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February 19, 2019 - No Comments!

PoolSpark: The lost method of saving money

🤓 Note from the author:

We (at Viral Loops) always pay close attention to the campaigns our customers build. Some cases are ordinary, some interesting, and some others are really inspiring.

On a personal level, I'm always fascinated by products or services that offer solutions that virtually have none.

Whenever we find such a case, we'll reach out and learn more about the people behind the curtain.

The BeautySaver's campaign- which you saw on a previous article, was among these interesting cases; and this week we have another one!

And this one promises that you'll manage to save money with a method so old, that it's almost forgotten.

Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is Poolspark?

PoolSpark is bringing the world’s oldest savings mechanism to life online.  We’re an invite-only money pooling service for friends.

Poolspark case study

This concept of pooling resources, whereby each member gets their turn to use the resources equally, has been around for centuries.  The thing is, it’s less known in the United States.

However, if you ask around enough, someone knows someone that is familiar with the concept, it just goes by a different name.

For example, while using a ride-sharing service just yesterday, my driver from West Africa says he’s using this technique right now with two different groups.  In West Africa, it’s commonly known as “Susu”, but where I’m from, Jamaica, we call it “Partna”.

It goes by many names, but it’s ultimately a way for a community of like-minded individuals to participate in a savings pool in order to achieve a specific goal or just to help one another.

For example, let's say you and four of your friends want to supercharge your savings by pooling $200 together. That’s 5 people pooling $200, or $1,000 each member gets per turn. Now you can do a lot more with $1,000 than you can with $200.

Things like plan a vacation or pay down debt. The choice is yours! You invite who you’d like and set the amount and timeframe.  Boosting your buying power has never been easier.

At what stage is your company?

I’m at the pre-launch stage offering early access and a chance to win free pools forever.  Early traction is always nice, but getting early feedback is what will really help improve the service.  

PoolSpark Case study

How are your customers using Poolspark? Could you share a few different use cases?

The ability to use your payout any way you like is what makes PoolSpark special.  It’s a way to increase your financial flexibility.

There are too many stories to list here, but some of the most common uses involve paying down debt, like a credit card.  When you think about it, we all know paying a credit card balance at the minimum is a game you're unlikely to win.

With PoolSpark, you can start a pool with a payout that would cover the entire debt, choose your position, and pay it off in as quickly at 30 days.  That saves a ton of interest that you’d be paying to the credit card company.

At the same time, you’re helping others do something with their payouts. Or I recently heard from a student at Uni in New Zealand. He said he pooled to help cover dorm expenses and, of course, take a small vacation with his dorm roommates.  

Some of the more moving stories come from those who’ve used it for a medical emergency or legal fees.

Were there any early 'growth hacks' or tactics that have contributed to your current success? How did you get your first initial users?

We’re still rolling out our launch plan.  The bigger hacks have yet to come.

Most of our initial users came from announcing the startup on my social properties and with limited CPC ads.  Some of the basic techniques used include speaking directly to close friends and family about getting the word out.

Speaking to any and everyone you can when you’re out running errands.  How about asking your launch partners, like Viral Loops, if they have a blog where they feature certain customers’ stories?

I’ve had success with multiple partners there. Overall, we have a specific launch plan that is a mix of things that could get spread easily, with things that don’t scale.  

Speaking to any and everyone you can when you’re out running errands, especially to close friends and family. That's how you'll get the word out.

Do you generate sales from word of mouth and referrals? If so, can you describe how?

We are getting referrals to signup for early access.  I find that If you’re passionate about your startup you’ll get more people to listen and help you spread the word.  

Refine and share your story far and wide. I’ve had some of the best conversations with potential users during ride-sharing trips and at the local barbershop.  

Most of all, don’t underestimate the power of social media. Create your social calendar and start posting.

Don’t underestimate the power of social media.

What made you want to run a referral program? What’s your goal?

I wanted to have the best chance of making this prelaunch successful.  Going with Viral Loops allowed me to focus on spreading the word versus building a custom referral engine.

Plus, the information and techniques have been very helpful along the way.

Can you share with us some results/metrics of your Viral Loops campaigns? How do they perform so far?

It’s still very early in the prelaunch, but what I can tell you is that most people are sharing using the Email option.  Twitter is second and Facebook is a distant third. Email is still king in this case.

I suggest focusing on the main methods of sharing instead of activating all of the options. 

Note from the author:

PoolSpark used our Startup Pre-Launch template. The template offers the exact method that Robinhood used to gather 1M users for their pre-launch.

If you find any trouble with the setup, my beautiful voice will guide you through the steps. Just push the play button of the video below:

What are the core metrics that you measure constantly and are super important for you?

Since we’re doing A/B testing with the landing page, we’re hyper-focused on conversion rate, click-thru rate, and, of course, number of signups overall.  

What platform is your website built on and what are the top 3 marketing tools that you depend on to grow your company & how do you use them?

It’s a custom build using Ruby on Rails and Bootstrap.  The free Google tools are priceless--Google Analytics, Google Optimize, Search Console, Drive, etc.  MailChimp will play a larger role over the next several months.

Viral Loops is the main hub for the launch.

February 13, 2019 - No Comments!

A referral booster worth 30% growth

In April 2018, TransferGo, an innovative and well-known digital remittance solution for migrant workers was already hosting a referral program as one of their main acquisition channels, for almost 6 years already.

Regardless of the small changes to their referral through the years, for the last year, the campaign’s k-factor was 24% on average without seeming to improve.

This is how TranferGo’s campaign looked like:

The K-factor is a viral marketing formula calculated by dividing the average number of conversions from invitations received by the average number of invitations sent.

It was then when they contacted Viral Loops so as to find a new way to make their referral program more powerful.

Given that they wanted an in-house solution, Viral Loops would have the role of coaching them and making any changes around the campaign, apart from the engineering.

Booster Referral Campaign.

After almost a month of detailed research, alterations on which metrics indeed matter for the current campaign, and multiple calls to create the right funnel- we also had to migrate to MixPanel and to make some impactful changes on the copywriting, we’ve come up with a pretty fresh solution.

We decided to run a new Referral Booster Campaign. The logic behind a booster campaign (aka flash campaign) is to do something unexpected, yet keep it simple and fun. For this reason, the campaign should have:

  • A specific time frame 
  • Special rewards that were different and/or better than the ones offered on the Refer a Friend program—this way we introduce the element of “surprise.”

The collaboration.

Executing the plan required both Viral Loops and TransferGo to get involved.

After thoroughly planning a new referral campaign, we had regular calls with the other team’s CEO, Product Owner, Referral Program Manager, Designer and engineers to ensure that both teams were aligned.

On our end, Savvas (CEO), Helena (Chief Customer Success Manager), Anastasia (Growth Marketing Specialist) and the Dimitris (Product owner), initially created the new referral campaign structure and optimized the existing based on feedback.

In addition, they suggested the new rewards that should be given, and created the new funnel, analytics, and KPIs for the campaign, along with the overall communication plan.

In Viral Loops we value design and copywriting a lot, so reviewing all the copies of the campaign’s page, emails, and design, we ensured that the UX was seamless.

One of the reasons that TransferGo contacted us in the first place, is our expertise in referral marketing/engineering. This gave them the opportunity to incorporate our suggestions into their in-house system, playing a major role in the success of their new campaign.

Tracking the performance was crucial, as it allowed to make iterations where needed and expand our perception about the ‘shape’ that the main Refer a Friend campaign should have. In other words, the insight that we gained from the booster campaign improved/empowered the existing program.

Campaign structure.

The booster campaign was a combination of an Ambassador/Milestone campaign with a Leaderboard giveaway and an Altruistic messaging.

Even though it might seem a very complicated concept, the company had well-trained traffic on what referral campaigns are, and with the right copies and design, this campaign was warmly welcomed by their audience.

Metrics & Results

Virality metrics were of great importance to the team whilst running a referral marketing campaign.

The most important metric in viral marketing is the ‘K-factor.’ K-factor (or Viral Coefficient)- as mentioned in the first section of this article, is measured by dividing the average number of conversions from invitations received by the average number of invitations sent.

The equation is simple: K = c / i 

By calculating the K-factor, TransferoGo’s team got a sense of the overall progress of their campaign, which helped them adjust campaign settings from time to time and ultimately achieve better results.

Alongside K-Factor, a few other important viral metrics include:

  • Participant Conversion
  • Participant Share
  • Invitation Conversion

K-Factor of their first main Refer a Friend campaign was 0.24 on average, which puts it into the good league.’ That means that 1 out 4 people who received a referral link, actually accepted the invite and became members.

With the new campaign, we turned this into 0.31 which is 29% growth.

Participant conversion was pretty good with 28,692 users, but a total of 88,920 campaign page visits. That puts us at a participant conversion of 32%.

Participant share was also solid with 33.5% of people who shared the referral link with their friends, out of the total of 31,295 registrants. 

And finally, an impressive result from Invitation Conversion viral metric, as 64.05% of people who received a referral link decided to use it and become members of the booster campaign.

Before you go.

