Archives for September 2017

September 25, 2017 - No Comments!

We Celebrate Our Birthday With A Free Tool, An Exclusive Webinar And A Special Offer

Hey Viral Loops friends, 👋

This is a very special moment our team.

Last September, we publicly launched Viral Loops after being in private beta for 6 months.

Since then, we’ve faced a ton of challenges and achieved huge milestones.

One of them was the first version of our Refer a Friend template inspired by Dropbox.

And, now it’s time for version 2. 🎉

viral-loops-dropbox-referral

We completely redesigned the Dropbox-style template and added new features along with an easier installation process.

A few months ago we’ve also launched two brand new templates:

👉 The Milestone Referral inspired by Harry’s
👉 The eCommerce Referral inspired by Gilt

We’re humbled by some of the truly incredible companies who’ve chosen to bet on us.

Currently, more than 500 websites run viral and referral marketing campaigns with Viral Loops.

Product Hunt recently launched its Ambassador Program—excuse me for adding my referral link, but I love kitty swag 😻

We know that our work is starting to pay off not only when our company KPIs increase.

But, also, when people send us “thank you messages” in our chat, our personal Facebook profiles and emails.

And when aspiring marketers like Josh Fechter of BAMF and Gretta Rose van Riel spread the word about us, we can’t do anything rather than a happy dance.

viral loops birthday happy dance

Last week, we wanted to celebrate our birthday 🙌 and give some love ❤️ to our audience and friends.

So, here it is what we have for you:

1. Free Tool: Grow Like Dropbox

It’s a free tool to help you understand how Dropbox’s referral program and how you can design a similar campaign for your company.

We built in an internal hackathon over the weekend!

Last Friday, it ranked #1 on Product Hunt with over 1000 upvotes and was among the weekly top #5 products.

Don't worry if you missed it, check it here 👉 producthunt.com/posts/how-to-grow-like-dropbox

2. Exclusive Webinar: How To Skyrocket Your Referral Program

On Wednesday 09/27 we’re hosting an exclusive webinar to show you some of our favourite growth tactics you can use to increase the performance of your referral program.

Almost nobody takes advantage of these growth hacks. 😱

Claim your free spot at viral-loops.com/webinar.

3. Birthday Offer

If you’re an existing paying customer you can get 20% off forever if you upgrade to the next plan. You’ll get your code tomorrow. If you want it earlier than that, just shoot me on Intercom.

If you’re a free trialist and currently thinking to upgrade, you can use the coupon code:
VLBDAY6 which gives you 50% off any Viral Loops plan for the first 6 months.

Note: The offer ends on Wednesday 09/27 23:59 PST

Great times ahead 🤗

Truly yours,
Savvas, co-founder & CEO of Viral Loops

September 15, 2017 - No Comments!

How Dropbox grew 3900% with a simple referral program

This is the 3rd addition to the "How the hell did they pull this" series- it’s not official, I just like to name things.

During the past few months we wrote about:

It’s already a cliche to try to convince you if referral programs work or not (of course they do) and why, so instead this article is solely focused on the how.

Numbers are important

Dropbox’s referral program is possibly one of the most famous cases of referral marketing done right. Almost a decade later, it’s still used in numerous case studies showcasing how referral programs can contribute to a company’s growth engine- or even be the engine itself.

Let’s have a quick dive in Dropbox’s metric history:

  • September 2008: 100K registered users
  • December 2009: 4M registered users
  • September 2017: 10B evaluation + 1B revenue.

What happened between 2008 and 2010? Well, Dropbox managed to double its user base every 3 months, resulting their users sending 2.8M invites in April 2010.

Dropbox Viral Loops referral

People, we’re talking about a 3900% growth in 15 months! 

OK, enough with numbers. Let’s get straight to the chase: how did they do it?

Obviously, it’s not all due to the referral program; they gathered a ton of feedback, they constantly improved their product and they kinda put a battle in order for VC’s to trust their money to them.

SInce I’m not the best dude to talk about business development, I’ll have to put this aside and try to explain the factors that put this referral to the pantheon.

