Archives for May 2019

May 28, 2019 - 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.

 

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.

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!"

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.

In case you've decided to run a viral giveaway via Facebook Messenger, the best way to promote it is with a promoted post that is connected with Manychat's Comment growth tool.

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

This referral promotion tactic helped us bring 35K leads for a gym chain in 20 days, and 4K+ leads for a cosmetic brand in 5 days.

If you want to learn how to set the tool for your own campaigns, we've made a short tutorial about it:

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?

 

May 24, 2019 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Product Update: Viral Loops for Messenger gets an upgrade.

natasha

We are hosting a Webinar on the 12th of June. Click on the Banner to reserve your spot!

We are almost halfway through Q2 for 2019. What a ride!

If you are familiar with our work, you probably know that in the past few months we got obsessed over referral marketing via Messenger.

Our obsession led us to create the first comprehensive solution for running referral giveaways via Messenger.

We used the 1st version of this product to run quite a few campaigns and the results were amazing- on one occasion we managed to generate 35K leads in 20 days.

The feedback, and insight, we managed to gather from these campaigns offered a chance to see what we did right and what could become better.

And we made things better… a lot.

This product update aims to present the 2nd version of Viral Loops for Messenger(v2.1), and all the changes that come with it from May and on. 

BTW, we used v2.1 of Viral Loops for Messenger, and we collected 4K+ leads in 5 days for a Shopify store.

Everything new with our Manychat Template.

In general, Facebook Pages are allowed to run referral campaigns and giveaways by incentivizing people to invite their friends to take actions and get several rewards.

But, it depends on the case and rewards if a campaign is compliant with Messenger’s Terms of Services. 

However, Messenger is still in a transition state and we want to be on the safe side anticipating as much as possible future changes and concerns.

For that reason—and given that our Messenger Giveaway template has numerous positive effects for a company—we decided to remove the option of incentivizing people to invite their friends for extra entries. We already beta tested this with several clients and we are very happy with the results. 

More specifically, Here is what we did to ensure high performance for your campaigns:

  • People are prompted to invite their friends based on altruism: For example: “Invite your friends to get a chance to win this great reward!”
  • We still do track referrals and who invited whom. This helps brands identify their advocates and run targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Added the option to incentivize people to take other actions than inviting a friend for more entries to the giveaway, like “Follow on Instagram.” This will help you increase your audience in other social networks.

As you already know, we are committed to amplifying your message through word of mouthonline and offlineand messenger marketing is a great tool to achieve this. We will keep a close eye on messenger space and make sure you learn the latest developments first.

The basic flow

Overall, the way the basic flow of the template works in a very simple way.

After entering the flow, the end user is asked to confirm his/her participation in the giveaway. After doing so, users are prompted to invite their friends in order for their friends to get to know about the giveaway as well.

Viral Loops for Messenger basic flow

Viral Loops for Messenger basic flow

That’s the main difference between this template and the previous version we released in the past; in the previous version, we incentivized referrals by offering more entries to the giveaway.

Obviously, that’s not the case anymore, for the reasons mentioned in the section above.

In order to maximize the results of each campaign, the basic flow was enriched with 2 additional flow for re-engaging with the campaign’s participants.

Explosive Instagram growth.

For the 1st re-engagement flow, we’ve added a "Follow us on Instagram" step. 

When clicked, the participant receives 10 extra entries for following your Instagram account (win-win!).

Viral Loops for Messenger Instagram flow

Due to Instagram not offering an open API, it’s not possible to actually track which users really followed your account. 

Our tests showed that the vast majority of people visiting your account will also follow it, but even if people don’t actually follow you, the organic reach of the Instagram account will peak quickly resulting in better discovery inside Instagram itself.

One final push.

Users that had indeed clicked the “Follow on Instagram” button, will also receive the 2nd re-engagement flow.

This condition is added to ensure that the 24+1 hour conversation window stays open and you can message your Manychat subscribers free of charge with any type of content (promotional or other). 

In this step, participants will be informed about their current total points and be reminded to invite more of their friends.

Viral Loops for Messenger re-engagement flow

The perfect flow for eCommerce.

