Archives for May 2017

May 29, 2017 - No Comments!

Product update: New template to make sharing as fun as humanly possible 🙃

Hey folks! 👋

New template is here!

We are super excited to announce that our Milestone referral template inspired by Harry's is live.😱

After all your requests and a lot of work and coffee ☕️, this referral template is ready.

viral loops milestone referral template inspired by harrys

It’s a whole new super power.

👉  Check out a demo.

You can create as many rewarding milestones as you like without having to create multiple referral programs.

Yep.

Just one, this one. 👇

viral loops milestone referral template inspired by harry's

The Milestone Referral template is here to help you make special people feel special.

Everyone becomes a superfan and you reward participants according to their referral activity.

Through this template, we wanted to encourage your users to tell friends, and those friends to tell their friends, and so on and so forth.

That's how Harry's referral campaign worked and they gathered 100,000 emails in one week. 😱

Marvelous, right?!

Check how it works here!

See the amazing impact that your user's friends and their friends (and their friends) could have on your company.

Savvas ✌️

P.S. We created this awesome side project that helps you understand how this template could work for you – just follow 4 simple steps. Feel free to reply with any feedback. 😊

May 19, 2017 - No Comments!

A Marketing Conference That Actually Helped Us Grow

This is not just another article.  It’s just a recap of some awesome things I experienced first-hand in the beginning of the month.

You see, I traveled to NYC with my partner, Savvas to attend Growth Marketing Conference East and also hold a workshop about virality.

During the days of the conference, I tried to keep as many notes as possible ( trust me, it’s really hard to concentrate on your tablet when you have so many interesting people around you), and now I’m presenting them to you.

Further down you’ll find some exceptional new tools we’ve seen, along with some info about interesting people we’ve watched or met.

Tools, Tools, Tools

Everybody that has the slightest idea about my deal, knows that I adore gadgets. A remote controlled BB8 might be my fun ride, but I’m also very fond of my “work” gadgets.

We always look up a great tool to use- and occasionally we create them, as they offer us the chance to be fast.

Although growth tools are not the important things- the growth mindset and the process behind it rule the field.

However, having and using the proper tools boost your productivity and efficiency. Spending time with the wrong tools is counter productive, and productivity is king.

Here are some new tools under my radar & some older friends:

Gpzweb – Free

This Linkedin marketing automation software is designed to be used by any type of people who are looking to attract prospects online.

It can be used by online marketers, startup business and entrepreneurs who are looking to build a large network of potential customers and build their email list.

CrowdTangle (Chrome extension) – FREE

It’s  the easiest way to see how often a link has been shared, who shared it and what they said.

It’ll show you the aggregate share counts, as well as the specific Facebook Page posts, Tweets and Subreddits that shared any URL you want to check.

Then you can approach those people or groups or pages individually as part of an outreach campaign as it proves that they are somehow connected or interested in the topic.

CrowdTangle

CrowdTangle

Spike – PAID

It is well-suited to news sites with good functionality for both journalists and marketers.

Spike tracks all of the world’s content – and analyzes this ocean of data to predict what will drive engagement today.

Buzzsumo – PAID

You can analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor and then find the key influencers to promote your content.

Buzzsumo

Switcher Studio– PAID

Switcher Studio empowers creators to stream better on Facebook Live and YouTube—quicker, easier and cheaper.

With the equipment you already own and an easy-to-use interface, you can easily switch from your cameras to graphics and pre-recorded video.

Belive– FREE

You can engage with your audience on Facebook Live with an amazing live broadcast, like on TV
Additionally, you can show audience questions on the broadcast.

Your viewers will know what question you are answering, and will love to participate! You can also, host a live interview with a remote guest, and broadcast your face to face talk to the world.

Use split screen, picture in picture, or let your guest have the whole frame!

You don’t need to be in the same room to have an interview!

Belive

Sigstr– FREE

It’s about email signature marketing.
It could drive real marketing ROI by aligning your email signature to your brand while closing with a clickable call-to-action on every send.
Even if you will not manage to use it in your mac mail you can get nice insights. Check the article here on how to use this kind of tools.

