We often talk about viral marketing as a mystical and artistic element, involving a certain opportunity factor to stimulate “spread”. However, there are programs and services that allow marketers to create this mess, to run it mechanically. The result ? Significantly growing vision, MASS lead generation. Read this article to understand how to set up a viral marketing machine…
Do you know what contributed to the success of the Dropbox storage platform?
In large part, it is “automated” viral marketing.
In fact, their sponsorship system (still active to this day) allows users to earn free storage, for every supported person who signs up for Dropbox (even to create a free account, without signing up for the subscription).
Therefore, even users of a free DropBox account with a limited storage of up to 2 GB, are given the opportunity to promote the service, in return for earning +0.5 GB of free storage for each referral. Terribly smart and efficient.
Is it some kind of affiliation? No, not really, because here, it’s not about a third person promoting Dropbox to receive rewards, but a lot countless Users or customers of this platform who are promoting it themselves.
Looking at this example, we understand that DropBox is ultimately the architect of this viral system.
Where is the luck factor here? Nowhere! Everything has been thought, organized and planned for this.
Now you’re going to tell me that you don’t have an army of developers at your service to help you plan and program your referral/reward system…
But rest assured, you don’t need it. I will explain shortly how to achieve this on your own easily.
But first, let’s try to discuss the strategies available to you, based on your products or services.
Based on the Dropbox example, we can understand that the key is to find a “gift” or “reward”, which you are sure your customers and prospects might like. It is important to include the possibilities here as well.
why ? For virility of course! Not all users of Dropbox are customers, because they do not pay subscriptions, but use the service with the free functions offered. Thus, these users are potential customers, but they are an integral part of the viral system created by DROBOX, where they can also sponsor other users.
For your activity, you should have the same approach: what can satisfy your customers and prospects?
Ideally, you should look for a reward that you can double, or “part of” infinitely without costing you much. Because in fact, if Dropbox offered 100GB of storage instead of 0.5 per referral obtained, that would be great for users, but not for DropBox, which would only get very few new subscribers back at a high cost!
Take a blank sheet of paper and think for 10 minutes what kind of rewards or compensation could fit your customers and expectations.
Then, to help you generate ideas for your activities, here are concrete examples, available in different formats:
Perhaps the “lottery” format works best for physical products, but it can also be used for non-physical products.
The principle is to set up a lottery so that each person sponsored by a godson (a new person entering the lottery) gets a point. At the end of the lottery, the person or people with the most points won.
The prize(s) will be physical products (or not to be won). These batches should consist of products (or services) related to what you want to sell, to attract new users who are genuinely interested in your products, and therefore likely to buy in the medium term.
So don’t bid to win the latest I-PHONE if you run an online store for luxury leather goods like belts and fashion accessories! There’s no connection and “everyone” wants an iPhone, but not necessarily a fancy handmade leather strap or bracelet. Grow Your Email List Yes, but with interested contacts.
In my example for a luxury leather goods store, offering 3 prizes to win with a personalized, handmade leather belt seems more appropriate.
But we can do better, because in the case of the lottery, you have to compensate for the small probability of winning, with a “too” attractive gift, a real prize, what! So the belt may not be enough, you have to do your best, and maybe offer many products in Lot to make Perceived value increase.
Do not be afraid to give beautiful gifts, this determines the success of your lottery, and tell yourself that in the end, only the first, two, or three people will win … and not the others.
What do you do with lottery losers?
The losers registered for your lottery using their email address, so you can contact them again at the end of the lottery to show them, for example, a small discount coupon that will dry their tears … and you will win.
- Disadvantages of this strategy
This is also what makes it its strength, it is a one-time, ephemeral event that needs to be repeated several times a year, and many times it requires an investment of time, organization and energy.
- Advantage of this strategy:
Specifically, because the event is ephemeral, it can increase the motivation of those interested, and facilitate participation. It can also make it possible to “create a wider network”, mobilizing a lot of people at once, as it is likely that win something Don’t spend anything at all.
You can also offer coupons or promotional codes in exchange for sponsorship. If someone (Godson/Godson) recommends a friend (Godson) to participate in your sponsorship program, and the friend signs up in their email, then the Godson wins a voucher (or promotional code).
Do you just want to make a gift after sponsoring a total of 3 or more referrals? No problem ! Most viral campaign builders allow this.
- The advantage of this strategy
She is evergreen! This means that it works all the time, all year round. I set it up once, and it works on autopilot. So it is time and energy saving. But beware, any campaign requires tweaks and improvements. The risk of not touching it after a month and not improving it is real.
- Disadvantages of this strategy
If you have a large customer database (an email list), this solution may work. In fact, your existing customers are more likely to be interested in coupons or promotional codes than strangers.
But on the contrary, if the client / -tes database is not large enough, the effectiveness of your campaign may be limited. The coupon or promo code is actually less attractive for someone who doesn’t know the brand yet, and has never had the opportunity to place an order.
Shape “landmarks” (Miles Stone)
Here again, for each new referral, it will be possible to earn 1 point. Next, we can define “milestones” that are associated with a certain number of points. For example, a first milestone of 3 points, a second of 5, then a 10, etc.
For every milestone reached, the godfather/elder wins a reward or gift.
Highlighting the various milestones and prizes to be won from the start increases the interest of the participants.
Simple tip, in this way, I recommend giving a small gift as soon as you get your first point (first care).
First, it reassures participants that the system works well and scores points well (very important!).
Second, it gives them an immediate sense of accomplishment, and motivates them to keep going now without waiting.
- The advantage of this strategy :
Motivate participants to continue strengthening the system as they advance through the ranks.
- Disadvantages of this strategy :
The main downside is that it’s not always easy to find multiple rewards or gifts to associate with milestones. But with a little creativity, it’s possible!
Tools and software available to implement viral marketing campaigns
If you want to set up your viral campaign, you are probably asking yourself a lot of questions: where to start, how to organize yourself, and what tool or software to use?
About the software that allows you to create these viral campaigns, probably the most popular and complete are Up-Viral or Viral Loops. Viral Loop offers very good guidance in choosing a campaign type, with examples of use cases.
An interesting and very affordable alternative is the Kingsumo service, which is very well done and simple, but limited to lottery format only.
Looking at the offerings and functions of these various services will also help you turn your project into a reality. All that’s left is to progress, and take action!
If you have any questions about setting up your own viral marketing campaign, advice for organizing your strategy, leave a comment at the bottom of the article! I would be happy to answer them!
About the author
Thomas Gerrard is a personal organization and time management consultant. In addition to his training activity, he also has extensive experience in Internet Marketing and Online Sales. He markets his training on his website www.commentsorganiser.com