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June 5, 2018 - 4 comments

Virality and the 4 Steps To Design It In Your Product

One of the most promising acquisition channels startups explore - or at least should explore - is virality.

But what does virality mean?

Virality: vʌɪˈralɪti/

noun
the tendency of an image, video, or piece of information to be circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another; the quality or fact of being viral.

Due to the explosion of digital marketing, marketers around the globe started using a new technique that allowed them to implement virality to products or services. Viral Marketing got born.

Viral marketing is scalable. Even if you’re an early stage company, it can help you get high-quality customers with low acquisition costs.

The difficult part you need to figure out, however, is how you can make your customers become your marketers. How one user brings others in.

A lot of people believe that virality happens either by luck or magic. Others think that all you need is a crazy video.

But this is not the case. PPAP (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen) is not what you’re looking for, and won’t get your business too far.

Viral marketing should be the heart of your product.

Virality is a business design problem, not a marketing or engineering effort . — Andrew Chen

Virality Vs. Word Of Mouth

First things first. Virality is not Word Of Mouth. They are closely related and one reinforces the other. But they’re not the same.

Word Of Mouth (WoM) happens when people love so much a product that they can’t stop talking about it. 

There are several ways of making people talk about your business. From offering them a great product and experience to giving them awesome support or asking them to pay $100 for a cheesesteak.

A few weeks ago, Typeform faced a minor issue and two of our forms, including Build Viral Loops in Public did not gather two submissions. We didn’t realize it before they told us so. And they went beyond that. They refunded our subscription for the last month. Wow! ✌️

When they notified us about it (I didn’t even expect that), they also included the exact reason of the issue as stated by their CTO.

Email from Typeform

At that moment, I realized that these guys are truly honest. And their customer support is great.

I immediately forwarded this email to my colleagues mentioning how cool that was and that we should do the same in any similar situation. — online WoM

I keep mentioning this incident in workshops and seminars. — offline WoM

 I also write about it right now, too. — online WoM

Their immediate action of letting us know about the issue without even noticing it, as well as their transparency, made us love Typeform even more. Not just because it is a great product, but also because their team treated us so special.

Typeform, we ❤ you guys! 🤗

Virality, on the other hand, happens when people spread the word about a product or service in the context of using it. 

When I invite someone to talk over Skype, it doesn’t mean I love it. But if I don’t have someone on Skype, I won’t be able to use it at all.

When virality is inherent to a product, the existing users gain value out of taking an action which, in turn, exposes the underlying platform to new users.

So, how can you design your product for viral growth?

Let me show you how we designed and engineered it into our own product.

Understanding what type of viral marketing fits to our product

Viral Loops is an all-in-one viral and referral marketing platform helping startups, professional bloggers and eCommerce stores acquire more customers and increase their revenues through referral programs, giveaways, sweepstakes and prelaunch campaigns.

The first thing we did was to understand the type of virality that could help our product grow while taking into account that we’re a B2B SaaS platform and not Snapchat.

I really like the way Philip La puts it. He categorizes product virality in two main types:

Pull Product Virality (PPV): Product virality where existing users require people in their network to join to gain value out of a feature.

Think of Dropbox, Slack and Facebook. You need to have your friends or colleagues in there, else you just can’t use it.

Distribution Product Virality (DPV): Product virality where existing users spread awareness of a product to their network.

Instagram has leveraged DPV extremely well. The time people post their photos on Instagram, they also share them on Facebook because of social currency.

Josh Elman also explains the different types of virality in one of his latest articles, at Greylock Perspectives.

In our case, we chose to start with DPV, as a marketer or blogger can use our platform without needing to have others in the same network.

How to design your product for viral growth

From the very first time, we knew that virality would be one of our main traction channels. Not only because it is a great channel, but also because if we can’t make it work for our own company, how will our customers?

Our design process was based on the four questions Sangeet Paul Choudarymentions in his book “Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment.

1. Why will the sender send units out of the platform?

This is about finding the right sender incentives.

Our customers use our product to run their campaigns. So, inevitably they want to spread the word about their campaigns as much as they can. This way, they also spread the word about us.

This behavior is similar to when someone creates a Kickstarter campaign. When (s)he promotes his campaign, (s)he also promotes Kickstarter because this is the platform the campaign runs on.