In Viral Loops, we’ve fallen in love with the eCommerce industry and that’s the reason we wanted to do something special for our eCommerce customers in this new version.

The flow for eCommerce works in the exact same way as the basic flow I described above, with only one difference; Before confirming their participation, users are asked to choose the prize they want to win the most from the giveaway.

Now you can offer your users the option to choose from up to 4 different prizes.

Viral Loops for Messenger eCommerce flow

This is ideal for eCommerce/Shopify stores that wish to promote their products.

That procedure allows you to apply tags to the participants according to their reward choice, and then run to those tagged users Ads according to their interests with retargeting ads.

Bonus features that make a difference.

Do you like making sales?

We know that for an eCommerce business, even though that awareness is really important, there’s only one thing that really moves the needle; SALES.

That’s why we created a bonus flow, specifically for our eCommerce customers, that aims to bring sales when participants are all warmed up.

After the giveaway ends, you have to inform participants about the big winner; right?

That’s an excellent chance for you to incentivize people who didn’t win to make a purchase from you by offering a friendly discount. That’s what this bonus flow is all about.

Viral Loops for Messenger Runner up flow

We used this flow for a small cosmetics brand, offering a 30% discount and managed to generate a few thousand in instant sales

Email marketing is still relevant.

Although Messenger is on the rise, email marketing still works

For Viral Loops, it’s still the #1 channel for distributing our content. Email addresses are valuable for a variety of reasons- distributing content, creating custom audiences for ads, newsletters with offers, sending receipts, etc.

Grabbing people’s attention on Messenger might act as a drive for users to provide their email addresses, as the particular medium (Messenger) has a “quick” user experience that people are familiar with.

In this version of Viral Loops for Messenger, we’ve added a bonus flow that allows you to ask people for their email address, enriching your database with new leads.

The way it works is fairly simple; after entering the flow, users are asked to comply with the Terms & Conditions (GDPR compliance).

Right after agreeing with the conditions presented, they are asked to enter their email address.

Simple as that.

Viral Loops for Messenger grab email flow

In order for these email addresses to be sent to your database, you have to integrate Manychat with the email marketing platform you’re using.

Manychat has an official integration with Mailchimp but in case you’re using another service, you can connect your Manychat account with some of the most popular email marketing services with Zapier.

Launch & pre-launch for your Messenger the easy way.

On the time of the actual launch, you needed as many eyeballs on the giveaway as possible.

That’s the reason you need a pre-launch campaign

The easiest way to do so is by creating a Facebook post announcing there will be a huge giveaway and ask people to leave a comment answering a simple question.

Every time a person answers the question, they will be added in our pre-launch segment inside Manychat.

This is possible with Manychat’s “Comment to message” growth tool.

Τhe "Comment to message" growth tool can be used, not only during the pre-launch period but on the launch date as well.

If you want to make only one Facebook Post about the giveaway, it would be better to do so at the launch date.

In case you wanted to use this particular growth tool in the past, you had to do all the work manually. From now, it’s included in Viral Loops’ Manychat template.

In order to make this work, you should make some changes to the copy of the automated message and opt-in message according to your business/brand tone and to change the Launch Date.

After that, you should create a post on their Facebook Page.

It is advisable to use a remarkable picture that would catch the eye, something related to the giveaway concept or rewards or something related to the keyword/questions asked.

The copy of the Facebook post should include:

  • Announce the upcoming giveaway.
  • Prompt users to comment on the Facebook post in order to receive in their Messenger inbox a message(that should be explicitly explained). 

It is better to include a creative question that would create many Facebook comments, it’s more conversational/advisable.

e.g.

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

After setting up the "Comment to message" growth tool along with the Facebook Post, it’s time to publish the Facebook post and as soon as possible to connect it to the growth tool.

Go to the growth tool, click the "Select a post", select the corresponding post and then activate the growth tool.

We also have a short tutorial on how to do so:

May 21, 2019 - No Comments!

4K+ leads in 5 days with a Manychat giveaway – Case Study

Getting traction for a new eCommerce store might become a nightmare.

