Archives for June 2017

June 29, 2017 - No Comments!

An eCommerce ebook that you’ll regret not downloading

I thought of starting this article by giving you some yearly stats for eCommerce just to justify my next sentence that would be about how big, shopping online has become and blah, blah, blah.

But you already know that stuff. Don’t ya? 😎

Let’s do a reality check. The reason you’re reading these lines is that your eCommerce doesn’t perform the way you expected:

• You don’t have enough traffic.
• Your conversion rate sucks.
• Your customers don’t come back as often as you want.
• The amount of $$ you use to drive your sales, matches or exceeds the $$ you make.

Am I wrong? 😏

I’ve been there, and I know all the bad thoughts that come along with that kind of
problem:
• “I need to work more.”
• “Maybe this is not the thing for me.”
• “F*#k that, I can’t take this anymore.”

Allow me to clear this up for you:
• You don’t need to work more. You need to think smarter and act faster.
• All the events in your life brought you here. This is THE thing for you!
• You can take much more than you can imagine.

So, what is this book about? 📖

Throughout this very eBook, you will get a deeper understanding of what can make or break your eCommerce store. In addition to that, we’ll present you tools and how you can utilize them to take your store one step ahead of the competition.

Further inside, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the best ways to grow and retainhealthy contact list and traffic for your store. We’ll also teach you the art of increasing your conversion rate.

Finally, we’ll get through on the why’s and how’s you should increase your long-term customer value through continuous nurturing and engagement of your existing customers.

I could literally write more than 2K words trying to convince you about the value that this book provides, but I think that this would spoil the reading experience for you.

Instead, I’ll just quote what some of the people that read it, had to say:

milton george viral loops"'Let the cash flow' is a great book (with a great title) that every eCommerce specialist should read. I learned a lot of new growth tactics and we will be implementing them at our agency very soon. Kudos to the Viral Loops team once again!

Milton George, Founder of MF

 

marcus karoumi viral loops"This ebook made me want to pause my marketing and rethink some important parts. Some golden nuggets which is totally worth the 30mins I spent reading this.

Marcus Karoumi, Co-founder at AR/WE Sweden

 

R U ready to Let The Ca$h Flow?

I’m really proud of the outcome. I actually think that we should sell it, instead of giving it for free.

But, damn; we 💗 you!

Now, I want you to grab your free copy of ‘Let the Ca$h flow’, push play on the Spotify list we created, kick-off your shoes, make yourself comfortable and enjoy reading.

Viral Loops Growth for eCommerce ebook

Oh, when you finish reading it would be very kind if you give us your feedback. Maybe your recommendations make it to the next version.

Cheers 🙂

 

June 26, 2017 - No Comments!

How to build a Harry’s referral program in 4 simple steps

Do you remember how Harry’s managed to gather 100K subscribers in one week, with their referral program?

Do I need to tell you where this prelaunch lead Harry’s? Maybe I do.

  • 100+ million dollars in funding, for buying a 94-year-old razor blade factory.
  • More than 500 employees.
  • A thriving digital store (which is the fastest growing in the industry).
  • A barber shop in NYC.
  • Their own magazine.

Apart from all the fancy numbers and achievements, this article is about the thing I mentioned in the first sentence.

That referral program. God, that referral program.

Read more

June 16, 2017 - 5 comments

How We Doubled Our Month Over Month Revenue Growth

Introduction

Two years ago, before starting our first tech startup, Viral Loops, we built one of the first growth marketing agencies, GrowthRocks.

I’m starting to lose count of the companies we’ve worked with, but almost all of them wanted to learn the process we followed for our internal needs.

So, what we do, is simply a sum of Sean Ellis’ high tempo testing method, Brian Balfour’s growth machine and our amazing growth team testing like lunatics.

sean ellis high tempo viral loops

High tempo testing method

The community of GrowthHackers.com is an excellent example of how high tempo testing can skyrocket your results.

As it’s a community, GrowthHacker.com main key metric in the number of monthly active users.

They managed to nearly double their monthly active users in 11 weeks from the moment they started testing in high tempo.

As Sean Ellis points, it’s important to run as many experiments as possible in a given timeframe, as you will get more insights, in a quicker manner, about what drives growth for your product.

Brian-balfour-growth-machine-viral-loops

Brian Balfour’s Growth Machine.