How the referral functioned

The philosophy of Dropbox’s referral program was very plain. Since the product offered storage space in the cloud, they decided to reward people with more free space not only for referring their friends but also for accepting an invitation.

dropbox Referral Viral Loops

In order words, we’re talking about a 2-side referral program for a compelling product, that rewarded both sides for completing the desired task; registering for Dropbox.

We provide the easiest way to build a referral program inspired by Dropbox.

The details that made a champion

It was part of the onboarding process

Onboarding users can be such a pain. When people go on to start using a software or service, they expect they’ll have to fill out some details. I don’t know about you, but when the onboarding process of a product I’m dying to use is easy, a smile carves my face.

Dropbox knew this and not only made the whole onboarding a six step piece of cake, but they integrated their referral program in it as a final step

Just like saying ‘thank you’ by offering more of the product.

People had a clear view of the benefits

When someone decides to use a product, they exactly know what they want from it (whether they get what they expected or not is another story). In Dropbox’s case, people wanted cloud storage; the more, the better.

dropbox-viral-loops-referral-marketing

I get constantly asked what is one of the top 5 skills in marketing. I’ll be damned if copywriting is not one of them. Because context beats content.

That’s why instead of ‘Invite your friends’, Dropbox framed the referral as ‘Get more space’.

Ridiculously easy invitation process

After the user got hooked with ‘getting more space’, the next step was to make it as easy as possible to get it. It was clear that they had to bring their friends on board.

They could do so via social media sharing or by just sending their unique referral link in whatever way they wanted (messenger apps, email, SMS, handwritten cards, etc.)

viral-loops-dropbox-referral

But here lies one of the best invitation hacks I’ve ever witnessed. Email is powerful, but sending your invitations to your contacts one by one, Dropbox offered the option to sync your contacts from Gmail, AOL, Yahoo!, etc.

Victory!

People knew their referral status

If you’re planning to create a referral program, listen to me; and listen to me good. You want to push users to make enough referrals in order to attain a prize goal.

How do you do it?

The easiest way is to make it visible to them how close they are to attaining this goal. I see this in a lot of referral campaigns; I complete the steps, invite my friends and then...Nothing!

viral-loops-dropbox-referral-

No notifications or no email, informing how many of my friends actually successfully registered from my referral link. This is a huge mistake, people!

Dropbox included a panel that was accessible anytime by users, so they can see how the invites performed.

A Viral Loop on steroids

I became a member of Dropbox from a referral (what a surprise, huh?). I received an email from a friend, signed up, and then I received another email informing me that I was given 500mb for accepting my friend’s invitation.

“Sweet”, I thought. In the very same email, there was a P.S.; ‘To get even more space, invite your friends or upgrade your Dropbox’, with 2 links placed respectively.

Dropbox grabbed the opportunity in my WOW moment and offered me additional value by prompting me to get more without paying a dime. Their referral’s goal was to attain a bigger audience reach, not a boost in their revenue.

It was a chance to open their funnel in a very cost effective way by just showcasing their will to offer more for less.

TL;DR

Let’s recap all the important info from the Dropbox story. First, they managed to attain 3900% user growth in 15 months. They did so, by constantly improving the product, coming head to head with VCs, and by building a legendary referral program

The referral program had 2-side rewards and was an overall success because:

  1. Offered an extended version of the same product.
  2. It was part of the onboarding process.
  3. People had a clear view of the benefits.
  4. It made it ridiculously easy for people to invite their friends.
  5. People knew their referral status at any given time.
  6. They managed to build a Viral Loop.

There you have it! Now, I’m going to step back and think what the next addition to the ‘How the hell did they pull this’ series (the name remains totally fictional, but I’ll fight for it).

viral-loops-dropbox-referral

In case you’re interested to build a Dropbox-style referral program, we have your back! Save yourself some time.

Cheers 🙂

Note: Puggy recently started spreading her knowledge on Referral Marketing, so 👉 Push the "Send to Messenger" button below to grab her exclusive content 🐶

September 11, 2017 - No Comments!

What is the most ingenious growth hack you have encountered?

