Table of contents
When we think of viral marketing, our minds often wander to thinking about Instagram influencers, and old Vine stars turned into Youtube sensations.
While that is a form of viral marketing, that style of attention-grabbing doesn’t always apply for businesses that are looking to gather the attention of their audience.
So, how can small businesses use their email list to create viral marketing campaigns that generate a ton of sales and turn your funnel into a money-making machine?
Maybe with Upviral?
Upviral claims to be the ultimate viral referral system that easily integrates with your existing funnel and tools. What does that mean for you?
It means their tool helps your business get the attention it needs to grow up big and strong.
Big claims require significant implementation, so let’s see if Upviral puts their results where their mouth is.
Right away, when you get started with Upviral, you’ll realize this isn’t your standard email marketing tool.
Upviral focuses on running contests to create viral referral campaigns. This point is the main thing that separates it from your more typical email marketing tools like Mailchimp and AWeber.
If you’re looking to get more visitors to your website through a referral-based marketing strategy, Upviral might be the right choice for you.
It's a complete web-based solution to handle your viral marketing. They make it easy for you to create marketing campaigns, send emails, test content, and track results.
Overall, it does a lot of the same things as many other email marketing tools out there currently, with a few bonuses thrown in.
So what’s the difference between Upviral and the other 500 tools out there?
Well, the referral system is what makes this tool different than some of the others.
They carry on by saying that their referral-based program is what turns your already established list into a continuously growing source of new leads.
Upviral's home page
There are three primary things you can do with Upviral:
The possibility of taking and turning one lead into many is a great concept, and it’s what brings people to Upviral.
To describe it as basic as possible, if you have a free giveaway, you can choose between charging for the product/service or saying, “if you refer two people using this code, you’ll get it for free.”
I can understand how this works and why people can get a lot of leads from this strategy.
Now, if you have a list of 500 and you do this to each of them, it shouldn’t be too hard to reel in a few more hundred leads from your established list. From there, it grows and grows each time you create a viral marketing campaign.
Another plus side is you also get to do all of this using the templates they provide for you, so it’s simple.
You can focus on your offer rather than having to focus on creating landing pages, emails, etc.
There are plenty of testimonials on the Upviral website, though. One case study states that the customer released a few videos as a pre-launch sequence for something they were offering.
They added a fourth video to their sequence, which pushed subscribers to get three people to subscribe using the link provided through Upviral.
The result of the campaign was 16,653 email subscribers in a competitive market.
Another example states that an Upviral customer gathered 20,000 leads in 14 days using the contest giveaway software. After a few more weeks, he was up to 100,000 new subscribers.
I understand that these numbers are great, and it’s eye-catching when you think about all the results you can achieve using Upviral, but there’s one problem that many overlook.
A lot of companies that sell products like this tell you that you can achieve these incredible results by throwing a referral link into an email and offering a small reward for every lead they send, but that’s not true.
You need to have a fantastic product offering to get people to want to listen to you.
Not to mention the fact that I can guarantee these testimonials came from people who already have an extensive list.
Since their whole pitch revolves around using referral links to generate more attention, that would require you to have an extensive list already if you plan on experiencing results like these.
Think about it, if someone blasts and email out to their audience of 10,000+, they have a high chance of getting at least 10% of those leads to share the link and send some referrals their way.
As a small business owner without an extensive list, you won’t likely have these types of results.
You’ll have to claw your way out of the basement if you even expect to get a few referrals from a smaller list.
So, that’s my take on Upviral. Now let’s get into some of the more concrete information surrounding the software.
Upviral says that you get all the capabilities, metrics, and analysis tools you’ll ever need to create a viral campaign in any market.
They go onto say that what makes their tool so much more powerful than others is the referral invite link.
This link provides accountability for your visitors and guides them to the point of delivering results for you.
You can use Upviral to set email reminders, goals, and provide incentives to get your subscribers to share the link with everyone they know. They get rewarded, and you get more leads, so it works out for everyone.
