It amazes me how a simple problem can turn into a GREAT BUSINESS… Because most people who start already decide that something is going make them money. They do their research, come up with a business plan, pick a niche, and create a product.
Mark Davies of UpViral had the pleasure of speaking with David Fraser, one of our users, who was able to hack viral marketing. After running a 26-day contest using UpViral, he impressively got:
- 34, 297 leads
- $300,000 in sales
- 1,998 survey participants
- 2,546 new Instagram followers
Here’s a sneak peek of his campaign stats:
Whether this is your first time to run a contest or have done it in the past but didn’t get the results you want, there’s a lot to gain from this case study. Keep reading.
Bunkie Life and How It All Started
Owned by David Fraser and his wife, Bunkie Life specializes in log cabin bunkie kits.
David Fraser started as a bunkie user way back in 2015 before he thought of making a business out of it.
This was David’s story:
He had a small home and whenever his parents would come to visit the grandkids, they slept on the couch which was inconvenient. That’s when he thought of purchasing and building a bunkie. Also, he had the bunkie listed on Airbnb.
Immediately, a group of guests booked the bunkie. David was able to pay off the bunkie in about 8 months. He realized that it was the best investment he made so far, which prompted him and his wife to start a bunkie business.
What Was David’s End Goal for Using UpViral?
His goal was to generate sales by promoting his bunkies through a referral contest. In the past, he ran a contest using another platform. But this time, He was looking for a more flexible and affordable referral system. That’s when went for UpViral.
Prize and Contest Duration
David gave away a bunkie, valued at $6,000, as the prize for his UpViral contest. He had good reasons for choosing this prize:
- It was an enticing offer – The bigger and more appealing the prize, the higher the chances for people to enter his contest and stay engaged until the end.
- Relevant to his audience – Giving away his own product keeps his contest entrants focused on his brand. Also, it helps to drive sales.
David ran his UpViral contest for 26 days (February 1-26). He chose this time period because building a bunkie takes time, and he wanted to make sure that everybody’s bunkies would be delivered to them by springtime — if they ordered during the contest period.
Key Takeaway: If you have a seasonal business and are planning on a contest to drive revenue, run that contest at a time where people are more likely to make a purchase.
Contest Points and Social Media Marketing
Assigning Contest Points
An essential step in setting up your contest is assigning points for actions that people take. Doing this will help boost your conversions.
In a typical contest, you’d normally assign points for the following actions:
- When someone signs up on your contest landing page (whether the person signed up directly or was referred).
- When the person clicks your social share buttons on your share page.
Points for Signups and Referrals
Here are the number of points David assigned for each action and share button:
As you can see, he didn’t assign points for some social buttons like LinkedIn, Whatsapp, and Messenger. What this means is that you have the option to leave out those platforms that you don’t use in your business.
Points for Custom Actions
David also leveraged also UpViral’s Custom Actions to incentivize contest participants.
In case you don’t know what Custom Actions is, it’s a new UpViral feature that lets you assign points for other specific actions that you want people to take to help meet your business goals.
You decide what your custom actions would be. These actions can be anything from following your social media to watching your videos.
These were David’s custom actions:
Notice that David assigned bigger points for certain custom actions that had a higher priority such as answering his questionnaire, posting a photo of the perfect bunkie location, and watching his Facebook live streams (Watch What Makes Bunkies Great, Watch How to Build A Bunkie, etc).
Using Custom Actions to Understand Your Audience Better
One brilliant thing that David did by using Custom Actions was that he required participants to answer a questionnaire for 250 points. 1,998 people took the time to fill out the questionnaire.
Incorporating this strategy as one of your Custom Actions allows you to gather insights about your audience. That way, you can segment your email list better, improve your campaigns, products, and more.
Some of the questions were about how likely a person would be willing to buy a bunkie in the future, what the person plans on using the bunkie for, etc.
Notice that David made sure to specify the number of minutes it would take to fill out the questionnaire and the reason for it.
Key Takeaway: If you plan to survey contest participants, letting them know how long it’ll take and how you’ll use their data reduce friction.
Getting the Word Out Using Social Media
David actively used social media to promote his contest campaign. He used free and paid Facebook marketing which included:
Remember that David got nearly 2,000 people to fill out his questionnaire as one of the Custom Actions?
Here’s the amazing thing about that: A percentage of the people who answered his questionnaire were highly motivated to buy a bunkie in the future. Now, he used that group of people to create a Lookalike Audience inside Facebook Ads.
(If you don’t know what Lookalike Audience is, it’s an FB Ads feature that allows you to target new audiences based on a seed audience. In David’s case, his seed audience was the percentage of people who were willing to buy his bunkie.)
Key Takeaway: A Lookalike Audience is a brilliant way to attract more people into your campaign. You can make this possible by leveraging a highly engaged audience which you can identify using a survey.
David posted creative announcements and reminders to get people to join his contest. Here’s a screenshot of his first Facebook post (on day 1 of his contest):
We’ve noted a few great aspects of this post:
- Branding – David added Bunkie Life’s logo in the picture. This helped build brand awareness at the start of the campaign.
- Photo of the prize – Showing your prize builds hype around your contest. People know what they’ll be getting right away.