TransferGo may have had their referral program build in-house, but you don't have to do the same; it will cost a lot in time and money.

Instead, you can use any of our available templates and build your referral campaign in minutes.

If I were you, I would go either with the Milestone Referral Template or the Messenger Bot Giveaway Template. You can thank me later!

February 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Product Update: What’s New From January

January has been one hell of a ride! 🎢

We worked pretty hard to please everybody, and I think we managed to move one step forward from where we stood at the end of 2018.

Here's what's in for Viral Loops users, from this month and on 😁

💬 New Template: Viral Loops for Messenger.

You've probably already heard about it, but here it is again!

Viral Loops for Facebook Messenger is the best way to grow your audience with Messenger Bot Giveaways.

We took all the knowledge we had on Messenger bots and created a seamless referral marketing experience.

Your audience will be able to participate in your campaigns from inside Facebook Messenger and directly invite their contacts.

Start running your viral giveaways via Facebook Messenger now!

We've also created an amazing case study about how one of our clients got 35K leads in 20 days with a viral Messenger giveaway. Make sure to give it a look.

New Features.

👁️‍🗨️WhatsApp as a sharing option.

WhatsApp is now available as a sharing option in all templates. Enable it in the sharing options of your Campaign Widgets.

User-uploaded image: Screenshot 2019-02-07 13.54.57.png

It works exactly like the rest of our sharing options, like email, Tweet, Facebook share, etc.

Join the demo campaign and test it out!

🐞 Bugs

We also gave some time to fix some bugs that our customers faced with their campaigns:

  • Fixed: Sometimes you’d get infinite redirects when logging-out.
  • Fixed: The widget preview in the user settings page (with the GDPR options) would not load sometimes.
  • Changed: The set color for the Referral Count Widget was getting displayed after participation. The widget now has the same set color before and after.
  • Fixed: The welcome popup in the Shopify Dashboard would appear every time. Now the sees it only the first time they go there.
  • Fixed: In Shopify campaigns, the CTA in the referred welcome email and the CTA of the normal welcome email both used the same URL. Not anymore!

That’s all for this month.

Keep being awesome.

February 5, 2019 - No Comments!

Arri Bagah: Personalized experiences via Messenger Bots is the future of eCommerce brands

Lately we’ve become obsessed with Messenger Bots.

Actually, our obsession got us so far that we decided to design and create Viral Loops for Messenger, so you can run a giveaway entirely on Facebook Messenger.

As a result, we went “hunting” in order to learn as much as possible for the Messenger Marketing industry from its experts. In other words, we started interviewing people.

We’ve already given you our interview with Hunter McKinley, were we explored design, milestone campaigns, and Messenger bots.

This time, we spoke with the Botman himself; Arri Bagah.

Arri consulted giants like Google, HubSpot, and Facebook to build harder/better/faster/stronger chatbot solutions.

He is the Founder & CEO at ROAS Agency where he helps brands on Shopify leverage data-driven personalized marketing to 4X their conversion rates and recover 10x more abandoned carts.

ROAS Agency works with The Beard Club, Poo~Pourri, Transparent Labs, and many other notable brands.

He recently founded The Chatbot Channel Facebook group for e-commerce marketers that want to learn or share, things about chatbot, voice and AR. 

Here’s Arri’s take on things. Enjoy

Who Arri Bagah is at the moment & what he does.

I started like two and a half years ago.

I had a Facebook Ad Agency with one of my friends and we're running Facebook ads for small businesses. We tried to get them more leads and more clients, and after doing that for about six months we realized that small businesses don't have much money.

It was really hard to be able to work on a tight budget.

That’s why we decided to give a try to real estate for a bit, but it was kind of like the same issue with like small businesses.

That’s the reason we moved to eCommerce. Once we got into it, it was kind of hard because everything was new to us e.g. running Facebook ads.

I spent quite some money on ads with little to no ROI. I created my own e-commerce brand at that time just to test things out. It was a print on demand shop on Shopify, and I was using Facebook pages to drive traffic to it.

I wanted to buy a Facebook page, so I reached out to one and said:

“Hey. I would like to buy your page so I can use it to drive traffic”

Around that time, there was a killing of a gorilla inside a zoo; Harambe, and it was going really viral. I asked one of the relevant pages and they declined to sell it, but two weeks later we agreed.

The page had 40K likes- which was worth at least $10K at the time, and I got it for 300 bucks.

It was kind of like sketchy to because the guy was from he was in India. I didn't have PayPal or anything, and he required a transfer via Western Union before giving me access.

I just took the risk and made the transfer, and he really gave me the page. So, I started driving traffic to my e-commerce store, and after like a week or so the store was making around like 2-3 hundred dollars per day for a couple weeks.

It was pretty good. Two to three hundred dollars per day in profit, for like two to three weeks and then it happened.

At that time I didn't know about Facebook Business Manager.

I was trying to sell the Facebook page and somebody reached out to me to buy it.  They asked for admin access, which I thought it was a stupid move to make.

They insisted a lot and said they're going to buy the page for $8,000.

“I could use $8K right now”, I thought.

At that time (or even like so today), if you made somebody else admin of your page, they couldn’t remove you within the first six days.  It's like a robot phase. 

6 days were more than enough time to be able to like realize if they were going to pay me or not, and I could remove them at any time if they didn’t.

I gave access to the guy, but at that time I didn't realize that there was something called the Facebook Business Manager which, in case you're an admin of the page, you can claim its ownership.

Which he did. He just kicked me off, resulting in me losing all the traffic.

I had to figure out a way to just start driving traffic again, and that's when I started learning more about Facebook ads, and then I had my first success story.

It was crazy how it happened.

I started to get into Facebook ads because my website was dying, and I had to figure out a way to drive traffic. So I spent all the money that I made on Facebook ads, ended up working with one of my friends who is an influencer in the e-commerce now- he was like an influencer on the Instagram platform.

I met him on the panel that I was speaking at about Facebook marketing.

Not so many people knew much about Facebook marketing at that point, so if you knew just a little bit, it was enough to like teach other people.

So I met him there and he had an eCommerce brand somewhere.

We agreed to try something for his brand,  and we took it from $0 like a $100K per month.

It was our first success story, and it happened by optimizing the website and by doing some email marketing.

But even after this initial success, it was kind of like hard for me to find clients.

So I decided to get a job.

But before I got a job, I found out about Bots- during the summer of 2017.

I didn't like them enough to dive deep to it, but thought it was a cool thing- mostly because I checked Domino’s bot. I started getting more serious about them around September of 2017.

I built the first bot and went to a conference here in LA and started showing it to people. They interacted with my bot and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

They actually loved using it and started asking if I can build one for them as well. The moment I came back from the conference I immediately built a bot for my agency at the time.

We used it for lead generation and it worked really well. 

We're getting super high engagement rates: 

90-95% open rate and click-through rates of 20-50%.

That’s when I realized that this could be a really powerful marketing channel. 

Using a Messenger bot for lead generation can give you 90-95% Open Rate & 20-25% Click Through Rate.

The agency was going still very slow, so I decided to look more actively for a job. That's when I met Josh who was speaking at one of the events In Milwaukee.

I was in Chicago at that time and Milwaukee was like an hour and a half away. 

So I was like: 

“Ok, like I'm just gonna go there, meet them, and see if he has things that we could possibly work together on.“

I got to hang out with him all day, and he was telling me about how he wanted to hire somebody to run more ads. 

So around November, I decided to work for Josh and we did something like a test period. After that, I moved from Chicago to LA and start working at BAMF.

It wasn't a position to build bots- I didn't even know that I had the skills to be able to go to bots yet because I didn't tell them about it. 

 So, this is how it happened:

 I was building Manychat flows, which were kind of complex, and I posted it in my Facebook story. Nobody was really using the Facebook stories at that point

I did.

So when I built a really cool Manychat flow, I liked to take a picture and post it in there. I thought it was cool. 

And then that's how Josh noticed. He watched my stories, and one of their clients actually needed a bot built and then Josh was like: oh, I think I saw like a flow on Arri’s story, he may be able to build it for us

And then I build the first couple bots for their clients, and the clients just really liked it. Everything worked well, and then I ended up like just doing bots for the clients. 

And at one point I was managing 13 bots alone. All for e-commerce.

I just did like e-commerce bots for quite some time. And that's just how I gained a lot of experience and got a lot deeper into how you can leverage the messenger platform for e-commerce businesses. 

And while I was doing all that, I was like speaking at events about messenger marketing because it's fairly new, and not a lot of people knew about it. Many are still trying to figure it out what messenger marketing is, especially in the e-commerce space. 

So I was talking to conferences about messenger marketing, and my plan was to eventually just transition to my own agency. I wanted to find the thing that I could focus on.

I didn't know it was going to be bots yet, but working at BAMF enabled me to narrow down what's most valuable to e-commerce business; which helped me realize what I wanted to do next. 

I decided to transition, after working there for half a year, to my own agency and then we started out with working with e-commerce brands and us kind of got bigger clients a lot faster, just because of my personal brand that I built was like speaking and things like that. 

So it wasn't too hard.

