Increasing Customer Referrals on Facebook with Coopt [Case Study]

It's a well known fact word of mouth referrals are one of the most powerful marketing message. Some studies show they are 7 times more influential than traditional marketing messages.

However, figuring out a way to get your customers to share your product is more of a mystery. Seedles was looking to spread their brand message to new audience members, but the "share this" widget on their website wasn't doing the trick. 

Other Shopify referral programs, like affiliate marketing links, have similarly poor share conversions and therefore don't move the needle for e-commerce stores. 

Incentivizing Your Customers to Share on Social Media

Seedles wanted a turnkey solution that helped his customers share their store without any additional work. After installing Coopt, Seedles offered their customers a $1-2 rebate if they shared the store on Facebook.

Within the first month they saw 20% of their customers shared their purchases, that's 1 in 5 customers who voluntarily shared Shopify store link with their friends on Facebook. 

These shares generated over 100,000 brand impressions on Facebook and 1,000 clicks, which Seedles sees as more valuable than any other kind of traffic.

“When you have someone share your company on Facebook it carries a lot of authenticity and credibility. Coopt is an effortless way to build social credibility for your brand and online store.” - Chris Founder of Seedles

You can download and view the full case study here

If you're ready to take your customer referrals to the next level check out our 14-day free trial




Introducing Coopt Campaigns, 100% flexible social coupons

If you’ve tried our Coopt App for Shopify and Big Commerce, you know it’s incredibly easy to increase customer referrals to your store by allowing customers to share discounts on Facebook.

The feedback from store owners has been great, but after dozens of emails and phone calls with clients I heard the same thing over and over. “We love the product, but we’d like it like to use promotions outside of Facebook.”

Based on this feedback, today we’re unveiling a new standalone product which allows e-commerce store owners to create reward coupons that can be shared across any website or social media platform.

That’s right, stores are no longer limited to sharing offers during the checkout process, you can now use similar discounts as incentives for any eCommerce platform.

Check out the video below for more information.

Increased Flexibility to Maximize Your Store’s “Sharability”


The original Coopt App for Shopify and Big Commerce helps store owners increase traffic and revenues without having to do much work at all.

Simply install the plugin, select the discount and within a few minutes you’ve incentivized customers to begin sharing your store to their Facebook friends in exchange for a reward.

Coopt Campaigns takes the same concept except it provides store owners more flexibility in how they promote incentivized coupons.

For example, say you want to offer a special discount for your Instagram followers. Coopt Campaigns can help you create that special discount code and place it in your post. After sharing the post, you can track how many of your sales came from that promotion or channel.
The same tactic can be used for email campaigns, web pages, or any place an HTML link is placed. Coopt Campaigns is the easiest way to create social coupons for your store.    

Why Social Couponing Works

Marketing experts know that word of mouth referrals are the #1 way to influence a customer’s purchasing decision.

As an ecommerce store owner you could spend thousands of dollars on paid advertising or hundreds of hours building your Facebook Fan Page without ever impacting this key revenue driver.

Ready to give it a test drive? Signing up is free and we guarantee your customers will begin sharing your store with their friends.

If you have any questions or feedback feel free to reach out directly to me bryan at coopt dot com.  


3 Things Extreme Sports Taught Me About Running My Own Business

There are two things I love in life: creating products that solve people's problems and doing extreme sports.

Okay, my wife and dogs are great too, but they’re not the focus of this article.

While I work, I often think about my next mountain bike ride, backcountry skiing adventure, or surf trip. Being in those moments has helped me tremendously to focus my energy and release stress, and while I’m out doing what I love, I naturally end up solving work problems.

Funny how things work - or don’t work when you’re trying to work - but work when you’re not working.

It hit me the other day that my drive toward improving in extreme sport has the same characteristics when I want to improve my business.

Here are three ways I’ve seen how my active lifestyle impacts my businesses.

