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March 14, 2019 - No Comments!

Fetch & Funnel: Creating and testing Messenger Bot Experiences

Running an agency is difficult. Running a successful one, even more difficult.

That's very true.

What’s also very true is that agencies have on their ranks some of the most efficient marketing minds in the world.

Coming from an agency ourselves, Savvas and I try to keep a close eye on what’s going on in the agency terrain.

Since we launched Messenger Bot Giveaways by Viral Loops we are in a constant search for people that really know how to use Messenger bots.

Every once in a while, we come across a brilliant mind and- surprise, surprise, they either work for or own an agency.

After our insightful interviews with Arri Bagah and Hunter McKinley, we got in touch with the amazing Samir ElKamouny & Matt Lampkin from Fetch & Funnel. We scheduled the interview, and Savvas had an amazing conversation with them.

Here’s what they had to share with us.

What is Fetch & Funnel?

Fetch & Funnel is an acquisition agency, and we specialize in helping e-commerce brands to scale sales and revenue- primarily through social advertising and sales funnels.

We’ve also been designing, testing, integrating Messenger as a channel into our social strategies for almost two years now. 

We found Facebook Messenger to be one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers because Messenger is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel. 

Facebook Messenger is one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers, because it is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel.

How did you decide to integrate messenger marketing into your clients' strategy?

We still do Facebook advertising the way we were doing it before Messenger, but 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. 

It was just super obvious, and then we had to figure out how to utilize it. 

What are the best Practices? 

What are the tactics and strategies that will work? 

Then we just ran from there.  

Combining Email with Messenger Marketing.

Email’s not dead

It’s just another you market to your audience.

You can write a long paragraph in an email, but you can't write a long paragraph in Messenger.

They're two channels, and it’s better than just one. You can get the same message in front of your audience in more than one place. 

Messenger is a little bit less intrusive, and combining the two is a really really great way to to get email addresses for a much lower cost.

You can get email address directly in Messenger.

For example,  we found out that the most inexpensive way to gather registrations for a webinar was to ran a Facebook ad to a messenger bot that asks for their email address and it automatically registered them to a webinar. 

Email’s not dead.

It was the lowest cost for webinar registrations, plus we could get people in both channels (email, Messenger) and then play to the strengths of each.

From an email list to Messenger.

If a client already has an email list, there’s an opportunity to transfer people to Messenger and start to market them according to the needs of the platform (as mentioned above).

Just ask people to subscribe on your Messenger. Send an email to everyone and ask them to subscribe. Right?

The problem with that is there's no incentive, there's no bait and you're also not taking advantage of segmentation. 

If you have a large email list and you're a good email marketer, then you've done some advanced segmentation in your list. Therefore, you should be segmenting your Messenger list same way and make sure you will not send the same message

You would not send the same email trying to incentivize someone into Messenger. 

You wouldn't send the same message if they were a customer, or if they were a potential customer, cart abandonment or something like that. 

You have to customize the message and then you have to add some sort of value (e.g. if they are not a customer yet)

Maybe you say hey, here's a link to find out the answers to our most frequently asked questions, and were able to custom tailor a product recommendation for you

It could also be just a coupon code, or you could really add value in a lot of different ways. 

Adding value, giving some sort of bait to get them to click and subscribe on Messenger, would definitely be the most important thing. Then you should segment them as well, which is really easy to do. 

You could be subscribing people to different bots or to a different sequence, and once they're in you can nurture. 

If your email list is not segmented, this is the perfect opportunity to get them into Messenger and ask a couple qualifying questions and segment users from there.  

We found that on an email list it's pretty common that- unless somebody is a paying customer, you don't have much information about them, to begin with; you don't really know their preferences.

You don't know what their interests are. If you sell different products or you offer different services, or you have different types of content; you're not exactly sure. 

You don’t know why they signed up in the first place, and what information or material resonates with them. In Messenger, you can just go and ask them, so that they'll tell you what they're most interested in. This is the point you'll able to segment and personalize right, for extremely relevant marketing. 

⚡Note from Savvas:

A lot of people (especially in eCommerce) segment their Messenger list by having a menu inside Messenger, or they have a link somewhere on their website to get product suggestions. It's something like a quiz asking their users some questions in order to suggest them the best products for them.

This is a great way to gather, with two or three questions, data about your subscribers and segment them. 

Facebook Messenger is one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers, because it is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel.

Asking the right questions to segment your Messenger list.

You need to ask your subscribers questions, and then depending on what answer they give you can add a tag right to each answer. 

I think the more tagging you do, the better, but if you've got a thousand tags that you're never going to take advantage of, that sort of doesn't help but.

Facebook Messenger is one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers, because it is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel.

If you do a product recommendation based off of either their preferences or their interests, it's really it's a hundred times more powerful than just having a follow-up message. 

You can offer a discount on their preferred product, or give info for a new version of that product.

With a simple question about their preferences, you have now segmented that person and their interest and now you can literally offer them the exact product that they've shown interest in.

Ask people questions that show your their interests/preferences/tastes.

How often should we broadcast to our Messenger subscribers?

There’s no golden rule in that. It really depends on the brand.

I would say the biggest thing is really keeping an eye on metrics like your Open and Click-Through Rates. 

If you're sending a message every single day and you're not adding that much value, you will immediately see those phenomenal 80% open rates, and thirty percent click-through rates start to decline

That's really a great way to see how if you're (a) messaging too often and (b) not adding value. 

The most important thing is adding value. 

Maybe you're nurturing someone about what your mission is, or why they should be interested in working with you, or about why your products are the best in the market, but that's still sort of salesy

So you should add some value to their life by maybe sending them a blog post that is slightly related to your business, but not trying to sell them

That's the biggest thing; if all you're trying to do is sell someone over and over again, that's really where you're going to get the unsubscribes, and a huge decline in Open and Click-Through rates. 

Another really important thing is that you have to make sure that it's very easy to unsubscribe.

If you don’t, people will go and mark you as spam, and if you have too high a percentage of that, Facebook will suspend you from being able to send broadcasts or messages. 

It's super important to make that really really clear. 

We find with most of our clients, broadcasting once a week is great. If we're adding value, it can always be more than that. 

Facebook Messenger is one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers, because it is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you built sequences and you have a bunch of people in them, make sure that you're not sending a broadcast super close to when you may have made be having a sequence message sent to them. 

Just make sure that you're not superimposing on anybody at all. 

It's important to create a schedule for your broadcasts and your publishing- just like you might create a monthly email calendar so that you adapt at the frequency of sending a broadcast based upon the data that comes back. 

A great example of this is one of our clients, they're called the Gadget Flow and they're one of the largest platforms of essentially promoting different products and different gadgets. They don't directly sell them, but they have thousands and thousands of products on websites like Pinterest for gadgets. 

We quickly built them a large subscriber list, and we started sending broadcasts out; we were sending them very frequently, maybe two or three times a week. 

Then we noticed that the Open rates Click-Through rates were really steadily declining and we couldn't figure out why. 

And so we realized that we weren't speaking to our audience in the correct way. 

What we've done since then is that we completely segmented the current audience and then anybody who comes in asking questions like Hey, what type of gadgets are you interested in, “Is kitchen gadgets?”, “Is it travel gadgets?”

We went and ask them a bunch of different questions about exactly which categories they're interested in, and now we send out a blast every Friday and that is specifically tailored to only tell them about the coolest gadgets that came out this week; products in the categories that they specified that they are interested in. 

That kept the Open the Click-Through Rates extremely consistent

Successful Messenger flows for e-Commerce stores. 

Giveaways are extremely powerful; if you keep it consistent with your product offering.

They are extremely powerful and you can do some really interesting things, like running a Facebook ad about the giveaway and asking people to enter to win. 

You can definitely have them to do something extra in order to register; e.g. follow you on Instagram, give you their email address etc. Then you can ask them which product they're interested in; one or two qualifying questions. 

That way, you’ll be able to segment them

“Hey great you're registered for the giveaway. But here's a quick coupon code 10% off”

When the giveaways over maybe a week later, however long you're running the giveaway you tell everybody:

“Hey you know, the winners been announced on our Facebook page. You can go check it out. If you were the winner, you've already been messaged, but because we had so much interest and buzz around this we'd like to pick some runner-ups. Would you like to see if you're a runner?” 

Now, the secret is everybody's a runner-up and they're so you give them a coupon code to the exact item that they said they’re interested in.  

This works extremely well, but you can't do it all the time, because otherwise, people are going to catch on if you're not segmenting only to new people. 

Your old list is going to be like hey, “I'm always a runner up. What's up with this, right?” 

So you can also build some evergreen versions of this; it could be a super similar model where it's not really a giveaway but it's a quiz or a test or whatever you want to do. 

You can gamify it and make it really fun and allow them to win. 

“Oh, sorry. That was the wrong answer try again”. 

We've done this for some really big brands and it works really really well. 

Everybody loves to play a game, and it's quick and easy to just click the buttons in Messenger, and by providing them that coupon code, they feel like they won something.

It definitely works really really well, but again- it’s super important to you know, ask them what they're interested in and then give them a coupon code just on that item, or maybe put together a bundle that includes that item. 

We've had really really great success with that as well. 

This is a great way to increase your average order value, but also give them the thing that they were interested in at a discount. 

You can do this in a lot of different ways (the giveaways). You could do this for product launches.

We work a lot with crowdfunding campaigns like Kickstarter and Indiegogos, and you can use this tactic to build a massive list before you launch your crowdfunding campaign. 

The pre-campaign list building is probably more important than the actual campaign itself because it determines how much success you're going to have when you launch your Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

It's a great way to build that list, and then you give everybody a coupon code the minute you launch or give them a special offer. 

"Hey like your you get the early bird and it's going to be gone after today"

Another example is for Black Friday because everybody tries to spend all their advertising dollars in three or four days. 

