Sorry for clickbait-ish headline, couldn’t resist myself.
Some massively successful products have built-in distribution.
If you use them, you will trigger their growth.
And you will not notice it.
You will go about your work, satisfied with the help the product offered you.
Your product too can have such built-in growth.
A startup uses Product Hunt to launch its app.
Startup team want to get more up votes and generate a buzz.
They publicize this launch on social media, communities, newsletters and more.
Many of their friends, community members and others followed the shared link and landed on Product Hunt (PH).
The signed up to PH and up vote the product.
Startup team is happy to get high number of up votes and the buzz has helped them to get early users.
Who is happy too?
PH has just got new registered users without any efforts, without any campaigns.
This is good, but not great.
Great is, one user has brought in many new users. 😮
Which means, viral coefficient is greater than one.
So PH has an ever increasing user base.
Which makes it almost immortal.
🤜 Consider this:
A company uses Mailchimp.
A user signs up, he receives a confirmation email with a link to click for verification.
User clicks the link and verifies himself as real human.
Company builds a list of fully verified, highly interested users.
Company is happy.
Who else is also happy?
To verify the user, Mailchimp took him to a landing page with Mailchimp branding.
Some users are business users themselves. They find the process interesting, clicked on Mailchimp logo and landed on their signup page.
🤜 Consider this:
Last year I signed up for an online course to learn Sanskrit language.
Once I made the payment, the instructor sent me an email with a link to join the next class.
Ten minutes before the online class, I clicked the link, setup the software, entered my email and joined the class.
There were 15 other students like me in there.
My Sanskrit teacher delivered a powerful course over the next 30 days.
She earned great. I learned great. We all won.
Guess who else won?
The course was delivered over Zoom.
My online course instructor just brought them 15 new users.
The power of built-in growth lies in its compounding effect.
One course instructor brings in 15 new users. Now these 16 users (15+1), can bring in 15 each (or any number, just making a point).
1 —-> 15
16 —-> 16*15 = 240
240 ——> 240*15 = 3600
and so on.
Ofcourse, in reality, you can not expect every user to bring in so many new users. That’s Ok!
If simply by using a product for his own good, a user is bringing even 2-3 new users, you can have a compounding growth which will even sail through the storms of customer churn.
❓ “Looks cool, but I don’t think my SaaS product can have a built-in growth. We serve different vertical. My app can never have any feature to propel built-in growth.”
✔️ It can.
Almost all kinds of SaaS apps can design built-in growth within the product.
Medium has it. Author writes a story, promotes it on various channels for her own good, brings in many new users for medium.
Slack has it, so does Trello.
❓ “What about productivity apps, they are for single user, just for personal use?”
✔️ Build a feature to add an accountability partner. 👊💪
❓ “Can my product too grow by having built-in distribution? “
✔️ Most certainly. In my research, almost all kinds of successful SaaS companies were found to be using built-in growth.
The exact feature and process differ from one company to another, from one product to another. However the core process remains same:
A new user signs up.
She uses the product.
To extract more value from the product, she in one way or another shares it with many other people.
Some of them sign up.
Repeat 1-4, this time with more number of users. Hence compound growth.
❓”Ok, this sounds exciting. How can I build such growth for my product too?”
✔️ Focus on user behavior.
Study your core users and figure out what motivates them most when they use your product.
Once you get it, give them a feature to fuel their motivation further.
Nothing great on Twitter all this while. Thought leaders spammed it by congratulating Plaid for getting acquired.
On which day I publish the newsletter?
I am attempting to publish as often as I can. Not bounding myself with generic monthly or weekly limits. Organize your mind too much and your brain can not come up with new ideas. Too much organization is good for doing left-brain things repeatedly and efficiently, not for coming up with new ideas, not for organic growth hacking.
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