5 Growth Marketing Tactics Proven to ROI (+ Real Examples)

You’re a growth marketer. A thumpin’ goodun, I’d say, too.

But it’s Friday, and you’ve got that meeting with your growth marketing team. The one where your founder says, “The company isn’t doing so well. We’re not gaining any traction and we’re behind our revenue targets. Does anyone have any ideas?”

Your mouth is dry, and your mind draws a blank.

If only you had some examples of growth marketing tactics proven to return on investment. Wink, wink.

You do now! Here are five. Tactics or strategies, you decide. Either way, you can have them ready like arrows in your quiver. Then, the next time your manager asks for an idea, draw your bow and fire.


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So why growth marketing? For B2B SaaS startups, growth marketing makes a lot of sense. You could try a thousand different tactics, but doesn’t it make more sense to start with tactics that are proven to drive ROI?

To use growth marketing tactics successfully, start with a growth marketing mindset. You need to be agile and experimental, data-driven, and track the metrics that matter over quarters and years to determine what is and isn’t working.

Lean Labs is an outsourced growth team dedicated to scaling lead generation and profitable customer acquisition. How do we do it? By leveraging the six levers of growth. We work with deserving brands to develop robust go-to-market strategies, build growth websites, and optimize conversions.

Growth Marketing Vs. Growth Hacking

A quick word on what growth marketing isn’t. It’s not growth hacking. Sure, we want quick wins, but they stack up, and we attach them to data-driven strategies. It’s not random. Likewise, growth marketing is different from traditional marketing because it focuses on more than just driving traffic and leads.

Tactic #1: Focus on Retention and Referrals

Traditional marketing focuses on driving traffic to your website. Sometimes not even the correct type of traffic, just eyes on your page. It also focuses on leads, but are they the right leads? Without an active role throughout the buyer journey, customers talk to sales and customer service teams without marketing visibility.

Poor visibility unintentionally leads to silos and a lack of collaboration. Yet your customers are your best marketers! Retention and referral levers feed awareness. Hence, full-funnel marketing. The customers you already have are more likely to buy from you again.

When you focus on retaining your best customers, you’ll put more care and effort into customer service and ensuring your product is top-notch. Data shows that increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25% to 95% and that existing customers provide 65% of a company’s business.

Think about the customers who stay and are happy with your product or service. Are they more likely to refer you to friends and family? Of course! Don’t forget to ask for referrals; most customers won’t do it off their own backs.

Example: Vero

Vero is a customer messaging platform that helps businesses send personalized messages and other communications to their customers. It’s cloud-based, and companies can create in-app messages, email campaigns, and push notifications.

Vero releases a roadmap every year centered around customer feedback. They listen to customer requests and work to optimize their platform. In addition, they provide a comprehensive overview of the features they plan to release updates and the order they’ll be developed.

If customers feel listened to, they’re more likely to stick around and might even be more forgiving when you make mistakes.

Tactic #2: Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing leverages chatbots and other interfaces to engage with customers in real-time. 

Related Read: 6 Must-See Organic Lead Generation Strategies to Fill Your Pipeline

It’s a great way to be available to customers when they need you. You can offer personalized support, collect valuable feedback and data, and ultimately increase conversions.

The key benefits center around personalization — for example, personalized customer support in real-time benefits customers and the business. Talking one-to-one with an expert gives customers confidence that their questions and concerns are being taken seriously.

Example: Drift

Drift pioneered conversational marketing. Their platform allows businesses to create chatbots for various uses. The key benefits of using Drift include the following:

  • Driving more leads by engaging with website visitors in real-time lets you capture contact information and qualify leads.
  • Schedule meetings directly from a conversation, so you don’t need to go back and forth setting up meetings.
  • Speed up the sales process by helping buyers make decisions in real-time.
  • Conversational customer support provides a better customer experience, and chatbots can handle common customer inquiries and support requests.

You can use Drift at various stages of the customer journey and show visitors you can meet them where they are.

Tactic #3: User-Generated Content

People are creating content all day, every day. So why not leverage it? Imagine you’re releasing a new product to market. You give 100 users with active social media accounts early access and ask them to create content around using the product.

Related Read: How To Do B2B Social Media Marketing: 5 Simple Strategies

Let’s say 50% of them create content. You now have 50 pieces of content you can share, repurpose, and use to provide social proof, increase credibility, and generate leads. You can use UGC throughout the buyer journey if your strategy is creative.

Content from real customers showcases that people use and succeed with your product.

If you’re still unconvinced, here are some numbers:

Example: Adobe

Adobe uses USC as part of its marketing strategy. Instead of showing you what Adobe can do, they showcase real customers using Adobe on their projects.

