All Posts in Referral Marketing

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 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.

 

March 20, 2019 - No Comments!

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

I don’t see any reason to stop writing about it.

Using Facebook Messenger to run referral marketing campaigns is the #1 marketing tactic I suggest to anyone that want to gather leads for their business.

Why?

natasha

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

Because it works. With the right prize, the right copywriting, it can be a true miracle.

And in case you can allocate some budget to promote the campaign, you might be able to gather 35K leads in 20 days.

One can say that things are not as easy as I might make them sound on the paragraphs above; it’s true, but I give you my word that it’s not that difficult either.

Most of the times, referral marketing campaigns fail to get the traction they deserve because their message gets lost in the endless noise we call the Internet.

Finding the perfect marketing channel can be a tedious task, but as Fetch & Funnels’ founders explained to us: “the second we saw that you could build a subscriber base on Messenger, our first thought was that this is going to be the next biggest marketing channel that exists.”

With extraordinary Open & Click-through rates, Messenger is a less intrusive and inexpensive way to get your message right in the face of your potential customers.

If you’d like to have a more in-depth look at how you can utilize Facebook Messenger to grow your audience, we have a brand-new webinar about it!

The very essence of this article is to help you understand the exact steps required to utilize Facebook Messenger for your referral marketing campaigns.

Enjoy.

Choosing Prizes.

Without the right prize, your messenger referral campaign could become a shipwreck.

The prizes you offer are the core of your campaign; it’s what made The Hustle gather 300K fanatic readers, and boosted Dropbox’s growth by 3900%.

Although I’ve already written an extensive guide on how to choose the right rewards for your referral campaign, I’ll lay down your options really quick:

  • Free products.
  • Internal currency.
  • Discounts.
  • Company Swag. Exclusive content.
  • Early access.

But there’s a catch; right now, the only option you have to run a referral marketing campaign via Facebook Messenger, is by using Messenger Bot Giveaways by Viral Loops.

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

That means that whatever your choice about your campaigns prize is, you’ll have to present it in the form of a giveaway.

I’ll give you 2 examples.

Early access to Messenger Bot Giveaways by Viral Loops.

When our product was (almost) ready to launch, we had to start spreading the word about it.

Trying to gather email addresses for a product that would work entirely via Messenger, seemed like a stupid idea.

That’s why we’ve built a pre-launch campaign that followed the giveaway model, by using our own product. We wanted the people to see a demo of how the Messenger flows of the referral campaign could look like, and give to 20 people early access to the product itself.

Users got more entries for getting more of their friends to sign up to our pre-launch, and the more entries one had, the more their chances to get early access were.

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

Beardclubs’ Free product rampage.

Beardclub is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) retailers for men grooming products. When they decided to give a year’s worth of beard oils, Messenger was the obvious choice.

They asked people to join their referral campaign, and then incentivized them to invite their friends by giving more entries for every successful referral!

How to use Facebook Messenger for Referral Marketing

I will not get more into the details that made this campaign a huge success, because I’m already preparing a huge case study about it!

The setup.

Here things are really simple; actually, it’s the exact same process with the one I describe in the article about creating a kick-a$$ Facebook contest.

The steps are really simple:

  1. Create a Manychat Account.
  2. Choose the Facebook page of your choice.
  3. Go to your Viral Loops account.
  4. Click the “Messenger Giveaways” template.
  5. Copy the API token and install the template.
  6. Go to your Manychat account and choose in the menu Settings --> Installed Templates --> Viral Loops Messenger Giveaways and paste the API token in the relevant bot field.
  7. Change the default copies of the flow that comes with our template.
  8. Go live!

It sounds easy because it is. We’ve also created a video that showcases the steps:

I guess that by now, you’re wondering how you can possibly pick the winners for your referral marketing campaign via Messenger.

Time to get sales-y ????:
Messenger Bot Giveaways by Viral Loops, picks the winners for you!

Sounds like a telemarketing ad, but it’s not a joke. All you have to do is:

  1. Go to your Viral Loops account.
  2. Choose your campaign.
  3. Scroll down a bit and choose “Pick Winners”
  4. BOOM!

If it helps, we have a short tutorial for it:

Promotion and Tracking.

Choosing the right prizes and setting up your campaign- even though is of high importance, is only half of the story.

Without any kind of promotion, any hope for success goes with the wind.

The same applies to tracking. Without proper tracking, you won’t be able to make changes with a positive impact on your campaign.

I’ve covered both subjects extensively here:

I won’t get into much detail, but I thought it’s a nice opportunity to present the best promotion tactics, as well as the metrics you should keep your eyes on while running your referral marketing campaign via Messenger.

Promotion.

  • Manychat’s “Facebook Comments” growth tool.
  • Manychat’s “Messenger Ref URL” growth tool.
  • Manychat’s “Facebook Messenger Code” growth tool.

