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I'd add the SumoMe apps by @noahkagan and the AppSumo team to this list.
He's said many times that this currently is the biggest driver of traffic/signups to their email list.
Adding right now, great suggestion!
The thing about tools like the ones you've mentioned is that while they often have a huge upfront investment (Moz's open site explorer for example was easily hundreds of thousands of dollars to build initially) the on-going benefit from these tools is huge.
I've had great success as SERPs building out tools and data visualizations that continue to drive traffic and signups long after a one-time infographic might.
You're exactly right and that's also why we build stuff like that for you at www.themakerscrew.com
Inspired by the book traction and the London Growth Hacker conference our team just knocked out 2 free apps to test out this concept.
1. www.answerthepublic.com - a free alternative to keywordtool.io and ubersuggest. Call me (very) biased but I think it builds upon both of these tools. So far acted as a good feeder to our another free app..
2. www.coveragebook.com - a tool to help public relations pros (the market for our main tool) do some ofthe data gathering we've observed in lots of agencies much much faster. We limit to first 10 and unlock if user provides an email. Has been live a week and with £30 twitter advertising we have 150 emails and counting.
Neither cost big money. In fact I think we spent as much time planning a slideshare thats coming soon!
Some excellent resources mentioned here, a few that are new to me and I'm keen to find out more about. Most of these services and concepts are based on really simple ideas, but can have far-reaching positive consequences for brands and businesses.
These come to mind quickly:
1. Buffer's DiggDigg Wordpress plug-in is a perfect example: https://bufferapp.com/diggdigg
2. (potentially) Transferwise's saving calculator on the front page: https://transferwise.com/
3. KISSmetrics built this Google Analytics iPhone app http://www.myanalyticsapp.com/ (don't know how successful it was, but it's a good example)
Possibly just semantics, but semantics are an interesting part of the branding of Growth Hacking...but is this "engineering as marketing" or cases as has been done for the past decade where a marketer would ask for product features to be built on the web app that could enable certain functionalities? I mean, we created a viral referral program 10 years ago for sites, and the use of an exit-intent pop up is a tool for CRM, as is optimizely for landing page texting, etc - not trying to start a debate but curious why these are different than the use of an in house SEM bid engine for Adwords, or Mailchimp, etc.
I think the core differentatior is that engineering as marketing mainly comes to use as a free tool that people get value out of before coming to your brand for something else.
Think of most engineering as marketing as building a whole new mini app to attract customers, not as a product feature / viral referral program (although those still are classified as engineering because a marketer cannot make those alone)
e.g. Gleam is now offering a free popup to use - This has nothing to do with their give away business.
Thanks for the mention @agale :) Super stoked.
Hey Andrew! Thanks for including us :)
At RJMetrics, we have 4 full-time engineers on our marketing team of 11. We believe in growth hacking, and our microsites (Query Mongo being one) have performed really well for us. Churn-rate.com gets a ton of SEO traffic and converts people into email subscribers really effectively.
Engineering as marketing is right up there with content marketing as our most successful strategy. Would love to see more people following this lead as it only leads to more great (and free!) tools for everyone!
@agale - has this post been moved to some other location? The site doesnt appear to be live anymore.
Hey Anuj, I'm surprised you remember this post! I actually took that site down, it was for an agency I was starting with a friend - We got business but both of our products took off so we had to leave the agency behind.
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