A Beginners Introduction To Metrics & Analytics For Data-Driven Growth

Cover-Idea-LatestThe following is an excerpt from my book on growth for SaaS companies, “Growth Pirate! An Entrepreneurs Guide To Achieving Data-Driven Growth In Your Startup”

This excerpt is part of the introduction chapter that sets the foundation knowledge for the rest of the book to build upon. I’d recommend this post before diving into any other analytics articles as it’s a perfect primer for more advanced concepts and techniques.

In this post, you’ll cover:

  • Working with Metrics effectively
  • What makes a good metric
  • Actionable vs. vanity metrics: How to spot the difference
  • How to avoid Analysis Paralysis
  • Segmentation and cohorts explained
  • A/B Testing

Working With Metrics

Before we can explore how to use a startup metrics framework like Pirate Metrics effectively, we should cover some ground on the fundamentals of measuring data and turning this into useful information. 

Working with analytics and metrics is a dangerous game, and it’s far too easy to drown under data, or allow a metric to walk your team off of a cliff.

I’ve sat in meetings and heard Marketing Directors justify their marketing budget based on their increase in Twitter followers. And listened to a trade exhibition sales guys try to convince me that a $2,600 booth is a good buy because on average, “exhibitors receive 300 business cards in their fish bowls”.

If you don’t understand the basics, metrics can lie to you. Or worse, people can manipulate metrics to lie to you.

If we want Pirate Metrics to work for us, we need to know how to identify good metrics and how to place data into our daily work without doing more harm than good.

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Growth Hacking Like A Pirate, A Beginner’s Guide To Pirate Metrics

UPDATE: Go and download the ‘Growth Pirate’ eBook here

At trak.io we use Pirate Metrics as a simple metrics and analytics foundation for startups. Based on the assumption that every startup needs to get customers through 5 key stages, Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral & Revenue. AARRR!

We’ve made this structure tightly integrated with our upcoming Metrics product, so I wanted to give a full explanation of why and also write a beginners guide for startup founders who have never come across AARRR before, or, for those who have heard about it but are unsure as to how it actually translates into actions they can take in their day-to-day of growing their startup.

Continue reading Growth Hacking Like A Pirate, A Beginner’s Guide To Pirate Metrics

39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 5/5 – Revenue Hacks

Not all 39 hacks are in this single post: Part 1 Acquisition hacksPart 2 Activation hacksPart 3 Retention hacksPart 4 Referral hacksPart 5 revenue hacks.

You may think that once you get users to this stage, your work is complete. 2% of all your users have entered their credit card and are paying. The world is green and good, and soon Salesforce or Yahoo will be at your door offering an acquisition.

Not quite.

Growth Hacking is not about getting to revenue. That’s where Lean Startup and Customer Development help. They show you product/market fit tactics, ending in taking some revenue.

Growth Hackers look at $5,000 in MRR with 5% monthly growth and are unhappy. They want to know how they can get 30% growth month on month. They see $2 million in monthly ad revenue and want to get to $3 million monthly within 6 months.

You can increase revenue by hacking the 4 stages before it, so that more people hit this stage. But you can also optimise this stage itself so that you achieve more revenue from each paying customer.

Here are some tactics to try:

Continue reading 39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 5/5 – Revenue Hacks

39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 4/5 – Referral Hacks

All 39 Hacks are not in this single post. Part 1 Acquisition hacksPart 2 Activation hacksPart 3 Retention hacksPart 4 Referral hacksPart 5 revenue hacks.

Without viral growth, it’s unlikely you’ll ever find a sustainable business model. Paying for every customer with a full marketing dollar just isn’t realistic. You need to build shareability into the very fabric of business model – unless you plan on promising your first-born to Google Adwords.

Shareability means different things for different products. But whether you’re trying to improve your Referral metric for a iOS game of a B2B SaaS app, a simple rule applies: people won’t share a crap product.

You need to sort product/market fit first. Make sure your landing pages can successfully acquire signups at a good conversion rate. Make sure you have an acceptable activation rate that doesn’t mean you’re wasting signups.

Once you’ve fixed the funnel this far, then it’s time to start weaving shareability into your product and focussing on it as a metric. Here’s a few quick tactics to try.

Continue reading 39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 4/5 – Referral Hacks

39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 3/5 – Retention Hacks

All 39 Hacks are not in this single post. Part 1 Acquisition hacksPart 2 Activation hacksPart 3 Retention hacksPart 4 Referral hacksPart 5 revenue hacks.

Retaining an existing user (or reducing Churn) is key to achieving profitability and ROI in your startup. The famous statistic is that it costs 5 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one.

We aren’t going to explore the psychology or theory of why that is true. Just accept that it is, and if you’ve solved Acquisition and Activation in your startup, you now need to focus on Retention.

This post is a list of customer retention hacks that you can implement right now into your startup that are proven to work.

Continue reading 39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 3/5 – Retention Hacks

39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 2/5 – Activation Hacks

Part 1 Acquisition hacksPart 2 Activation hacksPart 3 Retention hacksPart 4 Referral hacksPart 5 revenue hacks.

It’s a wonderful assumption that every user who completes your signup form, or installs your app, is going to fully explore your product. “Why would anyone create an account, and then not create their first campaign?”

Getting users to activate is a critical stage. There’s a bit of ambiguity about exactly which stage ‘Activation’ refers to. Some growth hackers would consider this ‘completing a signup form’ however at trak.io we consider that part of acquisition. To me, Activation means getting users to a stage in the product where you can be confident that they’ve experienced the value in the product.

Here’s the next part of our Growth Hacking Tactics guide, with lots of actionable hacks to try.

Continue reading 39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 2/5 – Activation Hacks

39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 1/5 – Acquisition Hacks

This was going to be all 39 hacks in a single post, but it kept growing because I didn’t want to just list each technique, I wanted to actually explain how and why in a bit more detail. Part 1 focusses on Acquisition hacks, the other 4 parts will appear live over the next few days.

Part 1 Acquisition hacksPart 2 Activation hacksPart 3 Retention hacksPart 4 Referral hacks, Part 5 revenue hacks.

An ideal growth hacking tactic in any startup is scaleable, sustainable and automated. However, I’m not saying you should ignore a possible tactic just because it doesn’t fit perfectly into all 3 of these criteria.

Spotted a window of opportunity that will only last a few months? Exploit it, and have some new ideas lined up ready for when the opportunity expires. Lots of growth hacking tactics are short-lived opportunities, but eventually they become saturated (all of your competitors copy you) or the loophole you’re exploiting gets closed up. Thats cool. That’s why you’re paid the big bucks, to constantly be thinking of new ideas.

Growth hackers need to be creative, able to attack problems in new ways and constantly be pushing the product team to try new ideas for growth.

Here are a ton of tried and tested growth hacking tactics to give you inspiration, categorised by the relevant stage in the AARRR lean marketing funnel that they support.

Continue reading 39 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics Part 1/5 – Acquisition Hacks