Unless you have a connection with Facebook, or you work with an agency like us,  where you can tell Facebook and pre-plan that “hey I'm planning to spend this much make sure I have enough ad buying space.”, you probably won’t even spend your budget.

So what you can do is that weeks before it gets that competitive, you build this massive list and even if you're losing money on it, it's totally okay because the second Black Friday happens, you don't even need to spend a dollar on Advertising; just run heavy retargeting and blast your messenger list. 

Facebook Messenger is one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers, because it is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel.

That worked extremely well for us this past year and it’s unbelievably a lot of fun because the sales are just so instant when you blast people

It wasn't just something where they didn't hear from us for two or three weeks. We nurtured them along the way. It's incredibly powerful if you can ask a consumer what it is that they're actually interested in. 

The power of Messenger is that your message gets through. You're not going into the Gmail promotions tab with every other email out there. Your message makes it directly to that person. 

The power of Messenger is that your message gets through.

And as long as you're able to sort of qualify them upfront and determine what they're actually interested in who you could just send out your offer that is exclusively tailored to their interest at the right time, you don't have to advertise to actually get in front of that person to get that sale. 

You could do it for any sort of product launch, any sort of giveaway, promotion, or offer. 

Note from Savvas:

Something that I've seen from one of our clients is that they run a wishlist giveaway

So, they say that five people will win their wish list up to $300 each, and they ask people on messenger to add their favorite products, so somehow to create a wish list and if they win they will get these products. 

So everybody that joins the giveaway completes the wish list. 

Basically, they built and segmented their list at the same time. That way they knew what products are for which people and start selling according to the segmentation.

Fetch & Funnel’s favorite chatbot platforms.

We're sort of platform agnostic, so I would say the top three that we use primarily are ChatFuel,  Mobile Monkey and Manychat. 

I think each one of them has some different Pros

There are other Bots that can be very, you know, sort of tool specific. Like there's a lot of great Shopify abandoned cart tools, but again, they solve one really specific problem. 

Manychat has a lot of different uses, like website pop-ups, scan codes, comment tools, etc.

Mobile Monkey allows split testing, which is nice because you can set up some conversions inside the platform and track conversions. It's almost like setting an analytics goal. You set a goal inside the platform and you can track those conversions. 

Then ChatFuel has a very open Json API where you can send information back and forth from really anything.  It's a great way to run abandoned cart sequences for example. 

We will run a Facebook ad to “cart abandoners”, get them into a messenger bot, offer them some sort of value to make that purchase, and we can grab their email address associate their messenger ID and their email. 

Send the information with Zapier over to the CRM, and then when that person actually makes the purchase on the website, we can actually send an (almost like) broadcast through the API back to ChatFuel.

Then take them out of the abandoned cart sequence and put them into the customer sequence. 

The other thing that I think is really really important- that most people overlook, is reporting. 

ChatFuel has pretty decent reporting, Manychat has also decent reporting, but you can get really advanced with utilizing something like Dashbot. With it, you can track sort of what your top messages are and all that kind of stuff. 

 It doesn't matter which platform you're using; we've got one client who's on three platforms (1 is for cart abandonment). 

Testing your campaigns is crucial.

You can't just try one thing and then if it doesn't really work well give up on it.

You really have to test different messages and different outcomes. If you made it sort of long, make it simpler and do different testing of different bots, because it's just like a website. 

Facebook Messenger is one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers, because it is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel.

It's just like a funnel. It's just like anything really in marketing. 

You will eventually find one that will really unlock a high ROI, but it might not be the first one, and it might not be the one that you thought was the clear winner, or the best one, or the most unique one.

We did a huge giveaway with a client. They were giving away three $700 phones.

You would think that everyone's going to sign up for this thing immediately, but it was a phone that no one had ever heard of. 

So we told the client: “hey if you're giving away three of these phones, it would be better if we just gave away one iPad or are two Samsung Galaxy phones or whatever because people will recognize that and be more likely to sign up”.

Even though they were giving these super awesome expensive phones, people don't care what the specs are if they don't really recognize the brand. 

It’s definitely important to test different things.

Something else that we see quite a lot is that people launch their campaigns and then they don't spend time on letting their people know about it. The campaign doesn't perform, and they are left wondering what went wrong, and why their ROI is negative.

They expect to see results based on the fact that they’re paying for it.

You don't really have to shout. 

Build a unique experience and let people know about it.

Facebook Messenger is one of the best ways for a brand to be able to acquire customers, because it is incredibly strong at helping solve problems throughout your marketing funnel.

You can look at Tony Robbins bot, Timothy Sykes bot. You can look at Gadget Flows bot, or even Product Hunt’s bot, and see that right when you enter it's a unique experience and you get to mess around with it for a few minutes.

It provides value, and It's asking questions. You can’t lose when you create an experience like that

You should link your bot with all of your digital assets.

Put it on your website, in your email signatures, on your Instagram account.

Build that subscriber base, because it is never going to be as cheap as it is today to build your messenger list. And so it's so important to do it as fast as possible because, in two years from now, you're just going to totally regret that you didn't do it.

All your competitors are going to be doing it, and you don't want to be late in the game when you can really be so early right now. 

February 19, 2019 - No Comments!

PoolSpark: The lost method of saving money

🤓 Note from the author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poolspark case study

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

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

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

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

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

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

At what stage is your company?

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

PoolSpark Case study

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t underestimate the power of social media.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note from the author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viral Loops is the main hub for the launch.

February 5, 2019 - No Comments!

Arri Bagah: Personalized experiences via Messenger Bots is the future of eCommerce brands

Lately we’ve become obsessed with Messenger Bots.

Actually, our obsession got us so far that we decided to design and create Viral Loops for Messenger, so you can run a giveaway entirely on Facebook Messenger.

As a result, we went “hunting” in order to learn as much as possible for the Messenger Marketing industry from its experts. In other words, we started interviewing people.

We’ve already given you our interview with Hunter McKinley, were we explored design, milestone campaigns, and Messenger bots.

This time, we spoke with the Botman himself; Arri Bagah.

Arri consulted giants like Google, HubSpot, and Facebook to build harder/better/faster/stronger chatbot solutions.

He is the Founder & CEO at ROAS Agency where he helps brands on Shopify leverage data-driven personalized marketing to 4X their conversion rates and recover 10x more abandoned carts.

ROAS Agency works with The Beard Club, Poo~Pourri, Transparent Labs, and many other notable brands.

He recently founded The Chatbot Channel Facebook group for e-commerce marketers that want to learn or share, things about chatbot, voice and AR. 

Here’s Arri’s take on things. Enjoy

Who Arri Bagah is at the moment & what he does.

I started like two and a half years ago.

I had a Facebook Ad Agency with one of my friends and we're running Facebook ads for small businesses. We tried to get them more leads and more clients, and after doing that for about six months we realized that small businesses don't have much money.

It was really hard to be able to work on a tight budget.

That’s why we decided to give a try to real estate for a bit, but it was kind of like the same issue with like small businesses.

That’s the reason we moved to eCommerce. Once we got into it, it was kind of hard because everything was new to us e.g. running Facebook ads.

I spent quite some money on ads with little to no ROI. I created my own e-commerce brand at that time just to test things out. It was a print on demand shop on Shopify, and I was using Facebook pages to drive traffic to it.

I wanted to buy a Facebook page, so I reached out to one and said:

“Hey. I would like to buy your page so I can use it to drive traffic”

Around that time, there was a killing of a gorilla inside a zoo; Harambe, and it was going really viral. I asked one of the relevant pages and they declined to sell it, but two weeks later we agreed.

The page had 40K likes- which was worth at least $10K at the time, and I got it for 300 bucks.

It was kind of like sketchy to because the guy was from he was in India. I didn't have PayPal or anything, and he required a transfer via Western Union before giving me access.

I just took the risk and made the transfer, and he really gave me the page. So, I started driving traffic to my e-commerce store, and after like a week or so the store was making around like 2-3 hundred dollars per day for a couple weeks.

It was pretty good. Two to three hundred dollars per day in profit, for like two to three weeks and then it happened.

At that time I didn't know about Facebook Business Manager.

I was trying to sell the Facebook page and somebody reached out to me to buy it.  They asked for admin access, which I thought it was a stupid move to make.

They insisted a lot and said they're going to buy the page for $8,000.

“I could use $8K right now”, I thought.

At that time (or even like so today), if you made somebody else admin of your page, they couldn’t remove you within the first six days.  It's like a robot phase. 

6 days were more than enough time to be able to like realize if they were going to pay me or not, and I could remove them at any time if they didn’t.

I gave access to the guy, but at that time I didn't realize that there was something called the Facebook Business Manager which, in case you're an admin of the page, you can claim its ownership.

Which he did. He just kicked me off, resulting in me losing all the traffic.

I had to figure out a way to just start driving traffic again, and that's when I started learning more about Facebook ads, and then I had my first success story.

It was crazy how it happened.

I started to get into Facebook ads because my website was dying, and I had to figure out a way to drive traffic. So I spent all the money that I made on Facebook ads, ended up working with one of my friends who is an influencer in the e-commerce now- he was like an influencer on the Instagram platform.

I met him on the panel that I was speaking at about Facebook marketing.

Not so many people knew much about Facebook marketing at that point, so if you knew just a little bit, it was enough to like teach other people.

So I met him there and he had an eCommerce brand somewhere.

We agreed to try something for his brand,  and we took it from $0 like a $100K per month.

It was our first success story, and it happened by optimizing the website and by doing some email marketing.

But even after this initial success, it was kind of like hard for me to find clients.

So I decided to get a job.

But before I got a job, I found out about Bots- during the summer of 2017.

I didn't like them enough to dive deep to it, but thought it was a cool thing- mostly because I checked Domino’s bot. I started getting more serious about them around September of 2017.

I built the first bot and went to a conference here in LA and started showing it to people. They interacted with my bot and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

They actually loved using it and started asking if I can build one for them as well. The moment I came back from the conference I immediately built a bot for my agency at the time.

