What is Viral Loop Marketing?
WHAT IS A VIRAL LOOP?
A viral loop is a self-fueling marketing tactic that incentivizes an existing customer to create more customers for your business.
- Viral Loops Create Exponential Growth
- Viral Loops Are Based on TRUST (Word of Mouth Referrals)
- Viral Loops are Inexpensive
- Viral Loops Can Be Implemented Into Any Business
What We’ll Cover:
- How DropBox grew from 100,000 customers to 4,000,000 in 15 months
- Why Did their Growth Loop Work?
- Characteristics of a Successful Viral Loop
- Other Examples of Viral Loops
- How to Get More Out of Viral Marketing
- Who Can Benefit from Using Viral Loops to Grow their Business
How DropBox Grew from 100,000 Customers to 4,000,000 in 15 Months
Everyone’s heard of DropBox, an online storage giant, but did anyone notice how fast the company scaled? How could DropBox scale from 100,000 users to over 4,000,000 in 15 months?
Well…by creating & using Viral Loops!
Here is what DropBox’s Viral Loop Looks Like
Step 1: Landing Page for Sign Ups
Step 2: Redirection to a Thank You Page with an Incentive
Step 3: User Shares & Brings New Customers to Repeat the Process!
That’s it! This is basically how a viral loop works. It’s a self-fueling customer acquisition tool that helps businesses get more customers at scale.
After DropBox perfected the art of the Growth Loop, other startups noticed.
Who remembers how they were referred to Uber? Or the mobile stock trading app RobinHood?
I recall getting a link sent to me by a friend that gave me a Free Ride. After I signed up for Uber, I was also incentivized to share App invite link with my friends and audience. Same with Robinhood, which we’ll cover here in a bit.
Why the DropBox Growth Loop Worked
After each signup, DropBox redirected a new user to a landing page where the user was incentivized to share an invitation link with their friends and colleagues in order to get free additional cloud storage space.
So what do we have here?
Every Successful Viral Marketing Campaign Has These 3 Characteristics:
- Landing Page
- Thank-You Page with an Upsell
- An Incentivized Customer Inviting another Customer
So we have a Landing Page to sign up new users, a Thank You Page with an incentivized upsell to invite users, and finally, a new potential customer flocking back to the Landing Page and repeating the process!
Implementation of Viral Marketing is a Characteristic of Some of the Fastest Growing Global Brands
Other Companies Taking Notice
Another startup that used viral loop marketing successfully is RobinHood. Robinhood is a democratized mobile trading App that executes trades for free, without commissions or brokerage fees!
Robinhood used this tactic to get more users on their mobile app.
Later when they scaled and wanted to offer a new feature and get people signed up for the Desktop version, they used it again by offering people to get placed on the waiting list. Each time someone signed up for the Desktop version waiting list from your shared link, your position on the waiting list would move up several spots! The incentive here was that you’d be able to get access to the Desktop version before others.
By the way, if you’re want to sign up for the trading platform and both of us receive a FREE stock and have a 1-150 chance of getting a stock like Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, or Microsoft you can use my link provided below. Of course, you’ll get a free stock regardless but it may not be Apple or Microsoft.
I remember getting an App installation link and being rewarded with a free stock! Of course, the friend who recommended the platform ALSO received a FREE stock. The neat thing that RobinHood did is they gamified the experience, made it fun! They incentivized new users to share the Sign-Up link by advertising that you’ll have a 1 in 150 chance of getting a stock like Facebook, Apple or Amazon!
Full disclosure, I received about 20 free stocks from Robinhood (so did my friends) but most of them were valued under $15. However, I noticed that I wanted to share the link with almost everyone I came in contact with because who doesn’t want free stocks and take advantage of possibly receiving a stock like Facebook or Amazon for free?
- 92% of Consumers trust recommendations from friends above any other form of marketing (Nielsen, 2013)
- 77% are more likely to buy when they hear it from a friend or colleague (Nielsen, 2013)
- 16% is the average higher lifetime value when referred by a friend (Wharton School of Business, 2010)
How to Get EVEN MORE Out of Viral Marketing
- A/B Split Test Your Landing Pages & Your Thank You Pages
- Send Out Automated Follow-Up Emails with Referral Links
- Create More Creative Campaigns, like Contents & Giveaways
Keep in mind that not all Landing Pages are created equal! Test your landing pages and “thank you” pages to create even more value out of your marketing campaigns.
If you have certain milestones you want your users to meet, like having 5 friends sign up, you should be sending an automated email each time someone signs up from the link that was shared.
This will make the person want to continue sharing the link so they can get closer to the goal! The idea is to keep them engaged and sharing your content until they reach enough “points” or whatever the metric you want to assign before getting their reward.
Who Can Benefit from Using Viral Loops to Grow their Business?
Any Business Can Use Viral Loops to Fuel their Growth
We encourage you to get creative! Identify where these loops can be implemented in your sales funnel, implement your new strategy, then sit back and watch your business grow!
Here are some of the recommended pages where you could implement your viral loops:
- Order Confirmation Page
- Booking Confirmation Page
- Thank You Page
Ohhhh the places you’ll go!
If you need expert advice on how and where to implement viral loops, shoot us a quick message or give us a call. We’d love to help you scale!