Inside Maître


How to create a referral campaign that doesn’t suck – Part 2


How to create a referral campaign that doesn’t suck – Part 2


This post is Part 2 of a series. Read here PART 1.

Preparing for the launch of your campaign was only half of the job.
The other half is to generate subscribers and keep them engaged.

👉 Step 1: Drive traffic to your page

The most important thing after you setup your campaign is to drive traffic to your page. Remember: Maitre is a “traffic-multiplier”, but if your page receives a few dozens visits a day there is really little we can do.

Ask yourself: how are people supposed to find out about my contest?

A good competition in our experience achieves anywhere from 10 – 30% sign up rate. Therefore, if 10% sign up, if you were to drive 1,000 visitors to a page, 100 of those might sign up – this should give you an idea of the traffic needed to run a successful viral contest.

So, how do you drive traffic to your page? A good idea is to think of where your target market hangouts online.

Here’s some great FREE places to check out:

If you want to run an Adwords or FB Ads campaign, we encourage you to do so: paid channels work well with Maître. Why? Because with a viral contest you reduce your overall acquisition costs through people referring their friends. One of our clients recently wrote a great post on how this was done for $500 (including website build + facebook ad campaign + Maître). Check it out here.

The Hustle used referrals to grow their email list to crazy numbers. Our friend Josh Fechter wrote one of the best guides around on running a referral campaign: “The Hustles Ambassador Program A Framework for 275K Subscribers”. Check it out here.

Other great resources for driving traffic:

👉 Step 2: Keeping your subscribers engaged

Maybe the universe is infinite but I can tell you for sure that time and attention span of people, especially online, are extremely limited. Even if you did a good job in convincing people to sign up and share with their friends, don’t expect them to keep sharing every day or for a prolonged period of time. Their attention will be captured by that Youtube video, that Facebook gif with singing cats or that super funny tweet.

This is why we have created our Engagement Emails. They are emails designed to keep your subscribers engaged throughout your entire contest by sending them emails when something happens.

For example we have a “Welcome” email that is sent as soon as a subscriber signs up. A “New Referral” email that is sent when a subscriber refers a friend. A “Lost positions” email that is sent when a subscriber loses position in a waiting list.

You get the gist.
Currently we have 6 engagement emails and we are going to add two more soon.

Note: “Top of the list”, “Lost positions” and “Gained positions” emails can only be used for waiting lists.

Engagement emails are extremely powerful. Campaigns that use them achieve on average 30% more subscribers than those that don’t. They are also extremely customizable. By using merge tags you can personalize emails for each subscribers, using their name, position in the list, their referral link and much more.

Note: Engagement emails are a PRO feature. If you chose the Basic you will need to upgrade your account..

👉 Step 3: Send regular updates

Personally I don’t like when I sign up on a newsletter/contest/whatever and I don’t receive updates. It feels like I signed up to an automated thing with no real people behind it.

Your personal touch can be the difference between a successful campaign or an unsuccessful one. Your subscribers want to hear from you and, more importantly, they want to know how the contest is going.

With Maître you can send regular updates directly from your dashboard by using our “Custom emails”. You can personalize these emails for each subscriber by using merge tags.

There is no golden rule about how often you should send your updates, but we suggest at least once a week. It also helps to increase the frequency as you rush towards the end of the contest. As usual, don’t overdo. Your goal is to keep people engaged not to become spammy.

👉 Step 4: Keep promoting

If you import your contacts and send some initial traffic to your website, your campaign will mostly take care of itself. However I recommend you to keep sending traffic to your page. Promote your contest in the right channels, do some Adwords or FB Ads, schedule tweets on Twitter, etc. Every little helps.

At the end of the day, it’s a number game. The more people people you’ll drive to your page, the more people will convert and invite their friends.

Top Tip: Go the extra mile

We have noticed that our most successful campaigns go the extra mile towards the end of the competition. This makes sense: the initial subscribers will have lost interest in your competition (sad truth but truth) and your latest subscribers will see the first ones too far away. So why don’t you shake things up? For example you could add a new prize for those who invite the most friends in the last 5 days or decide to reward the 4th and 5th as well. Be creative.

Read Part 3: Best practices AFTER the campaign

Manuel Frigerio

Manuel Frigerio Maître's Founder. A data-driven, analytical geek who enjoys building stuff.
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