Growth Hacking Canvas [9 steps + free templates]

Discover the secrets of rapid business growth from a growth marketing expert. What people to hire, how to manage a team, launch experiments, what tools to use, and a list of proven examples to inspire you.

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Hey there, fellow growth enthusiasts! Are you ready to take your business to new heights? Well, buckle up, because today we’re diving into the world of growth hacking canvas. 

This ingenious tool has been a game-changer for startups and established businesses alike, making it ridiculously convenient to plan and execute customer led growth strategies. And guess what? We’re about to unveil a step-by-step guide on creating your very own growth hacking canvas, tailor-made for your business. Exciting, right? 

So, are you ready to embark on this epic journey of growth marketing? Together, we’ll unlock the true potential of your business and set you on the path to unrivaled success. 

Let the growth hacking adventure begin!

What is growth hacking canvas, and why you need it

Growth hacking canvas is a fantastic strategic framework that helps startups, entrepreneurs, and marketers supercharge their growth. It’s a visual cheat-sheet that helps you brainstorm, plan, and execute growth tactics in a systematic way. 

It’s designed to cover every aspect of your business, from acquisition to retention, ensuring you can take your product or service to the next level with various growth marketing tools.

Think of it as a GPS for your growth strategy, guiding you through the winding roads of customer acquisition, retention, and referral, all while keeping you laser-focused on your goals. 

And here’s an example 👇

growth hacking canvas

Now, let’s chat about some of the amazing benefits this canvas offers:

  • Streamlined focus: By breaking down your growth strategy into specific areas, the canvas helps you concentrate on what really matters. It’s like having a laser focus on your growth goals.
  • Collaboration booster: The canvas is an awesome tool for getting your growth marketing team on the same page. It encourages communication and collaboration, ensuring everyone is working together towards a common objective.
  • Experimentation paradise: It fosters a culture of experimentation. It inspires you to test out different tactics, analyze results, and iterate quickly — all in the name of hacking growth.
  • Data-driven decision-making: The canvas encourages you to monitor and measure the success of your growth initiatives. This data-driven approach ensures you’re making informed decisions and maximizing your chances of success.
  • Scalability: One of the great things about the growth marketing canvas is its adaptability. You can use it for any stage of your business, from early-stage startups to established companies looking to scale.
Grab a free template to tailor up your own growth marketing strategy

Thanks! Here’s your copy of the growth strategy template

Grab a free template to tailor up your own growth marketing strategy

How to use growth hacking canvas

Let’s explore these crucial concepts in the growth hacking canvas.

  1. Target Audience 

Your target audience is the specific group of people you’re trying to reach with your product or service. These folks have a problem that you can solve, and it’s your mission to make their lives better!  

To do this, you need to understand their needs, wants, and desires, so you can tailor your marketing efforts and product features to truly resonate with them. Remember, knowing your audience is half the battle won! 

  1. Value Proposition 

It’s the unique combination of benefits your product or service offers that sets you apart from the competition. It’s the reason why your target audience should choose you over anyone else.  

It’s essential to craft a compelling value proposition that highlights your competitive edge and speaks directly to your audience’s pain points. Make them go “Wow, I need this in my life!” 

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  1. North Star Metric

The North Star metric is that one key performance indicator (KPI) that reflects the core value your product or service delivers to your customers. It’s the guiding light that keeps your entire team aligned towards the same growth objective. 

For example, for a social media platform, the North Star metric could be “daily active users,” while for an e-commerce platform, it might be “monthly transactions.” Focusing on your North Star metric helps you stay on track and make data-driven decisions to accelerate growth. It’s one of the basics for Product-Led Growth Marketing.

  1. Acquisition Channels 

These are the various ways you attract potential customers to your product or service. Think of them as doorways to your business –- social media, SEO, content marketing, and more!

  1. Activation 

Once you’ve got people interested, it’s all about turning them into active users. Make sure their first experience with your product is a memorable one, be it through an intuitive onboarding process or an irresistible value proposition.

  1. Retention 

Keep those users coming back for more! Implement tactics that’ll make them fall in love with your product and stick around. Personalization, in-app rewards, and top-notch customer support are just a few examples.

  1. Revenue 

At this stage of canvas, you identify ways to monetize your product or service. It can be through subscriptions, ads, or even upselling to a premium version. Just make sure the value you’re offering justifies the cost.

