S2E07: Building & Nurturing 250k Loving Users On An Online Community, BOOM25!

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This episode is all about community, and how the UK focused Cashback startup Boom25 built a community of over 250K Raving fans with over 77% engagement.

Boom25’s Head of business development Yaniv Rozen and head of marketing, Avinoam Abramowitz join us to talk about the journey to disrupt the UK cashback market and finding their early-stage channel market fit.

Boom 25 is an Israeli-based UK focused startup that’s revolutionizing the CashBack market by emphasizing the user experience and user relationship.

In our talk, we discuss the challenges of building a company in an industry where it’s hard to base trust in and how they’ve developed a thriving community that is much more than online shopping and discounts.

Our Key Takeaways:

Solving the trust challenge:

The cashback, coupon, affiliate marketing industry all suffer from a bad reputation.

As a young company, trying to change the perception and reputation is almost impossible (costly and timely)

Instead of fighting it, Boom25 incorporated these facts into their biz Dev and marketing from day 1. 

They decided to first launch in the UK, where the eCommerce market is well-developed, but also, already had popular cashback the brand in place happening for 10-15 years.

So now the challenge went from convincing and educating the market, to focusing on offering them a “better” experience than the one they are using right now.

The result was that the audience was more welcoming, but due to the product of their nature (more user-focused), it caught the attention of a whole new type of clientele drawn to the company’s DNA.

In addition to that, since the CashBack and affiliate market is more developed in the UK, it’s easier to work and market in that field – since it’s more regulated and more “settled” than in other countries, which again, help a lot with the trust factor. 

The behavior challenge

Even once you pass the “trust” challenge, there’s still a behavior. Challenge.

Most people look at CashBack from a rational point of view and think:

“Should I do the effort of going to a specific designated site only for the chance of winning back a few dollars.”

While in theory, “saving money” or “getting your money back” sounds like a bullet-proof value proposition, in reality, it’s really not. 

Understanding that the Boom team seeks to change the focus of the user’s engagement into gratifying the customer experience and not only making it about “saving money” but being a part of the Boom movement and unique experience. 

The path to the community

Boom’s approach at the beginning was to try and test a lot of traction channels fast. 

One of these channels was existing communities where they’re target audience was already there and reaching out to the community managers and influencers in those communities to get them to post for them. 

It quickly turned out that almost every post was a success, and it was gaining traction fast. 

The problem that is that the more traction they got, the more push-back they got from the community managers and influencers they were working with, 

They became dependent on them to collaborate in overtime; it became more of a liability than an opportunity. 

They’ve followed up with additional tests (PR, Influencers, etc.), but none have retried results as much as the community posting, which leads them to open their community.

Harness the power of your fans

When the Boom25 team decided they want to open their own community, they were facing a problem of lack of resources.

With the idea that customers understand each other better than anyone, and they’ll know what content will be interesting for them – they reached out to their customers, telling them about the community idea and offer them to join the team.

After handpicking the ones they felt were right, they gave them a few ground rules, but most of all – gave them the keys and wished them good luck.

They started creating content, and soon it started growing. 

These days, the users are the ones pushing the community forward, and the company mostly moderate and looks for leverage opportunities. But the product-fans run the show.

The first pieces of content were mostly focused on testimonials about the Boom25 experience, but fast enough, people’s urge for a community “who gets” the experience has transformed it into something more. 

They started sharing personal things, and the conversation became more informal and personal. They’ve started to build their own glossary (calling Boom25 users Boomers, first times users “Boom Virgins” and so on.)

They started sharing tips and tricks to find more bargains and strategies to increase their chance of winning. 

The natural engage and conversations that their users brought to the mix turned the relationship with the brand from “logical” too emotional. 

Growing the community

The first community members were all current users of Boom25.

It took them four months to get to a tipping point and from there on – it grew exponentially

In the beginning, they encouraged users to invite friends and promote the community through email, push notification, competitions, etc.

Once it grew to a certain point and people started coming organically and inviting their friends on their own.

The impact of emotions on your clients 

The community keeps an added value to the Boom25 shoppers. 

The belonging and ongoing engagement with their community peers keep them engaged and interested in the site and interested and make people want to be a part of it. They use the product, partially, to keep identifying themselves as part of the community. 

This has several important effects:

  1. Increase in repeating purchase behavior.
  2. Keeps them away from price comparison 
  3. It turns the buying process into an emotional decision.

Don’t own the conversation, moderated it.

Even as the community grew, the Boom team tries to stay was from becoming “managers” of the conversation or engagement. 

The moderate it to make sure:

  1. Finding opportunities for their business needs through competition and emphasizing products and offers.
  2. Making sure the conversation is positive and respectful to one another.
  3. Customer support channel for their users. 
  4. Conversation with the community about their product needs.
  5. Surprising and delighting their users. (You have to listen to that story, you’ll be moved to tears). 

We hope you enjoyed this episode!

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A big thank you to Elad Levy for joining me this week. Until next time!

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