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June 5, 2018 - 4 comments

Virality and the 4 Steps To Design It In Your Product

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

But what does virality mean?

Virality: vʌɪˈralɪti/

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viral marketing should be the heart of your product.

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

Virality Vs. Word Of Mouth

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

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

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

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

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

Email from Typeform

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

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

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

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

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

Typeform, we ❤ you guys! 🤗

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding what type of viral marketing fits to our product

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to design your product for viral growth

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

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

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

This is about finding the right sender incentives.

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

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

Developer Economics’ Campaign

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

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

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

Waiting List of Ellp’s Campaign

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

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

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

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

And now our external network.

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

Viral Loops’ Referral Dashboard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 26, 2018 - No Comments!

How to get started with Viral Loops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Currently, we offer multiple campaign templates.

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

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

It’s easy and effective.

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

Our Referral Templates

The Milestone Referral

Inspired by Harry’s and the Hustle

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

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

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

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

The e-Commerce Referral

Inspired by Gilt

 

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

You can see how it looks live. 

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

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

Refer a Friend template

Inspired by Dropbox

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

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

Our giveaway templates:

We have created two types of campaigns for competitions:

  1. The Leaderboard Giveaway
  2. The Tempting Giveaway

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

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

Here's a live example of The Leaderboard Giveaway

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

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

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

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

Our pre-launch campaigns:

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

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

The Wizard

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

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

Step 1: Info

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

Step 2: Rewards

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

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

Step 3: Widgets

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

Step 4: Installation

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

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

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

Another powerful feature we have is Viral Loops Pages.

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

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

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

The Campaigns' Dashboard

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

September 25, 2017 - No Comments!

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

Hey Viral Loops friends, 👋

This is a very special moment our team.

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

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

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

And, now it’s time for version 2. 🎉

viral-loops-dropbox-referral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

viral loops birthday happy dance

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

So, here it is what we have for you:

1. Free Tool: Grow Like Dropbox

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

We built in an internal hackathon over the weekend!

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

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

2. Exclusive Webinar: How To Skyrocket Your Referral Program

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

Almost nobody takes advantage of these growth hacks. 😱

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

3. Birthday Offer

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

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

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

Great times ahead 🤗

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

July 14, 2017 - 1 comment.

How the Hustle’s milestone referral program earned them 300k fanatics

I love the Hustle. I mean, I had years to read news that look so slick.

In the beginning, there was a link that a friend sent me. I clicked; ‘that’s some good copywriting right there’, I said.

‘I  dig the branding, also’, was my next thought.

Then I received an email from Sam Parr, giving a warm (and rather funny) welcome to their ‘crib’. As far as I remember, after 1 week, and pardon me if I’m wrong, I receive another email.

This time, it was an invitation for The Hustle’s milestone referral program. I followed the link (of course I did) and got my mind blown away from the awesome swag they offer in exchange for referrals.

I started a referral spree.

One of the friends to whom I sent my link was like dude, I’m already on board. Did you know these guys got 300K subscribers in just a few months?’

Come again?

My eyeballs turned into dollar signs. I had to know how they did it. I googled every relative term, just to find that there’s no secret to their success. It’s all there.

How a milestone referral program turned happy readers to fanatic ambassadors.

It’s pretty obvious that the folks at The Hustle take their content seriously. They serve emails that you can’t afford not opening, and their articles are informative with a very specific tone of voice.

These facts alone are enough to keep people coming back, but what do you do when you want to acquire more readers at a fast rate?

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

Harry’s used the exact same approach some years prior, resulting in a huge success.

But none of these aspects could play by their own. It’s the killer combination of 3:

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

As the importance of copywriting and email marketing have already been covered in hundreds of thousands of articles, I thought that it would be wise to focus on the milestone referral on this article.

How does the Hustle’s milestone referral work

In order to make such a system to work, you have first to make it accessible to people. In the Hustle’s case, people can discover their ambassador program in two ways:

  1. Their dedicated landing page.
  2. An email from Sam Parr.

The landing page for their milestone referral program has a rather plain outfit. You can access it anytime from a link to their website’s footer.

The landing page includes some text that explains how the Hustle’s readers sculpt the face of the company, and a single Call-To-Action asking you to join their ambassador program so you can help them become even better.

I didn’t become an ambassador from this page.

An email (as I explained in the beginning), was the reason.  In fact, this is the email that I got:

As you can see, I was given a unique URL to share with my friends. Every new email address the Hustle obtained thanks to my sharing, added to my referral count.

Since building a community is obviously important to the Hustle, the first tier was to bring 4 friends in order to get access to a private Facebook group. That way you get the opportunity to introduce yourself and engage with the other people of the tribe.

You can always use your unique URL to track the number of your referrals. And that’s where the magic happens.

You see on this page, there’s a showcase of all the prizes you can unlock depending on the number of referrals you have.

