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Kickoff Labs: On Growth

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 Podcast: On Growth

Episode 36: Learn How to Use Smart Marketing and Client Relationships to Create Your Best Contest Yet

Generated by reNotes: In this episode, Yegor from Brainrich Kids introduces their product and talks about how he used data and customer relationships to grow their email list and create successful contests on KickoffLabs. He quit his six-figure job to start his own company, and he has since become a professor of marketing at Bellevue College.

Content created using reNotes

Show notes (unedited)

Yegor from Brainrich Kids introduces their product, which are indoor play gyms for kids that can be used during bad weather or COVIDs. He and his wife do not have children themselves, but he has a niece and wanted to start his own business. He talks about how he used data and customer relationships to grow their email list and create successful contests on KickoffLabs.

Yegor quit his six-figure job to start his own company, Brainrich, which makes indoor play gyms for kids. He had no marketing education, but he learned as he went and eventually became a professor of marketing at Bellevue College. He started selling his product by reaching out to people on Facebook and Instagram, and he eventually learned that his target audience hangs out on those platforms.

Yegor learned that the best way to increase traffic and followers on Instagram is to run giveaways and contests. He found KickoffLabs and found it easy to use and set up. His first contest was successful and he has continued to use the platform to grow his business.

The company Yegor was talking about decided to do a giveaway to get initial traction and because they were a one product company, they didn't have a lot of different products to give away. They only had one product that was very expensive, so they had to spend a lot of money on ads to get people to see the giveaway. The campaign did well and they got a lot of emails from it, but it could have been better.

In this conversation, Yegor and Josh discuss the results of a KickoffLabs campaign. It sounds like the campaign was successful, with over a thousand leads coming from sharing. They also discuss how they ran ads and re-targeting campaigns to try and capture leads who didn't sign up for the giveaway.

Yegor is trying to maximize his return on investment from marketing campaigns by looking at how people interact with his product and contest website. He uses Facebook Pixel to track clicks and create lookalike audiences. He is also trying to value each different marketing channel to see which is most important for his product.

The content discusses how to increase the chances of winning a contest by sharing it with friends and offering them the same prize if they win.

They discuss how to grow an audience using Facebook and Instagram ads, and how to maximize the quality of that audience using email marketing. It also describes how to use KickoffLabs to run competitions and giveaways to grow an audience in other channels beyond email.

Yegor and Josh discuss their experience running a contest with GEICO. They talk about how they determined the frequency of emails and the types of messages they sent. They also discuss how they cross-pollinated their audiences and how they incentivized people to share the contest.

Yegor discusses how they ran a successful marketing campaign that resulted in high open rates and a lot of new email signups. They talk about how they used various methods to promote the campaign, including social media, email, and text messages. They also discuss how they didn't offer discounts, but still managed to get people to buy their product.

The company never offers discounts or promotions, because they believe that their products are already expensive and that offering discounts would make them even more expensive. Instead, they offer earned discounts to people who participate in their campaigns, and they also offer store credit for participation. They are about to do another email cleanup effort to remove people from their list who are not qualified customers.

KickoffLabs is a tool that helps you run competitions, and they have learned that it is important to start hinting at the competition before it actually starts, in order to build excitement. They are also going to try to do more than one competition at a time, and give prizes to the top performers.

The speaker talks about how important it is to think beyond the campaign itself when planning marketing strategies. They suggest that by running campaigns less often, you can create more value and interest. Additionally, they recommend being open and transparent to create trust with potential customers.

This content discusses the benefits of running marketing campaigns, and how choosing the right activities can make a big difference in the success of the campaign. It also gives some tips on how to create a successful campaign, such as targeting both influencers and non-influencers, and making sure to have a plan for both high-end and low-end customers.

Disclaimer: Content created by reNotes from the podcast transcript is an example only.  reKnow does not own the original podcast and all content on this page, including content derived from the podcast, are the property of the podcast owner.  Being featured as an example does not imply the podcast owner is a reNotes user.

Description (unedited)

In this episode, Yegor from Brainrich Kids introduces their product and talks about how he used data and customer relationships to grow their email list and create successful contests on KickoffLabs. He quit his six-figure job to start his own company, and he has since become a professor of marketing at Bellevue College.

Article (unedited)

Are You Ready to Run a Marketing Campaign?

By now, you should know that a marketing campaign can make or break your business. If you're not careful, you could end up wasting a lot of time and money on a campaign that doesn't produce results.

On the other hand, a well-executed marketing campaign can help you reach your target audience, generate leads, and boost sales.

So, how can you make sure that your next marketing campaign is a success? Here are a few tips:

Define your goals

Before you even start planning your marketing campaign, you need to take a step back and define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or boost sales?

Once you know what your goals are, you can start planning your campaign around those goals. This will help you stay on track and make sure that your campaign is successful.

Research your target audience

If you want your marketing campaign to be successful, you need to make sure that you're targeting the right audience. Take some time to research your target audience and figure out where they hang out online.

Once you know where your target audience is, you can start planning your campaign accordingly. For example, if your target audience is on Facebook, you might want to consider running a Facebook ad campaign.

Plan your budget

Before you start your marketing campaign, you need to plan your budget. How much are you willing to spend on your campaign?

It's important to have a budget in mind before you start your campaign so that you don't overspend. Once you know how much you're willing to spend, you can start planning your campaign around that budget.