These growth tools are really easy to set up. The only one- out of the three, which can be a bit tricky to set up is the “Facebook Comments” growth tool, but we created a video about it:

Tracking.

When you’re tracking the performance of your campaign inside Manychat, keep your eyes on:

  • Open Rate.
  • Click-through Rate.
  • Participation Rate.

The most important metric when it comes to referral marketing campaigns though is the K-factor.

The K-factor (or Viral Coefficient) is measured by dividing the average number of conversions from invitations received by the average number of invitations sent.

In case your Messenger referral campaign is also hosted on a dedicated landing page, you should always check your Analytics platform for the following metrics:

  • The number of New Users.
  • Bounce Rate.
  • Click-Through Rate.
  • Conversion Rate (Visitor to participant).

Before you go.

I will close the article the same way that I started it; Using Facebook Messenger to run referral marketing campaigns is the #1 marketing tactic I suggest to anyone that want to gather leads for their business.

It’s easy to set up, yet effective when it comes to results.

This is not by any means a step-by-step guide, but rather an introduction to the possibilities offered. If you want to learn all the important details, I recommend reading all the blog posts I’m linking to, throughout this article.

If you read from top to bottom, I have to thank you for that; If you skipped directly to this paragraph, stop cheating ????

Keep being awesome.

 

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 1, 2019 - No Comments!

How to create Facebook contests that bring sales

People love to hate Facebook these days, but they all own a Facebook account. And while they keep hatin’, they’ve participated in at least one Facebook contest.

It’s true; attention shifted to Instagram the last couple of years, but Facebook remains one of the cornerstones of online advertising and digital marketing.

Especially with the rise of Messenger bots, Facebook allows space to capture and engage with leads in a very personalized way

 

The reason I mentioned Facebook contests in the opening paragraph of this article (apart from the obvious SEO reasons), is because Facebook contests are probably the cheapest and most engaging solution for lead generation.

Facebook contest types.

natasha

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

Let’s see how many types of Facebook contests I can count:

  • Facebook contest for getting Page likes.
  • Facebook contests for getting post likes.
  • Facebook contests for getting post comments.
  • Facebook contests for getting email subscribers.
  • Facebook contests for getting Messenger subscribers.

Getting more likes on your Facebook page, a ton of comment & likes on your posts, is great; It boosts your brands social proof, but is this what your business really needs?

Let’s say that I like your page and I engage with your posts. What do you know about me?

You know nothing about who I am, what I do for a living; You don’t even know if I’m a female or a male.

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

I have no intention to convince you that running a Facebook contest via Messenger is the best solution; I had this covered with our case study about how a gym managed to capture 35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral giveaway.

The sole purpose of this article is to show you how you can do the same for your business.

Setting up your Facebook contest with a Messenger bot.

In order to run a Facebook contest via Messenger, you first have to set up a Messenger bot.

My proposal is Manychat; it’s stable, easy to set up, and the only available option there is for running a referral campaign through Messenger.

The steps are really simple.

  1. Go to Manychat’s website, and select to create a new account.

  1. Sign in with your Facebook account.

  1. Choose the page you want to manage with Manychat.

  1. Go to your Manychat dashboard.

Once you’re set with your Manychat account, it’s time to set up the actual Facebook contest in Viral Loops.

Go to your Viral Loops account and log in.

From there, click the 'Messenger Giveaway' template to create your campaign: 

Your new campaign comes with a secret API token. Copy it.

Note: you can find your API key easily at any moment after the installation if you click on the View button (as you can see in the screenshot below):

 

 

Once the template is installed to your ManyChat account, in ManyChat go to:

Settings --> Installed Templates --> Viral Loops Messenger Giveaways and paste the API token in the relevant bot field.

In the same page also add your bot link. You will find this in your ManyChat dashboard and it looks like this: https://m.me/your-page-ID

After completing these steps, our template for Messenger giveaways will be installed in your Manychat account. You can find it by going to your Manychat account and choosing 'Flows' from the left side-bar menu.

The only thing left for you is to change the sample copies that we’ve included with the template, and you’re ready to start your Facebook contest.

If you want to have a quick overview of how the campaign looks in action and from inside Manychat, I’ve got you covered in the following video:

Promoting your Facebook contest.

Setting up a Facebook contest doesn’t automatically mean that it will start raining leads.

You have to distribute/promote it to both your existing or potential audience.

Since it’s a Facebook contest, the things that are going to have most of the impact on the success of the campaign will be things that will happen inside Facebook and Messenger.

Comment to enter’ posts.

This is the best to grab an initial set of users to participate in your Facebook contest. Things are straight-forward.

You have to create a post about your Facebook contest, asking people to comment with a specific word in order for them to enter the contest. Make sure that you nail both the visual and the copywriting aspect of the post.

When someone comments under your post with the desired keyword, they will receive a message directly to their Messenger inbox, asking their permission to participate.

This is possible with the use of Manychat’s ‘Facebook comments’ growth tool. It’s very easy to set up, as long as you know how. 

