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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 👉 http://bit.ly/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 👉 http://bit.ly/messenger-giveaway-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.

February 19, 2019 - No Comments!

PoolSpark: The lost method of saving money

🤓 Note from the author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poolspark case study

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

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

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

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

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

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

At what stage is your company?

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

PoolSpark Case study

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t underestimate the power of social media.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from the author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viral Loops is the main hub for the launch.

February 13, 2019 - No Comments!

A referral booster worth 30% growth

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

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

This is how TranferGo’s campaign looked like:

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

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

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

Booster Referral Campaign.

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

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

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

The collaboration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Campaign structure.

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

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

Metrics & Results

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

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

The equation is simple: K = c / i 

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

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

  • Participant Conversion
  • Participant Share
  • Invitation Conversion

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

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

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

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

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

Before you go.

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

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

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

February 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Viral Loops Product Update: What’s New From January

January has been one hell of a ride! 🎢

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

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

💬 New Template: Viral Loops for Messenger.

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

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

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

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

Start running your viral giveaways via Facebook Messenger now!

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

New Features.

👁️‍🗨️WhatsApp as a sharing option.

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

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

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

Join the demo campaign and test it out!

🐞 Bugs

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

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

That’s all for this month.

Keep being awesome.

January 29, 2019 - No Comments!

Referral Programs for B2B: 5 Cases to inspire you

Marketing via referral programs is nothing new.

In fact, before referral marketing had a name it was simply called word-of-mouth marketing. If someone liked a product, service, film, or piece of music, typically they would tell their friends who in turn would tell their friends and… well, you get the picture.

The same holds true today; the only difference is that digital marketing has opened up the possibilities to allow people more channels than ever in which to disseminate their recommendations, reviews, gripes, etc.

Basically what this means is that if you give your customers a valuable experience, many will turn into brand ambassadors and that enthusiasm will gain momentum as they rave to their friends.

Take this stat from Market Force, for example. The purchase decisions of 81% of U.S. online consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts. This is a new reality—it’s how Millennials prefer to shop in the digital age.

Referral Programs for B2B: 5 Cases to inspire you

So how do you take advantage of this and maximize the potential of your customers doing the heavy lifting of spreading the word for you?

Implement a referral program, of course. Incentivize your potential customers to put the word out. Here we list a few examples of brands that successfully incorporated referral programs into their marketing scheme.

Hopefully, they will inspire you.

Google Apps/Suite

best b2b referral programs

G Suite is a comprehensive collection of productivity, collaboration, and cloud computing tools designed and released by Google in 2006.

This suite consists of a number of tools that are now all but indispensable in this day and age. They include Google Drive, Docs, Hangouts, Calendar, Google+, sheets, slides, forms, and of course Gmail.

But despite G Suite enjoying the branding of the most popular search engine in the world, they still had to market these tools back in 2006.

In order to get people talking about the suite, they implemented a referral program that incentivized new users with cash for each person that signed up using the program participant’s link.

The program worked thusly: those who wanted to spread the word were given a referral link and coupon codes to share to help folks get started with G Suite. And for each new user that signed up and met the referral terms, those who spread the word got $15.

So, just like in the B2C world, making monetary rewards/discounts the cornerstone of your referral marketing strategy is always going to bear fruit. Just ask Google—as of 2017 that referral program helped grow the suite to include three million paying businesses and 70 million G Suite for Education users.

Carpathia

best b2b referral programs

The number two example on the list is/was Carpathia, a Virginia-based business that focused on cloud services.

They decided to go all out for their referral program and recruit third parties as referral partners. In their referral marketing ad, they used bold type, engaging color schemes and an easy signup process (just three steps).

The first step was to join the referral program online. Then participants received access to tools and materials like white papers and case studies, to help identify more potential customers. Upon referring new customers, the participants were then given a commission.

Easy.

This tactic worked like a dream, as Carpathia added hundreds of new major clients, which in turn got the attention of QTS Realty Trust. The result is that QTS, another data services provider, merged with Carpathia in a $326 million deal.

IT Solutions, Inc.

best b2b referral programs

This is a full-service IT company that focuses primarily on small and medium-sized business throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding region. They not only invested in referral marketing but they made it the lynchpin of their marketing strategy.

Like the above businesses, IT Solutions, Inc. also makes the signup process a quick and easy one (just a few info fields on a single page).  

Their program works because it is straightforward, simple, and highly enticing. The company is upfront about wanting recommendations, and they flat-out state they’ll reward any referral partner $1,000 in IT Solutions, Inc.’s services for any new signup.

Likewise, the company that referral company signs up will also get $1,000 worth of services.

As an added personal incentive, the referral partner also gets an Amazon gift card worth $100. The signup process is simple, too. All the participant needs to do is enter his or her contact info as well as the contact info of the referred company.

As a result, the IT Solutions Inc. has been growing like crazy and racking up the awards.

They’re in the top 1% of all Microsoft partners and were one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies for nine straight years running.

Blackbaud

best b2b referral programs

Blackbaud is a seller of software and services provider that made their mark in the fundraising field and working with non-profit organizations. Their brand is all about “giving back” and they’ve carried this message over to their referral program as well.

To become a Blackbaud Champion involves making connections via their Champions Hub network at which time you’ll earn rewards points.

They incentivize users with a deep rewards catalog for making these connections, and points can be redeemed for everything from product discounts to event invites to iPads to gift cards and more.

BlackBaud is a great example of offering diverse rewards to all of their participants. Like with IT Solutions, Inc., all that’s required to sign up is to fill out two simple text fields on their referral webpage.

It’s paying off well for Blackbaud, too. Not only are they partners with Microsoft, but the two are expanding that partnership with the express goal of transforming the non-profit sector. Seems it pays dividends to spread the word.

Zoho Mail

best b2b referral programs

Who doesn’t like free hosted email? Zoho, the email hosting service, was keenly aware of this when they started their referral program back in 2013.

For simply signing up new customers, existing ones could get up to 20 free users in their hosted email plan. Moreover, the business they referred could also get up to 20 new users.

To do this, they set up a referral webpage and participants were welcome to sign up. They made the process as easy as possible, adding clickable buttons that could invite participants to “send an invite to a friend,” and then simply requesting a contact email and name. Nothing more.

The strategy was simple but effective: appeal to small and medium-sized business who may not want to spend extra cash each time they hire a new employee.

Zoho made their hosted mail service attractive to these businesses for exactly that reason—now they could add up to 20 new employees on their email accounts without spending another dime.

The strategy seems to have paid off, because as of 2017, Zoho has signed up over 10 million business accounts.

Before you go.

Hopefully, the above examples serve to illustrate how the momentum of signups to a B2B company can increase with an enticing referral program. Do it right, and you’ll eliminate the need for superfluous sales and marketing tactics and save money on advertising.  

Just remember the fundamentals: always aspire to provide the best customer service possible.

That is the key to getting customers eager to spread the word about your company and make your referral initiative a success.

January 17, 2019 - No Comments!

BeautySavers: The art of not selling anything

🤓 Note from the author:

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

That's the reason I love The Hustle!

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

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

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

Enjoy! 🤗

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We're here for the audience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We utilize social media ads and influencer features.

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

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

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

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

BeautySavers' Milestone Referral Campaign

First things, first.

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

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

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

Copywriting is also important, and BeautySavers really nailed it!

BeautySavers referral campaign landing page

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

BeautySavers thank you page

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

beautysavers welcome email

beautysavers welcome email

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

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

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

BeautySavers personal referral center

Beautysavers successful referral email

Beautysavers successful referral email

And really, that's it!

Simple, yet effective.

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

Keep being awesome 😎