They’re shooting for the stars here. Again, I believe that - it’s not nearly as easy as they make it sound.
If it were as easy as including a link in your email copy, everyone would do it. It’s hard enough getting people to open your email nevermind getting them to share it as well.
Enough trash talk, let’s get into some of the best features of this viral marketing tool.
Keeping the whole “viral marketing” thing in mind, they offer a standard amount of email automation tools.
You can send timed/triggered emails based on a user's action, embed social sharing buttons, and send multiple email triggers to help get more shares.
They also offer automated alert emails to remind your subscribers to share the link so they can reach their next goal.
What do I think about their email automation? I think it’s the standard for email marketing tools.
They don’t offer much that everyone else isn’t already doing. You can create long-term campaigns with multiple steps, triggers, and actions like you would do anywhere else.
As for testing, you can test nearly everything as a part of your campaign. You can test your landing pages, thank you pages, and email copy to determine what is bringing in the best results.
Once again, I find this to be the standard in email marketing tools. If your software doesn’t offer a way to A/B test everything, you need to move onto another tool.
For example, Systeme.io lets you A/B test each step of your campaign so you can find any bottlenecks in your process that might hold you up or slow you down.
Now here’s the thing that separates Upviral from the competition. Using your Upviral links inside your existing emails is how you can turn your list into perpetual lead sources.
You can add one-click share buttons inside your email copy to help turn the subscribers you’ve already earned into affiliates of your business.
They go onto say that this will help you create a self-sustaining and continuously-growing source of leads from the resources you already have.
I consider this similar to an affiliate program, which is something we offer on Systeme.io.
You can use our platform to create an affiliate program where people can promote your offer to other people in exchange for a commission or reward of some sort.
Upviral doesn’t call it that, but it’s essentially the same thing.
Moving forward, now let’s talk about their referral system. Using the referral link you get from Upviral; you can create a points-based system that offers rewards for people who share.
For example, you can send out an email blast urging your subscribers to enter a contest to win your ebook for free if they get enough people to subscribe.
You would then send the email containing the referral link and instructions on how to win.
You can customize the contest by including the number of points they need to have and how many they get for each action they perform.
This is a great way to get people to share your content since you’re offering a reward that is easy to understand. Here is where I start to like what they’re doing at Upviral.
You have complete control over what rewards you offer, how much they’re worth, and what type of actions are required for the subscriber to get that reward.
This process might be difficult to understand, so let’s break it down a bit.
Here’s an example of how this might go:
Now you’re giving the subscribers options, which increases the chances of them taking one or the other.
I like this process, and it works well, but it all weighs on the quality of your product.
If your product stinks, no one will share anything because they don’t care about getting what you’re offering in exchange for their time.
In addition to the significant actions like getting people to subscribe, you can also create smaller rewards.
For example, you could offer a downloadable file for everyone who shares their referral link on social media.
As soon as they share the link, they’ll receive enough points for that reward.
If you’re running an eCommerce site, I think this referral thing could be quite powerful.
Think about it like this:
You have an eCommerce store offering all kinds of goodies. You then create a campaign where you’re trying to draw attention to a specific sale you have going on.
Next, you send out an email blast to 500 people urging them to share their unique code on social media.
For each person who shares the link, they receive a 10% off coupon code for your entire store.
Not only does this increase the chances of you getting some additional business from the share, but you’re also urging current subscribers to shop in your store because you’re offering a percentage off.
It’s a double whammy!
One of the best things about this rewards system is that it’s all automated. If it weren’t automated, you’d have to go through and approve every little move, but with Upviral, you don’t have to.
Once someone shares something or reaches a specific goal, they’ll automatically receive an email so they can retrieve their reward.
There’s also an automatic winner selection for your more significant contests and giveaways.
