in Projects, Programming, Technology

Growth Hacking Haiku Deck

I’ve been working with Haiku Deck (a Seattle Startup that makes free presentation software) for about 7 months. In that time, we’ve cooked up some pretty cool growth hacks to accelerate the growth of their user base.

Luckily, the product is already loved by its users. It is naturally viral since people use it to present their content to all types of audiences. For Haiku Deck, each person to view a presentation is a potential new customer. The best growth hacking occurs when the motives of the company and customer are completely aligned. In this case, the motive is to spread ideas far and wide via inspiring presentations. Plus, we recently removed a huge hurdle – having an $300-500 iPad by launching a web version.

Here are some of the experiments we’ve done to increase page views, signups, and sharing.

1. Move sharing buttons on the playback page, and add sharing from the gallery. An earlier design of the page meant the sharing buttons were not visible (“above the fold”) to many viewers. Sharing is top priority for both the company, and presenter, so we moved it to the top left. We’re now seeing 1,500% (15x) more social sharing than a year ago.




source: Haiku Deck Blog

We’re constantly evaluating the SEO quality of this page, and have re-worked it multiple times to make sure our customer’s public presentation notes and slide text are visible to google.

2. Start a waiting list for people that don’t have iPads. We replaced a direct link to the app store with a survey and email sign up form that asks people what platform they want us to support. Overwhelmingly, customers have requested Windows. By the time we were ready to launch the web version, we had a huge waiting list of people that previously would never have signed up.

Importantly, we also encouraged a tweet after signing up. This not only allows excited potential customers to recruit their friends, it also lets us see and interact with VIPs in advance of them getting the product.

example tweet:

Awesome #PR pres tool for iPad but 😉 I just requested @haikudeck for Windows. Make your request here:

— Jeff Domansky PR (@ThePRCoach) July 7, 2013


3. Elbow grease. Catherine Carr, Lisa Ma, and Erin Vondrak deserve massive Hai-5s  for their excellent community outreach, customer support, Pinterest boards, constant blogging, and growing a guru community. They corralled a huge group of influencers (presenters) into our web beta. This personal touch outweighs any feature addition for growing a customer base that talks about your product. The team constantly wows customers with their responsiveness.

 What didn’t work

We experimented with a closed (invitation only) beta for the web app. The idea was to control the quality of our rollout and create a feeling of scarcity around access to the product. We wanted to get the opinions of our most passionate users first. However, because most users don’t need to create a presentation every day, the invitation only aspect added too high of a hurdle to getting feedback (you need both a presentation idea and an invitation code at the same time).

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