Archives for July 2019

July 16, 2019 - No Comments!

eCommere Case Study: How Frank Body made $20M selling leftover coffee

Let's do something different this time. Shall we?

Typically, the things you read on our blog are all about referral marketing (tactics, case studies, etc.).

But this time, we decided to give you something different.

We all have a personal-favorite brand, and for quite some time now, the name of Frank Body was circulating our office. I decided to take a look.

And then look some more.

Frank Body makes cosmetic products based on coffee. Not interesting enough?

They made $20M in 2 years.

Got your attention? Because I'm hooked.

We decided to do some further research on how they achieved that amount of sales, and this is what this week's article is all about.

I told you, it's different.

From side projects to a full-time business.

The story of Frank’s parents begins in 2013 when they started a website to profile people as a side project after graduation, called Willow & Blake. 

The concept was to create a place to publish stories of inspiring young people they knew or personally interviewed; this successful project brought a lot of traffic to their site, and as their publicity grew, they started getting requests to write pieces as freelance writers. 

Proving their entrepreneurship from the beginning, they saw this “fame” as a business opportunity, so they turned Willow & Blake into a copywriting and editorial agency, mostly working in the social media world.

What made them stand out was that they had a different approach to how a brand should look and sound. Their personal, face-to-face involvement with the first version of Willow & Blake helped them develop their voice in brand building, something that is a crucial part of a world ruled by social media.

After 2 years of practicing their art, it was time to put that skill set to work on their own thing that will later be named Frank Body. 

The idea to cover yourself in leftover coffee grounds to make your skin look good came from one of the company’s founding members, Steve Rowley, a coffee shop owner in Melbourne. 

He had come across several customers asking for his leftover coffee to use as a natural exfoliate. Proving once again their business mindset, they saw this small gesture as an opportunity. 

That said, at the time people were aware of the benefits of coffee as a natural cosmetic, but nearly no brands were selling it that way, so the crew, with a background in the unique brand building took the initiative to break into the (then) boring beauty industry with a new voice. 

Starting as a side hustle for some extra money, the project began with minimum funds (~$5K) entirely from the founders. 

So what can an eCommerce brand do to grow with no money? Instagram.

We’ll analyze it later, but long story short they managed to develop a brand character so loved from the customers, or “babes” as Frank calls them, that they were happily uploading selfies of them using the scrub. 

Their account now has nearly 700.000 followers, and it’s still a significant source for sales. 

The company has grown significantly since with sales reaching $20.000.000, new products under development and orders coming from all around the world.

The voice that helps the brand distinguish

Τhe most unique part of the brand is the dirty talking character of Frank, who helped the company differentiate Frank Body from the competition. 

And not only on Instagram: from the whole website to newsletters or ads, he is always the one talking, the founders never address to the customers as “we”. 

Such an approach makes the customers feel more engaged with the brand, as they refer to a person and not a corporation anymore.

View this post on Instagram

Time to play with me. 📷 | @ophelie__m

A post shared by frank body (@frank_bod) on

He introduces himself in a newsletter you care about to read. 

Even the package is well-thought and could quickly get in someone’s Instagram pic: it’s both minimal and fun, features to make it classy and appealing for the new-generation customers.

The $0.00 Instagram strategy that kickstarted Frank Body.

The company is, by all means, a customer-oriented brand, and from the beginning, the founders wanted the customers to feel bonded with Frank, which they did by leveraging Instagram

To date, they have gained approximately 700k followers on IG, the platform responsible for Frank’s growth

Customer Generated Content.

User-generated content isn't a game for Frank. 

As Jess Hatzis said on Forbes, “we had a very deliberate UGC strategy from day 1“.

From visiting Frank’s Instagram account to Facebook, website or newsletter, you’re going to see faces and bodies of customers using the product, whether influencers or everyday individuals people happily upload a pic showing the outcomes or results. 

Every package comes with a small note saying “We’d love to know what you think. We want you to share your feedback, using the hashtag #frankeffect 

Such a short phrase can change a lot. 

From the customer’s side, she/he gets a feeling of engagement with Frank Body and the community they have created, and from a business perspective, this strategy can be extremely beneficial

Every post is one more customer providing not only a social proof for the product but also creating Word of Mouth & Virality. You don’t have to be an economist to see that this strategy leads to the constant growth of the company, and well… sales.

