Every day, it gets a little bit more difficult to gain web traffic. This in turn means that traditional inbound marketing is becoming more expensive and less effective. Many small companies are switching their efforts to viral marketing. Others don’t know how to get started. Today, we’ll look at one option in our UpViral review.

This won’t be news to you. In fact, viral marketing has pretty much always been around. It’s just we used to call it ‘word of mouth’. In essence, viral marketing is all about getting your existing visitors or customers to recommend you to their peers. That’s why it’s also sometimes known as ‘referral marketing’.

In the context of digital marketing, this means using a couple of key strategies. You’ll have seen these all being used before. This might creating competitions or rewarding customers when friends make a purchase. You could also offer incentives to share your content. Now, let’s see where UpViral comes into the picture.

UpViral-Review

What is UpViral?

UpViral is a suite of tools for creating competitions, sweepstakes and giveaways. The idea is that people will carry out a specific action, in exchange for entry into one of these competitions. This might be signing up to your mailing list, referring a friend, or sharing a blog post.

These promotions can be directly integrated into your own website with very little effort. There’s also support for the major social networks, as well email integration. Crucially, there’s very little technical knowledge required. UpViral provides a range of templates. You can configure these to your needs in a couple of minutes.

I said at the start of this UpViral review that it’s a good way of dipping your toes into viral marketing. Their USP is that you can do this without a massive budget, or really any coding skills. In theory, this should answer the prayers of many small businesses. Let’s drill down into how it works.

UpViral-Review-2

Additional Features

One thing to note about UpViral is that it’s completely cloud-based. There’s no need to download or install any software either. You simply create your campaign in the web-app. UpViral then ┬áprovides some code to embed into your email, webpage or social post.

We already referred to the built-in templates in this UpViral review. The native WYSIWYG editor compliments these nicely. This impressed me on two levels. Firstly, the most important thing for an editor like this is usability. The simple drag and drop interface means it should be a breeze for anybody.

Additionally, there was a fairly extensive range of assets on offer. Having access to a number of graphics, images and fonts is critical. It just makes your competitions that bit more professional looking. This, in turn, will lead to better results.

The email automation features were the biggest surprise of this UpViral review. In fact, they’re easily powerful enough to run your campaigns without the need for a dedicated automation service. Some highlights include the ability to send emails automatically based either on timing or specific actions. The option to create follow-ups also opens the door for repeat-referrals.

I’d particularly like to draw your attention to the A/B Testing feature. This is something built-in email tools normally lack. Basically, it lets you side by side test different elements of your email. For example, subject lines. UpViral will send the two options to small segments of your list. Then it decides which is more effective, and sends that to the remaining followers. That way, you can be sure you’re using the best practices.

AB-Testing

But, say you’re already using one of the big email automators. UpViral also integrates nicely with these. They’ve recently added support for embedding UpViral links into your existing campaigns. This means that if you ever did want to use an third party email tool, you could still get the benefits of UpViral.

All of your campaigns are managed through a really simple central dashboard. This let’s you take care of everything from scheduling to manually or automatically selecting winners. It also gives you real time analytics. That means you can track your referrals, click-throughs and open rates as they happen. Then, if needs be you can make changes on the fly.

Dashboard

Problems

We’ve reached the part of today’s UpViral review where I’ll look at some of the drawbacks. I suppose the most obvious of these is the lack of configuration options. I already said that UpViral is only available as a web app.

In most case, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, there may be some users who would be more comfortable with an on-sight deployment. This could easily be off-putting for companies who handle sensitive customer information. However, it should be noted that UpViral is fully GDPR compliant. They also offer wealth of advice to make sure your campaigning complies with data standards.

UpViral Review: Final Verdict

So, what’s the final word on UpViral? I really think it could add a lot of value to most marketing strategies. For me, its real selling point is that it takes so much of the guess work out of viral marketing. This is really valuable. It opens up new possibilities to small businesses who don’t have the resources to work with a marketing agency. It also makes it easy to quickly set up a viral marketing system, and then let it work for you in the background.

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UpViral
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Published by Ronan McQuilan

I'm a specialist technology copywriter and blogger, originally from Belfast in Ireland. When I'm not writing about software, I'm also a massive folk music nerd.