Hacking Growth Book Summary By Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown

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Hacking Growth (2017) is an essential reading for any business owner hoping to take their company to the next level.

Written by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown, this book acts as a step-by-step guide which will walk you through a dynamic and endlessly repeatable process that'll help you spark growth and transformation within your business.

Not only will it help revitalize any sluggish enterprise, but it'll also help you create loyal customers who won't want to go anywhere else!

Hacking Growth Book

Book Name: Hacking Growth (How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success)

Author(s): Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 23 Minutes

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Author Bio

Sean Ellis is a name that you should know if you are interested in the world of growth hacking and digital marketing.

As the cofounder and CEO of GrowthHackers.com, Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacker”, and has organized the extremely successful Growth Hackers Conference.

He is one of the most authoritative figures on all things related to growth hacking and digital marketing, so make sure to keep an eye out for anything he releases!

How To Hack Growth With Data: A Guide To Systematic Business Practices

Business Practices

If you’re a business owner, you know that achieving success and growth isn’t easy.

But thanks to the new opportunities available from online marketplaces, it’s much easier than ever before.

With the amount of data now at our disposal and the ability to communicate with customers quickly and effectively, we can take advantage of these changes in the business world to grow our business faster.

Hacking Growth offers us a play book to make sure we get the most out of our time and resources while tracking, analyzing, and testing data efficiently.

We can even learn a thing or two from college football teams on how to create an efficient business model.

Through data about customer connections and setting achievable but aspirational goals (we’re talking about finding your company’s North Star!), it’s possible for us to make our product one of the next big things in the industry.

Forming A Growth Team Can Unlock Your Business’ Potential For Success

Organizations that want to take their business to the next level need to prioritize growth by establishing a growth team.

This team consists of members from departments within the company who come together with one goal in mind – increasing revenue and growth.

A great example of this is BitTorrent, whose management team stopped seeing the results they wanted back in 2012.

To solve this issue, an innovative project-marketing manager created a growth team and looked at engineering issues from a marketing point of view.

This collaboration led to them discovering the lack of upgrades was due to customers being unaware of the premium version.

Both the engineering and marketing teams joined forces and managed to significantly increase their sales by 92 percent, all through raising awareness about the premium version.

It’s clear that for a growth team to reach its objective, it needs a strong leader who guides it towards success by setting clearly defined goals.

The leader helps keep the inter-departmental collaboration focused on moving forward, away from distractions that come in the way of their objectives.

By utilizing inter-department collaboration and strong leadership, organizations can make sure their growth team gets results and takes their business to new heights!

Using The Must-Have Survey To Determine If Your Product Is A Success And A/B Testing For Even More Insights

At the core of developing a must-have product is understanding the customer experience.

You need to know what they love and don’t love about your product so that you can make improvements where necessary.

And the best way to figure out how your customers feel about your product is to reach out to them with The Must-Have Survey.

The Must-Have Survey is a great way to quickly get an idea of how popular your product is and how much people would miss it if it were gone tomorrow.

It only asks one simple multiple-choice question: “How disappointed would you be if this product no longer existed tomorrow?” With three possible answers (Very Disappointed, Somewhat Dis appointed, or Not Dis appointed), you’ll have enough data to make an informed decision if at least 40 percent of customers answer “Very disappointed”.

If that percentage isn’t high enough for you, there are inexpensive methods for testing out different approaches.

A/B testing is one such method – essentially by showing test audiences a prototype or demonstration video – which will help you get crucial feedback from your target audience without breaking the bank.

Find Your North Star: How To Identify The Key Metrics Needed For Business Growth

Business Growth

In order to track your growth-hacking progress, it’s important to identify key data metrics.

This could include web traffic, user acquisition and returning users – but your business is likely to have its own set of metrics that are uniquely relevant.

It’s up to you to figure out which ones should be tracked.

On Facebook, for example, core metrics that they track include: how often people log in; the length of time they spend on the site; their activity levels when creating posts and comments; and the extent of friend requests sent.

These are all extremely important as they provide a great indication of whether or not people are interacting with the site in an efficient manner.

Once you know which metrics to track, it’s then essential to choose a single metric that will act as your North Star – something which accurately measures the core value that your product is delivering.

For Facebook, this is their daily active user count – more so than anything else – as it provides a straightforward assessment of whether or not Facebook is growing and thriving.

Once you’ve identified key data metrics and chosen a North Star metric for your business, you can start using real growth-hacking techniques to drive traffic towards your product or service!

Leveraging The Power Of Growth Hacking To Reach Your Goals Faster

The growth-hacking cycle has two stages: analyze and ideate.

During the analyze stage, it’s crucial to quickly collect and analyze data in order to gain customer insights.

Preparing a series of questions and sub-questions that provide the answers for who, what, when, why and how can help formulate meaningful growth hacking ideas.

In the ideate stage, every member of the growth team is responsible for coming up with exciting new ideas related to their area of expertise.

It’s important to have a structured format in place so that each idea can be logged, tracked and evaluated.

After deciding on some fundamental parameters such as short name and expected outcome, it’s necessary to make sure there is an easy way to measure their performance through metrics once implemented.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to rapidly develop new ideas during the first two stages of the growth-hacking cycle: analyze and ideate.

