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How SpringSled got 150,000 users in 4 weeks - Prefundia Blog: Create a coming soon page in minutes

How SpringSled got 150,000 users in 4 weeks

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Four weeks ago, we launched a “coming soon” page for a new product called SpringSled. The page had a referral program built in to it and we expected to acquired somewhere between 500 and 1,000 sign-ups, anticipating about 150 from our efforts and the remainder from the viral marketing effect.

In the first four weeks, 150,000 people signed up for SpringSled.

minion-whaaaat

Yeah, no kidding.

If we had used Google Adwords to acquire the same amount of traffic, it would have taken 37 months and cost $2,230,792.

Here’s exactly what we did:

 

 

Setting up the website and referral program

 

1. We built up a simple, clean “coming soon” page

springsled

You’ll notice that the only piece of color on the page is the green “Get Early Access” button, providing an extremely clear call to action.

 

 

2. After someone signs up, our referral program prompts them to invite 5 friends in exchange for (substantial) free stuff

share

*We didn’t start showing what # in line people were until we had about 140,000 signed up.

 

 

3. We email them with virtually the same content prompting to refer friends

email

 

 

 

4. To nurture the viral marketing loop, we follow up through email each time someone gets a sign-up through their link

 email follow up

The follow-up emails are really the magic behind this system. We had tested the exact same referral program without follow-up emails a few weeks prior to launching SpringSled, and that launch (for a different product) brought about 4,000 sign-ups total, compared with 150,000 with email follow-up.

 

 

 

Getting the first people to sign up

To get the ball rolling, we submitted SpringSled to BetaList through their expedited review process ($59), which brought in our initial sign-ups, who then began sharing. One user shared it on ProductHunt, which was another great source of early traffic.

traffic sources

 

 

 

Untorch

We’ve since made our referral system into a separate product called untorch and made it available. So now you can plug it in to your site and do exactly what we did. Untorch.com.

The rest of this post goes over interesting occurrences and findings, but is not directly actionable information.

 

 

Going viral

The first user to sign up via referral was number 70, and she signed up almost exactly 3 hours after the first person. The table below shows the first 500 people to sign up. People who came in via referral are colored in orange, giving an indication of the sharing acceleration.

referrals

After posting to Betalist, we didn’t do anything to push the product, but as you can see, referrals became a very significant source of traffic. Of the 150,000 sign-ups, 99.79% came in through referrals.

 

 

Conversion Rates

Our home page has a conversion rate of 42.5% from visit to email submission. We don’t know how many people are sharing their referral link, unfortunately, but we do know that 15% of signed-up users are referring at least 1 person.

So for every 10,000 people that visit our page, here’s what happens:

exponential

 

For each user that refers, the average number of people they bring in is 5.8 (with the impossibly high outliers removed). So here’s the rest of the story:

exponential round2

 

And then the story repeats again, and again, and again. When we had about 140,000 sign ups, we calculated that for each initial user, we had acquired an additional 480 through the referral program.

 

 

 

Traffic Sources

Here’s the gist of it: Facebook is the only traffic source. Twitter brought nominal traffic, but I wonder if we’d have had more traffic overall if we hadn’t offered a “Share on Twitter” button and instead had prompted everyone to share only on Facebook… here’s the data:

traffic.emf

 

 

 

Why five?

It just felt right.

Luckily, it also turned out to be an effective number. Here’s a histogram showing how many referrals (x-axis) were generated by how many people (y-axis):

histogram

 

 

 

 

Again, check out Untorch.com to implement the same program for your own site. For more info, check out this post and learn how to really increase your sign ups.

What else do you want to know?

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  • jamesosmyth

    Nicely done! You have achieved some amazing results. It will be interesting to see how many of the sign ups turn into user on the project management site.

    I can see how this marketing campaign can be tailored to benefit any business. My team is already working on how we will implement it at http://www.Scholar-Box.com. Thank you for writing up this blog post. We are excited to use UnTorch and share our results with you!

    • Jeff Schwarting

      Thanks, James. We’ve on-boarded 16,538 so far and people are using it regularly, so conversion rates are looking good at this point. Once we have more data that will make for a great blog post, thanks for the comment!

  • Michael Volkin

    Very nice, I am wondering if this can be used after a purchase? My product is already up and running (Strength Stack 52 Bodyweight Exercise Cards), but I would like the customers to get a free gift if they share their purchase with friends

    • Jeff Schwarting

      Definitely could be – Groupon prompts people to get friends to buy the same deal in order to get it for free

  • Brandon Kelly

    Nice work! This is really great detail, thank you for sharing the logic behind your system. We are launching a campaign to promote our product, ThePalit.com, and will leverage you guys. Wondering if there is a way to ask for a specific type of referral, say, just women?

    • Jeff Schwarting

      Due to the extreme exponentiality of this system, you probably don’t want to throttle the number of referrals by adding a filter in the referral process itself. However, once you have people signed up, you can begin filtering through surveys, etc.

      Great question!

  • http://www.matthewfritz.com/ Matthew Fritz

    I’m really excited about this! And how you’ve used it to showcase it’s potential is really brilliant!

    • Jeff Schwarting

      Thanks, Matthew!

  • Melissa Robinson

    This is awesome info – thanks for taking the time to share and walk us through it. I’m excited to see how your company grows!

  • http://www.andytraub.com/ Andy Traub

    Looking forward to getting into the product and Untorch. In the age of “free” for almost everything adding a filter via referrals is genius. BTW I got 22 people to sign up via my link so IT WORKS.

  • http://getsyncright.com John Sulhoff, CFP®

    Untorch looks like it is EXACTLY what I want. I don’t want to become a landing page expert but I do want signups to a wait list for my web app. Beautiful in its simplicity.

  • http://www.geotorch.com/ Robert Meyers

    Wow, this is incredible and makes me hopeful for our project. We’re just getting started promoting our product, a new camping lantern at geotorch.com, and will definitely use untorch when we get a little further along.

  • http://www.Monster-Rigs.com Monster Rigs

    This looks Great! Hoping to get a good start with this project! Come see us @ http://igg.me/at/MonsterRigs/x/8845513 Thanks for Bringing Monster Rigs in to your lives!:)

  • Eurotrash

    How did you find out how who your top referrer to your Kickstarter was?

  • Axel Kresse

    Wow, that’s really great! We just registered at Profundia and we are looking forward how our project UpcyLamps by the new design Label UpcyDesign will be pushed!

  • Ferdi Bayrak
  • Jeff Schwarting

    John, we generated a unique link for each user, so springsled.com wasn’t shared much. Instead, it was thousands of derivatives like https://springsled.com/?ref=XbVsYsaJ

  • Jeff Schwarting

    John, we generated a unique link for each user, so springsled.com wasn’t shared much. Instead, it was thousands of derivatives like https://springsled.com/?ref=XbVsYsaJ

    Here’s a screenshot of our Google Analytics to prove out the numbers for you. (Over 1M pageviews in three months.)

    • Jeff Schwarting

      URLs that were actually shared looked like this:

  • Paul Towers

    Hi team,

    Congrats on the massive success with your pre-launch. It certainly has outstripped what most other startups are able to achieve by a massive margin.

    I found it interesting that BetaList formed part of your strategy. I actually launched my startup, Task Pigeon, on beta list a week or two back. I found these type of posts hugely influential in my decision to do so, and thought I would put together my own review. http://blog.taskpigeon.co/betalist-review/

    Thought you might like to check it out.

    Paul

  • Faqueens

    great

  • Faqueens

    i like it