Here’s the million dollar question:

If you’re a small business which doesn’t have much resources, how do you grow your company and get more leads?

Simple… by using growth hacking techniques.

In a nutshell, growth hacking refers to the act of using creative, low-cost strategies to help businesses acquire and retain customers.

No marketing budget? No sweat. We’ll share a bunch of growth hacking tips, and teach you how to grow your business without incurring any costs.

Let’s get started!

#1: Repurpose And Re-post Content

If you’re trying to figure out how to grow your business without spending money, you’ll probably have a lot of people suggesting the same thing:

Start blogging, and come up with a great content strategy.

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Data shows that B2B companies who blog do generate more leads than those who don’t, so it all makes sense… right?

Unfortunately, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to blogging.

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More specifically, blogging is a pretty dang high-maintenance strategy.

Some marketers or business owners assume that they can publish one blog article per month, and have their leads soar through the roof…

Well, that’s not the case.

You’ll have to publish at least 5-10 blog articles per month to see any meaningful results in terms of the number of leads you’re generating.

And if you want your blog articles to rank on the top 10 results on search engines, you’ll have to make each article pretty long, too.

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We’re talking 2,000 words, at the very least.

Even with the most conservative of estimates, you’re looking at a total of 5 x 2000 = 10,000 words that you’ll have to churn out, per month.

Is that a nervous chuckle I hear?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to get around creating all that content. (Not unless you can splash out and hire a freelance writer, but we’re assuming that’s out of the question here).

Bearing this in mind, here’s what you should do:

Milk everything you can out of every piece of content you create, by repurposing your content and reposting it.

Repurposing Content

First up, let’s talk about repurposing your content.

Let’s say you’ve sat down and spent four hours banging out an in-depth blog article that you’re super proud of.

Instead of simply uploading it to your website and calling it a day, you should also rework your blog article into other content formats, such as…

  • Powerpoint slides (for Slideshare)
  • Infographics
  • Newsletter content
  • Webinar
  • eBook
  • Video

The sky’s the limit.

Reposting Content

On top of repurposing your content, you should also be reposting your content so that you get more traffic.

There are plenty of people who do this, including Buffer:

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Check it out - if the team at Buffer had shared this blog article only once, they would’ve just gotten 287 clicks.

But because they shared it three times, they now have a total of 704 clicks instead.

Now, you might be thinking…

Isn’t that a little spammy? I don’t want my followers to get annoyed and unfollow me.

You don’t need to worry about that. The organic reach that you get with Facebook is pretty much dead, and only a tiny fraction of your fans will see your posts if you’re not boosting them.

While you’ll probably experience better reach with Twitter, it’s still unlikely that your Tweets will appear on all your followers’ feeds.

And even if we didn’t have to grapple with these pesky algorithms, there are still time zones to take into account.

The bottom line?

Most folks won’t even notice that you’re reposting old content, and you can get a great deal more traffic, shares, and leads from doing so.

#2: Use A Headline Analyzer

While we’re on the topic of content, here’s another tip on how to grow your business…

Use a headline analyzer to come up with better headlines.

This one by CoSchedule is simple and easy to use.

All you need to do is plug in the headline you have in mind…

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…and they’ll generate a “Headline Score” that tells you exactly how great (or not) your headline is.

As a general rule of thumb, CoSchedule advocates using emotional language and powerful words to “stir an emotional response” in your reader.

Instead of “5 tips”, try “5 killer tips”.

Instead of “effective techniques”, try “game changing techniques”.

You get the drill.

#3: Insert Linkbacks With Your Content

This tip on how to grow your business is pretty straightforward…

Use Po.st to get linkbacks when people share your content.

Imagine this:

You’re reading a Forbes article, and one of the tips in the article really resonates with you.

You know of a few friends who would find this useful, so you copy the relevant text, open up a messaging app, and paste the content to said friends.

So your friends benefit from the content, but Forbes doesn’t get any additional traffic on its site, or any eyeballs on its brand.

Sucks to be them, right?

Well, that’s where Po.st comes in.

With Po.st installed, your website gets an automatic linkback whenever content is copied from it.

Here’s how it looks:

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The recipient of the message can easily click through and read more on your site, which generates more exposure for your business.

Smart, huh?

#4: Reach Out To Influencers

When you’re churning out those blog articles, you’ll want to make sure your content isn’t fluffy and generic.

How do you do this?

Simple - pack your articles full of hard-hitting stats and case studies.

