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June 14, 2019 - No Comments!

Messenger VS Email Marketing: Who wins?

We’re experiencing a transitioning period. By ‘we’, I mean all of us; marketers and entrepreneurs.

It seems like every day there’s a new tactic, a new channel, a new mindset that we need to follow so that our businesses will stand another year (or quarter, or month).

It’s easy to lose focus.

I know that I’m one of the people to blame for the situation; started as marketing consultant writing all about growth marketing, then I started preaching about referral marketing, and lately, I’m a Messenger marketing ambassador.

Being in this industry for some time now made me realize a very simple thing about marketing products and services; communication can’t be outmatched.

That’s pretty obvious.

It is, but I discover it again every time I hit the ‘publish’ button for a new article, or the ‘send’ button for every newsletter that I send (BTW, if you’re not subscribed in our newsletter you should do it. It’s a shame to miss my emails.)

The reason I wrote this prolonged intro about communication is evident from the title of this article. Email has been the flagship of our content distribution from Day 1, and Messenger- in the past year, has become a new way for businesses to deliver their message to their audience.

In this article, Email goes head to head with Messenger to find out which communication method is the best for you.

Enjoy!

Messenger marketing.

Messenger is Viral Loops’ latest obsession. We liked the idea of reaching people through this platform that we’ve built a template for running viral giveaways via Messenger.

There’s no point in directly advertising it, so I’ll propose you read our case study about how a small cosmetics brand generated 4K+ leads, and a few thousand in sales, by using the template

What’s excellent about Messenger marketing is undoubtedly the Open rates and the Click through rates it offers.

Using a Messenger bot can give you Open rates of up to 90-95%, and up to 20% CTR, which is impressive. 

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

People are used to receiving instant messages. They enjoy the ‘fast’ experience, and it’s true that whatever you do for your marketing funnel can be translated into bot-friendly content and put into a chatbot.

All you have to do to repeatedly get your message to the eyes of your users is to give it the appropriate format. That means that you have to structure it in a way that people that use Messenger are used to.

Even if the engagement rates of that Messenger marketing offers are high, what’s genuinely epic is the amount of data you can gather about your leads, just by having them subscribe to your Messenger bot.

While subscribing via email gives you just an email address, by subscribing to your Messenger chatbot people give you a ton of data entry points, such as their full name, timezone, gender, and profile picture.

Messenger VS email marketing

This is an excellent chance for a business/brand to start a personalized communication with the user and gather even more data on the go through simple questions that can be answered by the press of a button.

While gathering more info about your subscribers, you can tag them based on their preferences (similar to the segmentation you can do to your email list), and then run to those tagged users Ads according to their interests with Facebook retargeting ads.

Email marketing.

Oh, I love email.

For me- I only send content-oriented emails. Sending a newsletter is one of my favorite activities. It feels like I’m journaling.

I feel that this is the biggest downside of Messenger marketing; you have to downsize your message in just a few lines. Sometimes it’s way too challenging to do so.

Truth to be told, most of the time, you need space to expand on ideas or new offers.

I mean, how can you possibly send a newsletter like this via Messenger?

Messenger VS email marketing

On the other hand, if you decide to go with email marketing, segmenting your users might become a tedious task, as you’ll have to create multiple touch points to gather enough data; and you need data to nurture leads, or to retain customers.

That’s a point for Messenger.

The most significant advantage of email in comparison with Messenger is that email is an owned marketing asset. If Facebook decided to shut chatbots down, and you’ve put all your efforts in them, then you’re f**ked.

Seriously.

Having someone to give you their email address is a huge deal.

You can do everything that it’s possible through Messenger:

  • Notify people about new products or updates.
  • Send exclusive content.
  • Ask for feedback.
  • Offer customer support.
  • Send seasonal offers, or offers based on interest.
  • Run ads based on interest.
  • Save abandoned carts.

The downside is that it takes more time, as it’s not as direct as a message on Messenger.

A match made in heaven.

I guess that if you read down to this point, you still haven’t made your mind as about whether you should use email or Messenger marketing for your business, or brand.

Am I right?

Let’s see the pros and cons of each medium.

Messenger Pros:

  • High engagement rates (open rates & CTRs).
  • Instant personalized communication.
  • Access to lot more data without any touch points.
  • Build audiences for Ads quickly and easily.

Messenger Cons:

  • You can send bite-sized content only.
  • Not an owned marketing asset.

Email Pros:

  • It’s an owned asset.
  • No need for bite-sized content.
  • Build audiences for Ads.
  • People are used to marketing newsletters.

Email Cons: 

  • Lower engagement rates than Messenger.
  • We need more touch points to gather data.
  • It takes more time to segment your users.

The title of this section gives away the point that I’m trying to make here; you don’t have to choose a platform over the other.

They are both powerful as marketing channels, so you have the option of using both. You need the instant communication, and data gathering that Messenger offers, but you also need to be able to communicate with your users on a deeper level, and send them your best content or offers in better (and longer) format.

I’ll tell you what to do:

  1. Start gathering Messenger subscribers.
  2. Ask those subscribers for their email addresses.
  3. Create content for both mediums.
  4. Distribute this content accordingly.

For the first 2 points, we have a solution (it’s time for promotion). 

Start by creating a Manychat account and connect it with your Facebook business page. Then you have to download our Messenger Bot Giveaways template.

Inside the template, you’ve added a special flow for gathering email addresses from your Messenger subscribers. In case you want to learn how our template works, you can see my beautiful face and hear my soothing voice, explaining it to you:

Creating bite-sized content that sticks with people is an arduous task.  What I propose is to send in Messenger a concise description of what you want to communicate to your audience, followed by a nice gif, or a looping video that fits the essence of your message.