Developer Economics’ Campaign

2. What is the minimum transferable unit on the platform that can move on an external network?

At this point, we needed to come up with our spreadable unit.

We took advantage of the classic marketing tactic “Powered by.” This is used by a lot of platforms out there, including Intercom, Eventbrite, and many others.

Waiting List of Ellp’s Campaign

Our spreadable units are our widgets and emails. We chose the “with ❤ by Viral Loops.” So, we use this badge everywhere. This brings more eyeballs to Viral Loops.

It also made us change our roadmap and come up with more widgets that will help our customers acquire more participants for their campaigns while increasing the virality of our product.

For example, we built a public embeddable leaderboard so our customers can put it on their main website in order to show off their advocates and engage them more.

3. Where will the unit of the platform meet non-users?

And now our external network.

Our customers share their campaign through several distribution channels they use for their marketing activities. So, by sharing the campaign, they share Viral Loops, too.

Viral Loops’ Referral Dashboard

On top of that, the participants of the campaigns (the customers of our customers) invite their friends through the sharing options we offer, including Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Email, and others.

4. Why will a non-user on an external network convert to a user on the platform?

For the last question, we needed to think of the recipient incentives.

This was a bit tricky for us, as we cannot control who participates in the campaigns of our customers. So, we decided to focus on two things that can affect it:

  • Build features so our customers can acquire more users and run very successful campaigns.
  • Provide a stellar experience for the participants of the campaign through our widgets and the whole campaign setup.

This way if one of our target customers participates in a campaign of our users (e.g. a marketer or startup founder) and the experience is unique, then he will be curious to see how this campaign is built. And then, our tiny “ with ❤ by Viral Loops” will lead him to us!

If you believe viral marketing could work for your business, this is the easiest way to design your viral loops and start experimenting. As with every marketing campaign, there are 5 must-watch metrics for your Viral Marketing Campaign:

  1. The Viral Coefficient (K-Factor).
  2. The Participant Conversion Rate.
  3. The Participant Share Rate.
  4. The Invitation Click Through Rate.
  5. The Invitation Conversion Rate.

Have you followed another process? I’d love to hear about it. 😊

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

May 24, 2018 - No Comments!

GDPR and Viral Loops

Disclaimer: This article is not by any means legal advice for your company on how to comply with the GDPR. The goal is to provide background information to help you better understand the regulation.

We propose that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on how you should interpret this information or its accuracy.

We are just a breath away from the 25th of May 2018, when the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. The legislation is set to have a huge impact on how digital companies and marketers get access to, store, distribute and process the personal data from EU citizens.

There are 2 things you should definitely keep in mind about GDPR:

  1. Even if your business is based outside of the EU, gathering, managing or distributing any personal data of EU citizens, means the GDPR applies to you as well.
  2. Potential penalties for failing to comply with the GDPR are purely savage. Depending on the type of violation, companies will be inclined to pay fines of up to €20 million or 4% of their global annual revenue (whichever is greater). That means that you can’t afford to ignore the regulation.

The second point is expected to have a huge impact on the digital landscape as, according to Hubspot, just 36% of marketers have heard of GDPR, while 15% of companies have done nothing, and are at risk of non-compliance.

But is GDPR a bad thing?

Perspective is everything, people. While a tiny bit of madness might occur for the infrastructure that digital companies use, at the same time many of the scammers out there will go out of work.

As a result, end-customers will have the opportunity to browse in a safer environment (and customer satisfaction is KING). This also means that marketers (like me) will have to do a better job in order to gain the right to communicate with people on a regular basis.

GDPR for Referral Marketing, and what it means for Viral Loops.

When participants are joining your campaign, you are getting and processing their personal data, such as their name and email.

To be compliant with GDPR you should have the participant's consent for any marketing activities you are going to use this data for.

Viral Loops allows you to add opt-in options in the campaign widgets so that participants can give their consent when they join the campaign.

The marketing-consents block can be added at the bottom of the Form Widget, Viral Loops Popup and In-app Referral widget at the participation state, before the participant joins the campaign.
It consists of a description text, the marketing consent options, and some complementary legal text.

To set up these options go to your Settings from the Profile drop-down at the top right of your screen.

Capturing consent

To start capturing consent go to your Campaign Wizard and edit the relevant widget (Form Widget, Viral Loops Popup and In-app Referral Widget) to enable the GDPR fields.