Once you’ve done that, here’s how you get more mileage out of your articles:

Reach out to the companies and/or influencers you’ve referenced in said articles, and ask them to share your content.

You can either email or Tweet these people. Either way, keep it short and sweet.

For example:

Hi NAME, featured your case study on emojis in email marketing in my latest article. It’s such an illuminating piece of research - was really excited to learn more about how emojis impact open and CTRs. If you’d like to share the article, here’s the link: {link}.

Of course, this isn’t a surefire strategy - far from it.

That said, if even ONE influencer responds and shares your article with their audience, you can expect your views to skyrocket.

Not too shabby for a minute of your time spent Tweeting at them, huh?

#5: Optimize Your Copywriting

Alright, here’s one final tip when it comes to your content:

Optimize all your copywriting efforts using the PAS framework.

PAS stands for Problem, Agitation and Solution, and it’s a great way of structuring your content.

Say you have a landing page that you’re using to generate leads. Now, don’t simply wax lyrical about why your product is so great.

Here’s what you do instead:

First, take the time to address your lead’s problem first. Make sure what you’re saying resonates with them.

Next, tell your lead what they stand to lose if they don’t take action. Humans are innately loss-averse, so framing the situation this way is particularly effective in getting your lead to commit.

Finally, talk about your solution.

Now that you’ve established the context and conveyed the importance of fixing the problem, your lead will be falling over themselves to convert.

For a more in-depth explanation at how to write copy using the PAS framework, check out this article by Copyblogger.

#6: Optimize Your Thank You Page

What does your Thank You page do?

Most people will say that it simply acknowledges a conversion. More specifically, you use these pages to tell your customers you’ve received their contact details, and communicate that you’ll be in touch.

Well, they’re not wrong per se, but that’s not all your Thank You page is good for.

You can also feature a secondary Call To Action (CTA) on your Thank You page, and use this to move your leads further down the funnel.

Here’s an example by Wishpond:

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We can’t wrap our minds around how simple (yet brilliant!) this is.

Regardless of what goal you want to achieve, including…

  • Growing your email list
  • Increasing your Facebook fans
  • Getting feedback on your product

Incorporating a secondary CTA on your THank You page will help you do just that.

#7: Make Forms Easier To Fill In

Your visitors are busy, busy folks, and they don’t have the time to sit down and fill in a form with a gazillion fields.

So here’s the deal:

If you’re getting your visitors to create an account, always allow them to sign up using their social media channels.

Also, keep your forms short and sweet, and don’t ask for more information than is necessary.

Last but not least, use autocomplete for location fields so that users complete your forms up to 30% faster.

How do you configure autocomplete for location fields?

If your site is built using WordPress, this plugin will do the trick. If not, you can add autocomplete using the Google Places API.

#8: Humanize Your Drip Campaigns

If you ask us, drip campaigns are practically a godsend for marketers.

With these campaigns, you can automate all your follow-up emails to your leads or customers, which frees up a ton of time.

But here’s the thing:

Most drip campaigns are a little too robotic…

…and your leads (the savvy ones, at least!) can probably tell that you’re nurturing them through a series of pre-written emails.

When this happens, your leads will naturally pay less attention to your emails. After all, it’s not like you’re sitting down and crafting an email that’s specifically addressed to them.

They’re simply getting the same email that everyone else on your list is getting.

So why bother?

Now, your job is to make it seem like you’re emailing each lead personally - even though you’re really not.

How do you do this?

Simple - incorporate some “human errors” into your email sequences.

For example, automate an email to your lead that’s missing a link or a file.

Then automate a second email in the same day which contains the missing link or file.

Here’s how Tech In Asia does it…

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Pretty genius, huh?

The guys over at Wishpond also tested this strategy, and here’s what they found:

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The conversion rate for their second email increased by over 4x.

Try it for yourself!

#9: Clean Up Your Email List

On top of refining the tone of your email campaigns, you should also clean up your email list.

I know, I know, it hurts to delete these leads and email addresses from your database.

But you’ve got to take a hint. If these guys are consistently not opening your emails (let alone replying!), this means they’re simply not interested.

It’s better to pull the plug now, as opposed to dragging it out.

Why is this so?

Well, some of these guys might forget that they’ve subscribed to your list five months down the road.

And when they receive their next email from you, guess what they’ll do?

That’s right - they’ll mark it as Spam.