We used it for lead generation and it worked really well. 

We're getting super high engagement rates: 

90-95% open rate and click-through rates of 20-50%.

That’s when I realized that this could be a really powerful marketing channel. 

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

The agency was going still very slow, so I decided to look more actively for a job. That's when I met Josh who was speaking at one of the events In Milwaukee.

I was in Chicago at that time and Milwaukee was like an hour and a half away. 

So I was like: 

“Ok, like I'm just gonna go there, meet them, and see if he has things that we could possibly work together on.“

I got to hang out with him all day, and he was telling me about how he wanted to hire somebody to run more ads. 

So around November, I decided to work for Josh and we did something like a test period. After that, I moved from Chicago to LA and start working at BAMF.

It wasn't a position to build bots- I didn't even know that I had the skills to be able to go to bots yet because I didn't tell them about it. 

 So, this is how it happened:

 I was building Manychat flows, which were kind of complex, and I posted it in my Facebook story. Nobody was really using the Facebook stories at that point

I did.

So when I built a really cool Manychat flow, I liked to take a picture and post it in there. I thought it was cool. 

And then that's how Josh noticed. He watched my stories, and one of their clients actually needed a bot built and then Josh was like: oh, I think I saw like a flow on Arri’s story, he may be able to build it for us

And then I build the first couple bots for their clients, and the clients just really liked it. Everything worked well, and then I ended up like just doing bots for the clients. 

And at one point I was managing 13 bots alone. All for e-commerce.

I just did like e-commerce bots for quite some time. And that's just how I gained a lot of experience and got a lot deeper into how you can leverage the messenger platform for e-commerce businesses. 

And while I was doing all that, I was like speaking at events about messenger marketing because it's fairly new, and not a lot of people knew about it. Many are still trying to figure it out what messenger marketing is, especially in the e-commerce space. 

So I was talking to conferences about messenger marketing, and my plan was to eventually just transition to my own agency. I wanted to find the thing that I could focus on.

I didn't know it was going to be bots yet, but working at BAMF enabled me to narrow down what's most valuable to e-commerce business; which helped me realize what I wanted to do next. 

I decided to transition, after working there for half a year, to my own agency and then we started out with working with e-commerce brands and us kind of got bigger clients a lot faster, just because of my personal brand that I built was like speaking and things like that. 

So it wasn't too hard.

Why they call Arri “The Botman”.

I’ve been building bots for all these clients, and those were all organic. 

At the time the agency was just me, and then I had to find partners to help me do a lot of the work. We did some great work for those clients, and I continued building my personal brand. 

I got to speak at the biggest messenger marketing conference in the world, here in the US, called Conversations Conference. It was over 1500 people and got to connect with the people at  Manychat, and a bunch of other smart markers. 

That helped me get more credibility and also like get bigger clients, and then we had a chance to like work with like Poo Pourri,  The Beard Club, Guess

Being omnipresent to conferences about your niche and connecting with people, might give you the credibility you need to get bigger clients.

We did the exact same thing with these bigger clients; help them leverage data-driven personalized messenger marketing to quadruple their conversion rates and recover ten times more abandoned carts.

I started out building Bots for the sake of building Bots, and I feel like that's what most people are doing right now; building Bots without a valid reason for building one

When I first started out, I thought about offering nine different services around Bots. But right now, I only have two because I kind of cut down every single thing that doesn't really work. 

I don't want to build a bot just for the sake of building it. I only want to do things that I know drive significant business outcomes. 

That's the reason we want to focus on personalized marketing; we know that that's what's going to work in 2019. It's all about personalized marketing and also recovering abandoned carts. 

Focus on personalized marketing; it’s what will work in 2019.

A lot of e-commerce friends do get a lot of abandoned carts

So and that's where we are today; niche-ing down to even more to Shopify brands because it's much easier for us to be able to systemize. Working with just one platform makes everything for the agency much easier because otherwise, we had to create a new deck for every new client.

If you have one platform- and we know the platform really well, then we only have one or two decks for all the clients. That way we can just act in a Plug and Play manner

Getting big clients.

I used to make videos about chatbots on like a couple months ago.

Videos about how to leverage bots for e-commerce, and it felt like nobody was watching them because they would barely get any views. But the Head of Marketing of Guess reached out to me. 

It was just like random out heaven. 

I guess he saw himself one of the videos, and we started chatting on Instagram. We're talking about messenger marketing, and how you can leverage it for abandoned carts. 

He was actually moving out to LA, and when he moved here we became really good friends. That’s when we started to think about how we can leverage messenger marketing for Guess, and pretty much put together like a deck of how they can leverage messenger marketing. 

That really helped them see the value in it. 

So I started doing these presentations for brands to teach them exactly why they should be looking at Facebook Messenger as a platform to communicate with their customers, what the benefits are, and exactly how they can leverage the platform. 

I tried to make everything fit into their brand because they have a lot of retail stores. 

I projected why it’s important to leverage Messenger marketing not only for online but also for empowering their retail stores. by pretty making everything fit into their brand and make it in a way that makes sense in a way that they can see the ROI. 

It’s a new platform, and for a lot of big brands, it’s difficult to try something new.

My attitude was: “I know it's hard, but here’s the value and that’s what you’re missing out. 

Although, for bigger clients, it does take time to get approval to start doing things- I'm still waiting on to get approved on some, it’s important to go to the meetings and show them WHAT & WHY they should do the things you propose.

You have to be patient with bigger clients. Sometimes it takes more time to get your approval.

Tips for an omnichannel experience via Messenger.

A lot of people use Messenger scan codes

I’m not really into it, because you need a Messenger app to scan it, which is pretty stupid. 

I prefer regular scan codes

You can just open your camera, scan the code, and open it in whatever app and it needs to open. 

With the messenger code, you have to open the messenger camera; there's like too much friction, and I don’t see any scalable way of using it. 

You can integrate all the store locations in the Messenger platform; All your retail store directory.

So if somebody is looking for a nearby location, you can just send it directly to them via Facebook Messenger and then could offer them the ability to book a showing booth or a fitting room for that specific location. They just have to put in their email, and then that information is sent to that specific store. 

That's a nice way of providing an experience. Everything is all about an experience, right? 

Everything is about the experience you provide.

So, how can we like enhance the experience of for the customer that wants to go in stores?

The first thing is helping them find the nearest store, and then the second thing is to help them even more, with scheduling something for them; there's a trend around this in the retail space right now. 

If you look at Apple and all these different companies, what they're doing is providing an experience, but they’re expecting you experience something where and when you schedule. So Apple makes your schedule so you can just walk into the Apple Store. 

You have to schedule an appointment and this helps the agents know more information about who you are. 

Things like who you are, what problems you face, why you face them; all these different things, which allows the company to provide a great experience and also schedule their own day.

One of the things that the CEO of Stitch Fix said is that the brands that will Survive in 2019 need to provide relevant personalized and emotional experiences to their customers.

Which is something that really resonated with me. 

The brands that will survive in 2019 are the ones that provide relevant, personalized, and emotional experiences to their customers.

Just look around and see how people shop now. It's all about personalization, and as a brand, you need to definitely personalize all your marketing and you can do that without data and some of the data points that you’ll get just by using the Messenger platform. 

 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

 Those are all data points that you get right away, and you can use them to personalize what you’re broadcasting to these people. Over time, as you keep communicating with them, you can collect more data points about them and then personalize their experience even more. 

 These are things that you cannot do with email marketing because with an email address you don’t get all the info you need right away.

Data points that Messenger provides you right away:

Messenger marketing & paid ad strategies.

There are 2 ways to leverage messenger with ads. 

The first one by is leveraging clicked Messenger ads, and with clicked Messenger ads when you go to your objective you’re optimizing for messages. 

With clicked Messenger ads, what I've seen is that you have to start with your budget a little bit higher because the more people that you get to message you, the lower the cost gets.

So usually when I start the budget at 50 or 100 dollars, and I get like less than a dollar- probably like around 80 to 70 cents cost per subscriber, which is really good too because we acquire new a subscriber and put them like through a customized flow. 

What I recommend doing is giving those subscribers a small quiz- four to five questions, just to welcome them by asking certain questions. 

That’s how you customize their preferences, so the product that you're going to send them will be the most relevant to them

So if you're in clothing space you can ask: 

  • What are they? 
  • What are they looking for? 
  • Are they looking for shirts pants? 
  • If they like shirts then what color are they looking for? 

And then maybe it's okay to ask what size are you?”, and these are all things that you can also save about the customer. 

So next time you decide to make a broadcast via Manychat, you’ll know what to send.

So, you can really get the info that will help you to serve your customers better. And people LOVE quizzes.

The second way is leveraging comment ads and these usually work best with giveaway campaign. 

So let's say you're running a giveaway campaign through an ad- basically, connect your Facebook ad to a bot, and once somebody comments on your Facebook ad they receive an automatic message. 

You just got to tell them that when they comment in the post, they’ll receive a message from you (it’s Facebook’s policy). 

Give them an idea of what they should make a comment about. e.g.  What do you like about the shirt?” for a chance to win the shirt.

You just have to find creative ways to get people to comment. Also, the image creative has to be really nice and popping so that it gets people's attention. 

And then you get a lot of users to comment, and for each comment, they get a message. On average, probably 60-70% of the people who comment will subscribe; that's what we've seen on average, especially when we scale. 

By using Manychat’s Comment Growth Tool you can get up to 70% of the people leaving a comment, to subscribe to your Messenger.

So for example for one of our clients, one of our posts got 50K likes, 27K comments, and 9K shares.

This could be like a really good strategy, especially when you combine with giveaways. 

On average probably going to spend 8-20 cents per comment, which is a really cheap price to acquire a new subscriber- especially when you when you acquire a subscriber that after the giveaway you can keep promoting things to them. 

