07 Jan How to generate 15,000 visits from Reddit to your site (and more Reddit case studies)

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This post contains lots of data and useful tips – to maximise your chance of using these strategies successfully – ensure you keep this as a reference

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Reddit is probably the scariest place on the internet – one false move and you’re shot down with a barrage of comments which will leave you wishing you never opened your laptop.

I know seasoned entrepreneurs who are petrified of Reddit – who curl up in a ball at just the thought of what might happen if they attempt to post something on Reddit.

It’s a confusing, mishmash of pages
It’s tough to navigate
It’s UGLY (really ugly)
If you get your approach wrong – you’ll face the wrath of some of the most vociferous, angry individuals on the planet

BUT

Reddit is a phenomenal marketplace with 174 million unique visitors per month, a loyal following and a place where if you do things right – you can reap some very good rewards.

Reddit leads target

If you approach Reddit with honesty and integrity, and try to provide value in your posts – you can generate a significant amount of traffic very, very quickly.

The case studies below show successful people who have done that – from tech startups, to one man bands, food subscription sites, fan sites and everywhere in between.

I’ve picked the best from the web – case studies with real statistics and advice, either from those who pay to advertise, or those who wrote simple posts that gained traction.

Before we start

Before we dive into the case studies, a quick fact and a quick hack.

1. If you ever wanted proof that Reddit is a place to promote content:
In the UK, the majority of the major newspapers get a pretty impressive number of website visits from Reddit.

The chart below shows how out of the top 12 newspapers in the UK, 10 of them get at least 5% of their traffic from Reddit – and 5 get more than 20% of their traffic from Reddit.  Most of them get more traffic from Reddit than from Twitter. This is a fairly staggering statistic!

newspapers reddit

And if there’s one thing that newspapers historically have been good at – it’s headlines that make you want to read the rest of the article.

This is where Reddit comes into play.

2. One super smart, quick Reddit hack

I’ve created a simple tool to find out what your competitors link to on Twitter.

Just visit this page for my Sneaky Reddit Tool and all you need to do is type in a url of your competitor.

When you click on the button, you’ll be taken to a reddit page which shows all the links to that URL.

This is a useful tool to find out what content is viral and shareworthy for your competitors.

e.g. if you typed in inbound.org, you’d find this page below:

 

Full disclosure – this idea came from a post made by Iris Shoor who is pretty savvy when it comes to Growth Hacking.

 


 

Organic Reddit Success

Generating 6,000 leads from Reddit

I’m not into gaming online, but like most I’m aware that there is a hugely passionate audience out there who spend hours hunched over computer games.

The team at Vylo were creating an in-game chat system and wanted some feedback, so they posted an honest update on their idea and requested responses:

Vylo post

Given they had no product, the feedback and the interaction was very impressive. After garnering over 1,132 comments – they also managed to generate 6,300 leads on their email list in just a few days.

The team chose to post their initial question in the League of Legends subreddit. Had they chosen ‘startups’ or ‘technology’ subreddits, they may have not had the same level of success. Choosing the right subreddit, being honest and engaging well with other users were key to the success of the post.

For more on where the project is, an update is available here.


 

Ask me Anything – such as how to get 15,000 website visitors

If you have a story worth talking about – then perhaps an Ask Me Anything (AMA) can be used to generate website visits and traffic.

Niall Doherty used a Reddit AMA  to promote his book Cargo Ship Diaries:

Reddit AMA

which generated 1,163 comments, 15,000 website visits and a large part of his $800 in product sales on his first day of sales.

Wisely, this was marked as a Travel and Tourism AMA, which really struck a chord with the readers

An impressive response rate from what could only have taken up a few hours of time.

I’m sure most people don’t have stories which are worthy of an AMA, but you’d be surprised what people are interested in.  All AMAs are kept on twitter, so you can explore what was successful.

Perhaps an AMA is worth exploring?


 

100 product registrations in 60 minutes

Pushkar Gaikwad posted the story of his company’s growth on Reddit in Startups – and received 100 registrations for his inbound marketing software – principally because he gave away a free trail and asked for feedback.

inboundio - leads from reddit

This shows the power of a simple post to the right forum.

You’ll note that Pushkar told the story in his own words (rather than ‘we at Inboundio’).  His story of bootstrapping and his honest request for feedback works a lot better as they tell a compelling story – lots of people would be interested in seeing just how far he got by bootstrapping.

I’m sure not all registrants will become customers – but even if a few people become paying customers at $29 per month, then Inboundio will have generated an impressive return on a very short post.