Hey everyone!

Knowledge for growth hacks comes to us from a lot of different sources, either for free or in a highly paid manner. The truth is that for one to obtain it, all it takes is the will for it.

Two years ago, before starting our first tech startup, Viral Loops, we built one of the first growth marketing agencies, GrowthRocks, so we’ve seen and analyzed the behavior, the aim and the strategy from a lot of growth hacks out there.

We have tried to explain and interpret several growth hacks’ case studies and growth hackers, from Sean Ellis to Harry’s Prelaunch Campaign and from Airbnb’s success story to Josh Fechter.

So, here’s the list with the most ingenious growth hacks nowadays:

What is the most ingenious growth hack you have encountered?

1. JetJet.com is an eCommerce store competing Amazon. Before they launched, they wanted to come up with an epic campaign and gather hundreds of thousands early adopters.

So, they built Jet Insiders. This was an unusual referral leaderboard contest.

Anyone who signed up got a unique link to share with other users. The ten people with the most referrals got 10,000 shares and the number one referrer got 100,000 shares of stock. That's the same amount Jet has given some of its earliest high-level employees.

With this campaign Jet made a hit.

The top referrer was Eric Martin. Martin spent more than $18,000 dollars in Facebook ads to drive more referrals.

A few months ago, Jet was acquired by Walmart for approximately $3 billion. So, Martin became a millionaire 🙂

What is the most ingenious growth hack you have encountered?

2. Airbnb: Well, you all know it. It’s a website that lets people take advantage of their empty rooms by renting them to complete strangers. The growth hack here was the option they gave to users to post their listing on Craigslist as well.

Craigslist is a worldwide website that was getting a lot of people to view the listing and generate a link back to Airbnb’s site, increasing their search engine rankings etc.

As of spring 2014, the platform had 10 million guests and 550,000 properties listed worldwide, along with a $10B valuation!

What is the most ingenious growth hack you have encountered?

3. Dropbox: When a user referred a friend, they both got 500MB increase in storage. You could even connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to get more free space.

Also, they had a video on their homepage showing the product along with an easy signup process. Dropbox’s Referral Program increased their signups by 60%.

Furthermore, if a user wanted to share a file, there was a “get link button”, too. With that, the era of Megaupload, Rapishare, etc. was already over.

Dropbox now, is worth $4 billions!

What is the most ingenious growth hack you have encountered?

4. Shazam: One of the most popular music apps out there. It allows users to search and identify unknown songs by recording a part a song and matching it to their huge database.

Shazam’s growth hack was that it encouraged its users to hold their smartphones above their head and near the speakers, so people around started ask “what’s happening with him/her?”. BOOM! Their main marketing channel was, word of mouth.

Shazam has 500 million downloads until now!

What is the most ingenious growth hack you have encountered?

5. Netflix: The company started as a DVD rental business. Its strategy was to reach early adopters with a soft launch message that Netflix offered titles that weren’t easily available elsewhere.

Netflix was releasing all episodes at once and this forced the brand’s social media marketing team to level up, as opposed to the traditional television that only allows social media networks to release information parallel to the show’s plot.

Netflix now, has 81 million subscribers, more than 23 million fans on Facebook, 2.03 million followers on Twitter and 1.7 million followers on Instagram.

What is the most ingenious growth hack you have encountered?

6. Spotify: Probably the biggest music app out there. It provides widgets to allow artists to promote their songs and playlists on their websites or Facebook etc.

By clicking on a widget, you must create a new Spotify account in order to listen the full track or open the existing app on your device. This tactic led to more users, of course.

The main difference from Apple music, Deezer, etc is that you can have it for free (with few ads in-between the tracks). If you subscribe for a paid account on Spotify, the ads will disappear for ever.

Spotify has more than 60 million subscribers and 140 million total users.

That’s all 🙂


September 11, 2017 - No Comments!

Where can I go to learn more about eCommerce marketing?

In order to succeed in e-Commerce marketing, you should keep in mind some main ideas and points like,

  • create awareness and drive traffic
  • increase site traffic
  • convert traffic into leads
  • find the right vendors
  • stock you inventory

and many more like making sure your business stays compliant and your customers happy and loyal.