Choose the right platform

There are a lot of different marketing platforms out there, so it's important to choose the right one for your campaign. If you're not sure which platform to use, take some time to research the different options.

Once you've chosen the right platform for your campaign, you can start planning your strategy. For example, if you're planning a social media campaign, you need to decide which social media platform you're going to use and what kind of content you're going to post.

Hire a professional

If you're not sure how to run a successful marketing campaign, you might want to consider hiring a professional. A professional marketer can help you plan and execute your campaign so that you get the best results possible.

Hiring a professional might cost you a bit of money, but it's worth it if it means that your campaign is successful.


Now that you know how to run a successful marketing campaign, it's time to get started. Use these tips to plan and execute your next campaign so that you can achieve your goals.

Social Posts (unedited)

Post 1
Looking to create successful marketing campaigns? Look no further than this podcast episode! Yegor from Brainrich Kids discusses how he used data and customer relationships to grow their email list and create successful contests on KickoffLabs. He'll share his insights on how to grow an audience, maximize ROI, and more!
Post 2
Are you looking for ways to create a successful marketing campaign? Check out this episode of the On Growth podcast, where Yegor from Brainrich Kids talks about how he used data and customer relationships to grow their email list and create successful contests on KickoffLabs.


Yegor quit his six-figure job to start his own company, Brainrich, which makes indoor play gyms for kids. He had no marketing education, but he learned as he went and eventually became a professor of marketing at Bellevue College. He started selling his product by reaching out to people on Facebook and Instagram, and he eventually learned that his target audience hangs out on those platforms.

Yegor learned that the best way to increase traffic and followers on Instagram is to run giveaways and contests. He found KickoffLabs and found it easy to use and set up. His first contest was successful and he has continued to use the platform to grow his business.

Post 3

Looking for a way to engage potential customers and get them excited about your product? Look no further than contests!

In this episode, Yegor from Brainrich Kids shares some tips on running successful contests that will help grow your email list. He explains that they use KickoffLabs to run their contests and that they have been very successful in getting people to sign up and buy their product.

So what are you waiting for? Tune in and learn how you can use contests to engage potential customers and grow your business!

Original transcript used by reNotes

On Growth the KickoffLabs Podcast

Episode 36: Learn How to Use Smart Marketing and Client Relationships to Create Your Best Contest Yet

Josh:
Hi everyone. This is Josh Ledgard from KickoffLabs. Today, I'm talking with Yegor from Brainrich Kids, and he's got a really cool product, and they've been running contests on KickoffLabs that have been successful. And so we wanted to talk to him and pick his brain in terms of how he's been running the contests, what's been working really well for them to grow their email list. But before we dive into the contest, Yegor, can you tell us a little about your product?

Yegor:
Sure. So we introduced, five years ago, we started and I introduced a new product and a new category. So we make indoor play gyms for kids. It's a little mess over here, it's our prototype model. But so this is what we make, these indoor play games for kids that they can play literally inside of their homes, during bad weather, COVIDs, and whatnot. And let me get back on this. So that's what we make, we make products for kids so they can play at home during all the rainy seasons and whatnot.

Yegor:
And we don't have kids ourselves. So it's my wife and I that run this business. It's an eCommerce business. So we went the route of looking at the data, understanding customers, building communities without being the consumer ourselves. I did grow up with these things when I was a kid, so I do have a very intimate understanding what it is. But nonetheless, it's a new market for me, it's a new demographic, and it's 30 years later when I'm re-introducing this product to the US market. So 30 years ago, when I had it in Ukraine.

Yegor:
So that's a short, brief story, and I'm trying to make it a little bit relevant to your listeners.

Josh:
Before we get into the contest, can I just ask you? Something you said struck me. So when I've talked to other people who've done products for children, they've had children themselves. So can I ask what motivated you and your wife to say, "You know what? We're going to..." Because you had been working, we talked beforehand, you had been working at Microsoft in finance, correct?

Yegor:
Correct. So yeah, I did [inaudible 00:02:27]-

Josh:
And so what motivated you to say, "We're going to do this. We're going to do a product for kids."?

Yegor:
So I worked with Microsoft indeed, and I was making six figures, and I had a very comfortable and cushy job. I did have a niece. So I don't have kids myself, but my sister, she had her first niece, and then now she's about to produce a third [inaudible 00:02:49] ... one. So two girls and one guy, one little guy. He's going to come out sometime in September, in just a few months.

Josh:
Very cool.

Yegor:
So I wanted to start a business, wanted to leave a corporate world. I did finance, and I was supporting sales and marketing teams, and I managed a $12 billion business, and it was all exciting. However, I always wanted to start my own thing.


Yegor:

So I figured like, well, if I'm that smart, why don't I start my own thing? I was giving advice to all the entrepreneurs, went to all the start up weekends, and mentored startups and things like that, giving advice left and right. But then at some point, and I figured like, wait. I mean, why not me?

Yegor:
So I left six-figure job. I had 25 different ideas of what to do. Wanted to do a software, so that's why the name Brainrich came. It was supposed to be a Brainrich Software, but I ended up doing Brainrich Kids product for kids. So I don't have kids, but I did want to get one of these thanks to my niece. I grew up with these play gyms, and they greatly helped me with balance, coordination, physical development and whatnot. And I wanted to share the same thing. Couldn't find it here in the States. Then eventually, I did find it was too expensive. Reached out to them, and I said, "Hey, I'm about to leave my Microsoft job. Do you guys want me to do the drop shipping?" And they said, "What is drop shipping? We don't understand. It's too complicated. No, we don't want." And then I ended up just reaching out to a manufacturer, created my own brand, and I started.

