies. 

On its face, growth marketing also looks very different than traditional marketing. A classical approach to marketing usually includes considerable time spent in the stages of planning, strategy, and creative development prior to rolling out a campaign.

The work is mostly frontloaded, and once deployed, the only thing you can really do is hope for the best and wait to see how it shakes out. There may be some audience testing done beforehand to inform the campaign’s general direction, but that’s about the extent of customer feedback involved in the process. 

Growth marketing, conversely, is a real-time game. Don’t get us wrong—there is absolutely creative thought put into strategy, but much of the strength of this approach lies in its ability to pivot quickly and easily based on audience response. Effective growth marketing is all about failing fast, retooling your approach, and attacking every possible angle in order to unearth that hidden growth potential.

Responsibilities of a Growth Marketing Team 

This type of marketing can honestly feel radical if you’ve never done it before. But the benefits it brings are more than worth scaling the learning curve. The kind of team you’ll need, and the way they’ll work, will be totally different than a traditional marketing department. 

To be effective in growth marketing, your company must be willing to make major changes to things like onboarding and workflows. There may even be a need for larger organizational and process overhauls if the results of testing show that’s what’s necessary for growth. 

Your team should be well-rounded, with a wide array of skills and an understanding that runs the full gamut of your business operations. While growth marketing is a data-driven approach, a data analyst alone cannot bring you success. You need to marry that scientific approach with innovative creative, an adept understanding of your product/service, and effective project management if you want the execution to be truly fluid. 

You may already have rockstars in your ranks that can fill some of the spots on your new growth team, but don’t be afraid to go a more non-traditional route if that’s what’s necessary to build the best team. Contract employees can help fill in those knowledge gaps while also bringing new energy to the table.

Once you’ve established your dream team, and you’re aligned on the essential growth marketing metrics, there are four main phases of effort that should drive all their work:

1. Identify Areas The Need Testing and Improvement

A growth team needs to understand its customers. Digging into the company’s history and culture can help them paint a more holistic picture of the brand. This will be of vital importance as they work to define the right growth priorities and situate their objectives in the proper context. 

Next, they’ll need to perform an audit of your current marketing strategies. They should be looking at customer metrics, finding your ideal customers, and the performance of each channel you’re currently using, just for starters. An honest accounting of the current atmosphere will help them zero in on both the obvious and not-so-obvious areas where there is room for improvement.

This is also a great time to do a competitive analysis and break down what is and isn’t working for your competitors. You may discover some new growth channels worth exploring during this exercise.

2. Crafting Experiments to Optimize Processes in Those Areas

Once your team has identified the areas where you’re struggling or where you’re leaving something on the table, it’s time for them to put their heads together. They should spend this time brainstorming ideas about how to improve metrics and close gaps. This is an area where having a diverse team really pays off, as they should have a wealth of ideas and thoughts to explore. 

Make sure you don’t inadvertently limit their thinking or confine them to a box; some of the best and most viral growth marketing campaigns have been born of that spirit of “throw everything at the wall and prioritize from there.” Growth marketing initiatives can be edgy. They can be inexpensive or even deceptively “simple.” But what they should always be is scrappy and smart. 

It’s normal to be eager to start a growth campaign, but make sure you give your team ample time and space to come up with plenty of ideas during this phase. Going in fully loaded will mean they’re ready to do extensive experimentation and pivot quickly without having to return entirely to the drawing board before making adjustments.

3. Conducting Experiments to Test Hypothesized Solutions

Now it’s time for organized, smart, and efficient execution. Your team will roll out their first experiments in the hopes of moving the needle on whatever initiative is your top priority. Chances are high that the testing period will be fast and furious.

Growth marketing doesn’t play the game of waiting weeks or months to gauge consumer buy-in on a campaign, so don’t be shocked if your team abandons one avenue just days after they debuted it, or if they A/B test various options in different markets to compare results. The goal here is to amass as much data as possible as quickly as possible.

4. Analyzing Initial Results and Adjusting to Experiment Further If Needed

Once that quick initial testing period is complete, your team will analyze results and determine how to move forward. They may have hit on something golden that they want to continue leaning into, or they may have been surprised by a new area of opportunity they hadn’t expected. Either way, now is the time for adjustments and continued experimentation. 

The tweaks they make may be small, such as changing a headline or a few snippets of ad copy. Or they may introduce entirely new creative, or go in a completely new direction. It can be nerve-wracking to watch it all unfold—especially if you’re used to traditional campaigns that are complex, sprawling, and defined—but you have to trust the process. 

An effective growth marketing team will move very fast in gathering and processing customer data and adjusting their approach accordingly. This is why it’s so important to give them time in the brainstorming phase to stock up on ideas. The process is ultimately one of the continuous small changes until you hit on the perfect combination of creative, copy, channel, and audience. But once you find that sweet spot, you’ll be ready to scale up what works. 

We hope this quick rundown helps you understand a bit more about how growth marketing works and what it could potentially do to energize your company. If you want to learn more about how to leverage this unique marketing approach to generate rapid, sustainable growth for your business, you can check out these top growth marketing experts or give us a shout. We’d love to connect. 