Also, you can collect their email address directly by asking them inside Messenger, and these email addresses can go directly to your CRM. 

How to not cannibalize your Messenger subscribers. 

A lot of people fall into the pit of getting many Facebook Messenger subscribers and blasting them with broadcasts and sales, which eventually destroys Open Rates and Click Through Rates. 

A lot of people that I've talked to,  said that they received spam messages from people/bots every single day for days. This is not the best way to use the platform. 

Spamming is not the best way to use Messenger.

What I recommend is knowing your customer. Being able to personalize the messages that you sent to them, is of high importance

Just asking them a question that helps you personalize a message that you send, can be really powerful. 

Let's say Fourth of July is coming up- or something like that, and then you ask them:  What would they rather do on Fourth of July?” and give people options like barbecue’, chilling at home, or maybe it's fireworks’. 

Depending on which one they pick the next time you’re about to send a promotional offer, you can think that this isn't an offer for people who love to barbecue, for example.

Right now what you can do, with a platform like Manychat, is to export your Messenger subscribers into a Facebook custom audience for retargeting. 

Some people use Zappier in order to auto-update the customers so you don't have to export every day- or every week, in order to keep updating.

In addition, you can filter out your Messenger list based on a tag. 

So let's say you want to have a list of only women; you can filter that out! 

Let's say you want to have women who like shirts, and you want to remove women who like red shirts; you can filter that out! 

Then you can auto-update the custom audience inside Facebook, and use that audience for retargeting.

The best flows for eCommerce marketing via Messenger. 

For me, there are three flows that sit on the top. 

The first one considers pop-ups.

Brands usually use pop-ups on their websites, right? 

They “trigger” them either when you first get to the site, or as an exit intent. 

So instead of using that, you can leverage something like a Messenger pop-up to give a discount code to a subscriber. In order for them to get the discount, they have to subscribe to your Messenger by clicking the button you provide.

Immediately, they're going to receive a push notification on their phone. 

So your open rates- right up front, are going to be really high for those messages. 

That's the first flow. 

In that flow, you can message them with the promised coupon and then you can also have products that link directly to your Shopify site. 

The second flow is about abandoned cart recovery. 

So this one is like probably the biggest because it makes a lot of money for a lot of the brands we’re working with

Basically, there's a widget that you can install on the add to cart button and then what it does is that when people click it and don’t finish checking out, you can follow them up with a message.

The last flow- that works really well, is for receipts. 

Receipts are a great way for retention, and then to engage with your customers. 

For example, you can send them a receipt after they do make a purchase, and then after they get the receipt you can say hey, have you had these new products or this new collection? Would you mind checking it out?” and they can click yes or no’.

If they click yes, and then you send them the collection, or you get to know them a little bit more.

These flows that you send based on what people select, allows you to tag them or save the answers. 

So you get to like know more about your customers and what they like, and that's how you're able to personalize your marketing.

You’ll have more effective promotions by knowing your customer really well; what they like. 

There are some other flows which are for winning back campaigns”, or for customers that purchased and you want to follow up with them in 30 or 60 days to check in with them and learn if they liked the product.

Did you like it? If they say yes, then boom. 

If they didn't like it, your can send them to customer service. It’s about engaging, just like in real life; like having a conversation. We don’t have to over complicate things.

Marketing online is different, but at the same time is the same as selling something in real life.  

The important metrics of Messenger Marketing.

For Messenger campaigns, we check Open Rates and Click Through Rates. Those are the main ones that really matter inside Messenger. 

Then for the websites of the specific campaign, we check the number of Users, the number of Sessions, and the Bounce Rate.

So, if people are coming to the website and bounce a lot, we should know that. 

Probably the message that we sent via Messenger, doesn’t match with the Landing Page. So we need to fix that. 

Usually, with Messenger, the Bounce Rates are like really low. On average we like less than 40

The next thing we have to check after the Bounce Rate is the actual Conversion Rate.

A lot of the Messenger flows that I talked about have a really high Conversion Rate. Especially in the cart recovery one, you can see about 20%; which is crazy high

You can get up to 20% cart recovery by personalized communication via Messenger.

Conversion Rate is our North Star because it is the only thing that matters. 

People are talking about Open Rates and Click Through Rates, but like nobody's really talking about the conversion rate, which is like the really important part. Right? 

So probably the Conversion Rate is the most important indicator of how the Messenger platform contributes against other channels.

Upcoming trends in eCommerce marketing with Chatbots.

Chatbots and eCommerce can work together on 2 levels:

  • Marketing.
  • Customer service.

In terms of marketing, so far people have been doing a decent job. 

Some people are doing the same job at marketing through Messenger; some win and other people are just spending money.

When somebody has a bad experience with a bot like 90% of those people aren't going to interact with them again.

What happened in the past few years is that like there are different types of people that are building Bots.

You have developers, but they aren't willing to with copywriters. Then you have copywriters trying to build bots on their own, and you also have marketers trying to do the same exact thing

The problem is that all three should be working together.

I believe that this is the perfect combination for somebody to be able to build a solid bot. 

The perfect way to build a solid Chatbot, is to put developers, copywriters, and marketers to work together.

You need the marketer to bring in people, you need a developer to build it, and then you need the copywriter to make sure that the copies are engaging enough to make people take action. 

All these three components were not working together, but we're starting to see that they start to come together a little bit more. 

I’m starting to see jobs pop up for copywriters and things like that. So people are starting to realize that you definitely need copywriters to offer conversational user experiences, to get people engaged.

The bots that I've seen that use copywriters are much much better than any other bots I've seen around. 

I think that in the next years if everybody will be able to come and work together there will be much better experiences. Right now a lot of people are just using the platform just to spam. 

Hire your marketer, a copywriter, and a developer to make sure that you build the best experience possible. This way you just going to drive more business outcomes. 

So that's the marketing side.

Then there is the customer service, which is massive. 

A lot of people right now are just neglecting the customer service part, so they have a bot. And then they don't have a real human checking through, making sure that everything is doing well and smooth, and that users are getting their questions answered

So people are just like blasting messages and they're not checking to see like what people are saying; if users have questions they should respond.

If you're using the Messenger platform, for marketing purposes and you do not have somebody actively going through and making sure that people are getting their questions answered, then you basically spamming.

Imagine you send a message to a brand and you say hey, can I get a refund for this order? and then they just don't respond. Now imagine that the brand after that just send you a message: “We have this t-shirt, would you like to buy it?”

Nobody wants that.

You should be able to tag the people that are in need of help. Having real human checking things is really important. 

Combining automation with like real human powers is the best combination because you can leverage the automation for more efficiency. 

In customer service is really important being able to leverage AI to answer questions right away; automate some of the FAQ's, and then just let the customer service team just check in and take care of it more unique issues. 

One of the things that we do with a lot of our clients, is to integrate their Messenger with Zendesk

Not only can you first message your Facebook subscribers directly, but you can pretty much filter tickets. So you can say: hey this person is asking for a refund  put them in the priority tickets. 

If somebody asks for a refund then you want to take care of that, right away. So make sure that everything is filtered. 

 [x] When somebody is asking for a refund, you want to take care of that right away.

And then when you do a marketing blast, you don’t want to blast to people who are looking for customer service because it's a really bad experience

This is something that I have not heard anyone talking about yet, but it's really important. I've seen that, and that's something that we do and that our clients.

So that's the customer service side; being able to automate your FAQ's and leverage live chat- which is real human power, to increase your customer service efficiency

Few last words.

If people want to learn more like thinking about they can just like visit our website, and get our free case study and learn more about exactly what I talked about. 

Throughout the case study I just walk people through the new way of marketing and exactly like how it started, why we should use it- I think a lot of people are so focused on the Open Rates and Click Through Rates and we don't know much besides that, why should someone use Messenger marketing, and what are the trends that indicate that you should use it.

January 24, 2019 - 1 comment.

Hunter McKinley: Messenger bot giveaways, milestones and design.

Hunter McKinley is a multidimensional guy.

From design to marketing, clothing brands, chatbots, agencies, apps; you get it.

Our first contact was through his work with BAMF Media, and then got to know him better from his work with SoFriendly.

I knew from the first moment that I wanted to learn his take on things that torture a lot of people out there.

While 15, Hunter started this whole entrepreneurship thing out of his backpack so he would sell candies and sodas.

Eventually, he moved on to clothing.

There was a local brand, and they were starting to get some recognition in the community and so he started making t-shirts for them.

He bought a shop screening machine and started his own company, called Dopsm Clothing.

That’s when he really started getting into marketing because he realized that while people were getting wristbands from his competitors- from other students, they were willing to take them off (that they got for free) and buy his for 3 or 4 dollars.

Although the talk inevitably went to referral marketing, milestone campaigns & Messenger Bot Giveaways (Hunter was involved in more than 20 viral campaigns), the key takeaway is his views on entrepreneurship, planning, and execution.
Enjoy!

The main factor that people choose something to pay, rather than a free version of it.

Most of the times the only real difference between a paid product and the free version of it, is the way you market it.

The values that you bring to the table, are very important. And your marketing should be revolved around those values. You shouldn’t be in it to make money.

Hunter McKinley: Messenger bot giveaways, milestones and design.

In order to be an entrepreneur, you have to fail many times. You just need to fail really fast and take a value-based approach.

Most of the times we need to remind ourselves:
"Listen, I'm not looking to make a bunch of money, this is me and I stand for this, this and this."

You can tell from a mile someone who is just in it for the money, VS someone like Tom’s who is actually giving back to the community, and when you have that value proposition on top of having a better design, you actually win; because better design equals better quality.

It just seems to make sense, and that’s what was happening.

In the case of the wristbands, there really isn’t much difference between a $0 wristband and a $3 wristband, except the design was little different.

Really it was just the marketing, and the approach was like:
“Hey guys, I’m not here to smoke, I don’t think that’s cool, I think what’s cool is like just doing the right thing, doing well in school.”

