Create your growth strategy with the Product Hackers Canvas

8 min de lectura Growth
Product Hackers Canvas English

The Product Hackers Canvas is the tool we use at Product Hackers to create Growth strategies for our clients. Here, you can download the Product Hackers Canvas and learn how to use it to take your project to the next level.

Download Product Hackers Canvas template

We use it as a framework to organize and structure our Growth strategy. It enables you to have an overview of ideas, actions, and tactics in the experimentation process, with the aim of continuously optimizing the results you get. They are all grouped according to the phases of the sales funnel and are oriented to take into account all user touchpoints with your digital product.

It’s the natural evolution of the Customer Experience Game Canvas, a tool created by Corti in 2019 to enhance the Customer Experience in any digital project. It has been adapted for the work of Growth teams and should allow us to have a complete vision of the strategy to follow in order to grow a digital product.

Product Hackers Canvas overview. Source: self-made.

There are three significant reasons why using the Product Hackers Canvas can help you become faster in achieving your business objectives:

  • Analyzing your current Growth strategy: you can identify which actions are performing best at any stage of your sales funnel. This allows you to establish potential correlations based on the results you obtain.

  • Crafting a new Growth strategy: It’s a tool that provides a long-term view of the optimization process. It’s not about applying hacks that have made dozens of globally renowned companies famous. Replicating what worked for another company doesn’t guarantee success, far from it. The Product Hackers Canvas is a methodology, a set of tools, and a process.

  • Documenting your Growth strategy: You can apply it in any industry or business sector. It doesn’t matter what you do; you can use it for SaaS, eCommerce, consulting, communities, or any digital product.

How does the Product Hackers Canvas help you?

When it comes to digital products, having essential information about your business is crucial to be able to grow. With the Product Hackers Canvas, analyzing the details of your business and what happens when a user discovers it is easy. It allows you to anticipate the potential needs of future customers, understand the interactions users generate at each touchpoint, and assess the success or failure rate at each stage of your sales funnel.

It also gives you detailed insight into the key areas for improvement, so you can identify weak points, and discover real growth opportunities.

Many of the issues we try to solve in our digital products are measured by intuition. We often tend to believe that creating new features will lead to better conversion rates, without truly putting ourselves in our users’ shoes.

The Product Hackers Canvas not only gives you the opportunity to conduct a heuristic analysis of each stage of your funnel. It also helps you compare your product’s performance based on the industry you work in, comparing your results with industry benchmarks, for instance. And having a 360-view of your Growth strategy leads you to better-planned actions that are aligned with objectives. Wrapping these actions into a logical order helps optimize the steps to be taken, so you can adapt each tactic to the phase you want to improve.

Lastly, having all this information structured helps you stay focused on growth. By mixing an overview with a detailed picture of each stage, you can align all actions to improve conversion rates between phases.

Download Product Hackers Canvas template

Product Hackers Canvas’ structure

The tool is divided into four main sections: the header with identifying information, the stages of the extended AIDA funnel, the Growth Status section (to match specific objectives, performance and opportunities), and the Growth Experimental Strategy section where you can define actions depending on the area you want to explore.

Header: who for, when and what for

Product Hackers Canvas’ top section. Source: self-made

First, there’s a header where you can highlight identifying information: date, client or company, main objective, and the target audience.

  • Growth Strategy for: who you are crafting your Growth strategy for. It can be an external company, a specific department within the same company, or even your own company. You can get a lot out of it if you use it as an internal tool 😉
  • Main Goal: what your main objective or North Star Metric is. In other words, where you’ll put the most effort to maximize the growth of your business’s key metric. Sometimes the objective can be secondary, which is why it’s so important to document it and view it with a long-term view. This section is extremely useful if the strategy is going to be reviewed by other team members.
  • User segment: there will be times or projects where you create a strategy for the general audience, without any segmentation. However, when dealing with a business with a certain level of traffic and impact, it’s interesting to create different strategies for specific user segments.
  • Creation date: it’s important to note that you can combine different strategies simultaneously. Remember that using the Product Hackers Canvas is an ever-evolving process.


