Just like any other marketing strategy, not getting everything right in referral marketing is completely normal. Your learning journey will most likely involve trial and error — and more importantly, improving on your approach. 😉
“Referral marketing is a science,” said Shekhar, who used UpViral to collect a total of 3,370 high-quality leads after having made three attempts at running contests.
In this specific campaign, we’re going to reveal exactly how Shekhar generated this amazing result, on top of gaining thousands of new subscribers to their Telegram channel.
Watch the video and read this case study for a breakdown of Shekhar’s success.
Get to Know Shekhar (and Find Out Why He Chose UpViral)
Shekhar is the co-founder and managing partner of Biotecnika, a bioscience information portal led by a group of biotechnologists. According to their website, they provide the latest breaking news and videos, as well as jobs and opportunities.
Although Biotecnika already has a massive user base — and in fact, they’re one of the top 10 biology websites in India — an area where they needed help with is referrals.
Before having achieved their current results through UpViral, Shekhar mentioned that they used to hire a software expert to create a referral solution. However, it was not robust.
This was when they considered UpViral. Here’s what Shekhar told us…
Choosing the Main Giveaway Prize
Before diving into the incentive used in Biotecnika’s current campaign, it’s worth mentioning that the reason their first campaign didn’t work was because their incentive back then was irrelevant.
They offered a pizza, which failed to appeal to their target audience.
It was apparent with the number of leads they got, which was only 3. (Because remember, Biotecnika is a life sciences educational brand — not a food brand!)
Shekhar learned from that experience. In this current campaign, they chose something that their target audience found valuable:
A free Molecular Biology Techniques Summer Internship worth $100.
This internship was Biotecnika’s most expensive product. As you’ll see in the screenshot of the landing page copy below, it involved a 15-day hands-on training, which was a one-of-a-kind experience.
Being a high-value reward, the offer signaled to Biotecnika’s audience that the business was not only generous but also committed to offering quality products and services!
Incentivizing Participants Along the Way
In addition to offering the main prize, Biotecnika kept their audience interested and motivated to have their friends sign up by offering these extra incentives. As they kept sharing the campaign, their incentive would grow bigger:
- Ebook - 600 points needed to unlock
- Free workshop - 2000 points needed to unlock
- 6 months free workshop - 4000 points needed to unlock
- Virtual internship - 10000 points needed to unlock
The bigger the incentive, the more difficult it was to obtain since it demanded more effort to share to reach the required number of points!
Check the screenshot above and you’ll notice that the ebook, which required 600 points, had more people taking action — whereas the virtual internship, which required 10,000 points, had only 5 people who completed it.
💎Pro Tip: Use this strategy in your giveaway to keep engagement levels high throughout the campaign while gaining more leads. Creating additional challenges is easy to implement within UpViral. Just choose our “Milestone - Ongoing Email List Growth” template. Inside the “Rewards” section, you’ll be able to add as many unlockable rewards as you would like!
Creating a Simple Yet Effective Landing Page
If you’ve read about people’s success with UpViral, you’ll notice one thing in common — they have a properly designed and focused landing page that’s worth signing up for.
In Biotecnika’s case, they made sure that their message and image complemented each other. The main headline reads, “Want to get this awesome Hands-On for free?” while the image on the right shows some relevant text about the main giveaway prize, plus professional headshots of the experts who’ll be involved in the summer internship.
Right beneath the headline is a call-to-action (CTA) button saying, “YES I want it for FREE.” When someone clicks the button, an opt-in pop-up shows and asks for their name, email, and mobile number:
Here are more reasons why Biotecnika’s landing page was effective:
- It has a prominent call-to-action button with very specific text
- They kept the entry form simple, asking for only essential information (name, email, and number)
- A countdown timer reminded people of the giveaway deadline, which created a sense of urgency
- The landing page and opt-in pop-up were mobile-friendly and displayed well on different screen sizes
- To prevent any confusion about entry rules, winner selection, and other details, they included terms and conditions
Last but not least, Biotecnika featured an educational video (created using Loom) in which they explained the details of the contest. The UpViral team found this compelling given that most of our campaigns add a video on the share page instead of the opt-in page.
A Share Page That Created a Sense of Competition
Once people signed up for the campaign, Biotecnika led them to a share page where they could start sharing the giveaway with their connections who are likely to be interested in the Molecular Biology hands-on training:
Below the headline is a clear instruction saying that in order to win the hands-on training, the campaign has to be shared with their friends and followers. You’ll see a unique invite link which participants can copy and paste anywhere.
To the right, you’ll find the 4 unlockable rewards we mentioned earlier.
Biotecnika also incorporated social sharing options, which allowed participants to accumulate points.
Except for the “Join Our Telegram Group,” which was a custom action that could be completed for 10 points, the rest of the social share buttons were equivalent to 5 points each.
Thanks to this Telegram custom action — Biotecnika actually ended up growing their Telegram channel!
Another important element on the share page was the leaderboard, which encouraged participants to work hard to reach a top position. Seeing others also reinforced the credibility of the giveaway since people knew that others were actively sharing to win!
Sharing and Engagement Strategies
Biotecnika used this social media image to share the campaign. They created this with the help of Canva, which can be conveniently accessed within the UpViral editor:
Speaking of keeping people engaged, Shekhar would also recommend businesses running contests to take a screenshot of their leaderboard every now and then, and sharing that on social media. The UpViral thinks that this is a unique strategy that maximizes the impact of any campaign since it sparks more sharing activity.
Shekhar also wanted to share this screenshot (see below) showing how an increase in social media sharing correlated with the increase in their campaign visitors. In other words, regular posts and updates invite more interactions.
Besides social media sharing, they set up an email that automatically went out to every person who successfully signed up for the giveaway.
Powerful Insights Learned from the Campaign
There is no doubt that Biotecnika’s fourth giveaway with UpViral was a huge success. They got 3,370 quality leads, a ton of exposure, plenty of shares on social media, and grew their Telegram channel.
Despite this, Shekhar still believes that there’s room for growth and improvement. Here are some of his thoughts:
- For anyone planning to do a giveaway, it is best to have an existing follower base. Even if you’ve got just 100 followers, this number can significantly increase the reach of your giveaway. Also, these people are already familiar with your brand, which means they’re more likely to share it with their connections!
- Referrals or new leads are extremely valuable. New leads have a greater chance of making a purchase than older leads who are already used to your marketing messages.
- Considering that they used the same social media graphic when sharing the giveaway, Shekhar realized that it may have been better to use different messages and formats. This would make the campaign more interesting.
- There’s massive value in educating your giveaway audience more often. “More education would have generated more referrals,” said Shekhar.
We asked Shekhar about his final thoughts about the whole UpViral campaign experience. Here’s what he told us:
Create and Manage Your Lead Generation Campaigns with UpViral
You may be in the life sciences industry just like Shekhar at Biotecnika or you’re running another type of business.
It doesn’t matter because UpViral is adaptable to different businesses and can be tailored to meet other goals (in addition to generating leads), thanks to its features.
Moreover, you can choose from a variety of pre-designed UpViral templates depending on the type of campaign you’re doing or the time of the year — whether it’s Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, or Halloween. For more inspiration, check out our case studies!