The widget will display the description, consent options and legal texts you set-up earlier.
When participants are joining the campaign, their choices will be getting logged so that you know what each participant has opted-in to.

Documenting consent

The marketing consent choices of your campaign participants are available in the CSV export of your campaign and you will also be able to see them in your Campaign Dashboard and MailChimp and Mailjet integrations around the beginning of June 2018.

Here’s a condensed version of our GDPR Roadmap and where we are on our journey:

  • Research how the GDPR impacts our product and business, and implement the required changes to our internal processes required to achieve and maintain compliance with the regulation - COMPLETE
  • Rewrite our Data Protection Agreement - COMPLETE
  • Perform the necessary changes/improvements to our product based on the requirements:
    • Giving control to our users over the marketing activities they opt-in - COMPLETE
    • New GDPR fields to capture consent from campaign participants - COMPLETE
    • Consent options provided by campaign participants available in the participant list export - COMPLETE
    • Deletion: A user has the right to request that we delete all of their personal data. Users who wish to inquire about the right to be forgotten will be able to reach out to us at any time.- COMPLETE
    • Access / Portability: A user can request access to a copy of the personal data that we have collected. Users who wish to request portability can reach out to us at any time.- COMPLETE
    • Consent options provided by campaign participants visible in the Campaign Dashboard - IN PROGRESS
  • Add a cookie notice to all marketing pages and blogs in order to comply with the E-Privacy Directive.- COMPLETE
  • Finalize and communicate our full compliance (this is what this blog post is about) - COMPLETE

Note that we are in constant motion in order to improve our existing features, or provide new solutions that will help you to run GDPR compliant campaigns in an easier manner.

What do Viral Loops Customers need to do?

There are two things that you might need to do depending on your situation. Below are the only impactful changes that we can foresee that might affect you as a result of using Viral Loops:

  1. Make sure your Terms of Service or Privacy Policy properly communicate to your users how you are using Viral Loops (and any other similar services) on your website or app. In any different situation, but the GDPR may heavily penalize you.
    We recommend you make sure your policies are up to date and clear to your readers.
  2. If you need to get marketing permissions from your campaign participants, enable and set the marketing consent options you want to ask them when they join your campaign.
    If a participant requests to be removed from your campaign you can delete them from your Campaign Dashboard. Participant data requests can be forwarded to Viral Loops for processing.
  3. If you are in the European Union you might want to sign a Data Processing Agreement with Viral Loops. We’re happy to do so upon request at privacy@viral-loops.comWe will countersign it and provide you with a fully executed downloadable copy via email within a few business days. If you have any questions about its contents simply email us at privacy@viral-loops.com

Keep being awesome 😎

April 26, 2018 - No Comments!

How to get started with Viral Loops

Hey everyone! This is Savvas, CEO of Viral Loops 🙂

This is a starter's guide for Viral Loops. If you don't want to read the entire article, feel free to check the video we created for you: 👇 

Why we created Viral Loops and why you need referral marketing.

Word of mouth is responsible for up to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
According to research, it’s 10x more effective than traditional advertising.

That’s why we created Viral Loops—a referral-marketing platform that helps you capture new customers and grow your businesses.

Here’s the deal: Your success is the basis of our success.

That’s why we decided to focus on the things that can make or break a referral-marketing campaign and show you exactly, step-by-step, how to make it successful.

For starters, Viral Loops is a template-based platform, meaning that you can choose one of our templates inspired by successful referral campaigns, and customize it according to your needs.

After studying data from thousands of campaigns, we saw that one of the most significant key factors in getting the most from your referral campaigns is to choose the right template.

Currently, we offer multiple campaign templates.

From referral campaigns and ambassador programs inspired by companies like Dropbox and Harry’s - to prelaunch campaigns and giveaways inspired by Robinhood and Jet.

If you don’t know what the best template is for you, don’t worry! 🙂 When you’re ready to build your campaign, our app will guide you through all the possibilities - and you can select the right template in no time at all.

It’s easy and effective.

Caution: Before selecting your template, make sure it’s supported by your platform. The following diagram will make your life much easier.

