Growth Newsletter #096
I hope you've all enjoyed being sent 1,000+ emails about deals in the past few days. Hopefully your credit card has survived.
This week, I'm joined by DC writer Grace, who's known to live on sailboats.
We cover Google Doc urgency, challenge networks, and robots vs humans.
Together with PartnerHero.
You’re likely in the middle of planning for the uncertainty of 2023, while also balancing the demands of your busy season.
You need to stretch your runway but can’t compromise your customer experience in the process. It can feel like an impossible challenge to balance quality, efficiency, and cost.
PartnerHero is an operations outsourcing company that’s built for the needs of startups, from seed to scale. They offer 30-day rolling contracts, fast launch times (often under a week), and global, 24/7 coverage.
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Book a call with their solutions team to learn how outsourcing can help you continue to deliver an incredible customer experience in 2023.
PartnerHero is offering DC readers free setup and $2,000 off Flex Support (over 2 mos) or $8,000 off Dedicated Teams (over 4 mos)! If you sign a deal before the end of the year.
Want to sponsor Demand Curve? Here's everything you need to know.
This week's Insights
Use Google Docs for promos to create urgency ⏱
Insight from Demand Curve and Katelyn Bourgoin.
Last week, I announced the release of our re-imagined audience-building course, Un-Ignorable, with buyer psychology expert Katelyn Bourgoin.
Yesterday, we did a Cyber Monday early bird sale. It sold out in the first hour.
We didn't use a landing page. Instead, we used a Google Doc that pitched the course and used a Stripe payment link for checkout.
We primarily did this for two reasons. To create urgency, and it's simple:
Visitors could see that 90 other people were looking at that page when there were only 30 remaining spots.
And we manually updated the # of remaining seats with each sale. They could see the number ticking down. The urgency was real.
If you weren’t able to grab an early bird seat, don’t worry! More seats will be available during our official launch on Jan. 2nd, 2023.
Un-ignorable is a 21-day group challenge for marketers and founders. You’ll learn how to grow your audience by creating thumb-stoppingly good content.
The challenge starts on Jan. 10th, 2023.
There will be limited seats for the first cohort. Join the waitlist to be the first to get the invite.
Create a network of people who challenge you ⚔️
Insight from Demand Curve. Specifically Grace.
This is not your typical "growth tactic." Instead, it's about creating an environment where you're more likely to make better decisions that lead to growth.
Lately, there’s been a theme in what the smart people we listen to are saying.
Smart Person #1: At our Growth Summit, Shane Parrish talked about the Stormtrooper Problem. That’s when everyone thinks about a problem in the same way. This means there's less diversity of thought, which leads to worse group decision-making.
Smart Person #2: Also at our Growth Summit, Tim Urban discussed Idea Labs. They’re the opposite of echo chambers.
In an Idea Lab, no idea is sacred. It’s a “miniature marketplace of ideas where multiple, varied viewpoints coexist.”
Idea Labs come to better conclusions than echo chambers because of diverse thought and the civil discourse of ideas.
Smart Person #3: Adam Grant explores the concept of the challenge network in his book Think Again. A challenge network is a group of people who question your decisions, look for flaws in your logic, and help you overcome your own blind spots.
Steve Jobs’ challenge network of engineers, marketers, and designers helped convince him that creating a mobile phone wasn’t, as he claimed, the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”
Smart Person #4: Jonathan L. Fischer wrote a good Slate article about why Elon Musk bought Twitter. Basically, everyone he was texting with told him to. Clearly, he didn't ask people who were willing to challenge him. And now millions are—in public.
In short, create a community of people who are willing to respectfully challenge you. Or else the courts might force you to buy something for $44 billion.
Listen to other people’s differing opinions. Let your assumptions be challenged. Diverse views lead to better decisions.
And better decisions lead to a better product and a better company.
Message users where they are 💬
Sponsored by Engage.
The best campaigns message users where they’re most active. And where the message is most relevant. Whether that’s email, SMS, in-app messages, or push notifications.