That’s why we created this short tutorial about it:

In the video above you’ll find how to set up the tool to send messages to the people that leave a comment on your post, and how you can put them in the referral flow of your contest.

The more comments you get, the better your post’s organic reach. If you combine this post with paid advertising, you have a recipe for winning.

Utilizing the rest of Manychat’s growth tools.

If you go to your Manychat Account, select “Growth Tools” from me sidebar menu, and create a new growth tool, you’ll come across a variety of growth tools for your website, but also some other tools like the 'Landing Page Tool', the 'Messenger Ref URL' tool, etc.

While you can use all of them for the promotion of your Facebook contest, in this section I’ll show how you can use the growth tools that we’ve tested with most of our campaigns.

If you choose to build a landing page on your website about the contest, you can use the 'Messenger Ref Url', which gives you a Url that you can assign to your landing page’s call to action.

By clicking this link, the users will be directed to the same Messenger flow that I described in the section for the 'Facebook Comment' growth tool.

Another way to promote your Facebook contest is with an overlay widget. It’s a great opportunity to engage with the visitors of your website and turn them into participants. It’s super easy to set up. It won’t take more than 5 minutes of your time.

This is how it could look:

 

Picking winners.

In case you decide to not run your Facebook contest with Viral Loops’ Messenger Bot giveaways, picking winners for the campaign could become a nightmare.

Image tracking down all the people that liked your page from the day the contest started and then having to randomly pick a lucky winner.

On the other hand, running your Facebook contest via Messenger makes the process really easy.

First, you have to login into your Viral Loops account. Scroll down your campaign, until you find the one you want to pick a winner for.

 

Once you find it, select it and you’ll be directed to the dashboard of the campaign.

Right under the performance graph, there’s a button that reads 'pick winners'. This is the magic button….press it.

By pressing it, our system will detect the user who fits the profile for a winner and suggests it. You can either choose to confirm the winner or pick another one.

From there you can send them a message and let them know that they won.

This happens from inside Manychat.

From the moment you picked your winner, you’ll see their name on the dashboard. If you have an ongoing giveaway, our system will make sure that no users get selected more than once. 

Any time you want to pick a winner for your campaign, the only thing you have to do is to press the 'Pick Winner' button from the dashboard. 

Before you go.

Facebook contests are proven to be an amazing way to grab new leads, and by using a Messenger Bot to run it opens a whole new level of lead nurturing.

The more you know about your leads, the better you can craft personalized experiences that could potentially make your sales to take off.

Do you really want to miss this chance?

 

February 22, 2019 - No Comments!

How to track your Messenger Giveaway performance

Facebook Messenger chatbots are on the rise.

No, we didn’t reach the singularity and Skynet is still far away from taking over (or isn’t it?), but automated messaging has gained a lot of followers during the last 2 years.

I find it perfectly normal.

Messenger is a great platform to increase your engagement, build relationships with your clients, drive new sales, or even save some “lost cases”.

We decided to get into Messenger marketing by building Messenger Bot Giveaways, initially for a client that wanted to run a giveaway directly from inside Facebook Messenger.

It was a great way to validate the idea that was running through our heads for some time, at that point. We’ve built the product, run the campaign and managed to collect 35K leads in 20 days with a viral Messenger giveaway.

If you want to learn more about how ‘Messenger Bot Giveaways’ works, you HAVE TO watch my beautiful face giving a quick overview:

Our goal from the very beginning was to help our customers to grow their audience with referral marketing, and what we found out early on is that the desired result rarely comes by just building a referral program.

As in all marketing campaigns, you have to track the performance, iterate based on the results, track once again, and repeat until you’ve reached maximum performance.

If you’re new to Messenger marketing, it’s only natural that you don’t know where to start looking.

No worries.

This article was crafted especially for those who want to build a viral Messenger giveaway, and track it properly!

The core Messenger Giveaway metrics.

natasha

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

Ok, let’s say you decided to run your Messenger Bot giveaway, what do you do?

I’ll go full sales mode here and I’ll say: “Buy our ‘Messenger Bot Giveaways’ template for Manychat”. Seriously, that’s the first thing you need to do. We have all the instructions you’ll need to build your campaign in a few minutes. 

The flow of the campaign inside Manychat will look exactly like this:

Since this flow is the heart and soul of your campaign, the first things you need to track about your campaign, exist inside Manychat.

Let’s see what are those metrics.

Open Rate.

If you ever run an email campaign, you know what Open Rate means; it’s the number of people opening your messages as opposed to the number of people that received the message in the first place.

When we interviewed Arri Bagah, a.k.a. The Botman, we said that a good lead generation campaign via Messenger gets on average 90-95% open rate. So if your campaigns open rate is lower than that, you should make sure that the way you “lure” people in makes it clear enough that they’ll receive a message from your page in their Messenger inbox.