It felt real because it was a real thought.

When you’re an entrepreneur and you have your truth/values, you have to surround yourself and partner with people that are associated with it.

The “value-based approach” also comes to branding. So if you want to build a brand with a specific angle, you need to be really authentic if you want to make it really good.

Sometimes people say “OK lets put some values in our product to make our marketing better”, but if these values are not the values that they truly believe in, it won’t work out.

Who Hunter McKinley is at the moment & what he does.

I am working as the Head of Marketing at SoFriendly, a design & development company.

The focus at the moment is on building the enterprise section, as we’ve been working with startups for the last 3 years, but really now we’ve built up the reputation at the point where we are now launching apps for big enterprise.

I can’t list the one that we’re talking about right now, but we’re working on a really major contract with a few major hotels like Hilton and Marriott.

We also work with the guys over at Google, so now we’re actually in the transition period and that’s what I’m focusing on as primary role right this second.

On the side I'm also building something like ProductHunt for digital marketers- I don’t know if you are familiar with Dribbble or ProductHunt.

Right now as a designer, the whole industry shifted, every single place asks for a URL with your portfolio.

A lot of my friends that are digital marketers, and they all asked me to help them make their websites. They are challenged, when it comes to making a website design, development.

They just don't have those skills.

So I’m building the same thing for digital marketers, cause right now there is not a solution for digital marketers to show what they’ve done. Just like what you guys did for Viral Loops by template-izing it and build something pretty straightforward.

So these are the 2 main focuses other than freelancing right now.

Why did you choose Word of Mouth?

I was introduced to the idea about a year ago while working with Josh Fetsher and Houston Golden at BAMF Media.

I've used Gleam in the past so I had a little bit of an idea of how this worked, but what we found that worked really well -and what they introduced me to, was the milestone campaigns.

I dove head first into that.

I did all the research I could, and I saw you guys had a post about Harry's. It always helps a lot when I find blog posts like this.

In addition, I am a huge Product Hunt fan, so when your Milestone Referral Template launched there, I had to try it.

It’s trial and error. We just tested all types of referral campaigns and found that the milestone campaigns is what we wanted/needed.

I really didn’t even know about it up until a year ago when they were starting to test out different ways of going viral.

Josh was consistently posting, you know, viral Linkedin Posts and they were getting featured in all those magazines and they said: “Hey Hunting World, looking for somebody to help us with our viral campaign and these things are new and we are just trying them out”, and we did over 20 of them and it’s really amazing!

Why the milestone concept works better than more traditional referral campaigns, e.g. Dropbox-like?

It provides clear goals for the end user.

It’s not like Dropbox’s referral program; it rewards just you.

What’s so great about the milestone campaign is that it’s kinda like “gas on a fire”. If I get $5 every time someone shares, I’m gonna be sharing more about the product.

Product Hunt had some sort of golden kitty or something- just really exclusive stuff. That’s what works well.

Also, I draw a lot of same similarities between the way that the Viral Loops’ Milestone template works and Kickstarter.

It would be one thing for me to donate $5 to a Kickstarter, but it’s another thing to be able to donate up to certain brackets to get those bigger prizes.

It’s just that the milestone campaign has a different feeling. It’s just totally different from a lot of things that I’ve seen online.

What should people take care of when they run a milestone campaign?

Not long ago, I published a very detailed checklist of what people should take care of when they run a milestone campaign.

Get the checklist directly to your messenger!

When I first started at BAMF Media about a year ago, we had some early successes.

We run a campaign for Bear Squeeze that did absolutely amazing and raised tons of money on Indiegogo. We also did a campaign for Unicorn Snot shortly after.

We had 2 really good campaigns that we knew that worked, and I didn’t build this checklist up until twenty, or so, campaigns in.

When at an agency there’re so many different people involved. From different designers, different developers and obviously we’re not doing just one campaign at a time- we’re doing multiple campaigns, so we just needed a way to take all that we knew that worked and put it into one document.

That one resource that the strategist, or whoever is running the account, can look at it and say: “Here’s what first, here’s what comes next, here’s what comes next”.

No matter who touches the document, it should be the same result every time.

But inside the document, when I give the example, let’s say for the number milestones, that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with it. That’s just insight from all the campaigns that we looked at, that we just aggregate and said “you know what? When we have 4, that’s a good number, that’s just what we know works”.

You can always tweak it however you want, but that document was after months and months of testing everything, from different types of campaigns, from different pricing, and what we know that works or doesn't.

The document also includes some extra things from other campaigns, like building up the hype and, you know, message your friends and family beforehand.

So this just ensures that no matter who you are, you can touch that document and you can have your whole team on board and there’s one central place to look at, because otherwise, things get lost, you know, Skype or Slack.

⚡Note from Savvas:

Quite a few of Viral Loops’ customers struggle to engineer these campaigns and make them successful. Something that I see all the time, is that people think that, “OK, we’re going to build a landing page with a referral marketing campaign, even with a milestone, we’re gonna put it on our website and then we’re waiting for the campaign to take off”.

What they don’t understand a lot of times, is that this is when the real work starts.

What are your tips on how to distribute Referral Campaigns?

There’re 2 ways of distribution; There’s paid and organic.

From a paid perspective, if you’re already paying for advertisements it just makes sense to put a Facebook pixel on your pages, because when you retarget it’s just gonna have much better results than if aren’t doing that.

So obviously, you can go the paid route and expand a bit on it.

I get the feeling that Viral Loops is more for startups. Startups are companies that tend to not have too big of a marketing budget when they’re launching a new product.

Hunter McKinley: Messenger bot giveaways, milestones and design.

The best organic way to do it is messaging your friends and family, letting them know.

If you go on Letgo, they always say the first people to buy something are your friends and family; it’s the same thing for a Viral Loops campaign.

For the most likely they help you share it. They might not be in your target market, but they’re at least gonna spread the word out for free.

So letting them know and giving them an opportunity to help you, even though it doesn’t cost them any money, is always gonna be the way to go. And I actually got that from Harry’s; I think you guys said that they got over 100K subscribers.

Well, we tested that out ourselves and it actually does work. So that’s one way to promote your campaign.

Another way is Facebook groups.

It really hasn’t have to be on Facebook; it just has to be some sort of niche, whether that’s a Facebook group, or you talk to a specific slack group.

I know some people have things on Skype or Discord, or on Reddit if you get the right niche.

But finding that niche of people, messaging them and giving them incentives, that really helps a lot.

In many occasions we had some clients getting a couple thousand just from a few people dropping the link in a Facebook group. You never know where it’s gonna come from, but you just need to find that niche and you be able to provide it to them and really pitch it as like “Here’s the grand prize, you have to bring that many people in order to get it”.

⚡Fact:

Upworthy; the viral news aggregator, and mentioned that when they started they focus totally on Facebook and they got the first 1000 Page Likes by just asking their friends and networks to like their page.

They managed to get 1000 people like their page. So it’s really difficult to get, let’s say the first 100 people to join your campaign, share it with their friends.

A lot of companies miss that and it’s a really simple step to start taking off.

How would you combine paid advertising with a referral marketing campaign?

If you notice on the checklist- I think on page 1 or page 2, we write about the benefits.

What we found early on was that every campaign should focus around at least three benefits.
Other campaigns will have more, but if you have 3 main benefits and you work in tandem.

Basically what you can do is have your friends and family do all the organic posts; post about it on social media, post it to maybe some Facebook groups and Reddit.

Then you can retarget all those people that have visited your site. That’s gonna definitely dry down your cost and you can retarget with either the benefits, you know like features or benefits, logic or emotional based.

So If you don’t have a large budget for Facebook advertising, that’s a good way of getting in front of people and knowing that every dollar you’re spending is people that already have been to your site.

You can let them know by saying “3 days left”, or you can give another benefit and say “here you can get this”. There’s also the option to leverage your milestones, so you could say “Hey you’ve earned this” and “Here’s the grand prize, keep sharing”.

As a designer, what are the lessons learned when building a landing page optimized for getting more referrals?

You have to have your Call To Action above the fold, and you have to remove all navigation.

I believe Shopify put out a study that said that when you remove navigation- you know the top bar navigation from a site, you get 100 percent more conversions.

It’s called the attention ratio; you just wanna make sure to have one Call To Action on your landing page, and that is to Sign Up.

If they don’t sign up above the fold and you have testimonials or some sort of social proof like publications strips, then right below you need to make sure you’re basically "selling it" with the benefits I talk about above.

So, my number one tip is definitely that you have above the fold as much as you can focus on and the Call To Action which is, of course, the Sign-Up.

What are the core metrics you measure constantly and are super important for a referral campaign?

I always focus on the referral share rate.

It’s great to be able to spend the dollar and get, let’s say one person to sign up, or put an effort to get one person to sign up. But what I’m always in favor of, is measuring every minute or dollar; every single ounce of effort that we put in order to be able to scale into 10 or 20 people, not just one at a time.

So I always measure- on Viral Loops, there’s a thing called the referral share rate, based on that.

If it goes above 100% it means that every person that you get to come to the site is actually going to share it with their friends.

So all of our most successful campaigns were always over 100%, and that’s a really healthy sign that the campaign is working.

If it’s not over 100% then it’s just a regular email capture page, which is great, it’s just not “viral”.

What’s your take on chatbots? Have you ever tried building one?

I actually started a chatbot company about a year and a half ago called Bot Sauce.

We’re still doing things here and there, and we’re actually working on a Non Profit right now as we kinda found a niche on Non-Profits.

They don’t usually have a lot of money and they don’t wanna build whole apps so they’re always looking for bots. It’s an easy way to get in.

Chatbots are pretty huge. The only downside about them right this second is that they keep changing. The majority of chatbots are on Facebook, and Facebook keeps changing how much data you can access etc.

But it’s really just a booming industry.

