What do all businesses need in order to grow? An audience.
But the reality is that every business that just launched always starts with zero leads and zero customers.
The good news is that you can build an audience out of thin air — yes, you’ve read that right — without breaking the bank. Even better? You can make your new audience potentially interested in buying… in less than a month!
We’re excited to share Sébastien Godin’s massive success using UpViral. He did a 4-week giveaway that generated the following results for a brand new business:
🔥4,508 total leads with 30% referred leads
🔥$4,775 in sales
🔥3,087 social media shares and interactions
🔥1,352 people checked out their product collection
What’s so interesting about this campaign is that the business had zero leads and zero organic presence on the web. However, this didn’t stop Sébastien from using UpViral.
In fact, he considered UpViral the perfect solution for reaching their ultimate goal, which was growing an email list of high-quality subscribers.
Watch and learn as our Digital Marketing Manager, William Vanhout, interviews Sébastien about his giveaway.
How did he drive traffic to his campaign when the business had no audience, to begin with? How was he able to generate sales? We’ll answer these questions (and more) in this case study.
Who Is Sébastien Godin? And His Reason for Choosing UpViral
Sébastien Godin works as a business developer at Performance Marketers, a digital marketing agency based in Canada. As an expert in marketing, Sébastien has helped the agency launch multiple businesses in various niches.
During our conversation, he told us about a business they recently launched. It’s called Friendly Rugs, which sells washable rugs that appeal mostly to pet owners and families with young kids — because it’s no secret that messes (spilled drinks, chocolate stains, pet stains, etc.) are common in houses with pets and kids.
What makes Friendly Rugs products interesting is that they’re waterproof, which saves users the hassle of cleaning the rugs. To get stains out, all they need to do is put the rug in their home washer! It’s that simple.
Since the Friendly Rugs came about, Sébastien did not use other strategies to get results for the business except UpViral. We asked why he chose UpViral. Here’s what he told us:
Sébastien understood that in order to grow the business, it needed exposure (first and foremost). He knew the effect that advertising could provide, but at the same time, he believed in the power of UpViral campaigns.
“I knew this was the thing that worked. We did other stuff during the contest but we started with UpViral,” said Sébastien.
The Campaign Goal
Looking at the $4,775 sales that Friendly Rugs generated from the 4-week giveaway, one could easily assume that they wanted sales. But, instead, the main goal was to create an email list.
Growing an email list provides the business with subscribers they can communicate and build a relationship with — and not have to constantly rely on Facebook advertising. According to Sébastien, the idea was to grow a list that would allow Friendly Rugs to gain profit repeatedly down the road.
At the same time, Sébastien was smart to plan the campaign in such a way that gives the business an opportunity to also make money.
He did it without being pushy or overly promotional. Let’s dive into the details of the giveaway in the following sections.
The Giveaway Prize
What better prize to offer than your own product? Sébastien knows how effective it is to offer something related to what you are selling.
The main prize was one of the rugs at Friendly Rugs as shown in the image below. Sébastien made sure to show this exact rug on the campaign opt-in form and the Facebook ad that brought traffic to the giveaway page.
While a discount to avail of the product can be the main prize, Sébastien advises against it. According to him, people should be able to get to know and like your product first in order to appreciate the discount.
So, here’s what he did: He offered the rug as the MAIN PRIZE plus discount codes as ADDITIONAL PRIZES that could be unlocked. By unlocking these discount codes, those who didn’t win the main prize had a chance to buy one of the rugs at Friendly Rugs.
The screenshot above is a section taken from Sébastien’s thank you page. It shows three types of unlockable discounts when participants reach a certain number of points by completing certain actions during the campaign. This included sharing the giveaway on social media and checking out Friendly Rugs’ collection on their website. More points meant a higher discount code.
Sébastien also made sure that people would be willing to refer their friends to the campaign by incentivizing the person who referred the winner with a $100 certificate.
The Entire Giveaway Game Plan
Sébastien was so generous to reveal the whole strategy of the giveaway. It comprised mainly of two steps:
- Step 1: This involved driving people from a Facebook ad to discover the campaign. Aside from getting them to opt-in and share the giveaway with their friends, Sébastien included opportunities for these people to discover other rugs on the website, become interested, and make a purchase.
- Step 2: The second phase of the campaign entailed sending emails that offered valuable information about Friendly Rugs and reminded participants to keep sharing the campaign. Like with step 1, they were also exposed to a Friendly rugs sales page where they could purchase. From those sales page visits, Sébastien did Facebook remarketing campaigns.
See Sébastien’s game plan below:
Sébastien knows that it’s not enough to just collect people’s email addresses in a giveaway.
“You don’t want it to be a dead end. You’ll want to keep engaging them and driving them further down the customer journey to discover your product.”
The Giveaway Opt-In Page
Let’s look at the campaign opt-in page (image above). This was where people landed once they clicked on the giveaway Facebook ad.
At the topmost part of the page, you can see the brand logo Friendly Rugs, which shows that they were the giveaway host. That way, people knew who they were dealing with.
Below the logo is the headline, “WIN a FREE WASHABLE PET & FAMILY-FRIENDLY RUG!” It clearly calls out the two target audiences of this giveaway — pet owners and families. The headline also specifies that the rug is washable, which is great for busy households with kids and pets.
