A wise man once said, “Mo money, mo problems.” He was right.
For marketers, however, the biggest problem of all is “mo money, no leads.”
After experimenting with paid media and sponsorships, Pattern89 was starting to feel the burden of this problem. We were seeing a lot of site traffic, but few conversions with our typical methods of advertising. Rather than continuing to spend money on campaigns that weren’t providing the returns we were looking for, we tried to growth hack our way to success.
Growth hacking is an approach to marketing where a business tries to acquire as many leads or customers as possible while spending minimal money. It sounds like a fantasy, but it can actually work. Here’s how my team growth hacked our way to four times more leads in just two months.
Rapid Idea Generation & Experimentation
The first phase of our growth hacking experiment was to throw a lot of things at the wall, to see what would stick. We didn’t want to do this haphazardly, so we studied what was successful for other companies, and evaluated our in-house skill set. From this research, we decided to focus our efforts in three areas: software releases, strategic website updates, and creative campaigns.
Pattern89 continuously launches new product features, but we had never done much marketing around them. During the early stages of our growth hacking experiment, our product team released some exciting and time-saving features. We saw these features as opportunities to make a splash, so we bundled them together into a marketing campaign called Gemini. It featured all the standard materials for a marketing campaign — custom emails, blogs, video, and social campaigns.
Because we wanted to see what would stick, we tested Gemini’s messaging in more ways we never had before — A/B testing in emails, crafting a variety of social messages (and I mean a lot of variety), and monitoring website activity to collect data on what was keeping people engaged.
Pattern89 saves marketers hours every week on their Facebook and Instagram ads, and from our experimentation, we found that this was a huge driver of interest. We reached out to various audiences to make them aware of Gemini’s updates, and we used different tones and language to get our time-saving message across.
From here, we made adjustments to copy and graphics on our website. We leaned into the success of Gemini’s time-saving messaging by updating our homepage. Traditionally, our homepage featured a brief explanation of our marketing AI product and a screenshot of what it looked like. Several iterations of our new homepage design featured lifestyle photos and time-saving, cost-saving messaging.
In addition to these new approaches to marketing and messaging, we decided to try something really different. We created an interactive game called The Robot Slayer. The game’s goal was to show marketers how AI makes their work better, while also counteracting the idea that AI will take away jobs. We asked a variety of lighthearted questions that kept players engaged throughout the experience, and Gemini’s time-saving message was also woven throughout.
Overall, our strategy for trying new ideas worked. The content we were producing was connecting with the right people. While our site traffic was down, due to cutting our ad spend, our leads were up, thanks to our new messaging and a new mid-funnel offer.
A New Mid-Funnel Offer: AI Ad Creative Assessment
Along with running a variety of new creative campaigns, Pattern89 started offering a free AI-driven ad creative assessment. This assessment analyzes over 2,900 creative elements of every historic ad in your account. It uncovers what creative dimensions — copy parameters, images, colors, emojis, etc. — will perform best for your brand and deliver the highest ROI. Our thought when building the assessment was that the offer’s quick delivery, and the fact that it didn’t force a time commitment, would attract more leads.
To promote the assessment, we built a custom landing page and adjusted the Pattern89 homepage again. We focused on actually showing the amazing insights that the ad assessment offered. Our graphic design intern created animated gifs for our homepage that showed an ad updating its creative, and delivering higher ROI, as a direct result of the assessment.
This assessment also contributed to our goal of explaining how AI enhances humans’ work, rather than taking work away. Our homepage was now illustrating exactly how AI enhances creative performance and boosts ROI.
Switching up our offer, and carefully crafting its messaging, paid off in a big way. It led to four times the leads in its first two months.
Takeaways from Our Growth Hacking Phase
While we learned a lot during this time, the biggest takeaways from our growth hacking phase are…
- Try your crazy ideas. We tried several messaging themes, to varying success. After finding what really worked to us, we carried it throughout other campaigns, social channels, and conversations.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Not everything will work, and that’s ok. Experimenting without the fear of failure is one of our company values, and we applied that outlook here. When you’re rapidly trying new ideas, some won’t work, but others will.
- Never stop learning and build off of successes. Track performance religiously and check in on your metrics daily. Adjust your campaigns and messaging as needed, and really latch on to what is driving success. Incorporate those messages into future campaigns.
From growth hacking, we’ve learned where and how to allocate our marketing efforts for maximized results. As we move ahead, our future goal is “mo money, mo leads.” But to get there, we needed to try this first.