Archives for April 2017

April 21, 2017 - 1 comment.

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

Today a lot of companies use virality and referral marketing as one of their main customer acquisition channels with smart hacks on the UX to increase virality and make it easier for people to invite their friends.

Some of my favorites are:

  1. Airbnb
  2. Monzo
  3. Vision Mobile (Developer Economics)
  4. Mixmax
  5. Pipedrive
  6. Live True London

1. Airbnb

Airbnb focuses a lot on their referral program and acquiring new customers through referrals. You can easily notice it if you book an apartment for a trip. I book around one every month for my business trips.

What are some examples of great UX for "Invite Friends"?

Airbnb’s Invite Page

UX Highlights:

1. I can invite my friends through Facebook Messenger. Messaging is booming and it’s more probable to invite a close friends from Messenger rather than email—of course, that really depends on audience demographics and habits.

2. My referral code is not a random long code I cannot remember. It consists of my name “szortikis”—my name is Savvas Zortikis—this is really helpful as it can help you drive offline word of mouth. According to Jonah Burger, expert on virality and author of Contagious, mentions that 90% of word of mouth happens offline.

On top of that, having memorable referral links, converts better. It does so, because there is a conversion cycle between when an invite is sent to a friend, and when the friend clicks on that link or converts. So, having these kind of links helps your friends identify with minimum cognitive effort that this is an invite from a friend and keep them in context when visiting Airbnb after an invite.

3. Multiple touch-points to increase user adoption. One of the main reasons viral and referral marketing campaign don’t work is because people don’t know about it. Companies “hide” the referral in a profile page.

Airbnb prompts people to invite their friends in multiple steps of the core booking experience. For example, if you go to your trips page, you can invite your friends to get travel credit before paying.

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

Widget to lead you to the invite page

4. Personalization in the sign up page of their mobile app after coming from an invite. When you follow an invite link you are redirected to the app store to download the Airbnb app. Instead of showing the regular sign up page, they want to keep you in context and personalize the sign up page as illustrated below:

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

Personalized sign up page after invite

2. Monzo

Monzo is an online bank in the UK. Their growth strategy is solely based on referrals, virality and community marketing. They use the waiting list referral approach at their core sign up process.

Here is a short teardown of their UX—I’m using images—“show, don’t tell” 🙂

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?
What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?
What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

What’s really interesting, is that they continue the waiting list marketing approach after launching in 2015 with more than 150K sign ups and 20K cardholders.

3. Vision Mobile (Developer Economics)

Developer Economics is part of Vision Mobile—the biggest company that run surveys and produce reports for the mobile app, helping developers find insights and research data on platforms, tools & APIs.

To get more survey completions, they have a referral program in which based on the number of friends you invite, you climb up a leaderboard to get monetary rewards.

Their audience is tech people and developers who use mainly Twitter (more than Facebook). So, the team of Vision Mobile did an experiment that brought them 5x times more referrals. They created the Handpicked tweets through Viral Loops, the viral and referral marketing platform[1] they use.

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

4. Mixmax

Mixmax is my favorite email add-on to track who opens and clicks my email. It has also more great features for outreach and scheduling meetings. I’m a big fan!

And because, I love using this product, I want to tell my team and fellow founders and marketers about it. For two reasons: help them improve their productivity and sales efforts, as well as for social currency—I was the one who found it first :P.

Mixmax makes it really easy to invite a friend directly :

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

5. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a CRM. The hack I really love is that after you leave the app or logout, they serve a welcome back page and prompt you to invite your friends. They do so with a simple cookie.

What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

6. Live True London

Live True London is one of the most well-know beauty salons in London. They use a referral program to get foot traffic through referrals from their website. They use a neat widget that is integrated into all of their website pages (disclaimer: I run Viral Loops :).

This widget is similar to a chat widget (e.g. Intercom or Drift) that people are used to interact with. This way you don’t have to lead people to another page and make it more complex to invite their friends.


What are some examples of great UX for “Invite Friends”?

Viral Loops on-page widget

April 19, 2017 - No Comments!

What is a good referral plugin for WooCommerce similar to Uber’s referral system?

We have recently launched Viral Loops for Woo Commerce, which is a referral marketing solution companies looking to run campaigns similar to Uber’s, Gilt’s and others.

This campaign will help you acquire new customers and increase sales for your store. Here is how the flow works:

  1. Person A invites person B.
  2. Person B gets a discount coupon, say $20, for her first purchase.
  3. Person A get the same discount after person B completes her first purchase.

People can invite their friends if they are already customers of yours, or just subscribed to your emailing list (e.g. through one of our widgets). This allows more people to send out invites and increase your viral factor.