Then, in the same message, you can add a CTA, that drives people to a landing page with your full offer, or the page of your blog post- if you’re trying to distribute your content.

Since Messenger offers you enough data, you can leverage them to create different variations of the same message to send it to users that fit into a specific demographic, e.g., females

Before you go.

At the end of the day, both Messenger and email are tools for communicating with an audience.

There’s no winner here.

You’ll have to harness the power of both platforms to maximize the result. Make sure to create content that fits the medium. It might be difficult in the beginning, but it will eventually pay you off.

June 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Marketing a CBD brand without paid advertising

I guess that by now you’ve already seen it somewhere; You can’t run ads for CBD products on Facebook and Google.

Although I’m a huge advocate of the pharmaceutical use of cannabis myself, I kinda understand this policy. I mean, there are a lot of people producing their own, non-approved, products. Also, there’s a lot of misinformation about the benefits and effects of CBD products- a rather dangerous thing.

But what about the companies who are trying to actually help people?

Being unable to advertise, is a huge bummer. Especially for a new CBD products brand.

There are ways. It’s a bit harder but definitely doable. 

And if your brand suffers from these advertising policies, remember that you’re not alone; it’s possible that we won’t be able to run ads for this post as well. 

Here are the best ways to market your CBD products without any paid ads.

natasha

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

Messenger Giveaways.

Facebook ads might be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to stop trying to leverage the billions of people who use it daily; especially Messenger users.

I bet that Messenger is on the top 5 apps you use every day.

Also, giveaways offer a great opportunity for brands to build awareness and drive sales. If you keep track with what Viral Loops does, you know that recently we managed to merge Facebook Messenger with giveaways.

Now you can run your viral giveaways entirely via Messenger and the results can be amazing.

It’s perfect for eCommerce; recently a cosmetics brand managed to gather 4K+ leads and generate a few thousand dollars in 5 days.

All you have to do is to set up your campaign, offering up to 4 prizes for the winners. Allow people to choose their reward, and then ask them to participate.

Viral Loops for Messenger eCommerce flow

Right after participating, you can ask them to invite their friends.

You can also set 2 re-engagement flows (these are included in our Template) that will be triggered after 1-2 days, asking the participants to follow you on Instagram, in exchange for more entries for the giveaway- that way they will have more chances to win the prize.

Viral Loops for Messenger Instagram flow

The great thing about this method is that it doesn’t require any paid ads in order to make it work. Word of mouth will do all the heavy lifting for you.

Apart from gathering leads, Messenger allows you to build a personalized communication with your customers. The open rates and click-through rates are sky-high, due to people being so familiar with Messenger.

Get discovered.

Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to be discovered by people interested in CBD products.

SEO is neither easy nor fast. Although this sounds intimidating, the good news is that once your rankings start picking up, you’ll potentially have a wave of leads coming your way for free.

Search engine algorithms change regularly, and no one really knows all the factors that play an important role in how search results are being served. That doesn’t mean that we know nothing about it, though.

I don’t think so.

SEO comes into 2 parts:

  1. Off-site SEO
  2. On-site SEO

Off-site SEO

As its name suggests, off-site SEO has to do with elements that affect your brand’s ranking, that “live” outside of your main website.

Off-site SEO is mainly based on link building. That means that your CBD brand’s ranking is affected by the quantity and quality of the websites that link back to you.

Other factors that might affect your off-site SEO are:

  • How relevant to your CBD business is the website linking back to you.
  • The linking website’s domain authority.
  • The anchor text they use to link to your website.

In order to get as many great websites linking back to your CBD business as possible, there’s a one-way road; Content marketing. Further down this article, I have a whole section dedicated to it. Read on!

On-site SEO

On-site SEO is all about optimizing elements that exist on your brand’s website. Those elements are the ones that search engine crawl in order to serve their results.

These elements can be either keyword-related- consisting of things like product titles & descriptions, or non-keyword-related

Non-keyword-related elements could be:

  • Your website’s load speed.
  • The URL structure.
  • The internal and external linking structure.
  • The of Schema.org structured data or other markups.
  • Website’s metadata.
  • The use of Rich Snippets.
  • Mobile friendliness.

Keyword related elements could be:

  • The product titles.
  • The product descriptions.
  • The alt-tags on the images.

 Content Marketing.

If you’re reading this, I have to confess something to you.

If it wasn’t for content marketing, I wouldn’t have a career in marketing. Also, if it wasn’t for content marketing, Viral Loops would not be the same.

Since the CBD industry got kicked in the face by Facebook and Google (and Twitter, but who gives a flying F*), content marketing is one of the few viable solutions for CBD brands to create awareness for their products.

If you have no idea on how you can start with using content marketing for your CBD brand, allow me to give you a short outline of the things you have to do.

  1. Find keyword opportunities.
  2. Write in-depth articles that cover subjects that people really care about (e.g. the benefits of CBD products for people suffering from seizures).
  3. Provide free exclusive content in exchange for email addressed- you should start building an email list.
  4. Promote the article as hard as you can. Outreach to influencers in the CBD niche, post it in social media, send it to your email list, send it to your friends and family, etc.
  5. Repurpose the article into different formats such as videos, infographics, podcasts.
  6. Try to write in other blogs in the CBD industry. This will earn you some great links for your website.

In order to find great keyword opportunities, you have to conduct keyword research. You’re in true luck because a few months ago I created a video tutorial on how to do so, and the example I used was keywords for hemp oil.

Once you write your article and promote it, some people are going to visit your website. Offering a lead magnet increases the chances that these visitors will eventually become regular readers.