Apart from the very first message that your participants will receive, you’ll have to also track the open rates of the follow-up emails of the giveaway’s flow.

In order to do that in Manychat:

  1. Go to the ‘Flows’ tab.
  2. Choose your campaign’s flow.

You’ll get metrics for every message of your Messenger giveaway individually, as shown below.

Click-Through Rate.

That’s another classic metric. People who will not click in order to proceed to the next step, will do so for 3 reasons:

  1. They don’t understand what they have to do next.
  2. They are not interested anymore.
  3. They opened your message by accident.

If your campaign gets on its first step a CTR of 20%, or lower, there’s a problem you need to take care immediately.

The only solution that I see is to improve your copywriting.

Maybe your Call-to-action is not convincing, or the rest of the copy is confusing to the point that people don’t really understand how to proceed.

You can track your flow’s CTRs by following the same steps as for the Open Rates.

Participation Rate.

This metric helps you track the rate of people that decided to participate (duh!) after receiving your first message.

In this particular example, the participation rate is equal to the CTR of the main CTA from the 1st message you send to users while they enter your giveaways flow (shown in the screenshot above).

K-factor.

This is the #1 most important metric when it comes to a referral campaign in general.

The K-factor (or Viral Coefficient)- as mentioned in our article about the most important metrics in referral marketing, is measured by dividing the average number of conversions from invitations received by the average number of invitations sent.

But how do you measure the K-factor for your Messenger Bot Giveaway?

It’s simple:

  1. You log in to your Viral Loops account.
  2. Select to view your campaign’s dashboard.
  3. You scroll a bit until you find the ‘Referral/Participant’ Ratio.

A sustainable K-factor factor of 0.15 to 0.25 is good, 0.4 is great,  and around 0.7 is outstanding.  

As you can see in the image above, the K-factor is 0.5, which balances towards the ‘outstanding’ spectrum.

Landing Page metrics.

One of the first things you’ll need for your campaign is a landing page that converts.

According to Hunter McKinley, you have to include the main call-to-action above the fold, and maybe add a counter to communicate the sense of urgency.

Below the fold, you might include as much info as possible about the rules and prizes of the giveaway.

Here’s an example:

Even though most of the people will discover your giveaway from Facebook Messenger, you have to leverage the existing traffic on your website.

In terms of metrics, you have to pay attention to:

  • The number of New Users.
  • Bounce Rate.
  • Click-Through Rate.
  • Conversion Rate (Visitor to participant).

You can track the Number of New Users and the Bounce Rate directly from your Google Analytics.

Since you want the CTA on the Landing Page to lead people inside Messenger, you need to create a unique link by using Manychat’s Growth Tools and assign it to your button.

In order to track the Click-Through Rate and the Conversion Rate of that button, you’ll have to navigate to your Growth Tools inside Manychat and find the Growth Tool you created.

Next to it, you’ll find the metrics you need.

Facebook posts.

As I mentioned earlier, most of the action for your Messenger Bot Giveaway will take place inside Facebook.

For the particular case, I’m using as an example, we created a Facebook post with Manychat’s Comment Growth Tool, asking people to leave a comment with their favorite travel destination.

The reason we decided to use this Growth Tool is simple; Comments boost the organic reach of a Facebook post. This tactic is even more powerful when combined with paid advertising.

If you decide to go with this tactic, I recommend you keep a close eye on:

  • The number of comments.
  • Impression/Comment Ratio.
  • Participation Rate.

It’s obvious where you can track the number of comments for your post, but what’s more important that this number being big, it’s the Impression/Comment Ratio.

The reason that this is important, is because it will act as an indicator of how engaging is the post itself. 

For highly engaging Facebook posts you’ll need:

  1. A very good image creative.
  2. Copy that makes people leave a comment. e.g. In the example above, we asked people what is their dream destination.

The participation rate can be found inside Manychat’s dashboard for your Growth Tools. It’s referred to as “Conversion Rate”- you have to follow the exact steps I gave you about tracking Growth Tool metrics, in the section above.

Various Growth Tools.

Taking under consideration the things I wrote about Manychat’s Growth Tools, you can use and track the other available options from Manychat.

In the case I’m presenting you, we also used a ‘Slide-In’ widget and the ‘Facebook Messenger Code’ Growth Tool, which we printed on a banner that was placed in the gyms that our customer owns.

For the ‘Slide-In’ widget you can track:

  • The Click-Through Rate.
  • The Participation Rate a.k.a. Conversion Rate.

If you choose to use a scan code printed on banners, you can’t track how many people actually saw the banner, but you can have an idea of how well it converts people into participants.

Before you go.

Tracking the elements of your viral Messenger Giveaway is vital for the success of the campaign itself. If you don’t track everything, you have no insight into the things that you’ve implemented.

In other words, you’re doomed. I have yet to see a campaign that needs no iteration during its course.

If you decide to run a viral Messenger Bot giveaway, most of the metrics you’ll ever need can be found either inside Manychat’s dashboards or your Viral Loops dashboard.

