Recomazing Blog

Growth Hacking: How to avoid three common growth hacking #fails

[fa icon="calendar"] 12-Apr-2017 16:21:50 / by Freya Hunter

Freya Hunter



Well here it is, the final post in our three part growth hacking series from Dan SiepenCo-Founder of Growth Hackers Australia and the Coder Factory Academy!

In part 1, Dan took us through his top 5 growth hacking trends for 2017, which provided some insightful tips on driving growth for your business.

In his second post, Dan revealed four new growth hacks to boost your startup in 2017, definitely worth a read if you're looking to stay abreast of ket trends in the industry.

Now this week, Dan takes a look at three common growth hacking fails and shows us how we can avoid them.


Fail #1: Trying to scale before focusing on product love


Everyone is looking for the Dropbox or Facebook growth story, but many people don’t realise that before these all went viral, they focused on early stage users and customer experience.

Groupon is a great example of focusing on your user base first and proving your MVP. Groupon started local before they even considered scaling.

"Groupon started as local as they could get. They went around the office building that they were renting a space in, asking people to sign up. Their first campaign? Half-priced pizzas at the restaurant on the first floor. The first 500 signups came from here". - Reddit

How many times have we seen this? It’s happened to me, and I’m sure it’s happened to you. We’ve learnt our lessons now.




Check out how the likes of Airbnb, Dropbox and Foursquare used smart strategies and tactics for their growth.


Fail # 2: Growth Hacking = "Aquisition"

In conjunction with my last post, there is too big of a focus on “acquiring” customers when it comes to growth hacking. It’s a bit of a catch-22 scenario where you want to gain more users, but you also can’t abandon existing users of your product. Therefore there needs to be a bigger focus on;




Even with only 500 users, you can implement strategies to make sure these users stay and love your product.



Here are some great examples of Activation models to make sure a user prompts a behaviour on your site. (e.g. Explainer video, CTA, etc.).

Metrics you need to measure for activation:

  • New Customer Activation rate (7, 14, 30 days)
  • Activation by referrer
  • Activation by source
  • AU Ratios (DAU, WAU, MAUs)
  • Email Summary (outbound) (sent, opens, clicks, re-engaged) / split out by type & funnel
  • Avg. #referrals / invites per customer



Retention is critical for early stage and mature companies. The average business loses around 20% of its customers annually simply by failing to attend to customer relationships. Some simple retention strategies include:

So how do you measure retention?

Churn (Customer Retention)

  • Engagement (absolute percentage)
  • Engagement by referrer
  • Engagement by source
  • Resurrections by source
  • Resurrections by referrer
  • Qualdata (User Feedback)
  • Quantdata (NPS, raw data)
  • Customer Success (Guide stats)



There are some excellent referral tactics tools you can start using for your referral strategies. There are some great examples in this post including:

  • Invite collaborators (colleagues and clients) to the app
  • Encourage Social Shares With In-Product Rewards (a great tool includes Recomazing and Australian company
  • Double-sided incentivised referral schemes
  • Use “Powered By…” but don’t use “Powered By”
  • Create embeddable widgets


Fail #3: Growth hacking as a "silver bullet"

My final and third point is more of a mentality lesson rather than a tactical tip:



Scalable and sustainable growth can be achieved after numerous tests and experiments in conjunction with data and then you will start to see results. The timeline is up to you.


Well folks, there you have it. We want to say a big thank you to Dan Siepen, you've been and inciredible guest author for our blog.

Most of all, we really appreciate the insightful knowledge you have passed on to our audience, thirsty for information on how to make their business grow faster!

If you would like to learn more about Dan's recos, click the button below!


See Dan's Recomazing Profile here


Do you have any suggestions for topics you would like to see next? Capital raising/UX/creating your MVP? Let me know in the comments section below!


Topics: Growth Hacking, Dan Siepen, Growth Hackers Australia

Freya Hunter

Written by Freya Hunter

Is the Conversation Party Starter @Recomazing, communications guardian, community manager, resident social media geek and office DJ.

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