If you manage to be consistent with your content, inevitably your audience will grow, and the more people read what you give them, the more chances you have to turn them into customers.

Instagram.

You probably already know that an Instagram account is a must-have for business right now. Even though their policy for advertisement is the same as Facebook’s, there are other practises you can put into play.

First of all, you can set up buyable products in your posts. But apart from that, Instagram is a great place to present your brand and the people who represent it.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Happy Friday! When life gives you lemons, make CBD Oil ???? #Organic #CBD #VitaminC

A post shared by Green Gorilla™️ (@greengorilla) on

The CBD industry might include some shady products; giving a “face” to your brand heightens your credibility. It’s a great opportunity to incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy.

Find people who are using your products, talk with them, go live with them, make posts about their stories with CBD products. 

An important aspect of Instagram success is finding the right audience for you.

In order to find this audience:

  1. Make a list with relevant hashtags.
  2. Use Combin to search for posts that include these hashtags, combined with your location (in case you’re an international brand, skip the location part). 
  3. Go to the profiles of the people on the search results and start following them.

Community Building.

Using communities on Facebook and Reddit is heavily underrated when it comes to marketing-not only CBD and marijuana brands.

This is probably due to the fact that it takes a lot of consistent effort in order to make it work as a strategy. The #1 rule of succeeding in bringing traffic from these communities back to your website, is providing value.

The people who engage in Facebook groups and Subreddits are exactly the people that belong to your target audience. You have to prove yourself worth noticing, and that can only happen through constant engagement with the communities.

Reddit communities about cannabis products:

Facebook groups about cannabis products:

These are some good places to start, but keep in mind that you should give some time to understand the rules of each community. You don’t want to get banned. 

Respect the rules, provide value, gain people’s trust.

You can actually run ads.

Facebook and Google are really popular when it comes to advertising. It’s not strange; people spend endless hours every month on these platforms. 

But Facebook doesn’t create its own content; its users do. People interested in the CBD and cannabis industry, get informed from blogs, publications and influencers.

That means that you can actually pay these blog, publications and influencers to advertise your products.  It requires a lot of manual work to close these deals, but it’s totally worth it.

If you don’t have the time to do all the talking, you can go with the automated option; Native Ad Networks.

They are great because they accept CBD and marijuana advertising.

Some of the best Native Ad Networks are:

Before you go.

I know that since you can't run paid ads for your CBD business, things are a bit harder than they used to be.

It's ok.

This is your chance to focus on your branding and grow organically. Advertising is rented space, and your business needs to be an owned property.

Create content, help your audience, inform people, and be omnipresent. That's the way you'll win!

May 28, 2019 - No Comments!

7 Ways To Promote Your Referral Program

Your Referral Program’s Promotion is vital!

Referral programs managed in 5 short years to become THE thing for healthy customer acquisition. This article’s purpose is not to convince you to build a referral program (I guess you’re not here for that).

This piece of content is about what comes after your decision to invest in referral marketing. It’s about the ways and means you can use in order to make your referral campaign a meaningful channel for your company’s growth.

Since we kicked off Viral Loops last year, we’ve help people to implement and promote some amazing referral programs and that’s the primary reason I decided to write down the things you’re going to read further in the article.

Without further ado, here are the 7 Things You Can Do To Promote Your Referral Program

 

Promote Your Referral Program By Leveraging existing customers

It’s only natural for happy customers to have a higher probability of referring your product or service to a friend.

Buying from you in the first place is a sign that what you offer made them stick. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this in the past, but customer loyalty and retention are two of the essential elements of growth.

 

There are 2 things you can do right now, in order to get your customers in your referral program:

  1. Set up an automated email
  2. Add them in a retargeting flow

In both occasions, relevancy is the key! You can bombard people with messages full with tuxedo pictures, while these beauties bought spring dresses from you.

1.Automated emails.

If you run an eCommerce store, chances are that you use a marketing automation tool. This allows you to build automated flows that include dynamic content, according to your customer’s purchase history.

A nice trick would be to add in the email a product that the customer visited in the past but never bought, as an incentive to sign up for your referral program.

e.g. A nicely designed email including the picture of an amazing pair of sandals with the message: “Refer your friends and get 20% off for everything you crave!”

If there’s a thing we’ve learned about emails (apart from the fact that subject lines are 80% of the work), is that they are time sensitive.

You have to understand when is the right moment to trigger your campaign. The best time is when customers experience their “WOW moment”, which usually is:

  1. When they complete a purchase.
  2. When they receive their order.

2.Retargeting

Apart from you existing customers, you can use retargeting as a method to capture the email addresses of people that visited your store and left without making a purchase.

For this instance you have to keep in mind the same principles that apply to automated email campaigns:

  1. Relevancy
  2. Timing

e.g. Let’s say you have a vaping store. People will definitely have to make a recurring purchase (vaping liquids etc.). You can use data from other people as for how often people tend to buy their vaping liquids, to trigger retargeting campaigns for these products, incentivising people to get in your referral program in exchange for discounts on their liquids.

You can also try to create a retargeting flow for those that you failed to onboard to your referral program, post purchase. Try to mixing things in order to serve magic!

Stepping up your paid advertising game

Yes, being discovered organically is better; but those who say that paid advertising doesn’t have a good ROI should probably change their advertising game.

Picture this: Putting an ad, instantly gets you in the first page of search engines (which means instant traffic). If you treat your message and targeting with care, chances are that the right people will land on your landing page.

What is best than paying for one user and bring 2 or 3? It’s called Viral co-efficiency and it’s the one and only way to lower your CPA via paid ads.