In case you skipped straight to this final section, make sure to scroll a bit up because I’ve included some pretty interesting stuff.

Good luck & keep being awesome ????

 

December 18, 2018 - No Comments!

You want to boost your Christmas sales. Read this.

It’s almost Christmas!

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

So why am I doing it?

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

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

I don’t want to be that person.

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

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

More specifically, I propose to start from these:

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

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

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

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

Ambassador program.

What is an Ambassador program?

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

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

How could it work for you?

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

In other words, you give people goals to reach.

E.g.

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

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

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

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

Does it work?

It worked for Unicorn Snot like a charm.

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

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

boost your Christmas sales

Let’s see some numbers, shall we?

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

What should you pay attention too?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giveaways.

Everybody does it.

But, is it worth?

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

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

How could it work for you?

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

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

What’s the difference between them?

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

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

boost your Christmas sales

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

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

E.g.

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

boost your Christmas sales

Does it work?

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

But Jet did it.

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

boost your Christmas sales

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

Do you understand the impact of something like that?

boost your Christmas sales

What should you pay attention too?

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

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

A soon-to-be, available alternative.

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

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

A lot.

Question:

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

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

We like them. We use one.

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

Let that sink in!

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

You can subscribe for the pre-launch now!

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

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

Before you go.

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

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

How much are they worth?

 

August 31, 2018 - No Comments!

Drive a tsunami of traffic to your Shopify store

Most things in life are rather simple, but at the same time, they are not.

In the digital plain, if you want to drive sales to an ecommerce store you have to drive traffic. As long as you drive traffic, you’ll keep your sales coming.

A very simple, yet a very complicated solution.

Building traffic might be the most discussed topic in the history of marketing, and after giving you the ultimate list of Shopify apps, it was about time for me to give you my 2 cents on how you can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your Shopify store.

Oh since I kinda hate paid advertising, I’ll make sure to speak about things you can do without spending your cash on ads.

Shall we begin?

 

Allow people to discover you.

Search engine optimization a.k.a. SEO is one of the cornerstones of modern marketing.

While a lot of people whine over the fact that a search engine’s algorithm is messing their business, I find the bluntness of such algorithms rather enticing.

Things are simple; if you’re not in the 1st page, almost no one will find you.

SEO is an ever-evolving science. Algorithms may change faster than Larry King changing spouses (8 marriages; really, Larry?), and they may consist of factors that may never have been official, but do you really want to be on the 2nd page?

I don’t think so.

I’m not trying by any means to teach you SEO in this article, but I’ll make sure to give you a headstart. If you’re interested in learning more about this art, you should definitely start reading the following blogs:

From what we know, SEO consists of 2 parts:

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

On-site SEO

As its name suggests, this has to with optimizing elements embedded on your ecommerce store. That means your content and HTML source code, that search engines will crawl in order to rank you accordingly in their results.

These elements are:

  • Keyword-related.
  • Non-keyword-related.

Keyword-related elements on a Shopify store could be:

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

seo for shopify stores seo for shopify stores

In a few words, after you conduct a keyword research and find the keywords you want to rank for, you have to optimize all the aforementioned elements (product titles, etc.) in order to for search engines to rank you higher.

Non-keyword-related elements are other other elements that contribute to the on-site SEO status of your ecommerce store.

These could be:

Off-site SEO

Off-site SEO has to do with everything that affects your store’s search engine performance, that’s outside of your website.

This aspect of SEO is mostly link-based, which means that is affected by how other website’s link to your ecommerce store.

Apart from the number of websites linking back to your store, there are other factors such as:

  • The “popularity” of the website linking back to you.
  • The relevancy of the website linking back to your store (if you run a clothing brand it’s better to get a link from a fashion website, than from a tech publisher).
  • How new the link is.
  • The page and domain authority of the linking site.
  • The anchor text used on the link.
  • The number of other links on the website.

But apart from link-based elements, there are other things that influence your store off-site SEO.

Blogging, vlogging, guest blogging, guest vlogging, social media marketing, influencer marketing; these are all great ways to improve your search ranking position.

Guest appearances are a very interesting way to leverage the existing audience of someone else to establish your business. My favorite example comes from the “Billy!” brand.

If you dig YouTube, you probably know Casey Neistat, and if you dig Casey then you probably know his wife, Candice Pool.

Well, Candice built a fashion brand with some friends. They don’t produce any content (not in the traditional digital marketing sense), but they have a very strong asset; Casey’s 10 million Youtube subscribers.

I think that this amount of exposure is more than enough to drive some traffic, don’t you think?

Basically, I will probably write a whole guide about content marketing for ecommerce businesses! Would you like me to?

Let me know in the comments ????

Tame the social media beast

Almost everybody owns a social media account (ouch, that sounded hyper-cliche).

There’s no reason to mention the fact that brands, and all businesses in general, have taken over this sphere.