Our Referral Templates

The Milestone Referral

Inspired by Harry’s and the Hustle

You might have heard how Harry’s gathered 100,000 emails in one week pre-launch:

They created a referral pre-launch program where a single referrer could invite up to 50 friends in order to unlock different prizes, as she refers more friends and reaches milestones.

This adds a gamification concept to the referral program that seems to work pretty well with millennials.

With this template the rewards could be anything that you already sell in case of an e-shop or any other kind of swags that have nothing to do with the service you provide like the Hustle did; or even just a title, such as official ambassador or superfan of your product/company.

The e-Commerce Referral

Inspired by Gilt

 

Designed with e-Commerce stores in mind, this template offers easy integration with leading e-commerce platforms, such as WooCommerce and Drupal Commerce.

You can see how it looks live. 

Invitee follows a referral link back to your store so that can get a coupon code for a discount towards their first purchase.

When they purchase, their referrer also gets a coupon for their next purchase. Simple as that!

Refer a Friend template

Inspired by Dropbox

We all know what Dropbox is doing with their referral program: When an invitee signs up, both the referrer and the invitee will get 500MB of free space in Dropbox.

You could now set a referral program that tracks sign ups and just pick a different reward.

Our giveaway templates:

We have created two types of campaigns for competitions:

  1. The Leaderboard Giveaway
  2. The Tempting Giveaway

The biggest difference between the two of them is that in The Leaderboard Giveaway the winners will be the ones who have brought the most successful referrals compared to the rest of the participants (so, this is a ranking), whereas on The Tempting Giveaway that is inspired by Mailchimp the winners will be picked up randomly, since this is a sweepstake.

Of course, the more successful referrals a participant has the more chances she has to be the winner, but in this template, one can be the winner even with just one entry.

Here's a live example of The Leaderboard Giveaway

For one of our biggest customers, Vision Mobile, who actually requested a user dashboard instead of the default pop-up option, we created a web page.

This comes with an extra cost and includes all the data that are part of the participant’s pop up in this template plus the images that a superfan/influencer could add to his page/blog in order to provide his personal URL created via Viral Loops.

Another example of The Tempting Giveaway could be found on our campaign Viral Loops/t-shirt, where the pop-up default option is used: https://viral-loops.com/t-shirt

Viral Loops recognizes if the visitor is also a participant of this campaign and shows the corresponding message.

Our pre-launch campaigns:

With these campaigns, we could help you find early adopters, that will become the first customers right after you launch and could help you a lot with their valuable feedback since day one!

You could either use the simplest concept of our Start-up Pre-launch template inspired by Robinhood, or request access to our Private Beta template, that is inspired by Monzo and provides you with a coupon system that you could use to gradually give access for your new online product to the participants.

The Wizard

Create and run efficient viral & referral campaigns in a few clicks.

As soon as you know what’s the right template for you, it’s time to build your campaign.

Step 1: Info

You will have to put details about the campaign and your platform like the name of your product, name of the campaign, URL and how many users you have (we’ll use this to calculate user growth).

Step 2: Rewards

This is probably the most important step of the wizard. Here you choose the reward that users will get when they refer friends.

The reward can be physical, digital or monetary. If it’s monetary you have to click this trigger. Below the reward section, we have the notifications, you can toggle them on or off and also edit them as you like.

Step 3: Widgets

Your users should have a referral dashboard like Dropbox has or like any product that uses a referral program. So here, we let you choose the widgets you want to show and also we let you customize them to match your brand. The most popular is the Sharing Widget.

Step 4: Installation

This step provides some technical info. If you’re familiar with that, then go ahead, but you could ping us anytime for help. If you’re not into that, just hit the “Help me” button and we’ll be more

If you’re not into that, just hit the “Help me” button and we’ll be more than happy to help you install it. Remember the goal is to create the easier way to launch referral programs, we need your help with that.

When you’re finished with setting up your campaign, you can install it on your website using our code snippet (or handy tool or plugins) - or use our API for more complex implementations.

Another powerful feature we have is Viral Loops Pages.

This is something we created for companies which don’t have a website - or don’t have time to a build a new landing page to host their campaign.

Viral Loops Pages allows you to build a landing page directly into your campaign.

Once you’re done, click finish and you’re ready to go.

The Campaigns' Dashboard

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

This is the “My campaigns” section, here you’ll find important information about your active, draft, or expired campaigns. From here, you can go to your campaign’s dashboard or even edit it, if you want to change something.