Why they call Arri “The Botman”.

I’ve been building bots for all these clients, and those were all organic. 

At the time the agency was just me, and then I had to find partners to help me do a lot of the work. We did some great work for those clients, and I continued building my personal brand. 

I got to speak at the biggest messenger marketing conference in the world, here in the US, called Conversations Conference. It was over 1500 people and got to connect with the people at  Manychat, and a bunch of other smart markers. 

That helped me get more credibility and also like get bigger clients, and then we had a chance to like work with like Poo Pourri,  The Beard Club, Guess

Being omnipresent to conferences about your niche and connecting with people, might give you the credibility you need to get bigger clients.

We did the exact same thing with these bigger clients; help them leverage data-driven personalized messenger marketing to quadruple their conversion rates and recover ten times more abandoned carts.

I started out building Bots for the sake of building Bots, and I feel like that's what most people are doing right now; building Bots without a valid reason for building one

When I first started out, I thought about offering nine different services around Bots. But right now, I only have two because I kind of cut down every single thing that doesn't really work. 

I don't want to build a bot just for the sake of building it. I only want to do things that I know drive significant business outcomes. 

That's the reason we want to focus on personalized marketing; we know that that's what's going to work in 2019. It's all about personalized marketing and also recovering abandoned carts. 

Focus on personalized marketing; it’s what will work in 2019.

A lot of e-commerce friends do get a lot of abandoned carts

So and that's where we are today; niche-ing down to even more to Shopify brands because it's much easier for us to be able to systemize. Working with just one platform makes everything for the agency much easier because otherwise, we had to create a new deck for every new client.

If you have one platform- and we know the platform really well, then we only have one or two decks for all the clients. That way we can just act in a Plug and Play manner

Getting big clients.

I used to make videos about chatbots on like a couple months ago.

Videos about how to leverage bots for e-commerce, and it felt like nobody was watching them because they would barely get any views. But the Head of Marketing of Guess reached out to me. 

It was just like random out heaven. 

I guess he saw himself one of the videos, and we started chatting on Instagram. We're talking about messenger marketing, and how you can leverage it for abandoned carts. 

He was actually moving out to LA, and when he moved here we became really good friends. That’s when we started to think about how we can leverage messenger marketing for Guess, and pretty much put together like a deck of how they can leverage messenger marketing. 

That really helped them see the value in it. 

So I started doing these presentations for brands to teach them exactly why they should be looking at Facebook Messenger as a platform to communicate with their customers, what the benefits are, and exactly how they can leverage the platform. 

I tried to make everything fit into their brand because they have a lot of retail stores. 

I projected why it’s important to leverage Messenger marketing not only for online but also for empowering their retail stores. by pretty making everything fit into their brand and make it in a way that makes sense in a way that they can see the ROI. 

It’s a new platform, and for a lot of big brands, it’s difficult to try something new.

My attitude was: “I know it's hard, but here’s the value and that’s what you’re missing out. 

Although, for bigger clients, it does take time to get approval to start doing things- I'm still waiting on to get approved on some, it’s important to go to the meetings and show them WHAT & WHY they should do the things you propose.

You have to be patient with bigger clients. Sometimes it takes more time to get your approval.

Tips for an omnichannel experience via Messenger.

A lot of people use Messenger scan codes

I’m not really into it, because you need a Messenger app to scan it, which is pretty stupid. 

I prefer regular scan codes

You can just open your camera, scan the code, and open it in whatever app and it needs to open. 

With the messenger code, you have to open the messenger camera; there's like too much friction, and I don’t see any scalable way of using it. 

You can integrate all the store locations in the Messenger platform; All your retail store directory.

So if somebody is looking for a nearby location, you can just send it directly to them via Facebook Messenger and then could offer them the ability to book a showing booth or a fitting room for that specific location. They just have to put in their email, and then that information is sent to that specific store. 

That's a nice way of providing an experience. Everything is all about an experience, right? 

Everything is about the experience you provide.

So, how can we like enhance the experience of for the customer that wants to go in stores?

The first thing is helping them find the nearest store, and then the second thing is to help them even more, with scheduling something for them; there's a trend around this in the retail space right now. 

If you look at Apple and all these different companies, what they're doing is providing an experience, but they’re expecting you experience something where and when you schedule. So Apple makes your schedule so you can just walk into the Apple Store. 

You have to schedule an appointment and this helps the agents know more information about who you are. 

Things like who you are, what problems you face, why you face them; all these different things, which allows the company to provide a great experience and also schedule their own day.

One of the things that the CEO of Stitch Fix said is that the brands that will Survive in 2019 need to provide relevant personalized and emotional experiences to their customers.

Which is something that really resonated with me. 

The brands that will survive in 2019 are the ones that provide relevant, personalized, and emotional experiences to their customers.

Just look around and see how people shop now. It's all about personalization, and as a brand, you need to definitely personalize all your marketing and you can do that without data and some of the data points that you’ll get just by using the Messenger platform. 

 When somebody gets to subscribe to your Messenger account,  you immediately get their First and Last name, their profile picture, their gender, their time zone other, and their location

 Those are all data points that you get right away, and you can use them to personalize what you’re broadcasting to these people. Over time, as you keep communicating with them, you can collect more data points about them and then personalize their experience even more. 

 These are things that you cannot do with email marketing because with an email address you don’t get all the info you need right away.

Data points that Messenger provides you right away:

Messenger marketing & paid ad strategies.

There are 2 ways to leverage messenger with ads. 

The first one by is leveraging clicked Messenger ads, and with clicked Messenger ads when you go to your objective you’re optimizing for messages. 

With clicked Messenger ads, what I've seen is that you have to start with your budget a little bit higher because the more people that you get to message you, the lower the cost gets.

So usually when I start the budget at 50 or 100 dollars, and I get like less than a dollar- probably like around 80 to 70 cents cost per subscriber, which is really good too because we acquire new a subscriber and put them like through a customized flow. 

What I recommend doing is giving those subscribers a small quiz- four to five questions, just to welcome them by asking certain questions. 

That’s how you customize their preferences, so the product that you're going to send them will be the most relevant to them

So if you're in clothing space you can ask: 

  • What are they? 
  • What are they looking for? 
  • Are they looking for shirts pants? 
  • If they like shirts then what color are they looking for? 

And then maybe it's okay to ask what size are you?”, and these are all things that you can also save about the customer. 

So next time you decide to make a broadcast via Manychat, you’ll know what to send.

So, you can really get the info that will help you to serve your customers better. And people LOVE quizzes.

The second way is leveraging comment ads and these usually work best with giveaway campaign. 

So let's say you're running a giveaway campaign through an ad- basically, connect your Facebook ad to a bot, and once somebody comments on your Facebook ad they receive an automatic message. 

You just got to tell them that when they comment in the post, they’ll receive a message from you (it’s Facebook’s policy). 

Give them an idea of what they should make a comment about. e.g.  What do you like about the shirt?” for a chance to win the shirt.

You just have to find creative ways to get people to comment. Also, the image creative has to be really nice and popping so that it gets people's attention. 

And then you get a lot of users to comment, and for each comment, they get a message. On average, probably 60-70% of the people who comment will subscribe; that's what we've seen on average, especially when we scale. 

By using Manychat’s Comment Growth Tool you can get up to 70% of the people leaving a comment, to subscribe to your Messenger.

So for example for one of our clients, one of our posts got 50K likes, 27K comments, and 9K shares.

This could be like a really good strategy, especially when you combine with giveaways. 

On average probably going to spend 8-20 cents per comment, which is a really cheap price to acquire a new subscriber- especially when you when you acquire a subscriber that after the giveaway you can keep promoting things to them. 

Also, you can collect their email address directly by asking them inside Messenger, and these email addresses can go directly to your CRM. 

How to not cannibalize your Messenger subscribers. 

A lot of people fall into the pit of getting many Facebook Messenger subscribers and blasting them with broadcasts and sales, which eventually destroys Open Rates and Click Through Rates. 

A lot of people that I've talked to,  said that they received spam messages from people/bots every single day for days. This is not the best way to use the platform. 

Spamming is not the best way to use Messenger.

What I recommend is knowing your customer. Being able to personalize the messages that you sent to them, is of high importance

Just asking them a question that helps you personalize a message that you send, can be really powerful. 

Let's say Fourth of July is coming up- or something like that, and then you ask them:  What would they rather do on Fourth of July?” and give people options like barbecue’, chilling at home, or maybe it's fireworks’. 

Depending on which one they pick the next time you’re about to send a promotional offer, you can think that this isn't an offer for people who love to barbecue, for example.

Right now what you can do, with a platform like Manychat, is to export your Messenger subscribers into a Facebook custom audience for retargeting. 

Some people use Zappier in order to auto-update the customers so you don't have to export every day- or every week, in order to keep updating.

In addition, you can filter out your Messenger list based on a tag. 

So let's say you want to have a list of only women; you can filter that out! 

Let's say you want to have women who like shirts, and you want to remove women who like red shirts; you can filter that out! 

Then you can auto-update the custom audience inside Facebook, and use that audience for retargeting.