Are those brands good at it?

Most of them, not. The main problem comes down to quality, consistency, aesthetic and the denial of the fact that people use each platform for an entirely different reason.

Even the demographics among the social platforms available are really different.

But this article is not about getting the right Instagram shot and caption; let’s assume that you know how to do it.

Since our focus is on ecommerce social media marketing- which means we need visually oriented platforms and the typical American uses three of the eight major platforms, we are going to see how you can use Pinterest and Instagram to drive traffic and hopefully a great number of sales.

We will not speak about using Facebook at all, because it kinda sucks 😛

I mean, Facebook is no longer used to discover products that much.

The best thing that Facebook has to offer to you right now, are groups about marketing your business. You’ll be able to get a tremendous amount of knowledge and meet some great people.

You know something? I will make a full article about how you can drive sales on your Shopify store from Facebook, but I’m not going to talk about it in this one.

Do we have a deal?

Instagram

Instagram is pure madness these days, don’t you think?

Everyone is looking for ways to grow their accounts, even if there is no particular motive to do so.

I get it; social validation might get you laid, or even bring some cash on the side by shamelessly advertising protein bars (sic). But this is just a temporary solution, and you’re a person of business.

I’m not here to explain the cultural impact of Instagram on our lives, but whatever that is we all know that Instagram can create sales.

Although the platform acts as a place to discover products, the way that people do so is kinda reverse to the way they do it in other platforms. Instagram is human-centered.

That means that users discover products that their favorite people on the platform present to their audience.

OK, OK; enough with the talking. You have an ecommerce store and you want to drive traffic from Instagram. How you do it?

  1. Set up your business account.
  2. Come up with the best bio description possible.
  3. Add a link back to your store.
  4. Create fantastic content.
  5. Grow the number of your followers.
  6. Get engagement.
  7. Drive traffic, get sales.

how to drive traffic from Instagram to shopify store

Simple, right? Yes; but no.

The best way to achieve the desired result is to work the steps in reverse.

You ultimately want to drive sales from your Instagram account. There are 2 ways to do so:

  1. Tag buyable products in your posts.
  2. Make people click the link on your profile.

In order to add the ability to add buyable products in your profile, you have to connect your account with your Shopify store. The following video shows you how to do it:

It’s actually very simple.

Now, in order to make people click the link on your profile, you have to get them to trust you. And to make that possible is to make your followers engage with your content, in order for you to engage with them.

This is very important when you’re just starting out: Both sides should be involved in the engagement.

In order to attract engagement, your content should be top-notch. You’ll need:

  • Great photos/images.
  • Captions that act as conversation starters.
  • A consistent-looking feed.

Design, framing, colors, and concept are crucial to how people will perceive you and your brand.

Yes, a lot of people don’t know Jack about those things; but if you ask a person that doesn’t have a clue, to compare a Lamborghini with a Fiat, I bet my right hand that they’ll say that the Lamborghini is a better car.

Also, try to be as consistent as possible. Decide how many times per week you’re going to post, and stick with it.

But what about attaining the Holy Grail of Instagram?

Followers. Every OG Instagrammer chases that.

Before I tell you how to get those precious followers, I have to let you know of a little secret:

The number of your followers means nothing if it’s not consisted of the right people; it’s just a vanity metric that ignorant companies look at, in order to throw some cash into someone with low ROI.

Let’s say you’re selling women DIY  jewelry. You have an Instagram account with 100K people. 90% of them are men of 40-60 yrs old.

Wouldn’t you have better chances to drive sales, if you had an account of 10K with 90% women between 18-24 yrs old?

Targeting is important.

Now let’s cut to the chase: Growing your account.

Hack #1: Grabbing some clout!

Every now and then Instagram changes the way they serve content to their users, resulting in different growth strategies to emerge all the time.

Instagram rewards organic discovery, and detests/ punishes bots (R.I.P. Instagress).

That’s the reason that the only growth tactic still working is shoutouts.

Getting a shoutout from a bigger account can bring you a good stream of new followers. That means that if you have the patience to make the research, you can find accounts that you’d like to get a shoutout from.

drive traffic from Instagram to shopify store

Imagine selling sneakers and getting a shoutout from this account

Remember that targeting is important. Don’t get blind from just the follower count of the account.

You might deploy a strategy in order to get a shoutout from a certain account, but you have to keep in mind that these pages are a business for someone. That means that most of these pages require only one thing: MONEY, baby!

If you have the right amount of cash, the right type of content, and 10-15 huge (and relevant) pages, you might be able to get even 100K followers in 48 hours (that doesn’t mean that these followers will stick around for a long time, but still.)

Check out this fella in the video giving a better explanation about how this works:

Hack #2: Becoming a local.

Targeting the right demographic is vital but, unless you are an international business, you have to target followers based on their location, as well.

As I said, Instagram detests automation bots; but what if you use a tool to help you segment Instagram users in order to find potential customers? Nothing, probably.