The competition is huge, and buyers are constantly bombarded with ads coming from anywhere; I mean just open your Facebook feed or your Instagram stories.

Lately, in Viral Loops, we have kind of fallen in love with the eCommerce and Retail industry- especially Shopify stores, so when Mastic Spa came up asking for our help we decided to dive head first and build a messenger giveaway with them.

Mastic Spa is a cosmetics brand with natural beauty products with Mastic; a resin produced only in the Southern part of Chios, a beautiful Greek island. It has multiple applications in cosmetology and pharmaceutical.

 

The exclusivity of the raw materials of Mastic Spa’s products was a strong indicator of its potential, and we like things with potential.

If you ask me, that’s the reason we managed to create an amazing experience that resulted in the success you’re about to read about.

Enjoy!

The objectives.

As I told you in the open paragraph Mastic Spa is a new brand, and as every new brand its success comes down to 3 things:

  1. Awareness in order to start acquiring leads.
  2. Data gathering for correct segmentation and ad targeting.
  3. Sales- well, because sales put the oil in the engine (duh!).

Creating awareness for products and businesses is what Viral Loops does, so we knew that we could nail the first point above.

But what about gathering data and making it easy to use for segmentation and targeting?

Or what about sales?

We knew that we had to create a seamless experience both for the people at Mastic Spa and their customers; something that would make everybody’s life easier.

Creating a viral giveaway with a Manychat seemed like a one-way road.

4K+ leads in 5 days with a Manychat giveaway

We knew it would work because we’ve already done it in the recent past for another client, gathering 35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral.

This type of campaign allowed us to grab leads, segment users based on their preferences (will explain how further down the article) and demographic, and drive sales directly from inside Facebook Messenger, since the app has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users.

People are used to it.

How we did it.

The first thing that we needed to take care of is the structure of the Manychat giveaway campaign.

What would be the rewards?

Mastic spa has a variety of cosmetic products, so we decided to create bundles of products for the winners depending on the body parts. We created 3 bundles:

  • Body.
  • Hair.
  • Face.

The Messenger giveaway would run for 5 days straight, and every day we would pick a different winner that would receive the bundle of their choice.

After participating in the giveaway users would be prompted to invite their friends- the altruistic approach in the steps of AirBnb worked like a charm, and asked to follow Mastic Spa on Instagram in order to get 10 more entries increasing their chances to win.

If you are around more than 1 day, you know that Instagram is a brand paradise. That’s the reason why pushing people to follow Mastic Spa was crucial for the brand.

Finally, for the people that didn't win anything from the Manychat giveaway campaign, we had a runner up offering them a discount for Mastic Spa’s products.

Driving sales at that point is easier as people are familiar with the brand and the exclusivity of its products, which can really boost their desire to purchase

Pre-launch & Launch.

Allowing people to know about your viral giveaway prior to the actual launch, will give you a head start in gathering leads, but most importantly it will make an impact on the opening day of your Messenger referral campaign.

We had 5 days to gather as many entries as possible. Expecting for the campaign to start picking up fast by deploying our efforts the day of the launch would be a juvenile move.

On the time of the actual launch, we needed as many eyeballs on the giveaway as possible.

That’s the reason we decided to start a pre-launch campaign

Since the whole giveaway would take place inside Messenger, leveraging Facebook for the pre-launch was the obvious choice. We created a Facebook post announcing there would be a huge giveaway and we asked people to leave a comment answering a question.

Every time a person answered the question, they were added in our pre-launch segment inside Manychat.

Here’s how the post looked like:

This was possible by utilizing Manychat’s Comment growth tool. If you want to learn how to set it up, I’ve made a short tutorial explaining everything you need to know:

The pre-launch proved to be a huge success as we managed to gather 2,405 leads, ready to participate in our viral Messenger giveaway.

So far, so good.

The day of the launch finally arrived, and we had 2 things to do:

  1. Gather new leads.
  2. Let people from the pre-launch that the giveaway is live.

In order to gather new leads, we created another Facebook post (similar to the one we created for the pre-launch) announcing the Messenger giveaway. Once again, we used Manychat’s Comment growth tool in order to get people inside Messenger.