The Tuff team has extensive experience in the growth marketing industry, and we’re happy to speak with you about your company’s needs and opportunities in one of our free, 30-minute strategy sessions. We’ll bring strategies to the table that are tailored for your specific brand needs and goals. If nothing else, it’s a great chance to brainstorm ideas for growth!

a bar chart

10 Growth Marketing Metrics Every CEO Needs To Know

a bar chart

As a CEO (or founder, co-founder, company leader, etc.), you know your growth goals for Q3 and Q4 of 2019, right? And you have a game plan to get there?

To hit those goals and achieve real, tangible growth, you need to not only understand how to get there but also how to identify your ideal audience and drive constant engagement in a way that positively impacts your bottom line. 

There are multiple avenues to a good end result, but it’s key that you have at least a foundational understanding of what growth marketing is before moving forward. If you’re not exactly sure where you or your company sits right now, use the growth marketing metrics below to take a better measure of your understanding.

Acquisition

1. Search engines drive 93% of all website traffic

Long-term growth will be easier if you consider SEO from the start. It doesn’t have immediate results or carry the same short term momentum as paid customer acquisition, but the payoff can be 3x greater down the line compared to other acquisition channels. People use search as their main gateway when considering a purchase, so if you set your organic foundation early, you’ll be able to actively work your way up the rankings to drive more non-branded search (and sales, purchases, and leads).

2. Better content can increase blog traffic by up to 2,000%

When it comes to content, remember that quality is better than straight-up quantity. If you truly understand your user and their unique challenges, you can create content that will provide real value. Quality content paired with smart SEO will help you get found by more prospective customers more often.

3. 50% of PPC visitors are more likely to purchase something than organic visitors

With SEO in place as your long-term investment, paid channels can complement you strategy and bring quick momentum. The right keywords for your business will have high commercial intent and because of that, those clicks will convert at a high rate. 

4. 81% of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as six hours per week invested in social media marketing

Social isn’t going to supercharge your growth overnight but it’s a key player in the growth strategy mix. Don’t over-invest here but don’t ignore it either. Expending even just a bit more effort could net you big results. 

Engagement 

5. Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies

Consumers interact with brands across a wide variety of channels and platforms. Focusing on providing a seamless customer experience, whether someone is visiting chatting with your support team, shopping on your website, or scrolling through your social feeds, is a proven way to retain (and gain) customers. 

6. 84% of people expect brands to create content

Your customers want more from you than a single product or service. They want value. They want to connect with your brand in a way that feels authentic and beneficial to them personally. If you can work to create content that inspires, excites, and engages, you’ll be able to increase lead quality while reducing churn.

7. The average yield for email marketing is $44.25 on the dollar

Email provides extraordinary ROI in almost every industry. It takes resources to build your list and craft compelling emails, but people still prefer to get their information this way, and that quality traffic will translate into more sales for your business.

Retention 

8. Companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues four to eight percent above the market

If you want to grow, you can’t do it alone. You’ll need loyal enthusiasts. If you can provide the kind of experience that keeps customers not only coming back, but gladly telling everyone about you, your revenue will naturally grow.

9. Loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase, five times as likely to forgive, four times as likely to refer, and seven times as likely to try a new offering

Creating a fanbase of loyal customers means you’ll have consistent business, constant new leads, the freedom to try new things, and the ability to make mistakes. Successful growth is inextricable from customer experience. 

10. 80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers

You can cast a wide net when marketing your business, but remember that a core of regular customers will make up the base of your revenue. It’s the responsibility of everyone at the company to complement acquisition with retention.

These ten quick growth marketing metrics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the growth marketing game. If you want to know the ultimate secret for skyrocketing overnight growth, we’ll tell you: 

It doesn’t exist. 

That statement might feel a bit controversial coming from a growth marketing team, but we’re tired of people repeating the idea that you can flip a switch and acquire thousands of new customers overnight. Scaling your business is hard, and growth marketing is not a hat trick

Rather, growth marketing is a path to creating intentional and sustainable expansion. It’s balancing high-risk/high-return campaigns with low-risk/low-return campaigns to find the perfect formula for your company.

Growth marketing isn’t just about quickly increasing your numbers, either. It’s investing your money intelligently to create valuable, relevant campaigns that your ideal buyer both wants and needs with the expectation that this will, over time, impact your bottom line. It’s a continual process of learning and self-improvement. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why should your growth marketing strategy be? Trying to do everything at once will likely result in mediocrity across the board.

It can be hard to define and prioritize goals, but that’s the real benefit of working with a  growth marketing team. They’ll help you not only understand what to do, but why you’re doing it. 

They’ll first help you gather and analyze key data for your business. From there, you’ll work together to create hypotheses to identify why certain processes are happening.

Next, they’ll help you prioritize the ideas that have the most potential to spur growth. In implementing those ideas, you’ll be running experiments to confirm or disprove the earlier hypotheses. This cycle repeats until you have a refined and definitive growth marketing strategy that speaks to your company’s unique needs.

If this sounds like something your company could benefit from, we’d love to hear from you about setting up a free 30-minute growth marketing strategy session with the Tuff team. You can learn more about what we do, and we’ll come armed with ideas to help you grow your business both effectively and sustainably. 

Woman with her laptop sitting on a cloud with arrow pointing up

9 Growth Marketers You Should Be Following Right Now

Woman with her laptop sitting on a cloud with arrow pointing up

Want to learn more about growth marketing?

We rounded up nine of the top growth marketing experts in the industry right now. They’ve got a cross-section of skills and specialties and come from wildly varying backgrounds, showcasing what a complex and nuanced game growth can be.