In the dashboard, you could find analytics for your live campaign, such as successful referrals, shares and see the pending rewards to manually manage winners.

Regarding the installation, we give you the chance to try it even on your local server. This will help you test our widget without being live, ensuring that everything will look exactly how you want them to.

Conclusion

I guess that now, you know everything you need to know in order to start your campaign. As a team, we can only perceive our product being a success when our users get the amount of leads they deserve.

Make sure to pick a template that suits your needs and can work with your platform. I would propose to be super careful with your copywriting (it can have a huge impact on your campaign’s performance) and use creatives that will stick to the eye.

We are here to answer all of your questions ASAP, so don’t hesitate to ask.

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

January 23, 2018 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Product Update: What’s New From January

Hey there, friends! 🖖

This is our first product update in 2018!

Time to know what happened in Viral Loops during the last couple of months. 😁

We’ re announcing new features, major upgrades and also minor bug fixes and UI improvements.

So, here's what's new:

💳 Support for 6-month plans

Referral Marketing is a long game. 🏎️

That’s why we decided to give the opportunity to our customers to run their campaigns for extended periods while paying 20% less than they would have paid if they used one of our monthly plans.

So, let us know what you think of our new prices.

👩‍🎓 Growth Hacking University partnership

Would you like to learn more about referral marketing? Or are you looking for some inspiration?

One chapter from Growth Hacking University is now available for you in your Viral Loops account.

Υou can access the rest of the course FOR FREE if you’re a Plus/Power plan user (or at 40% off, if you’re in trial or on the Startup/Growing plans).

⌨️ Custom CSS

You asked for it and we delivered.

We eavesdropped your public conversations about our widgets, and we now know how important it is for you to completely customize your Viral Loops widgets and get them to match your branding.

From now on, you can add custom CSS on each widget and change its look and feel.

You can find this option when editing each widget inside our wizard:


For now, you can change the widgets for each of the following templates:

- Refer a Friend
- The Milestone Referral
- Online to Offline
- The e-Commerce Referral

📱 Easily share referral link on every device

By the time you’re reading these lines, copying your unique link is easy, regardless the device, or platform, your participants use.

Let the participants flow. 😎

💌 Fixed issue with font weight and style in campaign emails

Some users reported that bold or italic text couldn’t be applied to their campaign emails. We identified & fixed the issue so you can now go ahead and format your email the way you want to.

More customization options coming soon! 😉

🔧 Better CSV export for big campaigns

For campaigns with tens of thousands of participants, the CSV export is optimized in a way that our system can support super viral campaigns! 😱

📤 Test emails “From” address

Last October we allowed you to use your own custom outbound email address for the campaign emails.

Test emails sent from your campaigns, however, were sent from hello@viral-loops.com.

This is fixed it, so now your test emails can also be sent from your own custom outbound email address.

 

Dimitris, our Product Lead, is explaining all the new Product Updates here 👇

That's all from us. 💪

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

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

December 1, 2017 - No Comments!

What are the best growth hacks for B2B startups?

Some challenges you may find when you start your business, how to make search engine optimization work for you, how to generate leads, how to develop your brand awareness in a way that will increase awareness and many more challenges.

I put together a list for you, after a lot of experiments and obstacles we ‘ve been through with Viral Loops.

So, here we go:

1. Add your content into newsletters from other editors/companies/influencers

What are the best growth hacks for B2B startups?

A great way to promote your business is via existing newsletters. When you publish a new post, find some editors of newsletters that fit your industry in order to promote your business.

Another way to do this is by getting in touch with companies that have already a user base of emails that matches your industry. (Be away from competitors)

2. You can run a referral program in which the attribution happens when the invitee becomes a paid customer

For Viral Loops - yes, it’s a viral and referral marketing platform - we have 2 referral marketing templates for this.

The Referral Program, inspired by dropbox in which you can reward people when their friends sign up.

What are the best growth hacks for B2B startups?

The other one is the Milestone Referral Program inspired by Harry’s and The Hustle, which is based on the concept of milestones.

What are the best growth hacks for B2B startups?

When you reach a specific milestone, say got 4 or 10 friends, you get something. If you don’t catch that, you don’t get anything.