In order to discover the right experiment you first have to explore, which translates to running more and more experiments.

As you can see, we start with brainstorming and documenting new experiments, which then we prioritise and we decide which of them we are going to implement.

The next steps are to implement, run and then analyse. documenting everything is important, as at the end of the day you can systemize easily successful experiments, making them that way a part of your marketing approach.

Note:
When you’re in the ideation step of your experiments you should keep your focus on inputs rather than outputs.

For example, if we’re trying to increase your Monthly Recurring Revenue, you should build experiments that will influence the number of free trials and your conversion rate.

viral loops growth

So, increasing Conversion Rate is one of our OKR’s, for which we have a specific document.

The OBJECTIVE KEY RESULT document is the place to store the key results you want to hit in the given timeframe of each experiment.

Instead of setting just one target result, we like to set 3, scaled based on how hard is to reach the goal.

viral loops okr growth

In the particular example, you see that the experiment is to increase our monthly conversion rate.

As a more long shot result, we set a 15% monthly conversion rate in a 60 day period.

We’ve also set 2 more tiers, which are more attainable.

Make sure to keep in mind that each experiment should run from 1 to 3 months. That gives you enough time to acquire a reliable statistical depth unless you have tons of traffic.

In that case, you’ll be able to test in higher tempo, which will allow you to bring results faster.

Generally, the higher your testing mode, the more insight you’ll be able to get. You have to build your experiment’s hypothesis, using a logical expression IF THIS, THEN THAT, BECAUSE THIS.

For example,

“If we increase the traffic by 100%, then the conversion rate will double because the checkout process is already performing in the desired way.”

Also, you can note down the exact steps of the experiment’s design.

For example,

Step1. Build a landing page

Step2. Send a dedicated email newsletter

Step3. Run a FB ad etc.

Adding an estimation of the man-days that each aspect of the experiment needs, will help you prioritize better the experiments you should run. Running the wrong experiment can really spoil the momentum you’re trying to build.

E.g. 0.5 man-day in the landing page development.

Also, it’s wise to keep track of your key metrics along with some action items for the next sprint.

Instead of dreaming big, you have to be pretty down to earth about your experiment’s hypothesis.

Aim for drastic things that will bring meaningful results.

Adding the ability to checkout without subscribing is by far a more meaningful test than changing the checkout button.

Last, there should be WEEKLY LEARNINGS document for keeping the things you learn every week as far as it concerns each experiment.

This is where, you will store your learning and the data that supports it, plus your actions for the upcoming week.

Keeping a consistent documentation will help you establish a knowledge base for your team in order to avoid mistakes in similar experiments.

After every experiment ends, we store our learning using a Wiki software. We currently use TikiWiki, but you should find the one that will work best for you.

Our typical week

The week starts by summing up what we’ve learned during the previous week and how to leverage those learning to our own sake.

Prioritising new experiments also belong to Mondays, and since everything’s set and clear, the team is entering in execution mode which lasts to the very end of the week.

Tuesdays are for discussing technical stuff and doubling down on tasks.

Wednesdays are quite office days, as everyone is trying to nail it like a boss.

Then on Thursday, we take a break from breaking stuff and we put together all the ideas that we have for the next week.

Now, we all know that Fridays are not exactly what one would call a productive day. that’s the reason we try to keep executing at a low level and instead focus of recapping the things we’ve learned so far.

I must make clear that we are not robots. We keep the cyborg side of ourselves only for executing. We also have food parties, we talk nonsense and harsh jokes to each other and play with our mascot puppy.

The living is easy!

You probably think that what I told you so far, are actually harder than I make them sound.

You are damn right. But you can use our stack to make it easier for you.

Tools we use.

We use GrowthHackers projects for keeping an eye on our experiments–both running, backlog and pipeline.

viral loops growthhackers.com

Then we have Paper by Dropbox (which rocked my socks off) for any kind of documentation, such as learnings or metrics.

viral loops dropbox paper

Trello is our to-go for task allocation and management, and finally, slack (Geekbot) for internal team communication and sending memes.

viral loops tools viral loops tools

Real life example

To better understand the process, let's see how this process can apply to real life.

In Viral Loops we are continuously looking for new ways to increase our e-commerce customers, organically and without ads.

So let's dig deeper.

