Silvia Llop is a Madrid-based psychologist who specializes in love and relationships. To attract more clients to her practice, she started a blog, Silvia Llop, back in 2019. The blog exploded in popularity to the point that she could not keep up with the demand for individual sessions. So Silvia decided to create courses, masterminds, and even wrote a book to help people without spreading herself too thin.
Silvia’s main driver to get people into her various marketing funnels is her daily email newsletter. The newsletter shares helpful information on relationships and tells stories that make her relatable to her audience. At the same time, the newsletter also builds Silvia’s reputation and authority in this specialized niche. Most importantly, every email contains a pitch for one of her products. This way, she can grow her income without the exhaustion that comes from working one-on-one with clients.
So it was natural that Silvia wanted to grow her subscriber base in the most efficient and effective way. She didn’t want to hire marketing teams in the past to run paid ad campaigns for her, because she decided that wasn’t the best use of her time and money. That’s why she became excited when she saw the potential of UpViral to grow her list for free without forking out big bucks for a marketing team!
Silvia's first UpViral campaign was an outstanding success.
Her campaign generated 2395 direct leads and 2934 referral leads. That’s not a typo. Silvia’s campaign generated more referred leads than direct leads which is even hard to achieve for more experienced UpViral users.
Let’s take a closer look at why Silvia’s email subscriber list isn’t her biggest audience base, but it’s by far the most profitable. (And how in the future UpViral will play an ever-increasing role in growing her email list and profits!)
Watch our full interview with Silvia and read the breakdown of her strategies to understand her success.
A 92.6k Instagram Following Isn’t Enough
Silvia has a nearly 93,000 strong Instagram following that would make most business owners green with envy. No matter how successful Silvia has been growing her Instagram followers, and in turn attracting new subscribers from the platform, she wisely doesn’t trust this will always be the case.
I wanted to grow my newsletter because I have a lot of followers on Instagram. I already had 12,000 people on my email list, but I wanted it to grow because I send an email every day. In every email, I'll sell one of my products, my membership, or my book. I think the best place to bring people is your newsletter just because you have control over it. If you have a lot of followers on Instagram, that's great. That's awesome. But Instagram changes their algorithm all the time. Over time, fewer and fewer people see your Instagram stories if you're not paying for advertising.
UpViral marketing manager William Vanhout agrees with Silvia 100% on this point. No matter which social media platform you use to build a following (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) all you’re doing is renting an audience. If that platform suddenly banned you, or shuts down you’ve lost your entire business.
In contrast, your email list is a business asset that you control. Not only that, if you ever sell that business, your email list will make it much more attractive to a buyer.
Now that we’ve dove into why Silvia wanted to grow her email list, let’s show you how she accomplished getting nearly 3000 newsletter leads in just 30 days with UpViral.
Don’t Change What’s Working, But Add a Unique Twist
Silvia decided to target her existing email list with her campaign. Her reasoning was that she would get the best response from an audience who was already intimately acquainted with her and who would be eager to share Silvia’s wisdom with friends.
Instead of writing an opt-in page from scratch, she used a short form of an existing opt-in page from her blog. If something is already working well, there is no point re-inventing the wheel.
Silvia’s opt-in page below is targeted mainly to current subscribers encouraging them to join her referral contest. However, if someone came to the opt-in page without being a subscriber, Silvia spells out the benefits they will receive from joining the list. She also lays out the expectation that anyone who joins the list will be receiving daily emails.
She also has included a unique twist to entice anyone who is on the fence about joining her list: the inclusion of a story with an open loop (or cliffhanger) after the first opt-in button. The idea is that people get into the story, and opt in to see how it turns out. Our brains are hard-wired for stories and closure.
One of the things that I do and I think that's quite powerful is explain the beginning of a story and say that you’ll find out what happens in the first email after you subscribe. When you put out a story but tell them what happens unless they sign up for your list. It’s a powerful incentive to sign up. So I play a lot with this kind of stuff because I think it's fun and people actually like it.
Silvia is definitely on to something with incorporating an open loop in her opt-in page. Open loops are used to great effect in email marketing by e-commerce companies, online course creators, personal coaches, and content creators like bloggers or podcasters.
For example, e-commerce companies use open loops to build anticipation for upcoming sales or product releases, while online course creators can use them to motivate students to stay engaged with upcoming lessons. Personal coaches use them to create urgency about signing up for coaching sessions, and content creators may use them to tease upcoming content releases.
If you market in any of these verticals, why not try incorporating stories and open loops in your email marketing like Silvia has? Check out two of her email invites for the contest here.
Silvia’s Landing and Share Pages: A Masterclass in Marketing Psychology
Silvia’s background as a psychologist is evident in her landing page design. Her audience is 95% composed of women aged 25-55. Instead of going for a big generic prize, she carefully selected prizes to help her audience achieve their goals of improving and finding relationships.