Ruzzit– FREE

Ruzzit brings together the most popular and shared content (videos, images and articles) from thousands of sources across the web.

All this content is categorized and ordered by their “secret sauce” (aka. algorithm) to show you the best possible content.

Essentially, you could say that it’s a smart viral feed. You can see what’s famous and share it as well.

Charlie– FREE

Charlie briefs you on the people and companies you are about to meet with, minutes before every calendar appointment.

Know what you share in common, their professional background, their passions, company information, and more. Hilarious and witty copywriting and interesting insights.

Charlie

Our Session

As I wrote in the beginning, this wasn’t just a trip to a conference. We were actually invited to hold a workshop on referral marketing and virality.

You can watch part of our presentation in the videos below:

 


In case you are interested, you can also give a look on the presentation itself:

And that moment with those guys 🙂

Interesting People

Josh Fechter

A young guy, full of energy and brilliant ideas. Growth hacker at heart and not only, he works around the clock to build communities and grow companies.

He also built and runs the amazing BAMF (Badass Marketers & Founders) Facebook group!

Josh Fechter

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

“Social media is the fastest way to develop your know, like, and trust factor. It’s a frictionless… Click To Tweet

Steli Efti

The energy of that guy is unspeakable. A natural pitcher that could keep the audience engaged for hours (he would be drained afterward for sure).

He runs Close.io (a CRM system), he has one of the leanest startups in bay area and he moved from the agency he had to the product when he realized that a product they generated for not repeating themselves, was making more money than the agency!

He also hosts a series of podcasts named The Startup Chat with Hiten Shah. Don’t miss it. 20 minutes of condensed wisdom twice per week.

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

“Whoever understands the customer best will ultimately own them.”-Steli Efti Click To Tweet

Vin Clancy

If personal branding is your thing, then Vin is your solution. Always puzzling people with his outfits but they all enjoy the value he is sharing with everyone.

He speaks very fast and very condensed. This time specifically, he had to deliver an hour of presentation in 15 minutes. Imaging in the velocity of his show?

He runs the Traffic & Copy Facebook group, that I would suggest joining if you want to learn all latest tips on branding and more.

Vin Clancy

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Brant Cooper

“What are you doing for living”, I asked?

“I’m teaching large organizations to think as startups”, he answered… respect!

Also, he’s the author of Lean Entrepreneur (NYTimes best seller).

Brant Cooper

Facebook

Twitter

“Your brand promise is b.s! Customers own half of your brand”-Brant Cooper Click To Tweet

Sujan Patel

A content guy behind half of the web. Working with multiple content strategies, Sujan nailed it. He can convince you that content marketing will work for you and the ROI will be tremendous.

Sujan Patel

Facebook

Twitter

“Create something significantly better than your best competitor”-Sujan Patel Click To Tweet

Some Incredible Quotes My Ears Caught

Paul Klebanov

“How Do You Cut Down Your PPC Costs? You Pay More … To pay less…”-Paul Klebanov Click To Tweet

Dominic Coryell

“Map the skills needed to the best strategy to meet your growth goals”-Dominic Coryell Click To Tweet

Joanna Lord

“Often the hardest, most complicated business decision is the exact one you need to make”-Joanna… Click To Tweet “We spend too much time reporting on useless things”-Joanna Lord Click To Tweet

Ryan Kulp

“There’s no such thing as a free lead.”-Ryan Kulp Click To Tweet

Zack Onisko

“Design-based thinking. Prototype faster and without a single line of code.”-Zack Onisko Click To Tweet

Savvas Zortikis

“Referral should be done on top of a valuable product. Don’t ask your friends to refer a shitty… Click To Tweet

Theo Moulos

“Just by selecting a referral marketing tool, it doesn’t mean you will not go viral”-Theo Moulos Click To Tweet

Conclusion

Although I’ve been traveling a lot, I’m certain that this trip was one of most fruitful and entertaining of my career.

We’ve met new faces, heard new ideas and re-evaluate things we’ve taken for granted.

I already feel excited about the next event 😊

Originally posted here

May 16, 2017 - No Comments!

