Wilco de Kreij
CEO at UpViral
Wilco de Kreij – A full-time online marketing “whiz kid” who started at the age of 16, when he started selling sunglasses online. Over the next decade and then some, Wilco has developed several online marketing applications and WordPress plugins.
Wilco spearheads a diverse, talented team of programmers, developers, designers and online marketing professionals to ensure that UpViral continues to grow as a top-shelf application.
Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Wilco’s success
Creating the right incentive for the right audience
Result if you follow the steps in Wilco’s session
Creating the right incentives to your audience to better target their needs and increase engagement
Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more
Expert session snapshot
First of all, I want to make sure that if I go viral, I want people on my email list because that’s my main channel. I know that if someone’s on my email list, I can build a relationship with them. And I can then over time, convert them to a customer. So that’s the first thing.
And secondly, people, like with the exception of, most of the time, people won’t just share something, unless it’s super funny. But if it’s about your business, it’s usually not funny. Like it’s either sort of commercial or it’s funny, right?
But what I realized is that if you give someone an incentive, then all of a sudden they win, they want to share I mean, if I would ask you right now or whoever’s watching, like, would you maybe share about my business on your Facebook profile?
Most people say no. Some people may say yes, but they won’t actually do it. However, if I would say, like, I give you $1,000 for it, which, by the way I’m not, then a lot of people will say yes, and I’m not saying you’re giving away $1,000. But I’m saying that if you put, put the right bribe into place, people are like, they’re very way more likely, let’s put it like that, to actually start sharing your message.
And the first one I realized is actually, it was actually funny. What I did is I created an opt in page so people could enter the name and email address in order to get some kind of a freebie, right? And right after I told them like, hey, if you share my message on Facebook, then I’m going to give you an extra freebie, right? All you do is share on Facebook. And like hundreds of people did that, which was amazing.
It was the first kind of lesson, first kind of experiment that I did. But it actually did not go viral. But it did spark basically my like, what was possible if I could make this work even better, right?
So I’m just sort of investigating deeper, like what makes someone sharing. I also really realized that if you ask for someone to share on Facebook, that’s what they’ll do, right? But the problem is like, oftentimes, that’s not actually what you want.
Because, like, if they could share on a fake account, they could share it. And then right after deleted, or even if they would share with for example, I’m from the Netherlands and if I would share some kind of an English message, my friends would know, it’s not actually me, right?
It’s not, I’m not actually recommending, it’s just like a marketing message, right? And that’s when Dropbox came along. Now everyone knows Dropbox. But if you ask anyone on the street, how do you know Dropbox, pretty much everyone’s going to say, from a friend, someone sent it to me.
And the reason is because they were like, so clever. They were super clever. They didn’t just say, hey, go out and share Dropbox with your friends now. They get everyone, all of their, their users their own unique invite link, so they could actually keep track if you actually refer to friends who actually signed up and they said, like, hey, if you send this to your friends and one of your friends signs up, then we will give you extra storage.
In other words, something of value in return for that. And now the goal isn’t for people just to share, but they want to get as many people as possible to actually subscribe to, in this case Dropbox. And when I saw that, that was like, that’s interesting. So that was like, years back, right?
So I started trying to hack something together with some developers, like make something real clunky and rough at that time, right? Where we could basically give everyone their own unique invite link.
So first of all, people had to opt in, I wanted to have the email address because that’s what drives my business. And then after I give everyone their own unique invite link, so that and I would then say, hey, like if you get five of your friends actually sign up through different, actually need to sign up, it was all being tracked automatically, only then they would get access to this this extra freebie that I had planned for them.
And like, what happened next was amazing. Like, people didn’t just share it on Facebook, but they shared them on Twitter and LinkedIn, like all these other places, and not just once, but we also sent out some emails like hey, you know what, you’re almost there. You already get three friends. We got two more people. We’ll just kept on sharing until we actually got five people.
And the best thing was that those people, those five people, they started doing that again. And that’s really, when I sort of like discovered what I now know is what I call viral hacking. It’s a good way to build up your email list by making sure people will promote your email list to draw their friends and turning that into a viral loop.