I am about to introduce you some very insightful books, videos, blogs and overall resources which will help you understand e-Commerce marketing to grow your business.

Some certain platforms to use for your e-Commerce site and support it properly, are:

  • Shopify: a complete e-Commerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders.
  • Magento: an e-Commerce platform built on open source technology which provides online merchants with a flexible shopping cart system, as well as control over the look, content and functionality of your online store.
  • WooCommerce: a free e-Commerce plugin that allows you to sell anything, beautifully. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
  • Bigcommerce which offers a simple solution to start an online store. If you have a product or service to sell online, you will need build your store.

You can learn lost of interesting things about e-Commerce marketing via e-Commerce online Courses like:

  • Ecommerce Training Academy, contains some Advanced e-Commerce courses.
  • Udemy, you can find a lot of courses here easy to understand and axecute.
  • Khan Academy, is growing in popularity, because it has free e-Commerce courses.
  • Class Central, study free online e-Commerce courses and MOOCs from top universities and colleges.
  • Ecommerce Training, a place of e-Commerce courses cover every aspect of online retailing strategy and practice.
  • Alison, a free online course introduces the learner to various strategies used by firms and organizations to attract and retain customers to their e-Commerce store.

Here is a must-reading-list from Blogs about e-Commerce marketing:

Furthermore, some remarkable Videos you can check on Youtube:

And some really enjoyable Books/Ebooks for e-Commerce marketing:

Happy growth 🙂

September 8, 2017 - No Comments!

Free Webinar: How to kick ass with referral marketing

You may have already seen it somewhere; in case you haven’t, I’m talking about our very first webinar. We’re hosting it on a weekly basis (every second Wednesday at 9 am PDT) focusing on the truth about viral & referral marketing.

How to kick ass with referral marketing. 🤘

Why you might want to watch the webinar in the first place? But, you’ll learn more about referral marketing and how you can integrate it into your marketing strategy.

The most important aspect of this broadcast comes into play right after the whole lecture thing comes to an end.

I’m talking about the live Q&A.

Our customer success manager, Helena, will be available to answer any question you might have about referral marketing and campaigns. Since she’s responsible for helping our customers to pick and set up their campaigns, we couldn’t think of anyone better for making things clear for any of you.

In a sentence, we'll break down everything your marketing team needs to know.

What are the topics covered in the webinar?

Why referral marketing is a new superpower

This is the key question; the ‘why’. Why it’s crucial for your business to acquire new customers with viral and referral marketing?

Just think that ads need to be really well thought and targeted, but as if this wasn’t enough more and more users have adblock enabled. Referral marketing a new way to acquire customers for your business.

viral loops webinar

How viral loops can help you get more referrals

Don’t think viral marketing as a marketing tactic or a growth hack. Viral and referral marketing is a scalable untapped marketing channel for your business.

Every business is different. The same applies for referral campaigns, as there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ here. With our guidance, you’ll be able to pick the right type of campaign to acquire new customers or turn your existing ones in ambassadors.

viral loops referrals

How to incentivize people to refer friends

We will show you some tips for a successful referral marketing campaign as well as some KPIs to track in order to be able to optimise it and get more word of mouth.

The big truth to be told is that in order to make people refer their friends you have to offer the suitable reward for them. But how can you know which is the right one?

That’s exactly why we’re here!

viral loops webinar harrys

Success stories

Most of you have probably heard of Dropbox’s famous referral program or Airbnb’s.

If you search on Google you’ll find a ton of case studies and articles about them.

So, in this webinar we won’t talk about these.

We will give an extensive look on how industry leaders like Jet, Harry’s and Vision Mobile used referral program to build and audience before launching, or to spread the word for other types of campaigns.

webinar viral loops jet vision mobile harrys

Come say hi!

As I wrote in the beginning, after the main course of the webinar you’ll have to opportunity to ask us anything about referral marketing (or just say ‘hi’).

We’ll be more than happy to have you with us!

Cheers 🙂