With the number of websites increasing by the day, it is extremely difficult now for a small business to get consistent high traffic to their website. Small businesses lack the budget to hire a SEO expert or a marketing expert, so they instead turn to tried and tested methods such as Facebook Ads or Google Adwords.
More often than not, that ends up being a losing proposition for the business owner, for the simple reason that advertising costs are up, and the regular consumer detests the ‘hard sell’.
The solution therefore is to shift your thinking and instead get people to recommend you instead. It’s only human nature for someone to trust a recommendation from someone they know, such as a relative or good friend. To bring attention to your product or services, you can leverage the power of those recommendations to send your website traffic, social media followers, or email newsletter subscribers through the roof. This is called ‘viral marketing’ and it is the hottest new trend in online marketing.
But how do you start doing something like this? One possibility is Upviral, a paid service which promises to wow you and your customers. If you’re not wowed within 30 days, you get your money back. Wilco de Kreij, the founder of Upviral, was recently interviewed on the Hustle & Flowchart Podcast, and I have to say I am extremely impressed with the service’s potential. Upviral claims that 92% of consumers trust a recommendation more if it is from a relative or friend.
Services such as Upviral are used by independently-published authors, for example, who use their established fans to recommend books to other people. For the price of five recommendations, the recommender can unlock benefits for themselves.
Since I am an indie author myself, I know people who use viral marketing apps such as this and they rave about how many leads it brings in for them. And why not? It’s a win-win for everyone. The person with the product or service gets recommended, the person doing the recommending gets something as a reward, and the person receiving the recommendation gets an assurance that the product or service they may be interested in is on the up and up. Nobody loses.
Possible Uses For Upviral
One of the biggest examples of viral marketing such as this is the social media unlocking. For you to receive something for free, you must refer people by tweeting a unique referral link or posting the link on your Facebook page. Only then will the product or service be ‘unlocked’ for yourself – your reward for helping to spread the word.
Or if you are running a competition, you can use Upviral to tell the competition entrant that they can “increase their chances of winning” by spreading news of the competition on social media. This gives you free publicity and gives the entrant more chances of winning your prize. Of course you have to have an exciting compelling prize! A bag of potato chips ain’t going to cut it!
Upviral uses the example of Dropbox as a company that effectively harnessed viral marketing to their advantage. Their growth exploded after they gave free storage space to anyone that they referred to the service who signed up. Those people then referred other people for more storage space, and on, and on…..Airbnb offers financial credit while Evernote offers free Premium subscriptions for referrals from existing customers. The possibilities are literally endless.
And have you noticed one important thing about these companies? When looking at their websites, do you see any banner ads anywhere? Do you see them taking out ads on Facebook? In other words, companies that are exploding in growth and popularity are eschewing the traditional advertising methods and instead going with viral marketing – to enormous success.
Upviral prides itself on its simplicity to get it set up on your website. A few lines of code cut and pasted in, and you’re ready to go. You don’t need any specialised technical skills to build anything. They offer multiple professional templates that look good on any site and they integrate with a lot of other services. Mostly professional mailing list services but also some lead generation sites and landing page sites.
Now that we’ve waxed lyrical about the many benefits of Upviral, let’s discuss a few downsides.
One potential problem is that Upviral may not integrate with the autoresponder that you use. However, it seems to integrate with pretty much all the ones I can think of. It even integrates with my preferred autoresponder, Mailerlite. Upviral says they are constantly adding new services but this probably won't be a problem for many
Second, the price. Obviously, a great service like this is going to cost and, if done right, you are going to recoup your money in increased revenue. However, if you're just getting started out and insist on bootstrapping on the absolute minimal budget, you may want to wait until your business is ready to really start invest in list building. (Our personal opinion is don't wait)
Third, by unlocking something by posting to social media, the person could then go in and delete the tweet or Facebook post, thereby removing any advantage to you. So in a way, you’re relying on people to be either too honest or too lazy to do something like that. But if they do do it, then there’s nothing you can do. We tend to be on the side of the fence that most people won't do this and that the pros outweigh this one potential con…
There are two payment levels – the Standard plan and the Pro Plan, which are $35 per month and $49 per month respectively. The prices are so close together and the ability to use Facebook pixels inside your campaigns is worth it enough for us to pay the extra $11 per month. If you're not doing any sort of advertising, this upgrade may not be worth it to you.
What Do Other People Think About Upviral?
But one good thing going for Upviral, and its creator Wilco de Kreij, is that the online reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Scrolling through Google page after Google page, the reviewers are tripping over themselves with praise for Wilco.
One reviewer admired Wilco’s sales skills by calling him “a hustler who could sell sunglasses to people who live in a cave.” That was a nice compliment by the way.
Social Lead Freak said of Upviral,“no other tool on the market comes close to Upviral in creating traffic at any price. If your dream is to increase your traffic and revenue, you must consider this tool.”
Alternative Lessons entitled their Upviral review with the provocative headline : “Is Upviral a scam?” but quickly concluded that they weren’t. The only con they could come up with was “it won’t hold your hand”. Well, if that’s all it can come up with as a con, then I would say Wilco is doing quite well.
The Savvy Marketer makes the important point that something like Upviral is basically a “set it and forget it” deal. Everything is automated and you don’t have to spend a huge amount of time tweaking things. As long as you keep paying Wilco and keep the membership going, the product will keep chugging along and hopefully paying you back dividends.
Dope Review gave a big thumbs-up by saying “Upviral doesn’t depend on any single platform or technical ‘trick’ that could just vanish. By turning your users into referral partners you create a viral loop where each new lead can turn into two and so on and so forth.”
Tim Felmingham, in his positive review, says it took 3 hours to build his viral campaign with Upviral. But once done, it runs on automation and you don’t really have to put a lot more work into it. Imagine going to bed and waking up the next morning with an email list about to explode at the seams? Tim claimed to get over 1,000 leads in a week.
We actually found it very difficult to hunt down anyone saying anything negative about Upviral!
The cherry on top of the cake is that every Upviral user gets an affiliate link to promote Upviral. So it really doesn’t look as if it would be too long before the initial up-front investment in Upviral paid for itself. Wilco really does try to lower the resistance of new customers in buying his product, which is of course the mark of a good salesman!
**Bonus Tip** – After purchasing Upviral, Wilco has a bonus offer. You can pre-pay an entire year of Upviral in advance and save a bunch of money. If you take him up on this offer, you'll essentially pay $24.75 per month on Upviral, saving those that know they want to focus on list growth a ton of moola! (This is the option we took)
I would say this is a fantastic product to use with lots of potential. But try and get your first viral campaign off the ground as quickly as possible. You will want to find out before your 30 day free trial period is over if this is a product right for your business. Many people have experienced overwhelming success with it, but there are always going to be exceptions to the rule.
We'll be sharing case studies and tips on how it's worked for us shortly!