This hurts your email deliverability rates, and makes it harder for you to reach out effectively to your other leads.

Before you do a huge purge, though, we recommend sending one last email to your leads.

We call this… the break-up email.

Now, this is basically you giving your customers or leads an ultimatum. Of course, you’re doing it in a nice, non-threatening way.

Here’s a great example by Crocs:

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Check out that line: If you don’t click on this email, we’ll remove you from our list. Sniff, sniff.

The tone keeps things light, but the message is crystal-clear.

What if you’re sending an email to a client, instead of a customer?

This template will do the trick:

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It’s not as clearly conveyed here, but you’d still remove this person from your list if they, again, fail to respond.

Yes, you’ll have less subscribers in your database after this.

But you’ll have jolted some of your clients or customers back into action with your break-up emails, and you’ll experience higher deliverability and open rates with your pared-down list.

Those are huge wins, if you ask us.

#10: Delay Sending Emails Until Office Hours

What do you think your lead’s average morning looks like?

Well, they’ll probably step into office, make a cup of coffee, and open their inbox.

Depending on how on top of things they are, they might have ten unopened emails… or a gazillion of them.

Here’s the thing: you don’t want your email to them to be stuck in that huge pile of unopened emails.

Instead, you want your email to arrive just as soon as your lead sits down, and starts working.

This way, it’ll catch their eye, and you’ll have a higher chance of them replying.

The good news?

Many email platforms allow you to delay sending till office hours. If you’re using Mailchimp, for example, check out their Timewarp feature.

#11: Use Exit Intent Pop-ups

We all know that consumers have a crazy short attention span. In fact, 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website.

What’s a business owner to do?

Well, the most obvious step is to work on your website’s look and feel. The goal is to make your website aesthetically pleasing and fast-loading, so that your visitors will stick around a little longer.

On top of that, you can also use exit intent pop-ups.

If you’re not 100% sure what these are, they’re simply pop-ups that are triggered whenever your visitors show signs of wanting to leave your website.

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How these work is pretty straightforward…

When someone starts moving their mouse to the top right corner of the page (where the ‘X’ is located), this triggers a pop-up.

Now, exit intent pop-ups are a tried and tested way of growing your leads, conversions, and business.

Check out how this blogger doubled her email list with a single exit pop-up.

The team at Backlinko also did the same with an exit pop-up.

Then there’s this conversion optimization expert who increased his conversions by 316% using exit intent opt-ins.

So give it a shot, and see if it works for you.

#12: Use Scroll Pop-ups Over Entry Pop-Ups

Continuing on the same topic of pop-ups, scroll pop-ups are a lot more effective than entry pop-ups.

When was the last time you actually read an entry pop-up, instead of closing it immediately?

Never? Yup - that doesn’t surprise us.

Scroll pop-ups, on the other hand, are more compelling.

Say your visitor has read 70% of the content on a website, and this triggers a scroll pop-up.

Now, remember that this person is more than halfway through the page. If they were uninterested in your content, they would’ve churned a long time ago.

Bearing this in mind, all you need to do is make sure:

  • The pop-up is relevant to the content on the page, and
  • The offer is attractive

As long as these two elements are in place, you have a high chance of hooking your visitor, and getting them to convert.

One last word on pop-ups:

There are also timed pop-ups, which appear after your visitor has been on your website for a certain amount of time (30 seconds, 60 seconds, etc).

All things equal, we aren’t particularly fond of these.

Why? Each visitor consumes content at a different speed, and there isn’t a universal timing that works well for everyone.

Say you set your pop-up to appear at the 30 seconds mark.

Some visitors might still be reading the introductory paragraph of your article - this means they’re not invested enough to convert.

But other visitors might’ve read the entire article, and closed the tab even before the pop-up appeared.

For this reason, scroll pop-ups are still your best bet.

#13: Make Your 404 Page A Landing Page

Maybe your visitor is trying to access a web page that’s been removed.

Maybe they’ve got the right page, but they typed the URL in wrongly.

Either way, they’ll be redirected to a 404 page, which typically looks something like this:

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Now, here’s why this page sucks.

There aren’t any navigation buttons, so the visitor can’t go back to the homepage easily (they can type in the URL manually, of course, but most won’t bother).

Plus, the page doesn’t provide any sort of value or CTA to the visitor (apart from the “Reload” button), and that’s a huge missed opportunity.

Now, we recommend building a custom 404 page in place of this.

