Viral marketing - call to action for free service


We're starting a service with a specific value for many home owners, still don't know if many will subscribe.
Social networks such as Facebook and others don't work for the profiles that we target. We'd like to encourage participants to invite their friends through email to subscribe too, but since the service is free I'm not sure how we can push them to take action soon. How would you formulate a call to action for a free service?

Marketing Viral

asked May 2 '10 at 04:44
111 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


Why not learn from stack exchange? Make a provision for something like reputations and award high points to top referral providers.

answered Nov 9 '10 at 13:44
Prateek Mishra
137 points


How about giving them some incentive? What exactly are you offering? Do they need support? If there is a specific value for the user, then there should be a way to accelerate or enhance the benefit for said users.

I am thinking outside the box:

  • better support time for those who refer 3 people
  • accelerated review time (assuming they are applying for something)
  • tshirt or gift card if they refer 10 people

There must be some value for each additional person using your service; try giving 5-10% of that value back to the referrer and it should really increase the amount of people using your service

Good Luck!

answered Jun 28 '10 at 23:21
Jeff Epstein
1,532 points
  • Thanks, I might try the gift card idea with a number of points per customer they refer. – User2387 14 years ago
  • Great! Good luck! – Jeff Epstein 14 years ago


I would absolutely say that for step 1, emphasize the value and make it easy, easy, easy for them to recommend to friends. Monitor the success of that. Only then should you consider throwing prizes at it.

I was going to do an iPad giveaway to incent our users to recruit new customers and a friend at an agency told me to Google "Free iPad Giveaway" and the listings went on forever. It can seem like SPAM or a scam.

Make it about the value first. Make it easy. That should get some action. Then scale from there.

answered Oct 8 '10 at 23:48
4,214 points


Using existing tools such as Facebook's "like" button can also draw people to your site.

answered Jul 28 '10 at 10:24
Susan Jones
4,128 points
  • Thanks, but my audience if probably 40+ and less facebook minded. – User2387 14 years ago

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