Hiten Shah, co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, joined us last week for our webinar, “Meet the Experts: Growth Hacking Lessons for Startups and Enterprises“. Hiten has been creating and growing both self-funded and venture backed SaaS analytics businesses since 2005. As an advisor, investor, or service provider he’s helped dozens of companies with marketing, product, and growth initiatives.

We reached out to marketers on social media to see what questions they had for Hiten:

Q: How often do you evaluate the channels you use? When do you know what growth stage you’ve hit to help drive your marketing strategy forward?

Hiten: All good marketers are probably checking in on all their channels daily, just to make sure things are going well, and monitoring for inconsistencies. Weekly, you should probably do a review of whether you need to make changes or add new channels.

In terms of stages, I don’t think so much about marketing having stages, but rather I think of a marketer’s experience with each channel in two stages: you’re either trying something new and monitoring it to see if it’s improving, or you’re figuring out how to double down if it’s working.

Q: What type of growth-hacker traits fit best at a 10-person company vs. a 100-person company?

Hiten: I think the most obvious thing when moving from a 10-person company to a 100-person company is that marketers need to know how to work better in a team, rather than working individually. There are people who really like being on a small team and may not fit or adapt as well as that team expands.

Q: What are some examples of enterprise companies that are highly successful at growth hacking?

Hiten: I think we’re seeing tons of companies start to figure this out. I’d say that some of the fastest-growing companies today have figured out how to approach growth sustainably and at scale. A company that comes to mind that you might not think of as doing growth hacking would be Slack. It’s growing really fast, its an enterprise company, and they’ve made a lot of smart engineering decisions around their product that makes it easy to market.

One of the usual suspects that’s always interesting to study is Dropbox and the double referral program they’ve started. They found that they couldn’t profitably acquire customers using paid channels, so they decided to aggressively pursue a referral strategy. I’d say that was a growth hack for sure.

Q: What are some big mistakes you’ve seen companies make while they scaled?

Hiten: One of the most common things I see is that, as a business scales, they start having a larger budget. So they start spending money on a lot of channels without thinking about it as experimentation. You end up having a lot more means to access different channels, but might not be approaching these in a tactical or results-driven way.

Q: You talked a lot about conversion hacks; do you have any thoughts on lead gen hacks that are faster than getting a content engine going?

Hiten: In my experience, you can write a single blog post that might not get a lot of traffic, but can still get you good leads. My hack for lead gen would be to write one piece of content, or a few pieces, that are designed around helping people get to know you and understand what you’re trying to do, and use that for lead gen. Even for early stage companies, I still think content is possible. I like the mindset of “start small and think big”. You can start small—a handful of blog posts, for example—and it doesn’t have to be this big, daunting effort.

Q: Any suggestions on ways to improve a website without A/B testing?

Hiten: I think it’s very simple. What I would say is, if you have low traffic and can’t do A/B testing, your biggest improvement is going to come from better understanding your users, whether through surveys or user research, and trying to make a change based on those findings. Learn what’s confusing them, learn what issues they’re facing, and make a change. I’ve often found that even just showing someone you know who is non-technical and asking if they understand your website will help surface some obvious things that need to be fixed. It’s really just learning how to say the right thing so people know what your website’s all about and what your product’s all about.


What are the most effective marketing channels for startups? How should companies change their perspectives as they scale? Get more insights from our webinar on demand: “Meet the Expert: Growth Hacking Lessons for Startups and Enterprises“.