We’re super stoked to bring you an exceptional UpViral case study by none other than Brazil’s king of referral marketing, Rodrigo Noll.
Rodrigo is the genius behind Brazil’s premiere referral marketing agency, Base Viral. Not only is Rodrigo an agency owner, but he is also a sought-after keynote speaker and mentor for businesses worldwide.
His knowledge of marketing and buyer psychology is second-to-none, which is why we were so delighted to have him deliver a master class in referral marketing on a recent Co-Pilot show episode.
When Dr. Italo Marsili, a client in the Brazilian personal health sector, wanted to get more leads and sales for his coaching business, he turned to Rodrigo’s agency for help.
While Dr. Marsili already had a sizable customer base, he was having difficulty attracting fresh qualified leads for his business. So Rodrigo and Base Viral custom-crafted a campaign designed not only to bring in new leads from diverse marketing channels but also to help Dr. Marsili convert those leads into sales.
Rodrigo and Base Viral delivered in spades with a campaign that pulled in the equivalent of over $115,000 USD and over 91,000 leads in a little over a month. 😮🔥
Even more remarkable, this amounted to a 1:8 referral ratio. To make it even more interesting, Rodrigo designed Dr. Marsili’s campaign to be evergreen. Rodrigo projects the campaign to pull in another $500,000 in sales during the rest of 2022.
So let’s take a closer look at how Rodrigo and Base Viral pulled off this remarkable campaign.
Rodrigo’s Three-Part ‘Sales by Referral’ Method
After years in the referral marketing trenches, Rodrigo has devised a powerful system he calls the VPI Method that creates a perfect storm of leads and sales for his clients. VPI is a Portuguese acronym that stands for ‘sales by referral.’
The first part of the method consists of choosing the perfect referral incentive based on conversations with actual customers. Next, the marketing funnel is created, keeping in mind how and where the prospect will enter the funnel.
The final step of the VPI method is activation. After a prospect enters the funnel, they must be incentivized and motivated to make multiple referrals to the contest.
We’ll break down each part of Rodrigo’s process, starting with how to choose the perfect incentive for a referral contest.
Choosing the Perfect Incentive Isn’t Guesswork
Rodrigo has devised a fool-proof system to choose a powerful incentive tailor-made for a client’s audience. The client does not choose the incentive; instead, the client’s customers choose the incentive through a two-part process.
To find out what the perfect contest incentive is, Rodrigo begins by telephoning current customers and asking them what they would like as a referral incentive. Almost invariably, customers give one of two answers. They would like a discount coupon or they don’t need a referral incentive, as they are happy to refer their friends to the business.
But Rodrigo knows he must go deeper to uncover the perfect incentive. Once he has called at least ten clients to get prize ideas, he then creates a survey that goes out to the remaining customers. This survey asks them to choose the incentive that would inspire them most to join a referral campaign.
Here’s a screenshot of that survey:
The reason that Rodrigo goes to this extent to choose the perfect incentive is simple.
He says, “If I decide without asking the audience, it’s a huge mistake. Most of the time, I do not fit the persona of the client’s business. So the prize I choose is going to attract bad leads that only enter the contest for the prize. These leads have no actual interest in my client’s goods or services.”
The next step after selecting the incentive, is designing the funnel itself. Much like Rodrigo’s process of choosing an irresistible incentive, his referral marketing funnel leaves little to chance either.
The Ingenious Evergreen Referral Marketing Funnel
As we mentioned earlier, Rodrigo and Base Viral use UpViral to create all their pages for their marketing funnels because it is so user-friendly. (By the way, did you know you can get a 14-day UpViral trial for only $1? Click here to learn more.)
While UpViral made it easy for Rodrigo and UpViral to set up the campaign itself, every page of Dr. Marsili’s funnel is infused with deep marketing psychology to maximize the results of the campaign.
One caveat that Rodrigo warns about before you create your funnel is that you must consider your audience’s comfort level using online tools and platforms. You must also consider whether your audience would feel comfortable sharing your products online–something UpViral founder Wilco de Kreij has long preached.
Rodrigo does not believe in having a start and end date for his client’s campaigns. Instead, he creates evergreen campaigns with milestones that generate leads for months, even years. Setting up evergreen campaigns allows him to focus on activating prospects in the funnel to make referrals and purchases, rather than constantly coming up with new campaign ideas.
Rodrigo followed this same evergreen model for Dr. Marsili’s campaign.
After the prospect enters their name and email on Dr. Marsili’s registration page, they are taken to a referral page that smashes through any objections the prospect has about referring others to the campaign. A video that explains how the referral program works does the heavy lifting here.
Overcoming Objections to Making Referrals
Dr. Marsali’s referral page video mentions that many of his clients were referred to him by existing customers.
That makes the doctor happy because that means that he has an excellent product that people love. But it also bothers him that people who referred new clients did not receive any type of reward for their referrals in the past. So he has created a referral program to richly reward customers for making referrals.
Here’s where Rodrigo’s genius marketing psychology about overcoming the most common objection people have to making referrals comes into play. Most people say they don’t know anyone they can refer to a campaign. So this objection is removed by reminding people exactly who they should refer.