Yegor:
There's not a word of marketing education in my resume, but I did become a professor of marketing at the local Bellevue College eventually because I learned and I tried to practice, so I learn, I practice.

Yegor:
So I don't know. I made this answer not very concise. But yeah, I don't have kids. But my sister does, and I love my nieces, so that I started for them, essentially.

Josh:
Very cool.

Josh:
So let's skip, so you've got a product, you've got a great idea, and it's for indoor play gym for kids, and you're starting to sell it. Tell me how you came across KickoffLabs. What were you trying to accomplish?

Yegor:
So I started this business very, very scrappy. I sold my first units before I even had the website, didn't even know how to take a credit card payment. So I literally used Facebook groups, and I reached out to people, and they were like, "Who are you? You don't even have kids. How can we trust you?" type of stuff. So I went like really, really long and scrappy way to do it. Then I spent a year on product development. I had to polish things, and things of that nature. Then I spent $300 in total marketing budget on the all kinds of ads, Facebook and Instagram ads, and I was picking up slowly. And then eventually, I've learned that my particular audience is hanging out in Facebook groups and Instagram, Pinterest, and things of that nature.

Yegor:
So my particular audience, right? I always tell people, "Hey, you know? You have to be like a doctor. If you are, you have to examine the patient first, and then figure out what exactly is wrong with the patient, or AKA how to sell the product to the patient." So if I say, "Hey, do Instagram because it's good for you," but your audience is not military government personnel, it's not for you maybe. You know?

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
So in my particular audience, what I've learned, where they hang out, and I've seen that, at that time, in order for me to go with the top numbers, so I needed to increase traffic, followers and all, and then so I could convert them, and down to the funnel, and essentially close my sales. So I needed to create that place. And essentially, I started my Instagram account from zero. No kids, no content, and no ability to take a phone and snap a content literally. I mean, I kind of did with my nieces. But and then I learned, look, I'd just observed, and I see, well, how did this person on Instagram created so many people? How did the other account blow out their followers?

Yegor:
Then I've learned about the bad ways, about the bots and the software, Jardi or something like that. I even tried it at the beginning, and that was a horrible, horrible idea. When you just follow, like, and do all kinds of stuff that [inaudible 00:07:04]-

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

I just Googled, and I found you guys, so that's you guys do a good job on the Google SEO, and I just found you like that. And it was very easy to set up, very easy to do it. And I believe we even had a call with you guys.

Yegor:
... five years in business, so that was about four years ago when I was exploring how do people do it? There's there must be something behind it. And the only honest way I found to do it, honest, and therefore as I've learned, the more honest you do it, the better the result is. You can do a million followers, but they will never convert if you bought them or if-

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
... you did something weird.

Yegor:
So I've learned that doing some kind of giveaways, doing some kind of contest, doing some kind of engagement is the way to do it. And then I just Googled, and I found you guys, so that's you guys do a good job on the Google SEO, and I just found you like that. And it was very easy to set up, very easy to do it. And I believe we even had a call with you guys. I'm not sure, I don't remember anymore. But it seemed like the opportunity matched, your tool matched what we were trying to do-

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
... and that's how it started, yeah.

Josh:
Cool.

Josh:
So can you tell me about the first contest you ran in KickoffLabs?

Yegor:
So the first one was trial and error. We set it up.

Yegor:
By the way, useful information for the listeners to know is that we sell a fairly high-ticket item. So these gyms, the average order value ranges from thousand to $1,200. So it's not the item that you see on Instagram there's $30, $50, and you buy it right away.

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
Most of our audience are women. They're moms that spend some time sometime in the morning and the evening, whatnot, when they have a break, they go on Instagram. They see it, they get excited, but they don't necessarily buy it right away because it is a thousand dollar item.

Yegor:
So when we were thinking about giveaway, what we can give away, we're a one product company, so we don't have like a small, medium, large, very cheap and a little bit more expensive [inaudible 00:08:57]-

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
We do it a little bit, but even the cheapest product starts at $500. So for us, and again, my $300, that was my monthly budget on ads at that time. So giving away stuff also means that we actually spent a lot of money on putting a lot of eggs in the same basket at that time. And again, it's small business when you start and everything. With $300, I think I used to spend a hundred dollars, and I was getting 18,000 views, or impressions, or whatever on Facebook. So I thought, "Well, why would I do a giveaway or a contest when I can just put this money on Facebook and get 18,000 people to see my ad?" So there was a very [inaudible 00:09:38]

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
... decision to do it. So in retrospect, after we already did it, I realized, well, first of all, it was easy to set up. We just picked an item. We did the campaign. And we just blasted to, I forgot how many followers we had on Instagram at that time. Maybe like 3,000, no more than that. It was very small. Maybe I'm wrong in this particular timeframe, but we did not have a huge base. We did not. But we wanted to make sure that we get the initial traction. We wanted to make sure that we'd get... And we were blasting it everywhere. So we set up just... If you just set up the campaign, nobody knows about it, it's kind of useless.

So when people, when you build that initial group of people that are super excited about your campaign, they spread it, and then it becomes viral.

