May 23


How To Drive Traffic, Generate Leads and Boost Sales With Viral Referral Marketing

By Jeffrey Oravbiere

Are you looking for a cost effective way to get more targeted traffic, build your list fast and generate sales for your business? 

In this post, I'll introduce you to viral referral marketing, the most profitable and cost effective way to drive targeted traffic, build high converting list and increase sales for any business.

Using viral referral marketing method can quickly impact your business bottom-line.

Not only will you learn what viral referral marketing is, I will also show you how to implement it in your business to get the best results.

You see, at a time when advertising costs on big platforms are ever increasing, conversions from ads are dwindling and cost of living is skyrocketing...

As a smart marketer, you must look for creative, innovative and cost effective ways to get targeted traffic, and generate sales...

Not doing so means your business risks being extinct from the face of the earth.

I am sure you wouldn't want that to happen to your business...

Understanding Viral Referral Marketing

To understand the concept of Viral Referral Marketing and why it is the most powerful method of generating leads and growing any business, (yours included) let's first understand what Referral Marketing and Viral Marketing are.

What's Referral Marketing?

Simply put, referral marketing is when someone refers another to a business...

Getting new customers from a referral or word of mouth is probably one of the oldest and most trusted form of acquiring new customers and clients.

The fact is that every business loves a referral and most businesses have benefited from referral marketing.


  • Consumers find word-of-mouth to be 2 to 10 times more reliable than paid advertisements.
  • Leads from referrals have a 30% higher conversion rate than the leads generated from other marketing channels.
  • In terms of lifetime value, referral leads are also ahead by 16% compared to others.
  • Referred customers are 4 times more likely to refer your brand to others.
  • Referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate compared to other customers gained through other marketing channels.
  • 86% of businesses with structured referral programs have experienced revenue growth within a two-year period.

Sadly, only 22% of companies use referral solutions to scale their business.

Statistics Source:

The most successful companies in the world today like Dropbox, Airbnb, Uber, Tesla and many others not only use referral marketing, they have also turned this channel into their main growth strategy.

The reasons referral marketing works so well is because...

  • Getting referrals is mainly free.
  • Referrals come with trust and credibility which makes them the easiest to sell to.
  • Referrals can be loyal customers and they tend to do business with you much longer.

While every good business will benefit from some spontaneous word of mouth referrals, using the right strategy, tactics and software can significantly increase the number and quality of referrals your business will get.

How To Drive Traffic, Generate Leads and Boost Sales With Viral Referral Marketing 9

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What About Viral Marketing?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, "Viral Marketing is a piece of information circulated rapidly and widely from one internet user to another" (this is usually done via social media).

When you combine referral marketing with viral marketing, the result is VIRAL REFERRAL MARKETING.

What Exactly Is Viral Referral Marketing?

viral referral marketing

Viral Referral Marketing is a powerful system that leverages social media and word of mouth referrals to double, triple or even quadruple your leads for free from your advertising and in most cases, from your subscribers and customers' list.

In other words, when you advertise and send traffic to your site, from every lead you generate, you can get back 2, 3, 5 or even 10 leads for free.

Using viral referral marketing can drastically reduce your cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL) and cost per sale (CPS).

Referral Marketing As A Marketing Channel

Generally, most marketers believe that there are only 3 basic ways to drive traffic, generate leads and boost sales online. These are...

  • Organic traffic (i.e. SEO & Content)
  • Paid traffic (i.e. Google ads & Facebook Ads)
  • Partner traffic (i.e. Affiliates & Influencers)

But there is a fourth way... REFERRAL MARKETING.

Referral Marketing is a channel of its own and with the technology available today, if done well, it has the power to trump all 3 sources above put together.

Viral Referral Marketing is cost effective and in most cases, it uses your current customers and leads without having to invest in additional traffic, give discounts, or use affiliates.

How To Drive Traffic, Generate Leads and Boost Sales With Viral Referral Marketing 9

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What Can Viral Referral Marketing Be Used For?

Viral Referral Marketing can be used to:

  • Build your email list fast i.e. get leads.
  • Get people to buy your products or services i.e. make sales
  • Get people to like and follow you on social media i.e. grow your followers.
  • Get people to leave reviews for your business i.e. build your business reputation.
  • Launch a new product or service i.e. quickly get the word out about your new product.
  • Promote presale or prelaunch i.e. build anticipation and waiting list for your new product.

How Does Viral Referral Marketing Works?

viral referral marketing

Viral Referral Marketing uses contests and sweepstakes to run giveaway campaigns that are used to entice and encourage participants to compete in order to win valuable prizes.

One person wins the grand prize at the end of the campaign which can be for a period of 4 – 8 weeks. Or it can be an evergreen campaign that runs continuously for months or even years.

Using contest or sweepstakes alone is not enough to create exponential results. That's what many businesses do and they don't get the results they want or may get untargeted leads.