I can’t describe how much I wanted these socks:

I think that just by looking on this page with the number of referrals and the gifts acts a superbly strong call-to-action for sharing more and more. This is the greatest trick of all.

The Hustle is very much aware of it. That’s why every now and then, their emails aim to lure you back to that page.

People are full of doubts. We’re constantly afraid that we’ll fail (which, btw, is very natural and you should probably get used to it). Fear could discourage people from sharing, due to their low expectations for the outcome.

That’s why the page also includes tips on how to share for more referrals, along with some stories of how some top ambassadors made it. You can find more stories like that in the Hustle’s FAQ page.

Winning a prize

Let’s say you unlocked the prize you wanted; what happens next?

First, after you reach each milestone you get an email (of course) informing you about your moment of glory. You are given the option to cash out or keep your referrals for a bigger prize.

If your choice is to cash out, you’ll have the postman knocking on your door after a few days. Your prize will be enclosed in a branded package, along with some extra goodies and a handwritten card.

This alone is worth sharing, and that’s exactly what someone did:

Are you thinking of building a milestone referral like the Hustle did?

I know that stories like the Hustle’s fascinate you- that’s why you read everything so far. I also know that you consider building your own milestone referral program.

That’s great!

You don’t need any coding skills or to hire a developer. We got your back.

Recently, we created a tool, to help you build a milestone referral in 20 seconds. Seriously; 20 seconds.

But before you start building it, let’s recap the things that will help you nail it:

  1. Use extraordinary copywriting. It’s your chance to shine like a diamond among coals.
  2. Build a community for your ‘tribe’. An engaged community is priceless. It might take a lot of time, engaging, posting and approving people, but it’s totally worth it.
  3. Offer prizes that align with your company’s brand identity. The Hustle is all about having swag; that’s why they offer swag.
  4. Incentivize people to come back to their referral page.
  5. Help people to get more referrals. I told you, people are full of doubts.

Now, you are truly ready to build your own milestone referral program. Give it your best, and who knows?

Maybe my next story will be about how your ambassador program knocked my socks off.

Cheers 🙂

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

June 16, 2017 - 5 comments

How We Doubled Our Month Over Month Revenue Growth

Introduction

Two years ago, before starting our first tech startup, Viral Loops, we built one of the first growth marketing agencies, GrowthRocks.

I’m starting to lose count of the companies we’ve worked with, but almost all of them wanted to learn the process we followed for our internal needs.

So, what we do, is simply a sum of Sean Ellis’ high tempo testing method, Brian Balfour’s growth machine and our amazing growth team testing like lunatics.

sean ellis high tempo viral loops

High tempo testing method

The community of GrowthHackers.com is an excellent example of how high tempo testing can skyrocket your results.

As it’s a community, GrowthHacker.com main key metric in the number of monthly active users.

They managed to nearly double their monthly active users in 11 weeks from the moment they started testing in high tempo.

As Sean Ellis points, it’s important to run as many experiments as possible in a given timeframe, as you will get more insights, in a quicker manner, about what drives growth for your product.

Brian-balfour-growth-machine-viral-loops

Brian Balfour’s Growth Machine.

In order to discover the right experiment you first have to explore, which translates to running more and more experiments.

As you can see, we start with brainstorming and documenting new experiments, which then we prioritise and we decide which of them we are going to implement.

The next steps are to implement, run and then analyse. documenting everything is important, as at the end of the day you can systemize easily successful experiments, making them that way a part of your marketing approach.

Note:
When you’re in the ideation step of your experiments you should keep your focus on inputs rather than outputs.

For example, if we’re trying to increase your Monthly Recurring Revenue, you should build experiments that will influence the number of free trials and your conversion rate.

viral loops growth

So, increasing Conversion Rate is one of our OKR’s, for which we have a specific document.

The OBJECTIVE KEY RESULT document is the place to store the key results you want to hit in the given timeframe of each experiment.

Instead of setting just one target result, we like to set 3, scaled based on how hard is to reach the goal.

viral loops okr growth

In the particular example, you see that the experiment is to increase our monthly conversion rate.

As a more long shot result, we set a 15% monthly conversion rate in a 60 day period.

We’ve also set 2 more tiers, which are more attainable.

Make sure to keep in mind that each experiment should run from 1 to 3 months. That gives you enough time to acquire a reliable statistical depth unless you have tons of traffic.

In that case, you’ll be able to test in higher tempo, which will allow you to bring results faster.

Generally, the higher your testing mode, the more insight you’ll be able to get. You have to build your experiment’s hypothesis, using a logical expression IF THIS, THEN THAT, BECAUSE THIS.

For example,

“If we increase the traffic by 100%, then the conversion rate will double because the checkout process is already performing in the desired way.”

Also, you can note down the exact steps of the experiment’s design.