The Key To Growth Hacking: Prioritize, Test And Iterate

The last two stages of the growth-hacking cycle are prioritize and test.

Prioritize involves using the ICE scoring system which determines whether an idea is worth testing by assigning it a score based on impact, confidence, and ease.

Impact is based on how much potential growth the idea can generate.

Confidence is determined by the team’s conviction that the idea will work, supported by data.

Likewise, ease should be rated according to how much time and resources are needed to evaluate it.

Finally, each category’s score gets added up together for a final ICE score, which helps you order your ideas into tiers for further team discussion and testing.

Testing is then used to bring these concepts before customers and verify if they’re worth implementation plans.

It’s important to have strict guidelines in place designed by a data analyst so that reliable results are obtained quickly; a statistical-confidence interval of 99 percent with a 1 percent error margin should always be utilized here.

Ultimately, repeat use of these two stages help you learn more over time while allowing you to achieve rapid growth along the way!

How To Attract New Customers Without Going Bankrupt: Focus On A Powerful Message, Limit Expenses With Creative Hacks And Prioritize Wisely

Creative Hacks

When trying to attract new customers, creating a message that resonates with them is essential.

Your message needs to be concise and quickly grab their attention, as the average attention span of an online user is only 8 seconds.

Take for example Steve Jobs’ slogan for the original iPod: “1,000 Songs in Your Pocket.” It effectively explains why the product will be beneficial for them in just a few words.

Finding the perfect message can be difficult, though.

To do it with maximum efficiency and minimal effort, brainstorm dozens of variations on one message, test each one via simple A/B testing, and then pick out the ones that have potential.

In addition to having a powerful message, determine which marketing channels work best for your business by going through a six-criteria process: cost of testing; setup time; time to gather results; targeting of desired customers; flexibility of adjustments; and number of subjects tested.

Then prioritize the channels with higher scores when focusing on outreach activities.

Creating Funnel Reports To Find Out Where Customers Drop Off And Increase Conversion Rates

Making it easy for potential customers to become fans of your product is essential to success in the digital age.

And that’s exactly what the Hacking Growth section of the book focuses on.

It starts by telling you about creating a funnel report, which helps you pinpoint where customers tend to drop off throughout their customer journey.

This takes mapping out all the steps taken from first contact with your product until a sale, and then noting the conversion rate between each step — that is, the percentage of customers who actually proceed from one step to another.

Once this has been done, you can use customer surveys to learn why some customers don’t take that next crucial step towards buying from you.

For example, if you were running a business like Uber, understanding why people don’t go ahead with booking a ride after downloading the app could be invaluable to redesigning elements of your current process or reassurance systems for potential customers.

Lastly, it’s important not to overwhelm those filling out surveys – make sure they are brief and focused on understanding why someone didn’t get past the next steps within their customer journey.

Harnessing The Power Of Habits To Transform Your Business Through Engagement Loops

Creating customer habits is one of the most effective ways to keep customers loyal and engaged.

Amazon’s Prime membership program is a great example of how engaging customers through reward loops can lead to far greater retention rates.

By making an offer, rewarding customers with perks like two-day shipping, and reassuring that they made the right decision by reminding them of how much money they saved, Amazon has seen remarkable success in getting customers to renew each year with a renewal rate of over 90%.

Other companies take different approaches in providing rewards to help form customer habits.

Social recognition from platforms such as Yelp allows users to become ‘elites’ which sends a message to others about their loyalty and involvement on the platform.

Additionally, rewarding user achievements could also be a strategy for businesses.

Fitbit for instance congratulates its users when they have taken a certain number of steps.

By testing different reward strategies, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to create customer habits that keep them engaged and loyal over time.

A positive experience with benefits relative to subscription or purchase almost always encourages repeat behavior from customers if done correctly!

How To Grow Revenue Using Segmentation, Surveys, And New Features


Understanding your customers is one of the most important things you can do to ensure growth for your business.

By segmenting your customers into different groups and understanding what kind of revenue each group generates, you can begin to identify your most profitable segments and start optimizing those areas.

HotelTonight is a great example of this.

By segmenting their customers, they discovered that the people who used the app via cellular data generated twice as much revenue as those who used it via wifi.

To capitalize on this, they tested targeted ads to cellular-data users which paid off handsomely in profits.

Surveys are another powerful way to understand your customers better.

BitTorrent found success by asking users to rate potential new features that were being planned for a premium version, and then offering free upgrades as an incentive to get honest feedback from them.

Not only did they acquire invaluable customer insights, but also increased motivation among their current users – directly resulting in more revenue for their business.

At the end of the day, once you truly understand your customers, you can make informed decisions that will lead to growth in both customer satisfaction and profits.

Wrap Up

Hacking Growth is an essential book for anyone looking to gain a competitive edge in their chosen field.

It provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the principles of growth hacking and how to use them effectively in business strategies.

The key message that comes out of this book is that growth hacking is achievable regardless of the size or type of company, and requires cross-functional teams using rigorous data collection, analysis and testing.

The actionable advice given is to launch a pricing optimization survey, asking customers four key questions about prices that enable businesses to pinpoint the optimal price range for products.

With further testing, it’s possible to identify the perfect final price.

To sum up, Hacking Growth offers invaluable insights into optimizing business strategy and performance through the effective application of growth hacking principles.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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