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
So we did run ads. We messaged people literally, and you're like, "Hey, by the way, you asked us a question a month ago, and you said it was expensive for you. Why don't you enter the giveaway?" So we did a little bit of a manual stuff.

Yegor:
Then that tipping point, that the fly wheel effect, people started sharing, and this is when it start taking off. So when people, when you build that initial group of people that are super excited about your campaign, they spread it, and then it becomes viral. So I mean, we didn't get viral in the sense that we didn't get millions of impressions. But it did go viral in the sense that in the first campaign we did, if I'm not mistaken, we got about 6,000 emails as a result, which is a lot, considering, first of all, to what we invested, what we paid. And it could have been way better, but again, first campaign, never, never did it before-

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
... barely any following, and things of that nature. So it may sound like a lot, may sound like not a lot, but that's how we did it, yeah.

Josh:
No. And just to, if you don't mind me sharing some of what, I'm looking at some of the data from the first campaign. And it's very typical of KickoffLabs, I mean, so I'm happy to see. Whenever I look at these numbers, I'm like, "Yes, this is exactly what we're going for."

Yegor:
Yeah.

Josh:
You know? I can see you had, of the few thousand leads you got in the first campaign, well over a thousand of them came from the sharing. And it, in fact, ends up being around a little bit over 30% of the leads were coming from the sharing. And you got-

Yegor:
Mm-hmm.

Josh:
... not only the leads, but you got several thousand views from the sharing, as well. So even people that didn't show up or didn't sign up, they were sharing it, and other people were coming in. Like [inaudible 00:12:01] people were coming in and viewing it, and so getting at least an impression of your product, which is probably a win. What was some-

Yegor:
Yeah. [inaudible 00:12:09]-

Josh:
I can see you did have around, or a few hundred people came from ads, which is pretty successful. Do you you remember how much money you spent on ads for this campaign?

Yegor:
Barely anything, 10 bucks a day. Barely anything, and the campaign was, I forgot what it was, five days or so. So barely anything, because we just didn't know. We were running ads. You know? We were running re-targeting ads and other ads regardless, because here's the thing. Not only we did the giveaway campaign, right? We had the whole marketing machine attached to it. Meaning that people subscribe, and somebody shares and says, "What is Brainrich Kids?" And then they go on the website, and they check it out. So from that point on, we don't want to lose them, even if they didn't give us emails. So we still have re-targeting campaign.

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
We still potentially close someone on that, even from those, so we were still...

Yegor:
And on the website, we also have a pop-up saying like, "Hey, sign up for our best deals," or whatnot. So we were still trying to get it.

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
If not this way, then this way. If not this way, then maybe that way.

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
So we were trying to do multiple things.

Yegor:
And we were learning. We were also looking at the comments that people are leaving on social. So people share. We go on Facebook, and we see, oh, you've been mentioned. And then we were seeing like well, are people commenting? And they were saying, "Well, and I mean, there's no chance that I'm going to win." I'm like oh, interesting comment. I took a note of that. Another time, they were like, "What is this? Why are you sharing?" And then they would go on the website and check it out. That's fine. There's nothing I can do with it.

Yegor:
But that little comment that made me think. Because when you have an item, a Super Bowl, or lottery, or this, some people never believe that they will win anything. So we started thinking, "Okay. Well, we only have one item to do. Then maybe we should do something different for next time. Maybe we should do instead of just one big giveaway, maybe we can do one big grand price, and then the second, third, fifth place. Maybe we can do if there's a leader in the board that shared 5,000 shares, and you are just starting and getting one point as a reward for sharing just one time, and somebody already did 5,000, there's no way you can win." So and that's what people were thinking. So we tried to take a note of that, and tried to incorporate it in our next campaign-

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
... those little learnings.

Josh:
So-

Yegor:
Yeah?

In the modern day, you have to build a community, regardless. Even if you start with the product.

Josh:
... I want to drill in. I think that's a great learning, and I do want to get into that more on the second campaign. Going back to the first campaign for a moment, a lot of the leads were coming from social, and you mentioned that people were talking about you on social. Were you going into the groups and promoting the contest, or were you just advertising targeting to the Facebook groups?

Yegor:
So you know? In the modern day, you have to build a community, regardless. Even if you start with the product. I don't believe in Amazon. Those are not businesses. Those are like quick buck turnaround type of stuff. So if you want to build a business, you do need to build a community of fans. So we started building our own Facebook group. At that time, it was rather small. Right now, we have about 15,000 people in that community. Not all of them are buyers, but it's a great place to nurture, right? Especially when you sell an expensive product.

Yegor:
So we did post in our own group. However, there are other groups for parents, and we did take advantage of them, as well. Sometimes if you join a Facebook group for whoever that is, parents or what, doesn't matter, almost nobody likes when you try to sell to them.

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
However, when there's a contest, we joined, for example, group for parents, and we'd say like, "Hey, I know this group was discussing this item, whatever, and you guys thought it was expensive," if you try to go an expensive route, right? If they objection it, "Oh, it's expensive," then you make a comment. "Hey, I know. We know it's expensive. But if you want to have a chance to win, and by the way, your chances are winning are like 27 millions better than winning the Powerball, for instance." So we tried to do a little incentive, and say like, "Hey, it's actually possible for you to win," and we did take advantage of groups. Not a lot. We're talking about literally five or 10 groups literally, not more. And actually, only two of them were our... What do you call it? Moneymakers, so to speak, in general.

