Mike Slaats

What we can learn from Hubspot’s secret growth hack


I’m currently reading the book Hacking Growth, well technically I’m reading 2 books, I’m also reading Billion Dollar Loser, the book about WeWork, but the thing I want to share with you today is coming from the Hacking Growth book and when I read this, I was absolutely blown away because, you know, you read a lot about growth hacks and strategies, but they’re almost always kinda on the same page, right?

Hubspot’s IPO success

But this growth hack by HubSpot is worth sharing because it actually was one of the growth strategies that brought HubSpot rapid growth in order to have a successful IPO in 2014. I have to say, this is all based on their own data and research, but the one hack they implemented was the fact that they charged an additional fee to every new customer for product training.

Hubspot IPO

And so, I’m not saying you should do this as well, we at Upvoty are most probably not going to do this, but the moral of this story is much more about how they came up with this hack than the actual hack itself.

Data analysis and customer behavior

So, here’s the deal. Sometimes, when you dive into the data analysis of customer behavior, you have to look beyond just the product or service itself because sometimes, the biggest problem isn’t the messaging or the product itself, but just how it’s being introduced to its users. And so this was definitely the case for Hubspot.

By really honing in on the data and researching their customer’s behavior, they actually discovered something really fascinating. The customers who went through the upfront training – which is an optional program you have to pay for, for learning the product – were retained much longer than those who didn’t. And so immediately, and this is kinda a bold move, of course, Hubspot changed its sales policy to make this paid product training mandatory for each new customer.

So each new customer, besides paying for HubSpot itself, had to pay for its product training as well.

A bold move that resulted in higher value per customer

And apparently, this worked like a charm. Of course, they lost some sign-ups, but the overall value of new customers was instantly higher because they were more serious about using and learning about the product.

Now, I’m not sure if they’re still doing it, but again, the moral of this lessons here is to dare to think out of the box and to always really hone in on your customer’s data and look beyond the obvious, because, who knows you will discover something interesting that can bring you this kind of growth instantly.