In numbers, nearly 50K posts are using the hashtag, with new ones being uploaded daily.

Pro tip: The first account of Frank Body was deleted at 10.000 followers 2 weeks after it’s creation for posting nudity. The way to growth has traps, push the limits but don’t violate the rules.

Influencers.

Along with UGC, the Frank team has also used and still uses influencers to spread the word, but despite their size and growth over the years, they are still very picky over choosing an ambassador.

According to a podcast on foundr, they would instead build a relationship with a person that fits the brand’s characteristics than find one with the most followers. 

Despite that, they have landed some big-name partnerships in the past like Jen Selter. 

What Frank opts, for now, is low on followers but with high engagement ratio that can represent the brand. 

How can an eCommerce business see the effectiveness of a post?

Simple, after the post, they can see sales spiking on Shopify, if they don’t in the first 1-2 hours, then it’s not a compelling post.

Why just Instagram and not also FB?

The answer comes down to money(obviously).

The time they were launching, Instagram was still an independent company and had no advertising options, so the team could have growth and be promoted naturally without having to pay a dime (useful when your budget is $3k) 

It wasn’t until August 2016 when Facebook acquired Instagram and added stories, DMs, and Advertising, but Frank Body had already grown. 

How they keep customers engaged outside of Instagram.

Newsletter.

Despite being an old fashioned way to communicate with the customer, Frank Body, has done a pretty fantastic job adding some value into it. 

First things first, to get you subscribed, a small discrete pop up appears bottom right in their website after some time you browse around, that besides the incredible copy, motivates you with 10% off your next purchase, to subscribe

After you subscribe, you receive a beautiful email, in which Frank introduces himself along with your 10% discount code. 

The experience after that is enjoyable with well-thought emails 1-2 times per week.

  • Incredible copy as always 
  • the website-like structure that works flawlessly 
  • High res pictures
  • Interesting content
  • never spammy 

Noteworthy, is that even here, user-generated content and social proof have their place, take a look at this showing result from customers.

Product Pages.

I can’t stretch enough the impact that a great product page has on the sales of an eCommerce.

Frank Body gets it.

Clean, easy to navigate throughout, check it here.

How-To-Use instructions Frank’s style gives to the customer reassurance that is a simple, friendly to use the product.

Social and Actual proof that the product works making the customer sure about the purchase. 

How to use video couldn’t be more useful even after the purchase.

There’s also a place where customers can ask and Frank for personalized answers.

 

Facebook & Youtube.

Despite starting on Instagram, Frank Body has now expanded across all platforms with FB and Youtube being the main sources of traffic for Desktop users.

Youtube.

Opposing the percentage of traffic, it brings to the table; their YT channel has a considerable low profile with 1.7k subs and videos rarely passing the 5000 views mark.

The channel holds other purposes:

  • Videos are used to show how to use products inside their product page
  • Ad Videos 
  • Tutorials

Bree Johnson stated on a podcast on foundr that YouTube is going to be a big focus for them, so we expect to see some of their Social Media magic again in this platform.

Facebook.

Like the other platform they expanded to, it doesn’t have that big of an audience as Instagram but still drives results(table above).

Visit their page, and you are going to see some similarities with IG, like user-generated content, and also you’ll know that it is used as an updated platform to inform or remind customers about offers and events.

Some ways they use it and make it create 30% of social traffic.

  • FB shopping, which lands a potential customer directly to the product page of the item he selected.

  • Ads how they are supposed to be.

  • FB is the platform to inform the public about events, and so they do

Google.

Frank Body has kind of nailed organic marketing, as they can generate $20mil in revenue with minimum PPC expenses, thank their incredible social marketing we mentioned above.

With nearly all of their traffic coming organically, the company saves a lot on PPC as such an amount could round up to around $27k.  

Also, see which keywords are responsible for all those visits, yep, that’s their brand. This can be a result of their marketing campaigns where they have spread the word about frank. 

 

Considering PPC, Frank Body’s team has done a pretty good job both in Australia and the USA where their most sales come from. 

