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.
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.
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.