 

15,000 visitors from one post – but be prepared!

Paul Chittenden of Jobkaster received an unexpected surprise from a short post on Reddit.

Looking to improve his SEO he submitted a very short post In the technology subreddit and went to bed……

Jobkaster Reddit post

The next day the results were much more than he ever expected. After 1,565 upvotes, he had received 15,000 website visits to his site.

Given at any one point in time there will be a large proportion of people looking to increase their salary or trade jobs – the product looks appealing.  I suspect a lot of people just wanted to find out if there is a job 5 minutes away from their house – which would have made a lot of people click on the link just out of curiosity.  Paul asked for feedback – and it appeared a lot of people wanted to chip in their 10 pence/cents on this product.

Unfortunately, as Paul readily admits, his servers, product and lead generation solution wasn’t ready to handle such a surge in traffic.

Most people won’t get anywhere near this level of traffic for their startup or company from one post, but in the slim chance you do – it’s worth bearing in mind Paul’s advice:
– Optimize your sign-up process. Don’t ask for too much information. Name and email. That’s it.
– Add a “sharing widget” to spread the word even further.
– Ensure a “call to action” for whatever action that you want your users to do on every page.
– Respond to comments! Listen to what users are saying and let them know you are listening.


 

2,168 web visits in one day for a valuable post

No matter what you are promoting, or where – content that is valuable to the user is much more likely to be successful than anything else.

Chris Gomel of Bootstrap Bay created a beautiful, useful post – and Brian Dean broke down the metrics of the success of the post.

The most important step in this process was Chris researching which posts were previously shared relevant to his product.  Using Brian’s skyscraper strategy, he created a post which he knew had a good chance of success based on making a bigger, better, nicer looking post than the competition.

Bootstrap bay 3

Chris wrote a post on places to get beautiful royalty free images from.

The simply step he took?
After he spent hours creating the content – he added a link to the web design
subreddit:

Bootstrap Bay reddit results

The result:

bootstrap bay reddit marketing

2,168 views from Reddit in one day.

It’s a compelling story on the power of a great post – the value came from the research Chris did before he started writing and the subsequent quality of the post.


CHEAT SHEET DOWNLOAD
This post contains lots of data and useful tips – to maximise your chance of using these strategies successfully – ensure you keep this as a reference
DOWNLOAD THE FULL POST as a PDF

 

Lazy Ass Stoner generates 1,194 website visits from a reedit post

Lazy Ass Stoner (‘LAS’) is genuinely the name of a blog where a chap with remarkable hair runs through marketing strategies.

lazyassstoner leads from reddit

In a video blog post he ran through his methodology:

In short:

1. Find content that has already proven to be successful online – i.e. lots of shares or links.

LAS went with this post from Huffington Post:

2. Replicate the content on your own site.

3. Create a link bait like subject title
4. Post a link to reddit in the right subgroup.

 

LAS’s target audience is cannabis smokers so in the example he posts an article on states that are likely to legislate cannabis. Clearly for a cannabis user this is big news – and LAS simply rides the wave of comments and input that arrive.

[note – the domain his original article was posted on is now available, therefore it’s unclear the relative success of the post – or whether LAS was just performing a proof of concept.  I’ve included this regardless, as I have no doubt that an article that talks about legalazing pot is big news for cannabis smokers)]

It’s not a million miles away from Brian Dean’s technique, but quicker and less in-depth / long-lived. It’s simple process but one that LAS claims reaps him significant rewards. It’s fairly easy to see why – posts that have been shared on one site are likely to be shared again on a different site, so long as the target audience is right.


 

Generating 4,200 extra website visits through Reddit Content Distribution

Paul Bullock maintains a blog about Stephen Spielberg and tried an experiment on Reddit in May 2014.

spielberg

Paul wanted to increase traffic to his site, which received a steady flow of visitors from twitter and Google plus.

Paul used Reddit to distribute 2 posts daily onto different subreddits – such as movies / science fiction for one month.

He tested different posting types and different post times.

The results:
A review of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom received nearly 1,000 site views on the day of posting.

Whilst other posts generally performed well.

The results for the month:

spielberg 2

An increase in overall site sessions from 1,796 to 6,976

I would have expected a huge increase in bounces and session time. However, given a 288.42% increase in sessions, the bounce rate only decreased by 1.93% – and site duration decreased by 32.98% – both respectable, given the total increase in visits.

Whilst this experiment is for a fan site – if you have content you can post to reddit – it’s a worthwhile experiment to plan out 30 days of posts to see what works for your business.


