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Most Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products and mobile apps ask their users, prospects, or customers to invite their friends, colleagues, or collaborators at the wrong time and int he wrong ways. In this article, Lincoln shares how to fix your "Invite a Friend" process and turn it into a driver of rapid growth. Specifically, he covers:
  • The Power of Social Capital
  • The Reality of Network-Centric Products
  • The Actual Hacks, like Move the “Ask” to Later, Tell them who to Invite, and more!
  • A 6th BONUS Hack
  • Don’t Forget to Optimize Invitee Onboarding
  • VV

    Visakan Veerasamy

    over 4 years ago #

    "Tell them to invite 2-3 people to help them TEST or EVALUATE the product." Love this.

  • RW

    Rob Womplify

    over 4 years ago #

    Great tips there and I'll have to test them, it's actually a feature available in Womplify. As for not asking too soon though I'm in two minds - I've tried at various stages and found most success with the initial interaction, just after they submit their email address (on the prelaunch landing page), although I still ask in multiple places just to be sure. ;)

    I think perhaps it is related to the stage the business is at since expectations (and users) are different with beta/prelaunch services and maybe also the ask method can affect it - simple buttons to share on twitter/facebook with anyone that may follow you (and you possibly don't really know at all) etc. is not as personal or 1 to 1 as directly asking a friend via email for example so there is less 'risk' involved.

    One thing I've been meaning to do and which I'm sure will make a big difference is to actually AB test the 'invite' message. The difference a few words can make is amazing - I've AB tested blog article titles and seen engagement rates increase by ten times!

    So at the end of the day, I think all these things need to be tested to see what works for your situation with your specific users/visitors because it will likely vary from case to case.

    I'm certainly still early in the testing game so who knows which method will eventually prove best for me. It's always nice to see new users coming from referrals anyway, it really does work well.

  • BH

    ben hoffman

    over 4 years ago #

    Lincoln states:
    "Or you could trigger an invite ask after a customer’s NPS survey response indicated they are a “Promoter” – since they raised their hand and said they’d tell others about your product, don’t let them not do that… give them the invite CTA."

    Has any

    • BH

      ben hoffman

      over 4 years ago #

      Has anyone actually seen this in action? That is, hit them with an nps survey then immediately ask for them to invite a friend if they give a high score? It sounds great in theory but I'm curious to hear if it has actually been executed with success.

      • LM

        Lincoln Murphy

        over 4 years ago #

        My typical reaction to "has anyone ever done this successfully" is.... what if no one has ever done this? Most of the time the person asking for examples actually thinks the idea is interesting.

        So I always push back and say "well, if you think it's interesting AND you understand why it should work, why wait until someone else does it first?"

        That said, I'm confident in saying that using an NPS survey result to raise an "invite a friend" CTA is super-rare.

        Where I have direct experience is doing this in higher-touch situations, often revolving around Advocacy asks rather than self-service "invite-a-friend" scenarios. The same logic applies, though.

        The reality is, in order to increase the number of companies doing this, more self-service companies have to first do NPS surveys, then they have to actually decide to take action on both positive and negative individual responses (few do, BTW), and then they have to be willing to use them this way which is not exactly by the book when it comes to NPS.

        So it might be a while before this tactic really takes off... but I think there's a lot of potential there which is why I shared the idea.

        • PK

          Pallav Kaushish

          over 4 years ago #

          When I read about this idea, we were about to send out an NPS survey. I went ahead and asked Zendesk how I can implement this but unfortunately they don't have such a feature which can customize the screen if the user clicks 9 or 10 on the NPS survey.

          Had to drop the idea then. But I too have the gut feeling that it can perform really well.

  • SS

    Salman Sharif

    over 4 years ago #

    Its all about placement of UI elements, we are used to follow a pattern of Yes/No, Agree/Disagree buttons, placements of buttons can also change the scenario

    • LM

      Lincoln Murphy

      over 4 years ago #

      I'd be careful saying it's all about placement of elements... more than anything, it's about understanding customer / user behavior, psychology, etc. and then applying UI design to that.

      This is why you find one-size-fits-all approaches to referral programs not actually working that well. To get this stuff to work well, you have to architect it as you would the other things that are specific to your product and your customer.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    over 4 years ago #

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with @lincolnmurphy on GH a few weeks ago on the same subject regarding specific invites.

    Definitely a nice follow up: https://growthhackers.com/slides/growth-talk-29-growth-hacking-quick-wins/#comment-23706

    • LM

      Lincoln Murphy

      over 4 years ago #

      Yep... sometimes I say things in comments that I realize I've never said publicly before. Turns out to be great fodder for an article.

  • RA

    Rod Austin

    over 4 years ago #

    Has anyone tried Untorch to accomplish this?

  • KH

    Kori Handy

    over 4 years ago #

    I have designed over 10 mobile app user on-boarding experiences, and it all depends on the targeted users. Sometime asking during the guided on-boarding was really successful and sometimes the ask needed to come later to show the value. But the best ones I have built have been feed based, if your app has a "feed" you can show people they know on FB, tw..etc with invite buttons on them, this worked so good because it was contextual to the user and allowed them to 100% understand why they should invite them (so they can stay connected on new site "X"), Any time you can suggest people to invite, try it, make it a endless game..but seriously lots of good responses on here, always a good read.

  • MB

    Magda Baciu

    over 4 years ago #

    Nice article. Hacking the hack :)

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