Studies find that 83% of people are more likely to buy a product or service if someone they know recommends it. Once marketers figure out how to engage a small loyal audience, the community can grow exponentially as current members share their experience with their friends and bring in more community members. Many marketers wish this were as easy as it sounds. But only superhero marketers get it right and inspire all of us to follow their example.
This story is about the product launch campaign of a fintech startup. Their marketers ran an impressive word-of-mouth campaign, which generated over 60,000 organic social media posts.
For every 3 posts shared, they saw one sign-up for the launch of their new app.
When companies are just starting out, their early adopters are the ones that help them grow and build a community. Their app launch shows how to run a viral product launch campaign by relying on an initial base of advocates to spread the word.
How the App Went Viral
With a powerful storyline and a well-implemented referral marketing infrastructure, the company leveraged the strength of its passionate community to spread the word.
They built an automated referral marketing funnel that allowed their users to effortlessly sign up for the waitlist on its website, stay up to date with the latest news about the app, and share their unique referral code with friends. Rather than building the referral infrastructure in-house, they saved time by using Prefinery, a SaaS pre-launch waiting list platform for upcoming product releases.
But the team was aware that most people don’t have the time or inspiration to come up with a compelling post about their favorite product. Asking users to create social media posts from scratch or rely on a single pre-set text option to share, which is what most referral marketing softwares currently offer, is not ideal. On the other hand, using a one-size-fits-all sharing suggestion is impersonal and doesn’t do justice for people eager to share their own experience.
SpeechifAI's innovative word-of-mouth sharing platform was the right tool for helping the company’s waitlist subscribers create persuasive social media referrals for their friends and online networks.
Social Media Engagement with SpeechifAI
On SpeechifAI, the team uploaded a set of carefully curated assets (captions, hashtags, and images), which their waitlist subscribers could use to create their own social media referral post with just a few clicks. SpeechifAI integrates with marketing softwares and email CRMs, so the team could easily integrate it with the referral funnel built through Prefinery.
The marketing team uploaded assets on SpeechifAI at regular intervals to ensure waitlist subscribers always had fresh content to use for referring the app. And folks loved it! Throughout the campaign, for every user who landed on the SpeechifAI sharing page, one referral post was created. In sum, people from 180 countries created 60,000 unique social media posts promoting the app and shared across social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and direct messaging apps like Whatsapp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger. 40% of those posts were on Facebook and 25% on Twitter. Every 3 posts shared resulted in one sign-up to their product waitlist.
Creating the Right Community Incentives
Typical of a successful referral marketing campaign, the team had a rewards system for top advocates.
To incentivize word-of-mouth, the company rewarded top referrers with a financial incentive. Receiving passionate recommendations from close friends but also the promise of gaining early access to a revolutionary product made people excited to join the waitlist.
Getting the Email Strategy Right
Great incentives are just one ingredient to a successful word-of-mouth campaign. A smooth sharing process is as important. In order to make it easier for their community to refer friends, the company created an effective, month-long drip marketing campaign encouraging users to sign up for the waitlist.
In today’s fast-paced world, most emails catch us in inopportune moments, whether we’re just out of the office to get an iced coffee or sitting down for dinner with family. That’s why multiple touchpoints were crucial in making sure they can catch the right timing when people are able to take an action.
Creating an Effective Referral Funnel
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most influential types of marketing, but getting it right can be challenging, especially online. Many of us find it natural to bring up our favorite fall drink, or the workout app that we can’t live without in dinner table conversations or workplace chit-chats. But are we as comfortable referring via social media? Asking customers or community members to recommend your product or service in a short and compelling social media post can be tricky. Not everyone is a social media copywriter, and they shouldn’t be. To overcome these barriers, the company created a referral funnel that gave their passionate community members the confidence and ease to post about the app. Here’s how they did it:
1. Be Personable
The start of your email to potential referees should feel as personal as possible. Think back to any time when you received an email from a company or brand. Oftentimes you saw it, didn’t read it, and put it right into your junk or trash folder. That’s obviously not the outcome you want. Make your consumer feel like they are a special part of your closely-knit community!
2. Sharing A Social Post Is A Click Away
Use a strong call-to-action button, created with SpeechifAI, to encourage users to click and help spread the word. On SpeechifAI, each waitlist subscriber could choose among a number of ready-made posts or easily build their own based on curated assets (captions, hashtags, and images). This intuitive set-up allowed people to easily craft engaging referrals and share them with their friends on all major social networks and direct messaging apps.
3. Capture The Sharers’ Experience
Give users the right tool to amplify your message. The company used SpeechifAI to give their referrers the tools they needed to share posts quickly and easily. While all individuals have heartfelt opinions about their favorite products, it is often challenging for them to capture these experiences into a social media post. By creating shareable content options, they allowed referrers to pick the post that they related to the most and customize it in their own voice before sharing.
The content options reflected the range of motivations that waitlist subscribers may have for recommending the app. And the graphics were designed to be appealing for social media audiences — so, people would feel good about sharing them with their friends.
4. Look at the Data and Pivot Your Messaging Accordingly
On SpeechiAI, the team could track what content was shared, clicked the most and converted most effectively, which enabled them to continuously improve the quality of the assets. And users kept sharing because they felt listened to and their experiences valued.
Make Authentic Experiences Easily Shareable
Having a passionate community is an essential prerequisite for building a successful company. But in today’s fast-paced world, increasingly dominated by online interactions, that’s not enough to break through the noise and ensure your product gets into the hands of the people who need it the most. Making it easy for your community to share their authentic experience about your product is crucial. If you give consumers the tools they need, they will be able to create and share meaningful posts about their favorite product, while maintaining a personal tone of voice. Creating and nurturing a loyal community takes not only a smooth user experience, but a satisfying sharing experience too.
Written by: Charlotte Hinrichs and Tudor Mihailescu