All the growth hacking techniques I see are always for SAAS (software as a service) which is of no use to most of use, especially me as I run a design agency, so thought I’d take some techniques and “hack” them even more to help me and anyone selling a service.
The first one is taken from http://petithacks.com/
If you haven’t been on this site, its ace, quick and to the point which is great.
Here’s a screen shot of the example I’m looking at using.
I really like the timing of this, the user in theory is already thinking about money as you are sending them the invoice, so what better time to offer them money off? Ok so lets run with this idea.
Make it suitable for a service company
Firstly this referral option in invoices isn’t going to work for all our clients, for example marketing managers, admin or people in finance departments probably don’t care enough about this and wont bite on this, so there’s no point offering them this option. I need to focus on the companies who have owner mangers or people who are still in control the purse strings (its amazing that we have some clients who are million pound companies but still do all the financial stuff themselves.)
I could look into automating this, but for now I decided I would choose clients who fitted the owner/manager profile and only change the invoice emails to them, this is manual and takes longer, but I only want to test the technique for now. I did this simply by printing ut a list of my clients and they going through and highlighting the ones that fit the bills, im sure there was a better way of doing this, but this was simple and only took a few minutes to do.
Next I had to create the email I was going to sent out, I didn’t want it to be on the invoice, instead just on the email I sent them, so
this is how my email looked with the new line added:
I realised something as I was putting this together, firstly that on petithacks they only offered $25 but that number is relative to how much that user spends each month, our projects can be thousands, so I wanted to make sure the number was attractive enough to get people to click, but also comfortable enough that it wouldn’t cripple my business if lots of people use it. Now I needed to send people who clicked that link somewhere.
Next thing is realising that I don’t have a SAAS business, which can automate this, and even if I could I didn’t want to waste time building something if no one used it. Also I’m aware we are a web design agency, but I didn’t want to waste ages designing a new part to the site along with then building it, so I ended up using http://www.instapages.com to trial my idea, its free if you just have 1 page, so all it costs is the time to set it up. I built the landing page and set up the mail-chimp link in about 20 minutes, used their standard template they had and just added my logo and changed the colours, this is the page I ended up with:
Not much on it, and to be honest not hugely in-keeping with our brand, but again it’s a test, it’s a hack, if I see results Ill spend time on it then.
As you can see, on this page I have asked for the email of the person who is recommending us, along with the email, name and phone number of the person who is being recommended to us.
I also worried that people could just keep filling this in and I end up making lots of cold calls, so I added a tick box to make them confirm the person knew they were expecting us to contact them.
I also worried that people would take advantage of this so I ensured to add that it was for current clients only.
I have no problem giving money off if it helps us bring in more customers and grow. But I don’t want random people we have never worked with us to get credit for referring us.
So current clients who fit my profile as owner/mangers who already get invoices from us get an invoice; which I manually edit. (copy and paste from a saved word document)
In that invoice email is a link to my landing page for them to get £100 credit for them and also £100 for their friend.
- The landing page collects the data and adds it to my mail-chimp list.
- I get an email to say someone has been added to the list
- I contact them and see if they are genuine.
- If they are we line up a meeting
- If not, they are added to my marketing list(with their permission) (Hey do you mind if I add you to my marketing list so you can see what type of work we do)
Total time spent putting this all together, 1 hour 20 minutes for all the invoices in total.
I send this invoice hack out to 20 people.
3 people clicked on the link
No one filled in the mail-chimp form BUT 1 client did ring and asked me about it, they in turn then gave me an introduction email to someone they thought we could help.
Job is be in the region of £2500 so not bad work.
Yes this is a tiny sample size and yes this technically cost me £200 for the client, but it’s my time, its not actual money out of my pocket and means it doesn’t effect my cash flow!
So lets see how this works when more people notice the link and click on it, let me know if you guys try it out and if you want some advice just let me know, cheers people!