For example,

Step1. Build a landing page

Step2. Send a dedicated email newsletter

Step3. Run a FB ad etc.

Adding an estimation of the man-days that each aspect of the experiment needs, will help you prioritize better the experiments you should run. Running the wrong experiment can really spoil the momentum you’re trying to build.

E.g. 0.5 man-day in the landing page development.

Also, it’s wise to keep track of your key metrics along with some action items for the next sprint.

Instead of dreaming big, you have to be pretty down to earth about your experiment’s hypothesis.

Aim for drastic things that will bring meaningful results.

Adding the ability to checkout without subscribing is by far a more meaningful test than changing the checkout button.

Last, there should be WEEKLY LEARNINGS document for keeping the things you learn every week as far as it concerns each experiment.

This is where, you will store your learning and the data that supports it, plus your actions for the upcoming week.

Keeping a consistent documentation will help you establish a knowledge base for your team in order to avoid mistakes in similar experiments.

After every experiment ends, we store our learning using a Wiki software. We currently use TikiWiki, but you should find the one that will work best for you.

Our typical week

The week starts by summing up what we’ve learned during the previous week and how to leverage those learning to our own sake.

Prioritising new experiments also belong to Mondays, and since everything’s set and clear, the team is entering in execution mode which lasts to the very end of the week.

Tuesdays are for discussing technical stuff and doubling down on tasks.

Wednesdays are quite office days, as everyone is trying to nail it like a boss.

Then on Thursday, we take a break from breaking stuff and we put together all the ideas that we have for the next week.

Now, we all know that Fridays are not exactly what one would call a productive day. that’s the reason we try to keep executing at a low level and instead focus of recapping the things we’ve learned so far.

I must make clear that we are not robots. We keep the cyborg side of ourselves only for executing. We also have food parties, we talk nonsense and harsh jokes to each other and play with our mascot puppy.

The living is easy!

You probably think that what I told you so far, are actually harder than I make them sound.

You are damn right. But you can use our stack to make it easier for you.

Tools we use.

We use GrowthHackers projects for keeping an eye on our experiments–both running, backlog and pipeline.

viral loops growthhackers.com

Then we have Paper by Dropbox (which rocked my socks off) for any kind of documentation, such as learnings or metrics.

viral loops dropbox paper

Trello is our to-go for task allocation and management, and finally, slack (Geekbot) for internal team communication and sending memes.

viral loops tools viral loops tools

Real life example

To better understand the process, let's see how this process can apply to real life.

In Viral Loops we are continuously looking for new ways to increase our e-commerce customers, organically and without ads.

So let's dig deeper.

Step 1

Firstly, we came up with a few ideas and we added them to the experiment backlog. Such ideas were:

1. Write guest posts in big e-commerce blogs.

2. Put together a super actionable e-Book about e-commerce growth

3. Create an e-Book in collaboration with a company that provides necessary an e-commerce tool and can share it with its customer base.

Step 2

After prioritising these ideas, we decided to focus & execute #3 because it seemed more promising to get some new e-commerce customers.

That's why we picked Contact Pigeon, an email marketing automation platform for e-commerce stores.

The e-Book is titled Let the Ca$h Flow: A Guide Full of eCommerce Growth Tactics.

Check it out 👉 here.

Step 3

This is where you have to understand if the experiment worked or not. In order to do that you have to measure it first. These are the metrics we decided to track:

- #number of e-Book Downloads

- New sign-ups that came from downloading the e-Book

Step 4

We documented exactly what we did. From how we wrote the e-Book, what format we used along with the marketing channels we used to promote it.

Conclusion

Every company is different. All of us are facing marketing issues and we have to take advantage of chances that come up along the way.

What is going to help you survive is your team and your process.

These two will help you surpass every obstacle on the way to success and growth.

What process do you follow? What would you do to grow your numbers?

June 9, 2017 - No Comments!

7 Steps To Help Your Business in Prelaunch

This is it!

It’s finally happening! After all these months (or has it been years?) of blood sweat and tears, you are at last ready to push the button.

You’re going 8 mile now - this is your shot to greatness.

You close your eyes and prepare for the upcoming fireworks and marching bands...

Rolling tumbleweeds and the sound of crickets is what you get instead.

But you worked your ass off! How is this possible??

You wake up in your bed. It was only a dream...

Let's do it the right way this time.

1. Find Your Message

In one of the most popular TED talks ever made, Simon Sinek explains the difference in mindset between a company that focuses on what they do and how, versus one that knows first of all why they do it.

Do you have a clear idea of why you do what you do? Do you communicate it to the world effectively?

Chances are you’re not the only one doing what you are doing. So ask yourself - as a customer, when faced with the option to choose between similar products, what affects your decision?

Price, sure. Features and aesthetics too. But what influences you the most is your instinct. You will buy from the company that you trust more, that you feel a stronger connection to.

People are not moved by facts, but emotions.