For example, if you’re offering a free one-hour strategy session for your marketing business, you may want your subscribers to share your paid sessions with everyone they know. As repayment for all the attention, you’ll offer one for free.
Upviral will automatically choose the winner based on whoever took the most actions and earned the most points.
In addition to choosing the winner, the lucky number one will also receive an automatic notification that they won so you can then take the next step towards offering them their free reward.
There are many custom sharing opportunities here as well that you can play around with and tweak to your needs.
You also have the freedom to control the appearance of posts that people share on their social media. This factor is important, so you know that your affiliates are representing your business or website in the right way.
Part of what makes Upviral so powerful is the user's ability to share their giveaways and contests on social media. Upviral makes it easy with easily customizable social sharing with optimization for different social avenues.
This includes Facebook newsfeed optimization to increase referral tracking, built-in rich-tweet capabilities, complete creative control over the appearance of posts, and user-selected options that make it easy for others to share what you’re offering.
A huge component of creating a viral campaign is making your offer easy and straightforward to share. If there are too many hoops to jump through, the user will think that your offer isn’t worth it.
Upviral ensures you don’t have that problem.
You likely already have systems in place that bring you leads consistently, why screw it up?
Well, luckily, Upviral integrates with everything you already have going on, so you don’t have to change anything.
Upviral works with almost all CRMs and list building software so you can move everything over and get rolling with a contest or giveaway of your choosing.
If you’re using an autoresponder, you can also get Upviral to work with it. You can even send referral codes directly in the automatic email.
Overall, I see a lot that I like about Upviral, but there’s nothing earth-shattering about the tool.
Upviral comes with automatic fraud detection using cookies and IP tracking. This ensures there is no cheating or abusing the contests or giveaways.
You can easily track the performance of your campaigns using an easy to use dashboard, including information like your leads, activities, and top influencers.
Having advanced analytics makes it easier for you to tell what contests and giveaways are working and what are not.
You’ll find it easy to tweak your campaigns and change your offerings according to the feedback you get from the analytics side of things with Upviral.
As with almost all email marketing tools, this one is mobile-optimized for smartphones and tablets of all kinds.
Here are a few other noteworthy features of Upviral:
As part of our Upviral review, I want to make sure that everyone who is trying to start or grow their online business understands what referral marketing is and how it works.
If you don’t understand referral marketing, you’ll have a hard time making use of Upviral.
At the most basic understanding, referral marketing is old school “word of mouth” marketing.
It’s one of the simplest and oldest forms of marketing available.
Think about how your local barber shop might offer incentives. They’ll give you a little card when you leave and say, “if you refer three people to us, you’ll get a free haircut,” simple right?
Referral marketing works in the same way, but now we're talking about spreading your message to way more people using digital marketing and email automation.
According to Social Media Today, 78% of B2B marketers say that referral programs generate good quality leads.
It’s no secret that word of mouth works for generating leads, but it only works if you do.
As I’ve stressed throughout this entire article, you need to have a dynamite product if you expect this style of marketing to work.
If no one wants what you’re offering as an incentive, it will be impossible for you to get people to share your referral links. You need to have something super enticing!
At this point in our Upviral review, we’re going to give you an in-depth breakdown of everything you need to know to create a campaign using Upviral.
One good thing is that they offer a ton of templates that you can follow if you don’t feel like getting too involved with the creative side of things.
If creativity isn’t your strong suit, you’ll be fine using the templates they’ve already tested and determined as “high converting.”
Here’s a quick overview of how referral marketing works using Upviral:
Let’s start by giving you a character model. You’re an eCommerce store owner who is trying to create a viral giveaway to generate more attention for your new store.
You don’t have a lot of creative experience, so you’re interested in using templates and making the process as fast as possible.
You’ll face two choices once you go to fire up a campaign on Upviral.
You can choose to run the entire campaign on their platform or integrate with other tools like ClickFunnels or LeadPages.
The second option will require you to play around with code so you wouldn’t want to do that unless you have experience.