Other essential elements on the opt-in page include the following:
You can see that Sébastien displayed the same image he used for the Facebook ad to maintain consistency. It doesn’t just feature the prize itself (the rug) but also where it can be used — in the dining room.
Each person was required to fill out their first name, email, mobile #, and favorite rug style. As for the rug style, it was a dropdown list with options to select their rug style.
We asked Sébastien the reason for including this (since the winner cannot choose the rug style they like).
Here’s what Sébastien said: “The idea here is to segment audiences down the road based on their interests so that my marketing is more aligned with what they like.”
It was a brilliant strategy.
Instructions on Winning
Below the sign-up form is a three-step process showing how participants can win the prize. Sébastien kept it really simple:
1 – Submit your information on this page
2 – Share for more chances to win prizes
3 – All participants will also receive a secret gift
This perfectly explains how the campaign works.
Aside from displaying the main prize, Sébastien included photos and names of their most popular rug styles. He did this for the purpose of getting people to become more interested in the brand.
We found this strategy to be highly effective in enticing participants to share more in order to unlock the discount codes and a chance to win the $100 certificate. By doing so, they can use these discounts to avail of one of the rugs they like at Friendly Rugs!
To help people appreciate Friendly Rugs even more, Sébastien added a section below the products showing their best features.
Sébastien clearly knows how powerful social proof is for boosting the campaign. The section “OUR RUGS ARE GETTING LOVE” displayed 3 testimonials from customers.
These testimonials proved that pet owners and parents were already enjoying Friendly Rugs! For example, one customer mentioned that because of her washable rug, she now spends less time cleaning and more time enjoying her pups.
Calls to Action
There are two calls to action on the opt-in page: One below the sign-up form and another at the bottom of the page. These CTAs use a red button that stands out on the page.
📑Read more: Call to Action Examples That Will Increase Your Conversions
The Giveaway Share Page
As for the share page or thank you page, Sébastien invited people to increase their chances of winning by sharing it with their friends across different platforms. This included Facebook, Pinterest, Email, Messenger, and Instagram.
Each sharing button had a corresponding number of points. According to Sébastien, he assigned higher points to the platforms that were highly valuable to the brand — Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Moreover, he gave higher points to a custom action “Discover our Rug Collection.” Here, participants could earn 3 points for simply viewing Friendly Rugs’ products.
Underneath the sharing buttons and the unique invite link (which can be copied and pasted to any platform), people are given a chance to unlock additional prizes. As we’ve mentioned earlier in the case study, these were discount codes equivalent to $10, $20, and $40.
Sébastien also added a call-to-action “Visit our website & pre-select your prizes by clicking the button below!” This was to get participants motivated to share and unlock their discounts after seeing how beautiful Friendly Rugs’ collection was.
Like what he did on the opt-in page, Sébastien mentioned the steps to win in the giveaway. He emphasized that they were done with the first part — signing up for the contest — and now all that’s left is to invite their friends and unlock more prizes!
Keeping the Giveaway Audience Engaged for 4 Weeks
Sébastien kept the engagement up mainly through email communication. “When they subscribe, we send them an email sequence that includes a teaser about the product, our most popular rug styles, and remind them to share.”
He wasn’t surprised by the fact that campaign shares tend to be higher at the beginning, which led him to keep incentivizing and educating people about Friendly Rugs’ products along the way.
When it came to the winner announcement, Sébastien also did this via email. In addition, he posted this on Friendly Rugs’ website so that the site would get more visits.
He adds, “By doing this, there’s more flexibility to talk about your product and maximize performance.”
Post-Campaign Plans and Sébastien Would Do Differently Next Time
For those who did not make a purchase, Sébastien would include their leads in their future promotions — Black Friday, for example. Sébastien knew that people who don’t buy might need more “warming up”.
We asked Sébastien what he would like to improve in his future UpViral campaigns. He plans on doing the following:
- Getting influencers on board for more free traffic. (Note: If you are interested in an influencer giveaway, we have a different case study for that where a tech company generated 12,677 leads.)
- Improving the opt-in page by doing more AB tests and adding a counter to create a sense of urgency. (UpViral has a countdown timer feature ⏳that’s available on our Business and Premium plans!)
- Adding more types of incentives, such as ebooks and other content offers with deadlines to boost shares.
But, overall, Sébastien was more than satisfied with his current results. UpViral exceeded his expectations.
Every little detail about your giveaway will ultimately dictate the kind of results you get. Sébastien carefully planned the entire campaign, from driving traffic to Friendly Rugs’ campaign to the email sequence he sent out to the new leads.
His success is proof that a business can truly succeed with an audience of zero. Through an UpViral campaign that lasted only 4 weeks, Sébastien collected over 4,500 new subscribers plus $4,775 in sales.
These sales took place because Sébastien included options for people to view the products during the campaign, which obviously sparked interest!
To top it all off, he offered unlockable bonus prizes (discount codes + $100 for the referrer of the winner) to everyone who actively shared.
Want to grow your email list or help a business grow theirs, plus achieve other goals? 🙋UpViral giveaways are a great way to reach huge audiences and more. 🔥Learn the different ways to take advantage of UpViral and GET STARTED TODAY.