 

Reddit Advertising Results

Duck and Go with Ads

Gabriel Weinburg knows a thing or two about startups. Founder of Duck Duck Go and the superb book on growing a startup: – he wrote about his success with Reddit Ads on his blog.

Gabriel was impressed that his ad below outperformed any other advertising metric in terms of ROI – and he’d tried everything (not just google) – but Bing, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Facebook and Yahoo.

Duck Duck Go reddit Ad

Over 13 days, it generated 20,700 clicks from $650 spend – at a cost of 3.14 cents per click.

WARNING – this case study is from wayyyy back in 2010 – so you’re Click costs at this level will be challenging to achieve. For a great description on this – it’s worth reading Andrew Chen’s ‘Law of Shitty Clickthroughs’

Key takeaways that Gabriel found:

  • Reddit users will actually try out your site – Gabriel found them to be a lot more engaged that Stumble Upon users
  • They will comment on your site and under the ad – this is a fantastic way to get feedback (but you might need a thick skin to be able to take some of the Reddit frank feedback)
  • CPM and CPC vary widely by day (simply to do with the way Reddit distribute the advertising)

 

How Ryan made $1,000 using Reddit ads

Ryan Luedecke has appeared on these pages before for his cold emailing approach.  It turns out he is also skilled at breaking down advertising systems.

At the time of writing, he’d spent $400 on Reddit advertising, and generated $2,200 in sales (note this is all in late 2014).

Ryan’s reasons for choosing Reddit:

  • Simple interface. Easy to get started.
  • Low spending minimums. Start w/ as little as $5.
  • Low priced vs other ad options like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • You get to interact with potential customers in the comment sections of your ads.
  • Don’t need a designer or developer. Just short text ads w/ one small thumbnail image.

The process:
1. Identify 15 different subreddits where people might want to buy your product. Research each reddit fully to find out the number of subscribers and exactly how relevant they are.

sumo jerky reddit advert success

2. Select your image (Ryan used a selfie)

3. Create your ads
Quick guide:

– Introduce yourself

-Write casually, like it’s an email to a friend.

-Customize your title for each subreddit

-Include a special offer

Such as:
sumo jerky 2 reddit advertising

4. Set the timing and budget (Ryan recommends $10 budget and placing the ads on a Thursday, when the day that gave him the most success).
5. Reply to comments as they are posted – they will generate increased income for you.

Once the ad has finished running, it’s time to review:
1. Download the results
2. Look for ‘big picture results’ – i.e. 50% off 1st month converts better than 20% off for life.
3. Once you have analyzed, you should group your adds into a few different categories: Kill it, change the offer, change the ad title, ‘Plus up’ (increase ad spend). The diagram below shows how the decision matrix used in the Sumo Jerky case worked:

Sumo jerky 4 reddit advert testing

Ryan’s decision making matrix makes it easy to know what to do next.

I’d encourage you to read the full post here if you are thinking of running Reddit ads – it really is a well written post with lots of detail on how to implement.


 

Cheap Clickthroughs on Reddit

The problem through most advertising for apps is that advertising has to be very cheap if you want the app to break even.
This precludes most companies from advertising their 99c product.

However, the team at Gyrospace 3D, who product Android wallpaper found they could drive traffic at a reasonable cost to the Android store.

Gyrospace 3d

After spending $60, their cost per click averaged at $0.067 (date of the experiment was February 2013).

Unfortunately, the team didn’t have relevant analytics to track installs or downloads of the app – which means it’s unclear if the ad was successful.

That said, if you can generate clicks for as little as 7 cents – and do track your metrics – it could certainly increase your sales and income.


CHEAT SHEET DOWNLOAD

This post contains lots of data and useful tips – to maximise your chance of using these strategies successfully – ensure you keep this as a reference

DOWNLOAD THE FULL POST as a PDF


 

Summary

The case studies above show that Reddit can be used to generate website visits and leads for little cost and effort.

Takeaways from above:

1. If you are advertising, make sure you monitor and test
2. Advertising can be cheap – but it’s a waste if you aren’t tracking the impact.
3. Valuable content will ALWAYS get traction – no matter where you post it – reddit is no exception.
4. Choosing your subreddit is paramount – the more specific to your post, the better.
5. Only if you have a compelling story, you should create an AMA.
6. Be prepared – you can generate a significant amount of traffic very quickly – make sure your lead capture systems and website can take the traffic.
7. For optimal results, don’t just rely on one post – continually post valuable content and test different subreddits, times and titles.