We love following these master experimenters — and recommend you give them a follow, too.

1. Ana Santos: Master of UX Design and CRO

Ana’s expertise sits beautifully at the intersection of experience and connection and places the user’s needs front and center. Plenty of top growth marketing experts talk about the necessity of cultivating a loyal customer base, but Ana provides tangible instruction on how to actually do it in a way that remains authentic to your brand.

What we love about her work: 

  • Her approach is holistic, beginning with product/service clarity and definition and extending all the way to conversion rate optimization (CRO). 
  • She offers immersive courses on highly technical aspects of marketing, including heuristic evaluations (a method used to identify potential usability issues in software).
  • She really gets how to understand your users, and she conveys that clearly and accessibly through both her resources and her blog.

 

2. Joanna Vaiou: Queen of SEO

This Greek “SEO Lady Boss” originally launched her career by working on SEO project management for architecture firms. Her ability to optimize SEO for niche industries is formidable, and she’s a master of maximizing what Google has to offer. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She provides in-depth case studies to showcase her results in a data-driven format. 
  • Her Twitter feed is packed with SEO goodies.
  • She’s living the digital nomad lifestyle and sharing all her tips and tricks for working effectively without being tethered to one place.

 

3. Alicia King Anderson: SEO Strategy via Storytelling

Alicia is such a unique voice in the growth marketing space. Sure, she has impressive SEO chops, but most importantly, she’s a storyteller. She understands the value of captivating an audience and how that can ultimately lead to stronger conversion rates. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She uses her creative writing skills to infuse client SEO with a driving narrative.
  • Since she’s in the process of getting her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies, she approaches her work with an ultimate view to the long-term arc of a client’s story.
  • Her favorite part of SEO is puzzle-solving to approach strategy in a holistic way. 

 

4. Brian Peters: Critical Thinking + Strategic Leader

Brian’s perspective is especially valuable because of its breadth. He has extensive experience in strategy, partnerships, marketing, startups, and more. He heads up strategic partnerships at Shopify, the world’s leading commerce platform. 

What we love about his work: 

  • He provides his followers with detailed explanations of how to achieve concrete marketing goals. 
  • The focus is not always on hard marketing data, but also includes deeper analysis of the nature of work and how to chart a holistic career path.
  • He has an adorable labradoodle named Dierks.

 

5. Jordie Black: Content Marketer / Strategist Specializing in B2B & SaaS

This London-based content marketer is an ace copywriter who uses her wit and business savvy to “work smarter, not harder.” She especially enjoys working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

What we love about her work: 

  • Her Twitter feed is full of great content—both directly from her and retweeted from fellow content nerds who are making waves in the industry. 
  • She offers a top-to-bottom consulting service that helps clients form a thorough and nuanced approach to their content generation.
  • Her services also include copywriting and a blogging boot camp.

 

6. Elise Dopson: Growth Content Wizard

Elise specializes in growth marketing via content strategy for B2B SaaS and marketing businesses. Her talent for crafting a compelling and data-rich whitepaper sets her apart from your run-of-the-mill content writer. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She is a renowned content writing expert in the B2B arena, and she’s even been named one of the 30 Women Shaping B2B Tech Marketing
  • Her resumé includes work for major movers and shakers in the growth marketing industry, such as Databox, ConversionXL, Leadfeeder, Single Grain, Smart Insights, and Content Marketing Institute.
  • Her style is a perfect blend of cheekiness and know-how, as evidenced by her Twitter feed, which is equal parts hilarious and informative.

 

7. Katelyn Bourgoin: Customer Research Pro

Katelyn approaches the growth marketing game through the very powerful lens of having been an entrepreneur herself. Having both reached the peak of the mountain and slogged it out in the trenches, she comes bearing the kind of knowledge only a real warrior would have. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She pulls no punches. Her blog delivers actionable advice for marketers without any sugar coating. 
  • As a “3x founder turned growth geek,” she leads in-person workshops—dubbed Customer Camp—that teach companies how to hack their growth by being customer-obsessed. 
  • She is a customer research ninja, and her self-paced online course allows teams to figure out their target customer and star product before investing a ton of time and money into building the wrong thing for the wrong audience.

 

8. Dani Hart: Sustainable Growth Leader

Dani’s take on growth marketing focuses on how to make it both successful and sustainable. She works with business leaders not only to develop robust growth strategies but to create resiliency and prevent the dreaded burnout as well.

What we love about her work: 

  • She has a knack for helping companies determining whether or not they’ve achieved the right PMF (product/market fit), which can save you a ton of effort on growth that won’t provide ROI. 
  • Her social media strikes the perfect balance between informing and uplifting content, leaving followers feeling motivated and energized.
  • To go along with her mastery of resilience and a sustainable approach to business growth, she’s an amazing yogi, whose Instagram is full of incredible photos.

 

9. Asia Matos: Expert Marketing Strategy for Startups

As the founder of DemandMaven, Asia focuses on helping founders of early-stage SaaS companies and startups find avenues to rapid growth. Strategy is her middle name. She can help your company set up a campaign, manage acquisition channels, or even analyze your go-to-market strategy. 