Read also: RevOps vs Sales Ops.

  1. Referral 

Happy users make the best brand ambassadors! Encourage them to spread the word about your amazing product. Referral programs, social sharing options, and incentives can help you turn your users into a powerful marketing force.

  1.  Metrics 

Track and analyze product metrics framework KPIs for each element of the canvas. This way, you’ll know what’s working, what’s not, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your growth strategy.

And of course, you’ll need the right set of growth marketing services to launch experiments and track their success!

Grab a PDF with 50 useful tools for growth hacking and create your own perfect toolset!

Thanks! Here’s your copy of 50 growth hacking tools

Grab a PDF with 50 useful tools for growth hacking and create your own perfect toolset!

Target audience 

Defining your target audience is like laying the foundation for your growth marketing canvas.  Without knowing who you’re trying to reach, it’s impossible to create a strategy that truly resonates with them. 

So let’s decide on the essential questions you should ask to define your target audience like a pro! 

What problems does my product or service solve?  
Start by thinking about the pain points your product addresses. This helps you identify the people who would benefit most from what you’re offering.

Who’s already using my product? 
Look at your existing customer base. What do they have in common? Their demographics, interests, and behaviors can give you valuable insights into who your ideal target audience might be.

User behavior tracking will give you essential data on some personal data and interactions with your website.

Who are my competitors targeting? 
Analyze your competition and see who they’re going after. While you don’t want to copy them, it’s a good idea to understand their strategy and identify any gaps or opportunities you could exploit.

What are the key demographics of my target audience? 
Age, gender, income, and location are some of the basic demographics you should consider. These factors help you paint a clearer picture of the people you’re trying to reach.

What are their interests and preferences? 
Dive deeper into your target audience’s likes and dislikes. What are their hobbies? What kind of content do they consume? Knowing this information will help you create a more personalized and engaging marketing strategy.


Get your free example of growth marketing playbook with 40+ templates for successful experiments

What are their needs and motivations? 
Get into your audience’s mindset. What drives them to make decisions? What do they value most? Understanding these factors will help you craft a compelling value proposition that speaks to them on a deeper level.

By answering these questions, you’ll be well on your way to defining your target audience and creating a solid foundation for your growth hacking canvas.

Remember, knowing your audience is half the battle won! 

Read also: Your Growth Marketing Strategy Template with guide and examples

Value proposition

Now that you’ve got your target audience all figured out, it’s time to move on to the next important step in creating your growth marketing canvas — defining your value proposition. 

Think of your value proposition as the secret sauce that sets your product or service apart from the competition 🍔 Let’s dive into the questions you should ask to cook up that irresistible value proposition for your marketing growth strategy!

What makes my product or service unique? 
Take a moment to reflect on what sets you apart from the crowd. Maybe it’s a cutting-edge feature, outstanding customer support, or even an innovative pricing model. Emphasize these unique aspects to make your offering truly shine.

How does my product or service solve my target audience’s problem? 
Your value proposition should act like a key that unlocks the solution to your audience’s problem. Clearly explain how your product or service helps them overcome their challenges and improves their lives.

What are the benefits my product or service provides? 
List down the various benefits your offering brings to the table. Make sure to focus on the most impactful ones that’ll make your audience go “Wow, I need this!” Remember, it’s all about giving them a reason to choose you over your competitors.

How can I communicate my value proposition effectively? 
Crafting the perfect value proposition is like painting a picture with words. Use clear, concise, and compelling language to convey the essence of your offering. Metaphorically speaking, it’s like creating a melody that strikes a chord with your audience’s emotions and desires.

How does my value proposition align with my target audience’s needs and preferences?  
Make sure your value proposition is tailored to your target audience’s specific needs and preferences. If your value proposition were a tailored suit, make them feel like it’s designed just for them.

By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a value proposition that’s truly magnetic. And once you’ve got that nailed down, your growth marketing canvas will be one step closer to completion, ready to propel your business to new heights!

Read also: 25 Growth Marketing Books to Skyrocket Success

North Star Metric

Now that we’ve tackled your target audience and value proposition, it’s time to set your sights on the next crucial step in creating your growth hacking canvas — defining your North Star metric.

Picture your North Star metric as the guiding light that leads your entire team towards your ultimate growth goal. Here are some tips on how to define this all-important metric:

Focus on customer value

Your North Star metric should revolve around the core value you deliver to your customers. Think about the one thing that keeps them coming back for more, and choose a metric that reflects that value. It’s like finding the heartbeat of your product that keeps it alive and thriving.

