Science and Strategy behind growth hacks


We are fans of Lean Startup principles, and we talked to numerous app publishers, both large and small throughout the development of the product.  Their goals succinctly were  to acquire new users, and more importantly grow and monetize their existing user base.   The later was what Pyze was interested in helping them with.

Most conversations we had with app-publishers had similar themes.  They highlighted the pain points, limitations and limits of the tools they were currently using.  They outlined the time it took them to get data to a person who could make decisions and number of times they had to go back and forth.  Although, we couldn’t help them with the tools directly, what we learnt from all the conversations was extremely useful and we even blogged about one of them.

Strategy-driven Growth Hacking

During these conversations, we were asked about growth hacks and we pointed them to numerous blogs on the web but with huge disclaimers.  A growth hack that worked well for an app may not be a good fit for another app’s goals, and even if the goals were aligned, what worked well for one app may not work for another.

For example, conventional wisdom and numerous blogs suggest asking for permissions much later in the app after the user is somewhat engaged and has used the app a few times (as opposed to bombarding a user right after they install an app).  Using such techniques, at best you get 50% of users opting in into push notifications.  The highest conversions however are when a user explicitly triggers the permissions dialogs as part of a workflow.  Cluster saw 100% successful conversions for push notifications.



Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. -Mark Twain

Another popular hack to get positive ratings is to use an alert dialog box to ask the user if they are happy.  If they reply yes, ask them for a rating, which to degree makes sense as happy users are more likely to rate favorably.


Relying on attitudinal data is not always a good idea, and alerts are considered very obtrusive and super annoying.  Most importantly, this approach does not account for current user’s experience before asking for a rating.

Your app is unique

  • Asking for access to contacts later in the app whose sole purpose is to manage your contacts is may not be a good idea.
  • Asking for location later in an app that clearly needs location to do anything meaningful may just confuse the user resulting in a bad experience and bad app store ratings.
  • An app that requires a login does not always have to provide an experience to users who are not logged in.  A Mobile commerce app may be justified in offering an experience to users who are not signed in, but what about services like Gmail, Dropbox and WhatsApp? Read how Login walls affects app growth.

Art and Science behind growth hacks

We wrote about growth hacking being part-art and part-science explaining the need for reliable and timely insights, data-science and intelligence as a basis for successful growth hacks.  The art behind growth hacks is the need to try approaches to find out what works. It includes creativity and adopting a different kind of mindset based on frequent experimentation, testing, and data. Read the article here:  Growth Hackers need growth intelligence. |