1. Both Require Self Motivation

Most people have jobs (and lives) that are dictated by external rewards. “Do this or you get fired... sell this much and you get a bonus.” In entrepreneurship, there are no mandated sales quotas.

You are in control of your work effort and only you get to decide how far to push yourself.

Studies show that intrinsic motivation is the most effective form of encouragement when performing a task, and that external rewards actually diminish our enjoyment and effectiveness of the same task. Nobody gave me any motivation to move to Colorado and start skiing the Rockies. If anything, everyone around me said it was a horrible idea.

What I’ve learned is that by dedicating your time and energy to things you love there will eventually be a greater reward. Maybe more importantly, if you don’t dedicate your time and energy to things you love, you will certainly lose.

2. Both Are Results Driven

You are 42% more likely to achieve your personal or professional goals if you write them down. You are even more likely to achieve them if you write smaller progress goals each week and achieve them one at a time until you fulfill your ultimate goal.

Several months ago I decided to add running to my weekly routine. Although I am still a novice to the sport, I am humbled by the level of commitment and patience it requires of its participants. As any runner will tell you, you need to build up to success with care; run a mile first, then run two miles, now cut out junk food, now run eight. Sounds like fun, right?

In order to build your business, you need to consistently set goals for yourself that you can measure and achieve, then slowly raise the bar each time.

When we first launched Coopt, my goal was 100 users. I implemented an email marketing campaign that brought in over 300 users fairly quickly, but then leveled off. Then it was 500 users, which took some more thoughtful ideas like becoming a contributor on relevant forums and ecommerce communities. My next goal was 1,000 users where I found myself having to reach outside of my comfort zone with tasks such as attending networking events and writing blogs - like this one.

My next goal is 10,000 users.  

Setting frequent goals helps lift me from the dreaded comfort zone and drop me where I belong; improvement. Accountability is built-in.  

If a goal isn’t reached then I haven’t done my job, and I’m forced to look back and ask: did I push myself hard enough? Did I miss any of my daily or weekly tasks? If the answer is no, then you know exactly what to do next time. There’s no room for excuses. The results speak for themselves.

What's the next measurable goal you're hoping to achieve? Write it down and take action each day to make your way towards it. 

3. Both Require Balance

One thing my Mom and school teachers can attest is that I love testing the limits of things.

First it was skiing halfpipes, then trying to jump off bigger and higher cliffs. Unfortunately pushing these limits also has it’s drawbacks. Lately my back pain has been so bad I've had to cut back the amount of hours and types of activities I'm pursuing.

Balance is necessary if you want to continue pushing limits. As an a business owner, balance is absolutely critical if you want to continue to grow year after year. 

Entrepreneurs by definition choose to stray from the beaten path and venture into unsafe territory. But sometimes too much is too much. If you burn out in business, you lose the intrinsic motivation to push boundaries and make decisions. If you aren’t balanced in extreme sports, you put yourself in danger.

The great thing about balance is that it creates synergy. I’m not talking about synergy in the lame corporate way like when Susan in HR tells you to “think out of the box” when “developing your personal brand”.

The kind I’m talking about occurs when you ski off a cliff and the adrenaline rush alone carries you through the workweek. Or how the high stakes of downhill mountain biking remind you what’s really important, delivering a special kind of inspiration.

It turns out exercise gives people 20% more energy aka you can literally increase productivity by exercising.

I’m not recommending that everyone jump a cliff or swim with the sharks, but I am recommending that you find a positive hobby that challenges and excites you.

It can keep you focused on what's important, help prevent burnout, and reach your goals easier. Whatever you decide to do in business and in life, be sure you love it for the activity itself and the reward will surely follow.

Do you have any hobbies that help teach you lessons about your business? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below. 

My Secret to Maximizing Traffic, Conversions and Sales from Facebook

Recently I shared the secret hack I used to make Facebook the #1 driver of new business to my online store. This is a simple trick most e-commerce store owners simply don't know anything about. 

The secret I'm referring to is utilizing "embedded links" properly.