Align with your business goals

Your North Star metric should be directly tied to your overall business objectives. If your metric were a compass, it should always point towards your ultimate destination — growth and success!

Keep it simple and actionable

Choose a metric that’s easy to understand and track. It should be a single, clear indicator that your team can rally around and work towards improving. Remember, simplicity is key — your North Star metric should be the guiding star that everyone can easily follow.

Make it measurable

Your North Star metric should be quantifiable, allowing you to track progress and make data-driven decisions. It’s like the fuel gauge in your growth hacking vehicle — it lets you know if you’re on track or if you need to make adjustments to keep moving forward.

Ensure it’s relevant across departments

Your North Star metric should be something that all departments can contribute to and feel responsible for. Think of it as the glue that holds your team together, working in harmony towards a common goal.

Read also:

Now, let’s more to those stages of your growth hacking canvas that require direct interactions with your prospects 👇


Alright, now that you’ve got your target audience, value proposition, and North Star metric all set, it’s time for the next key step in creating your growth hacking canvas — spreading the word!

Imagine your SaaS product as a hidden gem, and spreading awareness is all about showing it off to the world! Let’s dive into some tips on how to create buzz around your SaaS product.

Social media 

Harness the power of social media platforms to connect with your audience and share updates, tips, and success stories. Use a mix of organic and paid strategies to reach more people and spark conversations around your SaaS product.

Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to run targeted ads that drive traffic to your website and generate new leads. Social media growth hacking tools will help you with it.

Make sure your ads showcase your value proposition and have a clear CTA.

Influencer partnerships

Partner with influencers and thought leaders in your industry to amplify your message. They can help you reach a wider audience and add credibility to your product. It’s like having a popular friend vouch for you at a party — it instantly makes you more interesting!

Webinars and online events

Host webinars and virtual events to showcase your product and share insights. This not only helps you generate leads but also positions your brand as an expert in your field. Plus, who doesn’t love a good online gathering? 😉

With these tips in your toolbox, you’ll be ready to spread the word about your amazing SaaS product and create a buzz that’s simply irresistible.

For more ideas for your strategy, sign up for a growth marketing newsletter.


You’ve drawn attention to your product, it’s time for your growth marketing team to capture the potential customers. 

Optimize your website

Make sure your website is user-friendly and clearly showcases the value of your SaaS product. Add clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons that guide visitors towards signing up, trying a demo, or contacting you for more information.

Use chatbots to engage with your visitors in real-time and answer their questions. Not only do chatbots provide instant support, but they can also collect valuable information and nudge potential customers towards conversion. 

It’s like having a friendly virtual assistant available 24/7! 

Here’s an example of a leadbot that you can set up on your website with Dashly 👉

chatbot for growth marketing canvas
Set up a chatbot to greet newcomers on your website. Sign up for free

Invest in SEO and content marketing 

Offer valuable content upgrades like e-books, checklists, or case studies in exchange for your visitors’ contact information. This not only helps you grow your email list but also showcases your expertise and the value you can provide.

Optimize your content and website for search engines to rank higher in search results and attract more organic traffic.

💡 Don’t miss a chance to engage users on your blog. Implement well-timed and relevant pop-ups to grab your visitors’ attention and encourage them to sign up for your email list, follow you on social media, or download a resource. Remember, timing and personalization are key to making pop-ups feel helpful, not intrusive. 

Build landing pages

Create dedicated landing pages for your product features, promotions, or even specific target audience segments. These landing pages should focus on converting visitors into leads by highlighting the benefits of your product and providing a clear path to action.

To increase engagement on your landing pages, launch a chatbot. It’s one of the most effective SaaS growth hacks. Dashly customer, an online academy, set up chatbots on the pages of the most popular course. Their bots:

  1. Find out the client’s goal;
  2. Qualify them, learning about their previous experience;
  3. Collect contacts;
  4. Send the course program to the client;
  5. Gives pricing details.

As a result, these chatbots brought $145k of revenue to the online academy.

growth hacking canvas chatbot
Example of a proactive chatbot on a landing page. Sign up to launch yours!

Email marketing

Build a strong email list and engage with your subscribers through personalized and relevant content. Keep them informed about updates, promotions, and helpful tips, while always showcasing the value of your product.