Once you choose the run the campaign on Upviral, you’ll then get to choose the templates you want and customize them to your brand.
You can change every detail of the landing page and email copy. The whole experience reminds me of what you get with Clickfunnels.
There’s a lot of drag and drop features that make the process that much easier.
Once you have your landing page all set up, then you’ll move to the thank you page and follow the same process.
Something I found cool is that the subscribers get their own dashboard where they can keep track of how many points they earned and how many shares they have running across each platform.
You can also use their dashboard page as a way to explain to them what they need to do, what you expect of them, and how they can rack up enough points to score some great rewards.
Once you have the funnel set up, you’ll want to go and customize how your offers appear on social media when someone shares them.
Something that makes this so powerful is the entire thing can stay true to your branding, so people aren’t sharing whatever they want; however they want.
You’re in total control of the post title, description, images, etc. This point is essential and a nice touch.
Once you’ve created your funnel and customized everything to your liking, you’ll want to start throwing some rewards in there for people to receive.
You can add as many awards as you want, and you can even have multiple options for people who may not be interested in one specific offer.
To set up a giveaway, it’s as simple as filling out the form and uploading the reward if necessary. You can include the number of points required for receiving the prize and instructions on how to get there.
Luckily, you got most of the hard work out of the way now. At this point, you can start creating some of the content you’re going to use to motivate your subscribers to get involved.
You can create the email they’ll receive when they sign up, when they earn points, when they earn a reward, and so on.
Upviral will take care of everything as long as you plug in what emails you want sent and when. For example, you can put a specific email template in when someone signs up and another one when they win something.
The software will automatically send these emails based on specific triggers. You also can personalize every email to help with engagement.
They’ll also receive personalized emails every time they earn points towards their rewards.
By this point in the Upviral review, you should have a solid understanding of the features of Upviral, some of the pros and cons, and how to use it to create a viral marketing campaign.
You might be wondering if this type of tool will work in your business.
If that sounds like what you’re thinking about right now, let’s take a look at some examples of how someone in a specific niche would use Upviral to generate more attention.
If you’re in the ecom space, you can easily use Upviral to create some great campaigns.
Let’s say you have a small list of around 500 people, and you want to get that up to 10,000.
One way to do it would be to send an email out to your list, offering a “shopping spree” for the first person to get 15 referrals to sign up for your newsletter.
You could send out an email with the subject line, “win a free shopping spree in [your store]!”
You’ll use Upviral to get the referral links, set up the social media sharing, and all the marketing materials you need to automate the whole process.
Next thing you know, you have a bunch of leads coming in, and you can offer someone a $50 or $100 credit in your store to shop as they please.
As you can tell, there are a million and one variations of this type of strategy you can use.
The example above is only one example, so feel free to play around with it if you’re in the eCommerce business.
People who have physical businesses often think they’re exempt from having to worry about digital marketing, but that’s such a bad attitude.
You can benefit tremendously from creating online campaigns to drive people into your business.
Let’s say you run a restaurant, and you want to increase your list. You can do this with ease by creating a viral campaign, getting people to share it on social media, and offer a small prize in exchange for driving in ten referrals.
With this strategy, you could offer the reward to every person who adds ten people to your list. You could send them a free meal coupon to their email.
Not only will this increase your list, but it will help you generate more sales right off the bat as well.
Make the free meal coupon state that you can only use one per table; now you’ll have an entire family coming in and purchasing a whole bunch of other food as well.
It’s a win-win because you have a big list of new people to market to now as well.
If you’re a medical professional who is trying to grow their practice, you’re all about referrals.
Most medical practices rely almost exclusively on referrals from friends and family, so turn on the jets and use Upviral to get the ball rolling even faster.
Dentist offices and chiropractors benefit from this strategy tremendously. Dentists can offer free teeth whitening in exchange for sending a certain number of leads to your list.