What is a good referral plugin for WooCommerce similar to Uber’s referral system?

Viral Loops’s on-page Referral Widget

But this is something you can find in every referral marketing platform out there 🙂 One of my favorite features is our on-page referral widget:

It’s an chat-style widget through which people can invite their friends very easily. And you don’t have to build a dedicated invite page in your site. You just customize our widget through our platform and install our Woo Commerce plugin.

Depending on your business goals, you cal later run—from the same platform—an eCommerce Loyalty program for Woo Commerce stores and combine it with your referral program. A loyalty scheme could be:

  • For each purchase, you get 100 points,
  • If you purchase once a month, you get 200 points,
  • If you invite a friend, you get 500 points

And for every 500 points you get a 20% coupon code for your next purchase.

What is a good referral plugin for WooCommerce similar to Uber’s referral system?

Viral Loops Referral Marketing Templates

You can also check more of our referral marketing templates for viral sweepstakes and other email list building campaigns like Hustle’s Ambassador Program.

April 18, 2017 - No Comments!

What companies are best at growth hacking?

Airbnb, Hotmail and Linkedin are some great classic examples—you should definitely read about them. It’s not that you’ll be able to replicate these growth hacks, but it will help you understand the growth hacker’s mindset.

Some of my favorite companies that have used smart and unique ways to grow are Jet, Drift and Pinterest.—Invites for Perks & Shares

Jet is an eCommerce company launched in 2014 as a direct competitor to Amazon. After raising their first $80 million in funding, they were looking in creative ways of running an epic prelaunch campaign.

So, they came up with Jet Insiders. The unique part of this prelaunch campaign is that they were giving shares to those people who would invite lots of friends— “The more friend you invite, the higher you climb up the leaderboard.”

What companies are best at growth hacking?

Jet’s prelaunch landing page—you could join by email or Facebook


What companies are best at growth hacking?

If you made it to the top ten, you would get 10,000 shares of stock. The first in the ranking got 100,000 shares (back then, Jet was valued at 600 million).


What companies are best at growth hacking?

The complete list of perks

One of the highlights of the campaign was that the top Insider, Eric Martin, spent about $18,000 on Facebook ads (according to Business Insider) and rewarded advertising on swagbucks and gifthulk to ensure that he'd get the 100,000 shares. (Swagbucks and GiftHulk give people rewards for completing surveys or, in this case, signing up for websites.)

Drift—Branding & Positioning Hack

Drift is a messaging and marketing platform for websites. It offers a chat functionality and marketing automation capabilities. One of their main competitors is Intercom—their product is “bigger” with more features and better in marketing automation.

But, Drift has a totally different approach in positioning their product. They focus on building a killer intelligent chat functionality to help you close leads faster. They’ve released great features, like Leadbot, which is an automated way to qualify leads without asking people to fill in boring forms.

So, they don’t try to build a huge product and compete on features. They have a very specific positioning with unique features around it. They also push this with blog posts, webinars and infographics, like the one below:

What companies are best at growth hacking?

In terms of branding, they want to show people that they lead the new wave of marketing without gated content, boring lead forms and traditional lead scoring. Who wants to be the traditional guy? As marketers we always try to find new ways of acquiring more customers, more effectively.

One of my favorite branding hacks they did, which reinforces their product, is that they threw away all of their lead forms without asking people to opt-in before reading any piece of content. You can read more about this move: Why We’re Throwing Out All Of Our Lead Forms And Making Content Free

Another branding and funny small detail is that you can “celebrate” after you have responded to all of leads. You may think that this is not a growth hack and you’re right. But this drives word of mouth—I’m just writing about it 😛

What companies are best at growth hacking?

Party time in Drift’s mobile app 🙂


Pinterest—Solid Experimentation & Growth Engineering

I won’t talk about a specific growth hack of Pinterest, but for their approach. After all, the top companies that hack their growth, they have a robust process of rapid and data-driven experimentation.

Their lead growth engineer, John Egan, has a great blog and occasionally shares his lessons learned, experiments they tried and how they did it—mostly growth engineering stuff—which I love by the way 🙂

In his latest article, he points out 3 habits of highly effective growth engineering teams:

  1. Your team should have a broad range of coding and marketing skills—velocity in execution is the most important factor for experimenting and learning as fast as you can.
  2. Everyone should be a driver and owner of his project/experiment. In growth teams you cannot afford having people that just execute what they are told to.
  3. You should ship high quality and stable stuff, especially when your experiments affect crucial parts of your product, like sign up forms, upgrade flows, and onboarding—else you may impact negatively the whole experience and top line growth.