The message you put out should appeal to your customers’ heart, not their logic. Make sure you position yourself in a way that connects with your customers and sets you apart from competitors.

2. Listen To Your Market

You’ve thought of everything. Your product is just perfect. You can already imagine the people trampling over one another to get their hands on it first. They will simply love it.

Hold your… horses for a second.

Don’t just assume you know what’s best for your customers, or that you know how to solve their problems better than they do. It could be that no one needs something you’ve built in, or there’s a certain essential (and perhaps pretty simple) feature missing.

So ask them! What do they love about your product? What is “ok” but could be improved? What definitely needs changing? What is a deal breaker? Act on the feedback you get.

Question. Explore. Improve.

Listening to the pain points of your community and acting on the feedback is the most important thing you can do at this stage. Don’t go launching what you think your customers want instead of what they actually want.

3. Start The Hype Train

To have a killer product launch, putting the words out there at the last minute won’t cut it. You have to start creating hype long before the actual day.

The list below is by no means exhaustive. If you get some awesome idea about creating hype around your product, definitely go for it!

So, here are a few ways:

  • Make it Personal
    No one cares about the actual features of the product, what they really care about what it actually does for them. When Apple introduced the first iPod to the world, they didn’t say “it has a 5GB hard drive”. They said “1000 songs in your pocket”. What’s more powerful?When introducing your product, showcase the problem your ideal customer faces. Then paint a vivid picture of how this problem affects their business or themselves. Finally demonstrate how it saves them money/time/frustration.
  • Early Birds
    Offer early adopters something for pre ordering your product, whether that is reduced prices, VIP service, or some non monetary reward. By doing that, not only do you create the urgency for a limited time offer (and revenue in the door before you even put your product out there), but also possible referrals since your early birds wouldn’t want their friends to miss out on the opportunity.
  • Crowdfunding
    Similar to pre orders, using crowdfunding will give you a stream of revenue before the actual launch and help you build a community. People take pride in being part of creating something, so they are bound to tell their friends of their contribution.
  • Behind the Scenes and Teasers
    Letting people witness the process leading up to the launch will make them feel part of the family.  Share some interesting behind-the-scenes pictures and videos during the development phase.

For physical products, show and explain how the product is created. For digital products post relevant memes, videos or photos of your team at key moments during the development process.

Another great way to create hype is to post teaser content. If you can make the audience intrigued but withhold some information so that they are left guessing, you will generate some serious buzz around your product.

Later on you can allow for some “leaks” (again not giving away the full picture) to spark interest even more.

  • Freebies
    Lets face it. People love free stuff.Hosting a contest or giveaway will get you attention for a dirt cheap price. Making sure the call to action is something fun or unusual (remember planking?), might make more people engaged in the process, or even make it go viral.Include multiple calls to action that will give the contestant a better chance of winning. For example, posting with a certain hashtag might give him 1 entry for the competition, sharing the post and tagging a friend will get him an additional entry each.Mostly importantly, the star of the show -the prize- should be something cool. It doesn’t need to be monetary (that’s not a huge motive anyway - unless in considerable amounts), but it has to be something people would love, or love to brag about.Check out our Ultimate Guide for a Successful Giveaway for more in-depth advice on how to create a killer giveaway.
  • Have a Landing Page. Seriously.
    Having a landing page lets people offer you their email for updates and insider news on the product. That way you can nurture them until the launch through email marketing.Make sure to have a “Thank You” page after they sign up, where you include a CTA for sharing the landing page on their social media profiles. Sharing is caring.
  • Influencers
    Reaching out to the proper influencers will put your product in front of a great number of highly qualified leads. Depending on the amount of influence they have over their followers, you can generate great interest and even loyalty to your product.
  • Create an Explainer Video
    In 2008, an explainer video helped Dropbox get 70.000 new subscribers in 24 hours.Statistics show that video continues being on the rise.
  • Creating a video that explains in the most simple and engaging way what your product does and how it solves a problem might give you a great boost in traction.
  • Blogging/Guest blogging
    Don’t forget the basics. Have a steady flow of blog posts about your product, with keywords that are relevant to what people search for.Also reaching out to other bloggers and offering your product in exchange for a review, or to ask for guest posts is a good idea to utilise established fanbases in your niche. That way you can draw attention to your website and product, but also provide backlinks to your own blog from an SEO perspective.
  • Be Visual
    Infographics are visually engaging and easily consumed, and in effect very shareable. Start a conversation by posting an infographic and asking people what they think.
  • Go Old School
    Don’t forget “vanilla” marketing. Show up at events and do some networking. You can offer a demo of your product to some influential people to get some extra press.

Then let it spread like wildfire. ..

Wildfire-blackwater-gif.gif

4. Get Your Team Ready

As you prepare for a spike in traffic and sales, it is good practice to have everyone onboard and ready for dealing with the issues that will arise on launch day.