- Personality – David made the photo livelier by using two kids and a dog as subjects. He also captioned his photo “WIN A BUNKIE!” to emphasize that the campaign was a contest.
David also hosted a lot of Facebook live streams. Notice that all his live streams were tied to his Custom Actions to make sure that everyone watched them for more points:
At some point in each live stream, he would give out a code word that people would use to claim their 100 points for the Custom Action.
Here’s one of his live streams where he shares the story of Bunkie Life and answers some questions about the contest. As you can see, he included “*Code word in here” in the text description to remind people about the code they can use for more points:
This was David’s third live stream where he shows his audience how easy it is to build a bunkie:
This was probably the biggest live stream he hosted for the reason that it showed people how they can actually make money from bunkies using his personal experience of renting out bunkies through Airbnb:
Not only did his live streams offer an opportunity for people to collect more points and increase their chances of winning, but the live streams also further educated people about the bunkies and address their possible objections.
At the end of each live stream, he did a Q&A session to address people’s concerns about the contest since he was aware that some participants needed help with some technical aspects of the campaign.
The interesting thing about these live streams was that they also made people aware that there would be an upcoming sale at the end of the contest. (We’ll talk more about Bunkie Life’s epic 2-day sale in a while.)
Email Marketing and Winner Announcement
Creating the Email Sequence
People can get distracted by anything and forget the contest they joined, which is why it’s essential to keep them engaged through follow-up emails.
David sent a series of emails throughout his campaign. He created the email messages in advance but before sending each email, he did a few tweaks based on the concerns that his participants had in the middle of the campaign.
For example, in the email screenshot below (taken from our video interview), you can see that David gave out a tip on how participants could get MORE points. He did that on purpose since some of them were asking about it.
Key Takeaway: A little personalization goes a long way in your email marketing strategy!
Announcing the Contest Winner
On February 26, David made the winner announcement in two ways…
First, he did a live stream where he picked a winner on the spot to be transparent. Hours before the live stream, he created a Facebook post to build anticipation:
Second, he wrote everyone an email to announce the winner. That email message had the highest open rate which was 56.65% (18,628 recipients opened). Aside from the fact that people were excited about the winner announcement, what stood out was David’s subject line — “And the Winner is…”
Bunkie Life’s 2-Day Sale
In the same email that announced the winner, David did something really special which made his campaign 10x successful….
He offered an “Epic 2-Day Sale” which was exclusive for participants who didn’t win. Those who availed the sale would get $1,000 off their bunkie (with loft) + free shipping to anyone who lived within 3 hours of their warehouse.
Here’s David’s post reminding people of the final hours of the epic 2-day bunkie sale:
The sale presented a wonderful opportunity to people who were truly interested in the bunkie. For David, it meant sales. On the second day of the sale, at 11:59 pm, people called and emailed David to make their orders.
The sale became a success for these reasons:
- David made people aware of the sale before the announcement date, in his live streams.
- He explained the reasons behind the sale — so that Bunkie Life would be able to ship all the bunkies at once, people could save on shipping, this will be the best sale of the year, etc.
Facebook Ad Spend
How Much Was Spent on FB Ads for the Campaign?
David spent around $6,000 on his Facebook ad campaign. According to him, 80% of his ad spend was for driving people into the contest funnel. Here’s a screenshot of the ad:
This ad was a 6-second silent video with simple captions “Win This $6000 Bunkie” and “Click Sign Up To Enter.” David tested it on different audiences. As you can see, it garnered 319 shares, 164 comments, and 502 reactions.
Here are some of his insights on Facebook ads:
- Give a strong offer – The $6,000 bunkie itself was strong enough to attract attention. It was relevant to his business and wasn’t a typical prize at all.
- Target people who are likely to buy your product – Recall that in the middle of his campaign, he gave people the option to complete a survey questionnaire (which was worth 250 points in Custom Actions). He used the data from the answers to hone his Facebook ad.
Takeaway Lessons and Realizations
At the end of the interview, we asked David about the things he realized in his campaign…
- Visualize what you want to accomplish – David says that you should “work backwards.” Before he started the contest, he already knew that his end goal was to generate sales.
- Tie everything to your end goal – Your campaign goal will be the basis for the things you do. In David’s case, these strategies included being more personalized with his emails, hosting live streams and Q&As, and running a survey.
- Anticipate challenges and objections – Will people get excited about it? Are they going to show up for the live streams? These were some of the questions David asked himself.
We also asked David what he would like to do better next time…
He believes that he should have put more money into the Facebook ads. This would allow him to send more people into the campaign. He would also try using UpViral’s hosted pages for his future contest instead of embedding the contest into his existing website.
Why David Recommends UpViral
“I would say that UpViral has a wonderful team. It has the most flexible platform at the best price. It also has a helpful Facebook community that answers your questions.”
Overall, the Bunkie Life contest was a success. David did an amazing job at crafting his contest from start to finish, which was evident in his results… He garnered 34,297 leads and made $300,000 along the way.
The campaign also helped him understand his audience better through the survey, and he can always use his market data to grow his bunkie business.
How about you? Planning to start a contest soon? We hope that this case study helps you create a successful campaign with UpViral. Share any of your thoughts and questions in the comments below.