Several posts on Adobe’s Instagram account feature artwork created by Creative Cloud users. With over 4.5 million followers, Adobe creates a lot of social proof. They provide a caption featuring the user’s Instagram handle (which the user will inevitably share) to increase their reach further.

In 2022, Adobe launched a campaign called “Create What’s True To You,” encouraging users to share how they use photoshop, illustrator, and creative cloud to express their artistic license. It was a powerful example of how user-generated content showcases the capabilities of Adobe’s software.

Tactic #4: Try Freemium Access

A freemium version of your product or service gets it into the hands of potential customers without a barrier to entry. It’s usually limited in functionality but still provides value to users and entices them to ascend to your fully-functional product.

It’s a similar strategy to product-led growth. You let the product do the talking, and it becomes the primary driver of acquisition, retention, and expansion.

You want to create friction because you want to make a value gap that pushes users to upgrade to a paid plan.

Related Read: Building an Incredible Brand Awareness Strategy: 20 Unexpected Tips

For example, you could offer a full-featured free trial plus a free-forever plan. The free trial teases what users could get with the pro version. And, once they transfer to the free-forever program but lose access to all features, you’ll incentivize them to upgrade.

Provide an exceptional customer experience. A robust onboarding experience and an impressive knowledge base might convince someone to continue working with you. Reminding users that they’re on a limited plan and could get more out of the pro version can also be effective.

Lastly, businesses can track which users are nearing the free plan’s limits and those who spend the most time with the product to improve outreach and nurturing efforts. As a result, they’re better positioned to convert.

Example: Zapier

Zapier is an automation tool. You can automate repetitive tasks by connecting the apps and services you use. For example, you create ‘Zaps’ or automated workflows connecting two or more apps.

For example, whenever someone downloads your lead magnet, you can create a Zap that starts an email sequence from your Mailchimp account. Zapier integrates with over 2,000 apps and services. For small business owners, it’s a valuable tool that saves time and streamlines tasks.

The free plan allows you to create up to 5 Zaps and run up to 100 tasks a month. It also included limited access to a number of the more popular apps like Gmail, Slack, and Trello.

Tactic #5: Leverage the power of AI

Open AI. ChatGPT. AI is on everyone’s lips. And for good reasons. Its capabilities are growing daily, and marketers must take advantage of it how we’re not quite sure yet. But at least experiment with it (we are).

For B2B SaaS startups, AI helps optimize your marketing efforts in several ways, including the below.

Personalize your email campaigns

Analyze customer data and segment your audience based on preferences, behavior, and demographics. You can then create highly-targeted email campaigns that resonate with your audience. To increase engagement, some AI-powered tools optimize subject lines, send time, and offer insights to maximize open and click-through rates.

Optimize website experiences

Identify patterns and trends that lead to conversions on your website by analyzing user behavior. You can use this information to optimize your website’s design, layout, and content. Using AI can also help you customize user experiences, such as recommending relevant content or products based on browsing history and optimizing call-to-action buttons.

Enhance content marketing

Using AI-driven tools, you can produce and distribute more and better content across multiple channels. Content curation tools can suggest relevant articles, videos, and other resources to share with your audience. In contrast, AI-powered content creation tools can assist in creating blog posts, social media posts, and more. As a result, you can maintain a consistent content marketing strategy, which is crucial for building brand awareness and driving organic traffic to your site.

There’s so much more, but the tools you use most will depend on your goals and strategies.

Example: Iterable

A growth marketing platform that helps businesses create unique and engaging customer experiences.

With Iterable, you can create highly personalized, automated, and multi-channel marketing campaigns. Target specific groups of customers based on criteria such as demographics, behavior, and engagement. 

Utilizing Iterable’s visual workflow builder, you can automate the entire customer journey, including email, mobile push, SMS, in-app notifications, and web push, to deliver targeted messages and offers across multiple channels.

Optimize the campaign using Iterable AI to determine each customer's best send times, subject lines, and content variations. With A/B testing and experimentation capabilities, you can experiment with different campaign elements and make data-driven decisions.

Reporting and analytics tools allow you to track campaign performance, gain insight into customer behavior, and continuously improve marketing strategies.

Growth Marketing Tactics are Nothing Without a Strategy

The tactics above are all legitimate. They drive ROI. But they’re not just random tactics that these companies tried on a whim. They are part of an overall strategy that resonates with their ideal clients.

It’s essential to know the difference between growth hacking and growth marketing if you implement these tactics. Find tactics that work for you, your product, your team, and your customers. 

Sure, you can pivot when needed. But before you do implement, start with a solid go-to-market strategy. 

Then you can plan and budget for growth.

Want to see how we use growth marketing to drive success for our clients? Peek behind our proverbial curtain and see what we do day in and day out at Lean Labs. It’s all in our free tool, the Growth Playbook!

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