  • See how useful the top ads are in both countries brings nearly all paid traffic in each one
  • Headline: Incentives to click Express Shipping Available” or “Free shipping across the U.S.”
  • Display URL: Clear and understandable 
  • Description: Catchy and straight to the point without basic CTAs like “Buy NOW.”

 

Also, for a brand that wants its customers to know the “face” of the brand, the first word in every add is Frank himself.

Also, did we mention that their bounce rate is only 38%? 

What might be the reason for this is the incredibly thoughtful website design they have.

 

Every ad’s landing page is their home page in which, with just a scroll, people can view the products or learn about the brand with no friction whatsoever. 

The tools that help them grow. 

Analytics.

  1. Optimizely
    Frank can quickly improve his UX/UI with Optimizely’s A/B testing. Experiment with their ideas and have reports which one got statistical significance with Optimizely’s sophisticated stats engine.
  1. Segment
    Think of Segment as an adapter for 100's of various analytics services.
    Segment allows your non-technical team to add and remove integrations without touching the source code of your site.
  2. Google Analytics
    From understanding users' behavior, ex. Bouncing page, getting their traffic in numbers to even getting reports about the performance of their ads. A must for every serious business.

Widgets.

  1. LiveChat
    LiveChat provides an easy way to handle all sales and support inquiries. It comes with all of the tools you need to connect and communicate with prospects and regular customers as they come by.
  1. MailChimp
    With such an exciting newsletter campaign, MailChimp is a must for Frank as it provides the tools you need to grow your email subscribers and convert them into customers.
  1. Sumo
    As a multi-tool for conversion and sales, Frank uses from increasing average order value anconvert his window shoppers even to reduce cart abandonment. All being critical parts for a  successful eCommerce business, it’s no question why Frank Body uses it.

      

  1. Yotpo
    Yotpo is a commerce marketing cloud that helps brands of all sizes collect and showcase reviews, photos, and Q&A throughout the buyer journey and across social platforms to build buyer trust, drive traffic, and increase conversion.

Hotel Pink: how Frank Body leverages the power of referral marketing.

Frank Body’s growth isn’t happening only on Instagram or YouTube, another method they have chosen to spread the world is referral marketing, and boy, have they created a fantastic program.

Hotel pink is how they call it, and it goes far more than just a referral program at also serves as a loyalty one. 

The customer can easily get hooked up to the program as he gets value out of it.

The basics of the program.

  • A customer is already enrolled in the program from the time he creates an account on their site or subscribes to the newsletter. 
  • Anyone can find the program as the company promotes it in a more, let’s say, passive way.

Overall, it’s visible of the customer

The rewards.

Its a milestone-based program, that is, you climb up a tiered ladder with the points you earn by completing “tasks”. The higher, the more/better perks you get.

In our case, as we are talking about a hotel, the tiers are:

  • The Lobby, where you get exclusive content and the chance to double your points with purchase.
  • Pool Deck, where you get The Lobby perks + access to exclusive competitions with significant rewards and 5% off with every friend you refer successfully.
  • Junior Suite, the perks of The Lobby and Pool Deck + flash deals and 10% off with every successful referral.
  • Penthouse, the top of the top babes get all the perks of the above plus they are the ones who try first new samples and as also a 20% off with every referral.     

How to get points.

  • BUY
    As a loyalty program, a babe can collect 1000 points for every $1 spent.
    Eg. For the classic Original Coffee Scrub, you get 16950 points.
  • SHARE
    Mentioning Frank on Facebook or Twitter will get 250 points. To avoid spammy feeds, the team has placed a nice limit of once post per month.
  • REVIEW
    Rarely seen in a loyalty/referral program, leaving your opinion will get you points. To make it more interesting, this action is what gets you the most; 2000 points.
  • REFER
    An excellent
    and effective way, give something - get something, here a babe refers to a friend by offering them a discount and it the friend purchases, the babe get a % of the back.

Simple makes perfect.

As said above, Frank Body has incredible UX and UI throughout a customer’s journey with him.

That includes Hotel Pink as well, from the description of the program to participate in it, you can feel the lack of friction.

The way you refer someone.