I’ve loved it and honestly, I used Motion.ai at the beginning which was a year and a half ago, and they’ve already been bought out.

Marketing-wise, the best use of a chatbot that I can think of right now, is actually for advertisements.

I was working with a chatbot expert- he put the bot together and I made the creative form.

When we put the two ends together they just outperformed everything else, and I think it’s just because they’re so engaging and there’s this unique ability to speak to the customer the way that they can speak to each other.

That’s something that you really can’t do in any other platform. It’s a really interesting space.

Do you think that referral marketing can be incorporated into chatbots?

We actually tried it!

We tried incorporating a Viral loops campaign with a Manychat integration. It’s a little clunky using Zappier, but you can use a little bit of a JSON.

We tried to make it work but it wasn't clean.

I would absolutely love to see the viral campaign through messenger.
That would just knock it out of the park, cause people are already sharing. I’ve got 4 group chats at any point for messenger and it would be absolutely insane if we could get that.

At this point, I informed Hunter that we’re about to launch Viral Loops for Messenger, so I will give you their dialogue about it.

Savvas:

I have a small surprise for you!

We just launched a prelaunch campaign for Viral Loops for Messenger, and we’re starting with a Giveaway template that is completely integrated with Manychat.

We provide users with a Manychat template that they can install to their accounts, and just tweak the messages.

They can also create their own flows with the Viral Loops API token inside their Manychat account, and it’s done.

There’s no need to use Zappier or any other 3rd party tools.

McKinley:

WOW, good for you man, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear!

Savvas:

The next step is to create the milestone template integrated with Messenger, so after the first launch of the giveaway template, we’re going for that!

McKinley:

Wow, let me ask you; can you automatically message everybody that’s subscribed and say you know “You have 2 days left”, “3 days left”, “1 day left”, “Today is the last day”; anything like that?

Savvas:

We don’t have the expiration date yet.

What we offer at the moment is that you can type let’s say "entries", and the bot responds to you with a number of entries that you have collected for the giveaway.

Or you can type “I want my invitation”, and then the chat bot responds with a card that you can share with your friends.

We’re doing more stuff so this is a very good idea; to automatically send people with how many days are left.

McKinley:

A Chatbot working with Viral Loops!
I think that’s a home run because it takes a lot of things that could go wrong out of the equation. And the best is that as soon as they are in the chatbot, you can retarget them with Facebook ads.

That’s crazy.

Savvas:

Yeah, I can give a link to give it a look and then starting next month I can give you early access.

McKinley:

I’d love that!

Savvas:

Awesome, great, Hunter!
Thank you so much for your time! I think our readers will benefit from your value bombs!

McKinley:

It's been a pleasure!

Want to run viral giveaways directly in Messenger?

Get Messenger Bot Giveaways by Viral Loops!

 

January 22, 2019 - No Comments!

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral – Case Study

The goal of the project was to gather as many Facebook Messenger subscribers as possible via a viral giveaway.

Spoiler Alert!

We nailed it! We just run a Referral Marketing campaign via Facebook Messenger.

Btw, Viral Loops for Messenger is live on Product Hunt!

A little context before we proceed.

Yava is the biggest gym chain in Greece, with 50 branches throughout the country.  They came in touch with us to help them build a huge giveaway.

The prize? 

20+1 trips to (almost) open destinations.

The giveaway run in a time span of 20 days; that means that we gave 1 trip every single day!

The flow of the giveaway was exactly the same as any referral giveaway:

Users participated by subscribing and could get more entries (increasing their chances to win a trip) by inviting their friends and family to participate as well.

But there’s a twist.

As I wrote in the beginning, the goal was to gather messenger subscribers. Up to now, giveaways that worked with a referral program registered participants with an email address.

That means that after grabbing the users’ email address, we should email them in order to subscribe to the page’s Messenger.

We knew that our funnel would leak a lot. We would lose a huge number of people that could potentially bring us more participants.

This approach canceled the very reason we decided to go with Facebook Messenger for the giveaway in the first place; it’s the platform with the highest rate of use, with open rates that put every other platform to shame.

So, the question emerged:

“We have the technology for the referral system. How we take advantage of it without losing leads trying to convert them from email to Messenger subscribers?”

We had to get email outside of the equation, and there was no system that could do this.

We had to build it ourselves. And goddamn, we did it!

We’ve built the product, run the giveaway and (as the title of this post gives away), we managed to gather 35K Facebook Messenger subscribers in 20 days.

How we made it happen

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

By using the flow we created in Manychat we were able to track every referral (who invited who) and provide the extra entries for the giveaway accordingly.

This way the audience was able to participate in the campaigns from inside Facebook Messenger, and directly invite their contacts. It was a bit tricky at first, but the final result inside Manychat looked like this:

This exact flow, combined with Viral Loops’ technology for referrals, could be your best friend for running giveaways.

All you have to really do is:

  • Use your token.
  • Change the number of participations for each new entry & successful referrals.
  • Insert some keywords that trigger possible automated flows (e.g. show the number of participations the user has).
  • Craft a compelling copy that will communicate the value of your giveaway!

That's it. Not joking!

Viral Loops for Messenger is live on Product Hunt!

Now, back again to the case study!

How users participated

We had the tool, and we had the flow. 

It was about time to find the ways that people would be able to discover and participate in the giveaway.

Obviously, the first thing we needed was a landing page that converts.

We included the main call-to-action above the fold and added a counter to communicate the sense of urgency.

Below the fold, we included as much info as possible about the rules and prizes of the giveaway.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

By clicking the call-to-action, users were asked to give permission to be subscribed to the page’s Messenger, and thus, participate.

Since Facebook is the “father” of Messenger, we had to go hard with it.

We scheduled posts that spread the word about the campaign, including all the details in the copy, and the URL that people could use to have a chance to win. We did the same with Instagram posts and boosted them with ads to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

Paid advertising offers a good initial boost, but we also need a great deal of organic reach in order to reduce the CPC of the campaigns.

We managed to do so by taking advantage of Manychat’s Comment to Message Growth Tool, as you'll see in the screenshot below.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

A widget/popup was also added on the company’s website, aiming to inform mobile or desktop visitors about the giveaway and prompt them to subscribe to Messenger and enter the giveaway.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

In order to reach existing customers/subscribers, we used newsletter & SMS campaigns.

Since the company is the biggest gym chain in the area, we knew that we had to also leverage the people that hit the gym to exercise. For that reason, there were banners in each gym with a Messenger scan code (another Manychat Growth Tool) that also included a clear direction on how people can use it to participate in the giveaway.

It performed excellently!

About 8K people subscribed using the scan code from the banners.

The user flow

At this point, I have to tell you that before the actual giveaway begun, there was a short pre-launch period (8 days).

We decided to give a head start to the existing gym members, website visitors or social media followers; this also allowed us to test the potential demand for the giveaway.

For the pre-launch period, we used a Facebook post with Manychat’s Comment Growth Tool, asking people to leave a comment with their favorite travel destination.

35K leads in 20 days with a Messenger referral

Whoever left a comment under the post received a message to their Messenger, asking for their permission to subscribe them to the pre-launch. The same applied also for people that came from the widget on the website, or the banners located in the gyms around the country.

As soon as the giveaway launched, those users received the following message:

Let’s have a look at how the flow looked like for people who got into the giveaway after the official launch. 

Initial Message:

Successful Participation Message:

The last card is what we named “personal invitation”, which prompts the user to share about the giveaway after they subscribed.

The rules of the giveaway were very simple:

By entering, users got ONE entry for the daily raffle- since we could give 20 free trips, we decided to have 1 winner every day for 20 days.

In order to obtain more entries, the users should share about the giveaway with their friends/network. Every time a friend of theirs subscribed for the giveaway, the referrer gained 10 extra entries.

The flow we’ve built did all the referral tracking, and the subscribers could go back to Messenger at any time and find out how many entries they have, simply by typing “Entries”.

The fact that even if a user didn’t win the one day, (s)he could keep the entries gathered, allowed us to follow them up in order to help them boost their referrals. 2 days after entering the giveaway (by using a smart delay), users received the following message:

A similar message was sent after another 2 days (again with a smart delay).

The results

Now that I gave you the small details about the campaign, let’s see some numbers. 

During a time frame of 20 days:

  • We gathered 34819 Messenger subscribers in total.
  • 1208 out of the total, subscribed during the pre-launch.
  • 31515 out of total participate in the giveaway, with a conversion rate (from a subscriber to a participant) of 90% 
  • 1232 total unsubscribes.
  • 15383 participants came from a referral.

 The last piece of data shows us that 48.8% of participants came to the giveaway from a referral.

Some insight

After the campaign ended we were really happy with the results. Our experience has shown that the performance of every campaign relies on luck, only by a small percentage.

We knew that we did something right, and we wanted to document it!

It all came down to 5 things:

  1. It took people only 2 clicks to share about the giveaway. Hence the 48.8% of referral participants.
  2. There were enticing & recurring rewards. Participant saw that there were daily winners, and that kept them trying to win.
  3. We leveraged all the available channels and mediums. Banners, social media, newsletters, etc.
  4. The messaging was engaging and fun. We kept receiving replies with people telling us how funny the gifs that we used were.
  5. Even though the messaging was short, it was to the point. It didn’t leave people wondering about the details, without getting too much into them.

Why run a referral marketing campaign via Messenger?

Are you serious?

Did you read the title of this post? 😂

I’m joking.

The explanation is simple. Messenger as a platform has better engagement (open rate, CTR, etc.) than any other platform right now, and people are really used to using it. It’s easy for them.

And the most important; their friends are used to receive content from them.

In addition to that, your brand/company can really start a more human conversation with its audience.

Now if you’re not very interested in the human side of these things, I have one last card in my sleeve:

You can download your Messenger subscribers’ psids directly from Manychat & and use them to build audiences for your ads. Just be gentle with that, ok?

Want to build your campaign?

We got your back, partner!