What is the best way to manage a referral marketing campaign for my B2B SaaS startup?

From my experience I haven’t seen so many really successful referral marketing programs from B2B SaaS companies.

I think it’s closely related to how big the second “B” is. In your case, it’s not so much, as you’re selling to small businesses—we target the same market by the way 🙂

If your product is something that a ton of companies will use (e.g. Slack) then things are much easier. If not, you need to experiment more.

Despite the fact your product is paid, you can run a double-sided program in which the referrer and the invitee are rewarded—attribution of successful referral—when the invitee signs up. Just make sure to track people signing up from invites and measure their quality (e.g. activation rate, conversion rate and retention).

Of course, you can run a referral program in which the attribution happens when the invitee becomes a paid customer. This will decrease your k-factor, but you need to check the trade-off between this and the value of each referral (LTV).


For our own B2B SaaS startup, Viral Loops—yes, it’s a viral and referral marketing platform :p—we run 2 referral programs in parallel.

One for getting more signups and customers and one for building a community, increasing our email list and generate word of mouth.

We have a similar business model to yours ($99/month) and target small and medium-sized businesses, as you do.

1. Referral Program inspired by Dropbox

Our main objective is to get more sign ups and paid customers.

It’s pretty straightforward. We reward people when their friends sign up, so both can take our Power plan for free. Here is the structure and the referral dashboard of each user that outlines the structure:

What is the best way to manage a referral marketing campaign for my B2B SaaS startup?

2. Milestone Referral Program inspired by Harry’s and The Hustle

As The Hustle does, we incentivize our email subscribers, including our customers, to invite their friends to subscribe to our email list in order to get different rewards not necessarily related to our product, like swag (e.g. t-shirts, stickers, tickets to conferences, etc.)

It’s based on the concept of milestones. When you reach a specific milestone, say got 4 or 10 friends, you get something. If you don’t catch that, you don’t get anything.

Here a lot of companies fail, because they create merchandise people would never wear. Most probably you have a ton of t-shirts with an ugly logo of a company that you never wore—if not I can send you some :D.

But the team behind Hustle, for example, know how the game is played and they have some of the coolest stuff out there. Everyone wants these shocks!

They’ve gathered more than 300,000 email subscribers with this program and still it’s their main focus for list growth.

We just launched it for us, so I can share some metrics in the next few weeks.


We also built a free tool to help you design a similar concept for your company:

How To Build A Harry’s Prelaunch Referral Program In 4 Simple Steps

Hope it helps!


May 14, 2017 - No Comments!

What are some creative/viral ways in which startups have enticed people to join and/or invite their friends?

In a similar Quora question I outlined some of my favorite examples, including Airbnb, Monzo, Vision Mobile, Mixmax, Pipedrive and Live True London.

You can read it here “Savvas Zortikis' answer to What are some examples of great UX for "Invite Friends"?

Another great example is the prelaunch referral campaign of Harry’s, a New York-based grooming brand that manufactures and sells shaving equipment via mail order.

The idea for the campaign was built by Jeff Raider & Andy Katz-Mayfield, Harry’s founders. Their belief that the most powerful and effective way to launch their grooming brand was through a credible referral. Thus, they focused on building a campaign that helped people to spread the word to their friends—and not just spending a ton of money on Google and Facebook.

They managed to gather 100,000 emails in a single week.


You can easily understand the concept and build the backbone of your campaign with this free tool:

How To Build A Harry’s Prelaunch Referral Program In 4 Simple Steps


The website of the campaign was something really simple, yet catchy and effective, 2-page microsite.

1. When people landed to harrys.com, they were asked to give their email in order to participate to the campaign. Some notes on their landing page:

  • A big bold image making it clear to people what Harry’s is all about in the first 5 seconds.
  • Nice tagline to tell people that Harry’s is launching soon and will disrupt the industry (respecting the face and wallet since like…right now)
  • They could also allow people to join the campaign with Facebook login—this would give them more data and also increase conversions. Younger people may not have an email at all or not checking it constantly.
What-are-some-creative-viral-ways-in-which-startups-have-enticed-people-to-join-and-or-invite-their-friends

Harry’s landing page

2. After giving your email, people had to invite their friends to get the prizes. Harry’s followed the concept of a “Milestone Referral Campaign,” meaning that when people reached a specific number of referrals (milestone) they instantly win the corresponding prize.