What we love about her work: 

  • Her advice is concrete; she’s all killer, no filler. Between her data-driven blog posts and case studies, you can see that she knows what she’s doing.
  • Her process is thorough and in-depth, so you know if you invest in her services that you’ll walk away with tangible returns.
  • Her Twitter feed is full of great takeaways, as well as retweets from other powerhouse marketers (including many on this list), and is an endless font of insight. 

Don’t let the overwhelming nature of the industry prevent you from diving headfirst into learning about how growth marketing can revitalize your business. These top growth marketing experts are great sources for relevant, compelling content that will help you find new avenues of growth for your brand.

If you want to explore more about how to grow your brand’s reach, influence, and impact, touch base to set up a free, 30-minute growth strategy session with the Tuff team. We’d love to learn more about who you are and what you do so that we can help you find your way to the next level.

The Best of 2019 So Far...

The Best of 2019…So Far

A woman and a man sitting on a laptop.

It’s time for end of the quarter reflection. Here at Tuff, we love the transition from one quarter to the next.

It’s a chance to zoom out and take a higher level view of how we’ve been doing on Tuff’s internal goals as well as how we’re performing for clients. We always try to go into the quarter with an integrated plan for our clients and intention on how campaigns, landing pages, emails and more will all work together.

The end of quarter reflection is a chance for us to take a step back and learn from the past few months. And, use those learnings to plan for the next.

We’ll cover:

  • Best Reads
  • Best Performing Facebook ads
  • Best of PPC
  • Best Tuff Growth Experiment
  • Best Tools
  • Best Opinion
  • Best Voices on Twitter
  • Best Emoji
  • Best Spotify Playlist

We also find we get more out of our learnings if we share them with others. So, with Q1 behind us, here’s the best of 2019 at Tuff…so far!

Best Reads

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton.

We spend a lot of time reading about growth and learning from the experiments of others. We’re so grateful for the transparency of other agencies and marketers so we always try to publish learnings from our own experiements as well. Here’re the articles we kept coming back to this quarter:

Retargeting: What is it and how can you use it effectively

When done well, retargeting is an incredibly powerful tool for acquisition and getting the best ROI. We love retargeting and how the team at Bell Curve breaks down retargeting with an easy to understand and easy to apply approach.

The true impact of conversion rate optimization and why it matters to you

We see conversion rate optimizations as plugging the holes of a leaky bucket. By taking the time to discover and fix the holes, you’re going to be more efficient and get the most out of your paid acquisition efforts. In Grace’s words “An uplift of even a 1 percent improvement by channel, device, visitor type at each step of the site journey blend to unveil huge uplifts in both sales and revenue.”

How we Increased Traffic by 1034% in One Week by improving Existing Content (Case Study)

Right off the bat, that stat is jaw dropping. We love this resource because it rings true to something we’ve learned about growth marketing: it’s not always about reinventing the wheel. Sometimes, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by making improvements to what you already have spent time and resource on.

ToFu, MoFu & BoFu: Serving Up The Right Content for Lead Nurturing

Not a vegetarian recipe. We like this breakdown and awareness of user intent and treating parts of the sales funnel differently. For automating distribution of your lead nurturing content, we recommend Yet Another Mail Merge.

The 30-Minute PPC Audit Anyone Can Do

Okay, we snuck in one of our own articles. As the quarter wraps up, we take the time to look back at each of our clients PPC campaigns and learn what worked and what didn’t. If you’re running PPC or paid social campaigns, we highly recommend taking a look back to make small, sustainable improvements based on your learnings.

Best Performing Facebook ads

#1

  • Type of Ad: Facebook Messenger Campaign
  • Audience: Website Retargeting
  • Messages: 34
  • Cost Per Message: $3.14

#2

  • Type of Ad: Instagram Story – Giveaway
  • Audience: Watch Enthusiasts  
  • Clicks: 5,731
  • CPC: $0.12
  • Conversion Rate: 40%

#3

  • Type of Ad: Retargeting
  • Audience: Lookalike + Healthy Lifestyles, excluding current customers
  • Clicks: 3, 149   
  • CPC: $0.79

Best of PPC

From January through March we ran 467 PPC campaigns for our clients. Looking back, these campaigns contributed to:

  • $1,012,765 managed
  • 1,106,538 clicks
  • 8,670 leads

Best Tuff Growth Experiment

This experiment gets tagged the ‘best’ for Q1 because we’re learning something new everyday. We’ve been really happy and grateful that most of our clients have come through referrals (thank you!). At the same time, we’re looking to diversify our partnership stream. And, with that, comes a new experiment of landing pages for Tuff. At this current moment, we have to landing pages:

We’re sending people to these pages through Facebook ads and cold outreach emails. The focus on these landing pages is to have a clear and easy to understand value proposition as well as CTA. For us, we’re not big on the typical sales process (nothing wrong with it!) and like to have conversations with potential clients to make sure the partnership will be a good fit on both ends.

It’s early on in this experiment and we’re making almost daily updates to the pages but we’ll update with cost per acquisition as we learn more. You can help us out by sending referrals to these pages!

Best Tools

Adios.ai

Their description: Adiós brings your emails into your inbox just 3 times a day, so you can get sh*t done.

Our breakdown: Are you tied to your inbox? Or, find yourself context switching when you’re trying to deep dive into an account or campaign? Ellen has been using Adios this quarter to eliminate multi-tasking.

Workflowy

Their description: WorkFlowy is a single document that can contain infinite documents inside it. It’s a more powerful, easier way to organize all the information in your life.