Content discovery on Instagrams happens through hashtags (duh!).

I’m not going to teach you how to research for your hashtags, mainly because we will need a dedicated article about that, but you have to make sure to find the hashtags that your potential clients use.

Make a list of those hashtags.

Now let’s do some magic.

Recently I was making a research about Instagram marketing for tattoo artists- my gf is a tattoo artist when I bumped into Combin.

“Another Instagram automation tool”, I thought.

But there’s an extremely useful feature in there; The tool allows you to search for hashtags in combination with location.

how to drive traffic from instagram to shopify store

That means that you’re able to find people who posted with a certain hashtag on a certain location. I don’t know about Combin’s automation features, but that kind of search is really powerful for finding prospects and engaging manually with them.

Hack #3: Building your own world.

Remember those huge accounts that I told you that you to find and pay in order to get shoutouts?

How about building your own?

I mean, not by yourself; but think about it.

You can find other people that might be benefited from that kind of account and share accountability about it with them.

Content production is not an issue here, as most of these pages curate content from other accounts. If you curate great and relevant content, growing an audience can be much easier.

Plus, giving shoutouts to the creators you’ll curate will result in them giving you a shoutout as well, on their Instagram stories- more organic reach for you.

Creating such an account gives you the opportunity to own a place to curate the content from your main account.

This is what Kemar_flashes does with his page, ignorant_tattoos:

how to drive traffic from instagram to shopify store

How awesome is that?

So, let’s recap. In order to drive traffic from Instagram to your Shopify store, you should:

  1. Tag buyable products on your posts.
  2. Create amazing content.
  3. Build an hyper-specific audience (both in demographic and location).
  4. Engage with your audience.
  5. Get shoutouts from bigger accounts.
  6. Join forces with other people to create accounts that will drive a stream of followers back to you.
  7. Have a link of your store in your accounts description (obviously).

Pinterest

My gf hates Pinterest; she can’t stand it.

On the other hand, I like it. For me, and 200 other million people, it is a great search engine to discover content or products.

200 million monthly active users are a LOT of people. I mean, this is a great place to get discovered. You can actually drive traffic back to your ecommerce store.

As I said, Pinterest is a search engine; and as in every search engine, the first results grab the most traffic. You should aim for #1 position.

The platform ranks content using its own algorithm.

Yes, keywords here are as important as in trying to rank for a regular web search engine. But instead of e.g. the traditional linking factors, Pinterest’s algorithm is triggered by saves, sends and comments.

But how in the world will someone be able to rank that high?

This is how the thing works:

  1. You post your pins targeting a keyword in the title & description. That gives you the chance to be discovered.
  2. People find your content and save it in their boards, leave comments, or send it to their friends.

In other words, keywords put you in the game and engagement puts you at the top.

You have to remember that Pinterest is a very visual-oriented platform. That means that if the visuals you use for your pins suck, it’s unlikely to receive engagement.

“OK, got it! Keywords and great visuals. Now what?”

Now you have to find the keywords you want to rank for and create your content.

Pro Tip: For Pinterest, it’s better to find your keywords first and craft the content afterwards, than the other way around. This platform uses it’s network effect, so when you try to sell your business in it, it’s better to craft your content based on how the platform “breaths”.

Recently I found out a great way to do keyword research for Pinterest. Are you ready?

  1. Open up your Pinterest account and in the search bar type the main keyword you want to rank for. Let’s go with ‘jewelry’ for the sake of the example.
  2. You will notice that right under the search bar, there will be suggestions about long tail keywords, relevant to your main keyword. For my main keyword, the long tail suggestions are jewelry making, jewelry DIY, jewelry photography, etc.
    how to drive traffic from pinterest to sopify
  3. Let’s say that you sell DIY jewelry in your Shopify store. That means that since that long tail keyword is a popular query for Pinterest users, you have an opening to create an article/video on how someone can create DIY jewelry. The best part is that you can sell your own creations via the article.
  4. Also, the moment you’ll type your keyword into the search bar, Pinterest is going to show you some autocomplete suggestions. Take these suggestions and note them down. These are all keywords for which you can create your original content.
    drive traffic from pinterest to shopify

By now, you probably have collected a nice amount of long-tail keywords that you’re going to use when creating your content. But Pinterest is not only about the title. There’s also the description section of your pins.

This is a “bonus life” for you. You have the opportunity to reinforce your pins with more relevant keywords. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Pinterest’s Ads platform, and jump to the “Ad group details” step. This is a very powerful keyword research tool.
  2. Type in your main keyword.
  3. In the suggestions box, find and note down all the extra keywords that match your initial long-tail keywords (the ones that you noted down previously).
  4. BOOM! Now you have even more keywords that you can put into your pin’s description to ensure you’ll rank higher

That’s how it’s done. Remember that it always takes some time for content to rank (whether it’s on Google or Pinterest), so don’t get disappointed.

