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Growth Hacker’s are digital marketers on steroids. Growth Hackers are better than digital marketers in terms of data collection, understanding data, running experiments and following a process. Although marketing requires creativity, everything else can be boiled down to a process that could be followed. In today’s article we are going to talk about the Growth Hacker’s funnel that is used by the top growth hackers all over the world- to apply here in Singapore especially. We’ll talk about the funnel and also teach you how to use the funnel for your business.

It all started with Dave Mcclure’s AARRR metrics also called the Pirate metrics. The AARRR metrics stand for

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  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Revenue
  • Referral


1) Acquisition

Acquisition stands for acquiring customers into your platform. An acquisition can mean different things for different companies. Let me explain.

  • For a blog, acquisition can mean, when a user subscribes to the blog
  • For an e-commerce store, acquisition can mean when a user goes through two or three pages of the store and shows clear intent to purchase
  • For an App, it can mean when a user downloads the application

You may wonder, why it’s open ended. It’s because acquisition is different for different Industries. So how do you define acquisition for you?

The first interaction the customer has with your platform, not your advertisement is generally acquisition. But if you are running a SAAS product then it would be something like making the user join a free trial of your product. Make sure that your acquisition strategy involves getting the user to interact with your product or website.

acquire customers

So what are some Acquisition strategies? Anything you get to make the user come to the website is an acquisition strategy. Organic is a preferred choice because of the money that you save, but as an e-commerce store Adwords is also a great acquisition strategy to bring customers to your website. Read the book Traction to understand all the different acquisition strategies.

2) Activation

Activation is an action the user performs that is good for your business. For a mobile application it can be something as simple as entering their information and using the application. For a game mobile application, it could be something like, playing the first game. As an e-commerce store, a purchase can mean your user is activated. This is also very subjective, but ask yourself when do you think the user is activated on your platform?

Activation is making the person take an action on your website. Make sure to have a flow for your app or website, a step-by-step if you could call it, that users could follow. Making sure to have a very good landing page is very important for activation. Optimize your landing pages and use suggestive copy to make the user take action.

activate customer

Also read: 5 Growth Hacking Blogs You Must Read

3) Retention

Retention is when a user is retained and constantly uses the services of your company. For an e-commerce store it probably is repeat purchases of 2 to 3 times. For a mobile application it can mean being a constant user for 2 to 3 months. So retention is measured by DAU’s(Daily Active Users) and MAU’s (Monthly Active Users) or number of transactions made by a person.

Some retention strategies involve sending e-mailers. E-commerce stores every once in a while send you e-mails based on the contents of your cart and urge you to purchase. For mobile applications, notifications on the phone is also a way to get the user to use the application.

To retain a customer, you need to understand that the user needs to have a fabulous experience with the product and that is the number one strategy! To make him smile….

batman smile

4) Revenue

So once you’ve acquired the user, activated them and retained, it’s time to make revenues.

money come

Now that your users are using your platform and maybe it’s a freemium model and they are liking the product. Suggest your users to upgrade by showing them the value give them a free trial of the paid version and get them to experience the awesomeness of your product.

5) Referral

This is the activity when a user recommends another user to your platform. This forms a viral effect and the funnel starts from the beginning when the new user is acquired.

Some referral strategies include giving an upgrade to your existing users when they recommend new users. A company called Trello who have a premium product called Trello Gold give you a one month free membership of Trello Gold whenever you refer a friend to the platform. After every purchase from an e-commerce store you could ask users to share their purchase to their social profiles. Some referral strategies are direct and some are indirect even though rejections are inevitable.

rejections from referral

We’ve covered the aspects for the funnel, now let’s get to some strategies for every bit of the funnel, so you get an Idea of how this funnel can help you.

Also read: Top 2016 SEO Tips to get Better Rankings in Singapore

6) Understanding Data and Chasing the Right Metrics

All these different facets of growing a business have one common theme and that is understanding data really well.

You need to measure and track everything so you have information that can help you take better decisions.  Another important component is chasing the right metric. In this just completed season of Silicon Valley, when everybody is celebrating the success of Piedpiper’s growth, the CEO isn’t too happy because their most important metric isn’t the total users who have downloaded their product but it’s the number of daily active users. The total users although was around 500,000, their Daily active users were only around 19,000. A glaring deficiency.

growth hacker singapore

Let’s ask you a question, which metric is better?

  • 10,000 Facebook likes and 100 sales through Facebook or,
  • 1000 Facebook likes and 100 sales through Facebook

If you said one, then wrong. The second is more promising because 10% of your fan base is buying your product and in the case of the first one, it’s just one 1%.

To think like a Growth Marketer, make sure you are chasing the right numbers and understanding data extensively.  To be an effective growth marketer in Singapore you need to be good at

  • Marketing Platforms and Content that works in them
  • Reading data and aiming for the right metrics
  • Understanding the funnel and setting the right strategy for each component.
  • Being up to date on the latest in the world of marketing.

Have fun Growth Hacking!

By Jon Ng

Author Jon Ng

My name is Jon. I started internet marketing since 2007 and have set up and sold off many websites and mobile apps. Here at SingaporeDigitalMarketing, we write about some of the best tactics and strategies to push your online marketing initiatives. We have created numerous digital applications over the years and have grown them into crazy money making assets.

More posts by Jon Ng

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