Our breakdown: You might notice a theme here with productivity. By using a fractal document format, Workflowy lets you zoom in or out on a topic. You can choose if you want to go deep on a topic or stay at the surface level.

Mixmax

Their description: Gmail-based productivity app for customer-facing teams.

Our breakdown: We’re loving Mixmax for a number of reasons. As we mentioned above in the ‘Best Tuff Growth Experiment’ we’ve been trying our hand out at cold email outreach. Mixmax helps us understand our open and clickthrough rate and refine our copy. It also connects to our calendar and makes it easy for potential clients to schedule a meeting with us directly from the email we send them.

Best Opinion

We love Mayur’s message here: growth isn’t a hack. This is something we talk about quite a lot internally and try our best to instill in our clients. There is no secret for skyrocketing overnight growth.

It doesn’t exist.

A little controversial, perhaps, coming from a growth team. But, we’re sick and tired of the myth that you can flip a few switches and instantly acquire thousands of new users.

Scaling growth is hard. You need to find the right team who can deliver what is needed on a business level. Not, just churn out as many ads as possible. Not ‘hack’.

At Tuff, we reflect that in our pricing. It’s common for agencies to bill on a percentage of ad spend. The problem with this is that it leads to prioritizing spend first instead of focusing on ROI.

Same with hourly rates, they weigh massively in favor of the agency to spend as much time on a project as they can.

We believe the future of growth teams is in being value drivers, rather than service providers. So, we price differently – not hourly, not a percentage of spend. We price on brainpower, a monthly agreement based on our level of partnership.

The most important thing to us is to increase your ROI so we’ll quickly kill an experiment if we’re not seeing the results we want.

Best Voices on Twitter

  • Asia Matos: I help #SaaS companies & #startup founders with #marketing & #growth. CEO & Founder of DemandMaven. Previously at two 10x startups. GIF game strong 💪
  • Alfred Lua: Product marketer @buffer @bufferanalyze | 🏊🏻🚴🏻🏃🏻
  • Jennifer Kim: All things Talent, building better startups, & future of work. Ex-Head of People/early employee @Lever, now planning next chapter ✨
  • Katelyn Bourgoin: 3X founder turned growth geek. Seen in @Forbes, @Inc, @CTV & more. I help product teams figure out who their best customers are and what triggers them to buy 👓

Best Emoji

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Our team turned to the ‘sparkles’ emoji more than once or twice this quarter. With spring on it’s way, this emoji helped us invoke a bright and shiny feeling in our Facebook ad copy and beyond.

Best Spotify Playlist

We’ve been loving the ‘Loved by Ellen‘ playlist the past few weeks. Not to be confused with Ellen from Tuff, curated by Ellen DeGeneres.

What’s on your ‘Best of’ list?

What’s on your ‘best of’ list for your end of quarter reflection? Before diving head first into Q2, we strongly recommend taking a few minutes to look back at your metrics and learnings from Q1. What makes the list? And, just as importantly, what doesn’t?

If you’re looking to add a decreased cost per acquisition to your end of quarter reflection in Q2, give us a shout. We’d love to get to know you, your company, your goals, and schedule a free growth strategy session with our team.

Woman sitting on a target with a key in the bullseye.

3 Paid Advertising Experiments We Learned From In March

Woman sitting on a target with a key in the bullseye.

Everyone seems to be so focused on paid advertising growth hacks that skyrocket your numbers overnight. To be completely honest with you, small, incremental improvements are the key to sustainably growing your business.

When it comes to paid advertising online, there’s always a new feature.

Whether it’s additional campaign types, optimization tools, user interface tweaks or aesthetic alterations, it feels like we have oodles of new rollouts flying down the pike. Sometimes it feels like it never stops.

This month, we had the opportunity to run a few small paid advertising experiments with our clients:

  • Experiment #1: Facebook Messenger Ads 🤖
  • Experiment #2: Responsive Display Video Ads 📹
  • Experiment #3: Device Specific Google Ad Campaigns📱

These experiments didn’t completely reinvent paid social or search strategy for any of our clients. They did help us learn and optimize quickly. At Tuff, we’re always running experiments that are small, smart variations in Facebook and Google to help us deliver the absolute best results.

As a paid advertising expert, the onslaught of new techniques makes me feel giddy with excitement and possibility. New things to test? Let’s do it! But as an entrepreneur or small business owner, it can be a bit intimidating.

Let’s dive in.

Facebook Messenger Ads

In Ads Manager, there are a handful of core ad formats:

  • carousels
  • single image ads
  • product collections
  • Slideshows
  • videos

They are the core suite of ad formats for Facebook and Instagram. You’ve been seeing them in your Facebook feed for years.

One of the newest ad formats to roll out are Facebook Messenger Ads. This new format promotes engagement by allowing users who see your ads to initiate a message with your business with the click of a button.

These are all designed for advertisers to start conversations with users and drive interactions and sales. Facebook Messenger Ads appear in your Facebook feed like a typical ad, but the CTA says “Send Message”.

This month, we ran Facebook Messenger ads for three clients – B2B, B2C, and e-Commerce. Take a look:

A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for Xendoo.
A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for Xendoo.
A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for The Buy Guys.
A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for The Buy Guys.

The main use of these ads is pretty simple: To generate real, organic conversations with your customers.