Stages of the expanded AIDA model that are included in the Product Hackers Canvas. Source: self-made

The Product Hackers Canvas is an expanded version of the AIDA funnel. In other words, it includes the stages of attraction, interest, desire, and action, to which we added the stages of activation, achievement, retention, and recommendation. These last four phases focus on recurrence and virality.

  • Attention: moment in which you impact your users outside your website, whether it’s through advertising, sponsorships, media communication, podcasts, social media, or newsletters (among other channels).
  • Interest: phase in which the user arrives at your website because they have been impacted by something of their interest. To make them stay, you must build trust and help them find the product or service they are seeking. You can play with the website’s structure, the search bar, or recommendations to make it as user-friendly as possible.
  • Desire: in this stage, the user shows a high level of interest in what you offer, and you need to convince them to make a purchase or perform an action. This is where calls to action (CTAs) come into play, ensuring that product or service information is displayed clearly and that the pricing landing page is understandable.
  • Action: this is the moment of purchase. Details are important here, and you must pay attention to small but relevant things like a good payment gateway, the checkout process, forms, or confirmation emails.
  • Activation: this phase involves getting the user to start using the product or service they have just bought. For eCommerce, it’s about logistics; for SaaS, it’s onboarding; and for services, it’s the start of the service.
  • Achievement: at this stage, your aim is to ensure that the customer who paid for your product or service achieves the goals for which they made the purchase. If you fail to make them succeed, there’s a high chance of losing them.
  • Retention: there’s no better formula for retaining customers than making your product or service a part of their routines. If you do, you have successfully begun the process of customer loyalty.
  • Recommendation: when a user decides to buy your product, achieves their goals with it, and uses it regularly, they are likely to recommend it to their peers.

Growth Status

Product Hackers Canvas’ Growth Status. Source: self-made

This section is made to define the growth strategy from top to bottom. You start by outlining your goal in each funnel phase, including the success rate between the different stages, and identifying possible growth levers:

  • Customer’s Goal: in this section, you describe your customer’s goals at each specific step on the funnel.
  • Our Goal (in-stage KPI): here, you set an input metric to measure your objectives’ success level.
  • Growth Performance: here, you introduce the input metric’s value for each stage of the funnel, giving you an idea of the success rate of your actions based on our goals.
  • Benchmark: the reference input metric’s value for our sector and what we aim to reach. It’s useful for analyzing what you’ve achieved to determine if your strategy is working or not.
  • Growth Smoothness: this is a rather subjective analysis. You’ll include your overall perception of what’s working in each of the stages. You can represent it with stars, numbers, or any icon that provides a clear view.
  • Growth Opportunities: a list of ideas that come up during the experimentation process that can potentially help you optimize the results you’re getting in each stage of the funnel. These ideas should directly impact the input metrics you’ve highlighted in the second row.

Growth Experimental Strategy

Product Hackers Canvas’ Growth Experimental Strategy. Source: self-made

Once you’ve identified opportunities to improve the input metrics at each stage of the funnel, you can turn these opportunities into specific actions based on the objectives. They should always be focused on moving the second-row KPI’s (Our Goal) needle.

There are several areas you can target by asking the following questions:

Psychogrowth: How can I use buyer psychology to encourage a certain behavior?

Show: How can I better display the value of my digital product or service?

Amplify: Is there a way to expand the reach of what I’m doing?

Optimize: How can I improve conversion between two stages?

Multiply: What actions could generate more sales?

Speed up: Is there a formula to speed up the achievement of my goal in this stage?

Re-engage: What can I do to re-activate users who are not using my digital product?

Other Growth Actions: If you come up with ideas that don’t fit into any of the previous categories, you can include them in this section. Consider it a general block of Growth actions.

It’s unlikely that you’ll have actions in all areas of all stages. The important thing here is to have a comprehensive view of what you could do in each stage to increase the input metrics.

Download Product Hackers Canvas template
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