For example, well-timed and relevant push notifications are hard to ignore. Use them to re-engage customers and reduce churn.
In-app messages sent to active users can help onboard them, get them to use a new feature, or push them to upgrade to a higher tier to unlock something they’re trying to use.
Engage has one of the best marketing automation tools to deliver personalized campaigns and automate your customer engagement messages.
With Engage, you can:
- Segment customers based on their attributes and actions
- Send email and SMS campaigns to customer segments
- Automate onboarding, engagement, and reactivation messages
Some of Engage’s customers have experienced over 60% conversion since being onboarded. Sign up today and get 50% off your first 3 months.
Let robots deliver bad news 🤖
Insight from the Journal of Marketing and AMA.
Who’s better at delivering a brand’s news: a human or a robot?
Well...it depends on whether that news is good or bad.
A study in the Journal of Marketing found that when the news a company is sharing is worse than expected, people respond better if it's delivered by an AI agent.
But when the news is better than expected, they’ll respond more positively to a person.
Bad news: Think delays, service outages, recalls, product defects, or price increases.
AI agents are preferred because they aren’t believed to have bad intentions. They’re machines who follow the rules of their programming.
Good news: Think upgrades, faster deliveries, or exclusive offers.
When humans share the good news, they might be perceived as having good intentions.
To be clear, we're not saying to delegate damage control to a bot. Imagine if Biden got a robot to deliver all the bad news and only showed up for the good news. YIKES.
But these findings can influence how you prioritize AI vs. agent customer service. Or even whether an email comes from "the brand" or a specific person on the team.
One takeaway: If you have great news to share, encourage your team to share it. It feels good to be the bearer of positive news—and to get that news from a person.
Streamline security and accelerate growth 🔒
Sponsored by Vanta.
To close major customers and drive growth, a startup must be able to demonstrate that its product is secure.
Proving data/information security requires specific compliance standards (such as SOC 2 and ISO 27001), but achieving them can be time-consuming, tedious, and expensive.
Unless you use Vanta.
Vanta automates up to 90% of the work for SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, and more. Vanta can get you ready for security audits in weeks instead of months. Come see how 4,000+ companies use Vanta at their next live product demo on Dec 7th.
News and Links
News you can use:
While you wait patiently for your 2022 Spotify Wrapped (what will my aura be?!), here’s what’s been happening:
- Black Friday highs and lows.
- Buy-now-pay-later payments: up 78% vs. the prior week
- Mobile orders: 48% of online sales, up from 44% last year
- Shopify merchants: up 17% in sales vs. last Black Friday
- Amazon: dropped to fourth place in Black Friday deal online searches according to Captify, from first place last year.
- Related: “Everything on Amazon is becoming an ad.”
- We’re nearing EOY recap time. Google shared 100 products trending on search in 2022. It was a good year for mushroom lamps and paperclip necklaces. 🍄🖇️
- It was a quiet week in product news (other than Twitter, but we’ll wait to share updates on that front until it’s not all speculation). There were a few highlights, like LinkedIn native post scheduling and Google’s Rewarded Ad Gate beta program.
Top new marketing jobs
If you're looking for a top growth role, check out the opportunities below from our job board.
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Who's Demand Curve?
We’re on a mission to make it easier to start, build, and grow companies.
We share high-quality, vetted, and actionable growth content as we learn it from the top 1% of marketers. We democratize senior growth knowledge.
How we can help you grow:
- Read our free playbooks, blog articles, and teardowns—we break down the strategies and tactics that fast-growing startups use to grow.
- Enroll in the Growth Program, our professional course that will help you get traction and scale revenue.
- Check out our Sprints, short video courses laser-focused on a topic in growth.
- Want to build an audience of buyers? Join the waitlist for the Un-Ignorable Challenge.
- Are you a funded startup looking to grow? Our agency, Bell Curve, can be your strategic growth partner.
- Get your brand in front of our audience by sponsoring this newsletter.
See you next week.
— Neal, Grace, Joyce, Dennis, and the DC team.