Silvia decided to create a milestone contest for her first UpViral campaign. This type of contest gives everyone the potential to win by making referrals. In case you are not familiar with a milestone contest here’s a quick rundown:
A milestone contest is a type of competition that incentivizes participants to perform a certain number of specific actions or goals.When the participant reaches a predetermined milestone, they receive a reward or prize. In this case the competition involved getting others to sign up for Silvia’s newsletter.
- The first prize awarded for five sign ups was a PDF written by Silvia about how to get rid of things that block you from achieving your goals.
- The next milestone was to get ten people to sign up for an interview with Silvia’s divorced and remarried mom, where she shared her experiences with divorce and finding a new partner. This was a valuable prize because so many people share this experience.
- For fifty referrals, participants could choose from one of Silvia’s four courses. She decided to offer a choice of courses in case participants had already purchased one or more of her courses.
- At 100 referrals, participants received all of Silvia’s courses.
- If a participant recorded 200 referrals, they earned three individual coaching sessions with Silvia (valued at $450).
- The grand prize for the contestant who had the most shares during the contest was Silvia would fly out to the winner’s Spanish hometown and spend an entire morning with them. Unfortunately, this prize was never claimed, partly due to the number of shares required in the short time frame of the contest. There was also another important limiting share factor to be discussed later in this post.
Let’s take a look at her share page:
Sharing options included WhatsApp (highly popular in Europe), Facebook, Twitter and Telegram. By far, the most popular sharing option was WhatsApp, but probably not for the reason you might think!
Sharing Platform Options Matter
While love and relationship problems are not embarrassing niches per se, they are highly emotional and private to most people. Since WhatsApp allows for 1-on-1 shares, participants could share their contest links directly with friends who could use help with their love lives.
Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Telegram is much less private. It makes total sense why WhatsApp was the favorite share platform.
One suggestion UpViral Head of Marketing, William Vanhout, made to Silvia was to also include Facebook Messenger in sharing options, since link shares can also be made privately on this platform.
Keeping Engagement High with Progress Bars
The share page featured progress bars to visually motivate participants to keep sharing to achieve their milestones. Progress bars help users feel a sense of achievement and progress, which can lead to higher engagement and more successful campaigns.
When you can see that you’re close to achieving a milestone, it creates motivation and urgency to keep sharing until you complete your goal.
The Leaderboard Effect
To add an element of friendly competition to the contest, Silvia added a leaderboard. Here’s why this was such a smart move.
Leaderboards help generate excitement and engagement, build a sense of community, increase brand awareness and provide transparency in contests. It’s thrilling for participants to see their name on a leaderboard–it motivates them to keep sharing and unlock more milestones!
To create more urgency for participants to share their link, Silvia included a countdown timer. This is a classic, but highly effective marketing tactic.
Adding timers to marketing pages can not only create a sense of urgency among visitors, it can also enhance the perceived value of offers, encourage quicker decision-making, and increase motivation to take action. This is why using timers can result in increased conversions and engagement for contests.
Now it’s easy to see why this contest was so successful! But could it have been even better? Yes!
Takeaways: How this Campaign Could Have Been Even More Shockingly Effective
Silvia had two huge takeaways from her first UpViral Contest.
The first one was that people were embarrassed to share that they needed help with their love relationship. This made them reluctant to share the contest in public forums and platforms where everything is for public consumption (think Facebook or Twitter.)
Another more private option would be to mention that the link could be shared through email or text. This was no doubt obvious to Silvia, but may have not been to anyone new to a referral contest.
The second takeaway was that the steps between milestones were too great. Next time out, Silvia is going to award a prize for a single referral and reduce the number of referrals between milestones. If people feel the milestones are too steep to achieve, they become discouraged and stop sharing.
Next Up for Silvia: An Evergreen UpViral Campaign
After taking all the lessons she learned with her first UpViral campaign into account, Silvia has decided to take growing her list in another direction.
She has decided her next UpViral campaign will be evergreen.
Currently when a new subscriber opts in to Silvia’s email list, they receive a 20-day long autoresponder series to get them familiar with Silvia and her work. Silvia has decided to write an additional three emails to prime new subscribers to share their links with friends.
But she is also going to ensure that the share links are being sent to the right people – the ones that can actually benefit from her products.
Because when they do that, they are going to be helping someone and that's way better than just winning something. And I think that's going to make a big difference in the quality of new leads generated, said Silvia.
Now that you’ve had the chance to appreciate and study Silvia’s many marketing lessons, isn’t it time that you try UpViral for yourself in your own referral campaign? Get 14-days access to UpViral for only $1.