The best flows for eCommerce marketing via Messenger. 

For me, there are three flows that sit on the top. 

The first one considers pop-ups.

Brands usually use pop-ups on their websites, right? 

They “trigger” them either when you first get to the site, or as an exit intent. 

So instead of using that, you can leverage something like a Messenger pop-up to give a discount code to a subscriber. In order for them to get the discount, they have to subscribe to your Messenger by clicking the button you provide.

Immediately, they're going to receive a push notification on their phone. 

So your open rates- right up front, are going to be really high for those messages. 

That's the first flow. 

In that flow, you can message them with the promised coupon and then you can also have products that link directly to your Shopify site. 

The second flow is about abandoned cart recovery. 

So this one is like probably the biggest because it makes a lot of money for a lot of the brands we’re working with

Basically, there's a widget that you can install on the add to cart button and then what it does is that when people click it and don’t finish checking out, you can follow them up with a message.

The last flow- that works really well, is for receipts. 

Receipts are a great way for retention, and then to engage with your customers. 

For example, you can send them a receipt after they do make a purchase, and then after they get the receipt you can say hey, have you had these new products or this new collection? Would you mind checking it out?” and they can click yes or no’.

If they click yes, and then you send them the collection, or you get to know them a little bit more.

These flows that you send based on what people select, allows you to tag them or save the answers. 

So you get to like know more about your customers and what they like, and that's how you're able to personalize your marketing.

You’ll have more effective promotions by knowing your customer really well; what they like. 

There are some other flows which are for winning back campaigns”, or for customers that purchased and you want to follow up with them in 30 or 60 days to check in with them and learn if they liked the product.

Did you like it? If they say yes, then boom. 

If they didn't like it, your can send them to customer service. It’s about engaging, just like in real life; like having a conversation. We don’t have to over complicate things.

Marketing online is different, but at the same time is the same as selling something in real life.  

The important metrics of Messenger Marketing.

For Messenger campaigns, we check Open Rates and Click Through Rates. Those are the main ones that really matter inside Messenger. 

Then for the websites of the specific campaign, we check the number of Users, the number of Sessions, and the Bounce Rate.

So, if people are coming to the website and bounce a lot, we should know that. 

Probably the message that we sent via Messenger, doesn’t match with the Landing Page. So we need to fix that. 

Usually, with Messenger, the Bounce Rates are like really low. On average we like less than 40

The next thing we have to check after the Bounce Rate is the actual Conversion Rate.

A lot of the Messenger flows that I talked about have a really high Conversion Rate. Especially in the cart recovery one, you can see about 20%; which is crazy high

You can get up to 20% cart recovery by personalized communication via Messenger.

Conversion Rate is our North Star because it is the only thing that matters. 

People are talking about Open Rates and Click Through Rates, but like nobody's really talking about the conversion rate, which is like the really important part. Right? 

So probably the Conversion Rate is the most important indicator of how the Messenger platform contributes against other channels.

Upcoming trends in eCommerce marketing with Chatbots.

Chatbots and eCommerce can work together on 2 levels:

  • Marketing.
  • Customer service.

In terms of marketing, so far people have been doing a decent job. 

Some people are doing the same job at marketing through Messenger; some win and other people are just spending money.

When somebody has a bad experience with a bot like 90% of those people aren't going to interact with them again.

What happened in the past few years is that like there are different types of people that are building Bots.

You have developers, but they aren't willing to with copywriters. Then you have copywriters trying to build bots on their own, and you also have marketers trying to do the same exact thing

The problem is that all three should be working together.

I believe that this is the perfect combination for somebody to be able to build a solid bot. 

The perfect way to build a solid Chatbot, is to put developers, copywriters, and marketers to work together.

You need the marketer to bring in people, you need a developer to build it, and then you need the copywriter to make sure that the copies are engaging enough to make people take action. 

All these three components were not working together, but we're starting to see that they start to come together a little bit more. 

I’m starting to see jobs pop up for copywriters and things like that. So people are starting to realize that you definitely need copywriters to offer conversational user experiences, to get people engaged.

The bots that I've seen that use copywriters are much much better than any other bots I've seen around. 

I think that in the next years if everybody will be able to come and work together there will be much better experiences. Right now a lot of people are just using the platform just to spam. 

Hire your marketer, a copywriter, and a developer to make sure that you build the best experience possible. This way you just going to drive more business outcomes. 

So that's the marketing side.

Then there is the customer service, which is massive. 

A lot of people right now are just neglecting the customer service part, so they have a bot. And then they don't have a real human checking through, making sure that everything is doing well and smooth, and that users are getting their questions answered

So people are just like blasting messages and they're not checking to see like what people are saying; if users have questions they should respond.

If you're using the Messenger platform, for marketing purposes and you do not have somebody actively going through and making sure that people are getting their questions answered, then you basically spamming.

Imagine you send a message to a brand and you say hey, can I get a refund for this order? and then they just don't respond. Now imagine that the brand after that just send you a message: “We have this t-shirt, would you like to buy it?”

Nobody wants that.

You should be able to tag the people that are in need of help. Having real human checking things is really important. 

Combining automation with like real human powers is the best combination because you can leverage the automation for more efficiency. 

In customer service is really important being able to leverage AI to answer questions right away; automate some of the FAQ's, and then just let the customer service team just check in and take care of it more unique issues. 

One of the things that we do with a lot of our clients, is to integrate their Messenger with Zendesk

Not only can you first message your Facebook subscribers directly, but you can pretty much filter tickets. So you can say: hey this person is asking for a refund  put them in the priority tickets. 

If somebody asks for a refund then you want to take care of that, right away. So make sure that everything is filtered. 

 [x] When somebody is asking for a refund, you want to take care of that right away.

And then when you do a marketing blast, you don’t want to blast to people who are looking for customer service because it's a really bad experience

This is something that I have not heard anyone talking about yet, but it's really important. I've seen that, and that's something that we do and that our clients.

So that's the customer service side; being able to automate your FAQ's and leverage live chat- which is real human power, to increase your customer service efficiency

Few last words.

If people want to learn more like thinking about they can just like visit our website, and get our free case study and learn more about exactly what I talked about. 

Throughout the case study I just walk people through the new way of marketing and exactly like how it started, why we should use it- I think a lot of people are so focused on the Open Rates and Click Through Rates and we don't know much besides that, why should someone use Messenger marketing, and what are the trends that indicate that you should use it.

January 30, 2019 - No Comments!

Viral Loops for Messenger is LIVE on Product Hunt!

It’s always a bummer when you want to use 2 things and there is no way to do so.

Recently, we had a prospect that wanted to use Viral Loops for a viral giveaway. Great!

They wanted to do it through Messenger. Ouch!

I thought that we don’t offer that option; It’s possible”, Thomas said.

And we’ve built it.

Today I’m really happy to announce Viral Loops for Messenger, powered by Manychat. 😻

Now you can run a viral giveaway entirely through Facebook Messenger. This is awesome just for the fact that people are extremely familiar with Messenger- which also helps a lot with the engagement rate.

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

The 1st 100 people that sign up for Viral Loops for Messenger will get 50% off FOR LIFE! 

(This offer applies only to new Viral Loops customers. Existing customers with an active plan can use the template from inside their dashboard.)

Viral loops for Messenger on Product Hunt

What is Viral Loops for Facebook Messenger?

Things are pretty straight-forward; Viral Loops for Facebook Messenger is the best way to grow your audience with Messenger Bot Giveaways.

We took all the knowledge we had on Messenger bots and created a seamless referral marketing experience.

Your audience will be able to participate in your campaigns from inside Facebook Messenger and directly invite their contacts.

 Does it work?

Remember the giveaway they asked us to build in Messenger?

It was an utter success!

Here are some results:

  • 34819 Messenger subscribers in total.
  • 1208 out of the total, subscribed during the pre-launch.
  • 31515 out of total participate in the giveaway, with a conversion rate (from a subscriber to a participant) of 90% 
  • 1232 total unsubscribes.
  • 15383 participants came from a referral.

If you want to learn more about the details of this Messenger viral giveaway campaign, you can read our case study.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral.

Do you want to run a Viral Giveaway via Messenger?

As I wrote in the opening paragraph, Viral Loops for Messenger is LIVE on Product Hunt.

Viral loops for Messenger on Product Hunt

Come say hi, and follow the link on the page to start building your Messenger Viral Giveaway. 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 50% discount FOR LIFE!

(This offer applies only to new Viral Loops customers. Existing customers with an active plan can use the template from inside their dashboard.)

Until the next time,

Keep being awesome.

January 22, 2019 - No Comments!

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral – Case Study

The goal of the project was to gather as many Facebook Messenger subscribers as possible via a viral giveaway.

Spoiler Alert!

We nailed it! We just run a Referral Marketing campaign via Facebook Messenger.

Btw, Viral Loops for Messenger is live on Product Hunt!

Viral loops for Messenger on Product Hunt

A little context before we proceed.

Yava is the biggest gym chain in Greece, with 50 branches throughout the country.  They came in touch with us to help them build a huge giveaway.