Chiropractors could throw in a free adjustment for each person who refers twenty people to your business.
Now you have another few thousand potential clients that you can market to and get them to come into your office for an appointment.
The best thing about Upviral is that it works for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re running a multi-million dollar medical practice or a blog that offers a part-time income, you can make use of viral marketing.
For example, a camping and hiking blog could offer a “Guide to Hiking the Appalachian Trail” to a segmented audience who cares about east coast hiking. You could offer that guide in exchange for referring ten people to your list.
If you have a podcast, you could offer an opportunity to be on your show as a guest. If you’re in a niche market where attention is essential, this would be a tremendous offer for someone to get their name in front of other people.
Make the subscribers work for it by requiring them to send around 50 referrals over before they get to be on the podcast. This strategy would work great if you’re in the marketing and entrepreneurship realm.
Finally, if you own some form of agency, whether it be consulting, marketing, lifestyle, social media, or whatever, you can use Upviral as well.
You could do a conference call giveaway to your list and offer some of your time in exchange for referrals. If you have an engaged list of people who hang on your every word, this will work like a charm.
Offer a free 15-minute strategy session for each person who refers 25 people to your list.
Next thing you know, you’ll have a full schedule of calls for both followers and potential clients. During these strategy sessions, you also have the opportunity to upsell the people who won the free call.
Time to talk about the topic on everyone's mind - yes, it's the money. As a whole, Upviral doesn’t stand out much from the crowd other than the fact that you can send a referral link with your emails.
Given the lack of extensive features, no built-in CRM, and limited customization options, we wouldn’t expect the price of Upviral to be too steep. Let’s see.
As with most digital tools, they offer a discount if you pay yearly.
$39.00 per month (billed annually) - $49.00 billed monthly
$59.00 per month (billed annually) - $79.00 billed monthly
$149.00 per month (billed annually) - $199.00 billed monthly
All of their plans come backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Overall, I like their prices, and I don’t think they’re too far out of range. If we compare Upviral to some other email marketing tools like AWeber or GetResponse.
AWeber is $149.00 per month for only 25,000 subscribers. GetResponse is roughly $65 per month for 10,000 subscribers.
It’s clear that Upviral understands that creating a viral campaign can involve large numbers of participants, and they want to make sure you have enough space to expand your marketing as far as it can go. I can appreciate that.
Based on the research, I would recommend going with the business plan because you get the A/B testing and CRM integration, which are both nearly essential to the success of your campaign.
As I said, they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not too thrilled you could always get your money back after testing it out.
During my research, I discovered that Upviral has an extensive knowledge base that nearly explains anything you could want to know about the tool.
They answer general questions like “how does the fraud detection work?” as well as more advanced questions like “how to split-test my opt-in and thank you pages?”
In the support area, users can also open a support ticket and contact a real person to handle their questions or concerns.
There are also plenty of onboarding videos and informational sections that tell you everything you need to know when you’re getting started with Upviral.
The tool is relatively easy to learn, and it's much simpler than some advanced email marketing tools/ CRMS like ActiveCampaign.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with referral marketing, you should be able to pick up on this quickly without the need for much support.
Now you’ve reached the epitome of the review, and it’s time to make a decision. Is Upviral for you? Do you think this tool could make a difference in your business?
Ask yourself some of the following questions before making a decision.
If you answered yes to all of those questions, you might be able to make use of this tool.
Upviral is a capable marketing software that works great for giveaways and contests.
In terms of creating viral campaigns that focus on generating new subscribers from referrals, there aren’t too many other tools out there like this one.
I found Upviral to be incredibly user-friendly as well. It’s simple to set up your campaigns, and they walk you through every step.
There aren’t that many barriers to break through to get your first campaign up and running.
Like I’ve said a few times throughout this Upviral review, the most crucial factor that will determine your success with Upviral is the quality of your services and offerings.
If you don’t have an enticing offer, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing is because no one will want what you have.