For us, we saw successful results with prospecting and retargeting audiences. Here’s a glance at the data from the most successful campaign:

Facebook Advertising metrics screenshot.

Facebook Messenger Ads present a unique opportunity to chat with your users or prospects in a more conversational way. You can personalize your messages like you would on LinkedIn with a sponsored InMail and you can reach people where they are already spending time. And if you’re a local business this ad format has the potential to help you build localized brand awareness.

The kicker here is being able to scale these efforts while reducing spam. With the good leads come the bad on this medium. With this initial batch of experiments, about 50% of these messages were spam and the ones with high-volume required a full-time resource to be at the ready answering messages and talking with people.

If you’re already running campaigns on Facebook, why not test these out as part of your mix? Facebook Messenger Ads allow you to speed up and personalize customer interactions, and reaching people faster is key in today’s crowded marketing environment.

Responsive Display Video Ads

Google announced earlier this year that you can now add YouTube video assets to Google responsive display ad (RDA) campaigns.

Every one of our clients is running display campaigns on Google, so we jumped right on this! If you’re already running display ads you’re probably pretty familiar with responsive ads and how they work.

If you’re less familiar with display ad formats, let me break it down. Google Ads is split into two primary networks, the Search Network, and the Display Network. A simplified explanation:

  • Search Network: businesses place text ads in the search engine results
  • Display Network: businesses place display ads on a huge network of sites across the internet

We like to think of the display network as being more similar to channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. As an advertiser, you can use more visual layouts and the stage of the user journey is often top- to mid-funnel versus lower high-internet searches on the Search Network.

Screenshot of a display network ad.
Screenshot of a display network ad from Spotify.

Display ads can be static images or responsive. Static images, like the ones above, fit specific ad units on publisher sites. They appear as banner ads on websites and never as text. They also don’t adjust in size.

Responsive display ads on the other hand automatically adjust their size and format to fit different ad placements across the web. This means that your responsive display can display as a text ad within a mobile app while also appearing as a banner ad on a website.

Screenshot of a responsive display ad

Last fall, Google announced responsive display ads would become the default display format. This means we’re going to see more and more advancements made to the responsive format and as an advertiser, it will be important to stay on top of these features.

Screenshot of a responsive display network ad.

Since adding videos to our current responsive display campaigns, we’re seeing an average increase in CTR by 25%.

Incremental improvements, people!

Device specific Google Ad campaigns

These days, the initial touchpoint with your brand typically happens on a mobile device – it’s the “go to” source for browsing and online conversations.

As a result, the more you can treat mobile as the first step in your paid advertising strategy – not as an afterthought or a nice to have – the better.

Traditionally, when it comes to mobile, I’ve leveraged two key features in Google Ads: Call-Only ads and device level bid adjustments.

Call-only ads are designed to encourage people to call your business and can appear only on devices that make phone calls. When a potential customer or clients clicks your ad, the ad places a call to you from their device. These can be super effective for local businesses or companies trying to make the phone ring.

Screenshot of a call-only ad.

Device bid adjustments are levers you can pull to flow money to specific devices: mobile, desktop, tablet, and TV. For example, a bid adjustment of -90% reduces the bid by 90%, to 10% of the original bid. Likewise, +900% increases the device bid to ten times the original amount.

Screenshot of a device bid adjustment ad.

More recently though, I’ve started to think about the search intent of a mobile users versus a desktop. For example, we have a B2B client and their paid traffic breaks down like this: almost 60% of visits are on mobile, but 65% of sign ups are on desktop. So, what do we do?

The obvious answer is to think more critically about the user experience on mobile. We need to find out why they are converting, where they are dropping off, and how we can eliminate more friction on the mobile sign up process.

The other thing we can do and the experiment we’ve implemented this month is to completely break out certain adgroups into device specific campaigns. We’ll have one campaign for mobile and a completely different campaign for desktop.

Why try this? While you could look at the data and decided to bid down mobile drastically and push all traffic to desktop, there is a bigger opportunity here. We don’t want to lose our audience on mobile but we also don’t want to be wasteful and spend money on clicks that don’t convert.

By breaking specific campaigns out into different ad groups by device, we can:

  • Adjust bids based on device schedule: Certain devices are more effective with different ad schedules and location targeting. Our mobile PPC traffic has a tendency to spike on weekends and in evening/commuter hours and desktop peaks midday. By running single-device PPC campaigns, we can control bids and schedules more accurately.
  • Have more control over budget: Creating device-specific campaigns allows us to allocate a bigger budget to the better performing device campaign. In the example above, our CTRs are similar but we can assign more overall budget to the desktop campaign where we are seeing scale.

We let testing and experimentation play a major role in our account management process because it’s critical to results. We don’t always have the right answers but we’re lucky to partner with teams that let us push the limits and test out new ideas. It can be intimidating at first, put regularly PPC experimentation should be a consistent piece of your game plan whether you are running campaigns yourself or outsourcing to an agency.

Free Growth Strategy Session

Our team at Tuff loves helping people learn and use these tools. And, run paid advertising experiments of your own! If you ever have any questions or new strategies you’re looking to explore, join us for a free growth strategy session.

Man sitting on the ground with a laptop

How to Grow Your Startup’s Email List

Man sitting on the ground with a laptop

 

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet Daycation.