The prize? 

20+1 trips to (almost) open destinations.

The giveaway run in a time span of 20 days; that means that we gave 1 trip every single day!

The flow of the giveaway was exactly the same as any referral giveaway:

Users participated by subscribing and could get more entries (increasing their chances to win a trip) by inviting their friends and family to participate as well.

But there’s a twist.

As I wrote in the beginning, the goal was to gather messenger subscribers. Up to now, giveaways that worked with a referral program registered participants with an email address.

That means that after grabbing the users’ email address, we should email them in order to subscribe to the page’s Messenger.

We knew that our funnel would leak a lot. We would lose a huge number of people that could potentially bring us more participants.

This approach canceled the very reason we decided to go with Facebook Messenger for the giveaway in the first place; it’s the platform with the highest rate of use, with open rates that put every other platform to shame.

So, the question emerged:

“We have the technology for the referral system. How we take advantage of it without losing leads trying to convert them from email to Messenger subscribers?”

We had to get email outside of the equation, and there was no system that could do this.

We had to build it ourselves. And goddamn, we did it!

We’ve built the product, run the giveaway and (as the title of this post gives away), we managed to gather 35K Facebook Messenger subscribers in 20 days.

How we made it happen

We took all the knowledge we had on Messenger bots (and especially Manychat) and created a seamless referral marketing experience.

By using the flow we created in Manychat we were able to track every referral (who invited who) and provide the extra entries for the giveaway accordingly.

This way the audience was able to participate in the campaigns from inside Facebook Messenger, and directly invite their contacts. It was a bit tricky at first, but the final result inside Manychat looked like this:

This exact flow, combined with Viral Loops’ technology for referrals, could be your best friend for running giveaways.

All you have to really do is:

  • Use your token.
  • Change the number of participations for each new entry & successful referrals.
  • Insert some keywords that trigger possible automated flows (e.g. show the number of participations the user has).
  • Craft a compelling copy that will communicate the value of your giveaway!

That's it. Not joking!

Viral Loops for Messenger is live on Product Hunt!

Viral loops for Messenger on Product Hunt

Now, back again to the case study!

How users participated

 

We had the tool, and we had the flow. 

It was about time to find the ways that people would be able to discover and participate in the giveaway.

Obviously, the first thing we needed was a landing page that converts.

We included the main call-to-action above the fold and added a counter to communicate the sense of urgency.

Below the fold, we included as much info as possible about the rules and prizes of the giveaway.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

By clicking the call-to-action, users were asked to give permission to be subscribed to the page’s Messenger, and thus, participate.

Since Facebook is the “father” of Messenger, we had to go hard with it.

We scheduled posts that spread the word about the campaign, including all the details in the copy, and the URL that people could use to have a chance to win. We did the same with Instagram posts and boosted them with ads to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

Paid advertising offers a good initial boost, but we also need a great deal of organic reach in order to reduce the CPC of the campaigns.

We managed to do so by taking advantage of Manychat’s Comment to Message Growth Tool, as you'll see in the screenshot below.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

A widget/popup was also added on the company’s website, aiming to inform mobile or desktop visitors about the giveaway and prompt them to subscribe to Messenger and enter the giveaway.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

In order to reach existing customers/subscribers, we used newsletter & SMS campaigns.

Since the company is the biggest gym chain in the area, we knew that we had to also leverage the people that hit the gym to exercise. For that reason, there were banners in each gym with a Messenger scan code (another Manychat Growth Tool) that also included a clear direction on how people can use it to participate in the giveaway.

It performed excellently!

About 8K people subscribed using the scan code from the banners.

The user flow

At this point, I have to tell you that before the actual giveaway begun, there was a short pre-launch period (8 days).

We decided to give a head start to the existing gym members, website visitors or social media followers; this also allowed us to test the potential demand for the giveaway.

For the pre-launch period, we used a Facebook post with Manychat’s Comment Growth Tool, asking people to leave a comment with their favorite travel destination.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

Whoever left a comment under the post received a message to their Messenger, asking for their permission to subscribe them to the pre-launch. The same applied also for people that came from the widget on the website, or the banners located in the gyms around the country.

As soon as the giveaway launched, those users received the following message:

Let’s have a look at how the flow looked like for people who got into the giveaway after the official launch. 

Initial Message:

Successful Participation Message:

The last card is what we named “personal invitation”, which prompts the user to share about the giveaway after they subscribed.

The rules of the giveaway were very simple:

By entering, users got ONE entry for the daily raffle- since we could give 20 free trips, we decided to have 1 winner every day for 20 days.

In order to obtain more entries, the users should share about the giveaway with their friends/network. Every time a friend of theirs subscribed for the giveaway, the referrer gained 10 extra entries.

The flow we’ve built did all the referral tracking, and the subscribers could go back to Messenger at any time and find out how many entries they have, simply by typing “Entries”.

The fact that even if a user didn’t win the one day, (s)he could keep the entries gathered, allowed us to follow them up in order to help them boost their referrals. 2 days after entering the giveaway (by using a smart delay), users received the following message:

A similar message was sent after another 2 days (again with a smart delay).

The results

Now that I gave you the small details about the campaign, let’s see some numbers. 

During a time frame of 20 days:

  • We gathered 34819 Messenger subscribers in total.
  • 1208 out of the total, subscribed during the pre-launch.
  • 31515 out of total participate in the giveaway, with a conversion rate (from a subscriber to a participant) of 90% 
  • 1232 total unsubscribes.
  • 15383 participants came from a referral.

 The last piece of data shows us that 48.8% of participants came to the giveaway from a referral.

Some insight

After the campaign ended we were really happy with the results. Our experience has shown that the performance of every campaign relies on luck, only by a small percentage.

We knew that we did something right, and we wanted to document it!

It all came down to 5 things:

  1. It took people only 2 clicks to share about the giveaway. Hence the 48.8% of referral participants.
  2. There were enticing & recurring rewards. Participant saw that there were daily winners, and that kept them trying to win.
  3. We leveraged all the available channels and mediums. Banners, social media, newsletters, etc.
  4. The messaging was engaging and fun. We kept receiving replies with people telling us how funny the gifs that we used were.
  5. Even though the messaging was short, it was to the point. It didn’t leave people wondering about the details, without getting too much into them.

Why run a referral marketing campaign via Messenger?

Are you serious?

Did you read the title of this post? 😂

I’m joking.

The explanation is simple. Messenger as a platform has better engagement (open rate, CTR, etc.) than any other platform right now, and people are really used to using it. It’s easy for them.

And the most important; their friends are used to receive content from them.

In addition to that, your brand/company can really start a more human conversation with its audience.

Now if you’re not very interested in the human side of these things, I have one last card in my sleeve:

You can download your Messenger subscribers’ psids directly from Manychat & and use them to build audiences for your ads. Just be gentle with that, ok?

Want to build your campaign?

We got your back, partner!

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!

Build your Messenger Referral Marketing Campaign now!

Viral Loops for Messenger is live on Product Hunt!

Viral loops for Messenger on Product Hunt

January 17, 2019 - No Comments!

BeautySavers: The art of not selling anything

🤓 Note from the author:

I'm always fascinated by projects/companies that don't try to sell something; the fact they're in the game for the value they strive to provide to their audience.

That's the reason I love The Hustle!

As you can assume by this intro, BeautySavers is one of these cases. Although I'm not into beauty products myself, my gf really appreciated the fact that she could be up to date from one place.

Also, BeautySavers use our Milestone Referral Template for their ongoing referral program. Another reason to get in touch with the people of Firon Makreting (the masterminds behind the project), and learn a bit more about the way they approach this venture.

I was intrigued, so I gathered some extra info about their campaign and I present them right below this short interview.

Enjoy! 🤗

Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is Beautysavers? What type of business are you?

BeautySavers is a destination for the latest beauty tips, shopping discounts, and giveaways. The giveaways are weekly and feature great value beauty products which are reviewed by the Beauty Savers influencers.

There is an influencer for each beauty category (Makeup, Hair, Skincare).

We've built this community on the great relationships we have with beauty brands because we bring awareness to their products through giveaways, reviews by our trusted influencers, and our referral programs.

We're here for the audience. It's our mission to find great products at great prices, and give away as much of them as we can!

BeautySavers utilizes Viral-Loops to provide a referral program which we use to reward our loyal audience members. In return for sharing with 5 friends, a Beauty Savers enthusiast will receive a Tula Daily Cleanser which has a value of $10.

Beauty Savers was built by Firon Marketing to grow a beauty audience which it can distribute the product for its beauty brand partners.

We're here for the audience.

At what stage is your company? (Are you trying to raise some early traction during a pre-launch? Are you trying to get more sign-ups/orders/subscribers? Are you thinking of running crowdfunding?)

We are trying to get more sign-ups/subscribers, so we can reach bigger beauty brands and give away more products to our loyal audience. We are quite in an early stage (less than 6 months old), but growing fast.

How are your customers using Beautysavers? Could you share a few different use cases?