3. Retargeting

Some of your page/blog visitors, will leave without understanding your product. You should bring them back by using google ads, facebook ads etc.

If you know your post that will make a lot of traffic, your custom ads propably will convert better.

Create a post about a topic you want for your campaign and then, retarget its visitors.

4. Launch some free tools/features from your product in order to get leads from the traffic

What are the best growth hacks for B2B startups?

Search your product for any feature that is probably easy to promote.

Try to find a feature that can stand by itself.

Go for it and promote it!

After some days, you will see that a lot of visitors will continue to explore your main product.

This is a good tactic to reactivate users who have forgotten you. Just send a product update email and you’ll see them come back.

5. User Experience

Your product should be easy on technical and non-technical people to handle.

A good user experience will make people use your product, be happy with your product and finally share your product.

If the users talk/chat about your product in their everyday life, there is a big change that they will convert others into paid customers.

6. Free Trials

What are the best growth hacks for B2B startups?

This tactic is a must-do in B2B businesses because these products are often expensive.

With a free trial, you are showing the user the value she will receive from using it.

It makes it easier to sell your product after a free trial period because it makes you look more trustworthy.

Which of these tips would work best for you? Try them and find it out!

In the end of the day, probably a lot of the tips I gave you will help your business make its existing trial users into paid customers.

Hope it helps! 🙌

November 17, 2017 - No Comments!

Why does some content go viral on the internet?

Hey there,

Spend only one minute on your Facebook feed and you’ll see tons of new posts, images, videos and stories.

Some of these you’ll see them again and again in all over the internet.

Nevertheless, the question remains the same;

“Why does some content go viral and others don’t?”

A year ago, we kicked off Viral Loops and we’ve been through a lot of case studies and came across a lot of people who were marketing masterminds and growth hackers.

You can’t predict what will go viral, but you can measure the performance of every action that you do. See what went right and what went wrong.

Once you find your process on making things go viral then everything is simple.

However, how is it possible to find this process?

Can you remember a blog post or a story that performed better than any of your posts?

Just focus on what you did for this piece of content, try to remember some key actions you were doing back then, that made your piece of content excel.

At the end of every new post you should ask yourself; Will someone find this interesting? Will someone share this? Will this post give value to people? Will this post excite anyone?

Υour content should awaken emotions and attract attention of influencers, that’s how you will get lot of shares.

The truth is, there is not one secret formula that you must follow in your content while writing or editing.

It’s all about the process.

Test, learn, repeat.

You should try out different things every day, try to change your content like you do with a puzzle:

Why does some content go viral on the internet?

  • Add a clever headline.
  • Use short paragraphs.
  • Use short sentences.
  • Skip unnecessary words.
  • Write it like you tell it to someone.
  • Use your experiences to explain things.
  • Address your web visitors directly | use the word “you”
  • Videos up to 5mins max.
  • Having a nice logo and a remarkable branding.
  • Use your own unique background music (created by a friend if you don’t know how).
  • Have an intro and outro less than 10 seconds.
  • Use keywords in your content related to trends and several events.
  • Use some humor into content.
  • Add pictures and videos in your content.

Things like that, possibly will help you create your best content.

Nevertheless, they don’t guarantee you any success if you share your content in wrong channels.

You should start testing the channels you want to target.

The only tip that I have to share with you, is that your post or story should be something that people will share, something that a reader want to send to his/her teammates or friends and this will happen if you find channels where your audience lives.

You should share your content on several channels and groups in order to find your appropriate social networks like:

  • Facebook profile or Facebook groups
  • Instagram
  • Medium
  • Quora
  • Tumblr
  • GrowthHackers
  • Youtube
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit

Why does some content go viral on the internet?

Another important thing is that you should try to create content based on recent trends and events or anniversaries e.g. like Christmas

or the launch of the new Stranger Things season.

Promote your content on the right channels and don’t stop testing if you don’t find a strategy and a flow that works for you.

Be patient by building up your community little by little.

Remember everyone had 1 follower at some point.


November 15, 2017 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Product Update: What’s New From October

Hey everyone, 👋

Yes, this is what you think it is. 😉

It's important to know what's going on with Viral Loops and give us your feedback.

So, like we did in the past, we will announce, once or twice a month, new features, major improvements and also minor bug fixes and UI improvements.

