16 Viral Marketing Tools to Get Traffic and Leads Fast

Viral marketing is 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.

It causes the people who enter to take action on your and their behalf to increase their contest entries by sharing on social media or email for example, or for the person to get more rewards for themselves by generating referrals for you.

And, there are several different types of viral marketing campaigns that you can employ using the 15 viral marketing software tools listed in this article.

Four Types of Viral Marketing Campaigns:

  • Referral campaigns
  • Viral contests or raffle contests
  • Gamified leaderboard points contests
  • Milestone referrals

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We don’t list pricing because the pricing can change and become outdated. So, you’ll just have to see the pricing for yourself.

Additionally, at the end of this post, we provide you with a no-brainer strategy that will help your viral marketing campaign be as effective as it can be. Don’t miss out on reading it.

Top 15 Viral Marketing Tools

1) Gleam

This is one more popular platforms and works very well across multiple platforms. You can run contests and rewards-based campaigns. It’s simple but it works great for contestants. I know how simple it is because 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.

Gleam viral marketing contest example

2) KingSumo

Created by the massively successful company AppSumo / Sumo. It’s a great tool and it integrates with WordPress. One flat fee for a lifetime of use and contests. 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, 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.

KingSumo Viral Marketing Campaign Example CoinCheckUp

3) Viral Loops

Another one of the best, if not the best, viral tool out there. It’s also one of the most expensive tools out there if you want 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.  Warning: they’re not cheap.


Viral loops viral campaign post

4) 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.

Vyper Viral Campaign software

5) Maître

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.

Maitre viral campaign software features

6) iRefer

iRefer gives you multiple referral solutions such as classic referrals, eCommerce referrals, milestone referrals, and SaaS referrals. Their plans have a lot of features and they’ve pre-built templates, email automation, fraud prevention, reports, unlimited campaigns, CSV imports, and more. In addition, you can try it for free for 14 days.

iRefer viral platform marketing software example

7) UnTorch

UnTorch charges a one-time annual fee per campaign, but only after you try it and are pleased with your campaign. You can collect as many emails as you want. There’s no restriction. It’s pretty simple as people get rewards for people who share your campaign.

Untorch screenshot - Viral Marketing Tool for Email Sign Up - StartupDevKit

8) Entice

Entice offers 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” and you can set up your campaign in minutes without a developer.

Entice screenshot – Referral Viral Marketing Software - StartupDevKit

9) Queue

With Queue, you can reward your leads, fans, users, and customers to share, refer, and engage at scale. They have pre-launch campaigns, a brand ambassador program, viral giveaways, and viral contests. They have a great analytics and metrics tracking system so you can get key insights into how well your campaigns are working and where you might want to improve. You can’t just outright sign up for Queue, though. However, you have to contact them and/or request a demo. After the demo is when it’s likely that you’ll be incentivized to buy.

Queue screenshot - Viral Growth - Viral marketing - queueat.com - StartupDevKit

10) Wishpond

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, however, so you’ll have to check out their pricing page.

Wishpond screenshot - Viral marketing referral marketing - StartupDevKit

11) Heyo

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.

Heyo screenshot - viral marketing contest platform - StartupDevKit

12) ViralSweep

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.

ViralSweep screenshot - Viral Marketing Platform - StartupDevKit

13) Contest Domination

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.

Contest Domination Screenshot - Viral marketing and Contest Software - StartupDevKit

14) UpViral

UpViral allows you to A/B split test your lead magnet, which most of the other platforms do not. 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 screenshot - viral marketing software - StartupDevKit

15) AppVirality

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.

AppVirality screenshot - viral marketing platform - StartupDevKit

 

16) GrowSurf

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.