Yegor:
And again, those posts, they live forever in those groups. The contest ended, but the post is still there. So that's why we did it for multiple reasons. You know?

When I spend a dollar in marketing, I can get return in multiple ways, right? So I'm trying to maximize it.

Josh:
And I want to ask about the re-targeting, because you mentioned the use of re-targeting. Were you using re-targeting to target people that didn't enter the contest, but visited the contest site? And were you trying to get them to enter the contest, or were you just adding them to a general re-targeting list for your product to get them to come back and potentially buy your product, or both?

Yegor:
Yeah. So simple concept. I don't know if this is too rudimentary and all. But I have a business. I have a cost of... You know? I have sales, and I have cost of sales, and I have marketing, cost of the inventory, and I have marketing expense. When I spend a dollar in marketing, I can get return in multiple ways, right? So I'm trying to maximize it. What I mean by that, I know that I pay per a visitor of the website, no matter where they come in, certain amount of cents. I pay per click certain amount of cents. I pay for this [inaudible 00:17:44]-

Josh:
Yep.

If I get a click to the website, I can learn, I can teach Facebook Pixel. Facebook Pixel will pick up better audience, will find better lookalike audience.

Yegor:
So when I'm giving away a very expensive item, I want to maximize that. So what can I get? If people don't buy, I'm thinking like I'm [inaudible 00:17:53] ... okay, what can I get? Okay, if I get a click to the website, I can learn, I can teach Facebook Pixel. Facebook Pixel will pick up better audience, will find better lookalike audience. Okay, that's great for me, too. So you see, I was trying to see beyond just the giveaway campaign. I was trying to see what I can do. How much I'm willing to pay for the email. Is it really important for me to share on TikTok or Instagram? What's more important for me, to follow me on Instagram or email? So all of that, I have values assigned.

Yegor:
So back to re-targeting and the ad campaigns. So we're still playing with it. My system is not a perfect system. But essentially, I'm looking at the behavior. So if it is more convenient for people that never heard of me just land on the contest page and get all the information from there, then be it. If I see the behavior that people go click here, and then they go on our website, and they search, okay, I will try to place all those buckets where I can collect them. You know? The email pop-up here, like, "Sign up here."

I don't want it to be confusing, and I want it to be super valuable.

Yegor:
So I was trying, and again, not a perfect system. But the idea, the idea was if I'm already spending all this money, people share. And first of all, I don't want it to be confusing, and I want it to be super valuable. So when Sarah is sharing with Jane, and Jane never heard of the company before, she clicks on the link, or she goes, I wanted to get her excited. The person who never heard of a company, and I didn't want it to look like a spam. You know? "Follow me, follow me. Like or vote for me in the contest." I wanted to avoid that kind of behavior in other words.

If your friend wins, you actually win exactly the same prize. So think about psychology of what it does.

Yegor:
So that's why, I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but one of the key things that we didn't invent it most likely, but the idea came to us and most likely other people did it. But we figured why don't we incentivize friends? So for instance, you're my friend, right? So you share, you share this with me. And let's say, I won. Wouldn't that make you feel upset? You're like, "Oh, dude. I told you about this campaign. You end up winning and I end up not winning?"

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
So we actually had this little message. So okay. If your friend wins, you actually win exactly the same prize. So think about psychology of what it does.

Josh:
Yeah, yeah. No, that's... You're one of the first people I've heard to say that, so that's a great idea. So you, in the second contest, and I'm just paraphrasing what you said here so the audience gets it, too, is you said, "There's basically going to be two winners, is that if your friend wins that you referred, then if you referred them, we're also going to let you be a winner."

Yegor:
Exactly.

Josh:
And you're going to give them the same price.

Yegor:
Exactly. So you share with 10 friends, you just increased your own chances tenfold essentially. So that's why, and then the next... I mean, it's like building a pyramid scheme, but for good, right? Because we're trying-

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
... to reward people. So that's the idea.

Yegor:
From the technological standpoint, it's a little bit difficult to do it. So we have to run a little bit of a trust-based system. Because whoever wins, it's like, "Oh, I referred him, I referred him." So we have to check from the technology standpoint. But we did fine. You know? We were able to validate the who referred and all that stuff, so we were able to do it just fine.

Yegor:
But yeah, the idea is not to make it look like spam. So you probably, any of us, once in a lifetime, got hit by a fitness friend who runs some contest that needs your vote, or somebody's kids that run a contest and he's just like, "Just click on this picture and vote for this. Don't look at anything else. Just vote for me." So I mean, I still do it as a friend, but nonetheless, I'm not interested.

Yegor:
Versus here. You know? First of all, that we... And again, the idea is not to get anyone, or 10,000, 50, a hundred thousand emails. We want qualified emails, right?

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
So we are also thinking about that, as well. So when you share with friend and everything, so we were trying to design... Again, not a perfect system, but we were trying to maximize usefulness, right? Maximize the quality of our list and leads to be generated, as well.

Yegor:
So yeah, because with these contests, sometimes, unfortunately, or giveaways, or whatnot, sometimes, you do get a lot of volume, and that could be not exactly the best quality. You know? Like friends of friends, and teenagers. Our audience is not a teenager, but we can get emails of daughters and sons of our customers and whatnot. So we try not to do that, but again, there's still some challenges.