What is an embedded link on Facebook?

Embedded Links enable you to pull in external web content (i.e. video and photos) and present it within sites. Embeddable links increase visitor interaction and retention and enable you to present all kinds of content to visitors.

Here's exactly how to do it. 

Step 1: Optimize Media for Your Embedded Link

In order to maximize the click through rate of your embedded link, you must have a video or high quality images that show up in the Facebook link. If you use a video, change the thumbnail to show the product in action. If you are selling clothes, showcase a model wearing your best selling item.

Test your embedded link in Facebook to make sure your video or photo’s are showing up. You can do this by pasting your store url within the status box and viewing the preview. 

If you would like to change or customize the image that appears, we provide a free tool for merchants who are using the Coopt app.

Remember, your embedded link must portray the uniqueness of a product and have a reason for sharing. People are interested in discovering new products and ideas, so make sure your message is coming through. 

Step 2: Offer Customers a Discount to Share your Link 

You can easily install apps to offer customers rewards for sharing your store at checkout. Although there are several affiliate apps on Shopify that do this, most do not include an embedded link, which is the most important aspect for generating conversions from Facebook.

To overcome this challenge, I developed a Shopify app called Coopt to maximize sales by utilizing embedded links.

With Coopt, customers receive their discount instantly – as opposed to affiliate/referral programs where incentives are redeemed in the future.

When setting up your offer, be sure to choose an amount that is valuable enough to your customer. This will depend on the average order of your customers, but I recommend that the offer is at least 5% off the purchase amount.

Word of mouth referrals can be monetized by offering your customers to share your store. This works best when embedded links are optimized to show high quality video or other rich content.

How Facebook became the #1 Driver for my Ecommerce Startup

A year ago a product I launched, Fly Pedals, had just finished a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Coupled with the sales from our Shopify store, we sold over $60,000 in pre-orders in the first 30 days of launching.

I had built the business in my spare time with only a computer and the free online tools available to any aspiring entrepreneur. Facebook in particular was the driving force that made our product instantly visible to our target market.

Is “going viral” a real strategy?

The fast growth of Fly Pedals was mostly credited to a video that was designed for social media shareability. During the initial surge of traffic to our Shopify store (where we were only offering pre-orders at the time) we noticed that almost every visitor that made a purchase had watched our video. So, we set out to find affordable ways to bring our video to potential customers.

We soon realized the best way to attract more views on our video was through the sharing of our embedded link on Facebook. Embedded Links enable you to pull in external web content (i.e. video and photos) and present it within sites. This is similar to a Facebook sponsored advertisement, but much more powerful when shared by someone within your network. It is important to adjust the website settings so the desired media will always come up when the website is mentioned on Facebook. We changed our settings to display our video using an embedded link customization tool, and saw a dramatic increase in sales.

^Example of optimized embedded vs non-optimized embedded links: Which post are you more likely to engage?

Maximizing Social Media Referrals through Rewards

Although it was great to have a boost in sales, I wanted to take this marketing strategy even further. After doing some research I found out that customers are seven times more likely to buy a product when their friend shares an embedded link.

In order to incentivize our customers to share our new product through an embedded link; we offered various rewards for sharing on social media. We experimented with including different photos and videos through our embedded link and finally found one that helped us bring in an additional $17 in net profit from these referral sales.

Now all I had to do was figure out a way to incentivize more customers to share their product and it came down to developing a simple Shopify app that rewarded our customers with $5 off to share our link. The app requires no extra time on my part, as it simply offers customers the rewards for sharing your embedded media link at checkout. This increased our traffic dramatically and turned out to be a really easy solution to increasing the #1 channel for our ecommerce business.

Most merchants know that word of mouth is the #1 driver for most businesses, but figuring out new ways to scale and measure this is a struggle for most companies. Are you maximizing the referral traffic for your business?

Would love to hear what has worked and what hasn’t for you in the comments below or drop me a line at