Here’s what the post looked like:

That resulted in getting another 1,563 additional leads for the giveaway.

The viral giveaway inside Manychat.

As you probably understand, the things I described up to this point have nothing to do with the actual mechanics of the Manychat giveaway campaign.

In order for the campaign to work, we used our Messenger Bot Giveaway template. Let’s take a look at how the flows we used, look like inside Manychat’s interface.

The participation flow.

This is the first set of messages sent to both the pre-launch participants and the people who started participating after the actual launch of the giveaway.

As you can see in the image below, users were welcomed with a bit of info about the giveaway, followed by asking for their prize preference.

After making their choice users were asked to confirm their participation, and shortly after were prompted to share about the giveaway with their friends.

The reason for putting people to select their preferred prize before confirming their participation was simple; after having a glimpse of the value they could receive, it was almost impossible to abandon their onboarding.

The invite flow.

From the moment a user completed their participation, they automatically entered the invite flow.

As I explained a few paragraphs above, we decided to take an altruistic approach with our invite system. In the past, we used to offer participants more entries for inviting their friends, but that didn’t seem to match with Mastic Spa’s brand.

That’s we kept it really simple.

We asked people to invite their friends in order for their friends to have a chance to win the prizes too. Friends appreciate a kind and altruistic gesture, more than a request based on incentive; and we wanted people to invite their good friends.

Follow on Instagram.

Asking people to follow Mastic Spa’s Instagram account was our 1st re-engagement touch point. Every user that followed the account, got 10 additional entries to the Manychat giveaway campaign increasing their chances to win the prize of their choice.

As you probably know Instagram doesn’t offer an open API, so it’s not possible to actually track which users really followed the account. That’s why we offered the 10 additional entries to anyone that visited the Instagram account by following the link we provided.

The vast majority of people visiting the profile also followed it, but even if people didn’t actually follow the organic reach of the Instagram account would peak quickly resulting in better discovery inside Instagram itself.

Invite a friend.

We needed a 2nd re-engagement touch point, and asking people to invite more of their friends is always a good idea when it comes to referral marketing.

The problem was that we’ve already asked them to do so when they first participated. 

What we needed was an excuse to contact them

Our excuse was to inform participants about the current number of their entries.

After providing that information, we were kindly asking them to share the giveaway with their loved ones.

Daily draws & winner announcements.

Picking the daily winner of the Messenger referral campaign is a piece of cake. I’ve made a short tutorial about how you can do it from inside Viral Loops:

After picking the daily winner, Mastic Spa posted the result on Facebook along with a funny GIF.

The runner up for sales.

Apart from the Facebook post announcing the daily winner, we had to make sure that all of the participants were aware of it.

This announcement (via Messenger) gave us the opportunity to broadcast our runner up for bringing actual sales to the brand.

So, we crafted a message that informed participants about the daily winner and asked them if they wanted to receive a surprise from us.

By accepting our surprise gift, they were informed that we offered them 30% discount for their order in Mastic Spa’s store.

The ROI.

Needless to say, the campaign proved to be a huge success. The combination of high-quality products with carefully crafted copywriting and a really small ad spend budget (around $150), brought some amazing results.

Overall, this Manychat giveaway campaign resulted in:

  • 4K+ Messenger subscribers.
  • 48% of the total participants sending at least one invitation.
  • 650 people participating from an invitation.
  • ~1,080 Instagram followers.
  • A few thousands in sales.

The next steps.

Apart from a quick spike in engagement, leads, and sales, this Messenger viral giveaway offers Mastic Spa an amazing opportunity.

On the one hand, the brand has enough data to retarget the participants with products based on their preferences (like the kind of bundle they wanted to win), and on the other hand, Mastic Spa built a database of users ready to be nurtured through content marketing.

If that wasn’t enough, those users are open to direct sales; something that could turn into great profit for the brand.

Want to build your Manychat giveaway campaign?

Viral Loops for Messenger is now available for you to run your giveaway via Facebook Messenger!

We can help you set up your campaign and start collecting leads that you can use to drive direct sales for your brand.

Build your Messenger Referral Marketing Campaign now!

 

May 14, 2019 - No Comments!