Google AdWords

I’m not going to get into how to use Google Adwords effectively. Just bare in mind that you have to be very careful about your long tail keyword research and keep the message very clear.

e.g. Get involved and get 20% discount!”

Try to keep your message as consistent as possible with the content of the landing page that you’ll send visitors to. That way you increase your chances for greater conversion rates, as people will get what they expected when they clicked the ad.

Facebook Ads

Facebook, due to being a personal data monster, gives us the ability of amazing targeting for paid campaigns.

Since I already talked about utilizing your existing customers with retargeting, now we have to get one step forward by creating ads and audiences that will help you acquire new users.

A cool trick is to insert in facebook the email addresses of your existing customers and create a lookalike audience. That way you ensure that your ad will be served to people that share the same interests with your customers, resonating that way to their buying habits.

As Facebook advertising mastermind, Jon Loomer says:

"People are more likely to perform an action if a friend did, too!"

That means that an opportunity lies for you with the friends of your Facebook fans. Although that audience has an intention to engage with your posts, it’s highly advised to use some extra layering to that audience in order to ensure that your ads resonate to their taste.

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

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

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

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

Tip: Create a mind-blowing creative (something that can catch the user’s eye while the scroll their feed endlessly). Keep your message clear as possible and use some cool emojis (grab more eyeballs). A video ad is also cool, but since most people will probably watch it on “mute”, add some subtitles!

Exploiting all available channels

You have to think your marketing channels not as individual units of a production line, but rather as a full ecosystem with an end to end communication.

That means that even if you can’t leverage a certain traction channel to drive direct actions, you can surely use it as a booster for another channel.

Let’s see some channels you can also use to attract more users to your referral program.

1.Newsletters

Probably, you already grew tired of hearing about how important list building is– It’s 100% true!

You can use these acquired email addresses to distribute content related to your business. But just blasting generic newsletters to all your subscribers won’t do the job for you.

You have to invest some time to segment your lists properly (based on previous actions- like downloading an eBook or engagement with previous newsletters.) and create something special for each segment.

Having the right message should turn into a habit considering the content you’re trying to promote!

2.Social Media

If you’re using social media for your business in the right way, you probably avoid spamming your fans with heavy promotions. People use social media because they like to react and engage with content.

Achieving high engagement on organic posts that promote your referral program directly, is nearly impossible. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use social media to make people get involved.

You should probably take a step back and brainstorm about post types that are highly engaging, aiming to add another step at the top of your referral program’s funnel.

The secret lies in capturing their email addresses. You can run a facebook giveaway campaign, asking people to like and comment and then lead them into a landing page for the giveaway.

That’s two birds with one stone; You fulfill people’s desire to engage and you also grab their email address (plus, a post with higher engagement will make it to more people’s feeds).

From there you can use your other marketing channels to stream those people to your referral program.

3.Content Marketing

Same as social media, content marketing is not probably way of direct promotion of your referral -it’s kinda lame and desperate if you ask me. Yes, you can write a press release but this isn’t content marketing.

A nice approach, instead of trying to promote your referral through your content, would be to approach other content creators that resemble your audience and ask them to promote your referral program (yes, “ask” means you’ll have to pay them to do so).

On the other hand, if you’re using your content to drive people to your website, you can make use of widgets set to work when people get in from your content, along with a special message.

Offline referrals still work!

Even though digital is dominating, people still exist in the material world. They still like to touch things and read books. Using offline practices to boost your referral program is something that only a few people do.

If you run a B2B business, there’s a high probability of attending events. Instead of just giving a business card, you can give prospects a scannable card that drives them directly to your referral campaign.

The same mindset applies for stickers, flyers or brochures!

Website menus

If you want your referral to work you have to make sure that everybody is aware of it! Referral became so popular the last 5 years, that people not only know about their usage but also search for them when they enter a website.

It’s a really a shame not having a menu item or a dedicated section on your website. This can spark the curiosity of the visitor increasing your chances of turning them into ambassadors.

On top of the above, you can also put a top bar on the site containing information about your program and change the copy every two weeks in order to A/B test what works better.

Testing your message

If you read the entire post you’ve probably noticed that I wrote numerous times about the importance of having a clear message.

When it comes to copywriting that converts, there are two things you must keep in mind:

  1. Clear Message
  2. Emotional Triggers

You must make it easy for people to understand what they have to gain from entering your referral program. You have to use terms they understand.

e.g. Everybody understands money value, so you could test changing your discount claim from percentage to actual money value; and vice versa.

“20% discount” vs. “10 dollars discount”

Now, as it comes to emotional triggers, as Copyblogger puts down in an excellent manner, there are words that trigger spontaneous emotional reactions to people.

Words like:

  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

I’m not in the position to tell you exactly what kind of copy will move your audience – it all comes down to testing constantly.

Campaign Boosters

Once your program is live it’s sure that you’ll have to deal with 3 types of referrers:

  1. Ambassadors
  2. Plain referrers
  3. Neutral

Ambassadors are considered people that completed the referral goal at least once or more(if they had to bring one purchase using their referral code, they already made it).

Plain referrers are people that even though they shared their referral code, haven’t completed the referral goal yet.

Last, neutrals are people that entered your program but never took the initiative to share it with their friends.

Your goal is to turn neutrals and plain referrers to ambassadors, and those who are already ambassadors to continue spreading the word.

Since neutrals are a long shot, a simple email has very low probability of changing anything. So, apart from emailing them, you can add them in your retargeting flow giving them a reminder that they should share in order to get the reward.

For plain referrers, you can use automated emails that encourage them to keep sharing. You can share with them some data, like how many invited other people sent on average before they got their first referral reward.