Keep in mind:

  • Great visuals.
  • Search-friendly keywords

BTW, you can also make your pin buyable (in a similar manner as in Instagram). If you want to set this up, you can follow the instructions from the following video:

The sweet taste of referrals.

I mean, C'mon!

You know how much we love referral marketing; after all, we’ve built a business around it.

During the last year, I’ve written numerous articles about this particular subject, and some of them were focusing on ecommerce.

For example, I have one on how to boost your ecommerce sales with referral marketing, a guest post about how to introduce a referral marketing program to your ecommerce customers, and a case study about how BAMF media made Unicorn Snot go viral using Viral Loops.

WOW, that was a link storm.

The thing is that these articles came out before a very important event; the release of our Shopify app.

If you want to build your referral marketing campaigns in your Shopify store using Viral Loops, you’ll find a step-by-step guide in the video below:

Now, enough with self-promotion.

How can you drive traffic to your Shopify store with referral marketing?

Well, the basic concept of referral marketing is to leverage an existing audience in order to get access to a new one.

Let’s break down what makes a great referral marketing campaign for an ecommerce store:

  1. A great incentive.
  2. A beautiful landing page.
  3. Amazing copywriting.

Joeywears' case is a great example:

how to drive traffic with referral marketing to your shopify store

I have to be honest; those things sound simpler than they actually are. But don’t be afraid;

As in every marketing attempt, persistence and being open to change are crucial.

You can run 2 types of referral marketing campaigns:

  1. For list building.
  2. To drive sales.

List building.

In other words, you can reward your users for bringing you email subscribers, by sharing your campaign.

The more people share about your campaign, the more traffic you’ll get to your campaign’s page. But is this enough?

No. You have to get people to browse your store.

That’s when nurturing campaigns come into play.

Grabbing their email address is just a way to get permission to talk to them about something they might be interested in. In other words, it’s a conversation starter.

Driving direct sales.

Using that method enable your users to get access to discounts on your store by prompting other people to buy from you.

Both sides can be rewarded for the action that they’ll take.

E.g.

If user A bring user B to buy, both User A and B may receive a 20% discount for their purchases.

If user A also brings user C, then user A may receive a 40% discount while user B & C both get 20% off.

I think you get the point.

The great thing is that by using the Viral Loops Story for Shopify, you can use both types of campaigns simultaneously.

So if user A invites user B to make a purchase, but user B subscribes to your newsletter instead of buying, they may still get a reward for doing so.

Email all the way.

A few lines above I mentioned nurturing leads.

Email, in comparison to a search engine, is an owned asset of yours. There are no ranking factors in this realm (if your emails end up in the junk folder, it’s another story).

Apart from that, there are plenty of uses for email campaigns:

  • You can inform people about new products or updates.
  • Sending exclusive content to help people to solve a problem (if you’re selling gardening products, you could create a gardening guide for beginners).
  • Asking for feedback.
  • Creating campaigns for seasonal offers.
  • Re-engaging old customers.
  • Saving abandoned carts.
  • Sending offers based on interest (Female clothing apparel sales when the user has shown interest in your ‘woman’ category).

You can also combine some of the options given above.

E.g. If you know that a specific user is a male, you can email them on the week of Valentine’s day with sales on female clothing apparel.

The bottom line is that email marketing has the ability to bring people back to your store, and this is the kind of traffic you need the most.

Returning customers are the cradle of a successful ecommerce store. Without a good retention rate, you will never truly grow.

I will say it once again; email all the way.

Get chatty.

Messenger bots became uber-popular during 2018.

We use ours, Puggybot, in order to deliver exclusive content to its subscribers and, occasionally, to promote a new feature release.

It works pretty well; within a few months, we’ve established a new distribution channel for us.

But do messenger bots work for ecommerce as well?

Are you kidding me? These things were made to drive sales and traffic.

Similar to the case of email marketing, Messenger bots offer a great opening for your store to retain customers or to complete abandoned purchases.

Let’s go through some of the things you can achieve by using Messenger bots with your Shopify store:

  • You can improve your Customer Support.
  • You can send personalized marketing campaigns.
  • You can recover abandoned carts.
  • You can allow direct checkouts.

In a few words, with Messenger bots, you can do whatever you did with email up until the now, but with a higher open rate and click-through rate.

Pure magic!

The only downside of chatbots is that you have to invest time to build your Messenger subscriber list from scratch.

Before you go.

In this article, I tried my best to cover as much area as possible on how to drive a great amount of traffic to your Shopify store.

That’s a huge topic. Actually, it’s so big that I could write another 5 articles to support my points.

If you made it this far in the article, I want to thank you! This is one big a** post.

Before I go, I want to ask you to leave a comment with the topic from the article that you think I should elaborate more on. It would mean a lot, and I’ll make sure to update the article as soon as I have the opportunity.

Oh, damn!

I almost forgot; feel free to share this post with your friends!

Keep being awesome.