Viral Loops for Messenger is now available for you to run your giveaway via Facebook Messenger!

We can help you set up your campaign and start collecting leads!

Build your Messenger Referral Marketing Campaign now!

If you wanna know even more, you can join our FREE webinar about Messenger Giveaways.

Join us 👉 http://bit.ly/messenger-giveaway-webinar

We'll cover:

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

January 17, 2019 - No Comments!

BeautySavers: The art of not selling anything

🤓 Note from the author:

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

That's the reason I love The Hustle!

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

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

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

Enjoy! 🤗

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We're here for the audience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We utilize social media ads and influencer features.

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

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

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

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

BeautySavers' Milestone Referral Campaign

First things, first.

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

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

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

Copywriting is also important, and BeautySavers really nailed it!

BeautySavers referral campaign landing page

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

BeautySavers thank you page

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

beautysavers welcome email

beautysavers welcome email

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

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

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

BeautySavers personal referral center

Beautysavers successful referral email

Beautysavers successful referral email

And really, that's it!

Simple, yet effective.

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

Keep being awesome 😎

October 30, 2018 - No Comments!

How Infinity gained 2,5K+ early adopters with Viral Loops

In March 2018, an innovative and fresh SaaS startup named Infinity was in the final stages of developing an MVP of their ‘infinitely’ flexible and user-friendly project management and collaboration tool.

This tool threatened to be an alternative and true competition to some of the biggest project management software solutions on the market (they even had the guts to compare their product to the popular Trello).

Inspired by RobinHood’s pre-launch campaign, they decided to do exactly the same: create a waitlist for their MVP and publish a Closed Beta for the selected number of early members.

But, guess what?

Infinity team decided to be bold and gather a lot more early testers than they had initially planned. Actually, they were about to launch a marketing campaign to get as many early members as possible.

Yup, pretty ambitious. It seems like they really believed in the MVP of their product.

So, let’s see their approach to launching a strategy which resulted in 2,500+ users in less than a month.

The Game Plan

After days of detailed research and multiple hours spent on defining the strategy for gaining as many early members as possible, they’ve come up with a pretty neat solution.

Infinity team decided to launch a referral campaign. The final thing they needed was an appropriate tool which would help them set up their viral campaign.

As Viral Loops offered an easy-to-use and practical pre-launch template, the search ended there.

Infinity decided to use Viral Loops as a tool to launch their referral/viral campaign.

There are few points which should be covered if you’re about to launch a successful referral (viral) campaign:

  • Landing page
  • Good incentive
  • Define referral placements for your campaign(Make sure to carefully choose the initial places on which your members could share the referral link.
    If your fans are active on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, make sure to include those as a starting place where your referral link could be promoted.)
  • Promotion channels (often considered as paid promotion, such as Facebook Ads, Beta List, etc.)
  • Analytics/metrics tracking

Building a viral landing page

Before setting up a referral campaign in Viral-Loops, Infinity team had to create a solid landing page for their product.

Making a viral landing page is not an easy thing to do. You have to invest a lot of time in order to prepare good content, a visually appealing design, and even an explanatory video. And that’s exactly what Infinity did.

Infinity pre-launch landing page
Infinity landing page used for the Viral-Loops referral campaign.

Infinity signup form

Infinity's pre-launch signup form

Infinity's pre-launch sharing widget

Infinity's pre-launch sharing widget

Incentive: Do You Have Enough Courage to Offer ‘The Real Thing?’

After building a landing page, it was time to brainstorm on a proper, engaging and effective incentive for the competition participants.

If you’re about to launch a referral campaign, you definitely need to create a convincing and inspiring motive for people to enter the competition.

Thus, Infinity organized a bunch of waitlist rewards:

  • an invite to the Infinity launch weekend for the winner
  • a lifetime premium plan for the top 10
  • and a priority invite & 6 months of the premium plan for the top 100.

And the only thing the members needed to do is to spread the word by sharing the received referral link to their acquaintances.

Execution is the real game

After thoroughly planning a referral strategy and gathering everything that was needed to jumpstart the campaign, it was time for some real action.

Setting up a Viral-Loops campaign is a pretty simple process.

After linking the landing page to the campaign and setting a legitimate incentive for a defined target audience, Viral Loops offered a few options to help the contestants share their referral link more easily (ex. Email, Facebook, Twitter or simply by copying the link).

With all of that done, Infinity’s Viral-Loop referral campaign was ready to begin!

The campaign flow looked something like this:


Visitor → Infinity Landing Page → Visitor clicks on CTA button (in this case ‘Subscribe for Infinity Early Beta’) → Visitor becomes a Member → Member receives a referral link which automatically puts him on the waitlist → Member is repositioned on the waitlist and put into consideration for winning an incentive based on the number of successful referrals (the number of people they’ve invited who also subscribed for Infinity’s Early Beta).

Think About Power-Ups...

If Infinity had relied solely on organic visits and conversions, they probably wouldn’t have got near to the results they achieved from their referral marketing campaign.

That’s why the team decided to boost their viral campaign with paid promotion. To be more precise, they used channels such as Medium, Facebook Ads, Beta List, Adwords, Product Hunt, etc.

Statistics

Viral-Loops offers an intuitive Dashboard which showcases a weekly statistical progress of your referral campaign.

Let’s check out Infinity’s Dashboard and see their results:

Infinity’s Viral Loops Dashboard

Some of the key points include:

  • Total number of visits (to the landing page)
  • Number of campaign participants
  • Number of referrals
  • Number of shares

The total number of visits on Infinity’s landing page was around 11,000.

A total of 2,524 participants were involved in the campaign, 343 of which were referrals (people who accepted the invite and joined Infinity Early Beta), and 455 were shares (members of the Early Beta who shared the link with other people).

The end results

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

Analytics gave them a perfect progressive summary of their referral campaign and were the key to their referral program success.

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

The equation is simple: K = c / i

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

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

  • Participant Conversion
  • Participant Share
  • Invitation CTR (Click-Through Rate), and
  • Invitation Conversion

K-Factor of Infinity’s campaign was 0.75, which puts it into ‘the outstanding league.’ That means that 3 out 4 people who received a referral link for Infinity Early Beta access, actually accepted the invite and became members.

Participant conversion was pretty good with 2,524 users, but a total of 11,174 landing page visits. That puts us at a participant conversion of 22%.

Participant share was also solid with 18% of people who shared the referral link with their friends, out of the total of 2,524 participants.

Furthermore, Invitation CTR resulted in a pretty high number of 88% of people who clicked on the referral links their friends sent them.

And finally, an impressive result from Invitation Conversion viral metric, as 75% of people who received a referral link decided to use it and become members of Infinity Early Beta.

 

August 6, 2018 - No Comments!

How BAMF Media made sunscreen go viral with Viral Loops: An ecommerce case study

When the viral product incubator FCTRY needed badass viral marketing, they reached out to us, BAMF Media for help.

And when we needed the right software to run this viral campaign, we knew that Viral Loops was a one-way ticket.

R U ready to shine?

The Strategy

We designed and coded a unique viral website with custom referral backend technology integration through Viral Loops, which produced amazing results for the campaign.

The “Thank You” page was optimized to drive referrals — 48% of people who signed up shared one of the referral links.

One of our best growth hacks was using PR and media coverage to drive the top of the campaign’s viral funnel with high converting free traffic.

We managed to land stories on Mirror Online, PopSugar, Bustle, and several other major publications.

The Numbers

At BAMF Media, we are obsessed with virality metrics.

Let’s see some of the campaign’s highlights:

  • 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.

One of the campaign’s top performing ads saw about 90% of leads and 2,601 shares.

The average click-through rate on Facebook ads in the beauty industry is around 1.16%, with a cost per click at about $1.81.

Unicorn Snot’s campaign saw a CTR of 2.7% and a CPC of $0.10, so we managed to produce a significantly higher click-through rate for a fraction of the cost as a result of some badass creative assets and audience targeting.

Twitter saw the highest share/referral ratio — 46% of shares resulted in a referral.

As far as shares, Facebook was where the campaign took off — 25% of shares resulted in a referral, but it had 3X more total shares.

The majority of our tracked referrals came from people who clicked on a shared link outside of Facebook, Twitter, or Email  — which could’ve been from other “discount websites,” or PR placements sharing links to larger audiences.

These virality metrics are key to a successful Viral Loops campaign.

“One of the core concepts in viral marketing is the K-factor (K = i * c), with i as the average number of invitations sent per user and c as the average conversions from invitation to registration. Using this metric, we were able to tweak our viral campaign in order to maximize the reach.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Note: If you want to learn more about viral and referral marketing metrics, you HAVE to read From Visitor to Ambassador: The art of referral marketing.

Leading the paid social execution was BAMF’s Head of Media Buying, Charles Evans Jr., who says, “Having the right paid social strategy, airtight tactical execution, and segmented retargeting to amplify referrals led to the success of this campaign.”

“Also, we kept it simple, doubling down on what worked to scale efficiently.”

As Charles always says, “All that glitters isn’t gold.

Viral Incentives

Having the right milestone incentives and rewards is also key. If people who sign up are not stoked to share and get that prize, you simply won’t go viral.

Give customers what they really want. And be willing to spend some money to do it. Branded stress balls and t-shirts won’t do the job.

For example, Gilt developed a comprehensive insider program to encourage referrals.

In order to capture to their broad customer base, they didn’t just go with one incentive but instead established a tiered system of rewards including everything from free merchandise to insider access to their best flash sales.

A milestone referral (like the one that we used for Unicorn Snot’s campaign) structure should always be tiered - with easily attainable milestones up front and a super strong emotionally compelling grand prize that is relevant to your product or service.

In this case, it was the $100 Unicorn Snot gift card, but we often use even bigger prizes to amplify the emotional trigger, such as a “Free Trips to Around The World.”

By the end of the product launch waitlist campaign for Unicorn Snot, over 200 people had referred more than 25 friends, which would come to more than $20,000 in additional prize costs.