So, here's what's new for this month:

😱 Viral Loops Pages

What’s this?

A ready-made landing page that hosts your Viral Loops campaign that you can use if you cannot edit your website (or if you don’t have one!).

What else can it do?

You can test your campaign and see how it works and how the widgets look, before touching anything on your website.

How do I use it?

Just go to the Installation step of the Campaign Wizard and customise your Viral Loops Page. If, at any moment, you want to install the campaign on your website, just follow the instructions for your platform. The Viral Loops Page works in parallel and won’t affect your installation.

But I want it to be in my domain!

No problem, you can use your own domain for the Viral Loops Page.

⚙️ Branding options & white label settings

You can now select how you want the Viral Loops link (with <3 from Viral Loops) to appear on your campaign widgets and emails.

Furthermore, if the user is on the Power plan they can enable the white label option (no VL attribution).

💌  New email templates

We completely redesigned the email templates that you can use for your campaign.

Our main goal was to make it super lean and good looking. ❤️

Here's how it looks in one of our customers 👇

You Want More? ⭐️

1.You can now change your password.

Go to your settings from the drop-down menu on the top right corner of the screen and click Change” on the Password field under Account Info”. 

2. Add your own outbound email address

The emails sent from your Viral Loops campaigns are normally sent from hello@viral-loops.com. However, you might want to use your own own email domain to send these messages and now you can!

Learn more here 👉 intercom.help/viral-loops/faq/set-up-a-custom-outbound-email-address-for-your-campaign-emails

3. Many more bug fixes and improvements.

That's all from us. 💪

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

November 10, 2017 - No Comments!

What are key strategies to acquire first 100K users with zero marketing budget?

Hello there,

You’ve just created your company and you might find yourself overwhelmed with the number of tasks and opportunities you have on your to-do list.

Now, you should think for possible ways to promote your business with the lowest effort and maximum outcome. You’re not a huge team after all and you want to experiment fast.

I know it’s too hard to check and find solutions for this issue, the reason is that whatever have worked for others might not work for you.

Don’t worry, I’m here to give you my input.

Since we kicked off Viral Loops, almost a year ago, we’ve met people who implemented and promoted some amazing referral programs.

That’s the main reason I decided to write down a list of referral marketing strategies that will probably give you awesome ideas for your company’s early days.

So, here we go:

1. Jet.com:

What are key strategies to acquire first 100K users with zero marketing budget?

Jet.com | Shopping Made Easier - Groceries, Baby & More, as an Amazon competitor, knew that the only way to have a strong launch was to build some online buzz early on; and what’s better than a giveaway?

So, they decided to incentivize participants with something no one has done in the past—shares of their business.

And they weren't just giving away a share or two... they were giving away 190,000 shares spread across 10 winners.

In the end of the giveaway, the first on the leaderboard earned 100,000 shares of Jet.com | Shopping Made Easier - Groceries, Baby & More stock.

Participants in places 2 through 10 got 10,000 shares each.

Awesome, right?

Check more on this story, here.

2. Dropbox.com:

What are key strategies to acquire first 100K users with zero marketing budget?

Dropbox’s referral program is possibly one of the most famous cases of referral marketing done right.

Almost a decade later, it’s still used in numerous case studies showcasing how referral programs can contribute to a company’s growth engine- or even be the engine itself.

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

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

The concept behind Dropbox’s referral program was very simple.

Since the product offered storage space in the cloud, they decided to reward people with more free space not only for referring their friends but also for accepting an invitation.

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

Check more on this story, here.

3. Hustle.com:

What are key strategies to acquire first 100K users with zero marketing budget?

How about asking your users to talk about you to their friends, in exchange of exclusive swag?

The Hustle used the killer combination of 3:

  1. Great copywriting
  2. Focusing on email (it’s an owned medium, and you don’t have to play Facebook’s algorithm to get results)
  3. A milestone referral program that kicks a$$.

People can discover their ambassador program in two ways:

  1. They have a dedicated landing page.
  2. An email from Sam Parr gets into your inbox and prompts you to refer friends.

Check more on this story, here.

4. Harry’s.com:

What are key strategies to acquire first 100K users with zero marketing budget?

Their thought that the most powerful and effective way to launch their grooming brand was through a credible referral.

