Here at Launchpeer, we believe wholeheartedly in using ourselves as guinea pigs. If we’re going to recommend a new strategy to our clients, we want to know that it really works.
In terms of our marketing recommendations, we’re really big on growth hacking, especially when it comes to viral contests and giveaways. (If you’re not familiar with the term, Wikipedia defines it as “the process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business”). While we’ve implemented freebies into some of our clients’ marketing funnels, we had yet to do a standalone viral contest for anyone. And so in true Launchpeer fashion, we tried it on ourselves.
We partnered up with Vyper.io, a relatively new but wildly successful platform (launched in 2016) that helps businesses run viral contests to capture leads, explode their email list, and ramp up online traffic. (BTW: Vyper’s co-founder is speaking at our upcoming Launch Summit, a 100% virtual conference for startup hustlers. You can sign up for free here).
Using their platform, we were able to set up a really fun contest for one lucky person to win an entrepreneur’s dream vacation to Spain. It’s closed now, but you can see the standalone contest site at: http://vyper.io/c/1488 to get a better idea of how we set it up.
Essentially, one entrepreneur would win a spot in Refuga’s Mountain Workation, an awesome week-long experience working and adventuring alongside 19 other entrepreneurs in a luxury house outside of Barcelona. Yeah, you read that right. Dreamy. The trip was valued at over $2000 and we threw in a $500 Amex gift card to help cover airfare, because we get that #startuplife.
The ultimate goal of this contest was to achieve viral growth (and, hopefully get some new leads and clients). Everyone who entered input their email address and was then encouraged to share via multiple platforms (Facebook, email, Twitter). The more places and times they shared, the more entries they earned. We also asked entrants to like and comment on a Facebook video that was already on our page.
To incentivize sharing, we also gave away prizes at random, including free VIP tickets to Launch Summit 2017, badass swag from Launchpeer, and more.
To get the contest out there initially, we posted the link organically (as in, we didn’t run any social media ads) on our own Facebook and Twitter accounts, and paid for one sponsored email to a targeted list of over 400K entrepreneurs.
And our experiment worked.
Our contest ran for 30 days and in that quick timeframe, we got nearly 450 new Twitter followers, over 220 new Facebook likes (again, that’s without any paid social ads), and grew our email list by almost 1500 new contacts. The Facebook video that we included in the entry process also got 255 likes and 117 comments — again, without advertising.
Better yet, we achieved our goal of drumming up new business. We got approached by two startups looking for a development partner and wound up inking $60K-worth of new work.
For a total spend of about $5,000 (the prizes and our sponsored email), we ended up with a net of $55K in new income. Not bad for a month-long guinea pig run.
Want to learn more about how to use growth hacking strategies like this at your startup? We’d love to chat. Schedule a 15-minute call with our team today!