Notes on their invite page:

  • Clear messaging: Invite friends to earn product
  • On hover of each milestone, you could see the product’s image—if they had a design with the image to be displayed by default, they could have higher conversions.
  • Getting a prize was super doable—who hasn’t 5 or 10 guys that shave?
What-are-some-creative-viral-ways-in-which-startups-have-enticed-people-to-join-and-or-invite-their-friends

Harry’s invite page

They also used a great series of emails to re-engage the people participated in the campaign and keep inviting friends to get to the next milestone.

According to Jeff Raider, the referral mechanics were amazing. 77% of the emails were collected via referral, meaning about 20K people referred about 65K friends. This means referrers, on average, referred more than 3 friends.

Yet there were a lot of people who referred well above that average: More than 200 participants referred more than 50 of their friends, achieving the highest tier reward.


May 13, 2017 - 1 comment.

What is a good alternative to Instagress?

What is a good alternative to Instagress? Answer Request

After Instagress shut down by Instagram, Massplanner came next. It seems that Instagram automation is about to die.

So, I wouldn’t recommend looking for an alternative service, but rather for other tactics.

Some things you can work that work like charm:

  • Join engagement groups on Telegram. You can also start your own—just get 5 friends to start with and then add more people. In order to make it work, make sure to set an upvote ring each week at a specific time. You can also send calendar invites to the members so no one can miss it. Stick to that and more people will ask you to join.
  • Buy an Instagram account in your niche and take it over. Best practice is to find an agency or an expert to connect you with accounts that are on sale.
  • You can run paid posts on popular Facebook at you niche. Ask them to post a photo of your Instagram account and link to your Insta profile. You can also ask them to promote it to all of their fanpage and you can cover the ad costs. This is This is a great hack I found at Badass Marketers & Founders, Josh Fechter’s Facebook group.

Here is a great article on Instagram growth:

Instagram Influencer Marketing: Three Steps to Unleash the Power of Social Celebrities in Ecommerce – Shopify


May 10, 2017 - No Comments!

Viral & Referral Marketing As A Growth Catalyst [Presentation]

This is the presentation from the workshop that GrowthRocks & Viral Loops held during the Growth Marketing Conference in NYC.

Savvas and Theo, our co-founders, shared their knowledge on using viral & referral campaigns as a fully controllable marketing channel for startups and eCommerce stores.

The highlight of the presentation is an actionable framework for building successful referral campaigns, that came along with some case studies on how other companies use referral marketing to boost their growth.

I hope you enjoy it!
Make sure to leave your feedback or questions in the comment section 🙂

May 3, 2017 - No Comments!

7 Ways To Promote Your Referral Program

Your Referral Program’s Promotion is vital!

Referral programs managed in 5 short years to become THE thing for healthy customer acquisition. This article’s purpose is not to convince you to build a referral program (I guess you’re not here for that).

This piece of content is about what comes after your decision to invest in referral marketing. It’s about the ways and means you can use in order to make your referral campaign a meaningful channel for your company’s growth.

Since we kicked off Viral Loops last year, we’ve help people to implement and promote some amazing referral programs and that’s the primary reason I decided to write down the things you’re going to read further in the article.

Without further ado, here are the 7 Things You Can Do To Promote Your Referral Program

Promote Your Referral Program By Leveraging existing customers

It’s only natural for happy customers to have a higher probability of referring your product or service to a friend.

Buying from you in the first place is a sign that what you offer made them stick. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this in the past, but customer loyalty and retention are two of the essential elements of growth.

 

83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do. Click To Tweet

There are 2 things you can do right now, in order to get your customers in your referral program:

  1. Set up an automated email
  2. Add them in a retargeting flow

In both occasions, relevancy is the key! You can bombard people with messages full with tuxedo pictures, while these beauties bought spring dresses from you.