By following these tips and leveraging conversational marketing tools like chatbots and pop-ups, you’ll be well on your way to capturing new leads and growing your business. 

Want more inspo for your experiments? Check out our growth marketing playbook with over 40 campaign ideas from Dashly and our customers 👇


At this stage, every growth hypothesis is aimed at turning leads into active, engaged users of your SaaS product. 

Personalized onboarding

Offer a tailored onboarding experience that guides users through the features and benefits of your SaaS product. Use chatbots to answer questions, provide tips, and ensure a smooth introduction to your platform. It’s like having a friendly tour guide to show them around!

One of our customers, a CPA-network, had had a very complicated learning curve and few users actually had reached the target action.

To help newcomers, the team launched an onboarding chatbot that:

  • Qualified a user on their previous experience;
  • Shared tutorials, case studies, and practical tips on using the service;
  • Listed the benefits of the platform.

Eventually, the chatbot helped speed up user activation in 2.5 times and raise conversion to the target action by 33%.

growth marketing canvas chatbot
Launch an onboarding chatbot in your product now. Try Dashly 7 days for free

💡 Encourage user activation by gamifying the onboarding process and rewarding users for completing specific actions. This adds an element of fun and competition, making users more likely to stay engaged and explore your product’s full potential.

Data-driven personalization

Use the data you collect from chatbots, emails, and other interactions to create a more personalized user experience. The more tailored your messaging and product offerings are, the more likely users are to become active and loyal customers.

This tip is crucial both for B2C and B2B growth marketing.

Send personalized, triggered emails based on user behavior or milestones. For example, you could send a welcome email after sign-up, a helpful tutorial after they complete a specific action, or a gentle nudge if they haven’t logged in for a while. 

These emails help keep users engaged and informed about your product’s value.

Here’s a welcoming email of Freedom24, Dashly’s FinTech customer. With this email, the team:

  • Welcomes a new user;
  • Reminds about account activation;
  • Shares benefits of the platform.

💡 If your target audience is mostly mobile users, launch in-app messages or push-notifications to share relevant tips, updates, or promotions based on user behavior. These timely reminders can help users discover new features, navigate your platform more effectively, and maximize the value they get from your product.

In-time support

Empower your chatbots to provide real-time support, share helpful resources, and even upsell relevant features or services. The more personalized and interactive the chatbot experience, the more likely users are to feel supported and engaged.

Leverage user feedback

Collect user feedback through chatbots, surveys, or email to understand their pain points and preferences. Use this information to improve your product and provide a better overall user experience.

Here’s how you can collect feedback with the Dashly chatbot 👉

feedback chatbot for growth hacking canvas

With these tips and strategies, you’ll be well on your way to turning your leads into raving fans of your SaaS product!

Need more ideas for your growth experiments? We’re ready to help! 👇


Retention is all about keeping your customers happy, engaged, and coming back for more. Let’s explore some growth marketing tips on how to increase retention rate in your product.

Stellar customer support

I’ve already mentioned it on the activation stage. And it’s getting even more important for retention.

Offer fast, efficient, and personalized customer support through chatbots and other communication channels. By being there for your customers when they need you most, you’ll build trust and loyalty that keeps them coming back.

LeadGen App, Dashly’s SaaS customer, launched an FAQ chatbot on their help center page to facilitate self-service for users 👇

chatbot for hack marketing canvas
Deal with FAQ 24/7 with a chatbot. Sign up to 7-day free trial

This chatbot managed to double user engagement and alleviate the workload of customer support. Don’t hesitate to use automation to make the life of your team easier! 

Regular check-ins

Use triggered emails to check in with your customers periodically, asking for feedback, offering help, or sharing relevant updates. These friendly reminders show your customers that you care and are invested in their success. 

Here’s a plain-text email Dashly users get during the onboarding 👇

onboarding for growth hacking canvas

We collected more growth hacking examples from Dashly and our customers. Check it out!

User education and resources

Provide valuable content like tutorials, webinars, or blog posts to help your customers make the most of your product. Use chatbots or pop-ups to share these resources and ensure users always have access to the information they need.

Celebrate milestones and achievements

Recognize your customers’ accomplishments, like completing a project, hitting a milestone, or using your product for a certain amount of time. Send personalized emails or in-app messages to celebrate these moments and show appreciation for their continued support.