  • Learn the Product
    The team must be expert users of the product. Everyone should know how everything works, and be able to explain it in the most dumbed down way possible.
  • Make a List of FAQs
    You can easily figure out what questions customers will (usually) have about the product. Make a list of frequently asked questions and answers on your website to help people solve their query fast and relieve your customer service some of the workload.
  • Practice Product Demo and Pitch
    The team must be able to demonstrate how the product works within a set amount of time, and know how to showcase its benefits without being too “salesy”.
  • Prepare the Sales Process
    Establish a process for the customer’s journey to streamline sales once a prospect expresses interest.

5. Set Up Goals And Metrics

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

The importance of this paraphrased quote from daddy of modern management theory Peter Drucker should be painfully obvious when setting up the stage for your launch.

Simply put - What do you expect to achieve?

Goals give your team something tangible to work towards, a sense of direction. When setting your goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. - if you’re not familiar with the acronym, it doesn’t mean goals of superior intellect, but goals that are:

  • Specific - describe the goal with deadly precision, include zero ambiguity in the language.
  • Measurable - how much, how many, how will I know when my goal is accomplished?
  • Attainable - goal is neither out of reach nor too easy/not challenging enough.
  • Relevant - the goal is consistent with the bigger picture and long term plans.
  • Time based - setting a deadline establishes urgency and helps with time management.


Having goals that are well defined and challenging but possible to achieve within a specified timeframe, helps you and your team create a game plan that will serve as a tool to coordinate your actions and put you on track.


Some examples:

  • Sales - We will have 50 active subscriptions by the end of the month following the launch.
  • Awareness - Within a week after the launch, we will see 5 review posts about our product, 100 signups or 3000 visits on our site.
  • Leads – By the end of the sixth week after the launch, we will have identified 300 leads.
  • Demos – We will have demonstrated the product to 100 potential customers within two months after the launch.
  • Upgrades – 100 users of our product will have upgraded from the trial version within 90 days following the day of the launch.

Once the goals are in place, it is time to define and capture the metrics that support the goals and give you insight of how effectively they were attained.

6. Launch Day

Alright.

You’re in the trenches now. Going in for the kill.

Today is first all about exposure and capturing attention, and then - if successful - managing the spike of traffic and interest you will receive regarding your product.

  • Go all out on social media - join relevant communities, post on every platform notifying your followers about the launch. You can also send a quick email to your subscribers letting them know how important this day is and asking for their support.
  • Avoid big events that will steal your spotlight. New Apple product launching on the same day? Change dates without a second thought. If however you can coordinate your launch with an event, you might benefit from the increased exposure.
  • Have a compelling landing page ready. Simple. Clean. Powerful message. Consider giveaways (who doesn’t love free stuff?). What a great first impression for your brand.
  • Update your social media whenever you hit certain milestones. Post pictures or gifs to capture more attention and thank your community for their support.
  • Have the whole team engaged and keep up with everything. Reply to comments, answer questions, handle requests. This is the big day, everyone on the team should give their 110%.

7. Post Launch

So you’ve done it!

The launch was a roaring success. Traffic is up, sales are booming. Is it time to lay under the sun on a tropical beach or sail across the Mediterranean on a yacht now?

Not quite.

You just brought your product to life. Now begins the process of fine-tuning and refining every aspect of it. Pricing, messaging, user experience. Everything can be - and should be - improved during the product’s life cycle. Give your customers a reason to keep coming back and talking about it.

Intercom's post launch loop involves 3 actions:

  • Collect feedback - listen for every problem your customers face through social media and calls, gather analytics data.
  • Watch for patterns - categorize all data into relevant themes such as churn, bounce, conversion and CTRs.
  • Improve - act based on the insights you gained through the previous step.

Keeping sales up is an ongoing process which you can maintain through various approaches:

  • Stay on top of the game with content marketing (blog posts, email nurturing)
  • Start an affiliates program
  • Promote discounts
  • Showcase social proof (prospects are more likely to trust other people’s reviews)
  • Optimise your website
  • Stay active in social media and communities
  • Track and interpret analytics
  • Reach out to influencers and raving fans

Launching your product is a big deal, and should be treated as such. Having a solid plan and executing it as perfectly as possible certainly gives you the best chance for success.

Want to know how we did it? Check out how we got 1000+ upvotes on Product Hunt.

BTW, we're hosting a webinar on viral & referral marketing this Wednesday. Claim your spot now and come chat with us. ✌️

May 3, 2017 - 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.

 

83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do. Click To Tweet

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.
The best time to trigger your email campaign is when customers experience their “WOW moment”… Click To Tweet

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! @jonloomer #referralmarketing Click To Tweet

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.

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?

March 6, 2017 - 1 comment.

How we got 1000+ upvotes in Product Hunt

the beginning

Do you know how when you think about something a lot, ideas start coming to you at any time.