Viral referral marketing becomes very effective when the participants are encouraged and incentivised to share your offer with their friends on social media and through word of mouth to increase their chances of winning the grand prize or other incentives in the funnel.

As people refer others, the people they refer also enter the sales funnel and are presented with the same offer which encourages them to refer others in order to increase their chances of winning the valuable gifts.

This then creates a viral loop which gets your message out fast, generates targeted leads and builds a list of raving fans on social media.

A good Viral Referral Marketing campaign comprises of two pages - the offer (landing) page and a thank you page as seen in the image below.

Traffic is sent to the offer page to get people to enter to win valuable gift(s). Once they sign up, they are taken to the thank you page where they are further incentivised to share the offer to increase their chances of winning the prize.

They are provided with a unique sharing link and share buttons which they can use to share on social media, emails and WhatsApp.

viral referral marketing
How To Drive Traffic, Generate Leads and Boost Sales With Viral Referral Marketing 11


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How Participants Share The Offer

If you use the right software as we do at Boost My Profit, participants are given unique referral link like the one in the image below.

They are also provided with easy ways to share the offer on different social media platforms.

As people compete to win the valuable gift and sharing on social media, they will be sending traffic to the offer.

This immediately turns 1 paid traffic or lead into 2, 3, 5 or 10 free traffic or leads.

When implemented well, this can quickly build a large amount of leads in a short period of time and drastically reduce your cost per click, cost per lead and cost per sale.

viral referral marketing

Benefits Of Viral Referral Marketing

Using Viral Referral Marketing can quickly impact your sales and business growth if done well. Below are a few benefits you can derive from this powerful method...

  • You'll create decentralised traffic as traffic is sent to your website from all over the internet. No other marketing channel (Facebook, Google, Bing etc.) can do this.
  • You'll get your offer out fast and build highly engaging and responsive leads quickly.
  • You'll drastically reduce your cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL) and cost per sale (CPS) which means more leads and sales from your advertising budget and effort.
  • You'll become less dependent on the big advertising platforms which are ever increasing in cost and dwindling in conversions.
  • You'll build highest converting traffic and leads for your business.
  • You'll create a reliable and evergreen source of leads and sales.
  • You'll quickly build brand awareness and trust with your customers.
  • You'll grow large followers of raving fans on all social media platforms simultaneously. Again, no other marketing channel (Facebook, Google, Bing etc.) can do this.
  • You'll boost your search engine rankings as people visit your site from all over the internet.


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How To Generate Targeted Buyers Leads With Viral Referral Marketing?

There are two parts to this.

  1. The key to a successful viral referral marketing campaign is the offer i.e. the prize(s). The prize must be valuable in the eyes of the participants to want to win it. It doesn't necessarily have to be expensive but must be valuable. It must be something they cannot easily get or buy elsewhere.

    For example, packaged products, a good discount, free pampered stay at your holiday home, VIP tour or experience of your restaurant, one-hour free coaching etc are all great examples of valuable gifts. 
  2. The offer must be targeted to the intended prospects so that every participant is a potential customer.

As an example, let's assume you sell beauty products. It is not a good idea to give away cash or iPhone as your incentives even though that's what many companies would do.

The reason giving cash or iPhone is a bad idea is because the people that will be entering your contest will only be interested in the cash or iPhone and not your beauty products. If you do this, you're not targeting the right audience for your products.

To build targeted list that will buy your products, the best gifts to give away is your products. In fact the same product you wish to sell. (Remember, only one person will win it at the end, so you're only spending the cost of that offer but you'll build a huge list of potential buyers in return).

That way only the people interested in the product will join your contest.

This builds highly targeted list for your products or services.

Some Real-Life Case Studies Of Viral Referral Marketing Run With Upviral

At Boost My Profit, we have tried and used several referral marketing tools and the one we found to be the best tool of choice is Upviral.

This software is highly recommended as it has all the bells and whistles of a viral referral marketing software to help you get great results with your campaign.

Our first case study, as seen below is a campaign that was run to promote a Tourist Destination.

The campaign generated 60,340 total leads In a space of 2 Months. It achieved 40% conversion rate, 66,000+ social media shares, 73,899 emails sent with an open rate of 54.4% and a total of 487,498 campaign visitors.

How To Drive Traffic, Generate Leads and Boost Sales With Viral Referral Marketing 12

This next case study promoted “Holiday With Your Dog”.

It generated 64,748 total leads (23,539 direct leads, 41,209 referred leads), 70,424 total shares and 360,245 total visits all in the space of 3 months.

The campaign was so successful that it boosted publicity (both national magazines and TV interviews) which increased bookings and brand loyalty.

viral referral marketing
viral referral marketing


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How To Generate Sales With Viral Referral Marketing

Generating sales from Viral Referral Marketing campaign requires strategic planning. Here are a few tips and steps to follow:

  • First, you need to ensure you target the right audience for your product or service i.e. your product avatar. If you get this wrong, your entire campaign will fall apart and will not produce your desired results.
  • Second, you must select the right offer for your campaign. Once you get the first part right, you need to find the right offer that your avatar will like to buy and use that offer as your bait (your prize).
  • Third, during the campaign, only focus on building your list. Your main focus during the campaign is to grow your list (i.e. get more leads). You can sell them after the campaign is ended. Trying to grow your leads and sell at the same time will water down your effort. EXPERT TIP: use survey to segment participants into interest groups.
  • Fourth, you should plan how to convert the participants into buyers. There are two parts to this step.

