Ask a marketer, “How does my product grow?” They'll reply:
Ads, affiliates, sales, social, yada yada yada
They’re describing top-down growth. Your classic funnel. Pour more in. Get more out. Here’s the problem.
The best marketers think less about funnels. More about loops.
Loops feed themselves. The actions of one user create an output which create a new user.
Let's look at some examples.
Some products improve with more users. So there's a personal incentive to invite new users.
e.g. Fantasy football, Slack, Trello
Some products have financial incentives to invite new users.
e.g. Dropbox, PayPal, Tesla
Some products are so good, people just like talking about them.
e.g. DoubleTree, Stripe, Game of Thrones
Some products leverage users content to grow their own organic traffic.
e.g. Quora, Reddit, Stack Overflow
Some products attract new users simply by being noticeable. Lime's bright green is not a coincidence.
e.g. Lime, Square, ChargedUp
Some products incentivise users to promote their content for them.
e.g. Meetup, ProductHunt, Typeform
Some products grow by embedding themselves on other platforms.
e.g. Trustpulse, Intercom, Algolia
Most people think you build the product then you market it. Thinking in loops means you build the marketing into the product.
The product doesn't precede the marketing. The product is the marketing.
Writing this just now I realised all the different loops at play at Indie Hackers:
Each one leverages existing users to create new users!
Big credit to Brian Balfour and Casey Winters. They've written a load of great stuff on this topic. This article is really just text book notes. Brian's actually been on the IH podcast and discussed Growth Loops Indie Hackers Podcast
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Thanks for reading — Harry
Sent from my iPhone