Growth Newsletter #067
Welcome to the 952 new marketers and founders who joined last week!
This week we're covering word of mouth (and referrals), offboarding, and product page copywriting
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This week's Insights
When starting a referral program, research your online word of mouth
Insight from Demand Curve.
Referrals are like adding fuel to your existing word of mouth (WOM) fire. They encourage WOM by offering an incentive for recommending your business to others.
While you’re investing in building a referral program, do some research to see if people who are already referring you organically want to do so formally.
Two ways to find organic referrals: 1) Check your site analytics, and 2) dig into your social media.
1. Site analytics
Check which sites are referring significant traffic to yours. In Google Analytics, navigate to the Acquisition tab > All Traffic > Source/Medium.
If a source in your list is reputable and speaks fondly of your product, reach out to them. See if you can form a relationship and test a formal referral program.
Set up goal tracking in Google Analytics to measure the number of new users who visit your site from a referral source. Use that as a source of truth when negotiating compensation or other forms of incentives with partner websites.
2. Social media
To find out how customers are talking about your business organically, do some social listening.
- On Twitter: In the advanced search window, type your product and business’s name in brackets in the “any of these words” section. This will show you all the public tweets that mention your business or product name. You can also use Tweetdeck to track mentions. Engage with high-quality posters. See if they’re willing to join your formal referral program.
- On LinkedIn: In the search bar, type the name of your business. Then click Posts > Date Posted. Set the time frame to “past month.” Click Show Results > Sort By > Latest > Show Results. You now have a filtered list of all the posts from the last month that mentioned your business. Search the results for any that speak highly of your brand. Reach out to see if they’d be willing to join your program.
For more on referrals, check out our process for launching a program here.
Optimize your customer offboarding flow
Insight from ProfitWell.
Some companies make customers jump through hoops to cancel their subscriptions.
Instead of offering easy, online cancellation, they force customers to cancel by phone during business hours. Or if they do offer an online cancellation option, they make it difficult to find.
But these tactics are unethical and, in some cases, can even lead to legal action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
You should make it easy and straightforward for customers to cancel your service. Remove the friction.
Customers aren’t necessarily lost forever when they cancel. Some might return at a later time. Others might reconsider and decide to stay. Whatever the case, a smooth offboarding flow should accomplish two things:
- Allow customers to leave, easily, on a positive note.
- Without adding friction to the cancellation process, entice users to stick around.
Here are five tips for creating a smoother offboarding experience:
- Make cancellation as easy as the method used to buy or sign up. If customers can sign up easily online, they should also be able to cancel easily online. Simple as that.
- Remind users of your product’s key benefits. Consider how Canva (left) reiterates the features users will miss out on by canceling—it even shows an example image comparing its free and pro plans. This is more likely to persuade users to stay than Otter.ai’s approach (right).
- Give users an option to pause their subscription or skip a month. Sometimes the reason customers want to leave is a matter of timing, or something else outside of your control. By offering the ability to pause or temporarily deactivate their accounts, you can stop customers from leaving altogether. And if you note that you’ll save their data, there’s a better chance they’ll return later on.
- Include a “salvage” offer to retain customers. If you sell a subscription, offer a discount to renew customers’ contracts. Or, depending on your product, offer users an extension of their trial (e.g., for another 60 days) or the ability to swap out a product for another one. Just be sure to present your salvage offer alongside your cancellation option—you don’t want customers to feel cornered.
- Make it easy to identify the cause of cancellation. Set up a quick, one-question survey with options like “Too expensive,” “Technical issues,” or “Switching to another product.” Include an optional field where users can add any comments. Don’t ask for a phone call to collect feedback—it can feel like a burden and further sour unhappy customer experiences.
A framework for writing better product descriptions
Insight from Mathias von Appen Schrøder.
Try this copywriting framework to create more compelling product descriptions:
- List all of the product’s features.
- For each feature, explain its benefit(s).
- For each benefit, explain its value. In other words, translate each benefit into its real-life implications—state why customers should care about it. For extra punch, inject emotionally appealing language at this step.
Here’s an example of this framework applied to a reusable water bottle.
Feature → Benefit → Value
- Wide bottle mouth → Faster refills → You can spend less time standing at a water dispenser—and more time running, hiking, etc.
- Straw lid → Easy sipping → Since you don’t have to twist off a bottle lid, you can drink with just one hand—perfect when you’re on the road.
- Double-wall vacuum insulation → Protects liquid's temperature for hours → You can be refreshed for any adventure with your drink either as cold or hot as you’d like.
Courtesy of @coreykindberg.
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— Neal & Justin, and the DC team.