What rewards should you offer on your referral program?

In some of our previous articles, we analyzed the importance of building a referral program for your business, plus how companies like The Hustle & Harry’s did it - in a very successful way.

Since we made it for you easier than ever to build your referral program with Viral Loops, I thought of preparing this article in order to help you consider the most interesting aspect of your referral campaign.

The rewards.

By now we’ve seen a plethora of referral programs; that’s enough for us to know that apart from copywriting and well-planned following up with referrers, the rewards you’re willing to provide is one of the things that can make you or break you.

First of all, we should cover what’s considered a great referral reward and what’s the worst choice you can make.

 

The best referral rewards one can think of

To set this as plain as possible, the worst choice you can make is to reward people with something that doesn’t have to do anything with your brand identity - directly or indirectly.

That being said, no iPhones for 50 successful referrals for a shoe retail business.

The point of a referral program is not to bribe people to talk about something they don’t care about.  Yes, you’ll surely get more referrals by providing an iPhone than free shoelaces for a lifetime, but the reason you build a referral program in the first place is your need for quality leads.

Great rewards align perfectly with what your company or brand stands for. What you offer should boost the connection between your user/customers with you; it should put people in a position where they can’t do anything but to talk about you.

I know that this kind of things might sound poetic to you, but I got your back. This piece is dedicated to helping you find the right reward.

Free products

This is an obvious choice. You give free stuff to people for referring their friends. There’s not much to say about it, as Harry’s has already shown how to do it right.

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.

There were 4 milestones in total:

Referred 5 friends = free shave cream
Referred 10 friends = free razor
Referred 25 friends = free premium razor
Referred 50 friends = free shaving for a year

Harry's milestone Referral Viral Loops

Internal currency

This concept of rewarding revolves around the idea of giving to your users a little extra in exchange for referring you to their friends. This is exactly the system that Dropbox used in its referral program.

Dropbox rewarded with more space on their servers, for each successful referral. The more friends you referred, the more space you got.

dropbox Referral Viral Loops

Discounts

This is the most popular option among eCommerce and marketplace businesses that choose to run a referral program. The best practice to follow is to offer 2-sided rewards- that way both the referrer and the referred have something to gain.

This is exactly what Airbnb did by offering $25 discount for accommodation booking to both sides. This referral program became known as the ‘altruistic referral’.

airbnb Referral Viral Loops

Company Swag

People love stickers, cool t-shirts, and colorful socks. Oh, they also love to feel like they are part of a movement. One of the best ways to reward them for being your ambassadors is to make them feel they are part of your team; a team needs a uniform.

A few weeks ago I wrote how The Hustle used company swag to build and establish a kick-ass email list. Be like The Hustle.

Hustle milestone Referral Viral Loops

Exclusive content

When you’re starting off, the fact that you can’t afford to give the reward you want can get awfully irritating. But a valuable reward is not always something that has a big monetary value.

There are things that money can buy, such as your attention and affection towards your users and ambassadors. It’s things that you might have in your stash and will make people’s lives easier.

Recently, Growth Summit used exclusive access to eBooks, videos, webinars and PDF guides to intrigue people to share the event with their friends.

growth summit milestone Referral Viral Loops

Early access

The feeling of trying something first is a hipsterish sin that I can’t keep myself from committing, but that’s the way that most of us work. Allowing priority listing to your top referrers is a game changer.

You know why?

Because it’s a competition, and almost all the achievements of our kind are based on the fact that we are competitive beings. Robin Hood and HeyEngage used a leaderboard campaign to gather all the email addresses they needed in order to launch to a pre-warmed audience.

Robinhood Referral Viral Loops

Access to private communities

This is kind of a combination of making people feel part of the team along with the promise of exclusive content. Facebook groups are thriving and people are dying to part of a community.

The Hustle (once again) offers access to their private Facebook group in exchange for only 4 referrals.

Hustle milestone Referral Viral Loops

Company stocks

Jet gave free stock options just for becoming an early email subscriber. The used a leaderboard referral program to give to the top 10 referrers 10,000 stock options, and the top referrer received 100,000 stock options.

