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In a short five years, Dropbox has gone from 0 to 100 million users.
What’s even more impressive, is the fact that they’ve done it with one of the most simple website designs ever. Since the first year, their homepage has featured only two main components—an explainer video and a download button. Here’s what it looks like (just in case you’re not one of the 100 million people who has already signed up for the service):
They’ve also grown without spending money on advertising, and they’ve grown exponentially compared to the competition, despite the fact that there are dozens of similar services competing in the same space.
So what’s Dropbox’s secret? How did they grow so quickly with such a simple design, one explainer video, and spending no money on advertising?
Dropbox started out by using Google AdWords as a way to reach customers. But they quickly figured out that they were spending $233 to $388 per customer acquired. That ended up being too expensive for what was a $99 product at the time.
Thus, they decided to switch to a viral referral campaign to attract more customers. This ended up being one of the keys to their success. Here’s how it worked: Dropbox users were encouraged to share the service via social media and e-mail. If they did, they’d get extra space for free on their own account for every new person who signed up from one of their invites.
The result was that satisfied customers became brand evangelists who helped to get the word out about Dropbox. Due to the fact that they’d get something in return, i.e. free space, users liberally shared about Dropbox via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and more. For every customer who was satisfied about the product, there were hundreds and even thousands of other people who were finding out about it and signing up. This resulted in a total of 2.8 million invitations being sent out over a 30-day period.
What an awesome viral campaign. It’s one of the greatest of all time, and Dropbox fully leveraged the power of referrals and social sharing.
But that’s not all that they did.
Dropbox’s simple homepage design focuses visitors’ attention 100% on their explainer video. There aren’t any other links or any other messages that get in the way. When you land on the homepage, there’s only one thing to do—watch the video.
By focusing every visitors’ attention on the explainer video, Dropbox was able to get more people to watch and learn how the service worked. This in turn led to more sign ups because more people now understood how to use Dropbox. It’s a lot easier to click a download button when you know how something works and understand the benefit, and that’s what Dropbox was banking on with their 120-second explainer video.
The result was a 10% increase in sign-ups. That’s right—the explainer video led to a 10% increase in conversions. That may not seem like much, but when you do the math with 100 million users, that’s 10 million extra customers simply from using an explainer video. With an estimated $4.80 of revenue per customer (based on estimates from 2011), that’s an extra $48,000,000 in revenue per year. Not bad for a “mere” 10% increase in conversions.
At this point, you may be wondering, “Why was the explainer video so important? What made it so successful?”
Here’s the answer:
Dropbox increased their conversion rate 10% by using a simple explainer video on their homepage. This 10% increase led to 10 million additional customers and $48,000,000 in extra revenue. This was all done with a 120-second explainer video that cost less than $50,000.
Do you think it was worth it? We do. $50,000 in exchange for 10 million customers and $48,000,000 in revenue is quite a return on Dropbox’s investment.
If you have any questions about creating an explainer video for your company, we’d be happy to help. Simply book a free consultation and we will answer any and all of your questions.