Viral marketing tools are one of the best ways to get traffic and leads and within your niche fast.
What’s great about viral marketing is the huge impact it has in generating buzz for your business or startup that can help bring it to the next level.
And, there are several different types of viral marketing campaigns that you can employ using the 14 viral marketing software tools listed in this article.
Below, we’ll do a quick review of what these types of campaigns are so you can understand the effects that the tools shared can have.
The Four Types of Viral Marketing Campaigns
- Referral campaigns
- Viral contests or raffle contests
- Gamified leaderboard points contests
- Milestone referrals
How the Campaigns Work
Viral marketing campaigns can be integrated into your emails, popups, app, or web pages. They encourage people to take part in the campaign by receiving incentives for sharing your product or service with others (or taking similar actions such as liking your Facebook page, sharing your campaign via tweets, etc.) or getting signups for your product or service. Each user gets their own unique referral ID, which allows the tool to keep track of the user’s activities when sharing. They effectively become net promoters for you.
These incentives can be for the user to receive perks towards your product or service based on how many referrals you get from them (referral campaign), level-based for higher levels of access to your product or service (milestone campaign), the incentive could be accruing raffle tickets to win a big prize via random drawing (raffle campaign), or winning a prize as a result of winning a leaderboard contest via accruing the most points (leaderboard campaign).
Below, you’ll find some of the best viral marketing tools out there with examples of their campaigns.
We don’t list pricing because the pricing can change and become outdated.
Additionally, at the end of this post, we provide you with a no-brainer strategy that will help your viral marketing campaign be more effective.
Top 14 Viral Marketing Tools
Gleam is one more popular platforms and works very well across multiple platforms. You can run contests and rewards-based campaigns. It’s simple and it works great for contests. I’ve used it as a contestant a few times and enjoyed its ease-of-use. They also have other lead generation tools for timed opt-in forms. Below is a viral marketing example of a Facebook contest.
Created by the massively successful company AppSumo / Sumo, KingSumo is a viral contest/giveaway marketing tool. The more you share a contest, the more entries you get to win the raffle and win the top prize(s). It’s easy to use and it integrates with WordPress. Their pricing is easy — one flat fee for a lifetime of use — not bad! It integrates sharing on social media platforms and you can decide how many entries a person gets per share per platform.
KingSumo is expanding its offerings to include other types of viral marketing tools such as email referral campaigns, so they’re only going to keep getting better.
Moreover, people can share on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram and like on Facebook. Plus people can share the campaign link with their unique ID and get more contest entries from referrals. And, it integrates with MailChimp, GetResponse, CampaignMonitor, ConvertKit, and ActiveCampaign.
3) Viral Loops
Viral Loops is one of the better viral marketing tools out there. However, it’s also one of the most expensive tools to generate leads via viral promotions. You can run milestone referral campaigns, e-commerce referral campaigns, refer-a-friend, startup pre-launch, altruistic referral campaigns, and leaderboard giveaways.
With Vyper, you can do viral sweepstakes, interactive popups to make customers earn coupons, leaderboard giveaways, and content upgrades with Vyper. In addition, you can try any plan for free. You pay only when you’re ready to start the campaign.
A plug-and-play solution to set up successful referral campaigns within minutes. It can be used for product launches, product giveaways, milestone referrals, refer-a-friend to unlock goodies, coupon-driven lead magnets, and ambassador programs. You can choose a free plan for up to 250 subscribers and one campaign, or buy up into their monthly or quarterly plans. What’s more, they’re a very attractive option with reasonable pricing.
UnTorch has a fully automated referral program for email signups. It’s pretty simple — people get rewards when other people share your campaign.They charge a one-time annual fee per campaign, but only after you try it and are pleased with your campaign. And, you can collect as many emails as you want — no restrictions.
Entice allows you to grow your email list through referral marketing. They offer a free trial for 14 days and you can have unlimited referral campaigns and unlimited subscribers at $20/month. It works with “all email marketing services” but that’s not realistic. However, you can set up your campaign in minutes without a developer. Dare I say it’s en “enticing” service?
Wishpond has 9 different types of contests. They have bonus entry contests, sweepstakes, photo contest, hashtag contest, vote contest, referral contest, caption contest, video contest, and coupon promotion. Wishpond has several other services, but we won’t go into them here. The contests cannot be bought separately from other services, so you’ll have to check out their pricing page.
Heyo offers eight different social promotions. They have sweepstakes contests, a photo contest, a video contest, Instagram sweepstakes, Twitter sweepstakes, landing pages, a multi-media format contest, and viral sweepstakes. That’s a lot of great viral marketing contests!
Viral Sweep has 8 different types of lead generation campaigns. They have basic sweepstakes, contests with user-generated content, instant win contests, email forms, commenting giveaways, hashtag entry campaigns, promoted campaigns via influencers on their platform, and partner promotion campaigns via their networking platform.
Contest Domination is a powerful lead generation platform with no limits on traffic, referrals, social followers, and email opt-ins. Instead, they have a different kind of pricing strategy, which allows you to pay per contest or pay for unlimited plans billed annually. Moreover, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
With UpViral, you can have a fully customizable referral link system and a highly customizable rewards system. They have easy setup and admin controls, simple integration with all major autoresponders, and a great analytics and metrics tool with security protocols to eliminate cheating and abuse by users. UpViral allows you to A/B split test your lead magnet, which most of the other platforms do not.
AppVirality has referral tools for mobile apps and for SaaS products. You can configure reward rules, customize the design of the campaign display, integrate with many CRMs, and get analytics and metrics from their dashboard.
GrowSurf is a viral marketing tool for referral marketing that allows you to have unlimited campaigns, collect unlimited contacts or leads, and have flexible rewards for both free and paid versions. Launch refer-a-friend campaigns, viral contests, leaderboards, and pre-launch waitlists in minutes with their easy-to-use referral program software. There are API and email integrations, embedded forms, CTA buttons, and hosted page forms. And the cherry on top is that it’s only $49/mo for their premium plan.
Referral marketing, contests, and viral marketing, in general, is a powerful method for marketing your business.
However, remember that these tools are NOT a silver bullet. In order for these campaigns to have a viral effect, you need to do several things.
Here’s the no-brainer viral marketing campaign strategy I suggest you consider following:
- Have effective incentives
- Collections of books or resources
- Paid accounts for your product/service — for free
- Gift cards or a physical prize
- Get it on your website – front and center
- Have your own tribe, or following of people, who will share your viral marketing campaign
- Market it like crazy across all of the big relevant social media channels. You can use the following posts I wrote to help you with your social media marketing.
- Market it to your email list subscribers and add it into your email nurture campaign.
- Promote it in other places where your niche can be found
- Ask friends to share your viral campaign
- Launch paid ads to promote your campaign
The benefits usually outweigh the costs of these viral marketing tools. Moreover, these tools won’t disappoint you if you employ an effective strategy to promote the campaigns you create. Why? Because the chances are that after your first campaign, you’ll probably come back for more.
What type of viral campaigns and/or what tool have you found to be the most effective for you?