Eric Martin referred the most people to Jet.com.  At the time, Eric disclosed that he spent just $18,000 on online ads in order to drive Jet.com signups.

When Walmart acquired Jet.com for $3 billion, Martin's share became worth of $20 million. Not such a bad incentive, right?

Jet Referral Viral Loops

Pure copywriting

There comes one time in everybody’s life that we have an epiphany about how this world works. For me, it was the moment that I realized that you can get from anyone, anything, by just using the correct combination of words.

All kinds of rewards described above might not even matter. Back in the day that GrowthRocks started, they thought that a great way to generate clients was to educate their market about what growth hacking is.

The application for the free seminar was through a landing page. GrowthRocks searched for a way to make people invite their co-workers, partners, etc. but had nothing to give in return.

That’s why they made an offer that people could resist. After submitting for the seminar, attendees got informed that growth hacking is a team sport, and if they want to get the most out of the seminar then they should invite their teammates.

The outcome: 66% of attendees referred to at least one friend.

Everything is time sensitive

Deciding what kind of rewards you're going to offer in your referral campaign depends, to a great extent, to the type of campaign you'll eventually run.

An important question that emerges, considers the amount of time you should run your campaign. As in the case of choosing rewards, the amount of time depends on the type of campaign you decide to run.

For Referral and Ambassador Programs

Referral campaigns and Ambassador Programs are long-term campaigns by design. It’s a marketing channel that can get you new customers on an ongoing basis.

Dropbox’s referral program has existed since the early days of the company and is still one of its main customer acquisition channels.

Templates you can use for this kind of campaigns:

Viral Giveaways

Companies run viral giveaways for two reasons mainly:

  • Grow their audience and specifically their email list.
  • Engage their existing and potential customers and transform to their marketers.

A giveaway should last between 2-4 weeks depending on the scale of the campaign as well as the rewards. Ideally, a brand should run giveaways and contests once every two months — that is around 6 a year.

Templates you can use for this kind of campaigns:

Prelaunch Campaigns

Startups and new companies run pre-launch campaigns to get traction and gather potential customers before they launch.

Well-established brands and eCommerce stores, take advantage of pre-launch campaigns for creating a buzz about new and upcoming products.

We recommend running your prelaunch campaigns for at least 2 months—ideally more than that. For example, the commission-free stock trading app, Robinhood, had one million users before it was even created by running a prelaunch campaign for more than 1 year.

This timeframe you will give you the advantage of gathering a lot of users and potential buyers so you can generate sales and actual users on the first day of your launch. On top of that, you can get feedback from the people who signed up and also involve them in building your product or service

Templates you can use for this kind of campaigns:

Before you go

As I wrote in the beginning, referral rewards are kind of a big deal- or a deal breaker. The best way to decide what’s best for you, you can start by considering the options you have in hand.

Search for rewards that will push the awareness about your brand a bit further with the assistance of your happy ambassadors.

Don’t overthink. Work with what you have and don’t forget that when you can offer more, you should probably do it.

Cheers ????

 

May 8, 2019 - No Comments!

Rodrigo Noll: Successful referral programs in 4 steps

We're all about referral marketing.

If you're familiar with what we do in Viral Loops, then you know it.

The last couple of months we did a few interviews with some of the best in their respected field- we had the guys from Fetch & Funnel, Arri Bagah, Alexandr Fedotov, Hunter McKinley, and Natasha Takahashi, but none of them was an as strong advocate of referral marketing as Rodrigo Noll.

During our chat, he revealed the framework he uses (which is actually very simplistic) to build his referral campaigns, and how he managed to leverage referral marketing for Brazil's top travel club with smart prizes.

Enjoy!

Who’s Rodrigo Noll and what does he do lately?

I'm a Brazilian referral marketing specialist and I am an entrepreneur.

I founded my first company in 2010. It was a travel e-commerce here in Brazil and we used to sell escape getaway trips so you could take short breaks and go on vacation many times a year.

We have sold that company to a bigger tourism group here in Brazil and then I went to the U.S. to take a short course in Boston. When I came back, I was hired as the sales and marketing director for a big travel club in South Brazil in a city called Florianopolis.

