At Boyd Digital we recently became aware of a ‘coming soon’ page with an inbuilt referral programme which was launched for a new product called SlingSled. The expectation was that in the first month there would be between 500 and 1,000 sign-ups, with a further 150 being driven by viral marketing.

Beyond the wildest expectations (and dreams) of the marketers, 150,000 people signed up for SpringSled according to the original article (which you can read here). But just how did they achieve this miraculous figure, which would have cost millions via Google Adwords, as well as months? Read on to find out.

First, the creators implanted a simple ‘coming soon’ page with the only thing that stands out being the bright green ’Get Early Access’ button, which couldn’t be clearer. Next, they promised free rewards to those who got 5 of their friends to sign up upon subscription and a follow up with the same message was emailed to them. Every time a friend subscribed, an email notification of progress was sent, thus encouraging viral marketing.

But the important question is how did they get people to get to the ‘coming soon’ page in the first place?

SpringSled was submitted to BetaList via their expedited review process ($59) which brought in the first set ups, and as the new users started sharing it (one via ProductHunt), the snowball effect began. Thanks largely to BetaList, referrals became the most important form of sign up, with the number significantly growing as the signup process accelerated.

With an incredible 42.5 % from email from visit to email submission, 15% of those that signed up referred at least one person, with 90% of the traffic coming via Facebook. Calculations revealed that for every brand new initial visitor, 480 additional ones were generated.

So how can you apply this to your business?

Firstly, keep your sign up page simple and us a clear sign up button that stands out. Next, the golden number seems to be 5 in terms of referrals, so ask new users to refer 5 friends via Facebook or Twitter for free benefits such as unlimited use for 1 month etc. (Facebook was the most successful sharing medium for the link to SpringSled). Push your page out through BetaList to bring initial traffic to your site.

With our very own BDX ‘coming soon’ page up and running we will definitely be testing our SpringSled’s method. Watch this space!

Author Colin Boyd

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