Step 1

Firstly, we came up with a few ideas and we added them to the experiment backlog. Such ideas were:

1. Write guest posts in big e-commerce blogs.

2. Put together a super actionable e-Book about e-commerce growth

3. Create an e-Book in collaboration with a company that provides necessary an e-commerce tool and can share it with its customer base.

Step 2

After prioritising these ideas, we decided to focus & execute #3 because it seemed more promising to get some new e-commerce customers.

That's why we picked Contact Pigeon, an email marketing automation platform for e-commerce stores.

The e-Book is titled Let the Ca$h Flow: A Guide Full of eCommerce Growth Tactics.

Check it out 👉 here.

Step 3

This is where you have to understand if the experiment worked or not. In order to do that you have to measure it first. These are the metrics we decided to track:

- #number of e-Book Downloads

- New sign-ups that came from downloading the e-Book

Step 4

We documented exactly what we did. From how we wrote the e-Book, what format we used along with the marketing channels we used to promote it.

Conclusion

Every company is different. All of us are facing marketing issues and we have to take advantage of chances that come up along the way.

What is going to help you survive is your team and your process.

These two will help you surpass every obstacle on the way to success and growth.

What process do you follow? What would you do to grow your numbers?

June 13, 2017 - No Comments!

Product Update: A list of awesome new stuff you shouldn’t miss

Hi everyone, wave

It's been a while since our previous update.

From now on, we'll be sending you a monthly summary of what happened.

We need to be more transparent to you.

... and guess what?!

This month, we rolled out a ton of new features you'll love. 🤗

New Features & Improvements

✅ Integration with Slack

Integrate your campaign with Slack to get notifications and real-time campaign updates right in your team’s Slack.

viral Loops slack
✅ Sharing with Facebook Messenger

We added one more sharing option for your participants to use. This is to share their unique link by sending a direct message to their friends on Facebook.

referral-messenger

✅ Facebook sharing image

The Facebook Open Graph image tag determine how Facebook “sees” your website. Set it up from your campaign's wizard.

Og image viral loops
✅ Introducing smart behaviours for the e-Commerce referral template

The e-Commerce widget now has some smart behaviours in order to engage your customers.

You will be able to automatically trigger The Viral Loops e-Commerce widget in these situations:

  • In the checkout page of your e-Commerce store
  • In the thank-you page after the purchase has been completed
  • Once a day
  • Manual triggers

✅ Explore Viral Loops

Get actionable tips and marketing advice for your campaign in your campaign dashboard.That's all for May! 💜

explore vl

That's all for May! 💜Good times ahead!

Good times ahead!
Savvas & the rest of the Viral Loops Team 💪

June 9, 2017 - No Comments!

7 Steps To Help Your Business in Prelaunch

This is it!

It’s finally happening! After all these months (or has it been years?) of blood sweat and tears, you are at last ready to push the button.

You’re going 8 mile now - this is your shot to greatness.

You close your eyes and prepare for the upcoming fireworks and marching bands...

Rolling tumbleweeds and the sound of crickets is what you get instead.

But you worked your ass off! How is this possible??

You wake up in your bed. It was only a dream...

Let's do it the right way this time.

1. Find Your Message

In one of the most popular TED talks ever made, Simon Sinek explains the difference in mindset between a company that focuses on what they do and how, versus one that knows first of all why they do it.

Do you have a clear idea of why you do what you do? Do you communicate it to the world effectively?

Chances are you’re not the only one doing what you are doing. So ask yourself - as a customer, when faced with the option to choose between similar products, what affects your decision?

Price, sure. Features and aesthetics too. But what influences you the most is your instinct. You will buy from the company that you trust more, that you feel a stronger connection to.

People are not moved by facts, but emotions.

The message you put out should appeal to your customers’ heart, not their logic. Make sure you position yourself in a way that connects with your customers and sets you apart from competitors.

2. Listen To Your Market

You’ve thought of everything. Your product is just perfect. You can already imagine the people trampling over one another to get their hands on it first. They will simply love it.

Hold your… horses for a second.

Don’t just assume you know what’s best for your customers, or that you know how to solve their problems better than they do. It could be that no one needs something you’ve built in, or there’s a certain essential (and perhaps pretty simple) feature missing.

So ask them! What do they love about your product? What is “ok” but could be improved? What definitely needs changing? What is a deal breaker? Act on the feedback you get.

Question. Explore. Improve.