Daycation is a Miami-founded startup that allows people to book “daycations,” gaining access to hotel amenities without staying the night. Traditionally, people must check in as hotel guests to access amenities like pools, lounges, hot tubs, gyms, and private beaches. Now, with Daycation’s network of beautiful, on-demand hotels, users can visit their site and easily book hassle-free day experiences.

We worked with Daycation to grow their email list. In two weeks, we added 1,000 new subscribers at an acquisition cost of $1.15 per subscriber. In addition to the list growth, 25 of the new subscribers booked a Daycation within 30 days of joining the email list.

Why Daycation Focused On Growing Their Email List

For starters, email has been the #1 most profitable marketing channel for ten years in a row. From this one statistic alone, it isn’t hard to see why you need to grow your startup’s email list. It is a key piece of any well-rounded user acquisition effort.

From a growth perspective, it is the statistics on customer acquisition costs that make email a no-brainer for a business like Daycation. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

While we had launched a number of acquisition channels for Daycation, including paid social and chat, we were looking to build an email list of valuable subscribers. Because Daycation is a transactional marketplace, we were confident that email marketing would be a more effective channel than social for driving people to their website and getting them to sign up and purchase a day pass.

So, how did we attract 1000+ new subscribers in two weeks?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

Daycation’s Playbook:

  • Everything begins with great content or value. People will find your site because of your amazing content. They will keep coming back because you provide relevant value. Your content will be the foundation of what you email to them, which will be the reason they stay subscribed (or hit unsubscribe!). For Daycation, we decided to run a cabana giveaway in Miami. In exchange for an email address, people entered for a chance to win a day pass and cabana for four at one of Miami’s top luxury pools.
  • Once you have the right content, you need to start putting your landing page together. Creating a high converting landing page isn’t rocket science. However, creating an effective page involves more than simply designing something that looks good. For Daycation, we leveraged these nine components of a killer landing page and mocked a wireframe using InVision.
  • The page went live, and we needed to get the word out. For Daycation, that meant adding a banner to the homepage of the site, as well as tapping into paid social. We launched Facebook and Instagram campaigns, targeting a specific subset of customers who were most similar to their best current customers.

Screenshot of a Facebook ad for Daycation

Screenshot of an Instagram ad for Daycation

  • Every interaction with someone is a chance to influence their opinion about your business. The minute you collect an email you can start providing relevant value and the message you send is critical. Using Customer.io, when someone signed up for the giveaway, we triggered the confirmation email below. For a large percentage of this list, this was the first email they ever received from Daycation. This is a large opportunity to make a lasting first impression. Try your best to step away from a transactional mindset and show your companies personality.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

  • We ran the giveaway for two weeks, spreading the word to as many people as possible. Once the campaign ended, we announced the winner through email, sending the entire list a $10 off coupon code on their next Daycation.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

The Results:

  • Duration: 2 Weeks
  • Ad Spend: $1,215.76
  • New Subscribers: 1,264 new subscribers
  • Cost Per Subscriber: $1.15
  • Subscriber Purchases (within 30 days): 25

Next Steps:

Our focus on email didn’t end with the cabana giveaway. You’re not just looking to grow your startup’s email list and present a nice vanity metric. It can be easy to just focus on building the list and see the number of subscribers growing and call it a success. Once you have a healthy list of emails, you need to continue focusing on the value you provide to your users with email. What is the end goal and conversion you’re looking for them to make? 

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about customer acquisition or email strategy that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account and talk about how to grow your startup’s email list and what to do with that growth. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.

Illustration of wireframes

How To Build Conversion Focused Landing Pages That Drive Leads

Illustration of wireframes

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet The Buy Guys.

In this post, we’ll share the story of The Buy Guys, a Florida-based home buyer and seller that has purchased over 10,000 homes in the last ten years. We helped increase their leads by 138% this year by updating specific landing pages to increase conversions and serve as a growth engine.

Why The Buy Guys Decided to Update Their Website

Whether you’re launching a site for a new startup or overhauling the site of an existing brand, your website is often one of your most important lead generation channels. Which makes sense, right? People go to your website to learn more about your service or your product.

But here’s the thing: Your website is also the one marketing asset that could benefit most from regular improvements to help boost conversions.

Previously, The Buy Guys allocated the majority of their marketing time and effort to print mail – a successful channel in the home buying industry. But as The Buy Guys matured and more people were spending time researching home selling and the home selling process online, it was critical they improve their online experience. Working with their CEO and COO in January, we decided to work on a digital marketing strategy that would focus on increasing leads and sales.

So, how increase their leads by 138%?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

The Buy Guys’ Playbook:

Start with user research.

You always need to design your website with your target audience in mind, you can’t design it for yourself and your subjective style preferences. To start to get to know the audience interacting with The Buy Guys better, we took both a qualitative and quantitative approach using CallRail, their call tracking software.

The qualitative approach was listening to 100 phone calls recordings to see what kind of words customers were using, what was the very first problem they explained over the phone, what were they hearing, thinking, feeling, saying? Using a spreadsheet, we took notes on each call and tagged each call with a trend we had identified among customers (i.e. ‘unhappy with realtor).

The quantitative approach using CallRail was to export data from over 1,000 calls to see larger trends such as time of day people are calling, what page the visited before calling, where are they calling from. We believe the best strategies are built on customer research and 3-5 detailed personas that can represent the larger audience. Personas give your team a shared language to use when talking about customers and make sure you’re building for them, not you.