1.Automated emails.

If you run an eCommerce store, chances are that you use a marketing automation tool. This allows you to build automated flows that include dynamic content, according to your customer’s purchase history.

A nice trick would be to add in the email a product that the customer visited in the past but never bought, as an incentive to sign up for your referral program.

e.g. A nicely designed email including the picture of an amazing pair of sandals with the message: “Refer your friends and get 20% off for everything you crave!”

If there’s a thing we’ve learned about emails (apart from the fact that subject lines are 80% of the work), is that they are time sensitive.

You have to understand when is the right moment to trigger your campaign. The best time is when customers experience their “WOW moment”, which usually is:

  1. When they complete a purchase.
  2. When they receive their order.
The best time to trigger your email campaign is when customers experience their “WOW moment”… Click To Tweet

2.Retargeting

Apart from you existing customers, you can use retargeting as a method to capture the email addresses of people that visited your store and left without making a purchase.

For this instance you have to keep in mind the same principles that apply to automated email campaigns:

  1. Relevancy
  2. Timing

e.g. Let’s say you have a vaping store. People will definitely have to make a recurring purchase (vaping liquids etc.). You can use data from other people as for how often people tend to buy their vaping liquids, to trigger retargeting campaigns for these products, incentivising people to get in your referral program in exchange for discounts on their liquids.

You can also try to create a retargeting flow for those that you failed to onboard to your referral program, post purchase. Try to mixing things in order to serve magic!

Stepping up your paid advertising game

Yes, being discovered organically is better; but those who say that paid advertising doesn’t have a good ROI should probably change their advertising game.

Picture this: Putting an ad, instantly gets you in the first page of search engines (which means instant traffic). If you treat your message and targeting with care, chances are that the right people will land on your landing page.

What is best than paying for one user and bring 2 or 3? It’s called Viral co-efficiency and it’s the one and only way to lower your CPA via paid ads.

Google AdWords

I’m not going to get into how to use Google Adwords effectively. Just bare in mind that you have to be very careful about your long tail keyword research and keep the message very clear.

e.g. Get involved and get 20% discount!”

Try to keep your message as consistent as possible with the content of the landing page that you’ll send visitors to. That way you increase your chances for greater conversion rates, as people will get what they expected when they clicked the ad.

Facebook Ads

Facebook, due to being a personal data monster, gives us the ability of amazing targeting for paid campaigns.

Since I already talked about utilizing your existing customers with retargeting, now we have to get one step forward by creating ads and audiences that will help you acquire new users.

A cool trick is to insert in facebook the email addresses of your existing customers and create a lookalike audience. That way you ensure that your ad will be served to people that share the same interests with your customers, resonating that way to their buying habits.

As Facebook advertising mastermind, Jon Loomer says:

People are more likely to perform an action if a friend did, too! @jonloomer #referralmarketing Click To Tweet

That means that an opportunity lies for you with the friends of your Facebook fans. Although that audience has an intention to engage with your posts, it’s highly advised to use some extra layering to that audience in order to ensure that your ads resonate to their taste.

Tip: Create a mind-blowing creative (something that can catch the user’s eye while the scroll their feed endlessly). Keep your message clear as possible and use some cool emojis (grab more eyeballs). A video ad is also cool, but since most people will probably watch it on “mute”, add some subtitles!

Exploiting all available channels

You have to think your marketing channels not as individual units of a production line, but rather as a full ecosystem with an end to end communication.

That means that even if you can’t leverage a certain traction channel to drive direct actions, you can surely use it as a booster for another channel.

Let’s see some channels you can also use to attract more users to your referral program.

1.Newsletters

Probably, you already grew tired of hearing about how important list building is– It’s 100% true!

You can use these acquired email addresses to distribute content related to your business. But just blasting generic newsletters to all your subscribers won’t do the job for you.

You have to invest some time to segment your lists properly (based on previous actions- like downloading an eBook or engagement with previous newsletters.) and create something special for each segment.

Having the right message should turn into a habit considering the content you’re trying to promote!