Growsurf viral marketing tool screenshot 50 percent

Conclusion

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:

  1. Have effective incentives
    1. Collections of books or resources
    2. Paid accounts for your product/service — for free
    3. Gift cards or a physical prize
  2. Get it on your website – front and center
  3. Have your own tribe, or following of people, who will share your viral marketing campaign
  4. 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.
    1. 7 Ways to Use Twitter to Grow Your Startup’s Tribe
    2. 10 LinkedIn Marketing Best Practices: A Powerful Guide for Growth
    3. 14 Startup Marketing Strategies to Use on Social Media
    4. 38 Facebook Marketing Strategies and Tips to Grow Startups
  5. Market it to your email list subscribers
  6. Promote it in other places where your niche can be found
  7. Ask friends to share your viral campaign
  8. Launch paid ads to promote your campaign
    1. 4 Steps to Optimizing Conversions with Google Adwords
    2. How to Run a Successful Facebook Ads 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?

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Carl Potak

About Carl Potak

Carl is the Founder and CEO of StartupDevKit, a membership-based online startup incubator and accelerator.

Biography

Carl is a serial founder and has been building and growing startups since 2007. He’s been a founder, marketer, political campaign manager and consultant, startup consultant, marketing director, WordPress website creator, and a senior technical technical recruiter for a Fortune 500 recruiting firm.

In 2007, Carl started his first startup, EduDating, a dating website for students and alumni, but it unfortunately failed because the technical requirements were too great to get it off the ground then. This experience gave way to his next startup called HireTicket, a video interviewing platform, but he could not continue after his co-founder stole all of their seed money. He then went to work as a technical recruiter and shattered the firm's growth records. He wanted to continue working on startups and simultaneously started working with CoFoundersLab, the leading platform for startup founders to find other startup founders. There, he was doing social media marketing, strategy, and sales part time. After CoFoundersLab was acquired for the first time, he and the founding team left. Carl went on to become the director of marketing for the fintech startup OnTrajectory, a retirement and life planning tool. Carl consulted for other various startups and and then left OnTrajectory to start StartupDevKit.

Carl has a certification in Inbound Marketing from HubSpot Academy, a certification in Google Analytics from Google, and earned his Bachelor's Degree from Binghamton University (SUNY) in Political Science with a minor in sociology.

As a young adult, Carl achieved Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts and went to college for political science and graduated from Binghamton University for his major. He worked on several high-profile campaigns in New York throughout college and after he graduated in 2008. In addition, he created and led a top-ranked tournament-winning Counter-Strike team throughout college called Performance. Carl left it once he began his last semester of college in 2008 when he decided to start his first startup, EduDating.

Interests

Aside from his passion for business, Carl enjoys hiking mountains, playing drums with his band of talented friends and family, hanging with friends and family, listening to music, politics, Magic: The Gathering, watching and following the Yankees, Marvel and DC movies and shows, and going to museums among other things.

Carl's Role in Building StartupDevKit

Most recently, Carl built StartupDevKit's Startup Incubator Platform almost entirely on his own -- with hundreds (growing to thousands) of awesome curated and original startup resources that empower founders worldwide. The platform helps people anywhere from the idea-validation stage to recently funded startups in the growth-stage. In addition, the platform currently consists of 19 verticals and about 100 subcategories.

Carl has written all of the site's blog content thus far (over 30 mostly long-form articles on startups and marketing) which has helped over 15,000 startups. StartupDevKit ranks highly among some of the other most regarded accelerators and startup blogs on Google and has several #1 listings on Google. The content he's written is used by university entrepreneurship programs, cited all over the startup industry, and even other accelerators.

Startup Survival Secrets, the book

Carl is the author of the book Startup Survival Secrets, a book he's been writing which is about the top 20 reasons why startups fail, the root causes for each of those reasons, how to prevent them, and what to do instead. He started the writing process for the book in late 2016 and aims to have it done in the first quarter of 2020.

Being that 95-99% of startup accelerator applicants don’t get accepted and 90% of startups fail overall, Carl developed both the platform and wrote the book to help the worldwide startup community so that people have greater access to resources and wisdom for startups.

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