Now considering ambassadors, email is your weapon of choice once again. As those people are your top referrers you should communicate this sense of exclusivity to them. Give them more as a sign of gratitude for the effort they put for you!

Tip: You can create banners that people can put on their websites in order to drive traffic to your referral program

Conclusion

Just putting up a referral program doesn’t mean that it will act as a magic hat that spits dollars. You have to be constantly on the edge about it.

Be ready to optimize, test copies, rewards and chat with people. Without this kind of work results will be mediocre at best; and who likes mediocre things?

 

May 14, 2019 - No Comments!

What rewards should you offer on your referral program?

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

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

The rewards.

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

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

 

The best referral rewards one can think of

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

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

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

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

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

Free products

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

Harry’s followed the concept of a “Milestone Referral Campaign”, meaning that when people reached a specific number of referrals (milestone), they instantly win the corresponding prize.

There were 4 milestones in total:

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

Harry's milestone Referral Viral Loops

Internal currency

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

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

dropbox Referral Viral Loops

Discounts

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

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

airbnb Referral Viral Loops

Company Swag

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

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

Hustle milestone Referral Viral Loops

Exclusive content

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

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

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

growth summit milestone Referral Viral Loops

Early access

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

You know why?

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

Robinhood Referral Viral Loops

Access to private communities

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

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

Hustle milestone Referral Viral Loops

Company stocks

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

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

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

Jet Referral Viral Loops

Pure copywriting

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

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

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

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

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

Everything is time sensitive

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

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

For Referral and Ambassador Programs

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

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

Templates you can use for this kind of campaigns:

Viral Giveaways

Companies run viral giveaways for two reasons mainly:

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

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

Templates you can use for this kind of campaigns:

Prelaunch Campaigns

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

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

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

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

Templates you can use for this kind of campaigns:

Before you go

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

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

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

Cheers ????

 

May 8, 2019 - No Comments!

Rodrigo Noll: Successful referral programs in 4 steps

We're all about referral marketing.

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So I started a referral marketing program.

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

The right time and place to ask for referrals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another one, last one that is very interesting.

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

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

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

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

We got great success from that moment too.

A 4-step referral marketing framework that works.

My framework has four key elements.

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

So, the first key point is the prize.

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

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

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

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

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

The third point is channels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Super important metrics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

A few last thoughts.

I want to add something regarding the Brazilian market.

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

Aristotle’s said that we are social animals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's how huge the opportunity is.

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

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

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

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

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

April 24, 2019 - No Comments!

Alexandr Fedotov: Making & spending millions on Facebook with ads

As you probably understand from the title of this article, this is about Facebook ads (duh!).

Another installment in our interview series, and after Arri Bagah, Hunter McKinley, Natasha Takahashi, and  Fetch & Funnel (all of them shared their Messenger Marketing secrets), this time our guest spoke to us about a different subject.

You see, Alexandr Fedotov, is a laser-focused Facebook advertiser that spends and makes millions on Facebook via ads, and he was kind enough to share some of his strategies with us.

Enjoy!

 

Who’s Alexandr Fedotov and what does he do lately?

Originally I'm from Ukraine, and I graduated with an economics degree without having any idea what I'm going to do.

I was working different jobs and I started my career as a freelancer working with different companies, and doing different tasks for them, specifically for the American market.

I would work with a client and I would promise them some results, and then I would have to learn how to deliver those results as soon as possible. 

Over time I accumulated certain skills in areas like Google AdWords,  SEO. I just noticed that a lot of people started to ask me about  Facebook advertising

I've realized that there's a  there's a big need in the market for this specific skill set and some eCommerce company started to ask me for this. So, I started boosting for them and over time it all came together.

So we started to work with bigger and bigger companies with bigger and bigger budgets.

Now some of our clients are companies like Under Armour and Lululemon, we serve seven-eight figure brands that they're growing fast. 

It was just a progression of you identifying what's needed in the marketplace and just gravitating towards that direction.

When did you start focusing on Facebook ads? 

It was about 4-5 years ago.

It wasn’t like I wasn’t already doing it. It was part of the services I offered; doing it over and over again led me to the decision to go all the way.

That’s when we started to pick up and hired media buyers and a team.

Why laser focus is mandatory?

I think it comes down to your capacity and your expertise.

With Facebook ads, you have to be constantly on top of changes in the platform and also understand the context of Facebook advertising because it’s different from Google AdWords.

We have to figure out how to drag people in and move them through our funnel, figure out the creative part, the ad copy part and all the other like technical aspects.

To do all that takes some time and it's doesn't happen overnight. 

So when you try to do many things and your capacity and financial resources, as an entrepreneur are limited, that's pretty tough. You cannot do all of those things at the same time and deliver a good quality of work.  

We've decided to go that way- at least for now until we have the capacity and the bandwidth to expand what we offer.

Spending millions on Facebook advertising. 

We spent a bit over like 40 million dollars last year, but not for our services. It was for e-commerce products that we sell ourselves, so we kind of like use the skill set that we have to sell those products, for our own company. 

Making $1M in 9 days.

With every project that you have, it is a combination of good product that, good timing of the year, and creatives

In the past, they tried to scale their advertising spend and their sales, but they couldn't do it, go to the level they wanted because they worked with agencies that had their focus on too many different things. 

They wanted to be very creative in terms of their ads and also wanted to test too many different things. 

It's good to test, but you want to do more of what's working instead of just blindly testing stuff. That's why their ROI was not as good

When we started to work with them, we evaluated what was working for them till that point- we had some of the data that we could leverage, and we found the right products, the creative that was working very well, and we also structured the funnel from the first interaction, all the way down to the sale. 