Josh:
And so I love that mechanic, and I think that plays in great with the KickoffLabs' core concept of getting people to refer friends and being engaged in the competition. And one of the other things you did was you took advantage of the actions within KickoffLabs to get people to earn more entry. So besides referring friends, which you get them three entries additional, you had some actions to get them to visit and share on Facebook, to share on Messenger, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, et cetera.

Yegor:
Yeah.

Josh:
And so can you tell me, did you measure a decent? Did you get results in the terms of the audience growth in the other channels besides email from doing the competitions, as well?

Now we know that it's an expensive item, we're like let's collect email, let's share as much value as possible, and then we will close them and sell.

Yegor:
We did, because one of the requirements was... So in the early days, we relied heavily on Facebook and Instagram, including plus the ads, right? So our main objective was, hey, let's grow Instagram following, because our Instagram is our portfolio. This is where people can go and see what we sell because they don't know what these things are. So that was literally our catalog, Instagram was our catalog. So our initial idea was like, hey, let's bring everybody to Instagram. They scroll, they look at it, and then they buy. Nowadays, we do it differently. Now we know that it's an expensive item, we're like let's collect email, let's share as much value as possible, and then we will close them and sell. So during the giveaway campaign, yes, we did know it because it was one of the requirements, join our Facebook group and join our Instagram, follow, like, and all of these things. So follow the post, share the post, and that was there. Obviously, we did get the boost in following.

We kept reminding people. Like, "Hey, three days left, two days left." And then we would throw in some fun facts.

Yegor:
And also what we did was kind we kept reminding people. Like, "Hey, three days left, two days left." And then we would throw in some fun facts. We would say like, "Hey, thousand people entered. Your chance is one out of a thousand. Sounds like not a high chance, but the chances of winning Powerball is one out of 27 million." You know? And we literally took those stats, and we said like, "It takes you a second to enter. I mean, why not? Because it's a [inaudible 00:24:55]" ... You know? Like GEICO says-

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
"15 minutes can save you whatever dollars or more." [inaudible 00:25:00]-

Josh:
Yep, exactly.

Yegor:
... it's the same thing. Like one email can get you a thousand bucks or whatnot.


And then also, the idea was, we didn't execute it really well, but it is expensive for us do these giveaways because it's a thousand dollars item. But in the future, what we will be doing, we'll be giving away other people's items." And I've seen it working successfully. I'm pretty sure you probably even had people on podcasts doing that, join forces and join [inaudible 00:25:24]-

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
So that's another thing that we will be definitely doing, because we did realize and saw that we could have done it cheaper, more effectively, and things like that. [inaudible 00:25:32]-

Josh:
Yeah. Cross pollinating audiences is a huge best practice in the contest. So you get the advantage of you each get to share an audience, you each get to expose each other's customers. And so if you've got complimentary products, it can work really well.

Yegor:
So yeah. And also, so I told you, right? Refer a friend, become a winner. But we also noticed that if you do have one big item, sometimes, it discourages people. How do we know? We literally read comments, right? So we're trying to gather that qualitative data from the [inaudible 00:26:04]-

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
... group activity and all that, we're trying to pick up the segment. So for our particular case, we saw that that was the thing.

Yegor:
So we also did, I think we had about 10 prizes, and the smallest one was just $25. So we did also throw in store credits, because store credit. You know? You have this is how much you sell the item for, but you have a margin. So when you give this much-

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
... store credit, it actually costs you this much, right?

Josh:
Yeah, yeah.

Yegor:
But we did that. So it's cheaper way for us to add more value. And we were saying like, "Hey, we just hit whatever, this many participants. We're going to throw in an extra item." So I don't remember if you actually did it or not, but that was an idea, as well. So we were trying to keep incentivizing-

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
... people to share, yeah.

Josh:
So [inaudible 00:26:52] ... and this brings up two questions. So my first question is that leads me to, so during the campaign while each of these contests are running, you were emailing people that were participants in the contest and presumably your larger email list, as well. How frequently were you emailing people? And it sounds like your example message was reminding people like, "You can win. It's still, it's only one of a thousand." Like, "It's great odds. Keeping on sharing-"

Yegor:
Yeah.

Josh:
"... and telling your friends." So how often and what were the types of messages you were sending?

Yegor:
So don't quote me on that because it's I might be a little wrong here, but we did run everyone through a welcome series-

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
... welcome series emails. Because we assume that some of these people never heard of us, maybe somebody clicked accidentally because the friend shared and asked for a favor, and things like that. But we still wanted to educate. Because for example, you may not have a kid and you just entered your email and all. But what if I educate you still, and say like, "Hey. By the way, these are cool things." And we didn't say, "If it's not for you, then share this email." But we wanted to-

And while people are waiting for the result, that we had extremely high open rates, email, extremely high open rates. Because they wanted to know if somebody won or not. And we would throw a curve ball.

Josh:
[inaudible 00:28:00]-

Yegor:
"Hey. Since we got your email, we're going to make an attempt to educate you anyways." So we did run welcome email series. And because these were contests, I mean, yeah, we did play a little bit with those. Like not exactly click bait email titles, but something like, "Oh, no! did you see what happened with the contest?" I mean, this is not the exact email title, but there was something similar.

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
And people that, and while people are waiting for the result, that we had extremely high open rates, email, extremely high open rates. Because they wanted to know if somebody won or not. And we would throw a curve ball.