April 11, 2017 - No Comments!

What is the best online marketing strategy for a boutique clothing store (online/brick and mortar)?

I totally agree that social can be a very effective mechanism for driving sales for your store. And I think it can work even better if you combine it with word of mouth and influencer marketing.

Three marketing channels/tactics you can use are:

  1. Referral Marketing
  2. Video marketing with Influencers
  3. Join a boutique marketplace

Referral Marketing

Word of mouth and referrals are a powerful marketing channel for brands. Especially for boutique clothing stores and other design-led products that are not massively sold, but have a more targeted audience.

For example, I love minimalism and Scandinavian design, so I prefer to buy t-shirts and shoes from two specific boutiques. Inevitably, I spread the word about them to my friends and network.

So, if you transform your customers into superfans and marketers, you can try one of the following referral marketing tactics:

1. Two-sided referral program for eCommerce stores

This kind of referral campaign will help you acquire new customers and increase sales. In an essence, here is how it works:

  1. Person A invites person B.
  2. Person B gets a discount coupon, say $20, for her first purchase.
  3. Person A get the same discount after person B completes her first purchase.
What is the best online marketing strategy for a boutique clothing store (online/brick and mortar)?

Above you can take a look at Viral Loops’ on-page Referral Widget

This is another type of referral campaign that won’t generate sales immediately but it will help you build your email list faster and create a community. Then you can sell them.

The main idea is that after people subscribe to your email list, you prompt them to invite their friends so they can win several rewards. These rewards are based on the number of friends someone brings.

The Hustle does a great a job with this. Josh Fechter has written a detailed post about it on the Autopilot blog: How The Hustle’s Brand Ambassador Program Attracted 300K Email Subscribers

What is the best online marketing strategy for a boutique clothing store (online/brick and mortar)?

3. Online to offline referral program for brick and mortar

Now, if you want to drive foot traffic from your website or any other digital channel to your physical store, you can again use referrals but with a small tweak in the process.

As people won’t be able to redeem their coupon on your online store, when a successful referral happens, you can automatically email them their coupon code and include it in a QR code. When they visit your store, you can scan their QR with a free QR reader app on your mobile phone and see who referred them and the discount you have to give them.

Here is a demo of how this could work with Viral Loops:

Disclaimer: I run Viral Loops, but no matter which solution you’ll use, I strongly believe that viral and referral marketing can really help your sales and brand 🙂

Product Video with Influencers

As Milton George puts it:

The best way (ROI) to increase eCommerce sales at the moment is finding key influencers in your niche, creating a video with your product and boosting it.

He also mentions a great example of how SHAN swimwear runs a similar campaign with Irina Tee.

Instagram post by Irina Tee • Nov 29, 2016 at 5:23pm UTC

What is the best online marketing strategy for a boutique clothing store (online/brick and mortar)?

Find marketplaces for boutiques

One of the main challenges boutiques face, is that they cannot compete with big eCommerce stores. They don’t have the resources to run huge marketing campaigns, or outrank John Lewis on SEO.

What a boutique owner really wants, is to focus on producing high quality products and experiences for their customers.

A smart tactic is to join a marketplace for boutiques that can undertake your online store end-to-end. From marketing and selling your products to fulfilling your orders.

My favorite marketplace for independent boutiques that want to sell online is Trouva. In Trouva you can find unique boutiques and design-led products online.

The reason I love it, is because it’s not yet another eCommerce store. They focus on the community and the boutique itself. For example, before you buy a product you can read the story of the owner and see how the boutique looks like. You can also follow your favorite boutiques.

What is the best online marketing strategy for a boutique clothing store (online/brick and mortar)?

Have you tried any of these? 🙂

April 5, 2017 - No Comments!

Product update: The e-Commerce template you’ve been waiting for

Hey folks! 👋

No more waiting.

We finally released our e-Commerce referral template inspired by Gilt.

In the beginning of 2017, we announced a beta version of this template.

Today, we're announcing that it's live! 🎉

The e-Commerce Referral template (yeap! that's the name) is here to help you drive more orders for your store.

Your customers become superfans and invite their friends to purchase from your store.

In this template we offer a revolutionary way to prompt your customers to refer friends.

That's the In-App Referral Widget.

Excited already?! 😱 Start your campaign now.

Customize the messaging and the colours. Show it in every page of your store.

So today we launched the e-Commerce referral template for all of you who want to increase word-of-mouth sales.

Here’s everything you need to know about our new template – and how it will make it easier for your customers to refer friends. (that’s what we all dream about, right?)

Good times ahead,
Savvas 🤘