Founded by Jake, Whistler had just managed to successfully raise $42,000 on Kickstarter for their chemical-free Mens soap products.
Jake needed to find a way to help build some pre-launch buzz whilst his product was still in the development phase.
The website wasn't built yet... the product wasn't in the warehouse... but there I was, sitting in the office doing nothing. It seemed like the ideal time to try and build an audience in anticipation of the launch.
Having heard about the value of creating a viral loop and driving your audience to refer fellow fans, Jake decided to install ReferralHero and give it a go.
It took less than 10 minutes to install it and customise it.
Via ReferralHero email marketing feature he messaged his 800 backers and told them that if they signed up to the list and successfully referred a friend, they would receive a sample of the product. It didn’t cost much, due to the fact that he was already going to be sending them a full sized product from the Kickstarter campaign...This is what he thought.
Within 5 days his list grew from 800 to 15,000 subscribers. Jake and his team realised that they would struggle to fulfil all of these samples, and at $5/postage, they couldn’t afford it. They were forced to email their list and explain that they would all be receiving their samples but they could only fulfil few hundred/month.
Rather than just leave it there, Jake emailed round once more saying that if they wanted their samples earlier they would have to be in the top 1,000 places in the queue…
What is most amazing is that that Jake and Co did not use any paid ads to drive traffic. They used the power of email, referrals, incentive and scarcity. Going from 800 backers to 15,000 and finally to over 70,000.