On Sunday mornings I’m usually out surfing but if it’s flat, as it was that weekend, I take the skateboard to the park and play around for some hours.

We had been thinking of doing a launch on Product Hunt for a while but never really got around to doing it. At that moment, it just hit me. I called Savvas Zortikis (our CEO).

“It’s time”, I said. “We should go on Product Hunt, the timing is perfect and we already have Viral Loops for Startups, let’s not wait anymore”.

“You’re the marketing guy, start planning it. Let’s discuss this tomorrow” was Savvas’ response.

And so it began…

the planning

A day later, on Monday morning, we did our weekly catch-up meeting. At the end we decided with the rest of the team that we’re going to launch on Product Hunt.

Like we said in a previous story we wrote about how we organize our growth process, everyone started shooting ideas on how we’re going to launch successfully.

The development team. The design team. The product team. The customer success team. The marketing team. Everyone.

Wait, I almost forgot. Do you all know what Product Hunt is?

Whether you’re a newbie or oldie on Product Hunt, you should know how it works. It’s the place to discover your next favorite thing. Every day, new things are submitted, upvoted, and curated by the community and the Product Hunt team.

So, to get people love your product and gather a ton of upvotes you should do some small but important things. Like its founder and CEO Ryan Hoover says:

“It’s most important that people understand exactly what your product does. If they don’t understand what it does, they’re not going to care.”

We wanted to be 100% sure that everyone on the team was on the same page and knew how huge this launch was for Viral Loops and the awareness that we were going to generate. We asked everyone if they knew Startup Stash. 90% of people said yes, but only 2–3 people knew that it became famous through Product Hunt. (read how Bram Kanstein ✌️did it here)

“See?! That’s how important Product Hunt is”, Savvas said

After tracking a ton of product launches, reading over 50+ playbooks, blog posts, medium stories etc. and also talking with some makers about how they did it, we started getting some great ideas on the table.

One game-changing thing that we brought on the table is that we should take advantage of our community.

To launch successfully you should master the art of engaging with your community.

After almost 3 hours of brainstorming and prioritizing our ideas, we came up with our launch plan.

There you go, here’s the real thing.

the launch

To make things simple enough, we organized our activities based on the day of the launch.

before the launch

  • Make sure you join some communities like MakerHunt, PHglobal, Startup, #Launch in slack. Also try finding some local facebook communities related to Product Hunt, startups etc.
  • Send straight to PH team to get an invite and be able to hunt your own product.
  • Choose a perfect launch date/time for you. Try to avoid big events like Apple/Google keynotes etc. Fridays around 12am-2am PST have proven to be good choices for launch days.
  • Create/Customize your landing page. Have a clear message, CTA, don’t overdo it with the design. Remember that people want something simple that covers their needs or that is totally unique and impresses them.
  • To prompt people to use/purchase your product you can offer something exclusive. Use IntroBar to notify them about your offer.

during launch day

  • Update all your social media profiles announcing you’re being featured in PH.
  • Post your message to Facebook and Slack groups/communities.
  • Send a newsletter to your community and your customers and let them know that you’re launching and you need their support.
  • Post the introduction comment as a Maker of this product
  • Add all your team members as product Makers
  • When you reach a milestone, like 100 upvotes or 500 upvotes it’s good to announce it to your community in social media.
  • Include visuals like videos, images, GIFs etc. Show real features instead of polished marketing shots.
  • Your whole team should stay engaged with comments, upvotes etc. Comments are part of the algorithm which ranks submissions on the leaderboard.
  • Follow back and reply to everyone who mentions your launch that day. It’s important to stay engaged.
  • Aim for daily top 5. You’ll be in the Product Hunt homepage and in the next day’s newsletter.

post launch

  • Track everything, look at your analytics and monitor who signs up, identify influencers and users who are from a company meaningful to have as a customer in your industry.
  • Thank your community. Don’t forget, they’re the ones who supported you.
  • Write down a blog post. Post launch, some makers (like we do 😝) write a medium post about their experience. That can be a good way to keep the momentum going.
  • Talk to your upvoters by DMing them in Twitter. Tweet a thank you to each and everyone of them.
  • Check back to see if there are any new comments to reply/upvote. It’s important to reply and upvote comments because they keep your submission “hot” 🔥.

useful resources & tools

  • PH Today — See how your product is performing.
  • Product Hunt Analytics.
  • Notify — Know when someone says something about your company/industry etc.
  • Twitter — Follow and engage with users who tweet about you.
  • IntroBar — Welcome and entice your Product Hunters who come to your website.
  • Meta Hunt — See what products perform better on Product Hunt.
  • MailChimp — Engage with your community and let them know when you’re launching.
  • Find a Hunter — Find top hunters and reach out to them. Remember, they’re the ones who will get you to the front page.

the outcome

Right now:

  • we are getting >500 new visitors from Product Hunt everyday, without any effort
  • we have over 1000 upvotes with a tiny tiny amount of effort
  • we are in the top 10 in Growth Hacking and Marketing tools
  • we got over 1000 new sign ups during the launch
  • we got noticed from influencers
  • we increased our awareness overall

Not bad right?