After a lead makes a referral, UpViral automatically takes them to the most important page in the funnel, the thank you, or share page:
The share page is the most important page in the funnel (but not for the reason you might think it is.)
Omni-Channel Marketing is Where the Money is At
The campaign share page (thank you page) is where the new leads are encouraged to share the campaign over social media platforms, WhatsApp, email, etc. Since everyone who makes a referral sees this page, it is a highly strategic page in the marketing funnel.
The thank-you page also has another critical purpose: to enable Rodrigo and Base Viral to reach leads through the multiple marketing channels they have shared the campaign on.
It’s not enough just to get people to join the campaign, we must activate them to make an initial referral and to keep going more referrals. That’s why the ability to market via many channels is so important.
In the words of Rodrigo: It is said that in order for people to buy from you, they need to have heard your marketing messages at least seven times. Omni-channel marketing helps you do that. For example, we send WhatsApp messages and Telegram messages. Our audience is invited to Facebook and Instagram lives. My team emails YouTube links to the leads, etc.
Not leaving anything to chance, Base Viral also cookies the contest registration page so the new leads can be remarketed to on Facebook. The remarketing efforts go beyond just reminding the leads to make referrals, they also focus on getting the leads to join other marketing channels. From these diverse channels, you can make offers to join paid masterminds, purchase courses, etc.
Having the ability to market to the leads on different channels isn’t enough on its own to ensure that a campaign will be a massive success. We must excite the leads about the campaign so they are eager to share it with their friends.
That’s where designing campaign milestones that motivate leads comes in.
Milestones that Motivate and Encourage Campaign Sharing
It is common for marketers to design campaign milestones for evergreen campaigns with the most valuable referral rewards going to those who make the most referrals. But in Rodrigo’s view, this is a huge mistake.
Getting most of your leads to make a single referral is more difficult than getting just a few motivated individuals to make multiple referrals. Typically, 80% of people who enter their names into a referral contest fail to make a single referral.
That’s why Rodrigo sets the milestone to win the most valuable reward in the referral program at just five referrals. This low number of referrals to win a valuable prize seems achievable in a way that needing to make dozens of referrals does not.
Getting even a single referral from a lead doubles the success rate of most referral programs, which is why this low-friction milestone strategy works so well. Beyond having multiple marketing channels, Rodrigo also relies on messaging tailor-made to activate leads to make referrals.
Custom Messaging to the Right Audience–at the Right Time
Base Viral doesn’t believe in ‘one-size fits all’ generic messaging to ask leads to make referrals. Instead, Rodrigo’s team creates custom activation copy targeted for those leads who have:
- Not yet made a referral
- Made a handful of referrals, but who have stopped sending new referrals
- Been referred to the rewards program by their friends
Here’s a screenshot of the copy:
Rodrigo feels that it’s a massive mistake to rely on marketing automation alone to message leads. The reason is that leads can become ‘stuck’ between triggered automation and that means they will not receive the right messaging at the right time to encourage them to make referrals.
This is the reason Rodrigo goes the extra mile and checks his campaigns manually. This enables him to see which leads have become stuck in automation, so he can send appropriate messaging that encourages these individuals to make referrals.
To keep on top of his campaigns, Rodrigo uses three main metrics to measure them. However, one of these metrics is far more important than all the others.
How to Measure the Success of Your Referral Campaigns
The first metric that Rodrigo’s team uses to measure the success of a campaign is the adoption rate.
The adoption rate is how many leads have made at least one referral versus the total number of leads in the entire campaign. For example, if ten leads out of one hundred leads have made at least one referral, the adoption rate of the campaign is 10%.
The second metric is the engagement rate. Engagement rate is how many referrals each lead has made, or how many steps in the campaign milestones they have achieved.
By far the most important metric of all is the conversion rate. How many of the leads have made a purchase? It’s not enough to just gain leads — you also need great offers to put in front of them.
(The UpViral team recommends you make an offer to your list every 6 weeks. In our opinion, that’s the perfect sweet spot for putting offers in front of your audience often enough to be profitable without annoying them.)
To wrap up this case study, Rodrigo has some final thoughts on why referral marketing is the way to go forward for many businesses…
Ad Space Will Only Continue to Climb in Price
Rodrigo noted he has been advertising on Facebook since 2011, and the cost to advertise has risen every single year. Rightfully so, as demand for ad space has increased exponentially in the last few years.
That’s why implementing a solid rewards campaign like the one that Rodrigo created for Dr. Marsili is so important because it allows you to maximize your number of leads with the same amount of advertising spend.
With his campaign for Dr. Marsili, Rodrigo’s referral rate was 1:8 which means for every paid lead, eight more leads were gained by referrals. That’s a phenomenal referral rate, and a testament to the care and thought that Rodrigo and Base Viral put into crafting the campaign.
Ready to get results like Rodrigo’s?
Then get started to plan your own rewards campaign now. Why not make setting up your rewards program easy, too? Claim your 14-day trial to UpViral for only $1.