Listening to the pain points of your community and acting on the feedback is the most important thing you can do at this stage. Don’t go launching what you think your customers want instead of what they actually want.

3. Start The Hype Train

To have a killer product launch, putting the words out there at the last minute won’t cut it. You have to start creating hype long before the actual day.

The list below is by no means exhaustive. If you get some awesome idea about creating hype around your product, definitely go for it!

So, here are a few ways:

  • Make it Personal
    No one cares about the actual features of the product, what they really care about what it actually does for them. When Apple introduced the first iPod to the world, they didn’t say “it has a 5GB hard drive”. They said “1000 songs in your pocket”. What’s more powerful?When introducing your product, showcase the problem your ideal customer faces. Then paint a vivid picture of how this problem affects their business or themselves. Finally demonstrate how it saves them money/time/frustration.
  • Early Birds
    Offer early adopters something for pre ordering your product, whether that is reduced prices, VIP service, or some non monetary reward. By doing that, not only do you create the urgency for a limited time offer (and revenue in the door before you even put your product out there), but also possible referrals since your early birds wouldn’t want their friends to miss out on the opportunity.
  • Crowdfunding
    Similar to pre orders, using crowdfunding will give you a stream of revenue before the actual launch and help you build a community. People take pride in being part of creating something, so they are bound to tell their friends of their contribution.
  • Behind the Scenes and Teasers
    Letting people witness the process leading up to the launch will make them feel part of the family.  Share some interesting behind-the-scenes pictures and videos during the development phase.

For physical products, show and explain how the product is created. For digital products post relevant memes, videos or photos of your team at key moments during the development process.

Another great way to create hype is to post teaser content. If you can make the audience intrigued but withhold some information so that they are left guessing, you will generate some serious buzz around your product.

Later on you can allow for some “leaks” (again not giving away the full picture) to spark interest even more.

  • Freebies
    Lets face it. People love free stuff.Hosting a contest or giveaway will get you attention for a dirt cheap price. Making sure the call to action is something fun or unusual (remember planking?), might make more people engaged in the process, or even make it go viral.Include multiple calls to action that will give the contestant a better chance of winning. For example, posting with a certain hashtag might give him 1 entry for the competition, sharing the post and tagging a friend will get him an additional entry each.Mostly importantly, the star of the show -the prize- should be something cool. It doesn’t need to be monetary (that’s not a huge motive anyway - unless in considerable amounts), but it has to be something people would love, or love to brag about.Check out our Ultimate Guide for a Successful Giveaway for more in-depth advice on how to create a killer giveaway.
  • Have a Landing Page. Seriously.
    Having a landing page lets people offer you their email for updates and insider news on the product. That way you can nurture them until the launch through email marketing.Make sure to have a “Thank You” page after they sign up, where you include a CTA for sharing the landing page on their social media profiles. Sharing is caring.
  • Influencers
    Reaching out to the proper influencers will put your product in front of a great number of highly qualified leads. Depending on the amount of influence they have over their followers, you can generate great interest and even loyalty to your product.
  • Create an Explainer Video
    In 2008, an explainer video helped Dropbox get 70.000 new subscribers in 24 hours.Statistics show that video continues being on the rise.
  • Creating a video that explains in the most simple and engaging way what your product does and how it solves a problem might give you a great boost in traction.
  • Blogging/Guest blogging
    Don’t forget the basics. Have a steady flow of blog posts about your product, with keywords that are relevant to what people search for.Also reaching out to other bloggers and offering your product in exchange for a review, or to ask for guest posts is a good idea to utilise established fanbases in your niche. That way you can draw attention to your website and product, but also provide backlinks to your own blog from an SEO perspective.
  • Be Visual
    Infographics are visually engaging and easily consumed, and in effect very shareable. Start a conversation by posting an infographic and asking people what they think.
  • Go Old School
    Don’t forget “vanilla” marketing. Show up at events and do some networking. You can offer a demo of your product to some influential people to get some extra press.

Then let it spread like wildfire. ..

Wildfire-blackwater-gif.gif

4. Get Your Team Ready

As you prepare for a spike in traffic and sales, it is good practice to have everyone onboard and ready for dealing with the issues that will arise on launch day.

