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You've probably heard startup founders use the term "growth hacking" by now. And if you've Googled it, you also know that it's a term coined by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sean Ellis to explain the tactics startups use to grow fast with slim budgets and staff.

An increasing number of startups are actually employing staff members in the role of growth hacker. And Durham-based Shoeboxed is no exception. 

The receipt scanning and expense tracking company, now in its ninth year in business, is still acting like a startup. And that's partially because it's got people like John Hathorn and Michael Hourigan studying and implementing the teachings of Ellis and 500 Startups' founder Dave McClure. The gist, is that growth hackers are constantly coming up with new ideas, iterating on those ideas, testing them and trying things, even if they seem silly or inconsequential. They also know the customer better than anyone and try to make the entire company more efficient at marketing.

In the video below, they explain to American Underground members at a weekly HelpFest the history of growth hacking and how to do it. As a teaser, one successful test involved changes to the Shoeboxed registration page and led to an 88 percent increase in people making it from selecting a plan to providing a credit card and signing up for the service. 

For more growth hacking success stories, and some Q&A at the end, check out the video from HelpFest:

A pair of growth hackers at Shoeboxed share the tips and tricks they've used to help the Durham company grow fast with limited resources. Credit: Patrick Durham/ExitEvent