When you want to refer a friend, the referrer can choose either to send one by one individually or import his contacts, something that comes handy when you want to boost your points

Later he gets to choose the referees.

If you want to build a Milestone campaign for your business, we got your back. You can either use our Milestone Referral Template or take your game to another level by using our brand new Milestone Referral Template for Facebook Messenger.

Before you go.

If there's something I want you to keep in your mind from Frank Body's case, is that making your business user-oriented, and giving it a "face", can work miracles.

Frank Body leveraged its unique product, along with user-generated content, branding, and copywriting, to build a $20M empire.

Pay attention to these things first. The rest is just tools and tactics.

You need the mindset first.

July 11, 2019 - No Comments!

The Milestone Referral Template for Messenger is LIVE on Product Hunt!

Since day #1, Viral Loops is a template-based platform.

We drew inspiration from various referral marketing campaigns (Dropbox, The Hustle, etc.), but the real game-changer for us was The Milestone Referral campaign from Harry’s.

This template is a real bestseller, and since we created the Messenger Giveaway template a few months ago, we thought that it would be a great idea to translate the Milestone referral approach to a more mobile-friendly environment.

And we did it!

Today I’m thrilled to announce The Milestone Referral Template for Messenger, powered by Manychat. 😻

Now you can run an ongoing referral marketing campaign entirely through Facebook Messenger, and reward with bigger prizes every time they reach a milestone.

Since Product Hunt has always been the first place we present anything new, we have a special offer for the community:

The 1st 100 people that sign up for The Milestone Referral Template for Messenger will get 50% off FOR LIFE!

What is The Milestone Referral Template for Messenger?

The Milestone Referral Template for Messenger is the best way to run an ongoing campaign to generate new leads and re-engage with existing ones.

We took all the knowledge we had on Milestone campaigns and created a seamless mobile referral marketing experience.

Your audience will be able to participate in your campaigns from inside Facebook Messenger and directly invite their contacts. The more people they invite, the bigger the prizes they win.

How does it work?

It's straightforward.

You start your campaign and set the number of Milestones for your campaign, along with the number of successful referrals for each Milestone.

Then you'll have to install the template inside Manychat and change the copies in the provided flows in a way that fits your brand.

That's it.

For additional info, you can see our documentation for the Milestone Referral Template for Messenger:

If you're curious about how the end-user experiences the Milestone Referral Template for Messenger, we created a video about it.

Before launching the template, we made sure to test it with some of our customers, and it seems that the whole experience is smooth as butter on a hot knife.

We used one of these cases to write a short guide for bringing sales via Facebook Messenger.

It's a fun read that I feel you would appreciate.

Do you want to run a Milestone referral campaign via Messenger?

As I wrote in the opening paragraph, The Milestone Referral Template for Messenger is live on Product Hunt.

Come say hi, and follow the link on the page to start building your Milestone referral campaign via Messenger. You'll get all the installation instructions directly through your Messenger inbox.

It's pretty easy!

Reminder:

The 1st 100 people to get Viral Loops for Messenger from Product Hunt, will get a 50% discount FOR LIFE!

July 4, 2019 - No Comments!

A secret method for generating sales via Facebook Messenger

You clicked; that means only one thing: you want to boost your mid-summer sales (who doesn’t).

You probably don’t care how these sales come, as long as they come, right?

Wrong!

You should care. That’s the first step to make the sale. Even if your website is a well-oiled conversion machine, if the channels from where your leads come are not structured to fit with the audience of the respected channel, then your marketing funnel leaks.

But this is not an article about any channel. This is about building a converting sales funnel in Messenger.

If you're reading this, you're in luck, because the method I'm going to provide is only known to a limited amount of people.

Here it comes.

Outline your strategy.

Doing things randomly doesn’t end up well.

You have to plan your campaigns thoroughly, and most importantly, you have to know why you are doing it in the first place.

The ‘why’, defines the ‘how’.

Take a piece of paper (or create a new document), and try to outline the following things:

  • What’s the problem you’re facing? (apart from low sales)
  • What’s the learning objective?
  • What’s your hypothesis?
  • What’s your prediction?

The answers to these questions will lead you to your experiment idea. After the concept is finalized, you’ll have to design it and put it to work

To make things more actionable for you, I’ve decided to give you a real-life example for this article; Mastic spa.