Our customers (audience members) are using Beauty Savers to hear about new products, get products for free, and interact with each other. Users share photos of their rewards and heavily engage (over 150 likes and comments per contest post) every week with our social posts.

What made you want to run a referral program? What was your goal?

We ran a referral program to multiply the incentivized traffic we generate with organic shared (referred) growth. The referral traffic has been incredible in its retention as well as its volume.

How did you promote your campaign? How did you get your first participants/referrals?

We utilize social media ads and influencer features.

Did Viral Loops help you with your campaign success? If yes, how?

Yes, the technology was easy to set up, embed in our website with our own branding, and it's affordable.

Do you generate sales from word of mouth and referrals? If so, can you describe how? Can you share with us some results/metrics of your Viral Loops campaign? How did it perform so far?

We don’t sell anything, so the traffic generated by Viral-Loops is clear in the dashboard data.

BeautySavers' Milestone Referral Campaign

First things, first.

If you want to build your own Milestone referral campaign, all you have to do is to sign up for Viral Loops and use our pre-made template inspired by Harry's.

If you find any trouble with the setup, my beautiful voice will guide you through the steps. Just push the play button of the video below:

As in every successful Milestone referral campaign, it all starts with a nicely designed landing page.

Copywriting is also important, and BeautySavers really nailed it!

BeautySavers referral campaign landing page

After signing up, I got redirected to a 'Thank you' page, which prompts users to share their unique referral link in order to win the prizes.

BeautySavers thank you page

At the same time, I received my welcome email that also prompts to share my unique link with my network.

beautysavers welcome email

beautysavers welcome email

In order to test things out, I invited George (I don't think that he is a fan of beauty products, but he was immediately available) to join the referral.

Once he signed up for the campaign, my successful referral count went from 0 to 1 in my Personal Referral Center (as BeautySavers name it).

Also, I received an email informing me about my about my small win.

BeautySavers personal referral center

Beautysavers successful referral email

Beautysavers successful referral email

And really, that's it!

Simple, yet effective.

I will see you very soon with another interesting case, so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter in order for you to get it first!

Keep being awesome 😎

December 18, 2018 - No Comments!

You want to boost your Christmas sales. Read this.

It’s almost Christmas!

I had to write this article because everybody does the same; and God, I hate doing the same.

So why am I doing it?

Because I was being too selfish to actually understand that there are people out there looking for solutions.

So, not writing this article, would mean that I would be killing the Christmas spirit.

I don’t want to be that person.

Here’s how to boost your Christmas sales with Referral Marketing.

If you’re not familiar with Referral Marketing, you can learn literally anything about it on our blog.

More specifically, I propose to start from these:

Listen, I will make this as short as possible. You have a lot to do these days.

Here are the 2 most viable options (in terms of referral campaign’s type):

  1. You can build an ambassador program.
  2. You can do a giveaway.

I’m here to help you find the best option for your case.

Ambassador program.

What is an Ambassador program?

The concept is simple: You repeatedly reward people for bringing more people to buy from you.

I know it doesn’t sound so good, but it’s the blunt truth. 😂

How could it work for you?

You can offer discounts or gifts, in exchange for referrals. The difference with a simple referral marketing campaign is that these rewards are tiered.

In other words, you give people goals to reach.

E.g.

Refer 1 friend= Get 10% discount for next purchase.

Refer 3 friends= Get 20% discount for next purchase.

Refer 5 friends= Get 40% discount for next purchase.

You also have the option to offer physical products as rewards, gift cards, discounts in monetary value, etc.

Does it work?

It worked for Unicorn Snot like a charm.

Even though they used an Ambassador Program for their pre-launch campaign, their end goal was to drive sales.

That’s why most of the rewards they offered were tightly connected with purchases, as you can see in the screenshot below:

boost your Christmas sales

Let’s see some numbers, shall we?

  • 48% of signups shared their referral link. (Referral-to-Participants).
  • 7 out of 10 signups came from referrals.
  • 3 people signed up for every 2 social shares.
  • CTR of 2.7% and a CPC of $0.10, on Facebook.
  • 46% of Twitter shares resulted in a referral.
  • 25% of Facebook shares resulted in a referral, with 3X more total shares than all the other channels.

What should you pay attention too?

Even though some clients and products are more difficult to promote than others, and starting with a high-demand product, there are 4 things you should keep your eyes on:

  • Pick your incentives carefully.
  • The rewards you offer can make or break your campaign.
  • Craft your copywriting carefully.
  • Your campaign’s K Factor.

Do you want to build an Ambassador program to boost your Holiday sales?

You can use our Milestone referral template to implement your idea, and turn it into a living mechanism.
The installation of this template is really simple, and you can read everything on how to do it in our documentation.

Now, if you are more into watching videos than reading, we also got your back.
I made a video about it, showing the process step by step:

Also, if your own a Shopify store, you can connect with Viral Loops for Shopify, and run an Ambassador Program.

Giveaways.

Everybody does it.

But, is it worth?

‘Depends’, I’ll say; If you’re selling furniture, the 20K contacts you got in exchange for an iPhone will not be of much use.

You have to give away something that is part of what you do.

How could it work for you?

Since you decide that you’re going to run a Giveaway, you have 2 options for the implementation:

  1. Run a Leaderboard Giveaway.
  2. Run a Tempting Giveaway.

What’s the difference between them?

The Leaderboard giveaway feels like a game. People who enter, start ranking on a leaderboard.

The more referrals they bring, the higher they climb in ranking. You can choose how many of the top referrers will be rewarded, and the kind of prize they’ll win (if you have more than one to give away).

boost your Christmas sales

The Tempting Giveaway, on the other hand, offers a simpler mechanism for your giveaway.

Your visitors will enter the contest, and by referring their friends they get more chances to actually win.

E.g.

You give visitors one participation for getting into the contest, and 3 more for every friend they refer.

boost your Christmas sales

Does it work?

You have to be creative. You have to think outside the box, and I know it sounds cliche as hell.

But Jet did it.

They made a leaderboard giveaway for their pre-launch campaign, but they didn’t offer simple gifts. Instead, they decided to reward the top referrers with company shares.

boost your Christmas sales

A guy spent $18K to win the contest; he won.

Do you understand the impact of something like that?

boost your Christmas sales

What should you pay attention too?

The rewards are what makes or breaks your giveaway but here are a few other points:

  • Your rewards should be closely related to your company or what you’re selling.
  • Be creative & think outside the box with your rewards.
  • Communicate clearly what people need to in order to win. Simple copywriting is the best copywriting.
  • Don’t be afraid to boost your campaign with ads. Giveaways are time-sensitive and you need that momentum.

A soon-to-be, available alternative.

You get inside a train. It’s half full and people are scattered trying to kill time in every corner. Now count how many stare at their smartphones’ screens.

We are constantly consuming information. We are also taking a lot of photos; but most importantly, we are texting.

A lot.

Question:

What do you check more often, your email or your messenger inbox?

Companies that develop Messenger bots, know the answer. There was a big hype around Messenger bots.

We like them. We use one.

Wouldn’t it be cool to run a giveaway through Messenger?

Let that sink in!

Basically, you don’t have to. Soon we will make it available for you to use.

You can subscribe for the pre-launch now!

You can run a tempting giveaway via Messenger. Ain’t that great?

Consider your subscription, and what you are going to see, as a small glimpse of what you can do with this Messenger Giveaway.

Before you go.

I know you want to boost your Christmas sales. I gave you some viable solutions.

It will be difficult and it can get frustrating, but work is just work. Christmas time is about friends and family.

How much are they worth?

 

September 28, 2018 - No Comments!

How to promote your Viral Loops affiliate link

Before I proceed with giving you my tips for promoting your Viral Loops affiliate link, I feel the urge to thank you for being part of our community.

This affiliate program became a reality due to a bunch of amazing people promoting our product on their blogs, YouTube channel, or social media accounts.

In case you haven’t already, join our affiliate program.

It’s very important for us to reward every single one of you that contribute to our company’s growth.

Thank you!

Now, let’s cut right to the chase.

You just received your Viral Loops affiliate link; now what?

You have to start promoting it. Looking at the greater scheme of things, you have 2 options for promoting:

  1. Free promotion.
  2. Paid promotion.

Remember that there is no right or wrong approach to this. You don’t have to go with only one of the 2 options.

The best practice is to put both into play.

Let’s see which are the best free promotion strategies for your Viral Loops affiliate link:

  • Blogging.
  • Vlogging.
  • Social Media.
    • Facebook.
    • Instagram.
    • Pinterest.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend some money to promote your affiliate link you can use:

  • Google Ads.
  • Facebook ads.
  • Native ads on blogs.

If you’re willing to use both paid and free strategies, you have to treat your promotions as an ecosystem.

That means that each particle of your ecosystem should reinforce another particle.

Viral Loops affiliates media kit

Before we dive deeper into each strategy, there’s something that you should always keep in mind:

When you’re posting your Viral Loops affiliate link (or any other affiliate link), you should let people know that it is an affiliate link.

Being open about this builds trust with people. Your goal should be to get them to buy through your link because they want to support you.