2.Social Media

If you’re using social media for your business in the right way, you probably avoid spamming your fans with heavy promotions. People use social media because they like to react and engage with content.

Achieving high engagement on organic posts that promote your referral program directly, is nearly impossible. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use social media to make people get involved.

You should probably take a step back and brainstorm about post types that are highly engaging, aiming to add another step at the top of your referral program’s funnel.

The secret lies in capturing their email addresses. You can run a facebook giveaway campaign, asking people to like and comment and then lead them into a landing page for the giveaway.

That’s two birds with one stone; You fulfill people’s desire to engage and you also grab their email address (plus, a post with higher engagement will make it to more people’s feeds).

From there you can use your other marketing channels to stream those people to your referral program.

3.Content Marketing

Same as social media, content marketing is not probably way of direct promotion of your referral -it’s kinda lame and desperate if you ask me. Yes, you can write a press release but this isn’t content marketing.

A nice approach, instead of trying to promote your referral through your content, would be to approach other content creators that resemble your audience and ask them to promote your referral program (yes, “ask” means you’ll have to pay them to do so).

On the other hand, if you’re using your content to drive people to your website, you can make use of widgets set to work when people get in from your content, along with a special message.

Offline referrals still work!

Even though digital is dominating, people still exist in the material world. They still like to touch things and read books. Using offline practices to boost your referral program is something that only a few people do.

If you run a B2B business, there’s a high probability of attending events. Instead of just giving a business card, you can give prospects a scannable card that drives them directly to your referral campaign.

The same mindset applies for stickers, flyers or brochures!

Website menus

If you want your referral to work you have to make sure that everybody is aware of it! Referral became so popular the last 5 years, that people not only know about their usage but also search for them when they enter a website.

It’s a really a shame not having a menu item or a dedicated section on your website. This can spark the curiosity of the visitor increasing your chances of turning them into ambassadors.

On top of the above, you can also put a top bar on the site containing information about your program and change the copy every two weeks in order to A/B test what works better.

Testing your message

If you read the entire post you’ve probably noticed that I wrote numerous times about the importance of having a clear message.

When it comes to copywriting that converts, there are two things you must keep in mind:

  1. Clear Message
  2. Emotional Triggers

You must make it easy for people to understand what they have to gain from entering your referral program. You have to use terms they understand.

e.g. Everybody understands money value, so you could test changing your discount claim from percentage to actual money value; and vice versa.

“20% discount” vs. “10 dollars discount”

Now, as it comes to emotional triggers, as Copyblogger puts down in an excellent manner, there are words that trigger spontaneous emotional reactions to people.

Words like:

  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

I’m not in the position to tell you exactly what kind of copy will move your audience – it all comes down to testing constantly.

Campaign Boosters

Once your program is live it’s sure that you’ll have to deal with 3 types of referrers:

  1. Ambassadors
  2. Plain referrers
  3. Neutral

Ambassadors are considered people that completed the referral goal at least once or more(if they had to bring one purchase using their referral code, they already made it).

Plain referrers are people that even though they shared their referral code, haven’t completed the referral goal yet.

Last, neutrals are people that entered your program but never took the initiative to share it with their friends.

Your goal is to turn neutrals and plain referrers to ambassadors, and those who are already ambassadors to continue spreading the word.

Since neutrals are a long shot, a simple email has very low probability of changing anything. So, apart from emailing them, you can add them in your retargeting flow giving them a reminder that they should share in order to get the reward.

For plain referrers, you can use automated emails that encourage them to keep sharing. You can share with them some data, like how many invited other people sent on average before they got their first referral reward.

Now considering ambassadors, email is your weapon of choice once again. As those people are your top referrers you should communicate this sense of exclusivity to them. Give them more as a sign of gratitude for the effort they put for you!

Tip: You can create banners that people can put on their websites in order to drive traffic to your referral program

Conclusion

Just putting up a referral program doesn’t mean that it will act as a magic hat that spits dollars. You have to be constantly on the edge about it.

Be ready to optimize, test copies, rewards and chat with people. Without this kind of work results will be mediocre at best; and who likes mediocre things?