Mastic spa is the same cosmetics brand that generated 4+ leads and a few thousand in sale in 5 days with a Messenger giveaway.

Let’s take a look at their strategy.

The problem.

The problem was that Mastic Spa had a limited paid budget to spend across their website to generate sales, and also they wanted to focus on a specific series of products that have the biggest possibility to get sold.

Additionally, due to summer vacations, they had limited capacity per week, so they needed to build something that could generate sales repeatably for the next three months.

The learning objective.

The learning objective was to understand if their potential customers are interested in purchasing products that are related to their summer needs:

  • Sun Argan Hair Oil.
  • Hair Moisturizer.
  • Cream against cellulite.
  • Face Moisturizer.

The Hypothesis.

Mastic Spa believed their existing and potential customers would be eager to purchase one or more products related to their summer needs because especially in summer, they’re more interested in looking fresh.

The prediction.

Mastic Spa believed that if they created a summer bundle including the products mentioned above and their benefits, then people would be intrigued to purchase them.

Building the experiment.

Do you remember how Harry’s used a milestone referral campaign to gather 100K leads in one week?

In a Milestone referral campaign, when people reach a specific number of referrals (milestone), they instantly win the corresponding prize. Harry’s had 4 milestones:

  1. Referred 5 friends = free shave cream
  2. Referred 10 friends = free razor
  3. Referred 25 friends = free premium razor
  4. Referred 50 friends = free shaving for a year

“But this is an article about making sales via Facebook Messenger, and Harry’s gave free products in exchange for emails”, I hear you say.

I know.

But the truth is that you can assign any reward on each milestone. How about a discount?

Plus, email is not the only option anymore. I think that since you read up to this point in the article, you deserve to know.

This is a perfect opportunity to announce something BIG.

**Drum roll**

Soon, we are launching our Milestone referral template for Facebook Messenger. That means that you’ll be able to build campaigns similar to Harry’s inside Messenger.

Some of our customers are already using the template, and Mastic Spa is one of them. Let’s see how they use it to generate sales.

The Milestone referral via Messenger (a.k.a. Milechat).

Based on the insight from their learning objective (mentioned above), Mastic Spa picked 3 products:

  • The Liposvelte Cream.
  • The Sun Argan Hair Oil.
  • The Aloe Body Milk.

These 3 items combined cost $55, but they decided to sell the bundle at the price of $39 for 100 people.

Here’s where the milestone campaign comes into play. More specifically:

  1. By entering the campaign, people get early access to limited products for 2 days before the official launch and are asked to choose their favorite product.

  2. By inviting 3 friends, they get free shipping for their orders.
  3. By inviting 5 friends, they get a 15% discount for any order site-wide.
  4. By inviting 10 friends, they get 1 product as a gift.

If you take a closer look at the structure of the milestones, you can easily understand that they are designed for conversions.

The first incentive is the early access, which creates an atmosphere of exclusivity, as only 100 products are available for the offer.

Then people are informed that they can have their purchases shipped for free, and after attaining the milestone they can also have a chance to get 15 discount for any of their purchases.

The cherry on top is that for an easily attainable amount of referrals (10 in the particular example), they can get the bundle for free.

Limited early access is starting to get popular among eCommerce businesses, and Messenger is the perfect place to communicate the urgency to customers and leads.

The 5th used a similar pattern for a limited re-release of a watch line.

I know that the given example campaign is about an eCommerce business, but if you think about it, the milestone referral campaign is applicable in any type of business.

The Hustle (online publication), also used the milestone referral to build a 300K strong user base.

Back to Mastic Spa’s case, they deployed a final tactic for boosting their sales. As I wrote, when users entered the campaign, they were asked to choose the product that they prefer.

After the campaign ends, the non-buyers will be retargeted with a special offer based on their product of choice.

Before you go.

You don’t have to complicate things over.

Start by noting down your problems, your learning objectives, your hypothesis, and your prediction. These elements will provide you the answer as to how you should structure your Milestone referral campaign via Facebook Messenger

Some things you should keep in mind if you want to bring sales:

  1. Offer products that your potential customers need right now.
  2. Structure your milestones in a way that incentivizes people to buy from you.
  3. During the whole process, learn more about your leads’ preferences to run retargeting ads later on.