They say Florianopolis is the Brazilian Silicon Valley because there are lots of start-ups there and the ecosystem for entrepreneurship is very interesting.

I have grown this company´s revenue using referral marketing strategy, as only this channel represented up to 65% of the total revenue. As a brand, we used to do referral among our actual clients and we had great success.

That's how I came to the referral world. Nowadays, I'm not working for that company anymore and opened my own referral agency. We're are the first ones in Brazil.

Why referral marketing, and what was the most successful tactic that you used?

That's a very interesting story because the first thing I did when I got hired as the sales and marketing director for that company, was to talk to the clients. I think the very first action every marketer should do is to talk to the clients and you should do that very often.

So I grabbed the phone, I called 50 or 60 clients, and then I visited them in order to get to know their persona better.

One thing that every client was telling me- that was becoming a pattern, was: "Rodrigo, I'm very satisfied with your service, with your product. I love your company, I use it for so many years now and I even have referred, five, ten, fifteen, twenty other friends in clients."

Every satisfied client I was visiting was saying the same thing.

So I identified the pattern and I thought, that we had to power up the referral marketing strategy. When I first came to the company, they already had an active referral marketing program and I was responsible to give it scale, ROI and make it become the biggest sales channel for the company.

So I started a referral marketing program.

I was giving clients an upgrade in their own subscription for referrals. I tried a lot of prizes, but the single prize that brought me the biggest result ever was my own product.

The right time and place to ask for referrals.

With my clients, I have developed a method. And this method has four main key activities and tactics you should do to get a great referral marketing program.

One of these key activities, I call it the key moment.

So I think that it's very relevant, the moment when you remind your client that they can refer to a friend. I had mapped many key moments during my client's journey.

For example, the best moment when I get referred the most was when the client came back from the trips they were taking with us.

I think that's when the success cycle of your product and your service ends, that's a very good moment to ask for a referral or remind your client that you have a referral marketing program.

So, two key moments; Asked for referral when they are planning their trips, and asked for referral when they came back from trips. When they came back from their trips, it was a huge success.

Also, a good key moment I tested was when they answer the NPS research; when clients answer a nine and then they were promoters, I used to ask them for referrals.

Another one, last one that is very interesting.

My sales model was not that scalable. It was an inside sales model.

I had salespeople on the phone, and my sales cycle was really fast, actually. It was only for 20 days.

An experiment I ran that was really nice, was when the salespeople get to the end of the sale cycle and the sales are not closed, when the client says, okay I liked your product but I'm not going to buy it today.

This was a great moment to ask for the client for a referral because he already knows the benefits of the product and he surely can think of someone around their circle who can benefit from this product.

We got great success from that moment too.

A 4-step referral marketing framework that works.

My framework has four key elements.

Many people ask me about the tools they should use, or how much they have to invest to have a good referral marketing program. I think before deciding the budget, you have these four key points that you have to master so that your referral marketing program works.

So, the first key point is the prize.

What is the product or what is the incentive that you are going to give your persona so he's going to be interested in referring you. I think a big mistake people make here is they try to bribe their clients. They try to buy their clients, to bribe their clients.

Your clients, they are not making a living out of your referral marketing program.

Most of the times, what works the best is something that enhances their experience with your own product, with your own service; an upgrade or credit in the platform. That's the first point of the framework, incentives.

The second point is the mechanics. What is going to be the mechanics of your referral marketing program?

An e-commerce business is not going to have the same mechanics than a sales company and it's not going to have the same mechanics as a consultancy company. So that's the second point of the framework.

The third point is channels.

Referring your company should be easy, and should be everywhere. Your clients should be reminded everywhere that you have a referral marketing program.

Most referral marketing programs I know that failed, they failed because they are don’t activate the program. It stays in a corner in the footer of the website and clients don't even know you have a referral marketing program.

The fourth key point is the key moment, as I mentioned above.

So that's the framework: Incentive, mechanics, channels, and key moments.

The mechanics of a successful referral program for an e-commerce brand.

The mechanics, change according to the prices and to the sales method of the company.