That’s because the products this company sells are more like high ticket.  People would need a bit more like time to evaluate their decision and, make a purchase. 

We also tested a lot of variations of ads like videos and images that we knew- in our experience, that would work well.  This is what allowed us to scale quite rapidly with that specific store. 

eCommerce sales with the use of content; There’s a framework!

Typically, the framework depends on the complexity of the product

If you sell t-shirts, you don't need to explain a lot about the product; everything you need to sell the product is a photo. But if you sell more complicated products, like gadgets, apparel made with a special fabric that could be like the first touch point with the market. 

That's what you can use to reach the market here as a first stage, then use Facebook to build your audiences. Audiences of people who engage with your content, or of people who've visited your website. 

So you have all of these audiences. For them, we typically have other 2-3 types of content; like video, for instance, that might educate people more about the product or would have testimonials.

If you want to convince a person that a product is good and that it can be trusted, you should offer more images of the product- maybe lifestyle images. You can use carousel ads for that, as you can introduce the same product in all of its angles.

We identify what's the best piece of content that we utilize, and we scale basically to reach as many people as possible. 

For retargeting- which is dynamic product ads, you can basically show people the same products as they have seen. It's very relevant. And usually, those ads have very low CPA and very good return on ad spend. 

So, it's a sequence where you take someone from not knowing your brand at all, to basically engaging them, entertaining them, showing them the benefits of the product in life, and then you lead them through a sequence of other pieces of content to the point where they simply have no objections left to make that purchase decision

That means you've done your initial work as an advertiser, and then after a certain time the creative that you used will exhaust itself, so you’ll need to replace it. You need to constantly be testing some new pieces of content that you can also scale as a replacement for this one. 

Over testing= Overkill.

If you look at Amazon 20 years ago and now, they made changes to the interface for sure, but the main layout is pretty much the same. It's very similar to what it was like 10 years ago because they make those changes gradually, they understand how testing works so they don't do any rapid. 

I see a lot of this in e-commerce entrepreneurs, where they will simply like rip off their team, or they'll rip off, completely what's been working for them and then start asking conversion rate optimization guys to do something that doesn't work at all. 

In order to do proper testing, you need to have a massive amount of traffic. 

I think the best approach to testing for conversion rate optimization is to, first of all, just follow the best practices that have been laid out for usability and follow the proven model of websites that are already, are successful.

That’s the best starting point, and from there it’s just listening to your customers; like eliminating products from your list that are not selling, or if you see drop off on certain stages of your funnel then eliminate those stages and make it easier for your customers

A rule of thumb for testing Facebook ads. 

We have the 443 framework, which basically means that if we test videos we have four different videos, and we have four thumbnails for each video, and then we have three types of creatives, which are video, image, and Carousel. 

So then what we do is to facilitate the testing of all of that on ten different audiences so we have. 

So for example, you have 4 videos, then you identify the winner for that specific audience.

And then there's that video you can test different thumbnails. Once you found the thumbnail, you can scale. And then on other stages of your funnel as I mentioned we have different types of content. 

So it's kind of like if someone has seen your video then they might respond better to image because that's something new that they haven't seen before, so we kind of lead people through that sequence. 

In terms of variables, I would start with at least four different creatives. 

If you’re testing images that would be 4 images if you’re testing videos that would be 4 videos. of different land so you can just cut videos and see, which one basically converts better. 

The mistake most people make is that they make their ads like they have only one audience.

They have one ad, so they really have no variables to find the winner. 

Let's say if you test 4 videos and you see that your click-through rates are good- let’s say 5-10%. That means that people actually clicking on your ads. 

Then you have to make sure that they actually added the product to their cart. That's how you see whether there is an interest in your product and then you actually see whether people have completed their purchase. 

You need to see the performance of your overall funnel because Facebook will give you data but not the performance of sales.

If your click-through rate is is low then, obviously you need to find a creative that gets you higher click-through rate. 

Automatic, or manual bidding? What about both?

The way we do it typically is by using automatic bidding. Let's say it's like, from 5 to $50. 

We want to identify whether what we have in terms of creative and in terms of targeting, works or not. So we want to find some kind of like proof of concept with what we have on the lowest budget possible. 

That’s how we find our winners (the creative that actually gets sales).

For scaling we utilize lookalike audiences; the most valuable of them are obviously purchases and lifetime value, but we also test and we found some good results with people who stayed on the website for a long time, people who've added to cart, or people who watch videos.

With those lookalikes, we utilize higher budgets because if they work out we want our clients to, spend as much as possible profitably so, we would have like $100, $200 $300 automatic bidding.

Once we find those audiences that worked out well, then that's when we utilize the manual bidding. 

Let's say we have an audience of like 5 million people and we might have a budget for that audience of $1000 to $10000 dollars per day on that specific asset.

So now our goal is just to exploit those audiences as much as possible. So that's where we use the manual bidding. I think the mistake that most people make is they grow their bidding without figuring out their winning audiences and their winning creatives first

If you’re bidding on purchases you want to win as many purchases as possible and the few variables do that, is the winning audience, a high relevance score, high click-through rates, and high conversion rates. 

So if you don't have those variables in place, then you will simply waste money

So if you are good with all of those elements and you will actually pay less than you will bid. That's the goal of manual bidding, and Facebook rewards advertisers who are actually putting their work in figuring out that part and produce a good user experience because the better ads advertisers produce, the more money Facebook makes.

If your ads are creating a bad experience for people, Facebook doesn't want your money because they know that those ads will eliminate people and Facebook is all about getting more people on the platform. 