Check us out Viral Loops for Startups here. 😁

Also good luck with your submission. Ping us to support you. ✌️


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November 18, 2016 - No Comments!

The Ultimate Guide For A Successful Giveaway

Using giveaways as a marketing channel can be an effective way to generate leads and engage your community with low cost.

Giveaways can be a lot of fun for you and your community!

We wrote this post because there are some hot topics you should familiarize yourself with, before running your first giveaway.

Firstly, it’s important to know why to run a giveaway, how to set it up, where to promote it and, last but not least, the art of picking winners.

So let’s get started!

Why run a giveaway

There are 4 main reasons to choose a giveaway.

1. Generate leads.

A giveaway is great for getting leads or increasing your number of email list subscribers. It’s a lead generation secret weapon.

2. Save money

Lower your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) by running a giveaway. The cost is very low compared to other marketing channels and you don’t have to spend that much time on managing the process.

3. Product exposure

To launch a giveaway with something related to your product is an amazing way to generate excitement, more usage and long term retention.

4. Engage with your community

Are you looking for a way to get your community excited? Running a giveaway will get them hooked.

Ηow to set up your giveaway

There are 3 main pillars in here. Right prize, landing page and a good setup.

1. Picking the prize

Let’s get this straight, the more value you give, the more value you’re going to get. If you give your participants something that’s worth $ instead of something that’s worth $$$ then you’re not going to receive as many participants.

Also it’s the type of prize is crucial. Is it monetary? Is it something related to your company? Or something just to get their attention.

Usually when we want to be successful with our giveaway we give something related to our company that’s going to boost our brand awareness and help us engage more with our users.

2. Build a landing page

A landing page is the home of your giveaway to the world. It helps you deliver the giveaway to your audience.

In general, you should be thinking about growth before you even launch your product. That’s why, you should have a place where you can get users to sign up for exclusives e.g. early access, special offer, gifts etc.

Some quick wins for your giveaway landing page are:

-Have a clear Value Proposition of your giveaway

-Have CTA(CallToAction), ideally in top section and at the bottom of your page.

-Include a fun and descriptive video or an image to keep your page sexy

-Include a Facebook Opengraph. When your users share your page you want it to be beautiful.

3. Set it up and get started

Are you going to run a sweepstake giveaway or a leaderboard giveaway?

The main difference between these 2 is how you pick your winners. In a giveaway with a leaderboard you pick the top X whereas in a sweepstake giveaway and you have to choose randomly through the list of your campaign participants.

Promote your Giveaway

This is a very crucial part for the performance of your campaign because if you don’t get as much traffic as you need, you will waste the potential of the campaign..

So, some tips that will help you get a boost in your traffic and run a successful giveaway are:

  • Share on Facebook page/ Twitter page

It’s important to share your giveaway with people that already know you and are willing to compete in your giveaway campaign.

  • Email your subscribers

Send an email to your community to let people know what you’re up to. Try to get everyone to participate.

  • Put social boosters

Have some social boosters to help your campaign grow organically. Incentivize participants to share with friends. If you’ve created a great giveaway you’ll know, your participants are going to share it all the time with their friends.

This is a campaign we’re running in Viral Loops
  • Run a paid advertisement on FB or Twitter

Paid ads are going to help you reach people who have never heard of you. This way you can grow your email list, get more sales and increase your brand awareness.

Pick Winners

Probably the most important part of the giveaway is how you pick your winners.

If this is a giveaway with a leaderboard where you pick the top X, that’s fine! If you have chosen to run a sweepstake giveaway, you have to pick your winners at random.

In Viral Loops we’ve built an awesome “winner picker” in Viral Loops which helps you get your winners based on the number of their entries.


That’s all for now! Go ahead and create your own giveaway campaign!

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Viral Loops is the all-in-one viral marketing platform to launch your
referral programs, sweepstakes, competitions and pre-launch campaigns.


October 14, 2016 - No Comments!

The One Thing That Helps Me Become A Better Person & Founder

At my 25, I started my first business. A growth hacking agency. And a few months ago (I’m now 27) a SaaS startup around viral and referral marketing. I’m doing pretty well, but it’s not easy. You know it. Most probably, you’ve been there, or you have a friend who quitted his job and now building his own company.

As Benjamin P. Hardy says,

If it doesn’t suck, it’s not worth doing. And you absolutely can learn to endure the discomfort of the moment to build a life worth having.

Building the life you want to live, running your own business or just doing your thing, takes time and struggle. It’s really painful, despite how cool people think of it.

