It could be that our whole referral engine was just starting to work when we stopped or that the urgency of the deadline prompted action from people. In any case, it would’ve been interesting to know what could have happened if we had continued for another week.
Lastly, data shows that people got truly motivated to share when we announced that there was a guaranteed prize (on 11/05) and that’s when we really started getting people through referrals.
The takeaway here could be that (counter-intuitively) our target seems to prefer the smaller but certain prize, than the larger one that depends on chance. Our audience is definitely not composed of gamblers or the lottery-ticket buyer type. If we had to do this again – which we will most likely do – we would offer the guaranteed prize right from the start.
What we could have done better: Analytics
If there is one thing that we wish we would have invested more time in, it is analytics.
It was difficult to track each acquisition channel separately and we could only get so far as a click-through. The better way to do this would have included conversion tracking on sign-ups and event tracking for each of the many buttons available, as well as UTM links for each channel of acquisition, campaign and target segment.
This would have allowed us to be more effective when it came to optimizing our efforts and do a deeper analysis of the results of the giveaway.
IMPORTANT NOTE IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO USE THE KINGSUMO PLUGIN: We host our site on WordPress and use Google Tag Manager to install tags on this site – this includes Google Analytics. However, the page generated by the plugin does not include the tags from GTM by default. We had to manually insert the snippets of code into the giveaways page template to be able to measure traffic to that page.
The deal-maker: KingSumo
The biggest part of this whole launch plan revolved around a single tool: the KingSumo giveaways WordPress plugin. Out of the box, we were VERY impressed with the plugin. The list of pros to this plugin is long, but these are some of the most important things for us:
- Installation and initial setup of a giveaway take less than 2 minutes.
- The possibilities for customization of the default features were many – We made our own changes to add non-default features and it was very easy to get access to the .php files to do that too.
- The design of the pages generated by the plugin is both stunning and functional. It also looks great and works perfectly on mobile.
- It natively integrates with several email marketing services (Aweber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and Campaign Monitor)
- And the most important piece of all: KingSumo is designed specifically for virality. Not only does it include a referral scheme, but it leverages social channels to do so.
It shouldn’t be so surprising that this tool is so well made considering that its creators used it to build a massive email list for the wildly successful AppSumo. We will definitely use it again when we launch another giveaway for our other products.
Solving a consumer problem: Product-Market Fit
This launch was intended to get our first customer base for CourseMinded. No matter how good of a marketing plan we had come up with for our new product launch, we wouldn’t have been able to make it work if we weren’t addressing a real need—for any marketing strategy to work, you HAVE to have product-market-fit.