Today I’m talking with John Olsson – co founder of Frily.com a site that we wrote about a few months ago. Essentially, the site lets customers test products for free. For businesses, it can be a nice way to gain quick market research and distribution. It’s been a couple of months since they launched, so we caught up for a brief chat.
Tell us about the launch. How did it go and where are you at now?
The foundation in our marketing strategy is that we have something that many people like. People get great products for free in just return for their quick feedback. For most people this is too good to not to take part of. With that in mind we made sure to have a viral mechanism built into the sign-up-process which would allow us to grow with the help of our own users.
After launch whenever a new user signed up to Frily in order to take part of our campaigns we first let them invite their friends. We also let some of them post about us on their wall on Facebook resulting in many cheerful posts. This viral model worked very well and it took us from having almost zero users in the middle of July to having more than 50.000 users just 30 days later in the middle of August. Today we are growing with thousands of new users each day and we’ve also received more than 65.000 likes on Facebook.
Because of the exponentially growth of Frily we have even had to tackle some problems. Whenever an app grows extremely fast on Facebook there is an upper limit to how many invitations Facebook will allow to be sent out. We did different experiments until we found that 100.000 invitations were about as much as Facebook would allow to be sent out per day. With so many invitations being sent out per day just in Sweden it means a large portion of Swedish Facebook users have already been invited one or more times.
The reason why we launched Frily in Sweden is because it is a great market to prove a concept. During this summer we have have successfully proven that our viral model works, we have also been able to deliver more distribution and feedback to our customers than any could have expected. The interest for all of our campaigns has been tremendous, resulting in great value for our customers in terms of distribution and getting valuable feedback from the end consumers.
What have you learned since launching. What did you not expect?
We have learned that it makes a world of difference to have something truly attractive and unique to offer when you are launching and trying to grow virally. If something is a truly great offer people will work as message carriers and share it with everyone they know.
You still need to do everything you can to make it easy for people to share and invite their friends, we didn’t even leave a choice for our users but let them all invite their friends before they could access our offers.
If we would have left the choice of inviting friends open to our users we would never have gotten the same exponential growth right from the launch. We did not expect Frily to grow as fast as it has done, all of a sudden nearly everyone you meet has been invited by their friends on Facebook!
What are the plans for the next 6 months?
We have a big user base of consumers that we want to expose to new great offers. We are talking with new businesses everyday and we’re trying to find the best possible campaigns that we can add to Frily. Over the next 6 months we will grow Frily with new campaigns and improve the service. We have two apps that we will launch that will make it possible for our users to also take part of discounted campaigns in return of their feedback. This will work well with retail stores and restaurants for instance. We will also start doing the ground work needed to establish a sales team in Silicon Valley. We are looking to grow internationally and America will be our next market.