Add to Growth Hack (#001)

TLDR: Use Alphabetizing or Numeric Ordering to your Advantage.Growth Hack #001

This is my very post, and in the spirit of it, let’s share the very first growth hack!

Growing up, my first name was Yen-Chi, (long story short, when I naturalized as a citizen as a dependent of my parents who got their citizenship, my name changed to Joseph and Yen-Chi became my middle name). I remembered my first-grade teacher would always take roll-call at the beginning of the class.  She’d start with Adam, Brian, Charlie and then work her way down the list. Because my name started with a “Y”, I was always last called except in 3rd grade, there was a Zackery in my class.  It wasn’t until one day I was flipping through the Yellow Pages looking for a plumber for my mom did I realize something really strange.

Funny Naming Businesses

AAAA Companies

Businesses with Funny Names

If you ever looked in the Yellow Pages (what’s that?), you’ll notice that the common way to organize information is first by category (e.g. Plumbing, Roofing, etc) and then by company’s name.  The companies are listed alphabetically; first comes the A’s, followed by the B’s, and so on – sort of like how roll-call was done in 1st grade for me!  Now, take a look at some of the company names here and you’ll see some strange names: “AAAA Electric,  A-AAA Bail Bonds, Aaaa Mini Storage, etc”  These companies were hacking the alphabet in their company names to get you to call them first!

Add to Buffer Android Share Menu

Add to Buffer Android Share Menu

Does This Still Work Today?

Before I switched to the iPhone from Android, I noticed a few interesting places that alphabetizing things helped increase exposure.  In Android, there were certain actions that can be used when you brought up the “share menu.” This menu pops up with all the apps that can share simple data to another app.

Did you see it?  Buffer, Dropbox, Evernote, Firefox, and Pocket all put the word “Add to” in their menu name to push themselves to the top.  Unfortunately, Box didn’t quite get the message and is now close to the bottom of the list.

Of course, this is just one simple example of leveraging the natural ways of alphabetizing as a way to get you to the list.  It’s a common organization structure in many interfaces, so think about how you can use your ABC’s and 123’s to your advantage.

Have you noticed anywhere where alphabetizing or numerical ordering still works?  Let me know and I’ll add it to the post.