What would you do to bring sales via Facebook Messenger?

July 2, 2019 - No Comments!

Prelaunch campaigns: How to do it right

Why Your Company Needs A Prelaunch Campaign.

As we wrote, It’s easy to get caught up in modern digital marketing tactics, but good old-fashioned marketing is unbeatable.

Take Forever21 (or any other mainstream brand name), for example. Last week they launched their new collection in collaboration with Kylie and Kendal Jenner.

They created a huge prelaunch hype.

By the day that the store began selling this clothing line, the girls who were supposed to buy it, already raved about it.

Pre-launch campaigns play a significant role in how people will perceive your product even before they get it in their hands.

Forever21's success is indeed due to the celebrities involved, and like most of us, you may not have that kind of resources.

So what do you do? And why the heck do we write about pre-launch campaigns by using Ambassador Referral Campaigns?

We have the answer to both questions. Let’s get straight to it.

What do you have in stash for early adopters?

This is a crucial question to ask.

The is no straight answer to that, but there are some options:

  • Discounts.
  • Extended product features.
  • Early access.

I think that providing discounts is pretty straight-forward, so I’ll move right to proving extended product features.

Think of something in the same lines with Dropbox providing extra space on the cloud for the more people you referred to.

So, if you for example run subscription-model business with different pricing plans, you can either give early adopters the chance to use it for free or get the perks of a higher plan even if they purchase a smaller one.

Now, have you ever heard of FOMO?

FOMO a.k.a. Fear Of Missing Out is a powerful force.

So powerful, in fact, that merely making potential customers feel like they might be missing out on something can often move them to action.

56% of surveyed adults admit that FOMO impacts their media usage habits, for example, compelling them to look at social media again and again.

Marketers can harness FOMO by creating an impression of exclusivity through the use of wait lists, limited supply, and time limits.

FOMO is the principle that makes giving early access to users so important on pre-launch campaigns.

And  Robinhood took advantage of that principle. As a part of their pre-launch strategy, the Robinhood team invited potential app lovers to gain invitation-only, early access to its private beta.

Instead of inviting potential Robinhood users to join a mailing list, the company appealed to its interested fans’ desire to be the first to benefit from what Robinhood had to offer.

And this offer was so enticing, that it got the attention of Hacker News, which was “Every engineer's dream in the Valley," according to co-founder Vlad Tenev.

How can you do it for your business?

Well, the first step you must take is to set up your ambassador referral program, and our Milestone Referral Template is the best choice for running a pre-launch campaign for your new product.

Here's how it works.

Your participants join the Milestone Referral campaign and reach milestones as they refer more and more friends to join the campaign.

For example, the first milestone can be at five referrals, then at 15, 30, and so on.

To do a pre-launch campaign with this concept, you may have the milestones to be specific dates that campaign participants are going to get access to your product, starting with the date that is furthest away.

The more friends a participant brings to your campaign, the earlier they will get access.

Take a look at the following God-awful example graphic (sorry, I promise to improve my design skills):

The participants that refer just five friends will get access in late June, but those that bring at least 25 referrals will get access first on May 1st.

The gamification aspect of the Milestone Referral template makes it very appealing to your campaign participants, and you can get high engagement on such a campaign.

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.

Facts do not move people, but emotions.

The message you put out should appeal to your customers’ hearts, 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 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 particular 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 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 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 excellent 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 care about what it 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 about 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 crucial 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.
    Let's face it. People love free stuff.Hosting a contest or giveaway will get you attention for a dirt low 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 specific hashtag might give him one entry for the competition, sharing the post and tagging a friend will get him an additional entry each.Most importantly, the star of the show -the prize- should be something cool. It doesn’t need to be monetary (that’s not a colossal 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 significant number of highly qualified leads. Depending on the amount of influence they have over their followers, you can generate considerable 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 most engagingly and straightforwardly what your product does and how it solves a problem might give you a considerable 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 utilize established fanbases in your niche. That way, you can draw attention to your website and product, but also provide backlinks to your 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. ..