Harry’s used the exact same approach as #3 The Hustle , resulting in a huge success.

Thus, they focused on building a campaign that helped people to spread the word to their friends—and not just spending a ton of money on Google and Facebook.

They managed to gather 100,000 emails in a single week.

Well, initially it helps the company to get 100+ million dollars in funding and buying a 94-year-old razor blade factory.

The website of the campaign was something really simple, yet catchy and effective; just a 2-page microsite.

When people landed to their website, they were asked to give their email in order to participate in the campaign.

After giving their email, people had to invite their friends to get the prizes.

Harry’s followed the concept of a “Milestone Referral Campaign,” meaning that when people were reaching a specific number of referrals, they were winning the corresponding prize.

Read more on Harry’s story here.

After spending time to choose your business name, register a domain name, figure out legal structure, set up a website and order business cards, now it’s time for your company to take over the world!

Just go for it.


October 26, 2017 - No Comments!

What are the most important books for startup founders to read?

“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.” - by Enid Blyton

If you’re running a startup, you should check out some super insightful books from successful people inside the startup world.

With these books you can optimize the way you run your startup and have some great experiment ideas in order to test them when the time comes.

The last 5 years were the most difficult years of my life.

I tried to overcome everyday difficulties with meditation, it helped me a lot when I was doing it during midnights.

Meditation opened my mind and I started seeing potential in thing I couldn’t before. That’s when I realized that I must help my teammates reach beyond their limit, and start making magic.

Therefore, I started reading a bunch of books about growth marketing, startups etc. and sharing my experiences with the rest of the team in our daily meetings.

The result?

After a while, the team got as inspired and motivated as I was. So we were capable of executing a lot of creative ideas that we had in mind.

I’m proud to be a part of this team, so here is the must-have reading list to keep everyone motivated, these are 10 books/e-books paid and free for you.

  1. The Innovator's Dilemma PAID - by Clayton Christensen - provides an insightful analysis of changing technology and its importance to a company’s future success
  2. The Obstacle Is the Way PAID - by Ryan Holiday - the book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience
  3. Extreme Programming Explained PAID - by Kent Beck - organizes and presents five years’ worth of experiences, growth, and change revolving around XP
  4. Let the Cash Flow: A Guide Full Of Growth Tactics For Your eCommerce Store FREE - by Viral Loops and ContactPigeon - you will get a deeper understanding of what can make or break your eCommerce store. In addition to that, it presents you tools and how you can utilize them to take your store one step ahead of the competition.
  5. The $100 Startup PAID - by Chris Guillebeau - shares ideas for living life in a non-conventional way. He has never felt trapped in a career office job, has been his own boss in a number of entrepreneurial ventures and enjoys spending his free time in what he personally finds to be a fulfilling way.
  6. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future PAID - by Peter Thiel - a Legendary entrepreneur and Investor shows how to build a great business and a better future.
  7. Four Thousand Days: My Journey From Prison To Business Success PAID - by Duane Jackson - after being arrested in the US in possession of 6,500 ecstasy tablets he served time in prison on both sides of the Atlantic.On his release he started a business with the help of the Prince's Trust. A business that he grew and sold four thousand days after his release from prison, making him a millionaire many times over.
  8. The Power of Broke PAID - by Daymond john - John has been practicing the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. With a $40 budget, Daymond had to strategize out-of-the-box ways to promote his products.
  9. The Hard Thing About Hard Things PAID - by Ben Horowitz - cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.
  10. Will it fly? PAID - by Thomas K. McKnight - introduces the first intuitive, practical tool for assessing and refining new business ideas. Fast, confidential, and reliable, it addresses 44 key elements of success, distilling experience from more than 200 business launches.

That’s all from me 🙂


September 25, 2017 - No Comments!

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

Hey Viral Loops friends, 👋

This is a very special moment our team.

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

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

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

And, now it’s time for version 2. 🎉

viral-loops-dropbox-referral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

viral loops birthday happy dance

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

So, here it is what we have for you:

1. Free Tool: Grow Like Dropbox

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

We built in an internal hackathon over the weekend!

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

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

2. Exclusive Webinar: How To Skyrocket Your Referral Program

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

Almost nobody takes advantage of these growth hacks. 😱

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

3. Birthday Offer

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

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

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

Great times ahead 🤗

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