In addition, you have to keep in mind that our affiliate program doesn’t follow the “one-time commision” logic.

That means that you’re not going to just get paid when you bring a new customer to us; Instead, you’ll get a 30% recurring commision, for as long as those customers use Viral Loops.

So, you should not only look for ways that will bring you affiliate sales but also find ways to retain users in Viral Loops.

The more they stay, the more you make.

Let’s do it!

Free promotion strategies.

If you don’t want to spend any kind of money in promoting your affiliate link, content creation is the way to go.

Before I tell you about platforms, let’s see what kind of topics you can pick to craft your content:

  • Product comparison.
  • Marketing tools lists.
  • Tutorials.
  • Case studies.

As you probably know, Viral Loops is a referral marketing platform. That means, that the keyword “referral marketing”, is a low-hanging fruit for you.

However, referral marketing is a traction channel. That means it could be part of a bigger marketing strategy.

That means that you can craft content about how to market a specific product or service, and include referral marketing as part of the strategy.

I will not get into how you can conduct a keyword research in this document, as it would take ages. If you’re interested, Brian Dean wrote the best guide about it!

In a recent post, I wrote a bit on how you can use Pinterest as a keyword research tool in order to craft content for Pinterest.

  1. Click the link below.
  2. Press “Ctrl+F”
  3. Search for ”My gf hates Pinterest”
  4. Follow the process written.

Drive a tsunami of traffic to your Shopify store.

Remember!

You should craft content that will both bring affiliate sales, but also retain your affiliate user in Viral Loops.

OK; now that you have an idea on how you can get started with what your content will be about, I will give you a short framework on how to distribute that content. Ready?

  1. Compile your content in a very informative blog post and publish it.
  2. Use the blog post to write the script for a YouTube video.
  3. Shoot the video and publish it with your affiliate link in the description.
  4. Embed the video inside the original post.
  5. Add a link to your post in the description of the Youtube video (some people prefer to see things written).

By now, you’ll have 2 formats for the same topic. Now it’s time for further distribution.

Here are some popular options:

  • Email newsletter.
  • Facebook groups.
  • Instagram stories.
  • Pinterest.
  • Communities.

Email newsletter.

I always find that email subscribers are the most loyal subscribers to have and the harder to retain.

If you’re using email newsletters as a distribution channel, you already know what you have to do.

If not, start considering using it to send your new blog posts/video to your subscribers.

Facebook groups.

Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm is not really friendly for promoting content (unless you’re willing to pay). That’s the main reason that pushed a lot of people into Facebook groups.

In order to sell something, you first have to identify who your prospects are. If you do so, it will be easy for you to find relevant Facebook groups.

Now you have to:

  1. Join a group.
  2. Start engaging with other people’s content (mostly by commenting)
  3. Take your original post and edit it in order to fit the layout of a Facebook post.
  4. Add your video to the post.

Instagram Stories

When Instagram ripped-off Snapchat’s feature, I got furious. Soon I started using it myself.

Instagram’s main algorithm follows the steps of Facebook, but stories are a great way to get engagement.

Here’s what you can do to promote your affiliate link with Instagram stories.

  1. Put your affiliate link on your Instagram bio.
  2. Create a series of stories based on your original post.
  3. Use one of the visuals provided by us, as your last story (prompting people to follow the link in your bio or swipe up).
  4. Save the series of stories in your Highlighted stories in order to keep them for more than 24 hours.

Pinterest.

Pinterest is a visual-oriented platform. That means that you need to make a great image for your post.

Your priority should be to rank as high as possible for your desired keyword in Pinterest search results.

Make sure that:

  1. Your post and description included the right keywords.
  2. You visual is stunning.

In order to rank, your pin will need engagement, which translates into “Saves” and comments.

Communities.

Most people just go and post their work in some communities, expect to get tons of traffic, eventually get 0 traction, and then say that communities are not worth it.

They are called communities for a reason. These are places where similar-minded individuals exchange value and opinions through conversation.

If you want to do great in communities, you first have to be part of the community. That takes time.

The next time someone tells you that communities suck for distributing content, tell them that you find their lack of patience and commitment, disturbing.

Paid promotion strategies.

Personally, I don’t like ads. It’s like renting space.

Owning assets is evergreen.

But algorithms are made by companies; companies need to make money.

Since you are into crafting content, your paid advertising strategy should revolve around promoting this content.

You can do it using Google ads, or Facebook ads and Facebook retargeting ads.

I’m by no means a paid advertising expert, but if you’re interested, make sure to read the following blogs:

Viral Loops affiliates media kit

Before you go.

Once again, thank you for being part of our community!

We wish you the best of luck with your Viral Loops affiliate link promotion.

In case you create a piece of content that you think we’d like, don’t hesitate to contact us. We may even help you with its promotion.

Keep being awesome,

September 18, 2018 - No Comments!

Keyword research for ecommerce made simple

The battle of search engine rankings.

A never-ending story, right?

The fact that you clicked the link that got you in this article, means that you already know why you need SEO to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.

BTW if you're more into watching videos than reading an article, we also made a step-by-step video, that includes all the things you're going to read below.

You know that you need to rank as high as possible in order to grab the maximum amount of clicks, increasing your chances to make more sales.

Ecommerce SEO is difficult and there’s a lot you need to do right to make your website stand out in Google’s search results, as Matthew Woodward states in his Ultimate Guide to SEO.

As you probably know, keywords are one of the cornerstones of search engine optimization for an ecommerce store as it’s closely related with the search queries that your customers use in order to discover new products.

In this article, I’ll give you a top-to-bottom approach to ecommerce SEO, from ranking and keyword factors to conducting a smart keyword research using free and paid tools.

If you want, you can jump straight to the Keyword research for ecommerce part.

Fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause we’re about to start.

How do search engines rank your ecommerce store?

There is much speculation as to the how a search engine- like Google, ranks an ecommerce store.

But we don’t really like to work based on speculation, don’t we?

Let’s see what we know for sure. There are 4 known ranking factors:

  1. Domain authority.
  2. Product page structure.
  3. Site architecture.
  4. URL structure.

Domain authority.

In very few words, domain authority is kinda of a credibility score for your ecommerce store. The higher your credibility, the easier to rank in search results.

To translate it in real life, ask yourself a question:

"What movie would you pay to watch in the cinema, without reading anything about it?"

  1. A Stanley Kubrick film (r.i.p. you genius).
  2. The debut feature film of a new director.

Authority drives attention.

But domain authority has nothing to do with keywords- at least not directly. It’s something you build over time and you need patience, a lot of great content, and even more people linking to that content.

Product page structure.

Now we’re talking.

Your product pages do not only contribute to converting visitors into customers, but they are also a great place to incorporate your keywords in your game.

Let’s see some places on a product’s page where your keywords might fit:

  • Product page title.
  • Product description.
  • Product image alt-tags.

There are many reasons that products on Amazon rank so high in search engine results, and the product page structure is one of them.

Let’s have a look:

amazon's product page

As you can see, the product’s title is optimized for more than 1 keyword. In this specific example we have keywords like:

  • Bedside Hanging Storage.
  • Organizer with Laptop Space.
  • Dorm Room Essentials.

In the description, the seller goes beyond keywords and provides the essential info about the product, such as the color, material, amount of storage space, durability, etc.

In addition, there are rich snippets for rating the item and reviews. Those things, apart from improving the shopping experience, also help search engines to rank the product itself.

The number of photos also provide an excellent opportunity to use your keywords. The more photos of a product with keywords incorporated, the more chances you have to appear on the image search result.

ecommerce keyword research

If you’re interested to learn more about product page SEO, Search Engine Journal has an amazing article on their blog.

Site architecture & URL structure.

This sounds more complicated than it actually is.

To put it simply, your site’s ecommerce site’s architecture and URL structure is the way that visitors and search engines navigate through your store, respectively.

Let’s see the basic elements of an ecommerce site’s architecture. You have:

  1. Main menu.
  2. Secondary menus.
  3. Search bar.
  4. Homepage functions.

Asos is one of my favorite place to buy clothing online, and their site’s architecture is epic.

This is how their homepage, for men’s clothing, looks like:

keyword research for ecommerce

And this is how one of their secondary menus, looks like:

ecommerce keyword research

The menus of your ecommerce store offer an opportunity to use your main keywords in order to navigate visitors deeper in your store.

The further down your visitors go, the more long-tail your keywords can get.

“But what do those things have to do with the way that a search engine ranks my products?”

That’s where your URL structure comes into play.

You see, you should structure your URLs using a logical approach. Most of the times, your site’s architecture will be your best mate.

e.g.

If you choose in Asos’ secondary menu that you’re looking for men’s loungewear, this is what the URL looks like:

you choose in Asos’ secondary menu that you’re looking for men’s loungewear, this is what the URL looks like:

The main category is “men”, and the secondary category is “loungewear”, and they made sure to include this information in their link.

If you want to learn more about the SEO aspect of site architecture, make sure to check these amazing sources:

What makes a keyword great for your ecommerce store?

Is there something like a bad or a good keyword?

NO.