4. Get Your Team Ready

As you prepare for a spike in traffic and sales, it is good practice to have everyone on board 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 quickly 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 queries 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 the 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 target with deadly precision, include zero ambiguity in the language.
  • Measurable - how much, how many, how will I know when my goal is accomplished?
  • Attainable - the 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 five 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 an insight into how effectively they were attained.

6. Launch Day

Alright.

You’re in the trenches now. You are 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 significant 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 of 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)
  • Optimize 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 flawlessly as possible certainly gives you the best chance for success.

10 Tips To Boost Your Startup’s Pre-Launch Campaign.

1. Build a pre-launch landing page

A landing page is the image of your product to the world. It can help you deliver the right message to the right audience.

In general, you should be thinking about growth before you even launch your product. That’s why you should have a place where you can get users to sign up for exclusives, e.g. early access, special offer, gifts, etc.

Some quick wins for your pre-launch landing page are:

  • Have a clear Value Proposition of your product.
  • Have CTA(CallsToAction) in several places on your page. (don’t overdo it) Ideally, in the top section and at the bottom of your page.
  • Include fun and descriptive video or an image to keep your page sexy.

Below is Robinhood’s landing page, when they were doing their pre-launch campaign. They gathered over a million pre-launch users.

Robinhood had one of the most successful prelaunch campaigns.

If you want a Robinhood-style pre-launch campaign, join Viral Loops today!

2. Run a pre-launch campaign get more leads with a viral boost.

In that pre-launch stage, all you need is to get emails, as many emails as you can. Get people to love you. 

Turn early-visitors into advocates of your product. When someone visits your website, she can join a wait list or a giveaway where she can get early access if she refers to her friends.

In Viral Loops, we offer a Robinhood-style pre-launch template to run a proven prelaunch campaign. You’re ready to go in seconds.

3. Boost traffic with ads

This is probably the most scalable and the easiest way to test different campaigns and get immediate results.

It’s necessary to run campaigns on paid channels because they’re highly customizable, and you can easily target and test specific groups.

Facebook is an excellent solution if you want something cheap, with great targeting options and quick results.

You can use AdEspresso to easily create your Facebook ads and save a ton of time in creating variations traditionally.

4. Have a banner with every important referral page

Customize your landing page by adding welcoming banners to users from a range of referral sources.

Some great tools to use are Introbar and Appocalypsis.

5. Submit your startup (PH, HN, Betalist)[h3]

There are several websites where you can expose your startup and build backlinks. Have you tried Product Hunt? Betalist? Hacker News?

You can take a look at this list, which has all the necessary communities to list your startup.

If you don’t have time to submit your startup, you can have a look at this marketing tool, which helps you submit your information to startup directories, review sites, and communities

6. Build/engage with a community

One of the cheapest ways to create momentum for your product is to build a community around your startup.

A community is much more than a one-time marketing campaign and can help you throughout your company’s life cycle if you take the time to grow it right.

You can create a Slack community; you can have a look at Buffer’s approach on how to create one.

Here’s a great guide for building awesome communities, created by Sacha Greif.

7. Building Marketing Into Your Product

“Marketing is for companies with sucky products”- Fred Wilson, VC

Dropbox, Hotmail, Eventbrite, Mailbox, and Snapchat acquired tons of millions of users with almost no money spent on marketing. They just built virality into their product.

A startup’s ability to go viral depends on two variables: time, and the ‘viral coefficient,’ i.e., the number of new users each user generates.

The graph below illustrates startup growth at different rates based on different viral coefficients. Let’s say that the Y-axis represents your number of user signups, and the X-axis represents time.

If your viral coefficient is 1.0 (each user generates one new user), you will achieve linear growth, assuming you retain your users. If you have a viral coefficient above 1.1, you will achieve exponential growth as illustrated by all of the lines above the lower green line.

With Viral Loops and our battle-tested referral templates, you can build virality into your product like Dropbox and Airbnb.

8/9/10. Team Team Team

The team is probably the most critical aspect of a successful company. No matter what idea you want to fund, big or small, working with a team allows you to multiply your network, divide and conquer tasks, focus on your areas of expertise and make your campaign the strongest it can be.