Optimizing Facebook ads in autopilot.

We use something that we have developed in-house for our own projects. It’s a platform that basically analyzes -like artificial intelligence, the performance of ads and gives us suggestions.

For example, let's say you advertise with certain ads and then after some point, they start to deteriorate in performance

Let's save your CPA was like $20 then it starts to get look $25, $30, $50 dollars; we want to eliminate those situations because that costs us. 

The software also gives us suggestions on the creative that's working the best, and all other things so that's we have in-house and, it's not available to other people at the moment.

 It's still not perfect, but it's it does the job and we usually get better results for our clients.

Messenger marketing is going fast.

I haven't got into Messenger Marketing and I know I should. 

We work with certain people that, specifically specialize in that, like contractors that we recommend to our clients that help them to set up those sequences for people that have added to cart for example on Shopify, and they haven't completed their purchase.

So we use Messenger to a certain extent, but we just put all our time in paid aspect of advertising and the creative; regular Instagram stories.

Instagram stories are not for everyone.

On Instagram, if your audience is up to 30 years old, I think you should definitely try Instagram stories.

It doesn't work for all of the brands, but I believe that at least you should test and see if works well for you.

If you’re a Facebook ads rookie, read this paragraph.

If they're new to Facebook, I think the first thing is to go to Facebook Blueprint which is a free course provided by Facebook and learn the fundamentals of the platform. 

Understand how all of these things come together. Facebook ads are like breaking down different components of Facebook. 

You need to break down the creatives, and break down your targeting, to see what’s working. You’ll need to combine all of those elements together. 

Give Facebook some variety of different items to optimize, and Facebook will also help you with optimization to find what's working.

You need to understand what's the product you’re trying to sell, and how different it is from, everything else that that is in the marketplace. 

Also, you need to find how you can position that product better than other products in the marketplace, and understand how much you can spend to acquire a customer. 

Go to pages of your competitors, and go through their ads. Click them, see their website, see how they position their products and find is they offer certain upsells. 

Maybe they have some email sequence or some like referral programs that they utilize to incentivize users to spread the word about their brand. You want to gather as much information as possible about the field that you're getting into. 

April 10, 2019 - No Comments!

Messenger VS Conventional Referral Marketing: Who wins?

Lately, I’ve written many articles about Messenger referral marketing, and people started asking (fairly) if conventional referral marketing is dead.

The short answer to that is NO.

Yet, making a choice as far as it concerns the type of referral marketing your business needs, is no easy task.

I mean, how are you supposed to choose

The sole purpose of this article is to lay down the facts and help you come into a decision. If you’re asking me, I say that you should go with both types.

Read below to learn why.

 

Do you need referral marketing in the first place?

Referral marketing is an important tool when it comes to controlling (in a way) the word of mouth surrounding your business.

I’ve already covered why word of mouth is the future of marketing, but the gist is that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions and in the same time it’s a marketing channel based entirely on your product without relying on any other channel.

So, does your business need to leverage referral marketing?

In a typical Ron Swanson style, I’ll answer this question with some questions:

Did I strike a nerve?

What I’m trying to say is, whatever your business goals are, you’ll always need to acquire new users in a cost-effective way.

Do you need referral marketing?

Hmmmm….YES?

Exploring your options.

Now to the main subject of this article; should you run a referral campaign through Facebook Messenger, or should you go the conventional way about it?

First, we need to define what each choice means.

Running a referral campaign via Messenger means:

  • The entire communication with your participants will be with the use of instant messages.
  • You will not have to set up any other property to run your campaign (like a landing page).
  • You will have to use a Messenger bot platform like Manychat.

With 90-95% open rate and click-through rates of 20-50%, messaging people on Messenger seems like an engagement paradise. The catch here is that in order for your message to get through, again and again, you have to have the appropriate format for it.

Viral Loops for Messenger pre-launch

The fact that you won’t have to build a landing page for your campaign is a double-edged sword; while you’ll be able to avoid putting the resources to do something like that, on the other hand relying entirely on Facebook posts to spread the word about your campaign is limiting.

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

As for using a Manychat to build the automated flows, trust me, it’s no big issue. It’s really easy to set up, and the product itself has an amazing UX. You can keep track of your subscribers’ activity at any given time without any kind of friction.

Running a “normal” referral campaign means:

  • The entire communication with your participants will be with the use of email.
  • You will have to use a landing page to host your campaign.

I know that the engagement rates on Messenger look very attractive, but as the founders of Fetch & Funnel told us, you can write a long paragraph in an email, but you can't write a long paragraph in Messenger.

In other words, email offers an opportunity to communicate a message in much more detail.

People are used to receiving promotional content in their email inboxes, but you have to figure out if your target audience is familiar with reading their emails at all.

Hosting your campaign on a dedicated landing page works under the same principles as with using email; you can get as detailed as you want about your referral marketing campaign.

Allowing the people to see the full benefits for participating in your campaign prior to subscribing is crucial. You can have total control over the design which- trust me, can play a huge part in the success of your campaign.

viral loops joeywears milestone referral

Making a choice.

In order for you to decide if you want to choose Messenger referral marketing instead of conventional referral marketing or vice versa, there are a few things you need to think.

  1. What’s your target audience?
  2. What’s the goal of the campaign?
  3. What are your resources?

If your audience scrolls their Facebook feed endlessly, the choice here is obvious. On the contrary, if you’re targeting people of business it’s more probable for your message to get through via their email inbox, as they are more used to it.

As far as it concerns the type of campaign, here’s what I propose:

  • Pre-launch of a product: Conventional referral marketing campaign.
  • Giveaway: Messenger referral marketing campaign.
  • Crowdfunding: Conventional referral marketing campaign.
  • Contests: Messenger referral marketing campaign.
  • eCommerce sales: BOTH!