Build a community

Foster a sense of belonging by creating a community around your SaaS product. Encourage users to share their experiences, ask questions, and connect with one another. This could be through a dedicated forum, social media groups, or even in-app chat features.

Proactively address churn risks

Monitor user behavior and identify patterns that signal a potential churn risk. Use chatbots, emails, or pop-ups to reach out to these customers, offer support, or share personalized resources to help them overcome any challenges they may be facing.

By implementing these tips, you’ll not only increase retention rate but also create long-lasting relationships with your customers. 


You’re on a roll! After mastering retention, let’s talk about some tips on how to boost the revenue of your business.

Upsell and cross-sell

Identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell additional features, products, or services to your existing customers. Remember, it’s often easier to sell more to current customers than acquiring new ones. Just make sure you’re offering something that truly adds value to their experience!

Read more:

Tiered pricing plans

Offer a variety of pricing plans that cater to different customer needs and budgets. By providing options, you’ll be able to capture a wider audience and encourage users to upgrade to higher-priced plans as their needs evolve.

We in Dashly use a flexible pricing system with add-ons, so any user can customize their plan for business’ needs.

Freemium to premium conversions

If you offer a freemium version of your product, focus on converting free users to paying customers. Show them the benefits and added value they’ll receive by upgrading to a premium plan, and make the process seamless and easy.

Improve customer lifetime value (LTV)

Focus on strategies that increase the average revenue per user (ARPU) and extend the customer lifespan. This includes offering exceptional customer service, maintaining a high-quality product, and regularly introducing new features or improvements.

Read also: Growth marketing vs performance marketing.

Partnerships and integrations

Collaborate with complementary businesses or develop integrations with popular tools to increase your product’s value and reach. These partnerships can help drive more customers to your SaaS product and generate additional revenue streams.

It’s one of the greatest B2B growth hacking strategies.

Get inspired with 100 growth ideas and start experimenting now!

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Get inspired with 100 growth ideas and start experimenting now!


At this step of the growth marketing canvas, you need to decide on ways to turn your happy customers into brand advocates who bring in new users. Let’s dive into some tips on attracting referrals and the questions you need to ask to create an appealing referral offer! 

Create an irresistible referral program

Develop a referral program that rewards both the referrer and the new user. This could be in the form of discounts, account credits, or exclusive features. Make it easy for your customers to share their unique referral links and track their rewards.

Make it simple to share

Ensure your referral process is straightforward and user-friendly. Include easy-to-use sharing options like email, social media, or even a personalized referral link that customers can copy and share with their networks.

Leverage social proof

Share success stories, testimonials, and case studies to show potential users the real-life value of your SaaS product. This will make it easier for your current customers to convince their friends and colleagues to give your product a try.

Now, when it comes to creating an appealing referral offer, consider the following questions:

What’s in it for the referrer? 
Think about the rewards you can offer to your existing customers for referring others. Are you providing discounts, exclusive features, or maybe even cash incentives?

What’s in it for the new user? 
Consider what benefits the referred user will receive when they sign up. Will they get a discount, extended trial period, or bonus features to encourage them to give your product a shot?

How easy is it to participate? 
Analyze the referral process from both the referrer and new user perspectives. Is it simple to share, sign up, and redeem rewards?

What’s your referral program’s unique selling proposition (USP)?
Determine what sets your referral program apart from others. Are you offering exceptional rewards, or is there something about your SaaS product that makes it especially share-worthy?

Summing up

The growth hacking canvas is a powerful framework that can help your SaaS product reach new heights by focusing on crucial aspects such as target audience, value proposition, North Star metric, spreading awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referral.

By fine-tuning your growth marketing test process, you’ll be on your way to achieving exponential growth for your business. 🚀

To sum it up, here are the most important tips for creating a successful growth hacking canvas:

  1. Define your target audience and tailor your value proposition accordingly.
  2. Identify your North Star metric to guide your growth strategies.
  3. Spread awareness and acquire new leads through multiple channels.
  4. Activate users by creating engaging onboarding experiences.
  5. Focus on customer retention by providing exceptional support and experiences.
  6. Boost revenue with pricing strategies, upselling, and reducing churn.
  7. Encourage referrals by creating an appealing and rewarding referral program.

Ready to put these strategies to the test and supercharge your growth?

With Dashly, you can experiment on growth hypotheses and use powerful conversational marketing tools to optimize your website.

Learn more about Dashly

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