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What is the difference between Growth Hacking and Funnel Optimization?

By on Feb 28, 2017 in Growth Hacks

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Nowadays we have a lot of terms around that we don’t understand in a profound and clear way. The reason is that they are constantly emerging. New specialists are arriving in the field and reinventing the approaches and the tools. Of course, it’s impossible to know just everything but if it’s happening in your field understanding of modern trends can become crucial for your success.


growth hacking animal


Growth hacking is a relatively new animal in the business marketing ecosystem. Nevertheless, it has already proved that its emergence was inevitable regarding the rapidly increasing range of tools and approaches. Indeed, growth hacking evolved as a field on the intersection of the tools marketers, project managers, and SEOs have been using. The most prominent reason for why it happened and why it was inevitable is the inefficiency of the conventional approaches.

In the modern times of crowded market, you need to mix good old stuff with the innovations (some of which have just come to your mind) to find your own way to success. The first guys who tried to do it became founders of growth hacking.

Following growth hacking approach implies that you need always to keep your hand on the pulse of how one or another part of your product and its representation influence your audience.

If you want to legally claim yourself a growth hacker you have to be flexible, be able to change with the flow, have strong analytical skills and be creative.

Growth hackers are pursuing the certain goal – growth. Only the later shows them how effective they are and whether they can follow the picked direction or they need to change it. This approach is about hacks of achieving growth, which is to be invented individually for each case. This is why there is a lot of uncertainty and even risk. But when growth hacker proves his/her hypothesis, the results would vastly outperform the ones that could be achieved by means of traditional marketing. Learn more about what perfect growth hacker is here.

The marketing funnel is one of the key practices when it comes to key growth hacking practices.

By means of different tools (website, landing page, advertising, email marketing, content, social media, etc.) growth hacker creates lead generation tricks and a path (or perhaps multiple paths if it’s about more than one target personas) that is to convert leads into users.

However, to make the later happen your prospects need to follow the path. This is where funnel optimization helps. It seamlessly directs prospects through the all steps of conversion, therefore, playing a role of a highly efficient tool for conversion marketing.

Undoubtedly growth hacker funnel is one of the crucial importance for the purposes of increasing conversion rate and achieving the steady growth. But growth hacking itself isn’t measured only to the GH funnel, which has become a matter of confusion for those who doesn’t feel comfortable enough with the topic. Later on in this article, we are going to clarify why growth hacking and funnel optimization aren’t the same stuff.


Growth Hacking and Funnel Optimization



Growth hacking and funnel optimization


Growth hacking starts where growth becomes the main focus, where people are seeking quick and efficient receipts of acquiring new customers and preventing existing ones from sliding out, where results become dependent not on the capital but on the wise approach. That’s why growth hacking strategies started their way in masses from startups. Now growth hackers are being hired in the companies that are no more startups, which want to have a person around that have a complete picture of how company’s success should look like with a detailed map of how to achieve it in his/her head.

Of course, the most intriguing part for those who are not that familiar with the topic of GH is about those mystical hacks. What would one mean by using this word in the field that looks like the one that shouldn’t involve anything illegal? Don’t worry nothing illegal is implied here. Here hacking is used to emphasize on the unique way growth hacker always takes to achieve success.

It takes altogether understanding technology, marketing and analytical skills, knowledge on search engine optimization (may be more actually) and experience to get a growth hacker that can convert all those into sensory organs, by means of which he/she can perceive versatile information and transform it into outstanding ways of reaching success.

Growth hackers are constantly setting goals and applying analytics along the road of reaching them.

They come up with the hypotheses and perform experiments to either stick to what they expected or switch to something different. Also, what they are constantly doing is optimization of the way they do just everything. They are measuring results and evaluating how far they have gone. If growth hackers have ever had their own gods they would probably be analytics and optimization.

The work of any growth hacker wouldn’t start with conversion marketing. Otherwise, it would be irrational. Instead, growth hacker would begin at the point of defining goals and analyzing the point where the company/startup is currently staying. Then, growth hacker would set the steps that are needed to achieve goals, each of which would itself become a small goal.


Conversion funnel optimization


Conversion funnel optimization is one of the tools any growth hacker wouldn’t want to miss. Because when it comes to growing user base – as a key to the stable growth – there is no more such an effective tool like funnel optimization.

Apart from the confusion between growth hacking and funnel optimization, I have to warn you against one more: funnel optimization doesn’t start when you already have visitors.

This misinterpretation always leads people to think that if they don’t have an audience yet, funnel optimization isn’t for them. But it’s not true. The first part of the marketing funnel is actually getting the visitors you will need to convert into customers on the next stages.

After getting visitors, conversion optimization services aim at activating/transforming them into the users. Here user means a person that have made more than one purchase from you. Even if it’s so, it’s not the time when you can relax because there is something even more difficult than conversion – it’s about retaining users. Loosely speaking, retaining means making users stay instead of switching to another service.

For each of the stages of the marketing funnel, you will need to calculate conversion rates to be able to compare them and evaluate the efficiency. In this case, you may find the comparison quite hard.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone with it. However, it can be a bit easier if you break it into the pieces. I will provide you with a few tips.

First and foremost is to compare with your own figures. Always. You should see an obvious tendency of improvement. If the figures of any of the stages aren’t growing, it means that you have to change the tactics on this stage. If you feel need to compare your achievements with other companies, you can look up the conversion rates on the blogs of the companies you are orienting at. Some of them may have those rates published. If you didn’t succeed in searching such open data, don’t worry – the only real point you really need to orient at is your one.


deep conversion


By means of tracking how effectively your marketing funnel works and what results in its yields, you can also define the points where your energy is needed at most. This is how you can find out whether you need to focus on the getting new visitors, or activating them, or retaining users. Only with the help of analysis and constant optimization applied to the marketing funnel you will set right priorities and achieve the goal.

Conversion optimization services – just as overall growth hacking – have to be dependent on the real results and ability to adapt the current tactics to them.

There’s nothing stable in the modern market. But this is not the reason for fear. Instead, you can learn to take advantage of it. This is what growth hacking states.




As one can conclude growth hacking and funnel optimization have a pretty same goal with the one “but”: the purpose of the conversion funnel optimization is a subgoal of the growth hacking process, which in general aims at gaining growth. Even though, the topic may not sound too complicated there’s a lot of intricacies you can face within conversion optimization services. Don’t forget that you need to perceive marketing funnel both as the whole and separate stages, each of which needs to be analyzed.

Undoubtedly, the realization of the difference between growth hacking and funnel optimization is crucial if you want to understand how modern techniques of reaching stable growth work.


Recommended reading:

Three main strategies for creating sustainable growth

Who are at the beginning of creating growth hacking strategy for their business are looking for quick hacks.There’s no mistake in such behavior.

Growth Hacker Funnel

What if the customer just quickly look through and bounce off the website? Not to let it happen you need to make them do something on the page.

Growth Hacking Vs Digital Marketing

With more tools in our hands, our demands are getting more complicated and consequently, we are facing new challenges. Growth Hacking Vs Digital Marketing.