I’ve spent this entire review talking about everything that Upviral does right, but we haven’t touched much on some of the things you can’t do with it.
While you can create a primary two-step funnel with a landing page and thank you page, you can’t do much else beyond that.
If you’re looking to create upsells and downsells through the process, you can’t do that with Upviral.
The creative side of things is limited, and it’s part of their “keeping it simple” philosophy.
If you’re looking to try and sell to the subscribers who opt in to your referral link, you won’t be able to do that with Upviral.
If you’re in the eCommerce space, you likely use Woocommerce, Shopify, or some other platform to sell your products.
While you can use Upviral to expand your list and drive more traffic to your store, you can’t use it to sell anyone anything.
The primary problem I’ve seen with Upviral is that you’re limited to creating referral marketing campaigns, and you can’t do anything else beyond that.
For the same price of Upviral, many other email marketing tools allow you to expand beyond two-step campaigns into more advanced marketing strategies.
Keeping everything in one place is an essential part of simplifying and streamlining your marketing campaigns.
While Upviral does integrate with a lot of other site creators and CRMs, you can’t create a website or manage content using the platform.
Other tools like Systeme.io, Clickfunnels, and Leadpages allow you to have everything Upviral offers, plus you can site creation, online tools, sales funnels, course creators, and affiliate programs.
What I’m trying to say is that Upviral is a very bare-bones option for a specific niche who wants to create contests and giveaways.
If you’re trying to expand upon those basic ideas, you won’t be able to do that with Upviral.
Systeme.io's home page
Systeme.io is the best all-in-one marketing software to help you launch your business and grow your list.
You can save time and money by using one single tool to do everything you need in one place.
The most significant problem I’ve noticed with Upviral is that you can only do one minimal thing with it.
Creating a referral program might help you grow your list, but that’s only one small component of running a business.
You need more, and the price they’re charging cannot stack up to what we’re offering at Systeme.io.
All of the shortcomings I mentioned previously about Upviral, you get all of that and more with Systeme.io.
Need to create an advanced sales funnel with multiple steps?
Need to send newsletters, follow up emails, and automate the whole thing?
Need to create an online course from scratch and promote it to your audience?
Need to create an eCommerce store with built-in checkout and payment options?
Need a simple tool to help launch your blog and grow a list of subscribers?
Need to create an affiliate program to help promote your offers and generate referrals?
Syseme.io is the best all-in-one platform that can do anything you need to help grow your business. No matter what it is, you can do it here.
I want to give you an example of how our pricing compares to Upviral. For the price of their basic package, you can get Systeme.io for $47 per month.
It comes with the following:
The main reason people leave tools like Clickfunnels, LeadPages, and Builderall to come to Systeme.io is for simplicity and comprehensiveness.
You don’t need a million different tools to accomplish your goals with Systeme.io; you can do it all in one place at an affordable price.
This platform keeps small business owners and entrepreneurs in mind. We understand that not everyone can afford to have a ton of technology to run their business.
Instead, get it all in one place with Systeme.io.
Lastly, another reason people turn to Systeme.io is that it’s simple to use even if you have no technical experience.
While Clickfunnels and Leadpages may market themselves as easy to use, if you’ve ever used it, you’ll understand that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
You can create a website, sales funnels, courses, and affiliate programs from scratch without any experience at all.
We’ll make sure you know what you’re doing, and we guide you through the entire process.
First, congratulations on making it through the entire review. We left no stone unturned here and made sure we made the review as thorough as possible.
Hopefully, you understand the importance of having a simple and effective email marketing platform on your side.
While we do think that Upviral does a great job at what it was meant to do, it’s not enough. It’s not good enough to only pay for something that helps you create one type of campaign and nothing else.
You can get all of that and much much more with Systeme.io.
If you want to learn more about Systeme.io, please check out our website.
Feel free to reach out to a team member here with any questions or concerns.