  • Learn the Product
    The team must be expert users of the product. Everyone should know how everything works, and be able to explain it in the most dumbed down way possible.
  • Make a List of FAQs
    You can easily figure out what questions customers will (usually) have about the product. Make a list of frequently asked questions and answers on your website to help people solve their query fast and relieve your customer service some of the workload.
  • Practice Product Demo and Pitch
    The team must be able to demonstrate how the product works within a set amount of time, and know how to showcase its benefits without being too “salesy”.
  • Prepare the Sales Process
    Establish a process for the customer’s journey to streamline sales once a prospect expresses interest.

5. Set Up Goals And Metrics

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

The importance of this paraphrased quote from daddy of modern management theory Peter Drucker should be painfully obvious when setting up the stage for your launch.

Simply put - What do you expect to achieve?

Goals give your team something tangible to work towards, a sense of direction. When setting your goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. - if you’re not familiar with the acronym, it doesn’t mean goals of superior intellect, but goals that are:

  • Specific - describe the goal with deadly precision, include zero ambiguity in the language.
  • Measurable - how much, how many, how will I know when my goal is accomplished?
  • Attainable - goal is neither out of reach nor too easy/not challenging enough.
  • Relevant - the goal is consistent with the bigger picture and long term plans.
  • Time based - setting a deadline establishes urgency and helps with time management.


Having goals that are well defined and challenging but possible to achieve within a specified timeframe, helps you and your team create a game plan that will serve as a tool to coordinate your actions and put you on track.


Some examples:

  • Sales - We will have 50 active subscriptions by the end of the month following the launch.
  • Awareness - Within a week after the launch, we will see 5 review posts about our product, 100 signups or 3000 visits on our site.
  • Leads – By the end of the sixth week after the launch, we will have identified 300 leads.
  • Demos – We will have demonstrated the product to 100 potential customers within two months after the launch.
  • Upgrades – 100 users of our product will have upgraded from the trial version within 90 days following the day of the launch.

Once the goals are in place, it is time to define and capture the metrics that support the goals and give you insight of how effectively they were attained.

6. Launch Day

Alright.

You’re in the trenches now. Going in for the kill.

Today is first all about exposure and capturing attention, and then - if successful - managing the spike of traffic and interest you will receive regarding your product.

  • Go all out on social media - join relevant communities, post on every platform notifying your followers about the launch. You can also send a quick email to your subscribers letting them know how important this day is and asking for their support.
  • Avoid big events that will steal your spotlight. New Apple product launching on the same day? Change dates without a second thought. If however you can coordinate your launch with an event, you might benefit from the increased exposure.
  • Have a compelling landing page ready. Simple. Clean. Powerful message. Consider giveaways (who doesn’t love free stuff?). What a great first impression for your brand.
  • Update your social media whenever you hit certain milestones. Post pictures or gifs to capture more attention and thank your community for their support.
  • Have the whole team engaged and keep up with everything. Reply to comments, answer questions, handle requests. This is the big day, everyone on the team should give their 110%.

7. Post Launch

So you’ve done it!

The launch was a roaring success. Traffic is up, sales are booming. Is it time to lay under the sun on a tropical beach or sail across the Mediterranean on a yacht now?

Not quite.

You just brought your product to life. Now begins the process of fine-tuning and refining every aspect of it. Pricing, messaging, user experience. Everything can be - and should be - improved during the product’s life cycle. Give your customers a reason to keep coming back and talking about it.

Intercom's post launch loop involves 3 actions:

  • Collect feedback - listen for every problem your customers face through social media and calls, gather analytics data.
  • Watch for patterns - categorize all data into relevant themes such as churn, bounce, conversion and CTRs.
  • Improve - act based on the insights you gained through the previous step.

Keeping sales up is an ongoing process which you can maintain through various approaches:

  • Stay on top of the game with content marketing (blog posts, email nurturing)
  • Start an affiliates program
  • Promote discounts
  • Showcase social proof (prospects are more likely to trust other people’s reviews)
  • Optimise your website
  • Stay active in social media and communities
  • Track and interpret analytics
  • Reach out to influencers and raving fans

Launching your product is a big deal, and should be treated as such. Having a solid plan and executing it as perfectly as possible certainly gives you the best chance for success.

Want to know how we did it? Check out how we got 1000+ upvotes on Product Hunt.

BTW, we're hosting a webinar on viral & referral marketing this Wednesday. Claim your spot now and come chat with us. ✌️