Build the wireframe (don’t skip this step!)

After developing user personas backed by qualitative and quantitative research, our designer put this information into action by mapping out a bare-bones layout for your new site. We like to call this part, “the blueprints.” When the wireframe is completed and approved, you have a clear understanding of all of the user paths throughout the site, as well as what content you need to prepare for the redesign. At Tuff, we do wireframes between the strategy and redesign phase as a way of mapping out the strategy in a way that sets us up for success in the design phase.

Through the wireframe, we can accomplish the following:

  • Confirm that our site’s new layout is in line with our UX goals for the redesign.
  • Make sure that everything on our redesign wishlist is accounted for in the new layout.
  • Create a visual roadmap to serve as a foundation for the often chaotic design phase.
  • Give your design team a head start. With the layout and content map already completed, the team can focus on design and brand development.

Designing the site

And now, the fun part, designing the site. During this phase, we bring together all of the elements of our project: our strategy and goals, the completed wireframe, our updated copy and images, and the brand style guide. Using the wireframe as our guide for layout, and the brand style guide and updated content as our guide for visuals, we redesign the site for both desktop and mobile – thinking strategically about how to lay out our content for easy consumption, not only on our audience’s computer but across all of their devices.



Once the mockup is completed and approved, it’s time to start the site build. We chose to build thebuyguys.com using a versatile theme on WordPress.org, a great choice for its flexibility with design and easy ability to be customized. Upon completion of the build, our team went through several rounds of quality assurance testing, before we got to the final step before launch: adding tags.

Review and improve

When your website launches, you should already be recording all of the available data with tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar. With these tools installed, you’ll soon have data that you can start to use to improve pieces of your website.

For example, once The Buy Guys site launched, we quickly realized that their site traffic was heavy on the mobile side. In fact, over 70% of their traffic was mobile. Knowing this, we were able to prioritize mobile updates and start A/B testing our CTAs above the fold on mobile exclusively.

Rather than starting from scratch each time your website becomes outdated, your can think of the website as a project that’s never truly finished. You have to continuously oil your growth engine.

Results:

With the launch of the new website, we:

  • Increased paid advertising spend month over month by 49%
  • Increased leads by 138.02%
  • Decreased Cost Per Lead (CPL) by 36.92%
  • Increases conversion rate by 3.68%

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about user experience or conversion rate optimization that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.

a bar chart

How To Scale User Growth Using Facebook Ads

a bar chart

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. 

Fresh Meal Plan is a healthy meal delivery service located in South Florida. Looking to find traction in the Florida market and scale their growth, they partnered with Tuff to launch high-impact Facebook and Instagram campaigns to increase ROI and quickly drive key learnings on what’s working and what’s not.

Why Fresh Meal Plan Tapped Into Paid Social Acquisition

Scaling growth is hard and it requires you to be rigorous about the channels you experiment within the early stages of your business. It might seem easy to find one right away and then dump all your money into that one tactic but that almost never happens. As a startup, you have to work towards the right channel – and understand that it takes time.

One of the channels we saw the most success with for fueling user acquisition for Fresh Meal Plan was Facebook. With a wide range of targeting options to help you find the right niche, customer acquisition using Facebook ads can be a highly cost-effective channel. After an initial kick-off meeting with Fresh Meal Plan to align on goals and ROI expectations, we launched geo-specific Facebook and Instagram campaigns following a 3-step process.

The Three Step Process

Step 1: Conduct user research before design

Figuring out the right targeting is key to reaching the audience most likely to convert. Be it in-depth customer segmentation or listening to customer phone calls, we never create a Facebook or Instagram without researching user behavior first. As an agency, you can lean on your client’s customer-facing team members or, if you’re in-house, partner with your support team to learn more about your customers.

We’ve found that it’s better to spend more time building out target segments and do the right design for them than doing the right campaign for the wrong users. For this account, we built out 5-10 core and custom audiences in Facebook.

For our core audiences, we relied heavily on interest and behavior targeting. For example, we created an audience of users who expressed an interest in CrossFit on their Facebook page. In addition to core audiences, we also built out Lookalike Audiences using website traffic and existing customer email lists.

Step 2: Develop custom creative for each audience

After building out our target segments in Facebook’s audience panel, we created Facebook campaign concepts for each target segment. Both the copy and creative is developed with a particular audience in mind.

Step 3: Retarget with a compelling offer

To combat ad invisibility and get the most of customer acquisition using Facebook ads, we try to always include a compelling offer or call to action in our retargeting effort. Doing so can drive great results, especially if your goal is to generate sales rather than solely drive clicks.

 

Results

Over the course of 30 days, we achieved the following results for customer acquisition using Facebook ads, driving significant market awareness and sales for the brand. Since then, we have doubled the budget and scaled our acquisition efforts to new markets:

  • Clicks: 1,984
  • New Customers: 228
  • CPA: $15.85

Whether you’re just testing the waters or ready to scale, figuring out how to acquire new customers on Facebook and Google is difficult. We’ve spent the past few years working with all kinds of different businesses, with small and large budgets, across a range of industries to help them figure this out. 

If you want to explore more about how to scale your customer acquisition with Tuff, or want a first-hand look at the data showcased above, touch base to set up a free, 30-minute growth strategy session with our team. We’d love to learn more about who you are and what you do so that we can help you find your way to the next level.