So, make sure to think about your reward incentives and the potential costs should your campaign take off and many more people reach those milestones.

The Takeaways

The lesson?

Pick your incentives carefully.

The discounts you offer can make or break your campaign.

You can bring in a lot of customers with huge discounts, but if those cost you more than the campaign brings in, it might not be the wisest move.

After working on so many viral marketing campaigns, we know that some clients and products are more difficult to promote than others.

Starting with a unique, high-demand product like Unicorn Snot made the process much more successful for BAMF Media and our campaign.

We were able to combine the natural intrigue of glitter sunscreen with the creativity and skill of our team to launch an awesome viral marketing campaign.

January 19, 2018 - No Comments!

How Growth Team Brazil managed to grab 5.5K emails through Referral Marketing & Word of Mouth

Growth Team is Brazil's first growth hacking agency.

We interviewed Braulio Medina, Co-founder at Growth Team to know more about their marketing approach & how referral marketing acted as a catalyst for the company’s growth.

Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is Growth Team Brazil?

My name is Braulio Medina, I am a mathematician and entrepreneur who is raising the bar in growth marketing for Latin American customers.

I am the co-founder of Growth Team, which is Brazil's first growth hacking agency.

We adapt the most recent growth hacking strategies and methods to the reality of our customers and their audience to generate the best possible outcome.

At what stage is your company?

Apart from taking care of our ongoing customers, we decided to invest in growth education and bring the best knowledge in growth marketing to Brazil.

We are launching the Growth Marketing Brazil Pack in partnership with the Growth Marketing Conference, which is a digital product containing the material from the conference.

That's why we are using Viral Loops!

How are your customers using Growth Team Brazil? Could you share a few different use cases?

We have been operating for 7 months only and we've already generated some great results for many different clients.

Our strategy will vary depending on the type of business (B2B, B2C, E-commerces, Marketplaces)

How did you get your first initial customers?

We launched our growth agency using a very strong scarcity signal to the market: we would only let 10 customers join. Over 100 registered!

Do you generate sales from word of mouth and referrals?

We did a list building campaign using Viral Loops during the last Black Friday.

We decided to give away some materials and courses that we have.

There were 5 different levels, based on the number of people referred.

Over 5.500 E-mails were collected using this strategy!

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

We wanted to generate as much awareness as possible for people interested in learning about growth hacking in Brazil.

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

The number of people impacted on social media by our organic campaigns, inbound leads, deals closed.

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

WordPress, Slack, Hubspot.

Final Thoughts

Growth Team Brazil ran a list building campaign using Viral Loops during the latest Black Friday, giving away some material and courses that they had.

Over 5.500 E-mails were collected using this strategy!

If you want to create a referral program like Growth Team, you can check this cool project harrysprelaunchreferral.com and create a Milestone referral campaign in 4 simple steps, like Harry’s did!

The entire process was designed to be as easy as possible!

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

 

August 31, 2017 - No Comments!

Growth Tribe used referral marketing to launch the largest Online Growth Marketing Conference

We interviewed Jim Groenen, Lead Growth Marketer at Growth Tribe.

Like he says in the interview below,

"Growth Tribe is Europe’s 1st Growth Hacking Academy"

Growth Tribe has trained 2000+ people in the last 2 years from 415 different companies.

So let's go straight to the interview.

Hi Jim, can you tell us about what you are working on? What is Growth Tribe?

Growth Tribe is Europe’s 1st Growth Hacking Academy! We’re backed by the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Facebook, StartupAmsterdam. We are specialised in teaching technical growth skills through hands-on workshops. 

We currently do courses ranging from 2 days, 6 weeks or 3 months on Growth Hacking and AI for Growth. Our trainers have a track record of hands-on start-up experience. They have been hustling in the digital realm for years.

Growth tribe interview viral loops

Combining their experience and expertise we’ve gathered a syllabus consisting of more than 6000 slides & 28 hands-on workshops. In total Growth Tribe trained 2000+ people from over 415 companies.

How did you come up with the idea of the International Growth Summit?

We think that companies grow faster through continuously educating their people who are responsible for growth. Next, to our workshops, we’re also organising Growth Marketing Conferences both in London and Amsterdam. People love the content, however, a physical location limits the amount of people that can learn. 

Therefore we wanted to take a different approach this time. By hosting a free accessible live online conference, we could empower much more people to join and learn together.

For the International Growth Marketing Summit, we invited 15 leading growth experts across the entire growth funnel.

Big names in the industry such as Nir Eyal (Hooked), David Darmanin (Hotjar), Josh Fechter (BAMF), Savvas Zortikis (Viral Loops) and much more joined us on an all day, 8-hour content online summit.

How did the summit work out? What were your main challenges?

In the end, we hosted the largest online conference on Growth Marketing up to date. We got 15,000 people that eventually registered for the Workplace growth.facebook.com in which we hosted the summit.

Not all people were able to watch the live event at the same time, however, Facebook Workplace helped us with instantly making the replays accessible and keeping them open for free during the entire weekend.

Some of the challenges we faced along the way:

  1. Coordinating 15 speakers across 6 different time zones on different network connections, with their own computers and slide decks. To tackle this, we partnered up with BlueJeans who are experts on hosting these type of online events. With their technical support, we did a dry run for all speakers and were able to ensure a seamless event.
  2. We went from idea to event in just one month. Since we had to do everything from scratch, search engine rankings were low and time for improving SEO was limited. It put quite some limitations on our organic reach and we had to make this up by engaging with other channels.
  3. Our Facebook Workplace hosted on growth.facebook.com was a new concept too. Onboarding of participants was a challenge itself as people weren’t yet acquainted with the new platform. Also, since this community is limited to 1 account per email address, participants could not log in with their private address. Therefore, we had to create one for every attendee. 

Awesome! Were there any 'growth hacks' that have contributed to the success of the summit?

In our courses, we talk a lot about Other People’s Network (OPN). Which existing network could you leverage right now instead of building your own audience from scratch? For the Online Summit, partnerships were our OPN and brought us at least half of the sign ups.

We partnered up with Hotjar, Typeform, TrendWatching, VWO, Viral Loops, SEMrush and BlueJeans. They were happy to tell their combined 1.5 million users about our partnership for this event.

Next to partnerships, one of our best channels was the ambassador programme. Through Viral Loops, we used the milestone template to reward people with different type of incentives.

After a brainstorm with the team, we picked the 5 best incentives from a list of over 40 ideas.

That's great! Did you generate registrations from word of mouth and referrals?

We got around 5,000 sign ups from our referral campaign. Here’s what went well:

  1. We made our referral incentives both achievable and ambitious. Therefore the first incentive was directly given when people invited only 1 friend. Based on Cialdini’s persuasion principles, starting with a small commitment (inviting just 1 friend) will lead to consistently inviting more friends later.
  2. Since we created 5 different incentives, there was always a next interesting incentive to chase. A number of invites sent, make or break a good referral campaign. This has everything to do with the K-factor about which I’ll tell you more in a moment.
  3. We sent emails after every milestone was reached. This is something that would be a lot of work to manually setup. However, Viral Loops supports this out of the box. 
growth summit milestone Referral Viral Loops

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

Viral marketing is one of the best ways for product growth. It’s one of the least costly channels to reach both high quality and quantity leads as shown in the graph below: 

By creating a viral engine we were able to leverage a number of sign ups that all summit partners contributed. The great thing is, that in just 2 weeks we got around 5,000 sign ups through the referral campaign.

Can you share with us some results/metrics of your Viral Loops campaign? How did it perform so far?

See answer below 👇

Do you have any core metrics that you measure constantly and are super important for you?

At Growth Tribe, we always measure viral campaigns through the K-factor (K = i *c), where i is an average number of invitations sent by one user, c is an average conversion from received invitation into registration.

In our viral campaigns we were constantly optimising to tweak the viral engine for:

  • Signups per channel (Top of the funnel)
  • Friends invited per ambassador
  • Open / Click rates of invites sent
  • Conversion per invite

In total around 1/3 of the registrations came from our viral campaigns. Referral invites were mainly sent through social and email. Therefore, our focus was to improve the landing page registration which got an average conversion rate of 60%. Also, Viral Loops enabled us to customise the invite that people sent through email and social channels.

One last question, what platform was your landing page built on and what are the top 3 marketing tools you used for promoting the summit?

Our Growth Tribe back-end is based on Ruby on Rails. However, we found that experiments as these are way faster to build on Instapage. This enables us to go from design to landing page in just 1 day, instead of a week with Ruby.

Speed is essential to learn and adapt faster than others in the market. It democratises landing page creation across more team members since full-stack development skills are not required.

Speed is essential to learn and adapt faster than others in the market. It democratises landing page creation across more team members since full-stack development skills are not required.

Other top 3 tools we used for summit promotion:

  1. Sendgrid for sending out announcement emails. They have some great new email A/B testing features.
  2. BlueJeans for hosting the online summit. A powerful tool for online conferences and video calls.
  3. Viral Loops. This is our go to tool for viral marketing. We implemented a relatively complex referral programme in just one day.

Do you plan to run the summit again in the near future?

For now, we host all videos from the Online Summit on Facebook Workplace and ask a small fee for accessing the replays. This enables us to cover some costs of keeping the Workplace in place.

If you want to rewatch all the talks, check growthsummit.io

We’re definitely planning to run a new summit soon. Stay tuned here and via Growth Tribe, so you’re the first to know!

Growth tribe interview viral loops

Final thoughts

If you're interested in learning growth hacking, Growth Tribe has a 2-day growth hacking course starting mid September.

Check it out 👉 here.

If you want to create a referral program like Growth Summit, you can check this cool project harrysprelaunchreferral.com and create a Milestone referral campaign in 4 simple steps, launch like Harry’s did!

The entire process was designed to be as easy as possible!

That's all from us! ✌️