Your custom 404 page should definitely allow your visitor to navigate back to your homepage (or the other pages on your site).

Apart from that, also seize the opportunity to promote your product. You might want to offer a freebie (an ebooks, checklist, or something along those lines), so that you can get your visitors to sign up.

Here are a few awesome 404 pages to get your creative juices flowing…

First up, Airbnb’s 404 page comes with a cute graphic and a helpful list of links.

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Then there’s Mailchimp’s 404 page, which comes with a search bar to help you locate what you’re looking for.

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Last but not least, repair company Repair Pal’s 404 page comes with a search bar and several CTAs.

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Need more inspiration?

Check out this list of 24 clever 404 pages from real websites.

#14: Fine-tune Your A/B Testing Efforts

A/B testing allows you to establish what your audience responds the best to, in terms of…

  • Website copy
  • The color of your CTA buttons
  • Email subject lines

And plenty more.

What’s not to love about it, right?

Well, here’s something to keep in mind:

A/B testing is only accurate if you’ve got a large enough sample size.

Unfortunately, we see inexperienced business owners and marketers ignoring this golden rule all the time.

Here’s how it typically plays out:

These guys read a couple of A/B testing case studies, and they get so excited about what A/B testing could do for their company.

Despite having barely any traffic, they decide to go full steam ahead, and A/B test several elements on their site.

After seeing that 9 out of 10 of their conversions come about from a red (as opposed to green) CTA button, they might conclude that red is more effective in driving conversions.

And they promptly change all their CTA buttons to red.

C’mon, you’re a smart guy. You get why this is illogical.

Regardless of how promising the results look (90%-10% split, or 95%-5% split), 10 conversions simply aren’t sufficient to arrive at any sort of meaningful conclusion.

So how large of a sample size do you need for A/B tests?

This depends on your current conversion rate and your desired lift (among other things). Use this calculator by Unbounce to help you to figure it out.

#15: View Your Leads’ Linkedin Profiles

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to do customer outreach. Your leads would come to you.

The bad news?

Unless you’re a Fortune 500 company that’s regularly in the news, this probably isn’t the case for you.

That said, we do know of a trick that you can use to get more exposure for you and your company.

And that’s… viewing your leads’ LinkedIn profiles.

This is basically a number’s game.

The more profiles you view, the more people will be looking at your profile and your company. The more people looking at your profile, the more leads you’ll get.

Now, if you want to do this in a more productive way, consider using a tool that helps you auto-view up to 100 profiles per day.

There’s LinkBoost, LinkedAutomate, and LinkedHelper.

These tools aren’t free, but they’re pretty cost-effective. LinkedHelper, for example, comes with a free trial, and costs just $8+ per month if you pay on a yearly basis.

If you really can’t afford to spend a single cent, then go ahead and do it manually.

The trick is to devote those pockets of time you have (on your morning commute, waiting in line at Starbucks, etc) to doing this.

#16: Keep Track Of Who’s Visiting Your Website

If someone’s visiting your website, they’re at least somewhat interested in your product.

So why waste your time cold calling leads and reaching out to new prospects, when you could be getting in touch with these guys instead?

Now, all you need to do is to use Albacross’s free tool.

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Here’s how it works:

First, sign up for a free Albacross account. This takes less than 30 seconds to do, and you don’t need to input your credit card information.

Next, paste a tracking script on your website to start tracking data about your visitors.

Last but not least, sit back and wait for Albacross to send you daily, weekly or monthly (your choice!) reports on your visitors.

Using these reports, you’ll get an idea of which companies are visiting your website, and how they interact with it.

If someone from Company X spends just 10 seconds on your homepage before leaving, then don’t bother.

But if someone from Company Y has viewed your Pricing Page 5 times in the last week, you know there’s some purchase intent there.

Using the contact information that Albacross provides you with, follow up with this person, and turn them into a paying user.

A Final Word On How To Grow Your Business

Give yourself a pat on the back!

You’ve made it all the way to the end of our bumper guide on growth hacking, and you’re now armed with all the tips and tricks you need to take your business to the next level.

We’ll be honest… learning how to grow a small business (on a tight budget) is highly challenging.

That said, as long as you make use of all the free tools you’ve got at your fingertips, and exercise some creativity, you’ll do just fine.

Here’s to scaling your business and doing more with less!

Albacross

Marcus Svensson

Head of Growth

Marcus Svensson is responsible for the Growth of Albacross with previous experience as a founder and background in Mathematics.