Marketing Eye

Growth Hacks: Five Amazing Tools for Kick-Starting Startups

So you’ve founded a startup. You’ve been putting in the 80 hour weeks, working every moment you’re awake, sleeping in the office sometimes. And it seems like it’s paying off! Numbers are going up, and you’re getting some media buzz. But then—everything stops. Traffic drops off, registrations are down. You’re still trying to secure that next round of funding, and a drop in numbers right now could be fatal. It’s now or never. 

Okay, you can breath now. That was just a thought exercise. But it’s an important topic, and one any founder or aspiring founder should have a plan for. Just how do you kickstart your startup’s growth to get you to that next round? We’ve assembled five tools to help you get your startup off life support and into major growth mode. Read on. 

Optimizely

A/B testing is all the rage nowadays. In fact, these days, you’d be hard pressed to find any designer or engineer confident enough to push his designs and ideas through to market without extensive testing to fine tune the details. Though systematic A/B testing is unwieldy for designing a page from the ground up, it’s extremely useful when making sure you’re running absolutely the best version of your website or app that you can be. 

Any time you launch a new button, move a page element, or change a tagline—A/B test it! That’s where Optimizely comes in: you can use its What You See Is What You Get editor to easily move page elements around to create different tests. It also has robust analytics tools so that you can see tons of different pieces of data about your users. You can set goals and standards for winnings, so you can test different types of pages. Best of all, the simple interface means anyone in your company can design an A/B test, freeing up your engineers for the more pressing issues your company faces. 

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is well, crazy useful. With this tool, you can see exactly what parts of your site your users, well, use. It helps you understand exactly what your users do while they’re on your site, gives you a great visual introduction to how they use it, and gives you the kind of actionable information you crave. 

It sorts click and scroll information from your users into what it calls “heatmaps,” Predator vision style images with different colors indication different densities of clicks and scrolls. With Crazy Egg, you’ll see if people expect certain text to be a button or link, or see that no one ever scrolls down to the bottom of your page. This information will help you when you go to Optimizely and design some tests!

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a powerful Wordpress plugin that helps you generate leads, even from people who might have bounced out of your site. Here’s how it works: the plugin monitors your users for behavior that seems to indicate what they call “exit intent,” that is, intent to close the window, hit back, or change tabs. They do this by checking how the user’s mouse is moving and scrolling behavior. Then, if it detects this exit intent, it creates a quick lightbox popup prompting them to provide contact information.

And the most magical thing? They actually do it! OptinMonster also includes A/B testing features, integration with other plugins, and a host of other goodies. 

Google PageSpeed Tools

Users expect a page to load in two seconds. After that, they are pretty much gone. There are a lot of external factors you can blame for slow loading times, but one thing you should be on top of your own code. Google PageSpeed helps you analyze and optimize your site’s loading times.

Mailchimp

The king of the jungle (of email marketing), Mailchimp started climbing his Empire State Building of email marketing waaaaay back in 2001, and has been the leader of the field ever since. Dirt cheap, with plenty of great tools and analytics, it’s no wonder Mailchimp is the industry standard. 
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Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.








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