Yegor:
We actually did... Oh, at the end of the campaign. Let me do this step by step. So we did send a text message, as well. I don't remember if it was through KickoffLabs or if we did it through another platform that we did at that time, because we were always switching the platforms and tracking.

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
But we did send a text message, as well. And we did get last minute signups, but we did have that excitement curve, the same thing. You know? Like people get excited [inaudible 00:29:05]-

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
... yeah, like they learn about it, they get excited. And then there's still a drop down in activity, and then people just sit and wait. And they're like, "Okay, I already share with everybody I could. One or two extra little efforts is not going to change, make a difference." So we saw that behavior, too.

Yegor:
So text message, emails, and stories and posts on Instagram. We were trying to blast it from all corners. Yeah.

Josh:
Cool. And so we've talked a lot about the audience growth on the social channels, we've talked about the audience growth in emails. And I guess the one question people always have for me, and because they can be skeptical, is like, "Okay, so let's pretend I do get these thousands of email addresses. Do these people end up buying the product? So do you have success of people that signed up and then bought the product, or that you re-targeted to after the contest that bought your product?" Because I mean, that's ultimately what you're after, right? You're not after building email lists.

Yegor:
Right.

Josh:
You're after selling the product. The email list is just part of that nurturing step.

Yegor:
So our concept, and it's not common. I must say in this day and age, we never do discounts. We just never do discounts. We never run promos. No matter if it's a Godmother's day or even Christmas, we never run promos. Because we said, "Listen, these things are already expensive. We build high quality product, and it costs us a lot of money to make it. If we overcharge to allow us to do the discounts, it's going to be even more expensive, and it's not going to be fair for somebody who pays a fair, the price." It's our case. I only know a few companies that I can mention that draw on the same stuff. Usually now, especially if you're on Amazon, whatever, it's like you cannot even sell if you don't offer a discount. And I call it like level zero marketing. You know? You get a marketing job, you don't know what to do, you just throw a discount and you sell. You know?

What we did, instead of discount, we like to call it earned discounts. So because people entered the campaign, at the end of the campaign, we emailed everyone. Said like, "Hey, I know you didn't win, but here's an incentive." And we would bundle.

Yegor:
But to your point, what we did, instead of discount, we like to call it earned discounts. So because people entered the campaign, at the end of the campaign, we emailed everyone. Said like, "Hey, I know you didn't win, but here's an incentive." And we would bundle. So we would add an add-on to it. So we'd say like, "Hey, we'll throw in a swing for you, and it's like almost $30 value. We're just going to give it to you for free because you participated." Store credit's the same thing. So we would do store credits for participation.

Yegor:
So store credit and discount are very different, because a store credit... And everywhere we did, we had the time sensitive, the scarcity thing. So we'd say like, "For the next..." And we always play with this message, and so we'd say, "Within a week you can use this store credit, or within this," or whatever. So we tried to incentivize it that way, but we never discount the products, saying like, "Hey, there's this discount code," and just do that.

We did want to run welcome series, and we are actually about to do yet another one email cleanup effort. Because yes, you do want quality lists.

Yegor:
So of course the campaign is over, but your efforts are not over. So precisely because you might have gotten a whole lot of emails that are not qualified, that may not be [inaudible 00:32:11]-

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

We even sent an email that if you win and you already bought it, we'll refund you. But some people didn't want to wait. They learned about these things, and we still get increased boost in sales, email list growth, and the post purchase impact.

Yegor:
... your customers, so we did want to run welcome series, and we are actually about to do yet another one email cleanup effort. Because yes, you do want quality lists. And we look at the sales.

Yegor:
Actually, we did get tremendous amount of sales during the contest. Because people believe that, okay. And it wasn't actually, I think we even sent an email that if you win and you already bought it, we'll refund you. But some people didn't want to wait. They learned about these things, and we still get increased boost in sales, email list growth, and the post purchase impact, we also have that. Absolutely.

Josh:
Very cool. Very cool.

Yegor:
Yeah.

Refer a friend, and this is literally an absolute thing for us to do.

Josh:
So you told me beforehand or maybe during the interview, you guys are in the process of planning your next competition. So what have you learned from these two that you're going to try implementing in the next competition you run?

Should start actually before you launch the campaign. So that's our new approach. We are going to hint people, like, "Hey, something is about to happen." Because that excitement curve, we need to boost it.

Yegor:
So just like I mentioned, right? Refer a friend, and this is literally an absolute thing for us to do. We will try to do more than one. So it will probably not be 10 items that we'll give. So what we did do, we did like one of these, two of these, and then three of the cheaper items, that type of stuff. But the campaign starts, should start actually before you launch the campaign. So that's our new approach. We are going to hint people, like, "Hey, something is about to happen." Because that excitement curve, we need to boost it and do... You know? [inaudible 00:33:46]-

Josh:
Yep.

Yegor:
Do a little bit of a boost on these things.

Yegor:
So KickoffLabs is a tool and, just like any tool in technology, is not exactly perfect, right? So people, some people know how to tweak it, and trick it, and do all of these things. So we've learned that is a great, it's great to have those top performers. So we will reserve a price based on the amount of activities we have. But we will not put all the best price in that. Why? So we actually did a drawing.