When I meet my friends, other founders and, in general, people of my network, they ask me about the business or they congratulate me for our first funding. Most of the times I say that things going great, our company grows and we have fun.

Wow! How cool does this sound? Yes, it’s really cool. And it’s not that I just want to “sell” how we nail it. We indeed see great early traction. But the thing is that if you want to succeed and build a multimillion company (and not yet another zombie startup) it’s not easy.

“An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” — Reid Hoffman

To do so, you have to get better and better. You have to push yourself to the limits. Every single day. Both physically and mentally. And this is what I do.

I try to get better. Happier. Work more productive. Deliver work that has greater impact. Workout more. But I always ask myself what is the one thing that can get me there.

This one little thing

There are a ton of things that help me become better every day. From reading motivational articles and quotes, to thoughtfully planning my next moves and studying the habits of other great entrepreneurs.

I experiment a lot. Whenever I read or hear something interesting, I’m evaluating if this can work for me, and then I do it.

But I don’t overthink it. I just do it. I love to try out new things and change my daily habits, both in my everyday life and work.

Before telling you this one little thing, I want to share with you a short story.

A few months ago, I had a meeting with an investor to talk about our startup, Viral Loops.

Before starting the business talk, he told me that he didn’t arrived by car, but preferred to walk for 40–50 minutes to get there, just to take his daily workout. At least a part of it.

And this made me think. I haven’t took any workout for around 3 years. I was trying, but I had subconsciously convinced myself that I didn’t have the time.

Just taking my workout at the beach.

The next day, I woke up 1.5 hours earlier and did it. And for the last 4 months I do this regularly (3–4 times per week). I even go to the beach from time to time.

It took me about 2 months to make it part of my daily routine. But now I’m in shape, feeling better and have more energy during the day.

So, after meeting this guy, my life became a bit better. I became a bit better. And this is a great feeling.

Then I took a step back and thought why I took action. Why did I start to take my workout again? What gave me the boost to become better?

And the answer was because I met that guy. Someone better than me. Someone that has done greater things than me.

And I didn’t read it in a book or a blogpost. I saw with my own eyes what he was doing and was impressed. He shared with me his experiences and gave me invaluable feedback. And despite being super busy, he finds ways to workout.

So, here it is.

If you want to become better, meet and hangout with people better than you. Find a co-founder better than you. Hire better people than you. Make friends who are better than you.

Set it as a life goal.

Actually make it a habit. A part of your routine. Daily and weekly routines are really powerful and help you stick to things that help you progress. And if you think that this little thing can help you too, don’t let it go.

“Take control of your life. Set some routines and learn to follow them.”— Leo Babauta

I’m pretty sure that if you spend 10 minutes to think of it you’ll see that in some point in your life this helped you, too. I took my 10 minutes, so here are just 3 examples that came out of my head:

  1. In high-school I wasn’t an A student. I was thinking to follow my family business and not to study something. But then I met a great teacher. An aspiring mathematician, that not only did he teach me mathematics, but he also pushed me to continue my studies. And I made it. Of course, I had to to work really hard to get to the university, but it was this guy who gave me the kickstart.
  2. In university, I didn’t like any of my courses and didn’t have a clue on what I’d like to do after that. At the fourth semester I met a great professor. He was teaching Mathematics, Robotics and Project Management. So, I stuck with him and became the first student of my university that got a project management certification. The knowledge I took from him and the certification played a significant role for starting my career.
  3. At my first job, I had a great CEO. Crazy, super hard-working guy. I’ve learned a ton from him. From understanding technical design and giving presentations to clients to selling and managing people and financials. And I still learn from him. Because Theodoros Moulos (he is the one) is my co-founder in both our growth hacking agency and our SaaS startup 🙂

5 ways to make it a habit

I’m not a big fan of theoretical stuff, so here are a few ways to make it a habit:

  1. First look around you. Are your friends better than you? Are your colleagues or employees better than you? What about your co-founder? If not, change it. Of course, when talking about friends, I don’t mean if they’re better in writing code or running a business 🙂
  2. On Sunday evening or Monday morning, check your calendar and see if you have a meeting with someone you’ve never met or have quite a while to talk to that’s better than you. An old friend, another successful founder, advisor, whatever. If not, get in touch with him and schedule it.
  3. Go to meet-ups and conferences and talk to people. It’s pretty sure you’ll find someone better than you.
  4. Travel. Choose another state, city or country and go for it.
  5. Each week reflect on what you accomplished and ask yourself “Did I meet someone better than me?” If not, plan it for the week after.

What helps you become better? If you’d like to share it with me, just leave a response below 🙂

Thanks for hitting the 💚 if you enjoyed this article. This will tell me if I became better in writing, too! 🙃

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Savvas is a product and growth guy, who loves the Scandinavian design. He is co-founder and CEO at Viral Loops, an all-in-one
viral and referral marketing platform.