My point is that you should choose based on what aligns with your business goals and the people you’re targeting, but you don’t have to limit yourself.

You can always use both approaches simultaneously.

You want to be able to get your message across to as many channels as possible.

e.g. You’ll need email addresses for your webinar, in order to send people your educational content and your recordings. The most inexpensive way to gather registrations for a webinar is to run a Facebook ad to a Messenger bot that asks for people’s email address and it automatically registered them to a webinar. 

Then you can ask them to invite their Messenger friends to the webinar in order to get access to more exclusive content.

Since you have their email addresses, you can later run a Milestone campaign (which is considered a conventional referral marketing campaign) for them, offering multiple rewards in order to get them to invite more of their friends.

You get it.

Before you go.

Both options have their pros and cons:

  • Messenger cuts through the noise, but email gives you the space to explain things better.
  • Conventional referral marketing gives you the flexibility of better design, but it needs more resources.

Although you’ll have to start with one of the 2 options, in the end, you can always use both. They might belong to under the same roof, but they are different entities.

Treat them as a functioning family (whatever that means in 2019. LOL). I can’t wait to see your campaigns.

Keep being awesome.

 

April 2, 2019 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Product Update: What’s New From March

The 1st Q for 2019 came to a glorious end!

This is an opportunity to express our gratitude for your support and update you about the things that changed inside Viral Loops the previous month.

We managed to have some major updates regarding requests from our users, and I can say that we are really excited about it.

Here's what's in for Viral Loops users, from March and on ????

???? API calls for leaderboard/waitlist.

This creates some new API calls for running campaigns with the Leaderboard Giveaway / Startup Pre-launch templates. See the documentation for the new API calls.

????️‍????️ Messenger Giveaways onboarding.

This changes the campaign creation process for Messenger Giveaways. Check it out and give us your feedback!

???? Bux Fixes.

Navigating to "Last" page of participants.

This fixes the bug where the users could not go to the last page of their participant’s list in the Campaign Dashboard.

Editors accept line breaks.

This fixes the bug where some text editors in the Campaign Wizard did not accept line breaks. The user would press enter but the text would still stay in one line. For example, this happened on the pre-filled email sharing text.

CSS characters in Shopify campaign page.

This fixes the bug where some CSS in the Referral Page in Shopify campaigns would not render correctly and the style was not being applied properly.

Copy icon in popups inside the wizard.

This fixes the bug where the icon was not being displayed on the “click to copy” button in the Campaign Wizard for the Tempting Giveaway - Leaderboard Giveaway - Startup Pre-launch templates.

Handle shop/update Webhook for Shopify.

This fixes issues that would come up if the user changed something on their Shopify store, such as changing the store URL, closing the store etc.

March 7, 2019 - No Comments!

We have 2 brand new webinars!

If you're following us for some time, you probably know that we like to deliver some of the best free content you can find out there.

The success of your Viral Loops' campaigns is the basis of our success as a company; that's why we decided to go a step further from our traditional articles, and craft 2 webinars that will help you build your campaigns from scratch and grow your audience to its maximum potential.

 

  1. Build successful referral campaigns.
  2. Grow your audience with Messenger Bot Giveaways.

Below you can find some more info regarding what you'll learn during the course of each webinar ????

Build successful referral campaigns.

Do you want to know how you can get the most of Viral Loops and your referral campaigns?

If you're a Viral Loops user, you should join our webinar ???? webinars.viral-loops.com/the-campaign-success

In this webinar you'll:

  • Be introduced to some of the most important techniques for making/going your campaign viral.
  • Get your questions about referral marketing answered.
  • Get a bonus offer we have at the end for tailor-made success calls.

Grow your audience with Messenger Bot Giveaways.

Ads are too expensive to get leads and messenger is super cheap.

Join us ???? webinars.viral-loops.com/viral-loops-grow-your-audience-with-messenger-bot-giveaways-webinar

In this webinar you'll learn:

  • Why Messenger Marketing is awesome.
  • What can Viral Loops do for you.
  • What does our Messenger template includes.
  • How to set up your Messenger giveaway campaign.
  • A live example of how it works.

 

March 5, 2019 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Product Update: What’s New From February

February was 3 days shorter than most of the other months, so we had to make our best to do everything we planned to do.

We managed to have some major updates regarding requests from our users, and I can say that we are really excited about it.

Here's what's in for Viral Loops users, from February and on ????

???? New billing/subscription pages.

We like things to be as simple as possible, and with this new version of our subscription/billing pages, our users have a clear view of their active plans, as well as their subscription history.

If you're on our trial version, you can view the remaining participant and your options for upgrading your subscription.

Subscription status & upgrade options for users on the trial version of Viral Loops.

Subscription status & upgrade options for users with an active Viral Loops plan

In addition, we made a small makeover to the tab where you can change your billing info.

Billing info tab both for people on the trial version, or with an active Viral Loops Plan

???? Shopify users can run Messenger Giveaway campaigns.

This allows users that signed-up from the Shopify App Store to create Messenger Giveaway campaigns.

These users can see the templates page with 2 templates, Messenger Giveaways and Viral Loops for Shopify.

If they click the first one, a campaign is created. If they click the second, it takes them to their existing campaign.

???? New Shopify Widget!

Updating the widget for Shopify stores, was heavily requested it from our users.

We listened, and I think we made a great work to rise up to your standards.

You can see how it looks on our demo store.

Sign-up state on Desktop.

Sign-up & Sharing state on Mobile.