A big mistake I see in companies trying to develop their first referral marketing program is trying to use, for example, an e-commerce framework in a company with another business model which doesn't fit.

And they use that because they only know the e-commerce framework because they hadn't studied, they don't know that they are other mechanics available. Especially in Viral Loops that you guys are very clear that the client can choose a template that fits their needs.

You've got to choose the right mechanics for your business model.

Otherwise, it's going to be hard for the client to understand how it works, and it is not going to work.

I have done a few e-commerce programs, and for everyone I did, I copied your template for e-commerce. I think that's the most successful one. There's no point in trying to do something different if that works already.

Super important metrics.

I think the viral coefficient (K-factor) is a metric that my clients always love to see.

I think that's not the main metric we got to measure, but it's a metric the clients love to see because they want to compare their business to other businesses. So, yes I follow their viral coefficient, but there are 2 other metrics I like to measure.

The first one is the, I don't know how I call that in English, is how many clients of your existing base, jump into the referral program.

I think it's the very first thing that I always focus on. We call it user adoption.

You have to set up a referral marketing program that your clients know that it exists and that your clients want to take part in.

But, I think this metric is not the most important.

I think the most important metric is how many invites every customer of yours has sent out.

That's why I like the milestone referral framework. Because you have many opportunities to make touch points, you can do retargeting with Facebook ads, you can do many things.

The main reason why the Milestone works very well is that the whole experience is more gamified. You can reward the people that send out at least one invite with more rewards.

You can combine rewards and you can give more things back to them. It's more interesting and exciting for them to invite a friend because it's more like a game rather than just sending out an invite.

Another very interesting thing I have done in this travel club is Facebook ads. Retargeting ads for my clients depending on the stage of the milestone referral they are in.

I have different ads for people who had referral one, two, three and four clients to remind them that they had bigger prizes.

The company had another online operation which was a travel app called Nativoo. We have grown this app, mainly through ASO and long tail strategies.

We positioned it strategically at the top of the funnel of our company. Every user who downloaded it was going to be invited to the main product, which was the subscription travel club, and, this would boost our referral strategy on the main business too.

 

We ended up with one million downloads with this Nativoo app at that time.

It was the official app for the Brazilian world cup. It was a very recognized app here in Brazil. It was the official app for the city of Rio de Janeiro, and we had great success.

It's still on if you want to download it. It creates travel itineraries for you. However, the referral program is not live anymore in the app.

A few last thoughts.

I want to add something regarding the Brazilian market.

I believe that every company in the world have already made a sale by referral. Everyone refers. Referring is a natural act of the human being.

Aristotle’s said that we are social animals.

We refer because we want to be accepted in groups. We refer because we want to give good information to our friends. So referring is a natural human act.

That's why every company in the world has already made a sale by referral even though they don't know about it.

So, the problem is, especially here in Brazil, that Brazilian entrepreneurs, they simply forget that referral marketing can be a good sales channel for them.

They simply let the referral sales come by look. Only organically. They forget that they can turn that into an active channel. So, that's the main opportunity I see in Brazilian markets nowadays. I don't know if that's a global situation in the U.S. or Greece or Europe, I don't know.

But here in Brazil, it's crazy how big the opportunity is. So few companies have an active referral marketing program nowadays.

I have run research with my online audience and I had two questions.

The first question was, “have you already referred, or have you already been referred to some company?” 94% of the people responded yes.

The second question was, “do you have an active referral marketing program in your company nowadays?” 98% of the customers of the audience answered no.

That's how huge the opportunity is.

I think that's an education problem. The market needs to be educated. I always say to people here in Brazil in my talks and in my workshops that referral marketing is not a campaign, is not a hack, is not an action. Referral marketing is a new sales channel.

And as every sales channel you have, it has to be optimized. It can be optimized.

You can invest time in making it better. So it's not magic, so it's going to work from nothing. It's a very interesting tool. And the biggest proof it's a sales channel is that I have generated lots of sales for this travel club for five years in a row.

I have left the company and it's still working. They're still beating their quota.

It's not an isolated tactic that would do that. A hack. It's a sales channel. Some people got to know that. Our responsibility is to educate the market.