How Word-of-Mouth has generated 7,500 Weekly Active Marketers for Zest.is

Word-of-Mouth (WoM) is us marketers dream come true. What we have learned while working our asses-off on Zest, is that WoM is a clear result and an inevitable evolution of Product-Market-Fit.

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A few days ago we passed the 7,500 weekly active user mark at Zest 🎇

We felt it was the right time to run some demographic research on our users and saw that out of these 7,500, over 2,500 connected their LinkedIn profile.

[On Zest you need to connect your LinkedIn account in order to suggest content and follow one another]

Yes, over 30% of our weekly active users have connected their LinkedIn profile. Amazing conversion rate, no doubt.

But connecting your LinkedIn profile to Zest has a much bigger psychological effect. LinkedIn is every marketer’s professional social network and many of us are spending as much time over there as on Facebook.

The professional essence of LinkedIn and its level of authority and seriousness is why we decided to have our users to connect with it to Zest. We knew it would be a huge risk but we went full steam ahead. Ironically, most users were against it at the beginning.

The profile connection with LinkedIn testifies to the seriousness of the users and how they perceive our brand as reliable and our product as valuable

This was the first signal of having passed the Product Market Fit mark. As for the demographics, we have seen that over 68.8% of our users are marketing directors and above (CMOs, VPs, Founders, etc.).

It also seems that there is a correlation between seniority and the value that Zest provides a user.

The quality of the content they consume, without digging through Google, Facebook or suffering information overload is critical for this demographic. The content they need is available, accessible and at the highest quality level known to marketer kind.

Zest user demographic distribution by job title

Completely cool 🏂

We might have just killed a huge pain for professionals who want to consume valuable content. But how?

Each week we talk to dozens of users from different countries and from varying professional levels — we ask them questions related to their product use and experience as well as t their expectations for the future.

The level of engagement of our users with our brand, product and agenda always strikes me.

And you know what’s cool? We are building our Users Board of Directors, in which users will be deeply involved with our product roadmap. We already found a few dozen marketers saying they’d like to be a part of this initiative.

After all, we have not yet started aggressive marketing activity (or any “real” marketing) and there is still double-digit growth rate of our weekly active users, month-over-month.

Another amazing and extremely positive insight that came from speaking with our users was the realization that our main channel of growth is WoM. That was the second signal we saw of achieving Product Market Fit.

Most users have said they actually have three ‘holy shit’ moments when exposed to and using Zest. For me, each ‘holy shit’ moment is equal to a micro Product Market Fit engagement achievement that occurs as users travel through our product.

  1. Their first ‘holy shit’ moment happens when prompted with the product’s appearance; its slickness, our onboarding, the microcopy, and the intuitiveness of the initial use.
  2. The second ‘holy shit’ moment happens with the content they consume. The added value of the content that get published on Zest is tremendous. The way in which we achieve this it is that the community suggests content and more senior members of the community go through the content on a voluntary basis to make sure that it’s aligned with Zest’s content quality style guide. 
    At the end of the process, I personally oversee all of the approved content to make sure it is indeed top-notch and highly contextual.
    The performance of this human based filter is AMAZING. Only content with distinct action items, takeaways, and added value is being approved and published on our feed.
Why should humans filter content rather than machines? Easy. Machines may be able to discern levels of contextuality, but are challenged when it comes to determining the actual value of a given piece of content. Only a human can tell if content will be valuable to their colleagues.
[Hyper valuable content + hyper contextual content = Zest]

3. Any user offering content receives a personal email from me with reasons why their content was rejected or accepted. This is the third ‘holy shit’ moment. They do not believe that someone actually bothered to check their content. The process is still slow, but we’re getting better.

This personal touch is priceless in a world of automation, bots and other conversion machines and methodologies.

Treat your marketing content seriously or die
This is the message I’m delivering to fellow marketers. If you’ll treat it seriously and not as junk, not only will it get published on Zest, which isn’t really the goal at all, but you’ll also see a distinct ROI.

These three ‘holy shit’! moments are what is propelling our users to spread the word of our product and how we got 7,500 weekly active users from 151 countries.

The growth machine we are building

And by the way…

This WoM channel has a huge advantage over any other marketing channel. It creates a higher level of engagement between the user and the product. Users who come through this channel have a higher usage of the the product, do not remove the extension, value our brand and agenda more, and are more likely to spread the word. Beyond that, their feedback and level of interest in our roadmap is tremendous.

Here is an email I received yesterday from a user. I did not know him before and every email like this makes us cry. Really!

We are full of appreciations and so grateful for having such an amazing tribe who is so involved with how we build this product and keep on feedbacking us on a daily basis.

Thank you so much, our Zestribe ❤
Yam & Idan