Yegor:
Oh, by the way. At the end of the campaign, we did Instagram Live and Facebook Live. And when we were literally hitting the bottom, "Random. Look, it's random." So we were showing people that it was completely fair, because sometimes people have disbelief that, "Oh, you may be giving it to your friend." And nowadays, a lot of campaigns look staged. So there will be live presentation of the results for sure.

Yegor:
Those top performers, whatever they are, we'll see by the numbers, we will bucket them together, and we will do a drawing only amongst them. Assuming that maybe there's some bots, maybe there are some shooters, whatever.

Josh:
Yeah.

So she could be something very small, but we want to make a hero out of someone who is really small, who doesn't have a chance, an underdog, in other words.

Yegor:
But we'll still give them benefit of the doubt, and we will... Because it will be 10 top performers, so the chances will be one out of 10 instead of one out of the whole bucket thing. So we will do special gift for them.

Yegor:
And we will do, and we will also try to look for a hero. That's another thing. It's manual. But you look at the comments, you look at all the impressions that you make, and you find this one little thing. "I'm a single mom of three, and I never win, and I don't believe in this thing." We will find her, and we will give her something, and she will be so happy. And she could have 200 followers, you know? So she could be something very small, but we want to make a hero out of someone who is really small, who doesn't have a chance, an underdog, in other words.

Josh:
Mm-hmm.

Yegor:
And we will try and boost that underdog story, as well. Because the next campaign, so when you finish this campaign, you always have another-

Josh:
Yes.

Yegor:
... one, right? So next campaign, people will be, "Oh, that lady. She was an underdog," and they're not going to call her underdog.

Josh:
Yeah.

Every week, you may have different strategies. Because the saturation, the tiredness, the people get used to it. So we do it so rare that when we actually do it, people jump on it, as well. Tremendous amount of value.

Yegor:
"But she won, and so this time I will participate because I can." You know? We will try to make people believe that they will have more and more chances. So I believe those were my top suggestions. And maybe there were some small [inaudible 00:36:10]...

Being open, being crystal clear and everything is very important. I believe having that transparency.

Yegor:
So and again, success of our campaigns. Also, because we don't do it on a daily basis, we do it only once in a while. So if you have campaigns-

Josh:
Yes.

And yeah, and try to think beyond what you spent on just KickoffLabs, on the item.

Yegor:
... every week, you may have different strategies. Because the saturation, the tiredness, the people get used to it. So we do it so rare that when we actually do it, people jump on it, as well. Tremendous amount of value. Again, very, very important. Being open, being crystal clear and everything is very important. I believe having that transparency.

Yegor:
And yeah, and try to think beyond what you spent on just KickoffLabs, on the item. Just try to think beyond. Try to think-

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
You know? Of the email list, the followers, and the long-term things. So that's my last couple of words of advice. Yeah.

Josh:
No, that's great. Because I mean, that's exactly what we'd like people to... That's exactly that you've gotten the message hidden in what we do, which is exactly what we want people to take away, is that it's not just even the specific campaign, it's the results you can get all around the campaign. You know? The extra views on your site. Even if no one buys, the fact that people are learning about you. And you might not even hear about it from the campaign. They might have learned about you, and they might have told their friend in person, like, "Hey, check this thing out. This is interesting," right?

Yegor:
Yeah.

Josh:
And they tell someone, and there's never any way you'll ever be able to measure that kind of thing. But these follow on benefits that you're getting are benefiting your business long term.

But you gave a list of, let's say, essentially marketing techniques of what could be done, and you can just literally pick and choose. And sometimes, that actually makes you think, "Ah, yeah. Maybe we should focus on sharing versus like, or this versus that."

Yegor:
And by the way, you guys did give us a couple tips inadvertently, right? When I was setting up the campaign, I've looked at it. "Oh, share on Twitter, and like." I mean, I'm just saying basic stuff, right?

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
But sometimes, because you have a list of possible activities, I'm like, "Huh, maybe we should focus on that, too." And then when it comes to the list of 25, "Okay, too many things. Maybe let's cut this." But you gave a list of, let's say, essentially marketing techniques of what could be done, and you can just literally pick and choose. And sometimes, that actually makes you think, "Ah, yeah. Maybe we should focus on sharing versus like, or this versus that."

Josh:
Yes.

Yegor:
In that aspect, the tool was really helpful.

Josh:
Cool. I'm happy to hear that.

Josh:
Well, this has been educational for me. I know it's been educational for the audience. I love some of the fresh takes you've had on running contests, from having people where the friend wins, too, and thinking about bucketizing. Because that's something we tell people, bucketizing. Like what are you doing for the high end people? And then what are you doing for, as you call them, the underdogs? And you have to have a pull for both of those audiences. So I think you've gotten some really great concepts on how you create that pull for both sides of your audience, your influencers and your non-influencers that are still important customers.

Yegor:
Mm-hmm.

Josh:
And I look forward to seeing the results from your next contest. And maybe in a while, we'll have you back and say like, "Here, our next contest was 10 times as successful as these were even and not, and this is how we did it." Because I know people will be learning from this interview. So thank you very much for your time.

Yegor:
Absolutely. So next time, we'll be launching a new product. So we're also attaching a little bit of a announcement to it, so -it will be even more exciting.

Josh:
Very cool.

Yegor:
Thank you so much. Thank you for having us.

Josh:
Yeah.

Yegor:
... thank you. Good luck to everyone.

Josh:
Thanks. Thanks, bye.

Yegor:
Okay, bye-bye.

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