    (Part 1) you should plan the offer you'll promote immediately after the campaign ends. This should be a limited time offer of 3-4 days.

    (Part 2) you also need to plan subsequent follow up offers to promote to your list at least for the first one or two months.

    If you do this right, you should be able to generate a lot of sales from the list within a month of the campaign ending. 
  • Fifth, (and this is very important), you should use the right software. While there are so many software in the market, not all software can perform viral referral marketing effectively.

    You need to research the market thoroughly so that you can use the right tool for your campaign. At Boost My Profit, we use upviral to run all our campaigns and this is the tool that we will recommend also.

What Else Can You Do With Your List?

After you have built list from your campaign, apart from selling your products to them, which is the obvious thing, what else can you do with the leads long term? This is because, what you do long term is what determines your business success. Below are a few suggestions...

  1. Educate and build relationship with your list. Educate your list about your products and services. The more you build relationship with your list, the more money you will make from them long term. Provide value at every opportunity you get to interact with them.
  2. Promote other offers (even affiliate offers) to them weekly. If you have one or a few products, look for other valuable products to promote to your list. Position yourself or your business as a helper, not a seller. So only offer them products you think will really help them and they will reward you for it.
  3. Run more giveaway campaigns to build your list further. You don't have to stop at just one campaign. We always advise our clients to run at least 6 campaigns a year - that's one campaign every two months if possible.

    If you have a large list, you wouldn't need to advertise to build your list further. Just run viral referral marketing campaigns to your list and let them help you build more leads.
  4. Leverage partnership opportunities. The company that has the list, has the power. With your list, you can leverage other partnership or joint venture opportunities that will result in more income for your business.

How Can Boost My Profit Help You Run Viral Referral Marketing Campaign?

Boost My Profit has been helping businesses all over the world to run viral referral marketing campaigns since 2016. We have the skills, the team and the tools to help you deliver measurable results.

Our proven methods can help you drive highly targeted traffic, generate leads and boost your sales fast. When we work with clients, we use a 5-step process to deliver results.

Our Result-Driven 5-Stage Campaign Process

stage 1


This is the very first stage of our campaign preparation. At this stage, we want to get clear of the goal our client want to achieve, whether this is getting more leads, building brand awareness, making more sales or building business reputation.

stage 2


This is the stage where we really get down to business to plan the campaign. This stage is very important because the success of the campaign depends on it and it comprises of several steps. 

  1. Identify the target audience avatar
  2. Conduct survey to existing customers & leads to help choose the right offer (optional)
  3. Decide the type of campaign - whether contest or sweepstake
  4. Decide the length of campaign - can be 4 - 8 weeks.
  5. Plan and develop the offer, grand prize and incentives
  6. Plan campaign launch and management strategy
  7. Plan promotion strategy after campaign ends – usually 4 - 5 days promotion
  8. Optionally, we can plan up to 2 months follow up strategy
stage 3


This is the stage where we create the funnel which would include the offer landing page and a thank you page where participants will be given their unique sharing link and also provided with social media buttons to share on different social media platforms

stage 4


This is another critical stage in the campaign process. The goal of the activation stage is to promote the giveaway offer(s). This includes:

  • Advertising: We would advertise the giveaway offer on Facebook and Instagram. If the client already have a sizeable list of customers and subscribers, this step might be skipped otherwise, it is a critical step to drive traffic to the offer.
  • Email Campaigns: Both automated and manual emails to follow-up with participants to encourage them to keep sharing the offer. We would promote the benefits of the products on offer to the participants through the campaign period. We would send emails to activate new participants and send emails to reactivate old participants that are not sharing enough.
  • Retargeting Ads: During campaign, we could retarget the thank you page with Facebook ads so that we can remind participants to share when they are on Facebook. After campaign ends, we would retarget participants to sell them the products on offer.
  • Omni-Channel Marketing: Depending on what’s appropriate, we could engage participants on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We could also run several Instagram live campaigns or get participants on zoom calls to promote the giveaway campaign. 

stage 5


This is the stage where we promote the products to the participants immediately after the campaign ends. This is usually a rigorous campaign using discounts, scarcity and limited time offers depending on client’s products, services and goals and it would run for 3-4 days. We would also setup automated follow up emails for 1 - 2 months to promote the same products or other products to the participants.


If you haven't considered Viral Referral Marketing as a strategy to drive traffic, build lists and generate sales, you need to give this method a try in your business.

If you want to run this yourself, use the right tool like Upviral or if you want us to help you create and run Viral Referral Marketing campaign for your business, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.

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