Instead of thinking in terms of good/bad, you should think in terms of right/wrong.

So, how do you identify the right kind of keywords, and how do you get rid of the wrong ones?

These are some keyword factors that you should definitely keep an eye on:

  1. Search volume.
  2. Buyer intent.
  3. Relevance.
  4. Competition.

The search volume of a keyword is pretty much what the name gives away; it expresses how many times, each month, are searching for the particular keyword.

The more people search for a keyword, the more the potential traffic you might get from a search.

You should keep in mind that keywords with a high search volume are more difficult to rank for, as the competition for such keywords is usually bigger.

You might notice that if you start building longer keywords, the search volume will decrease. That’s not essentially bad, as long-tail keywords are easier to rank for and they have a 2.5X bigger ROI than head keywords.

Building keywords based on the buyer intent affects the way that you target your potential customers. Instead of focusing on how many people are searching for a specific product, you are searching for keywords that have to do with the stage that a customer is on their journey towards a purchase.

For example, let’s say that you are trying to sell a Sony a6300 mirrorless camera. This particular piece of photography equipment comes in a very friendly price (considering its capabilities), which makes it a great choice for someone that’s on a budget.

So you could target the following long-tail keywords:

  • “best cameras under $1000”
  • “Best mirrorless cameras on a budget”

Of course you can’t target those keywords directly for your product, but you can craft content that answers your potential customers’ question and try to make an indirect sale.

If you want to learn more about keywords based on buyer intent, there are some amazing articles about it:

If your intention is to build keywords for specific product pages, you should do it based on keyword relevance.

In other words, you should search for keywords that are closely related to the product you are trying to sell, and optimize the products page for those keywords.

According to Pearanalytics, some of the best places to put your keywords are:

  1. URL
  2. H1 tag
  3. Meta description
  4. Title tag
  5. Body content
  6. Bold or italicized
  7. Alt tags or image filenames

How to really conduct a keyword research for your ecommerce store.

Since we covered the basics of SEO and how keywords work for ecommerce stores, it’s time to take a look at how you can find those precious keywords.

Instead of just showing you which tools you might use to do so, I wanted to craft a workflow for you.

I’m gonna give you an approach that’s both smart and time efficient.

I also made a step-by-step video, that includes all the things you're going to read below:

Shall we begin?

Step 1: Make friends with Google Trends.

Even though Google Trends is by no means a real keyword research tool, it has one amazing ability:

It allows you to see how people are talking about whatever it is that you want to sell.

You can say one thing in a million ways, but your target audience seems to always prefer a specific choice of words.

Let’s see how this works.

First, open Google Trends. Now it’s time to search for the product you want to sell.

For the sake of the example, let’s say that we are trying to sell “hemp oil”.

The results come with an Interest over time diagram. I like to see how’s the term performing in the last 5 years.

I like to see how’s the term performing in the last 5 years.

As you can see, the term “hemp oil” is rising in popularity- which is a very good thing, but the magic happens when you start comparing it to other terms.

Let’s try “CBD oil”.

keyword research for ecommerce

Wait, what?

“CBD oil” is murdering “hemp oil” when it comes to interest. That means that “CBD oil” is the best option you have in order to ride the wave.

Now if you scroll down a bit, you’ll be introduced to some other results.

You have interest by region, related topics, and related queries. The 2 latter are the ones that really interest us.

keyword research for ecommerce

In the related topics, the “Anxiety-Emotional disorder” thing really caught my eye. Let’s keep it.

The related queries are of even bigger interest, as they can serve as the basis of our longer keywords.

Download both the ‘Related Topics’ and ‘Related Queries’; we’ll need them later.

Step 2: How do people present products on Amazon?

Similar to Google Trends, Amazon serves the opportunity to get insight on how others speak about products- whether they want to buy, or sell them.

Open a tab on your browser and go to Amazon. Skip every purchase temptation that you may feel and enter “CBD oil” in the search bar.

The results are rather interesting.

keyword research for ecommerce

It seems like people like to sell our product by referring to it as “hemp oil”. But what’s truly interesting is how everyone is pointing out the mental health benefits of the product, in the product’s title.

Remember how “Anxiety-Emotional disorder” was a related topic in Google Trends?

We have a pattern here!

So, whether you choose to call it “CBD” or “Hemp”, you should focus on benefits that your oil has to your customers’ mental health.

Pro Tip: Since you recognize that kind of pattern, you could head to Wikipedia and try to find other keywords or topics related to your pattern.

Keep that in mind when you’re brainstorming your content ideas.

The first 2 steps will give you amazing insight, but it’s time to get real about this keyword research.

By now you have an initial set of keywords and topics. I could put those keywords into Google’s Keyword Tool, expand my initial list, sort it out by Search Volume/Relevancy/Competition/Commercial Intent and start crafting or optimizing my content.

But I will not do that. Why?

  1. The keyword tool returns 1 result for my 2 main keywords: CBD oil & hemp oil.
  2. Even if it brought more results, the numbers that Google provides for keywords, don’t even touch reality if you’re not running ad campaigns.

That’s the reason I highly recommend- if you’re serious about keyword research, to invest some money in an SEO tool.

My top 3 are:

The last 2 years I’m using Ahrefs for keyword research, and that’s why I’ll use it for this examples. (I don’t have any kind of affiliation to Ahrefs)

Note that you can use ANY tool, as the process is more or less the same:

  1. You open the tool.
  2. You insert the desired keywords.
  3. You export the suggestions.
  4. You sort them out.
  5. You craft or optimize the existing content for your products.

Step 3: Let’s generate some keywords.

Login to your Ahrefs account, go to the Keyword Explorer tab and enter your desired keywords separated with commas.

keyword research for ecommerce

After you’re redirected to the results, scroll down a bit, all the way to the Keyword Ideas section.

keyword research for ecommerce

Do you see those “View all” buttons under each category?

Press them.

You’ll get lists with some pretty amazing suggestions, which you’ll download in order to sort them out later.

Pro Tip: Select to show the results in ascending order for Keyword Difficulty (KD), and filter those result for keywords with a KD>2 and volume>1000.

keyword research for ecommerce

Step 4: I’m sorry, but you have to become a bit sneaky.

Competition is a great thing. It has been a drive, from our ancestors to us, from the dawn of civilization.

Yet, keeping an eye on our competition is considered taboo.

Well, it shouldn't be; because our competitors shape our actions towards the market thus, it shapes the market itself.

Enough with philosophy.

It’s time to find which are the keywords that your competition ranks for, and take them for yourself.

Go to your Ahrefs account and search by using the domain of one of your competitors. The go to the menu on the left sidebar and press the “organic keywords” tab.

keyword research for ecommerce

BOOM!

Another list with keywords. Sort them out by Keyword Difficulty, and export those as well.

Now, let’s take this a step further. On the same left sidebar, press the “Competing domains” tab.

This will open a list with the domains that compete with the domain you entered in your search bar. As you can see in the image below, the results we get are separated into 4 segments:

  1. Keywords unique to target.
  2. Common keywords.
  3. Common keywords %
  4. Keywords unique to competitor.

keyword research for ecommerce

Since we want to expand our keyword list with even more keywords, you should focus more on domains with a high number of “Keyword unique to competitor”, and a low “Common keywords %”.

That way you ensure that you will get a very “fresh” set of keywords.

Since you identify the domains that fit this profile, go and press the little arrow next to their name, and choose the “organic keywords” tab. This will lead you to the same step as when you started looking at the keywords of your initial competition.

keyword research for ecommerce

keyword research for ecommerce

Sort them out by Keyword Difficulty, and export those as well. From here it rinse and repeat.

You can use the same process for all your competitors.

Step 5: Get organized.

By the time you get to this step, you probably already have tens of thousands of keywords, all existing in different spreadsheets.

It’s time to gather them all in one place.

Open a Google Sheet, and start pasting all the data from your other spreadsheets into this one.

Now, you have to delete the duplicates.

In order to do so, you have to:

  1. Select the cell where you would like the de-duplicated info to begin
  2. Enter the function =UNIQUE(
  3. Select the cells you would like to pull data from
  4. Close the parentheses. Your function should look something like this: =UNIQUE(B:B)

If you don’t feel like messing with functions, there is the Remove Duplicates add-on to keep you out of trouble.

From here, you have to sort your keywords by search volume and keyword difficulty, and start optimizing your content.

Before you go.

I’m confident that by the moment you read these lines, you’ve already started conducting a keyword research for your ecommerce store.

If I’m right, then that’s more than great!

In case you just scrolled down to the bottom of the article- that would make me very sad, I got your back. As I explained above, there are 5 steps for conducting a keyword research for your ecommerce:

  1. Use Google Trends to identify the interest in specific terms that are tied to the product you want to sell.
  2. Use sites like Amazon and Wikipedia to identify patterns related to your products.
  3. Find an SEO tool and build your unique list of keywords.
  4. “Steal” your competition’s keywords.
  5. Sort out your keywords, and start creating content.

I would love to hear your questions, or about the way that you are doing keyword research for ecommerce, so let me know in the comments!

Keep being awesome.